27 Waterfalls Damajagua
Take a plunge and enjoy an adventurous holiday exploring the 27 Damajagua Waterfalls in the Dominican Republic. Get ready for a healthy dose of adrenaline as you trek through lush forests, climbing over rocks and, at times, being knee deep in mild waters. If you’ve ever dreamt of getting away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life for an adventure you’ve only seen in the movies, this is your chance.
The 27 Waterfalls are unlike anything else on the planet. There’s a lot of hiking and walking involved, so make sure you pack a good pair of hiking boots and prepare to get your feet wet! If this sounds like the adventure you’ve been waiting for, keep reading to learn more about how to experience the waterfalls and get the most out of your visit.
What are the 27 Waterfalls?
Locals refer to the waterfalls as the ’27 Charcos.’ You’ll find them hidden amongst the rolling green hills of the Northern Corridor mountain range. Crafted from the limestone is the natural phenomenon of the 27 Waterfalls. Travellers must be guided through the region as it’s a tricky hike for even experienced walkers. However, many beginners rise up to the challenge and most will say that they found it to be much more enjoyable than they perhaps thought.
There’s a range of different tours to choose from including regular hiking tours on foot and even kayak and Jeep tours. If you want to really experience everything that this beautiful complex of rocks and waterfalls has to offer, we suggest taking a hiking tour. That way, you can see more and get some swimming in during your trip too.
History of the Waterfalls
Surprisingly, the waterfalls were not known to the outside public until 1994. Before then, only the locals knew about this remarkable natural wonder. Once news spread about them, many tourists flocked to the region to explore the waterfalls for themselves. This opened up a pool of new jobs for the locals, who knew the area so well that they were able to guide people through them safely. Nowadays, you really can’t explore the Damajagua Waterfalls without a guide. Each year, around 50,000 people visit the 27 Charcos, and each one leaves them feeling like they’ve just conquered a massive milestone in their lives. And, if you were to trek through the waterfalls yourself, you’d probably agree with them.
How to get there
If you’ve rented a car and you intend on driving to the waterfalls, you need to head south from Imbert for 3.3km. You’ll cross two bridges and come across signs with images of a waterfall on them. Follow the signs until you reach the main visitors’ centre. To avoid complications on the journey, you might be better off getting a bus to the waterfalls. You can catch a bus to Guagua from Santiago or Puerto Plata. The Javilla Tours local service will help you catch the right bus. Or, you can ask your hotel staff to help organize your transport to and from the 27 Waterfalls. Many of the tours will even organize transportation to pick you up from your hotel.
What to do when you get there
One important thing to note is that you can’t explore the waterfalls without a guide. It’s just the rule here if you want to visit and go exploring. But, don’t let that put you off, you’ll be glad to have a guide as it’s pretty easy to get lost when you have no idea where you’re going. Some tours will only take you to a few of the waterfalls. Many people tend to go with the 12 waterfall tour, but you can upgrade to the full 27 if you think you have the energy for a longer hike.
Trekking the waterfalls is quite a workout and you’ll be given a life vest and helmet before you start your exploration. It’s also worth packing a few essentials into a small, waterproof backpack if you’ve got one. If not, you can always have lunch after the hike has finished. The good news is that no minimum group size is required to trek the waterfalls. Keep in mind that it’ll take around four hours to complete the full 27 waterfall tour, so it’s a good idea to go as early as you can. Fill up on a good breakfast beforehand and you’ll have a lot more energy when it comes to the actual climbing. The earlier you go, the quieter it’ll be too, which is always nice.
Trekking the 27 Waterfalls
Your adventure through Punta Cana Waterfalls will begin with getting the right gear on for the journey. Safety comes first, so you’ll be given a life vest and helmet, which is a must-have when it comes to the cascading adventure later. If you forget to bring appropriate shoes, you can rent a pair for the duration of your trek. You can also splash out on a professional videographer or photographer to capture your experience for you.
Once you’re ready to go, you’ll start your hour hike to the top, which is where you’ll get to cascade the 27 Waterfalls and feel like a true explorer. The hike isn’t too difficult, but the weather can make things a little hot and sweaty. Plus, the humidity might make you feel even warmer so don’t be afraid to pause when you need to and refresh yourself with a drink of water. Eventually, you’ll immerse out from the trees and see the stunning Damajagua River.
You’ll slide and cascade your way down, which is a lot of fun. You can even enjoy a peaceful swim in the pools, which are more of a murky blue colour due to minerals drifting down from the surrounding rocks. The water is warm and welcoming, so enjoy your time in the pool and cool off from the hot sunshine whenever you can. For those that are afraid of heights or would rather not slide into the pools, you’re in luck. To the side, you’ll see optional workarounds, which are great for kids and people who would rather skip the big jumps.
What should you pack?
Hiking the Dominican Republic Waterfalls is an exciting adventure and you’re going to be doing a lot of different activities throughout your visit. This means that you need to pack the right things to make your experience as enjoyable and stress-free as possible. First up, let’s talk about what you need to take with you. Since you’ll be doing everything from hiking to swimming, jumping and sliding, you’ll need a pair of closed shoes.
Do not bring flip flops or you will fall, and it will just ruin your entire day. Also, don’t bring anything that you don’t want to get wet. So, maybe keep your smartphone at the hotel for this one or keep it in a waterproof bag if you’re confident it won’t get damaged. If you want to take a lot of photos, pack a waterproof camera and a bathing suit for all the fun activities. You’ll also need some cash to pay for things like refreshments and tips, which is customary.
Exploring the 27 Waterfalls of Damajagua is an adventure of a lifetime, but as always, your safety comes first. So, before you start exploring the 27 Waterfalls, you’ll likely get a safety talk. This is when the guide will explain the rules to you and make sure to listen up as what they have to say is very important. It’s all about keeping you safe, which means wearing a life vest and helmet. You can’t remove either of these items, so just keep them on and keep yourself safe.
Another top tip we have for you is to make sure you don’t run off on your own. It may be tempting when you’re looking around at the stunning scenery and you spot a pool of water you want to dip your toes into, but don’t. The guide can’t keep their eyes on the group and wanderers at the same time, so don’t expect them to. The problem with going off on your own is the water dangers. Throughout the year, rain levels change the water depth. So, although the water looks deep, it could be just a few feet of water. Diving into water that’s not deep enough could result in some serious injuries, so stick with your guide and don’t head off on a solo adventure.
Many people who visit the 27 Waterfalls in the Dominican Republic are concerned about critters lurking in the waters. Don’t worry, there’s nothing in the water to worry about apart from the odd leaf floating along the surface. You’ll also face waterfalls where you can either jump, cascade or slide down. Choose whichever option you feel most comfortable with and don’t feel pressured to do whatever everyone else is doing. If you don’t want to jump into the pool, don’t.