Listen to the soothing sound of water cascading and the birds chirping lively. Feel the fresh cool air on your skin and the sun rays peeking in through the lush grove of trees. And breathe in the scent of wet earth as you make your way to one of our many untouched Dominican natural wonders. The Dominican Republic is home to countless unparalleled waterfalls and stunning rivers to explore. With so many incredible places to visit in the Dominican Republic and unique things to do through this beautiful island, visiting a waterfall is a must-do! Don’t miss some of these stunning waterfalls in the Dominican Republic!
Getting Around Dominican Republic Waterfalls
Private Tour: Get in touch with local tour guides for pre-packaged options that include transportation and planned itineraries. Most of these places have parking spaces for cars or buses. From the parking spots, you can continue the route by foot. If have physical limitations, some areas may offer a horse or mule to ride along with a local guide for an additional cost.
Driving: If you have experience driving in the Dominican Republic or other countries with similar driving habits, feel free to rent a car. Road trips are one of the best ways to see the Dominican Republic (outside of the major cities). Otherwise, we advise you to rent a taxi service or hire a driver in many parts of the Dominican Republic, especially the Santiago and Santo Domingo areas.
Public Transportation: If you’re on a tighter budget and have more time, you can go for a more local Dominican experience, by taking buses, carritos (public car shares), moto-conchos, or voladoras (vans). Ask your hotel receptionist for local tips.
Uber: Uber is available in Santo Domingo, Santiago, and the Punta Cana areas. And this is one of the best ways to meet local drivers for a great price! To ensure your safety, make sure they have good reviews. If you want to go somewhere long distance, try to work out a deal with them by offering to pay them cash so they save 30% Uber fees. Otherwise, most drivers will not want to take you into another province/across the country because Uber does not compensate them for the cost of driving back. Write down their Whatsapp number for future trips!
Travel Safety & Preparation for Visiting Dominican Republic Waterfalls
Is it safe to travel to the Dominican Republic? We get this question a lot. And while safety is subjective, if you use common sense and listen to your gut you should be fine. Basically, don’t do anything that you wouldn’t do back home. Here are some pointers:
- Look up all the relevant info before making any decisions. Get word of mouth references by people that have already been to these spots, ask questions in Dominican Travel Communities, and read reviews.
- If possible, try to get in touch with tour guides or operators beforehand. Or meet them through your hostel or Airbnb.
- Avoid showing off expensive jewelry and gadgets.
- Guard important documents or any other things you wouldn’t like to get wet, damaged or lost.
- Never ever drink tap water or rain/river water.
- Avoid walking around out at night, especially by yourself.
- Bring eco-friendly sunscreen to avoid sunburns.
- Take precautions against mosquito bites to avoid dengue, zika, and chikungunya.
- Bring a waterproof book bag to keep important belongings dry.
- In most waterfall tours they advise kids to be at least 8 years old to climb the upper cascades, and anyone under 17 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
- If you have physical limitations, make plans ahead of time to ensure that your needs will be met.
- Bring important medication if you have health conditions.
- Avoid the choppy deep ends unless you are wearing a vest.
Related Resources for Planning Your Dominican Republic Trip Itinerary
- Best Areas to Visit in the Dominican Republic
- Santo Domingo’s Best Things to Do & See
- Best Time to Visit the Dominican Republic (& the Worst!)
- Dominican Republic Tours & Excursions Around the Island
- Traditional Dominican Foods You Have to Try
Craving the Outdoors? Here are Dominican Republic’s Best Waterfalls to Visit
📍 PUERTO PLATA/SANTIAGO REGION
1) Saltos de Damajagua
Arguably one of the most popular attractions in Puerto Plata. Connected by 27 small jumps and waterfalls (all within 7 to 13 metres high), the Damajagua Waterfalls (also known as the 27 Waterfalls) are the real deal for any adventure seeker. Ideally, you start making your way through a cascade – from the bottom to the top and back down -jumping or sliding into every fall. This natural monument is possible due to a geological fault, which caused paralleled waterfalls within a few kilometers. Definitely don’t forget your water shoes for this one.
