As I pull on my rubber boots in preparation for my journey to Cascada Limon, I can’t help but to ask myself what the hell have I gotten myself into? Engaged in a stare-down with the bony horse waiting patiently in the pasture, I seriously considered my options. My preferred option was to back out of this ludicrous adventure, but this girl has never been a quitter and while sitting alone in the Dominican Republic surrounded by complete strangers, I didn’t figure that it was the best time to start.
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What do you think? Are you ready to saddle up and join me on my horseback riding adventure through the jungles of the Dominican Republic to the breathtaking waterfalls known as Cascada Limon? This tour is designed for the fit, as well as the not so fit, and those who want to get fit. I highly recommend this tour to Cascada Limon if you plan on travelling to the Dominican Republic.
Of course I am somewhat joking. The Cascada Limon tour is slightly more strenuous than what I like, but it is well worth every bit of the blood, sweat and tears along the way.
Before we get started on our trip to Cascada Limon, one of the best tours in the Dominican Republic, let’s dive a little bit into what Cascada Limon is and where you’ll find it, and how to get to it.
What is Cascada Limon
Cascada Limon is a 52 meter waterfall tucked away amongst rough landscape, surrounded by a lush green forest. Upon reaching the waterfall, the visitor will be rewarded with a large swimming hole to cool off in after a strenuous trek to the waterfall.
Where is Cascada Limon
Cascada Limon is located on the northern side of the Dominican Republic near the beautiful town of Samana. It takes approximately 30 minutes by car from the Town of Las Terrenas. There are no street signs to guide you, so plan extra time for getting lost.
Cascada Limon Tour With Runners Adventures Samana
I booked the Cascada 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.
Just One Tip: By booking all of my tours directly through the resort, I received a 10% discount on all tours.
The tour was with Runners Adventures Samana, who did a spectacular job and will provide you with a horseback riding tour to remember. The tour guide will pick you up at your resort in a safari style open air jeep. Bouncing along the Dominican streets was the perfect way to start such an adventurous tour, while at the same time discover some of the local countryside. Throughout the drive to Cascada Limon your tour guide will inundate you with the history of the island and will eager to point out points of interest along the way.
Las Ballenas Cigar House
Although unaware that this stop was part of the tour, the guide made a quick stop along the way to Cascada Limon at Las Ballenas Cigar House. Here you will be provided the opportunity to watch as one of the locals is hard at work hand-rolling the sweet smelling cigars. These cigars are sold right on site and I understand that they are well worth the purchase.
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 there was no way that I was going to risk taking up that habit again, so I didn’t give them a taste. I did however taste the coffee which was fantastic!
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 continue your drive to the star attraction, Cascada Limon.
While Cascada Limon is accessible by a relatively
easy difficult 40 minute walk through the forest, the majority of visitors will take a donkey tour to get them to the waterfall. The ride to the waterfall is a bit bumpy, as the terrain was muddy, rocky and quite uneven. I imagine that this would have made for a fairly difficult walk as well.
Upon arriving at Cascada Limon, you will be given a really
sexy ugly 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.
Just One Tip: Bring along a pair of socks, as you will be expected to wear rubber boots. Socks can be purchased if you forget to bring a pair.
A guide greet you and assist with mounting your horse. The guide will also hold the reigns and guided you as you slowly trot 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 is with you throughout the entire tour and will assist in any way needed. As stated earlier, be prepared, it is not smooth sailing! For more advanced riders, you have the option of being a little more daring and allowing your horse to gallop on its own. Regardless of riding ability, or lack thereof, the guide will remain with you throughout the entire tour.
After a grueling 40 minutes in the saddle, you will finally reach the end of the path. At least it was the end for the horse. Little did I know what was yet to come. You will dismount your horse and she will be given a well deserved rest while you walk the rest of the way to the waterfalls. Yes…..there are a tonne of stairs! 215 to be exact! At the bottom of the stairs, your reward awaits. Cascada Limon in all of its glory shimmering like diamonds as it invites you into its warm embrace. You don’t want to miss out on this part of the adventure, so bring along a towel and wear your bathing suit.
Cascada Limon is a beautiful 170.60 foot (52 meter) waterfall and it is a refreshing way to relax and reward yourself for all of the difficult work you had to do in order to reach it. It is completely safe to leave your belongings with you guide while you take a well deserved dip in the waterfalls.
Once you have had enough of the waterfall and have taken massive amounts of photos, it is time to saddle up again and to begin the journey back to your horse. Unfortunately, before you reach your horse, you will have to manage to climb all 215 stairs before you reach her. Once you have accomplished this task, the ride back to the entrance is much easier than the ride to the waterfall.
Before mounting your horse, you have to 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. The bartender will also give you the hollowed out inside of the pineapple…..enjoy!
It is not mandatory that you book a horseback tour when visiting Cascada 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! The trek is a little more difficult than I am use to, but it is well worth the agony and is one of the best tours that I have taken anywhere.
It is quite difficult and the hike certainly isn’t for anyone who has mobility issues. As long as you can walk, you can do this hike. There are benches scattered along the stairs where you can rest your weary bones until you are ready to carry on.
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 as stocky as the horses found in North America, but compared to most other islands that I have been to I found the horses to be 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 before getting off this horse, 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 Cascada Limon!
HAVE A SAFE AND FUN ADVENTURE…..I sure did 🙂
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kelly is a writer and solo traveller who shares her adventures with the world. She is a mom, grandma, and lover of all things wine. Kelly’s passion lies in exploring Canada and other parts of the world and sharing her experiences with others.
As a senior traveller, Kelly aims to inspire others to live their best life and not be afraid to venture out into the world on their own. She encourages solo travel and offers tips and advice on how to do it safely and confidently.
Travel Solo Like a Pro!
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102 thoughts on “Saddle up to Cascada Limon in the Dominican Republic”
Nature looks stunning there! I would love to visit a cigar house and try that pina colada! Great article 🙂
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Just One Passport
I loved Costa Rica! And yes it was best Pina colada ever lol
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