DIY Cagayan De Oro Trip (Itinerary, Budget, Accommodations)
3 risk-taking adventures in one visit. Where all to start but at the adventure capital of the Philippines, and that’s no other than Cagayan de Oro.What are these 3 adventuresome activities? Here are they:
Situated in the mouth of the largest river discharging in the northern central Mindanao, the Cagayan River, Cagayan de Oro offers many watersports adventures for adrenalin junkies which include but does not limit to river trekking, kayaking, and whitewater rafting with the latter gaining the most popularity these days. You haven’t been to CDO if you haven’t experienced the thrill of rafting along the Cagayan river.
The representative of the premier river rafting provider, Kagay, picked us up from our hotel at 8am right after our breakfast. Two hours later, we found ourselves wearing life vests and water sports shoes to climb the raft after a brief orientation. We needed to overcome a total of 7 rapids as part of the beginner’s group.
In between rapids, we swam, took photos of the natural scenery and watched children crossing the river just to go to school. Sometimes, we had to stand up with both feet clutched in the raft while paddling every time we grappled with the energetic rapids.
At other times, we remained seated while still propelling our way out of the current. The important thing is we paddled because according to our guide, the more we just try to hold the raft without rowing, the more we’ll fall. Excitement got the better of us every time we reached a rapid.
And this was how we felt seven times for 3 hours until finally we’re done with the final rapid and safely landed on the other side of the river where the jeepney driver was waiting for our departure. The experience was truly nerve-wracking, but at the end, it was fun frolicking with the river.
Beginners Course P700 / head – ( 3hrs. Actual River Run ) 14 Rapids – Minimum of 6 pax/(Optional): Pictures P500/CD
From Laguindingan Airport, you can find a good deal of vans to choose from to bring you to the city center or at your hotel, all charge at a fixed rate of 150php per person.
After the water adventure, we are ready to set for another one when the sun greeted us the next morning. We rode a jeep gang to Lumketkai mall, in the city center, which is a stepping-off point for excursions to Dahilayan park or Iligan falls.
We were in tight spot deciding between the Dahilayan park or Iligan falls as we only had one extra morning for a short trip before heading to Camiguin. In the end, we chose the former and skipped Iligan for the meantime.
Riding a bus is a common means of transport to get to the said park but since schedule of the first bus to leave was in the afternoon, unfortunately, time didn’t permit us to do so. In its place,we arranged a trip with a taxi driver. Negotiations and haggling are a must. We settled at 1000php for a roundtrip ride to Dahilayan from the 1500php original charge. Not bad. The ride was as comfortable and relaxing as meandering around the Camp Philips which became our side trip to Bukidnon. Bukidnon is home to the vast Del Monte Pineapple plantation where nearby housing base camps were built in 1926 for the farmstead workers.
Regarded as the food basket of Mindanao, no visit to Bukidnon would be complete without paying a visit to one of its largest, known fruit plantations, the pineapple in a community situated at Manolo Fortrich.
10 minutes away from the park, I could already sniffed the scent of a mild perfume from the pine, coniferous trees which abound in every bend. The moment I stepped out of the car, I could felt the sweep of the wind which is as cool as Baguio.
My sleeveless shirt and shorts didn’t shield me a lot from the cool and breezy Bukidnon climate. Quivering at first, I suddenly perspired as soon as I was called next to prepare for the zip line.
Even before the regulator started counting, I was already complaining that the covering wasn’t wrapped carefully around my body, and then I began shouting when they released me from the clutch. Passing above the towering shrubs and trees and electric wires made me scream the entire minute of zip lining. Until I saw myself getting off, I stopped and sighed. Aside from this zip line, there are other challenging activities you could try.
Beside the forest park is a children’s park. Different playing equipment’s are installed and statues of various funny-looking creatures are placed for picture-taking.
In the afternoon, we are scheduled to leave CDO for a half-day ride to the enchanting Camiguin Islands. The 5-hour travel was so exhausted and unimaginable. First, we endured an hour drive from Agora terminal to the Balingoan terminal which costs at 120/pax worth.
But the couple who sat in front of us told us that the fare should only costs 100php each. Anyway, we already paid the collector and bus was about to leave. Upon arrival at the terminal, we need to wait for one hour for the last trip departure of the ferry. During the waiting time, a lady chattered with us and right away she organized a tour for us for tomorrow, courtesy of her husband’s habal-habal tour.
Later we learned from our lady-turned- tour guide that next week is their Lanzones festival, and it is easy to understand why it took us another hour before getting to the ferry since it had to dispatch all the hundreds of passengers and cars arriving for the grand festival. Camiguin is famous for its sweet lanzones. And it is so cheap too. A kilo of lanzones costs only 25 php.
The rough sailing gave me a little nausea but I can’t show it to our new found lady friend who’s keeping us alive with her endless stories about the history and current happenings in Camiguin.It was already dark when we arrived at the Benoni port. After the 30-minute jeepney ride, we relaxed ourselves by dipping in the hot water of Ardent hot springs. If only we had more time, I could’ve soaked up more my tired body and showered my dusty hair at my own pace in the relaxing, therapeutic hot water. But no, we need to get back to our lodge and sleep.
We found ourselves in a full-packed island tour the following day starting off with the famous White Islet. The C-shaped Island (which is more emphasized during summer) faces the 3 main volcanoes of Camiguin which offers more scenic backdrop.
We circled the islet in 5 minutes and spent the rest of the hour snorkeling. Time’ s up to return to the main island before 8am. Completing the tour around the island is feasible in a day with its 92 sq meters in area, as long as you won’t overstay in one of its tourist attractions.
We didn’t regret changing our accommodation from a small room inside the owner’s house, which we reserved online, to a more comfortable, bigger nipa hut-styled lodge which both cost the same price of 900php per night. The nipa hut is just outside Myrna’s mansion.
The jam-packed tour was almost perfect except that I forgot that Camiguin has already an airport for direct flight to Manila and vice-versa. This should have saved us more time and energy from waking up at 3 am the following day to travel and to reach the Cagayan airport before the 9am flight back to Manila by van. But we did. What a 3-day adventure it was!
Breakfast- 100 Php
Van (from Camiguin to airport)= 465 Php
Taxi (Agora market to Laguindingan airport)=600 Php (/2)= 300 Php
- Airfare: 4K Php (roundtrip promo deal via Jetradar)
- Accommodation: 908PHp
- Tours /Entrance Fees/ Misc: 2,280PHp
- Overland Fare : 1, 558 PHp
- Food: 1,158 Php
TOTAL- 9,904 Php (10K)
Related post: DIY Camiguin Island 1 Day Tour
Do you have exciting adventure this summer? How was it? Please feel free to comment.
Disclaimer: Price may vary and may change any moment as the ones indicated in this post are based from our travel in this area last 2017.
If you like this post, don’t forget to share it on or connect with me via the following social media accounts:
Instagram – anna_laviajera
Twitter – @Anneposequit