El Saltadero Waterfalls

2015-07-02 17.15.03
Some of you probably know Ramon, the Villa’s resident bartender extraordinaire.  If you can’t quite picture his face; that means Ramon was doing his jobs. (His rum concoctions are not for the easily inebriated.) But that’s him above if your memory needs some jogging.

During a recent trip to the Villa, Ramon and I went on an adventure one afternoon to explore his hometown, Cabrera – on his scooter. We hopped off the main thoroughfare and made our way through this active and charming port city.

We meandered through the town square,  past its colorful restaurants, churches, and banks (LOTS of banks), until we hit a a little mango tree lined, dirt road behind one of the neighborhoods nestled against the cliffs at the city’s edge. I wasn’t sure where I was going, but I heard Ramon mention a waterfall.

2015-07-02 17.14.46
The houses disappeared, and we were suddenly making  our way up a steep embankment shrouded in thick foliage. We were at the mouth of Cabrera,  in a beautiful rain forest, with a canopy so dense the sunlight barely touched the ground.

As the dirt road opened up at the top of the hill, people congregated in little groups, drinking beer and listening to Bachata. Ramon parked the scooter, and we walked over to a little observation deck above the river; there, about fifty feet below, was one of the most unique waterfalls I’d ever seen – El Saltadero – the rock surrounding it worn smooth as asphalt from the mineral rich rapids. I even asked Ramon if it was man made. I know, stupid question, but the rock looked sculpted.

Kids were climbing the falls and jumping into the mountain-fed reservoir below. It looked like a blast. In fact, I’m totally game for taking the plunge on my next visit. 

Above the falls, there were several natural retention ponds, where families were taking a break from the afternoon heat. Ramon grabbed a bit of the chalky rock from the surrounding peña, and told me to rub it on my arm. He told me it was like lotion – a natural mineral locals use for moisturizer. From what I can tell, the stuff was better than anything Loreal ever put out. My arm was like butter for days. 

When you visit the Villa, be sure you ask about El Saltadero. It’s only a couple of miles away, and the experience is pretty magical.