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  1. #1
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    Default The best of beaches, waterfalls, views and roadtrips

    I feel like most of the time DR1 is about problems and solutions, and ways to avoid getting ripped off.

    For me, a huge part of the Republica Dominicana, is the adventure!

    I was shocked the other day, while looking for a remote waterfall on the Rio Rejoya and having gotten advice to stop at the Tubagua Ecolodge for help finding a guide, that the owner had not heard of those waterfalls, only Los Charcos Militares. I'm also constantly shocked at how many people I meet in the DR that have never visited a lot of these places I am always trying to find.

    I do what I can to find interesting places, and bring people with me to enjoy them, and I think DR1 should be a good resource for finding these places, so I'm going to try and document some of my favorites!

    Starting with Rejoya! (Alternate names Rejolla, and Juan de Nina. The sign under the Brugal logo at the turn in Camu says Juan de Nina.)
    This series of waterfalls is on the Ruta Panoramica between Santiago and Puerto Plata. I had never taken the route because I heard it is in bad condition, but I took it in a car (jeepeta in the shop...always breaking the darn thing) and felt very comfortable on the route. It's halfway refinished, halfway a decent condition dirt road, and the third half is old asphalt. Way better condition than the shortcut from Santiago to Azua through San Jose de Ocoa or the road to Bahia Las Aguilas. The only problem is the spot where you turn to get to the parking for Rejoya, there is a small stream you have to cross and some deeply rutted roads. Our Skoda Octavia handled it, but I was rather nervous about scraping open the oil pan.

    If you want to make a weekend out of it, I do recommend the Tubagua Ecolodge. The rates are ok for gringos, and the views are absolutely incredible! You could go to the beaches in POP and get back in time for dinner, or spend the day hiking in Rejoya.

    The actual spot you need to park is in Camu. I do recommend that you get a guide, which we got by stopping alongside of kids who were walking on the road and showing them a picture. The first two didn't recognize the waterfall we wanted, but the third did and took us there. The coordinates are 19°41'29.3"N 70°38'05.0"W

    From there, you will be walking for an hour. There is a relatively easy to follow path through the woods, and constant clouds of mosquitos, until you arrive at the first waterfall, which is impressive and beautiful with a large area to swim. From there, you will be climbing. This is not something for people who are scared of heights, unable to pull themselves up a 10 foot rock wall, or scared of walking up small waterfalls. If you hurt yourself, there is no cell signal. If you slip, you could fall down the side of the mountain or down a waterfall, hit your head, break your neck, and drown.

    There are several more waterfalls that you can stop at, until you get to the largest and most beautiful. After this, there are really nothing more worth seeing. Technically on top, there are a few small ones, but we haven't found a way to get from the bottom of this fall to the top, and the ones on top aren't impressive enough to make the trip.

    There is another route your guide might take you on to return. This route is on the side of the mountain, and even though it's covered with trees, there are frequently places where you will need to be extremely careful. You will want to wear shoes for this hike, or boots, that have good grip, and they will end up covered in mud and water as you will be crossing rivers and climbing waterfalls several times. But the route back is slippery and you need to have good shoes. I did mention that this is easily the most dangerous hike I have ever done in DR and you are at extreme risk of danger, and far from any help or cell signal, right? Hence why, even that I know where it is now, I will ask a local kid to take me there in the future. Easily worth a thousand pesos, to have someone there who can run and get help if you need it.

    It took us an hour and a half to reach the biggest fall, and an hour and a half to get back. My phone says we climbed over 60 stories. But I already have plans to return in a few weeks! One thing I am going to do different: I am going to get a sturdy rope and tie it around a tree on the 10 foot rock wall climb, and leave it there. Having a rope, with a knot every foot or two, turns it from a relatively scary and precarious free climbing experience, into a much more secure feeling climb.

    Like I said, this is the longest hike, and most dangerous hike, but the waterfall was more beautiful than Salto Alto in Bayaguna, or El Limon. And we were the only ones there, it felt like magic!










    Last edited by jahjahwarrior; 04-07-2018 at 03:03 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default The best of beaches, waterfalls, views and roadtrips

    Pozos Ecologicos de Pedernales, also called Pozos de Romeo

    Pozo means "well," like a drinking water well. In Mexico they would probably call these Cenotes, and in English I think of them as sinkholes, swimming holes, etc.

    It's funny because these aren't well documented online, but you can find them super easily. Driving from Barahona to Pedernales, you will come across a white wall on the south side of the road, about 13 kilometers before Pedernales, and that's it!

    Park on the side of the road or turn left and drive down into the field if you have an SUV. Cars I don't think will make the dropoff. Then you can see three of the pozos right there!

    The first one by the road is pretty darn deep. I do a lot of cave diving and my cave diving friends tell me this one has going passage, but when I was there it seemed like an awful pain to get in and out. The next one is easy to get in and out, about 6-8 feet deep water, and it has 2 or 3 little "caves" that go about 5-10 feet, and had air pockets in them when I visited. Super cool, but be careful, don't drown!

    Third pozo was meh, don't bother swimming here.

    The middle pozo is good for swimming, there are a lot of bees on the rock at the end where you walk out. I'm terrified of bees, but I managed to walk in and out about 8 times and they never even landed on me. They seem to be there for the drinking water and that's it, but if you are allergic, be careful because you are hours and hours away from any real hospital.

    With the help of some local kids and the drone, we found three more accessible pozos in the fields. There are tons more, but you have to find your way, walking on razor sharp rocks and dodging cactus that practically leap into your skin. 3 weeks later, I just finished getting the last cactus spine out of my finger...

