Things to do
Hike to the Salto de Jimenoa Uno Waterfall
Salto de Jimenoa Uno waterfall
Salto de Jimenoa Uno is a towering 246 feet tall waterfall on the Yaque Del Norte River. The fall cuts through the rock face of a dramatic ravine. If you've read our list of the top 10 films to watch before traveling to the Dominican Republic, you already know Salto de Jimenoa Uno was featured in the opening scenes of the first Jurassic Park movie.
The waterfall is a great place to take a dip on a hot day in magical surrounds that not many travelers get to see. It’s quite accessible from the mountain town of Jarabacoa, and nearby you can visit wildlife reserves, go white-water rafting down the canyon, dine at restaurants with mountain views, and dive into a comfy bed for a well-earned rest after all that outdoor adventure.
The hike to Salto de Jimenoa Uno takes a good half hour to complete each way. The descent and ascent are both steep and especially slippery after rain. Wear decent hiking shoes or at least running shoes with good soles with plenty of grip.
There are benches to rest along the way, which are great for picnics. Even better, push on to the waterfall and picnic on the huge, smooth rocks near the pool. The sounds of wildlife and rushing water are soothing, and you might find yourself using your daypack as a pillow.
Unfortunately, the picturesque suspending bridges leading to the smaller and lower Salto de Jimenoa collapsed in 2018. That won't stop you from seeing the main waterfall at Salto de Jimenoa Uno, and it doesn't detract from it.
Swimming is allowed - and recommended - but don't get close to the fall itself. The undercurrents are strong and can hold the most experienced swimmer under the water. The rocks are also slippery in the area, so make sure to bring water shoes, unless you don't mind wearing your hiking shoes in the water and squishing your way back up to the top of the ravine.
Salto de Jimenoa Uno waterfall
What else is here?
Once you've made it back up to the top after your rest, or swim, there is more to see outside Jarabacoa. Further up the Yaque Del Norte river, past the hydroelectric dam, is a beautiful restaurant, the Ribera Country Club. The club was made for special events, but a reservation in the restaurant is not needed. The scene is relaxing and the grub is delicious and nourishing, especially after the hike.
The only white water rafting river in the entire Caribbean is right here in the central highlands of the Dominican Republic. A once in a lifetime exhilarating experience not to be missed, rafting the Yaque Del Norte is a serious departure from the beaches and golf resorts the DR is famous for. Rafting tours start at just USD $50 per person. Read more about when to go, what to expect and how to book on our guide to white water rafting in the central highlands.
Nearby Costanza is a rare thing in a Caribbean island nation - a cold-climate town perfect for growing fruits like grapes and strawberries that need cool seasons. Salto de Jimenoa is at a significantly lower - and warmer - altitude, but if you’re planning to continue on to Costanza you’ll want to take a coat.
The start of the hike is just off the road that leaves Jarabacoa heading further up the mountain range into Costanza. Drive south on the Carretera Jarabacoa-Constanza and look out on the left for the Salto Jimenoa Car Park (search Google maps for “Upper Salto Jimenoa Parking).
Salto de Jimenoa Uno is close to the small bed-and-breakfast style hotels of Jarabacoa, including the Rancho Baiguate - a camp-like complex outside Jarabacoa great for arranging outdoor tours - and the Jarabacoa Mountain Hostel (also known as the Santo Cerro Natural Park Hostel), a great place for swapping adventure stories with other travelers in relatively posh comfort.
Written by G. Abdullah.
Published July 2020
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