Cabarete Day Trips: Canyoning and Waterfalls
Call me crazy, but sometimes it’s fun to take a day off the beach to explore the world outside Cabarete. If you’re itching for adventure, you could try a canyoning trip to check out some beautiful local caves and waterfalls.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the ocean. Water sports are what brings many visitors to Cabarete, and that’s totally awesome. But if you stick to beach activities, you might miss out on the amazing playground of rivers, waterfalls and canyons. The Dominican Republic has so much to offer, it just takes a little boldness to explore.
Adventure travel companies like Kayak River Adventures or Iguana Mama offer all-inclusive tours to the locations. These usually include transport and a meal, sometimes even a couple of drinks to settle your nerves after a thrill. They have all the equipment and invaluable local knowledge to keep you super safe while you jump into natural pools of water.
If you’re looking for a simpler deal, there are some spots like Laguna El Dudú where you don’t need a guide. Our hotel staff can help you organise transport to and from the location.
Let’s take a look at some of Cabarete’s day trip canyon options.
Cabarete residents rave about Magic Mushroom. Not the hallucinogenic drug, the stunning mushroom-shaped rocky waterfall.
The adventure on offer at Magic Mushroom is to hike through the Dominican jungle to abseil/rappel 160ft (55m) down an amazing waterfall into a clear pool of water.
There are a few insane cliff jumps that you can enjoy, too, if you’re up for it. The second rappel point can be jumped, which is a good 45ft (15m) high!
The base camp is a 45-minute drive from Cabarete. Tours usually take a good few hours, so clear a whole chunk of the day for this epic adventure.
Nearby to Magic Mushroom, along the river, you’ll find a beastly 60ft (20m) canyon jump known as Big Bastard. No need to explain why. This is not for people new to jumping off things into water.
If that’s too daunting, there is a 49ft (15m) jump, as well as other platforms at lower heights where you can leap into the clear deep-green water.
A cascading tour of Ciguapa Falls will take you around its 6 awesome waterfalls, with a range of jumps up to 30ft (10m) high.
If you don’t fancy the hike back to base camp after all that jumping, you can take a donkey. Pretty chill.
27 Waterfalls of Damajagua
‘27 Waterfalls’, or ‘27 Charcos’ in Spanish, is on the bucket list of many Dominicans and visitors to the North Coast of the DR.
The tour starts with a 70-minute hike into the jungle, so you’re going to have to be fairly fit to get on board with this. There are, you guessed it, 27 waterfalls of varying heights that you can jump off. The pools of water are stunning and cool, perfect for splashing around in.
The rush of the flowing river water over time has carved grooves in the rock. For us, that means natural water slides!
Thankfully, there are always lots of options for jump heights, and of course there shouldn’t be any pressure to take a jump you’re not comfortable with. It’s your day out on in a natural playground and you are free to enjoy it exactly as you like!
Laguna El Dudú
As I mentioned above, Laguna El Dudú is a spot that’s accessible without an adventure tour guide company. The clear water, caves and lush forest make it a beautiful place to spend the afternoon, and it’s reasonably close to Cabarete, less than an hour and a half’s drive.
It makes for a great stopover to break up a longer trip down the coast. If you’re heading to Las Terrenas, Samana, Las Galeras, or basically anywhere to the East, you can stop for a refreshing dip in the Dudú pools before heading on.
The laguna is a gorgeously cool bright-turquoise pool. There’s a zip line you can ride that runs over the canyon, with a compulsory drop into the water. You can pay 25 pesos to have a go, step up if you dare. Not for the fainthearted, the 8- to 9-metre-drop promises quite the adrenaline rush.
As someone very new to jumping into water from a height, the jump was a bit of a shock, but I’m glad I did it! When you let go of the handle, just be sure to fall like a pencil and look straight ahead. Oh, and lifejackets are provided.
There is a smaller pool, half in the shade of a cave, which is a lush place to chill and swim in the crystal-clear water. Very family appropriate. There’s even a little baby jump off the side of a rock that you can enjoy if you’re not into heights. There are some caves to explore, too, so you can look at some impressive rock formations.
With an onsite bar and restaurant, you can easily spend a whole day relaxing by the pools at Laguna El Dudú.
Adventure really is around every corner in Cabarete, and it’s worth taking some time to do something a little different on your active vacation.
If clambering in caves and abseiling off waterfalls sounds like your cup of tea, the Dominican Republic has got you covered. Chat to eXtreme Hotel’s friendly reception staff for more information about conditions and touring groups.