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River Trekking / Bouldering Sibuyan


Class 2 River Trekking Destination

River Trekking is a new sport on Sibuyan Island. Mostly it has been pioneered with the goal of providing alternative livelihood to frustrate the intense pressures of commerce that would otherwise encourage mining and logging on the island. The trekking routes up the rivers have been well planned for minimum impact on the environment and maximum enjoyment for the trekker.

River Trekking Locations Around Sibuyan

Dagubdob Falls Trek

The Dagubdob Falls trek is found in the municipality of San Fernando, on the South side of Sibuyan Island. The Dagubdob Falls is a multilevel waterfall complex, with outstandingly clear water. The main route to the falls follows the river's path but a second trail is available that takes the trekker through the rainforest, from the first to the fourth waterfall. Along the way through the rainforest your tour guide will introduce you to medicinal plants & jungle survival skills, and the many varied plants and trees that have some quite surprising uses. Varieties of pitcher plants are abundant near the head of the falls while a unqiue, combined male/female flowering mangrove (dulcinea sibuyanensis), can be found in the lower reaches of the river.

Dalipi Lagoon Trail

A surprisingly interesting trek (actually more of a hike), despite its short overall distance, is the Dalipi Lagoon Trail on the Pawala River. The Pawala River is a tributary to the Magdiwang River and is most easily accessed from the weir found just beyond the Sanctuary Garden Resort in Magdiwang. This trail takes you across the Pawala River numerous times and then through a mango orchard, to the Dalipi lagoon - a deep pool on a bend in the river, good for swimming and diving. The most interesting part of the trail is variety of birds and flowering plants that you will observe along the way. When the river level is low (March through May) it is possible to trek back down the river, almost to the weir.

Lambingan Falls Trail

The closest river trek to the port town of Magdiwang is to the Lambingan Falls trail. A couple of kilometers of beautifully clear water, to be crossed numerous times; if you imbibe the forest along the way to the Lambingan Falls it will tell you of its history and of the myriad of birds, animals and insects to which it offers food and shelter. Above the Lambingan Falls is a bouldering area that penetrates the lush rainforest in the foothills of the Mt. Guiting-guiting Natural Park. Listen closely and you may hear the call of the endemic Sibuyan Bleeding Heart Dove and the White-eared Brown Dove (Phapitreron leucotis); if you have the time to wait then you may be lucky enough to see one.

Other River Treks

There are other river treks and hiking trails around Sibuyan Island such as the Cataja Falls (Magdiwang) and the Cantingas River Park (San Fernando). Almost all the most interesting river treks involve the rivers that rise in the rainforested slopes of the Mt. Guiting-guiting Natural Park, which covers approximately one third of the entire island of Sibuyan.

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Renting River Trekking Equipment In Sibuyan

River Trekking equipment rental on Sibuyan Island is a bit of a challenge and mostly you should bring your own gear. As most of the river treks are classed as low to moderate difficulty, equipment needs are minimal anyway.

Tour guides can be hired for very reasonable rates in the nearest municipality to each river. It is advisable to engage the services of a tour guide from the CASAMA Tour Guide Association if you want to learn about the totally unique flora and fauna that has caused Sibuyan Island to be dubbed the Galapagos of Asia. You can expect to pay around US$15 per location for tour guides covering trails outside the Mt. Guiting-guiting Natural Park and about US$25 for trail guides covering treks within the Park.

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