27 Charcos (Damajagua)
Even though Puerto Plata is a city by the ocean, it only takes about 30 minutes to be completely engulfed in the jungle. At the 27 Charcos waterfall park on the banks of the Damajagua River, there are 27 different waterfalls which tumble their way down through the turquoise pools of the river valley. After a moderate trek through the sweltering jungle to the top of the series of waterfalls, you can then jump, slide, and swim your way down back to the base of the park. You’ll need to go with a guide, however, as all visitors are required to have a guide as well as a helmet, life vest, and shoes.
While there are many tour operators that offer a visit to the Damajagua waterfalls, those who are young, agile, and adventurous should consider visiting on their own. When visiting as part of a package tour you are only allowed to the 12th waterfall, and you’re also dealing with a mass of humanity who crowd their way into the canyon. For those who are looking to experience the solitude and tranquility found in the forest, you’re better off taking a taxi to the park to maximize your time on the river. Reaching the park by public transport, however, can be a bit of a challenge, so for those with a little more money to spend a taxi is the way to go. Rates from Puerto Plata are about $60 for a roundtrip taxi to Damajagua, and expect to pay about $100 round trip if traveling from Cabarete.