The Best Way to Visit Saltos de Limón

Featured image credit: AbsolutCaribe

On your travels to the Dominican Republic, you’ll probably hear about the Saltos de Limón waterfalls, especially if you’re in the Samaná area. While you’re there, some tigueres (local and foreign alike) will probably try to charge you way too much money for a tour.

This hike is so easy though, it would be a shame to miss out on it because you don’t want to break the bank! And you don’t have to; let us show you how.

We’re going to assume you’re coming from the “Las Terrenas” area, but no matter where you’re coming from, it’s pretty much the same.

The Best Way to Visit Saltos de Limón:

First of all, get yourself transportation. It’s going to be cheaper for you to rent a car, an ATV, or a motorcycle than it is to pay up the arse for an all inclusive tour, especially if there is more than one of you, the more the merrier. Plus you’re buying yourself independence for the rest of the duration of your rental.

From Las Terrenas, follow the highway signage to El Limón. You’ll get accosted by a bunch of motoconchos asking you if you’re going to the Saltos. Ignore them, or tell them you’re going to Samaná. They’re just trying to get a commission for bringing you to a specific tour guide.

photo credit:

Keep going until you come to the intersection where Rancho Santi is. Their sign is hard to miss, it looks like this:

If you’re the worrier-traveler, you might want to park your vehicle at Santi’s and do the tour through them for RD$600/person. They offer a mean lunch with the package which is completely worth it, and they hire local guides, which we like.

If you’re the worrier-traveler, you might want to park your vehicle at Santi’s and do the tour through them for RD$600/person. They offer a mean lunch with the package which is completely worth it, and they hire local guides, which we like.

But if you’re trying to do it on the very cheap, or want to make sure every peso you spend goes to the locals (which we commend you for), then take a right at this intersection, and keep going until you see signs for the entrance of the park and the “ruta de cafe.”

See my custom map for precise location if you’re not the directionally inclined type.

It’s an interactive map.. go ahead, click on it.  

Here you will be able to talk to a local who will tell you where to park your car/ATV/moto while they take you up to the falls.

With a bit of negotiation, you can probably drop the price to about RD$200/person. Make sure to specify that you don’t want a horse or mule, as it’s cheaper to just hike (and not very challenging) but they will default to the price with the mules. Unless you want a mule, in which case, whatever :)

Of course, assume that nothing left in your car is safe, not that people aren’t inherently trustworthy, but there’s no reason to test it. So take your valuables and lock your vehicle.

If it’s not your first time doing the trail, you don’t even need a guide, but at the beginning of the hike you have to cross the river a few times, and the trail isn’t obvious, so you’ll want to make sure you don’t go alone.

this is what the river crossing looks like
this is what the river crossing looks like

Once you’ve passed the rivers, the path is very clear cut. If it’s rained a lot in the previous days, you’ll have a lot of mud, so make sure you’re wearing appropriate footwear.

You can’t go anywhere in the DR without running into cheap souvenirs, and the Limón trail is no exception. Once you get close to the falls, you’ll be rewarded with a “parada” where you can get snacks, beverages, and anything you want (or don’t want) in amber, larimar, and local artisanal souvenirs.

This is also going to be your first view of the beautiful falls. :)


It’s all downhill from here! The good kind of downhill :)

Plus this part is shaded again!

Hopefully you’ll be there on a bright sunshiny day and the water will be turquoise, like in the featured image, not brown, like we had :( Either way though, the falls are impressive, and the water refreshing for a quick dip.

smaller waterfall just before the saltos
smaller waterfall just before the saltos

Make sure to go early in the morning as large organized tourist groups flood in all day, and take a lot of the charm away from this tranquil spot.

We recommend timing it so you arrive at the falls no later than 8am. The hike is about 45 minutes, for fit hikers, so plan to be in Limón at 7am.

If you’re brave, you can climb up the face of the falls to various platforms to dive in, like this local kid:

photo credit: tuAventura

But make sure you have a guide with you who knows where to jump from, and to, as the lake is full of rocks which are impossible to see in the murky waters.

We didn’t do it, but it’s been done. Don’t break your neck please. It’s not fun.

Happy hiking!

And if you manage to get pictures of the beautiful turquoise water on a sunny day, share them with us for a chance to be featured on this post!!


  1. Great informaTion. Planning a trip in the near future. We have a car and want to walk without a guide. I don’t see your interactive map?

  2. From the bus station in Samana, I am looking for inexpensive transportation to get us to El Limon falls and back to the bus station.

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