How to get to the Saltos de Damajagua: Upon arrival, you will have to hike for about 40 min. It is advised to book your tour ahead of time since it can get crowded. With so many tours available, consider combining the excursion with other things to do in the region such as a tobacco tour. Some tours such as Atlas Traveler’s may include a zipline, horseback riding, a jeep safari and/or lunch. Some keep it short and don’t include all 27 waterfalls. Take your pick! Costs start at US$60 and up depending on the tour.
2) Salto del Gallo
A magical place where the waters sing while falling on the rocky cliff edges. Salto del Gallo is located in the Dominican Alps region of Corocito, San José de las Matas (also known as Sajoma). With a height of 50 meters, this waterfall offers a natural rugged stairway allowing you to climb to the top and enjoy breathtaking views.
How to get to Salto del Gallo: With local guides from Corocito, you will have to walk or ride a horse for about 2 hours going up and down several hills. Bring hiking boots, water and snacks! It’s adventure time!
📍 MONTE PLATA
3) Salto el 12 / Salto de la Sabana
Salto el 12 is tucked within the rural farmlands of Sabana Grande de Boya. This area is close to the Haitises National Park which is one of the most important protected areas in the Monte Plata province; a charming place for those interested in exuberant flora and fauna. The hike to Salto el 12 is not easy nor paved so going with a guide is important. When we went, we got our feet wet and were hiking over slippery rocks because we didn’t know the best path. Go with a guide.
Near the region of Salto el 12 in Monte Plata are also the following waterfalls: Salto de Socoa, Salto Alto, and Salto de la Sabana. The latter includes 7 waterfalls birthed from a natural spring in Los Haitises, one after the other. The former two are listed in this article (Salto de Socoa and Salto Alto).
How to get there: Salto del 12 is on the way to the Gonzalo community and the entrance will be 18 minutes past the Texaco gas station next to the crossing point to Monte Plata. You can hire a local guide: Jose Luis Paulino of Sabana Ecoturismo (pictured above) to guide you around all these Monte Plata natural gems. This is their Whatsapp number: (809)488-3267.
4) Salto de Socoa
This waterfall is surrounded by pristine waters, therapeutic clay, and several natural pools. An easy trip to Salto Socoa will not let you down. If you just want to relax, Salto de Socoa conveniently offers a few small natural pools for you to swim around and pick which one you’d rather chill in (pictured above). It’s a great place to visit in the summer since the temperatures stay cool and the water level goes down, therefore everyone in the family can fully appreciate what this space has to offer.
How to get to the Socoa Waterfall: The Socoa Waterfall is only an hour and a half north of Santo Domingo. You’ll pass by two tolls, both less than $5 dollars. The Salto connects to a private property therefore you have to pay around $50 pesos to enter (about a dollar). Once you reach the parking lot, it’s a 20-minute walk to the area. A beautiful space in the wild.
5) Salto Alto (Easy Hike)
So dreamy! Salto Alto is a true vision when it comes to local falls, especially at the sight of three mighty cascades which fall into a natural pool at the bottom. As a result, this offers more of a ‘wow’ factor during the rainy season. While this is one of the more crowded waterfalls, it is also one of the more accessible ones to reach on foot. Thus, you may see large tour buses and massive crowds at certain times of the year.
How to Reach Salto Alto: Salto Alto is close to Salto de Socoa and Salto el 12 so you could do all three in one day. Salto Alto is located in the Bayaguana region, and thus about a 1.5-hour drive away from Santo Domingo.
📍 SALCEDO REGION / ESPAILLAT
6) Rio Partido’s Cascada Amurallada
If you love adventure, adrenaline, and the wet outdoors, a trip to the Rio Partido area is for you! This beautiful adventure takes 4-5 hours round trip including stops for photos and fun. Rio Partido offers several different hiking trails, waterfalls, natural pools and other natural wonders to explore. This route is to the waterfall Cascada Amurallada and it is the point where the river Rio Partido ends.
