The 27 Waterfalls of the Damajagua
At the resort, there were signs all around advertising a trip that was hundreds of dollars for the opportunity to explore the waterfalls of the northern Dominican Republic. Since we were quite familiar with getting around the Dominican, we opted to get in our car and check it out for ourselves.
The dirt road out to the Damajagua was enough to make us nervous that we'd taken a wrong turn, but then, seemingly out of nowhere, was the beautiful welcome center inviting us to the 27 waterfalls. Just seeing the welcome signs made us excited for the adventure.
Tour buses lined the parking lot, but it still seemed serene enough to not seem like a typical tourist attraction in this tropical land. Greeted by friendly faces, we quickly realized our shoes would not be suitable for the hike. We sat down in a seperate room and put on ked-like sneakers, laughing as this was what "appropriate footwear" was for the hike we were to embark upon.
It started the way I expected, with a hike through beautiful scenery of thick trees and rivers. We headed toward Waterfall #1, equipped with helmets and lifejackets and our ked-shoes. All confused about what this "hike" would look like.
Upon arrival at the first waterfall, we knew: this was not what we thought it would be. We were excited, but also thankful that we'd only signed up for the 7 waterfall trail instead of the entire 27 that we were presented with. Walking up to the waterfall site, my mouth was agape. With beautiful, turquoise blue waters and the rushing sound of water, I was excited to wade into the water and climb the stairs up to the first waterfall.
I quickly realized the importance of the shoes. This experience is half-hike half-swim. Swimming deep into the craters that tower overhead, the turquoise blue waters do belong to a waterfall, so it's important to just let the water take you. Each waterfall invites you to climb: via rope, swing or ladder. It was much more physically demanding than just a hike, but it was also a perfect activity for a hot day.
On the way back down, everyone has the opportunity to jump off the waterfalls into the pools below or to opt to simply climb down the stairs. Each waterfall was a different adventure, which inspired and motivated me.
The last waterfall is a rock slide into the pool below. It is amazing! I can't recommend this adventure enough. And, if you're brave enough to explore off-road, it will cost you about $8 for the whole day!