Love waterfalls? Crave adventure? Why not head to the Dominican Republic and experience both! We spent a day hiking and climbing in the hills outside Puerta Plata, which led us to the ultimate adventure – The 27 Waterfalls of Damajagua!
What exactly are the 27 waterfalls of Damajagua? There was a misinterpretation of the translation some time ago. Instead of 27 waterfalls, this area actually has 27 pools located along the Rio Damajagua. Waterfalls splash into many of these pools. If you are physically active, love to be outside, and not afraid of a little adventure, this could be the perfect activity for you!
We did this activity during a stop at Amber Cove cruise port. If you want the best experience, book directly through Iguana Mama! This excursion isn’t offered by many cruise lines and it is important to remember the reasons to book directly through local providers anyway. We had the best time with Iguana Mama – they are incredibly fun, professional, and safe, plus they will take you all the way to the top!
Leave your jewelry behind and wear some sort of swimsuit cover up. I brought a pair of old shorts, but my swimsuit still got torn underneath them by the rocks. Regardless of what items you pick, don’t wear your best items during this activity! I also ended up with a few cuts and bruises, so use caution.
Let the adventure begin!
Getting to the top starts with picking up your helmet and lifejacket. Bring your own water shoes if you have them, but if not you can rent them too. I wore an old pair of Keen sandals, and the soles on mine were pretty worn. This made some of the wet rocks slick. Consider having good soles on your shoes! After you’re suited up, you’ll head out on a 45 minute hike through the sweaty tropical forest. While there are breaks and water provided, it is still very humid, and wearing your life jacket doesn’t help. Be sure you’re up for the challenge. There were people in our group who were not able to complete the hike.
At the top, it is time to get wet! And, after that hike, the cold water feels so refreshing! You will start at waterfall (pool) #27 and work your way back down to #1. To get back to the bottom, prepare to scramble over rocks, walk, canyoneer through narrow passages, swim, and, you guessed it, jump!
While some of the waterfalls are a mere slide or splash, others do involve a little more than that. The guides will tell you where to stand, how to position yourself and where to jump. In some cases, they will actually hold you up by the back of your life jacket ensuring that you are in just the right spot and ready to go.
Again, not all pools require you to jump into them. Some of the slides are no more than a few feet. There are a few big jumps though. These can range from about five feet to the biggest jump measuring 25 feet!
Here is where I openly admit that I’m afraid of falling from heights and the 25 foot jump stopped me in my tracks. However, with loads of encouragement, I was able to conquer my fear and jump off a 25 foot waterfall! I will also admit that prior to this adventure, I had read a few too many stories about brain eating amoebas found in some fresh water sources and was a little paranoid about water going up our noses. Later, I discovered that this is not the type of water or geographic location where these instances have occurred. Silly (yet brave) me!
Due to time considerations, visitors are able to jump off each waterfall once with the exception of the last two. The final two waterfalls are your opportunity for multiple attempts. Once you’ve had your fill of adventure, spend a little time splashing around the last pool (which is pool #1) before making your way back to drop off your gear and eat lunch. You can also purchase photos and souvenirs if you’d like. The crew will shuttle you back to the port in plenty of time to hang out in the area before getting back on board.
We had a blast chasing these waterfalls in the Dominican Republic and highly recommend it to other adventure seekers. This has been one of my favorite travel experiences to date. While all views in this post are my own, we offer many thanks to Iguana Mama for providing us with the great photos which we couldn’t have possibly captured on our own!
Have you done this? Would you do it? Tell us about your waterfall adventures in the comments below!
If you like travel adventures, keep your eye out for our upcoming post on our Ultimate Land and Sea Adventure in Turks and Caicos! In the meantime, why not PIN THIS POST!
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