July 14, 2012

Whitewater Rafting at Cagayan de Oro

Whitewater rafting in Cagayan de Oro River is one of the main tourist attraction of Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines. The river also serves a boundary between the province of Bukidnon and Iligan City and between Bukidnon and Cagayan de Oro City. It has 34 or more breathtaking rapids and also scenic views.
Cagayan de Oro River
After a relaxing 2 nights at Camiguin Island, we tried Cagayan de Oro's famous whitewater. We got Great White Water Tours as our guide. We got the half day package for P1,999 per person with group of 8. Our package includes hotel pick-up from De Lux Hotel, passing through 21 rapids, professional guide, lunch and snacks, transportation and Zipline (320m + 150m + 840m) in Dahilayan Adventure Park.
Private Transportation from De Lux Hotel to Great White Water Tours
Our call time was 6AM but I think we departed from our hotel around 7AM.
Private Jeep Transportation
The Great White Water Tours is just few minutes away from our hotel.

Great White Water Tours Compound
Great White Water Tours Rafts
Upon arrival, we are required to register and sign waiver forms. All valuables will be put inside a big bag. Per group will be assigned one bag and will be sealed and locked until the group returns.

How about taking pictures with your camera you ask? They have a designated photographer which you can give your camera and he will be the one to take pictures while you are rafting. Of course you will need to sign a waiver form that says that if the camera got wet or dropped, the photographer or the company is not liable. But no worries since the cameras are put is a waterproof bag and the photographer only takes it out when he is on dry land. What he does is he overtakes the group a few minutes ahead and stops (usually outside of his raft) and waits for the group to pass him by. One of my friend has a DSLR, that's how I got the   lovely images while rafting.
Great White Water Tours
After all that, we went on a few minutes ride to the starting point.
Unloading the rafts
As the guides were unloading the rafts, we were busy buying. In case you didn't bring water, I suggest you buy one. Direct contact with the sun while wet is really dehydrating. Also I would suggest wearing arm stockings or long sleeves and leggings or dry suits to cover your body. The scorching sun is no joke, it's like being in the beach with no shade for 4 to 5 hours. But if you're like me who don't care about the sunburns then you'll end up just like me in the photo below. What can I say, I have lady legs. LOL
Small Shop before rafting
Legs with sunburn
Our starting point is at Ugiaban Bridge. The bridge is a connection between Bukidnon and Cagayan de Oro.
Ugiaban Bridge
Starting Point at Ugiaban Bridge
Before starting our adventure the guide gave simple maneuvering instructions. Actually you really don't have to do much, since the guide controls the raft for you. But your paddling can make a difference so paddle fast.
Boarding the raft
Notice that the water is color brown but they call in white water? It turns brown whenever it rains in the area,  it's mostly like because of the soil from the mountains.
Mountain views
Going overboard while in the rapids is not fun specially if you don't know how to swim. But don't worry, the you have two professional guides with you. You can tell them to how much they assist you in steering, speed, etc. How fun or intense your rafting experience is will depend on what you prefer and your guide will gladly give you what you want.
River Rapids
Huge Wave
The rapids intervals usually is around 10-15 minutes. So what you get between those rapids is a beautiful and peaceful scenery. You can even get off and swim. Snacks are also included in the package, we ate pastel sandwich and juice. 
Cagayan River
The calm waters won't bore you since the guides have hilarious trivia that will make you laugh hard. They have stories for every rapid. 
Calm Waters
The first few rapids are simpler and usually shorter.

Cagayan de Oro River
Beautiful Reactions
In one of the rapids, the guide will ask you to stand up. This is really tricky since your running down a rapid. Remember to keep your balance.

Our Group
Lucky my friend didn't get tossed out. LOL
This one's fun. Not sure if this was the "kiss the rock" rapid. Too bad we didn't go as fast as the guide wanted.

As I said before, how intense your experience will depend on what you request. So we requested our guide to make us capsize or tip over. And wow what an experience, which I will never asked for again. Basically I don't know how to swim and I'm scared of deep waters but I am a thrill seeker. So what the guide did was at the middle of the "rodeo" or "360" rapid, he asked us to all go to one side. He turned us until we capsized. The scary part was I was stuck under the capsized raft. I couldn't breath and couldn't see anything. I tried to dive out but could not get out. After a while the guide was able to turn the raft. While I was gasping air, I was still in the middle of the fast rapids. It was hard to float since I was a bit in panic, I even rolled in a huge bolder. Finally the guide saw me and threw the rope at me first. Whew! Not fun when your in the rapids!

We passed by beautiful rock formations and caves.
Rock Formations
Rock Formations and caves
Inside a Cave
Finally we reached the end point.
End point
Our ride back
You can buy few small souvenirs at the end point. Like refrigerator magnets, key chains, cellphone chains, etc.
Ladies selling Souvenirs
After a tiring and exciting adventure we got to finally eat. The food they provided was roasted chicken, liempo, fruits and some drinks.
Chicken, Liempo and fruits
Chicken and Pineapple
Weird names for the rapids.
List of rapids
After resting for a while, we transfered to a van and went to Dahilayan Adventure Park for Zipline.

A must try activity in Cagayan de Oro. If you never try rafting and this is a great place to start. Very friendly and professional guides and will always make you laugh and safe. Awesome experience. But be sure to request for an afternoon schedule if you don't to get too much sunburn.

Great White Water Tours Price per Person:
GreatZip Tours Package C - P1,999/ pax 

Transportation back & forth Cagayan de Oro/Brgy. Dahilayan and City Proper/Rafting Area, Lunch & snacks (during ziplining) and lunch & snacks (during rafting), All rides on ziplines (320m + 150m + 840m), 21 rapids Water Rafting (advance)

More Packages at http://www.dahilayanadventurepark.com/greatzip-tours/

How to get to Great White Water Tours:
Upper Carmen, Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental, Philippines

Great White Water Tours Contact Information:

1 comment:

Inside South East Asia said...

that's a really cool adventure. been invited to try this twice but was too tired to do it during my visit to CDO. looks like a fun experience, thanks to you photos and blog.