PINACANAUAN RIVER, CAGAYAN- Out of sight, out of mind as the old adage goes. They say you will easily forget the ones you have seen just for a short time but sometimes these short ones leave an impact the most and become memorable. As I am browsing old files, I’ve seen souvenir photos on my trip to Cagayan Province some years ago and has reminded me of crossing a river which only took minutes. It is indeed short but scenic and left a mark on me.
Floating raft on the clear waters
This river is named Pinacanauan River which came from a local term that means “left-most.” It is a part and one of the tributaries of Cagayan River which drains into the agricultural plains of Cagayan Valley hence serving as a source of water for irrigation and other purposes that makes the land fertile. Also, the river runs through the Callao Cave National Park in Peñablanca, making it appear as if the cave is perched on the water and the river is at the foot of the cave. Though for some this is just a part of the journey to the main attraction which is the Callao Cave, this is actually a natural attraction in its own right.
Boat dock across the foot of Callao Cave
Wooden Boat engine
A peek on the Pinacanauan river from the wooden walkway of Callao Cave.
View on the other side from Callao Cave
For someone who prefers to enjoy a relaxed sailing, the boat ride on the Pinacanauan River would certainly give you a relaxed feeling from the moment you get on the wooden boat. As it starts to move on the calm waters the vastness of the river starts to unveil and gives you a better view of the spectacular vistas. From the clear and undulating waters to the sprawling vines, lush greens and rare wild flora that grows abundantly in the surroundings the view of the river is truly a sight to behold.
It is located in a beautiful natural setting where the high rise formation of the mountains surrounds the river. The clear water, green fauna, and blue skies balance the view with gray and brown surfaces of the enormous limestone walls, large karst formations, and ancient cave complexes with underground chambers, thus making Pinacanauan River as one of the most picturesque attractions in Cagayan.
The beautiful natural setting of Callao Cave
This river is considered to be one of the cleanest rivers in the country. On the area where we have crossed, it has been said that the deepest part is only 2-person deep. Hence knowing that it is clean and there are areas that are shallow anyone would be enticed to take a dip. People are actually swimming on the river when we are crossing it.
Being categorized as class I and class II rapids on the international scale of river difficulty, you can certainly swim, and kayak on its riffle or shallow parts with smooth waves. Swimming here has lesser risk and self-rescue is easy as it has very few obstructions. While on the parts where rapids provide the kind of rough and tough challenge, you can go whitewater rafting, which is perfect even for a novice. Furthermore, since it is surrounded by mountains, it provides a venue for great adventures like hiking, climbing, and spelunking that you can engage in after water activities. Meanwhile, you can also have your picnic at the foot of the mountains near the boat dock station before or after you explore Callao Cave. Due to its stunning views and adventure-friendly rapids, a boat rowing race known as Bankarera takes place on the river every April 21 annually. For anyone who would like to enjoy the river with an event this would be the best time to come and join.
People swimming on the river
Boats and rafts on the shallow part of the river
Though the moment has fleeted my memory on the Pinacausanan River is lasting. The scenic view makes this route memorable. Looking back, when the boat I’m riding reached the river bank, I knew I had to return as crossing the magnificent river had finished. Truly it is a scenic beauty to discover. It may be short but one of the most memorable river sail that filled me with awe. My take-home memory on this would always be a calming ride on a boat while marveling at the massiveness of the structures and the magnificence of the place. For a moment it has allowed me to imagine as if I am in a paradise. Definitely, crossing the Pinacauanan River is an experience itself.