What to Expect: White Water Rafting in Cagayan de Oro

Ready for a CDO adventure?
by | May 04, 2016

Dubbed as the “City of Golden Friendship,” Cagayan de Oro is known as one the happiest and most welcoming places in the country. But aside from its warm and friendly people, Cagayan de Oro draws in the crowd for being a premier whitewater destination.

For those looking for an adrenaline-pumping adventure this summer, how does traversing through the wild Cagayan de Oro River sound? Do that in the most fun and intense way possible—whitewater rafting.

Here are things to expect and more importantly, look forward to!

The Operators and the Gear

You won’t have a hard time finding operators for white water rafting. There are a lot to choose from and impressively, the prices are standardized by the local government. Prepare to shell out PHP700 for a beginner course, PHP1200 for an advance course and PHP1500 for an extreme course. Great White Water Tours and Kagay are just some well-reviewed operators.

You’ll be provided with a life vest and a helmet, which you have to wear the whole time. Wear active swimwear because you will undoubtedly get wet. And you need swimwear that won’t budge or easily fall off. The operators will also give you a paddle.

Rafting 101

If you’ve never rafted or maneuvered any sort of boat, fret not. You can definitely still try white water rafting. The operators have very knowledgeable and perfectly-capable guides that will teach you the basics of rafting. In layman terms, you’ll be taught how to paddle and heed your guide’s command words. You’ll also learn safety procedures like what to do when someone falls and which direction to swim towards when that person’s you.

Don’t worry if there are things that you don’t understand completely. You’ll be with at least one guide in the raft the whole time. He’ll walk you through the whole experience, making sure you participate actively, have the best time and remain safe.

Being with Other People in One Raft

The raft usually accommodates a minimum of 5 people, excluding the guides. The maximum is 10. Keep this in mind when you gather the gang and plan your whitewater rafting adventure. Because if you’re less than five, you’ll have no choice but to get cozy with other people.

But trust us, going on one hell of a water ride is the easiest ice breaker for strangers. The experience will require the rafters to work as a solid team. So if you’re with other people, you’ll probably come out of the experience with new best friends.

Various Rapid Levels

Consider the type of rapid your rafting adventure’s intensity level. The higher the rapid level is, the more powerful the river’s current is. When the rapid level is high, your guide will give you a heads up, “rapid ahead!” This is your signal to focus and hold tight. Stand by for paddle instructions and get ready to hold on to the raft. It’ll get very, very bumpy and very, very wet.

But there will also be times when the rapid level is low, which means calm and serene waters. If you’re lucky, your guide will let you get out of the raft, swim leisurely and marvel at the natural beauty around.

Wild Wipeouts

Whitewater rafting is no Rio Grande ride. You can’t rely on seat belts to keep you from falling off from the raft. Get very used to the refreshing cool waters because you have about a 60% chance of wiping out. Get ready for the possibility of the raft toppling over. But don’t worry, it’s all part of the fun. A wipe out just means an even better story to tell back home.

Have you tried whitewater rafting in Cagayan de Oro? Got tips? Sound off below!

Shen Mascariñas travels mainly for the unique food each destination offers and for the "I'm on vacation" free pass to pig out.

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