27 Falls of Damajagua

Knowing that Puerto Plata is called the adventure coast of the Dominican Republic, I wanted to experience the ultimate adventure. I asked Iguana Mama what their most adventurous tour was and they introduced me to the 27 Falls of Damajagua.

Upon reading the description–there was no going back; I was hooked.

“Find your extreme side and go all the way with Iguana Mama. Enjoy a series of spectacular waterfalls with the rainforest canopy above you and crystal clear water below you’ll feel your senses come alive as you experience natures perfect water park.”

Perfect.

Adventure day arrived and I was whisked away on an informative bus ride toward the jungle. We parked on the edge of the mountain and readied ourselves with safety gear and appropriate footwear. Then, we were off.

We crossed a bouncy cable bridge cheerfully hiked up a fairly level pathway. I was full of energy and thought to myself that it was going to be a piece of cake to get up this mountain. And then, we reached the staircase.

The rest of the climb was made up from a series of staircases that were built into the dirt, rocky paths, uneven dirt trails and steep inclines. There were narrow corners around sudden drop-offs and large boulders to climb around.

In the thick Dominican humidity, it was the workout of my life–but I made it.

We took several breaks along the way and our guides made sure that everyone was comfortable. They never pushed us more than we could handle and literally lent us their hands if we were having trouble getting around a difficult spot.

Not only were my asthmatic lungs able to make the trek, but I was accompanied with a pair of nine-year-old twins that gave me a run for my money. If we could do it–you can do it.

I remember the feeling I got when I saw it. I had heard the rushing water for the last ten minutes of the hike, but I got a real sense of accomplishment when I caught my first glimpse of the river. We had made it.

After an hour of hiking uphill in the muggy rainforest, I was dying to get in the water. It didn’t take long until I was sitting at the top of the first rock slide, water rushing past my legs and a smile on my face.

Ready?

YES!

Go ahead.

Weeeeee!

I threw my hands up and launched forward, down the slide. The slide was simply natural rock face that had been smoothed down by erosion from the rushing water. It was completely smooth and no one ended up with a single scratch after it was all said and done.

Next up: the first jump.

I crawled around a curved rock outcropping that had me hovering above thin air and clutching onto bit of stone and tree roots. There was nothing below me but the running river and pounding water, a dizzying 25 feet away.

I could understand how this might scare someone; the fear of falling and the unknown of what lies beneath the water, but I live for this sort of adrenaline.

Without hesitation, I positioned myself on the ledge and launched myself forward into the open air.

Falling.

Falling.

How long have I been falling for?

Splash.

Emerging from the depths of the waterfall pool, I spit out some water and swam toward the shallow sands with a cheer. It had been both exhilarating and adrenaline-pumping and I could wait to jump off another one.

We continued down the river, one slide and one jump at a time. There were times that we had to rappel down vertical rock face and rely on a knotted rope to give us leverage. We climbed up and down more wooden stairs and bridges and waded through shallow streams.

At the bottom of one natural slide waited a narrow rock hallway of rushing water. I couldn’t touch the bottom, and couldn’t see anything around me but earth and rock all the way to the sky.

I swam around the corner and tried to grip the wall, where I discovered warm rain water trickling down the sides.

Finally, we reached our last jump.

This one was a little different than the others; it could be taken as a slide or a jump.

Opting for the jump, I had to slide my way along a narrow ridge, past the slide, to a point which hung out over the water. Only, it wasn’t a wide open space like the last one, It had a thin open-air pathway through the protruding rocks to the water below.

This one definitely made me a little more nervous than the last one, but I figured there was no point in delaying the inevitable. I jumped. And then, I jumped again.

I loved it so much that I located a rickety old ladder that took me back to the top, so that I could do it all over again.

Everyone was beaming from our adventure as we made our way back to the base. We were greeted with a traditional Dominican lunch consisting of chicken, rice, plantains and vegetables. Famished from the workout of the tour, we all gobbled down every last bite.

In my mind, it was the perfect adventure. I had wanted to feel some adrenaline while experiencing the true Dominican Republic, and I ended up with that much and more.

I highly recommend that you spend a day away from the beach, and take on the 27 Falls of Damajagua with Iguana Mama for yourself. It was my favourite experience in the Dominican Republic.

 —

Tour price is $89 and includes transport (pick up and drop off at your hotel), breakfast (for Sosua and Cabarete clients), lunch and all of your gear.

This trip was made possible by Go Dominican Republic and Iguana Mama.
All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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2 Responses to “27 Falls of Damajagua”

  1. Katie
    February 4, 2014 at 1:03 pm #

    Hey there. I’m thinking about doing this during my vacation in a few weeks. I’m worried about the activity level however. I’m not in the greatest of shape. How long was the hike up the stairs?

    Thanks!

    • Seattle Dredge
      February 4, 2014 at 3:52 pm #

      Just in case you didn’t receive my reply to your email:

      You should definitely do the tour, you’ll have a great time. If I can do it with asthma, along with the two 7 and 9 year old kids on my tour, I think you shouldn’t have a problem. I was breathing heavy by the time we got to the top, but made it just fine. Ask the guides to take a break if you’re feeling too tired and be sure to bring a water bottle. They told us the hike would be an hour, but I’m pretty sure it was actually less than half an hour. It was not too strenuous and the hike was definitely worth the reward/ Hope that helps :]

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