WHITEWATER RAFTING is perhaps the most iconic image when one speaks about Cagayan de Oro City.

The aqua-adventure along the overstretched and wild Kagay River has gained popularity over the years and has taken the city to a significant spot in the national tourism circuit.

Barangay (village) Mambuaya is set as jump-off point for this flowing overdrive fun. Getting there is already a treat. The panoramic view of the city on the right and a sneak peek of the river on the left partly hidden by the thick foliage of trees welcome every visitor with that sense of excitement that lies ahead.

After donning life vests and learning the rafting safety measures, everyone is ready to get wet. From frightened to bold, from anxious to excited, the riders start to transform the place into a huge playground.

The river’s crystal water that runs riotous through the massive boulders and hemmed in by a thick canopy of greens separates the provinces of Misamis Oriental and Bukidnon. Its seemingly unpredictable gushes provide that fearful surprise.

Decibel-breaking screams are unleashed as the inflatable flies over the rush of powerful rapids. Its thrilling water torrents bring out the cheerful beasts from its fearless wave riders.

Float and feel

But Kagay is not at all an unforgiving river. After surpassing several heart-pounding rapids, there are placid pools of clean water. Float and feel the soft rays of the sun on the face and hear the thumping of the heart reverberating in its deafening silence.

The paddling and screaming continues until one reaches Barangay Kabula where a hearty lunch awaits.

From basic to advance, from 14 to 20 swollen Class 3 and Class 4 rapids, Cagayan de Oro will always cater to whatever your rafting fancies are. Now that air fares go on maddening sale every so often, many domestic tourists fly down south to join the exciting weekend rafting trail.

For first time rafters, it is best to arrange ahead with local rafting guides to maximize every opportunity of fun.

Paddle and swim. Speed and swim. Experience Cagayan de Oro’s unbeatable water overdrive.

article by Potpot Pinili of Philippine Daily Inquirer

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