Cagayan de Oro is one of the most pleasant cities in the Philippines. It has great restaurants, a laid back city culture and a passion for the arts. However, CDO is more known for something totally different, its adventure spots.
I always wanted to go white water rafting, and so we headed off to CDO in the month of August, supposedly a good time for white water rafting as it was the rainy season. We took an early morning flight via Cebu Pacific, and was met up by our tour operator, Red Rafters. We arrived around 7AM in CDO, and grabbed a quick breakfast before heading off to the jump off point on the river. We were given some quick lessons. I was so excited that I really didn't pay attention to the lesson. We were joined by our tour operators, since you need at least four people to make the ride stable. I gave my camera to our driver and instructed him to take some pictures as we took off.
It was great that we left early, as the tour operators said that most of the tourists arrive at 9AM. So we had the entire river to ourselves. We took off and went straight for our first rapid, as seen in the pictures. It was exhilarating, but I wanted more. We were told that there were around 13 rapids for the whole ride. We would stop halfway for some snacks (lunch for most people leaving past 9AM), and that the whole ride would take 3 to 4 hours.
Approaching each rapid was fun, with the water splashing everywhere. We had the guides with us, so we tackled the rapids with ease. The rapids were not as wild as I thought they would be though. Our guide told us that this ride was for beginners, and that the stronger ones are found further up the river (they called it the advanced course). So this was the beginner's course. Though disappointed, I was surprised to find the ride so relaxing. In between rapids, the water calms down, and you could only hear the song of the birds and the trickle of water. It was also a peaceful ride nonetheless. The view was amazing as the landscape surrounding the river was lush with green foliage.
At the end of the course, we were told to jump off the raft and swim towards the shore. It was a great experience. White water rafting was a great ride for adventure seekers and nature lovers as well. And Cagayan de Oro is one of the best places to seize this moment.