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Waterfall El Limon near Las Terrenas

Riverwalking in the El Limon on the Peninsula Samana

Travel Report from Franzisco 6.9.2003

Our last holiday i spent together with my Colleague Lothar in Las Terrenas, Samana in the North East of the Dominican Republic. We were lodging in the famous and lovily little hotel Santa Clas which has 3 cabanas with 6 rooms and is very simple. During this holiday we should try out a highlight in form of a tourist excusrion.

In the guides and in my brain I found that there is a waterfall near Las Terrenas that is better known than El Limon or Cascada that means waterfall and is praised as tourist attraction. El limon does not only name the waterfall, but also the river and the valley were it runs thorugh. You can get to the waterfall through organised tours, thorugh guides on the streets or completely on your own.
The waterfall is located in the mountains between el limon and Samana, Santa Barbara. From the new street that links Las Terrenas and Santa Barbara there are about 10 different routes to the waterfall that can only be reached if you go bye foot or with a horse and guide that are near the streets.

A nice german in Las Terrenas informed us that you can get to the waterfall without horse and guide in about 45. min. As he said that we wanted to try it out. We borrowed a Scooter to find the best and shortest way which was not easy due to the many different signs. About 5 km behind El Limon we found a sign leading to the Cascada and a little restaurant, we drank a presidente there to get some further infos from the dominicans. The starting point was perfect and should be our start to the waterfall.

On the next morning we got up early and searched die Guaguas the assured the transport to the next little place. At the cafe havanna there are always one or two guaguas that wait for passengers, (mainly Dominicans) . The guaguas are normally pickups that take up and let people get out where they want. This ones travel from Las terrenas to el limon in 15 minutes and back until the sun settles down.

You can get furhter on from El Limon to Santa Barbara, you have to oay 25 Pesos for each person. We first drove to el limon where there was a nice cafe where we ate our breakfast. Here you coul enter the pickups that drove us to Santa Barbara or to or place for the guide.
We did not listen to the dominicans that wanted us to buy horses or guides, we started with or tour right near the restaurant. The way had a really steep slope and was full of loose stones.
It was midday and we began to sweat soon. You also had to be careful with the stones because the ways were not secured. These region is mountanious and the way goes up and down.

Butt his description should not take you the courage to try that out yourself. If you have the right shoes and a little bit of condition it is rather easy. Evene Lollo, my colleague that had problems with the first slope, had always got his sandales on.

Later we crossed the other ways and we saw first tourists with Donkeys and guides. We once asked a Dominican for the right way and he showed it and wanted to become a guide, but we refused friendily. After another hour we reached the waterfall. We could not see him but we could hear it, it was in the forest were the river fell into the deep. There also was a little wooden house were you could buy some food. A dominican woman wanted to collect the fee for the national parc, and we had to pay 5 pesos. We want near the waterfall that is about 50 meters high. We wanted to take a bath below the waterfall after this exhausting trip. Do to this we actually had to climb down the 50 meters. They have created a steep passage with a railing which was necesary. When we were down there we had to move over a bassing another 10 meters deeper. This has cost another hald an hour.
Now we could take our bath in the river, and we wanted to go back. But Lollo made the suggestion to just follow the river because it will move through El-Limon. After a short discussion I agreed with him and we went on without knowing what we had to expect.
The river had thousands of stones and the forest was at the banc. We could always only go at one side of the river, and the deepth of the water always changed, we had to change the side of the river often. All in all we changed the sides about 50 times. First it went on quite well,later Lollo had troubles with crossing the river because of his shoues, it was really an adventure trip. After 2 hours where we havent seen anybody we found the first tracks. On a high rock we made a little pause and Lollo ment we had reached the Point of no Return.
Sometimes we were not in really good moods, because both of us were already feed up with the river walking.

By now I have improved my technics of crossing the river, I found a rod that could help me a lot. After 4 oclock it began to rain a little, and there was no lodge or any shelter that we could find. We were almost resignating. Sudenly we found fresh traces and 2 minutes later I saw an old dominican that was collecting wood. We never were so happy to see anyone than now. He was not very surprised, I think he thought another crazy strangers..
He showed us the place where there was a route leading to some houses. The rain got stronger and we were almost wet.
The rain got stronger and at the second house we asked if we could take a rest here, this was not a problem and we told them of our adventure, they just smiled in the "gringos" style. I asked if they could sell us some beer, they had none in the house but the kids went to get us some presidente out of the Colmado.
We reached the Colmado were there were some people waiting that the rain stops. We began to freeze and I ordered Brugal to fight against the cold. We found a Motochoncho that escorted us to el Limon.
At the station of the Guaguas we came into the dry again, it was already dark when we reached Las Rerrenas. Now we took a shower and ate something hot. This is how a nice adventure ended that we will remind for a long time.

If anybody has furter questions or needs something just mail me your questions about the Dominican Republic.
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