Kalinga: White Water Rafting in Chico River


Don’t let the rain put your adventurous side on hiatus, because if there are stuff best done during rainy season, white water rafting is definitely one of them. And one of the places to to best experience the thrill of riding the wild river is Tabuk in Cordilleran province of Kalinga, the gateway to the mighty Chico River.

White Water Rafting in Chico River
Go top loading in Kalinga to best appreciate Cordillera

Tabuk is the gateway to the 174.67 kilometer long Chico River, a tributary of Cagayan River that spans in the provinces of Ifugao, Benguet, Mountain Province and the whole of Central Kalinga. Spaniards first named the river as “Rio Chico de Cagayan” or “Little River of Cagayan” to differentiate it from the “Rio Grande of the Cagayan” or what is known now as “Cagayan River”.

White water rafting in Chico River is considered by many as the best in the Philippines, with difficulty peaking to Class V and the “unraftable” Class VI during rainy season. But generally, water levels is of Class III and IV based on International Scale of difficulty.

White Water Rafting in Chico River
The starting point of Ullalim Run in Pasil

There are two levels of rafting in Chico River – the Ullalim and Mataguan Runs. For beginners, the Ullalim Run that covers the entire stretch from the Chico River tributary in Pasil to Tabuk is ideal for its Class III rapids amid the scenic surrounding. Meanwhile, the Mataguan Run that runs from Tinglayan to Pasil is best for advance and experienced with its Class III and IV rapids passing through rice terraces, narrow limestone canyons and gorges. Combining the two gives an extreme, one-of-a-kind, adrenaline-pumping white water rafting experience that you will truly enjoy.

The Ullalim Run from Pasil to Tabuk is ideal for its Class III rapids amid the scenic surrounding.

Rafters are usually based in Tabuk, the capital of the province of Kalinga or in the bigger city of Tuguegarao, Cagayan, around 40 kilometers or an hour ride on a scenic countryside. If you can, try top loading in the jeepney when you reach Kalinga to best appreciate the view of Cordillera.

Experience the adrenaline rush of the raging rapids of the mighty Chico River, go white water rafting this rainy season in Kalinga.

Adventures and Expeditions Philippines, Inc. organizes white water rafting in Chico River. For booking, reservation and inquiry, contact +639175327480.

White water rafting in Kalinga is one of our activities in Lakbay Norte 3. Lakbay Norte is an eight day media familiarization tour of Northern Luzon organized by North Philippine Visitors Bureau in cooperation with Manila North Tollways Corporation, Victory Liner, Mc Donalds, Petron and Universal Robina Corporation.


  1. Elisab

    Hi, we are interested in white water rafting in Chico river. We are advance in rafting, looking for 3-day trip or so in early December. can I get more informations? Thanks

  2. That was really a great adventure. I had witnessed the beauty of this place but never tried to have water rafting in Chico River. But I stayed in the place for months, particularly in Tinglayan, Kalinga. http://shitifujon.blogspot.com/2013/08/the-white-water.html

  3. Zita Calos

    I’ve never been on a rafting tour (on a raft for that matter). I would like to experience the Chico White River Rafting. Can I join? If so, when is the ideal month of the year for someone like me to come? How much is the fee? What do I need to bring? How many days? Where is the start point (muster point) Any other information I need to know? Thanks.

  4. vic

    which is the better rafting place this summer…the cagayan de oro or the chico river ?

  5. CDO/Cagayan de Oro rafters has been doing it commercially since 1995. And before 1995, NORRMS/DOME (Northern Mindanao Mountaineering group) were already scouting the rapids using Banana stalk/stem and inflatable interior tire and even without helmet and PFD.

    So it’s misleading to say in your blog like, “Before the rise of Cagayan de Oro as the white water rafting capital of the Philippines…”

    I agree with @Mitch above….except Sand Dunes…

    See sample upper sections of Cagayan de Oro here;

    or search for “Tignapoloan rafting run” in youtube.

    1. Thanks for pointing that out cdokayaker 🙂
      I edited the contents to correct the post 🙂

  6. Need to write my article on whitewater rafting na rin! With all the activities we did, ang hirap isulat lahat! 🙂 At least now, it’s the right season to promote this.

  7. beth d

    This is the first time i heard of it.. I’ve experience the rafts in cdo and i think this is a must try too..i will certainly try this!

  8. Interesting post! Now I’m actually feeling the urge to unleash the daredevil in me. Thanks for this!

  9. Spell ADRENALIN RUSH!! Love the experience, khit saan pa yan..CDO, DAVAO, or even in KALINGA! Rafting would still the best adventure for me… well, aside form the Sand dunes ofcourse! :p

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