27 Waterfalls, Dominican Republic
27 Charcos of Rio Damajagua, or most commonly known to tourists as the ’27 waterfalls,’ is one of the most well known tourist attractions of the northern Dominican Republic. When we first arrived here this was the must see attraction that was recommended by almost every cruiser.
We went for the first time shortly after arriving; we had rented a motorcycle, so early one morning we got up and headed out to check out the falls. The motorcycle ride was about an hour from Luperon, straight out of town and then into the town of Imbert. Before we got there we had already decided that we were going to do all 27 falls; there are other options for 12 falls, or 7 falls, but we wanted to get the full experience so 27 it was. The price for us each to do the falls was 550 Dominican Pesos, which amounts to about $11 us dollars per person. We also paid an additional 150 pesos ($3) for a locker to store our things while we were on the adventure. So for just about $25 we were excited to see what the afternoon had in store.
We definitely got the ‘full’ experience by choosing the 27 falls and after about an hour + hike to the top we were tired, hot, sweaty and ready to jump off some falls. The hike to the top is the most exhausting part, because once you make it to your start point you spend the next hour jumping, sliding and walking your way back down through the waterfalls. There are big jumps (highest is 35 feet), and small jumps (5-10 feet), slides, and so many beautiful elements of nature to see along the way. From natural rock formations to beautiful and unique flora and fauna.
At the end, we experienced a different kind of tiredness, and were ready to get some food. I’m telling you the hike to the top and then all of the jumping, floating and swimming really takes a lot out of you. A pre- falls snack is highly recommended to hold you over until you finish. At the bottom we learned that there was a buffet meal, that you could purchase for only an addition $100 pesos ($2US dollars) per person. We highly recommend that you purchase this add on because once you get to the bottom you will really appreciate it.
So for a grand total of approximately $50 US dollars for two people ($30 for the excursion and meal and then it is suggested that you give your guides a tip) you get an amazing day exploring nature’s beauty, and a nice meal to fill your belly after exerting some serious energy. Not a bad day, and an excursion whose price fits into almost anyones budget.
We have now been a total of 3 times to the falls, each subsequent time after the first we went with other cruisers and we opted to just do the 12 falls. Our experience from the first time told us that the hike is shorter and you still get to see, jump and slide all the best falls.
Quick Tips for those Visiting the Falls:
- You must wear closed toe shoes. You can wear your own sneakers (they will get wet) or water shoes, or you can rent water shoes once you get there, at an additional cost of course.
- Wear your bathing suit! Matt and I both wore a bathing suit with a shirt the first time we went and then after that it was just a bathing suit!
- Make sure you have a waterproof camera if you plan to take your own pictures. They do have photographers that will make the journey with you, but that of course costs extra money (for the person and the photos at the end). We just used a go pro each time we went.
- Spend the extra few dollars for the lunch afterwards!
- If you aren’t big on hiking, opt for the 12 falls instead of the full 27. You will get to see all the best falls with the 12 option, with about half the hike.
- Try to go on a day when there is no cruise ship in town, there are way fewer people which means each group that sets out is smaller.
- Prepare to give the guides a tip at the end of the experience. We usually give $10 per person ($20 total for the two guides) if it is the two of us and there are others in the group, but you can give more or less depending on the size of the group and your tipping preference/ budget. They appreciate anything that you offer to them as this is their pay; they do not get a salary or hourly wage.
-Spend the few extra dollars to rent a locker. It really is a no brainer, but we also highly recommend it!