27 Waterfalls Hike

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by nmagann on June 23, 2005

8am to 2pm, $60 swimmers only, includes lunch Jumping, climbing, and upper-body strength

The tour operator I chose is the only one that goes as far as the twelfth waterfall. After arriving at a sandy parking lot, everyone put on their swimsuits and tennis shoes and left everything else behind. A waterproof camera would be the only thing you might want to take. Nothing that goes around the neck that could possible choke you later is advised. We had to get wet right at the beginning, crossing the river in waist-deep water. There’s nothing like walking up a dusty trail with wet clothing and shoes, which turn to mud in no time.

Although we covered ourselves with everything from bug spray to sunscreen, nothing was really needed. The temperature was neither too cold nor too warm, and the lush greenery kept direct sun out. Even sunglasses weren’t needed, or recommended.

We walked, and sometimes swam, upstream from waterfall to waterfall, either ascending by climbing the rocks or ropes with knots, or, in one case, using a shaky ladder made of bamboo. I was glad to have guides to give me a necessary hand in the case of both. Waterfalls were no more than about 5 feet wide, cascading perhaps 20 feet. Still, going up against the force of water is not without effort.

The Damajagua River meanders around creating tunnels and caves. The water color seemed to change from crystal-blue pools in the caves to translucent green in the tunnels.

We returned on the same trail we came on, except that now, based on the height of the falls, the roughness or smoothness, and the steepness, we jumped or slide down. Again, it was good to have a guide to hold onto to us as we positioned ourselves to slide down or to hold us in the now muddy ground from where we jumped.

As we made our way back down the path, we stopped at souvenir shack, where a guide told us that if we chose to purchase anything, we could pay him when we got back to the van. Otherwise, I think many of us would wonder how this vendor would get any business when tourists were told not to carry anything.

At just about the time we were beginning to dry, we approached the river again that we need to cross to get back to the van. We were definitely ready to head off to the buffet that awaited us.

27 Charcos of Damajagua

Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic


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