After walking for 25 minutes, hikers will arrive at the first pool called La Confluencia where the two rivers Rio Partido and Rio Jamao meet. The next stop is the crystalline blue pool Called El Honguito. The trail continues until reaching the waterfall Cascada Amurallada (pictured above).
How to Get There: For this Rio Partido trail to Cascada Amurallada, visitors enter through Villa Trino or Salcedo. Wessley Estevez is a local tour guide who provides group and private trips to this waterfall and others nearby. Prices start at approximately $100 for groups of four hikers.
7) Salto de Elena & Hongo Magico (Canyoning and Rapelling)
Calling all adrenaline junkies and adventurers! Salto de Elena is definitely one of the best-kept secrets in the Dominican Republic. Tucked within the Jamao Mountains, lies this natural wonder. If you love heights, there are a few jumping spots to plunge into the water. Salto de Elena and Hongo Magico are also popular for canyoning and rappelling (especially the latter). So you can descend down the ‘magic mushroom’ with rappel equipment and down the 15-meter jump in the Salto de Elena waterfall.
How to get to Salto de Elena: With several tours available you can pick and choose if you need one with transportation or just arrive at the spot and hire a local guide once you’re there. Jamao Al Norte is located close to the town of Moca along the mountain roads used to reach the beach town of Cabarete.
8) Salto Las Golondrinas
A spectacular fall with a natural pool at the bottom, this cascade is an unexposed point in Las Tres Cruces community. It belongs to Rio Partido and is ideal to cool off on a hot summer day. Keep in mind the hike here is through mountainous areas with some parts steeper than others. But look at that emerald-green water! The exercise is well worth the journey.
How to get to Las Golondrinas: Take it easy and contact the folks at @adventuretimerd (pictured above) who can organize a group or private tour for you. The hike itself takes at least 90 minutes but it can vary depending on your pace and how often you stop to enjoy the different corners.
📍 SAN CRISTOBAL
9) Cascada La Taina
San Cristobal boasts some of the most beautiful and magnificent hidden gems in the Dominican Republic. Especially in this region of Los Cacaos. There are several hiking trails to choose from that can take you through valleys, mountains, natural pools, caves, and waterfalls! Cascada La Taina is one of the least visited waterfalls in the Dominican Republic and thus is a no-crowd heavenly destination for cascade seekers.
How to get to La Taina: For tours, contact Arisleidy at @aristesaca. If you’re driving from Santo Domingo, take the Autopista 6 de Noviembre until you reach San Cristobal. From Cambita, take Garabitos road which takes you to the little town of Los Cacaos and passing through several small communities. From there, you can make your way to Montaña La Barbacoa National Park (south of the central mountain range), just passing the Aguacate dam. Continue until reaching Rio Arenoso and from there it is a 20-minute walk to La Taina.
📍 HATO MAYOR (EASTERN DOMINICAN REPUBLIC)
10) Salto Zumbador
In the middle of a humid forest and surrounded by mines of amber is Zumbador Waterfall. Its name means both “hummingbird” and “buzzing” in Spanish which comes from the sound the cascades emit when they collide with the rocks and pool of water; and also similar to the buzz emitted by the wings hummingbirds. Salto Zumbador is one of the tallest waterfalls recorded in Hato Mayor. Since it is inside a private farm, access to the public costs 400 pesos per person.
We recommend you cover up and/or bring eco-friendly bug repellent because there are many hungry mosquitoes.
11) Salto Jalda
Considered one of the tallest cascades in the Caribbean (120 meters), La Jalda has been a National Park since 2009. The hike to this waterfall takes about 4 hours and is relatively easy as you’ll be on flat grounds through a shaded and richly dense forest. Once you arrive, the energy of the fall and its fresh waters should rejuvenate you. This Dominican Republic hike is a must for outdoor lovers! Don’t forget to check out some of the many Cacao trees nearby.
Bring waterproof gear: Be prepared for crossing the River Magua many times.
How to get to Salto La Jalda: You can reach this waterfall by hiking/walking or horseback riding for about $10-20 USD for a guide and $10USD for a mule. If you like to arrive in style you can hop on a helicopter, available for $300 dollars from Bávaro (Punta Cana). If you’re coming from Santo Domingo, make the drive faster by heading to Hato Mayor towards Sabana de la Mar, then make a turn to the community of Magua (close to the limits of the National Park).
📍 BONAO REGION
12) Salto El Berro
Officially the 6th tallest waterfall in DR and with an active water flow. Its name literally means “watercress” which goes back to a time when adventurers arrived in the area, dropped some watercress on the ground and thanks to the good weather and fertile lands it spread rapidly. Today you’ll see and smell lots of watercress around this waterfall.
How to arrive at El Berro Waterfall: This waterfall is located in Candongo. Take the road towards the Tireo Dam and continue going towards the waterfall. A few guides are around to assist with tours, food, and also offer mules or horses to ride (in case it’s been raining or someone gets tired).
13) Cascada Toro Flaco
You’ll feel like you’re in the Garden of Eden here. This spot is a favorite among local explorers because the area has remained untouched and is rarely visited. The trajectory is approximately 45 minutes each way but the path is very steep and may require some slipping and sliding.
How to Get There: Contact @aristesaca for a local tour. This is not an easy place to reach on your own! But it is well worth the adventure.
14) Saltos de Jima
One of the best spots for bird watching in the Dominican Republic is this well-kept secret. Located within Las Neblinas scientific reserve and very close to the city of Bonao, the Saltos de Jima became a protected area in 2009. This area offers 9 waterfalls and natural spas – all fed by the Jima River. The area is a true eco-touristic destination thanks to its fascinating strong water flow, clear cool waters and flora/fauna.
How to get to Saltos de Jima: To check out the first three falls is easy peasy but then on you will have to climb and maintain some physical drive. Try going as far as you can, it’s all worth the effort for this is a one-of-a-kind experience in nature. A drive from Santo Domingo takes about an hour and 15 minutes. You can use the general parking lot for a small fee of $100 pesos. Guides are available at the entrance but the trail is well signalled in case you want to venture on your own.
15) Salto del Limon
Considered as the beauty queen of waterfalls in Samana, Limón is not the highest (with its 50 meter waterfall) but definitely one of incomparable beauty thanks to its scenic greenery and untouched ambiance. Once you arrive, you’ll have a large natural pool to swim in while admiring the cascade above. But the best part? The journey there! We had a blast going on horseback up to the top of the mountain and back down to reach the waterfall. You’ll see fruit trees, cross rivers, and ride along the side of mountain tops.
How to get to El Limón Waterfall: With several options of local roadside restaurants, like El Pino or Parada Franklin, you can park anywhere and follow the signalled trail over to the waterfall. It normally takes about an hour walking or 30 minutes on horseback or mule.
There are several routes there but our favorite is the Coffee Trail on horseback which is relatively untouched. You can reach it by car or with an organized excursion from nearby tourist town Las Terrenas. Prices start at $20/ride. Remember to tip your guide!
15) Cascada Lulu
For such a sweet little waterfall, Lulu is a big tourist attraction. Surrounded by vegetation, various types of trees and a warm climate, it’s the perfect spot to connect with friends, family and nature. Compared to other waterfalls, this one has easy access – a convenient detail if you’re rolling with small children – and a small natural pool around for all to enjoy. If you want a taste of thrill, a big zip line is available nearby. Pair this experience with a unique stay at the Dominican Treehouse.
PS: When you get there, don’t forget to stop and smell the cafetos (coffee trees) along the trail.
How to get to Cascada Lulu: Find it in the heart of El Valle in the Samana peninsula; an area that offers a fabulous combination of jungle, beach and river. If you’re driving, it is only a 20-minute drive from Samana downtown.
