Are you up for a challenge? -- Mapawa River Trekking
Mapawa River Trekking - Conquer Yourself
Whenever you are planning to visit Cagayan de Oro, people will always suggest that you should try White Water Rafting. This is a must try activity which everyone who visits the city should try. But more than just the White Water Rafting, Cagayan de Oro has a lot more to offer for all the adrenaline junkies out there. Are you up for a river trekking challenge?
Mapawa River Trekking may not be as popular as it's rafting counterpart but it will also give you the thrills and adventure that you are looking for. It consists of 5 stages which includes water sliding, waterfalls jumping and rappelling a 65-foot waterfalls. This is perfect for those who are looking for an extreme adventure and a must try that should be included in everyone's bucket list.
All soaked but still up for the last part of the challenge.
The Price and Package
The whole river trekking package is just worth Php1,200. It includes guide fee, park fee, safety gears, use of amenities, bottled water and packed lunch. It is a guided activity and they are very careful during the trekking. Safety is their priority. It's up to you how brave you are in fulfilling all the challenges.
Location and How to Get There
Mapawa Nature Park is located in Malasag Cugman, Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental. From CDO City Proper, ride a bus going to Bukidnon o Balingoan Port and tell the driver to drop you off in Malasag Road. From there, you can ride motorcycles or habal-habal going to Mapawa Nature Park. If you have more budget, you can ride a taxi going to Mapawa Nature Park, for just about 30 mins from the City.
You can reach them on their contact numbers: (088) 850-2580 / (088) 858-4402 / 0917-7067206.
The trek starts in the reception area where they will give you a briefing about the nature park and on what to expect in the activity. In here, you will also sign a waiver that in case of accident, they will not be liable, making you feel a bit nervous about the activity.
But you don't have to worry, they will also discuss the safety measures in the activity. They will also let you wear the safety gears such as life jackets, gloves and helmets. Make sure to leave your phones and other valuables as you will be soaked in water. They have lockers where you can leave them.
First stop. Century old tree.
You will ride a small jeepney going to the forest. From the end of the road, you have to walk towards a century old tree, the first stop. The tree is very tall and serves as a landmark of the trekking. It is good to know that they are really protecting the forest while allowing tourist to wander.
We look so small compared to the size of the tree.
From the century old tree, you walk through the forest towards the river. While walking, you can enjoy the view and the fresh air around you. Be careful though as the trail can be a bit slippery. You will hear the gushing of water which means you are already near the river.
The second stop is really the start of the river trekking. The challenge is to slide in the 20 feet high waterfall. The water is cold but we don't mind because we are very excited to get wet after 20 mins of walking through the forest.
They said that this is just a warm up in the succeeding challenges. Here they will instruct you on how to properly slide in the waterfalls to avoid injuries. The slide is not so high and the water pool below is enough for you to swim in.
Getting ready with the waterfall jumping.
After a few minutes walk, you will arrive in the third stop, another waterfall, where you will do a buddy system rappelling. It means that while you are rappelling, a guide will accompany you. It was not so high also, but the rushing of the river towards you makes it more difficult.
The 25 feet jump!
If the first three stops are just a piece of cake for you, then you have to prepare for the fourth stop - a 25 feet cliff jump. It was indeed a nerve wrecking challenge. Thankfully, the guides gave us encouraging words to jump. You don't have to worry because the water below is deep enough for you not to get hurt.
The 35 feet waterfalls slide.
If you are afraid of free fall and the 25 feet cliff jump chickens you out, you have the option for a waterslide which is a bit higher. Just be prepared to get bullied by your friends after if you are the only one who tried the water slide instead of jumping from the cliff.
All set, for the 65 feet rappelling.
Fifth and final stop is the 65 feet rappelling in a water fall, talking about saving the best/hardest for last. We were asked to remove the life vest, and wear the gloves and harnesses instead. And before we went down, the guides showed us how to rappel down properly. There is a rope wherein we have hands on training before going down.
Then of course, problem arises on which of you would go down first. If the adrenaline rush from the previous stop is not yet enough for you, then I think this stop will provide you the adventure you're looking for. Yes, it is really high when you see from above the cliff, but it is already to soon to quit.
Rappelling down in the waterfall.
The first few steps going down is really very challenging, but once you get the momentum, it will be a pleasant experience. Just follow the instructions of the guide. They will give you the commands you need to follow to avoid injuries or accidents.
When you are rappelling down, you will feel the water running in your feet. It was a refreshing experience. The cliff maybe a bit slippery, but that's part of the challenge. you just have to focus and enjoy the moment.
Enjoying the moment, rappelling down the waterfall.
The river trekking activity can be exhausting and tiring. Good thing the package includes water and packed lunch. Lunch is binalot style with rice, chicken adobo, and boiled eggs all wrapped in a banana leaf. There is a hut at the end of the river trek where you can enjoy your meal.
After eating your meal, you have to walk a few minutes towards the jeepney that will take you back to the reception area. In here, you can wash and take a bath and change your wet clothes before heading back to the city.
The half day river trekking is an adrenaline pumping activity for everyone who wants to experience something new. The activity is nerve-racking but safety of the tourist is their upmost priority. While we are doing the activities, we are always reminded to wear our helmets, but they likewise advise us to have fun. The guides are very cool and entertaining as well.
If you are planning to visit them soon, it's better to reserve a slot because I don't think they allow walk-in guests. Prepare also extra clothes as you are really going to get wet. Wearing sandals is highly encouraged also for the trek. If you have glasses, you can wear it during the activity, but at your expense if you lose it.
Overall, the Mapawa River Trekking is a must try activity whenever you are in Cagayan de Oro City. The activity is best for group of friends but a family will surely enjoy it also. However small children or old persons may not be allowed as this activity can be a bit extreme.
It's an activity that surely needs to be in spotlight, more than just a side trip!