Are you ready to saddle up to the breathtaking waterfalls known as Cascade Limon in the Dominican Republic? This tour is designed for the fit, as well as the not so fit, but those who want to get fit.
Of course I am somewhat joking. The Cascade Limon tour is slightly more strenuous than most tours, but it is well worth every bit of sweat along the way.
Tour With Runners Adventures Samana
I booked the Cascade Limon tour directly with the tour co-ordinator at the resort who you can find in the main lobby of the hotel. Although I travelled with Air Transat, I was unable to locate my Transat representative throughout my stay, so I booked all of my tours directly with the resort. I can’t say if there was a price difference between the resort and Transat, but I can say that notwithstanding who the tour was booked through, all travellers toured together.
Tip: I did receive a discount through booking with the resort for each of the 3 tours I booked.
The tour was through Runners Adventures Samana, who provided a day to remember. We were picked up at the resort in a safari style open air jeep, which was a fun way to start the tour. The drive to Cascade Limon provided us with an opportunity to learn a bit of the history of the Dominican Republic, as well as provide us views of the countryside.
Las Ballenas Cigar House
Although the tour coordinator doesn’t tell you, you will make a quick stop along the way at Las Ballenas Cigar House. You will be provided the opportunity to observe the cigars being made directly on site.
The cigars are made with all natural products and my tour companions told me that they were the best cigars they have tasted. I am an ex-smoker and I didn’t want to risk the chance of smoking again, so I didn’t give them a taste. I did however taste the coffee which was fantastic!
Make sure to bring along a little extra cash on this excursion to support the locals by purchasing a locally made craft, fresh cinnamon, fresh coffee beans and yes, a cigar.
After a short visit at Las Ballenas Cigar House, you will finally arrive at the star attraction, Cascade Limon.
While Cascade Limon is accessible by a relatively easy 40 minute walk through the forest, over rocky and muddy terrain, our tour was by horseback.
Upon arriving at Cascade Limon, we were provided a really
sexy pair of rubber boots. I recommend bringing socks to wear under the boots, although they are available for purchase as well. The boots are included in the price of the tour.
Tip: Bring a pair of socks if you are on tour, as you will be given a pair of rubber boots to wear
A guide will greet you, assist you with mounting the horse and will guide you through the forest. It is not necessary to be an avid horseback rider (I hadn’t been on a horse in almost 50 years), as the guide with hold the reins of the horse throughout the ride and guide it through the mud and over the rocks. If you are a more advanced rider, the guide will let you gallop on your own, but regardless of your riding level, he or she will remain with you throughout the entire tour.
After approximately 40 minutes in the saddle, you will reach the top of some stairs where the horses will be given a well deserved rest and you will have to walk the rest of the way. Yes…..there are a tonne of stairs! 215 to be exact! At the bottom of the stairs, your reward will await.
Cascade Limon is a beautiful 170.60 foot (52 meter) waterfall and is a refreshing way to relax and reward yourself for all of the difficult work in reaching it. Your guide will watch your belongings while you take that dip in the waterfalls.
Once you have had enough of the waterfall and taken all of your photos, it is time to saddle up again and you will begin to head back to your horse. Unfortunately, it will be necessary to climb all 215 stairs to reach your horse. Once you have accomplished this task, the ride back to the entrance is much easier than the ride to the waterfall.
Before you mount your horse, make sure you stop for a refreshing pina colada. You will need it after climbing all of those stairs. For $5.00 U.S., you can get a fresh pina colada in a pineapple. You will also get to eat the insides of the pineapple.
It is not mandatory to book a horseback tour when visiting Cascade Limon. You can walk the trail and swim in the waterfall on your own. Many Trip Advisor reviews will tell you that this tour/trek is for the extremely fit only. I almost cancelled my tour after reading this, but I’m sure glad that I didn’t! This was the best of the three tours that I had booked throughout the week.
It is quite difficult and is not for anyone who has mobility issues, but as long as you can walk, you can do this hike. There are benches to rest on scattered along the stairs.
Trip Advisor reviews will also tell you that the horses are malnutritioned and whipped by the guides. I did not observe this at all. It is true that the horses are not a stocky as the horses found in North America, but compared to most other islands that I have been to I found the horses quite healthy. My guide did not carry a whip, instead she gave me a leaf to use if the horse needed prodding. I never used it, as my horse listened to the clucking of my guide.
Know Before You Go
There are a few things that I wish I had known prior to heading out on the tour:
- the guides are not employed by the park, they are volunteers. Make sure you bring money to tip them. I tipped my guide (Skyla) $10.00 U.S., which was a small amount for the amount of work that she had to do.
- if you are going on a tour, bring a pair of socks to wear under the rubber boots.
- bring $5.00 for a pina colada. These are a must to try!
- wear your bathing suit and bring a towel to swim in the waterfall.
- don’t forget your camera.
- if you are not going by horseback, wear sturdy shoes.
- bring bug repellent.
- bring water and a snack. You will get thirsty and hungry from all of the exercise.
- the paparazzi will be joining you during the tour, so don’t forget to smile for the camera!
If I could give one last tip, it would be not to believe everything that you read! The jungle, the horses, and the waterfall, were all beautiful and well worth the effort, so don’t be afraid to saddle up to Cascade Limon!
HAVE A SAFE AND FUN ADVENTURE…..I sure did!