My husband and I participated in the tour to the Nahra falls in late March 2018.
We had the absolute best day of our holidays in the Yaeyama Islands. We felt very privileged as, apart from one very quick encounter with another tour group heading in the opposite direction, we didn’t meet anyone else during the whole tour. This meant we had the waterfall all to our selves for the couple of hours we were there. As it was slightly too cold in the season we didn’t get in the water for anything more than a paddle, but it has some amazing pools that looked very inviting for a summer dip!
The landscape to the Falls is amazing. From the rivermouth it goes inland for 7 km through the mangrove forest, the river gets narrower and windy. The forest was alive with birds calls and butterflies. The kayaking lasted for two hours but it didn’t felt that long. From the river, it was half an hour walk to the waterfall following a jungle track. The track gets very narrow at some points and there is a little bit of grappling, but nothing too difficult – our guide did all this in flip flops! Our day was sunny but not too hot, although sun cream was needed. There was no problem with mosquitoes or any kind of bugs.
Our guide, Nasu-san, was very friendly and easy to talk too. He speaks very good English and provided very good advice and knowledge on the mangrove, the jungle and other activities in Iriomote. He even caught a small lizard (alive) with his hands to show to us. He is also an excellent cook and prepared delicious mushroom pasta and chai tea for us, which we really appreciated after the long kayak journey.
The company provided all the information required to reach the meeting point the day of the tour. They also provided hats, life jackets, waterproof bags, tea and slip proof boots. We originally struggled to decide which guide to go for on our day in Iriomote. It seemed there are a lot of companies that offer the same thing. For us, what made this company stand out from the rest were two comments on their website. 1) that they do not operate tours to Pinaisara falls (the most popular day trip) as it is too crowded, and 2) the history of the route to Nahra falls was given, explaining that the route was created by local fishermen in the late 1990s and that before then it was very difficult to reach. Their dedication to taking clients to remote, natural areas, and providing a bit of background and local context in the end made it an easy decision to go with them over other companies, and we don’t regret it for one minute!
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