Whitewater Rafting – Extreme Activities in Cagayan De Oro, Philippines

This is a more detailed article for Cagayan De Oro whitewater rafting that I wrote in “Experiencing Martial Law in Cagayan De Oro“. If you haven’t read it yet, Check it out first.

Extreme Whitewater Rafting In Cagayan De Oro

Prep time before rafting
Prep time before rafting
Some shots before boarding
Some shots before boarding

Whitewater rafting has been the banner tourism activity of the department of tourism of CDO. The city also offers not only water rafting but kayaking and river trekking too. The starting point of the rafting starts at Barangay Mambuaya about 30 – 40 minutes ride from the city proper.

One of the first rapids
One of the first rapids
Feel the adrenaline rush
Feel the adrenaline rush

Some facts we got from our tour guide:

  • The serves a natural divider for Bukidnon and Cagayan De Oro.
  • One notable person to try whitewater rafting is Ex-President Gloria Arroyo.
  • It is the main tourist attraction of Cagayan De Oro.
  • The river was originally named Kalambaguasasahan River.
  • Cagayan came from the word “Kagay” which means river and “Kagayan” means a place with a river.
  • Little kids can also try this activity not just trained adults.
  • The tour guides and rafts were able to assist in the extreme flooding in Cagayan De Oro last 2011.
The calm before the storm
The calm before the storm
Remember to paddle forward
Remember to paddle forward

The oldest whitewater rafting agency was Kagay Whitewater Rafting but we opt to try other agency as well. We ended up booking our activity with Great White Rafting. They have a variety of affordable packages with fully trained guides by Red Cross, Coast Guard and the Department of Tourism.

The guides will pick you up in your preferred location or hotel at about 8:00 AM and drop you at their office which is also the closest to the rafting starting point. Due to some reason I was not able to ask they would require you to leave all belongings in the office. That includes your phones, bags and even gadgets. All belongings are placed in a single huge bag and zip close with your signatures to the plaster making sure the bag was not opened by anyone. They will provide a camera and a separate kayak to take pictures and videos. This can be given back in the office on a CD for about 600 pesos per raft.

The guides call this the "Titanic"
The guides call this the “Titanic”
You life will flash right before your eyes
Your life will flash right before your eyes
We truly got covered by the raft
We truly got covered by the raft.
The guides were quick to help
The guides were quick to help

Here are some tips before you go paddling away:

  • Leave all your expensive belongings at the hotel. Because you won’t be able to use them either way.
  • If you do it in the morning, Bring some sunscreen or better a rashguard. Whitewater rafting (Basic) would take almost 3 hours to finish and shades are rarely available in the river.
  • Prepare to get wet. The tour guides will eventually try to flip the raft or make sure some of you goes overboard. It’s part of the wild experience!
  • Follow the guides instructions. The guides will not be able to control the raft without your help.
  • Try to be in the front of the raft. Besides being able to see the rough waters ahead but you will also feel all the waves though you will also be more prone to falling out of the raft.
  • If you ever do go overboard. Don’t panic you will eventually float up with your life vest.
  • Always smile at the camera! Nobody wants to see your hysterical face on social media but maybe your friends do.
The last rapid. Conquered it!
The last rapid. Conquered it!
we survive it! Definitely will try the advance course.
we survive it! Next up, advanced course.

We got the basic course package. It cost us about 1,200 pesos per person without snacks and meal. You could add snacks and meal, just need to add 200 pesos. In our case, we predicted to finish the activity just about 12 noon so we had enough time to have lunch somewhere else. Just make sure you eat breakfast before leaving the hotel. Good thing the hotel we were at was pretty cheap and had free breakfast.

Cagayan De Oro has so much more to offer. Experience different kinds of adventures from canyoneering and river trekking. Visit local stores, malls and experience the cities past by going through museums. Either way, exploring a new city will always be an adventure to remember.

Just comment below for any questions you have. Thanks for reading!


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