Cagayan de Oro City, the capital of Misamis Oriental, is the entryway to Northern Mindanao. It is one of the places in the Philippines where you’d happy to return to because of its people’s kindness; they have the good produce of fruits- the sweetest lanzones and mangosteen. A place where nature and city living traverse. The land is rich and vast with resources.
“CDO” as what we popularly call it. A city that is home to half a million people and is known to be a regional and shopping capital Northern Mindanao region. Never miss the Night Cafe and Market, where locals and tourists gather in the streets of Divisoria on weekends to enjoy solid barbecues on the street, local food delicacies, street stalls for shopping and music.
On the other side of the city and a mandatory activity when you are in Cagayan De Oro is to experience their whitewater rafting adventure/tour. Rafting and white water rafting are recreational outdoor activities which use an inflatable raft to navigate a river or other body of water. It has been categorized as an extreme sport and it also dates back since the 1950’s, if not earlier.
Cagayan de Oro is famous for its White Water Rafting Adventure. In fact, it is considered as the whitewater rafting capital of the country which locals and tourists alike are looking forward to a fun and invigorating adventure. White Water Rafting is a recreational outdoor activity that uses an inflatable raft and paddles to navigate on a river.
The CDO river is the perfect whitewater destination mainly because of its dynamic rapids. There are a total of 21 rapids that you need to go through in the course of your adventure (depending on your level). The simpler, easier rapids are for beginners, while up ahead lies greater challenges for the more daring rafters. As you go through the river, the water velocity increases and you are forced to match this with your unbounded energy. All the while, the cool waters splash on you. There are areas in the river where you just need to paddle along and relax or even stop your raft and jump off for a quick swim. You hear nature’s sound cascading in the background.
I was a bit hesitant to do this activity because I’m pretty bad at swimming. Good thing my friends are superimposing and won’t take no for an answer. It was definitely the highlight of my CDO trip.
By Air (from Manila)
For tourist outside the Philippines check out the cheapest flights going to Manila and Cagayan De Oro thru Kiwi.com, they find you the lowest rates across hundreds of airlines with a guarantee from canceled flights, rescheduling, and delays.
By Land and Water
Although we haven’t tried this as an option as it is pretty time-consuming. We’re still linking you the information for option purposes.
- Philtranco buses offers Manila(Pasay/Cubao) to Cagayan de Oro,42 hours travel time
- SuperFerry, Negros Navigation and Sulpicio Lines have ferries bound to Cagayan de Oro City. 30 hours travel time.
From CDO town proper to the river
Note: Jeepney transfer going to the white water rafting location is inclusive when you sign up with Kagay.
Pick up time:
|Morning Trip||7:30 AM|
|Afternoon Trip||12:00 PM|
The trip to the Cagayan de Oro start river starts in the Kalatungan Mountain Range, the central portion of Bukidnon, flowing towards Cagayan de Oro for about 90 kilometers and ending at the Macajalar Bay. The river serves as a natural border that separates Bukidnon and Cagayan de Oro. At the starting point of your Whitewater Rafting trip, the right side is Bukidnon while the left side is Cagayan de Oro.
I recommend staying at these hotels (prices are subject to change and with your budget of course)
Mid-Range (with good user reviews from TripAdvisor)
- Stonestown Sweets (1,700php or 34USD)
- Seda Sentrio (2,750php or 55USD)
- Emerald Suites CDO (1,100php or 22USD)
- Red Planet Cagayan De Oro (1,100php or 22UDD)
Budget-friendly that are ranked from lowest price. CLICK HERE
Note: you may opt to book directly to links mentioned above or thru TravelBookPH on the upper right side of this article.
White Water Rafting is a group activity and also considered an extreme sport as it deals with powerful whirlpools of waves also known as the “rapids” all throughout the sail. It also requires you to have a substantial knowledge on analyzing water behavior. An assigned raft team leader professional will be part of your group to teach, help maneuver the transport and. Please take note that teamwork is pretty vital to finish the rapids. Dealing with risk and the need for teamwork.
- Lower Section 1,200php or 24USD / head
– (Approximately 3hrs River Run ) 14 Rapids
– Class I-II Minimum of 6 pax
- Mid Section 1,800php or 36USD / head
– ( Approximately 4hrs River Run ) 24 Rapids
– Class II-IV Minimum of 6 pax
- Upper Section 2000php or 40USD / head
– ( Approximately 2hrs River Run ) 14 Rapids
– Majority are Class III Minimum of 6 pax
- Jeepney transfer from City Tourism Showhaus, DV-Soria or at your Hotel within the city.proper to Put-in.
- Group guide
- Safety gears: Helmets, life vest, and paddles
Add on optional:
- Lunch plate (200php or 4USD)
- Photos/Videos (500php or 10USD)
- Caving/Spelunking: P1,200 or 24USD/head minimum of 6 pax
Visit Kagay’s main website for more info. Click here.
- Wear a Life Jacket. Make sure it is snug and buckled!
- Listen to your river guides/team leaders.
- Wear proper shoes – no flip-flops, slippers, or bare feet.
- Help your fellow rafters back into your raft if they fall into the water.
- Have fun!
- Do not stand up in moving current. If you unintentionally fall into the water, make sure to float on your back with your toes pointed up, facing downstream.
- Do not use your paddle as a splashing device
- Avoid fallen debris and trees/branches in the river
We spied a gem-green stream in the forest. It was seeping and dribbling as it swerved through the trees. Although the activity is high intensity there is a certain kind of calmness that you can feel around the environment.
There are plenty of things to do in Cagayan De Oro, but their white river rafting shouldn’t be missed.
Experience the hospitality of its people, they wouldn’t be named as “The City of Golden Friendship” if not for their endless smiles.
As we always say go forth and wander! and be a storyteller when you return home.
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