Travel Guide: Cagayan de Oro (Water Rafting)

Cagayan de Oro City (herein after referred as CDO) is also known as “The City of Golden Friendship”. It is also the capital city of Misamis Oriental. Water rafting in Cagayan river is the famous tourist attraction in the city.

After months of waiting, we’re now ready to take off. CDO, here we come!



How to get there:

We booked our flight via Cebu Pacific online site ( It took us one hour and 35 minutes before we arrived at Laguindingan International Airport.


Where to stay:

From the airport, it took us 45 minutes to reach the city proper. We asked the driver to drop us at Divisoria Plaza. Based on our itinerary, we can just walk from Divisoria going to Saint Nicholas Inn. Unfortunately, we lost our way that’s why we decided to try our second option.

We rode a jeepney going to Centrio mall. I thought our accommodation is just near the mall (because it looks near in the map) so we decided to just walk. After 20 minutes of walking, we finally found it! Tired and feeling hot, we rested and washed-up. My buddies almost cursed me when we found out that the motorella fare from the mall to our hotel is just six pesos (Php 6). What?! 20 minutes walk with baggage just to save that?

After 20 inutes of walking
After 20 minutes of walking
After 20 minutes of walking

Where to go:

After resting a bit, we went out for a city walk. We rode a motorella going to Plaza Divisoria. It is a walking distance from Gaston park and San Agustin Cathedral.

While roaming in the plaza, we saw Pidot 1971. A fried chicken and barbecue place since 1971. We ate our dinner and tried their barbecue and fried chicken.

Before going back to our hotel, we bought some groceries for snacks and drinking water from Centrio mall.

White water rafting adventure

Our second day in Mindanao was reserved for Dahilayan Adventure Park(on my next blog) and White Water Rafting. At first, I was hesitant to try because of the thought that it is risky and unsafe. But my hesitations are smaller than my curiosity. We’re already here and I don’t want to miss the experience! As I heard, you’ve never been in Cagayan de Oro if you haven’t tried riding the rafts in Cagayan river.

Each raft will have two certified river guides, helmets, and life vests.

Briefing about safety precautions, tips and techniques on how to overcome the rapids.
Briefing about safety precautions, tips and techniques on how to overcome the rapids.

Teamwork is required in this activity. Always listen to the command given by the guides because they know better how to manipulate the raft through the rapids. Paddle simultaneously to make the ride easier.

Start of beginners course; we're ready to get wet and flip.
Start of beginners course; we’re ready to get wet and flip.

There are two courses depending on how adventurous you are. 🙂

  • Beginners – Mambuaya to Cabula which will take 3-4 hours and will pass by 14 rapids.
  • Advance – Uguiban to Cabula which will take 4-5 hours and will pass by 21 rapids.


“Forward!”, “Back paddle”, “High Five!”

These are the usual commands we heard from our guide. High five are usually before and/or after rapids.

We encountered our first rapid immediately after leaving the riverbank. Kuya Budong (our river guide) said that the first one was just a warm up.

Below are the instances of some rapids that we encountered.




During the calm part of the river, our guides allowed us to get off the raft and have our refreshing swim.



Apart from the wonderful experience, we also gained new friends.

From different places, bonded by the same experience, and connected by social media
Different people from different places, bonded by the same experience, and connected by social media

We passed by a cave and a cliff which said to be a haven of snakes. And we’re approaching their territory! When we were underneath the cliff,  I felt goosebumps knowing that the snake can fall on us anytime. Kuya Budong castoff thread on me which made me scream to death. I  thought a snake had fallen on me.

After four hours of paddling, screaming, laughing and swimming, we finally reached our final destination.

We are certified rafters now!
We are certified rafters now!

For those who are looking for adrenaline rush and one of a kind experience, white water rafting is a must-try. It will not only help you gain experience but it will also help you overcome your fears and put your trust on your team.

Itinerary and budget:

As of February 2015
As of February 2015



  • At least 6 people are required for each course. If you are less than six, you can still push through but you have to pay the whole amount for 6 people. Luckily, we met a solo traveler and a group of 3. You may also ask the operator if you can join groups with others.

Things to bring:

  • Rashguard
  • Aqua shoes or sandals
  • Sunblock
  • Drinking water
  • Snacks

Our 5D/5N Northern Mindanao Exploration. Please set quality to 480p. 🙂


Happy travel!


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