On the 7th day of our Road Trip we visit the Dmajaqua Cascades, a national monument and one of the most thrilling tourist destinations in the Dominican Republic.
The tour starts with a 30-40 minutes hike along a trail from the visitors’ center through a lush rainforest to the top of the waterfalls where the extreme adventure begins.
Visitors can choose to tackle 7, 12, or all 27 waterfalls. Most people go for 7. We go for all 27.
On weekends and later in the day it can become crowded so we choose a Monday and make sure to get there early, around 8 a.m., thus we have the falls to ourselves during our entire visit.
The experience can be challenging, and only strong swimmers in good physical shape (8 years old and over) should attempt cascading. Walking back down the mountain trail is always an option.
Helmets, lifejackets, and guides are mandatory and provided by the park. We cannot bring nothing with us but water bottles and a submersible camera. Our guide is very friendly and enjoys the journey as much as us. “The water is a bit wet” he cautions us before we plunge at the first fall, “but it’s not cold. We don’t have cold water in the Dominican Republic.”
From now on we are constantly in the river, walking down the shallow parts and inside narrow canyons with dark slippery walls covered with moss, jumping from cliffs, sliding over small cascades, swimming in deeper pools formed under waterfalls. It’s beautiful.
Sometimes we slide head first, sometimes we have to jump in a shallow spot with our legs bent, and sometimes we have to jump from the top of a waterfall aiming in a precise very tight place, better don’t miss it because there are rocks around it. People can get injured here easily if they don’t do exactly what the guide tells them.
The scariest part is the 10-meter (30 feet) jump form a cliff in a small pool below.
Maya goes first every time, I think she is an adrenalin junky, has no fear, and is enjoying every minute of this adventure. It is not the first time she is jumping from a 10 meter waterfall. She has already done it in Agua Caliente, Guatemala a few months ago.
Viktor is no less excited and doesn’t hesitate at any of the jumps.
Evo, it goes without mentioning, is eager to make the plunge too, and there is mad joy in his eyes.
But me, I am afraid of heights, and just looking down from the cliff makes my hands sweating. It takes me a few minutes of hesitation.
I am standing on the edge of the cliff looking down. Evo and the kids are cheering from below “Come on mom, jump!”. The guide is behind me repeating in a low voice: “ Do it! Do it!” I am afraid he might push me.
To jump or not to jump? This is the question. And if not to jump, then how the hell to get down there? I jump! First time in my life (and I hope last).
Thus, after about an hour of swimming, sliding, cliff-jumping and diving, we are back at the visitors center. We have survived all 27 waterfalls at Damajacua Cascades.Share