Whitewater rafting has been on my bucket list from the very beginning.
We went to Grand Canyon twice but we have never tried their famous whitewater rafting in their Colorado River.
Guess we're not ready for that back then.
But then, this year, Cagayan De Oro became our itinerary and I've heard that whitewater rafting in the Cagayan River is becoming popular.
My birthday was a good reason for my parents to agree on that extreme sports. And doing my first whitewater rafting in my home country is special enough.
Anyway, choosing a company that will guide us on the Cagayan River was hard.
There were 4 major companies that provide tours on whitewater rafting. They are the, on no ranking whatsoever,:
I can say that these companies are the best in Cagayan De Oro. It was just a matter of choosing what will fit for your group. They all have their pros, accreditation, and, of course, their cons. To choose what company will be perfect for you will really require research.
Calling each one of them and choosing proves the hardest. My priority is to have the company that allows the most daredevil rapids. I watch all their videos and Kagay, Great White and Team Bugsay was left on my list. But there was one video of Bugsay that really got me excited.
Then I want the longest. But since it's summer, the water was too low for us to start on their advanced courses and all three companies only offer the Basic Course which is 2-3 hours. Kagay stands out on this because they said they can offer the Midsection Course.
Then there was the food. Rafting for 3 hours will surely make my group hungry. The companies all have these options that included food but, of course, with the additional fee on top of the basic course fee.
The last category to consider is for our documentations. Pictures and videos are a requirement on these kinds of activities. We have GoPro but that would only give us POV of what's happening. Not a footage of us doing rafting. And we can't exactly bring our drone with us. Again, all of them offers documentations but with an additional fee.
So these what comes up on my research:
Great White Water Tours CDO - Basic Course with 2 guides
without lunch - P1,200/person
with lunch - P1,400/person
Pictures and Videos - P800/group
Team CDO Bugsay Rafting - Basic Course with 1 guide
P1,200/person - for a half-day rafting
Lunch - P400/person
Pictures and Videos - P500/group
Kagay CDO Rafting - Mid-Section with 1 guide
P1,800/person - approx. 4hrs river run
Lunch - P200/person
Pictures and Videos - P700/group
Now, the most important factor, PRICE, will weigh the largest on my decision. These computations are per person and based on a group of 6 and are updated last May of 2019:
Basic Course Package WITH food and camera:
Great White Water Tours CDO - P 1,533.33
Team CDO Bugsay Rafting - P 1,683.33
Kagay CDO Rafting - P 2,116.66
Basic Course Package WITHOUT food and camera:
Great White Water Tours CDO - P 1,333.33
Team CDO Bugsay Rafting - P 1,283.33
Kagay CDO Rafting - P 1,916.66
Obviously, Team CDO Bugsay Rafting is the cheapest if you get their package without food and Great White Water Tours CDO is the cheapest with food. Kagay was crossed off my list because, as much as a daredevil I am, I questioned their safety. The two companies, Kagay and Great White, only offered the Basic Course due to the unsafe level of water. Don't know why they would still offer the Midsection if it's deemed unsafe for others. I don't know. Maybe, they're much a daredevil than I am.
Great White Water Tours CDO and Kagay CDO Rafting also have packages that include other attractions in CDO. You might want to check it out on their websites. They will really give you a good price. We opt-out on these packages because we have limited time in CDO and whitewater rafting is priority in my list.
We ended up not getting food because the group decided early on that we can just eat lunch when we arrive back in town. (Though, during the rafting, our parents told us that we should have got the package with food.)
So, the winner for us is Team CDO Bugsay Rafting. Aside from being the cheapest, that video is a heavyweight in my decision making.
Our call time was early: 6:30 am. We dragged our feet from bed and with groggy eyes waited for our pick-up service.
We arrived at Brgy. Mambuaya around 7:15 am and we were outfitted with life-vests, helmets and our paddles.
TIP: Wear breathable clothes. Best to wear rash guards to protect you from the sun. Also, wear waterproof shoes or shoes made for water.
After the safety briefing and prayer, we head to the raft and on to our first rapid!
No water rides on amusement parks can beat our experience on this. From the very first rapid, we were totally wet from head to toe.
The weather was very cooperative that day. We were also allowed to jump off the raft and swim in the waters whenever we passed a calm part of the river.
Our guides also were very knowledgeable about the area. They keep our parents entertain with stories and facts while we kids swam and had the time in our life.
The guides also showed us a freshwater spring that we can drink on.
Tip: Bring your water bottles. From all our rough ups and downs in the river, ours stayed safe and secure in the raft. You'll surely get thirsty from the heat and the physical activity you'll be doing.
Team CDO Bugsay Rafting really has done their best in guiding us and giving us the best experience in our first whitewater rafting
Watch my first whitewater experience here: