In the second morning of our stay in Las Terrenas, we hit the road to go to the most famous waterfall in the Dominican Republic, El Salto del Limon. There are not many roads in the country and our way to the waterfall was pretty straightforward.
There were many speed bumps on the road, so we couldn’t go very fast, sometimes we even had to almost stop due to the size of the bumps. We were driving along when a motorcyclist waved at us and pointed at one of our wheels. This caught us off guard as we were worried that something could be wrong with our car. He then started slowing down in front of us and we had to stop in the middle of the road because we were concerned about our wheel.
He started speaking in English and mixing it with a few Spanish words here and there, but we could still understand what he was saying. He was trying to sell us a tour to "La Cascada Del Limon", exactly the place we were heading to. He warned us that it would not be possible to go by foot and we needed to hire horses and have a guide to get there, or we would get lost. He offered us a tour for 120 dollars, which sounded like a lot of money. Considering that the night before we met a British and an Irish guy who told us they went to the waterfall with no horse nor a guide and they even walked all the way there barefoot.
Getting to the parking lot
We politely declined the tour offer and took the risk of getting lost in the woods. We continued to follow our way in our car until we arrived at a parking lot. When I say a parking lot, I mean just an open green field where we could park our car.
When we first got out of our car, an old man came over to us. He could not speak any English, but we understood that he was asking for a parking fee. We handed him 150 pesos (3 dollars) and he gave us no receipt but promised he would take care of our car. He lived up to the promise because when we got back our car was still there and no other car was around it. We got private parking with onsite staff for only 3 dollars for the day, a pretty good deal.
On the way to the waterfall
The man, after introducing himself as the “owner of the parking lot”, also gave us some tips and warned us about the river's crossing. He also showed us where to start our hike, so we followed the narrow path he indicated. The path was not busy at all, it actually looked like we were the only ones on the way to the popular waterfall.
The scenery was beautiful, but the path was a little muddy because of the heavy rain on the night before. The place was very peaceful and extremely quiet. We couldn’t hear anything else apart from birds chirping and mosquitos buzzing around us. I already had a few mosquito bites, but the situation got dramatically worse during the hike.
After about 30 mins we reached the point where we had to cross the river. It wasn’t really deep, but the warning we were given was only about trying not to get too wet, crossing the river was not at all dangerous. We managed to cross the river without any trouble and reached a fork where a sign pointed us to our destination. After a very short walk, we noticed a waterfall on the left side of our path. We went there to take a few photos while we noticed other tourists with their guides passing by without stopping. A couple of them and their horses joined us to take some pictures, the guide took a couple of photos of them and left in a rush, leaving us alone with the gorgeous waterfall.
Arriving at El Salto Del Limon
We continued following the path until we had to stop and purchase the tickets for the waterfall for 50 pesos each (1 dollar). We were alone for most of the way down to the waterfall but as we got closer the crowd started growing.
We finally arrived at El Salto del Limon. The waterfall was unusually high and amazingly beautiful, but it didn’t impress me all that much. There were far too many people to enjoy the beauty of the waterfall, so we decided to get away from the crowd by crossing the river and going down a different path.
Fortunately, we found another small waterfall, and a few people followed us. They thought we knew where we were heading, but to be honest, we didn’t have a clue. We were on the search of a more peaceful place in nature when we found the smaller waterfall. It was possible to swim in both waterfalls, but we skipped the swimming because I didn’t feel very well that day. We just stopped to take some photos and enjoying nature.
When we got back to the main waterfall, there were fewer people around, so we decided to fly our drone and get some aerial footage.
On our way back
After that, we decided to head back to our car, but this time our way back was not quiet anymore. Apparently, a lot of tourists prefer going to the waterfall in the afternoon and most of them were on horses. Since the path was quite narrow, we had to stop on the side of the path several times and let the horses and tour guides pass.
As a result, it took us a lot longer to get back. For the entirety of our hike to the waterfall and back we only met a group of three French tourists who, like us, were without a tour guide.
When we arrived at our car and we were about to get on the main road, we noticed that the French tourists were waiting for a taxi to drive by next to the main road. We had enough space in our car, so we gave them a lift back to Las Terrenas. They told us they got to the waterfall by taxi. They knew they could go without the guide because they read it on a book they had with them. Apparently, the book had a lot of great tips about exploring around Las Terrenas and Samana in the Dominican Republic. The book was in French, and please, don’t ask me about the name, I don’t really know the answer.