    So I can't give too many specific directions on the others, but if you are up for the task of walking and maybe getting lost, breaking a leg, poked by cactus, etc, send me a pm and I can give you some more coordinates.

    The last pozo we visited had crystal clear water and a great rock for jumping about 30 feet into the water. There was a second side we didn't visit because even 100 feet away you could hear the bees buzzing, they must have a huge hive! And you have to rock climb to get out, and there are wasp nests hidden in some of the holes in the rock....so be careful!

    The water was all fresh, but after watching a busload of tourists get in and swim, don't even think about drinking any. We returned Sunday morning and had the place to ourselves.

    Can't wait to go back!

    Are tapatalk pictures upload working for everyone?

    Second pozo by the road, the best for swimming


    Pozo hidden from the road


    The deep Pozo. Swim on the left bees on the right
    Last edited by jahjahwarrior; 04-22-2018 at 06:01 PM.

  3. Likes Caonabo, ju10prd, cavok, thompstr, Uzin and 7 others liked this post
  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by jahjahwarrior View Post
    Pozos Ecologicos de Pedernales, also called Pozos de Romeo

    Pozo means "well," like a drinking water well. In Mexico they would probably call these Cenotes, and in English I think of them as sinkholes, swimming holes, etc.

    It's funny because these aren't well documented online, but you can find them super easily. Driving from Barahona to Pedernales, you will come across a white wall on the south side of the road, about 13 kilometers before Pedernales, and that's it!

    Park on the side of the road or turn left and drive down into the field if you have an SUV. Cars I don't think will make the dropoff. Then you can see three of the pozos right there!

    The first one by the road is pretty darn deep. I do a lot of cave diving and my cave diving friends tell me this one has going passage, but when I was there it seemed like an awful pain to get in and out. The next one is easy to get in and out, about 6-8 feet deep water, and it has 2 or 3 little "caves" that go about 5-10 feet, and had air pockets in them when I visited. Super cool, but be careful, don't drown!

    Third pozo was meh, don't bother swimming here.

    The middle pozo is good for swimming, there are a lot of bees on the rock at the end where you walk out. I'm terrified of bees, but I managed to walk in and out about 8 times and they never even landed on me. They seem to be there for the drinking water and that's it, but if you are allergic, be careful because you are hours and hours away from any real hospital.

    With the help of some local kids and the drone, we found three more accessible pozos in the fields. There are tons more, but you have to find your way, walking on razor sharp rocks and dodging cactus that practically leap into your skin. 3 weeks later, I just finished getting the last cactus spine out of my finger...

    So I can't give too many specific directions on the others, but if you are up for the task of walking and maybe getting lost, breaking a leg, poked by cactus, etc, send me a pm and I can give you some more coordinates.

    The last pozo we visited had crystal clear water and a great rock for jumping about 30 feet into the water. There was a second side we didn't visit because even 100 feet away you could hear the bees buzzing, they must have a huge hive! And you have to rock climb to get out, and there are wasp nests hidden in some of the holes in the rock....so be careful!

    The water was all fresh, but after watching a busload of tourists get in and swim, don't even think about drinking any. We returned Sunday morning and had the place to ourselves.

    Can't wait to go back!

    Are tapatalk pictures upload working for everyone?

    Second pozo by the road, the best for swimming


    Pozo hidden from the road


    The deep Pozo. Swim on the left bees on the right

    Thanks for the great trip report and photos.  I assume most people don’t know about these places because they are too difficult to reach and they dontt want to spend their vacation in a hospital.  They appear to be too remote for the average tourist but I am certainly going to check them out.

  5. Likes thompstr liked this post
  6. #4
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    Excellent photos and reports. Thank you for sharing.

    Sometimes I think it is better if most people don't know about these gems.

  7. Likes Auryn liked this post
  8. #5
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    Is this them on Google Earth?

    https://www.google.com.do/maps/place...3!4d-70.162651

    There is a natural fresh water pool popular with locals north of Ovieda Laguna centre as map at end of right turn going north....believe this is the Goggle Earth location......Rough Guide mentions it.

    https://www.google.com.do/maps/@17.8.../data=!3m1!1e3

  9. Likes Dov1984 liked this post
  10. #6
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    whoa, don't know how i missed this when it was first posted but fantastic ...................

  11. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigbird View Post
    whoa, don't know how i missed this when it was first posted but fantastic ...................
    The forum needs fresh input and such posts are really welcome to remind us of the wealth of places to visit in this country.

  12. Likes caribmike liked this post
  13. #8
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    Great thread. Following.

  14. #9
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    [QUOTE=ju10prd;1880282]Is this them on Google Earth?

    https://www.google.com.do/maps/place...3!4d-70.162651

    Yes, the dirt brown space immediately next to the road on the left is the main ones. Super easy to find the main ones, and worth the stop.


    Don't worry guys I have lots more to share, I've been working my way around the country enjoying and I'm trying to start sharing more often!

    Flight back this week was amazing, with two Dominicans downing an entire bottle of duty free whiskey and refusing to stop when the flight attendant told them to, which lead to them getting escorted off the plane by police when we landed. And this weekend I will be in jarabacoa, already charging camera batteries and preparing the hammocks!

    Now to figure out which adventure to write about next!

  15. Likes ju10prd, JasonD, Auryn, Dov1984 liked this post
  16. #10
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    This is what i call the real Dominicain,hate sitting in resorts

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