Beautiful 27 Waterfalls, Dominican Republic

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The natural beauty of the Dominican Republic is not surprising given its Caribbean location. Images of bright blue water rushing up white sand beaches are the norm and should certainly be taken advantage of, especially when accompanied by a large range of fruit-flavoured cocktails topped with pink umbrellas. But we’ve got another idea for an activity if you’re looking to spend an afternoon off the beach. 


Photo Credit: Stupid Dingo [Flickr]

If, at anytime during your stay in paradise you feel the universe tugging you away from the island’s perfectly groomed beaches and wish to explore the other treasures of the D.R. then I would suggest you strap on your water shoes and head to the incredible 27 Waterfalls, or 27 Charcos as they are locally known. Situated about 45 minutes drive from Puerto Plata on the island’s northern coast, the falls are a natural feature you don’t want to miss.

It’s common to see the excursion advertised as an organised tour but, if you’re more of the adventurous type then there is no reason to not take the bull by the horns and experience this memorable activity on your own. You can take a taxi or ‘gua-gua’ from Puerto Plata directly to the entrance gate where you’ll pay to visit seven (£4), 12 (£5) or all 27 (£7) waterfalls. All costs come with a life jacket, helmet and guide. And yes, you have to wear the helmet and life jacket. My first recommendation is that you should DEFINITELY do all 27 waterfalls!

Photo Credit: Participatory Learning [Flickr]

If you’re up for the challenge and are in decent enough shape then getting to the top of the mountain will take you about 40 minutes or so. It’s a fairly steep ascent but the rewards of coming back through the falls make it all worth that little bit of hard work. This brings me to my second recommendation – bring water and some good shoes that aren’t Vans or Converse. Your shoes need to have some grip on them because it does get slippery with all that water.

The experience of coming down through the waterfalls is what you came here for. And that all begins as soon as you end your hike. To put it plainly, making your way back down involves lots of jumping, lots of diving and lots of sliding down naturally formed waterslides. In short, lots of fun. Not the kind of fun you had last Friday night, more like the kind of fun you had when you were 8 years old and you went on a Slip’N Slide for your first time, which is actually the purest fun you could ever have.

Photo Credit: Stupid Dingo [Flickr]

Some of the falls allow you to jump up to eight metres down into cool pools of fresh-flowing water and some falls are little mini falls. Don’t be worried if jumping, diving and sliding aren’t really your thing, there are ways to simply walk down and enjoy the waterfalls in a more relaxing/less dangerous way. Although the waterfalls are the obvious highlight of this excursion, the entire experience is a beautiful one that you’ll be glad you did!

There’s a little cafe at the bottom that has a pretty mediocre lunch buffet and some drinks for purchase. It’s not exactly high-end but it will satisfy you after a few hours of splashing around in the Dominican Republic’s finest waterfalls and natural pools.


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