Cagayan de Oro: White Water Rafting at Cagayan River

Whenever I hear the place Mindanao and Cagayan de Oro, the first thing that pops on my mind is White Water Rafting. White Water Rafting in this province is claimed to be the main tourist attraction being promoted by the Department of Tourism. Therefore, it is really a must try activity to every tourists, backpackers and specially adventurers who'll visit Cagayan de Oro.

Cagayan River (which also referred as Cagayan de Oro River) is where the activity is being hold. This  river lies and serves as divider to the province of Cagayan de Oro and Bukidnon.  So as you do water rafting to this river, the land you'll see on your left is Cagayan de Oro and the one on your right is the province of Bukidnon. So you can say that you are actually in 2 provinces at the same time since you are in between them. Cool huh?!

How to get there? (How did we got there?)
After we booked our flight to Cagayan de Oro, the group had also started to find great deals on white water rafting online. As expected, Google suggested several groups and agencies that offers rafting. So our next basis would be affordability and the packages. With that criteria, we picked 1st Rafting Adventure to booked our CDO White Water Rafting Experience.

Why our group picked 1st Rafting Adventure? Simply because of their packages. They offer packages suited for beginners, mid-level, and pro water rafters. Along side with that, they have extra freebies that is favorable with their clients. To cut the story short, we avail their Advance 1 course at 1,000 pesos per pax. It is under Class III - IV rapids and the experience will take 4-5 hours river run. Aside from that, since we're more than 6 who had availed the package, pictures of our water rafting adventures was given to us for free. The package also includes free lunch at Brewberry Cafe also located in CDO, transfer (from Mcdo Divisoria to the jump-off & from the end point back to the city), safety gears (helmets, buoyancy aid, paddle), and certified river guides.

Look how angry the river that day :)

Our White Water Rafting adventure starts with a quick lecture on:
  • The different kinds of paddling,
  • The right way of paddling,
  • The right way of holding our paddles
  • The do's and don'ts during the actual rafting
  • How should we act and react on possible things that may happened during the rafting and
  • The CHEER!
To sum it up, the lecture is all about the basic of water rafting. That lecture is very important so participants of this activity should listen carefully and it should be taken seriously. Part of that lecture will actually save your life in case something went wrong as you are on the river. There is one rule that they share which instilled on my mind:
Do not panic. Because when you are in panic, it blocks you from thinking clearly in situations that requires you to think.
I wanted to do a slow clap the moment I heard our instructor said the lines because it do actually makes sense and he's definitely right.

Demonstrating the parts of the paddle
The right way of paddling

Ok. Going back, after our lecture on basic water rafting, we then proceed on our rubber boats. Since we were 9 in the this tour and the maximum capacity of a rubber boat is 6 (plus  2 experienced rafters/instructors who will be in charge on navigating the boat), we had to divide our group into 2 and had to recruit some other people from other group to complete our numbers in each boat. After completing oue numbers, then our white water rafting adventure in CDO (Cagayan de Oro) started!

First half of the group (Me, Paula, Foo, Edward, and Baron)
Other half of the group (Julius, Marie, Karen, Jing, Bona, and Yap)

The first trail of the rafting activity is the "Beginner's Course". However, I forgot to state that during our water rafting adventure, there was a signal #1 advisory in CDO due to Typhoon Agaton. Having said that, the supposedly Beginner's Course seemed like to turned into an "Advance 1 Course"! I think that was in favor with us because we don't have to pay extra to experienced that. Yeah! Downside, because of non stop rain, the water turns to brown. So can I say we experienced Brown Water Rafting instead? Hehe. All in all, we had gone through 27 rapids (originally, it should only be 21 rapids). Each rapid is packed with screams and shouts.

Conquering every rapid at Cagayan River
Other group that day
Cheering in the middle of the rapids
Other half of our group is rocking those rapids
During chill time or wherein the water is calm, our boat navigators entertained us with their tricks. Note: Please be patient with their tricks. Do not let your temper take over you. Hahahaha. Book now this activity and find out for yourself the tricks I am talking here.

Chill time in the middle of Cagayan River
I also find this activity educational. Water rafting is not just about shouting on rapids and paddling. It is also about appreciating nature. Along our way to the end point, we're able to see different species of plants and trees, caves and caverns, as well as rock formations. Unfortunately, it is not only beauty that we saw in this experience but also destruction. There were landslides happening here and there. Stories from from our boatmen like, before, animals (such as monkeys) were still visible in the forest and near the river but due to illegal hunting, their population became less and chance of seeing one while rafting today into this river is very low. Seeing and hearing news like that makes as sad and put into silence... but we became more aware of what is happening in the environment and learned a lesson because of this trip.

That wall said to be being housed by snakes - we actually saw one....

So who's up for this challenge? Rafting is definitely a great bonding activity for you and your friends!!!

Breakdown of Expenses:
Water Rafting Registration - 1,000 PhP per pax (The package also includes free lunch at Brewberry Cafe also located in CDO, transfer (from Mcdo Divisoria to the jump-off & from the end point back to the city), safety gears (helmets, buoyancy aid, paddle), and certified river guides.)

We Survived CDO's White Water Rafting!


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