Wednesday, March 02, 2011
Cagayan de Oro: Whitewater rafting in the Cagayan River
Whitewater rafting is a very popular activity for those visiting Cagayan de Oro. It was actually a visit of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Tourism Secretary Richard Gordon several years back which created a lot of buzz for Cagayan de Oro's top adventure activity. Today, there are several companies which offer whitewater rafting trips down the Cagayan River, seven companies I was told.
The good thing about the whitewater rafting trips in Cagayan de Oro is that you don't need to form a group to schedule one. All you have to do is book a trip at least a day in advance through your hotel or directly with any of the companies, and they'll pick you up from your hotel and drive you over to the Cagayan River. If you're just one or two, they'll group you with other guests, just like what we did.
In fact, this experience is so convenient, you could actually take the first flight to Cagayan de Oro, go whitewater rafting, have lunch, then take the last flight out of Cagayan de Oro.
It takes about 45 minutes to get to from downtown Cagayan de Oro to the jump-off point. Everyone is given a helmet, life jacket and paddle for the trip down the river. After a safety briefing by the crew, the group is off.
I was quite surprised that there were really young kids in another group. I asked if there was an age limit. And I was told it's the discretion of the parents since they are the ones who sign the waivers. Dangerous as it may seem, whitewater rafting in Cagayan de Oro is quite safe.
The three-hour trip takes you through a series of fourteen rapids for the regular course. If your guide is a bit naughty, he'd purposely cause the rubber raft to capsize to add to the thrill. Good thing that didn't happen to us. In some of the rapids, our guide would ask us to stand which was really fun.
In areas where the river is calm, we were allowed to get off the raft for a swim. For an extra fee, you can ask them to take photos and videos of your trip which we did.
At the end point of the trip is a restaurant called the Cabula River Grill. Their best seller would be the Lechon Baka (Php180) which we made sure to try. After lunch, we proceeded back to CDO. In fact, I had time for a power nap before taking the last flight out.
Never miss the whitewater rafting experience when in Cagayan de Oro. In fact, I'll try the advanced whitewater rafting course when I return to CDO.
Swift Travel + Tours
14 G/F Pelaez Sports Center, A. Velez Street, Cagayan de Oro City
(088) 8573897 / (08822) 727629 / (0922) 8333136 to 38
Thanks to Karlo de Leon for editing my videos from Cagayan de Oro.