After several solo trips, I surely missed travelling with friends with whom I can share my travels. That’s why I had been looking forward to this CDO-Iligan-Camiguin trip with my high school friends since we booked it last December.
Day 1. White water rafting
Our first activity sent us right into action. Despite the lack of sleep due to our delayed flights, we still braved the 7AM tour. Most tours online require a minimum of 6 pax and since there are only 4 of us, I coordinated with our hotel to see if they could combine us with other guests. Thankfully, combined groups were pretty common so we didn’t have to pay for a surcharge. Basic rafting course without a meal costs P1200. This includes RT transfer from accommodation in CDO, one or two rafting guides and about 3 hours of adrenaline rush. The Cagayan de Oro River is the main site of this world famous rafting experience. The beginner rafting course covers 14 major rapids along 12-km stretch of the CDO river.
The starting point is 1.5 hours away from the city center. Upon arrival, we were briefed regarding the safety precautions of rafting. The orientation covers the basic commands and possible problems that may happen such as someone falling out of the raft, swimming away from obstacles, and how to properly float when in shallow water. The guides also provided safety vests, helmets and a paddle for each person. Promptly after, we were led to the raft and introduced to our two amazing guides – Kuya Glenn and Kuya Ket. Few more reminders, final gear check, and we were finally off to our adventure.
The first rapid is just about 50 m from the starting point so we were instantly treated to an exciting ride. We were all girls and all first-timers so we were easily one of the loudest groups. After each rapid, there is a long stretch of deep water where we can relax and share some stories.
There was never a dull moment with our guides. They were always either telling us trivia or cracking jokes, reminding us that we weren’t there for a prayer meeting but to enjoy. There were two photographers who were waiting for us at each rapid to take photos and videos. This way, we didn’t have to worry about taking photos and we could concentrate on the experience. In several areas, we were allowed to get into the water and swim. The water was really cold and refreshing and it was evident that the place is kept clean. However, the highlight was still the rapids and our guides who had ways to make them even more exciting.
There was a section where we were asked to stand while crossing the rapid, making us feel that we were surfing. Mind you, it wasn’t an easy task to keep one’s balance while standing and crossing the rapid but it was really fun. Most of the other groups didn’t do this, though. There was also a rapid where we we had to sit on the floor so we could lessen our chances of toppling over. The experience really varies depending on the group size, direction of the raft while crossing the rapid, and the tricks of the guides. We were able to pass through all the rapids without a glitch but by the last one, we were wiped out and so looking forward to lunch. We reached the final point at about 11:30 AM with a total time of 2 hours and 45 mins. We were tired, hungry, and would possibly suffer from body aches, but this is indeed a memorable experience and I couldn’t have wished for a better activity to kick off our trip!
Companies offering white water rafting
- P1200/pax – basic rafting course without meal
- P1400/pax – basic rafting course with meal
- P1800/pax – advanced rafting course without meal
- P2000/pax – advanced rafting course with meal
- Additional P700/group flash drive containing photos and videos
Nature’s Pensionne House – email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Standard room for 2-3 pax: 700/night