📍 JARABACOA REGION (DOMINICAN ALPS)
16) El Salto Secreto
Located within private farmlands near Manabao is this magnificent and no-name waterfall which locals refer to as the “Secret Waterfall”. Entrance here is only with a specific guide, due to it being on privately-owned land. This tall and mighty waterfall boasts cold clear emerald-green water from the top of the Dominican Alps. The most adventurous travelers can opt to slide/jump down the waterfall from the very top. And don’t be surprised if you catch a crab or see a lobster!
How to Get to the Secret Waterfall: Contact David Bueno to drive you towards Manabao from Jarabacoa. From there, he will take you through beautiful lush nature for about 20 minutes. This is private land so you’ll pass some fruit trees before walking across a river stream and climbing up a small ladder. Bring water shoes – you’ll get wet.
17) Aguas Blancas
Located near Constanza, Aguas Blancas is one of the tallest waterfalls in the Dominican Republic; sitting at about 1,680 meters above sea level. The flora in the area is different from other parts of the island. At night, the temperatures can go down to 0 °C in the wintertime. Here, jumping into the waterfall is only for those feeling extra brave. Aguas Blancas Waterfall is a great place to check out if you are getting to know when cruising around the Dominican Alps.
How to Get to the Aguas Blancas: Contact David Bueno for a guided tour that includes private transportation. His tours include rope and other safety measures that are necessary for reaching the top of the waterfall for those epic views.
18) Baiguate Waterfall
Baiguate is a beautiful waterfall in the Dominican Republic with shallow waters that empty into the Baiguate River. You can walk under the waterfall but during the dryer season, you can’t really swim since the water is so shallow at about 1-2 feet high. The highlight of this experience is the horse ride there which is a wonderful adventure through the roads of Jarabacoa town and then into the lush woods.
How to Get to Baiguate Waterfall: You can get here by car (10 min drive) and a short 15-minute walk. Or you can take a horse directly there for 30-50 minutes (depending on how fast you ride) plus the walk down. Cost: $35ish per person includes horse and guide. Contact David Bueno for more information.
19) Salto de Jimenoa I
Considered one of the most beautiful hikes, Salto de Jimenoa I is part of the Dominican Alps mountain range. It can be described as somewhat pre-historic, for it maintains a pure and virgin scenery with big rocks and a surprisingly diverse flora that includes pine trees. The hike is steep so bring lots of water. Please note that during the dry season, the waterfall may be very small.
How to get to Salto Jimenoa I: It’s recommended to contact the tour guides (David Bueno). The hike takes about an hour each way. Going back up is a lot harder. The path is flat but it’s a gradual/steep incline.
20) Salto de Jimenoa II
One of the easiest things to do in Jarabacoa is visiting the Salto de Jimenoa II. Located within a hydroelectric dam and a protected area, the Salto de Jimenoa II is perfect for those who can’t hike too much. It takes just about 30 mins between hanging bridges and an ecological corridor, the Enriquilllo Path, designed to take you along the sides of the river and enjoy this one of a kind experience with nature.
Please note: This waterfall is currently closed until further notice. Sorry!
Well, that’s it for now. Hope you guys enjoy our through search of the best “saltos” and waterfalls. If you do visit any of these, tag us on social media or send us a digital postcard. And if you have any questions, leave them in the comments below.
Pin These Dominican Republic Waterfalls for Later!
Contributing writer: Adriana Badía Paulino is a journalist and photographer based between Sosua and Cabarete, Dominican Republic. She studied Social Communications (PUCMM) in her hometown of Santiago. Her life-work experience has taken her around the island where she’s been active in various media projects including magazines, photography, translation, tour guide, social media, video, and movie productions. Nowadays, she’s a full-time mom and continues to write about her love of travel, nature, and culture. Follow some of her adventures in @adrianabadiaphoto
About Dominican Abroad LLC: free educational travel guides that inspire culturally immersive travel, empower cultural heritage preservation, support community values, amplify local voices around the world, and encourage diversity in travel (from cities to mountains). Founder, editor & writer: Gerry Isabelle. Follow me @DominicanAbroad