I went on the waterfall canyoning adventure with Helmut and two of his guides, Paulo and Arturo. It was about an hour drive from Cabarete out to the canyon, but the drive was beautiful. They had wetsuits and sturdy shoes available for each of our party of six to wear. After we hiked down into the canyon (a quick 7 minute hike down), Helmut took time to brief us on the best way to trudge through the canyon (through the water, not along the shore) and gave us safety tips on jumping from the waterfalls. I can't tell you how terrified I was of jumping from any height - before this trip, I'd never even jumped off a diving board. All three of our guides were patient and understanding anytime I got freaked out at the top of a jump or repel (which, let's face it, was every time!). They were all very kind and absolutely hilarious and took lots of pictures (so I have proof now that I really did jump off waterfalls!).
I'm not a super strong or confident swimmer (which is why you won't see me surfing), but I did totally fine on this adventure. The guys tell you which direction to jump each time so that you land in the deepest part of the water (which is therefore the safest direction to jump). You never have to swim further than maybe 20 meters after you hit the water until you get to the shore.
Don't worry about encountering jungle critters on the adventure - I saw one tiny spider, a few buzzy bugs and barely even remember any birds. The hardest part is the trudge back up out of the canyon (especially once the adrenaline starts to wear off), but there is an incredible lunch of traditional Dominican fare waiting back at the headquarters. And honestly, the meal I had there was the best meal I had out while on the island.
I had an incredible time and can't thank Helmut, Paulo and Arturo enough!
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