Salto de Jimenoa II is one of the many impressive waterfalls in the Dominican Republic. We talk about a waterfall, that drops water from 131 feet (approx. 40 m) height with whooshing sounds. Spectacular in its appearance, it’s a little effort to access it physically in the mountainous area of Jarabacoa and a big effort to access information about it digitally. So why not discovering it by myself to gather some firsthand information?
Salto Jimenoa – Uno or Dos?
These Dominicans don’t make it easy with transparent information about their tourism destinations. Wherever it’s about travel planning for a place to go, it’s a hard challenge to collect valid information. This time, it was about the right name and location of the waterfall.
There aren’t many useful websites on the Internet with legit information regarding Salto Jimenoa II in Jarabacoa. Secondary research about that place becomes quite difficult and challenging with this inconsistent information. In a scenario like that, I usually look for information from official authorities who should know it better than the rest.
Unfortunately, the official page of the Dominican Ministry of Tourism doesn’t help much either and curious travelers will be even more confused by their given information. According to their website, it’s the major waterfall of the River ‘Yaque del Norte’ and an artificial result of the hydroelectric dam, that is up north the river.
Very confusing: This screenshot from Google Maps shows:
- 1x Hidroelectrica de Jimenoa
- 1x Salto Jimenoa
- 1x Jimenoa
- 1x Salto Jimenoa Uno
- 1x Salto Jimenoa 1
- 0x Salto Jimenoa Two (what I was looking for)
Am I on the wrong path and want to go to the wrong waterfall? Why numbering waterfalls anyhow? How to call it finally? Salto de Jimenoa? Salto de Jimenoa One? Salto de Jimenoa Dos? Salto de Jimenoa forty-two? And why isn’t it named ‘Salto del Yaque (del Norte)’ to refer to the river where it was created?
Not only that there are many open questions: The Ministry of Tourism wrote on their website the following paragraph:
A second, smaller waterfall known as Salto de Jimenoa Uno sits off the main highway towards Constanza, tucked inside a ravine, and requires a steep hike downhill to reach its magnificent 75 meter (246 feet) cascade and pool for a swim.Dominican Ministry of Tourism
If the second smaller waterfall is called ‘Salto de Jimenoa Uno’, why is it then called ‘a second smaller waterfall’ although it is named with ‘Uno’ (One)?
And why should the second, smaller Salto Jimenoa Uno with 75 meters (246 feet) be smaller than Salto Jimenoa Dos with 40 m (131 feet)?
So many confusing information, so many open questions. I am gladly helping out any curious traveler who probably will have the same trouble finding the right information. Luckily, my GoPro saves GPS data for every photo. It becomes easier to locate the destination of a place with the accurate coordinates.
Salto Jimenoa Dos can be found with the following coordinates…
…and according to that, it would be exactly here:
What does Jimenoa mean?
After writing so much about that topic, I thought that it might be interesting for you as a reader to find out what the term ‘Jimenoa’ means. At least there seems to be a lot of talking about the river and its waterfalls.
I couldn’t find any explanation of what ‘Jimenoa’ means. It maybe has its meaning from the medieval Spanish or Basque male name of uncertain meaning. It could be derivated from the scriptural Hebrew name ‘Shim‛ôn’ (= he has heard). Or from the Hebrew name “Jimena” (the one who knows how to listen).
Everything very applicable for a noisy and whooshing waterfall that produces these sounds that want to be heard.
And by the way: Jarabacoa means translated from the old Taino language ‘land of water’. The old Taino knew this area pretty well and gave an appropriate name.
How can I go to Salto de Jimenoa in Jarabacoa?
From the center of Jarabacoa, it will take you approximately 20 minutes to drive there. Keep watch for the guide marker that indicates ‘Salto Jimenoa’. There is a parking place which has only limited capacities for a few cars and buses. Hopefully, you’ll get one of these few parking spots. One of these self-proclaimed car-park attendants will happily stand watch and guard your vehicle. Give him later after coming back from the waterfall a decent dollar or two for his labor.
But as a little teaser before you go down, you can see already at the parking site the waterfall at a great distance from a meagerly timbered shack:
After this little visual appetizer, I was very curious to see it from close proximity. But before seeing the giant waterfall, a downhill hike awaits you. Although it is not more than a walk of 450m (1,475ft.) horizontal and 150m (492ft.) vertical distance, it is a little challenge on the untouched hiking trail. Steep soils need to be walked down for approximately 20 – 30 minutes before you arrive at one of nature’s tremendous sights.
Depending on your downhill hiking speed and physical condition, you enjoy all the things that are on the way:
The more you go down, the more difficult it becomes for you. I would recommend having sturdy hiking boots to be completely sure and well prepared. But good tennis shoes will do it as well. My sports shoes were not suitable for that adventure. I wore ‘Spring Blades’ from Adidas who are more suitable for flat surfaces to give a dynamic swing while running. It was never really dangerous, but especially on the way back, I felt that climbing up with sturdy shoes and a treaded sole would have been the wiser choice. The surface looks more or less the following:
How does Salto de Jimenoa II look like?
It’s a beautiful and powerful waterfall, that’s for sure. You will understand its sheer scale when you arrive there and see its water.
Along the hiking path, you can sometimes see through the dense bushes and trees down to the plateau where the waterfall is located in the valley. Do you remember the screenshot from Google Maps before?
This big and blue area around the waterfall should represent a body of water. But after I arrived at the waterfall, it was much smaller than expected. Unfortunately, it carried only a little water. In fact, there were many stones and even a raw sand-gravel mixture. I can only imagine, how great the plateau must look like with more water in it.
The area around the waterfall was not the cleanest, but I saw already many domestic travel destinations in the Dominican Republic in a messier condition. Be aware and prepared to see garbage around that area. This will lower your expectation and shock-level at the same time. But what really surprised me, were the car parts, I could see in the valley:
I really have no clue, how they ended up there. And I don’t believe, that someone carried a chassis and tire down the hiking trail to dispose of waste illegally. Hence, they were flushed down the waterfall which represents an elemental force. Unfortunately, the water doesn’t have an appealing color and doesn’t seem to be in the best condition. But of course, that doesn’t hold me back.
Walking back from Salto Jimenoa 2
After spending here more or less a relaxed hour, it was time to get back. Expect, that you will need maybe 10 – 15 minutes more (35 – 45 minutes in total) on the way back. Depending on your level of fitness, climbing can be difficult and exhausting. Bring some water to refresh and hydrate yourself. It can be very humid there. Especially when it starts to rain.
And it was raining on the way back. That helped too cool down a little bit. And I really like rainfall in dense vegetations like forests and jungles. Everything sounds and smells different and contributes to a relaxing mood. Although it was a bit more slippy and challenging to climb uphill again, rain is very welcome during hiking.
Salto de Jimenoa II is for everyone who loves to be in nature and is fascinated by waterfalls and hiking. The difficulty level of this travel destination is easy to medium. For me, it was much more difficult to obtain valid digital information about this place than the hiking experience. It is the perfect half-day excursion, that you can do without a tour guide in the midmorning or afternoon. I loved it – and the fact, that there were almost no other visitors on a Thursday afternoon. At weekends though, you should expect a couple of more visitors.
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