Thursday, August 17, 2017
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The waterfalls of Damajagua

27 waterfallsThe well-known 27 waterfalls, some of which are up to eight meters high, are tucked away in the green lush back hills just past Puerto Plata, about an hour’s drive away from Cabarete. Anyone who loves the outdoors, likes to hike and climb down waterfalls or jump into waterfall pools should visit these iconic falls, when in the north of the Dominican Republic. Be prepared to be amazed by the views, the falls and the guides.


The hike
Local guides will bring you to the top of either the start of the 7, 12 or 27 waterfalls, up to you to choose which itinerary you want to do. To do the 27 waterfalls be sure to come early as most guides can’t be convinced to bring you all the way up if it’s past 11am because of the heat although the trail up goes through a forest so for most of the way you’ll be in the shade. On steep sections stairs with a handrail have been made from wood taken from trees that have fallen down in storms.

If you’re interested in nature, ask the guide questions. They are usually pretty fluent in English and actually know a lot about the natural surroundings.

27 waterfalls bridge   27 waterfalls

The falls
Ranging anywhere between a meter and eight meters, the guides will tell you where to jump and where to climb. For those scared of heights, there is usually always a way around so you don’t have to jump. Some have natural slides carved into the rock by the constant flow of water, which are great fun. If you go with a small group and have a cool guide he’ll let you side down or jump down your favorite fall several times.

27 waterfalls  27 waterfalls27 waterfalls  27 waterfalls

What to bring and wear
Before you set off on the trail up with the guide you are fitted out with a life vest and a helmet. You can rent shoes there as well but it’s best to bring a pair of your own that has grip and which you don’t mind getting wet. Wear your swim outfit. For guys a pair of board shorts and a t-shirt will do; women should wear a bikini or swimsuit as well as a pair of swim shorts and a t-shirt. Instead of a t-shirt you can also wear a rash vest but that may be much too hot for most people. Also bring a towel and change of clothes, so you can get into something dry once you’re back down.

If you have a GoPro or a waterproof camera, bring it. You’ll be able to make some impressive videos.

27 waterfalls  27 waterfalls

The guides
No matter if you book your trip through a tour operator or you go there of your own accord, you will need to have a guide to go up. Big groups will be appointed several guides, but if you decide to go alone you won’t need to wait for others, one guide will come with you. No matter what the setting though they will expect a tip at the end once you’re back down.

27 waterfalls  27 waterfalls27 waterfalls stairs  27 waterfalls

Infrastructure
When you get the waterfalls you’ll see an information center that doubles as the ticket booth. A little to the right is a small restaurant where you can also get drinks and to the left you’ll find bathrooms where you can change.

Getting there
You can either book a tour with one of the many tour operators that offer this tour or organize the trip yourself. Note that most ‘jeep safari’ package tours only go to the 7th waterfall. Getting there on your own is easier than you think. Either rent a car and drive there, which is probably the easiest option if there’s a few of you and one doesn’t mind driving, or go there using public transport. The public transport is cheap but will take time.

27 waterfalls map (photo from www.27charcos.com)

More information
Opening times: every day from 8am to 3pm.
http://www.27charcos.com/index.php

 

Photos by Ole Andreas Lervåg, copyright 2015

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