River Tubing in Sibulan River, Davao City

Looking for fun and adventure while in Davao City? Try River Tubing in Sibulan River in Darong town, Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur. River Tubing is a water sport in which you ride on an inflated tube made out of rubber tires down on a river. Having read that there is river tubing in Davao, I included this in our itinerary. Prior to our travel though, I checked with Layak Team for river tubing at Talomo River but they require a minimum of 6 people otherwise we pay for 6. With just the three of us going to Davao and on a limited budget, we opted for the river tubing in Sibulan River instead.

It's more fun in the PhilippinesFrom Davao City proper, we rented a cab going to Darong, Sta. Cruz. You can also ride a bus but we prefer a hassle-free ride 🙂 The ride is about 45 minutes. Due to lack of signage, we somehow went past the river tubing site. Here’s a landmark for those who would like to go there. As soon as you see San Miguel Davao Brewery, it means you’re near.

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 San Miguel Brewing Company in Darong, Sta. Cruz

As soon as you reach San Miguel Brewery, slow down a bit and keep your eyes open to an unpaved road at the right side of the highway. There is no highway signage so I took a pic to show you how near the right side of the road was from San Miguel. As to why I gave importance on this? When we went there, the hotel we stayed in and the cab driver doesn’t know anything about River Tubing or Ayala Agricultural Development Corporation in Sibulan. It’s better if your landmark is San Miguel Brewery in Darong, Sta Cruz and you’ll never go wrong.

Pic taken in San Miguel where you turn right after the yellow lane

Once you turn right, there is another distance of about 100 meters of bumpy road until you see a copra processing area. Turn left and that’s the place where you will have to park your car and leave your things. While waiting for our guides to prepare the inflatable rubber or locally called “salbabida”, we strolled the area first.

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My fellow travel buddies, Anna and Berns

After about 30 minutes, we were called to get ready. It seems that we still have to ride a motorbike then walk a few more meters going to the river. Good thing we were not asked to carry our own inflatable rubber disc.

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Motorbike Ride

Finally, we reached the spot. Are we scared? Yes we were but we were far more excited and thrilled! With our life vest and helmet on, we readied ourselves for the brief orientation. We were told that some waters are shallow and some are deep. In cases where our tubes flip over due to rapids, we were instructed not to panic since each of us have our own guides to save us or pick us up. Assured by this statement, we set aside our fears.

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The three of us with our guides and about to go

It looks fairly easy when you’re in the calm water. It’s like floating gently and allowing yourself to be carried away by the current.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABerns enjoying the ride

Soon the gentle shallow water has become deep with more rapids coming. It’s like white water rafting minus the paddle.

Anna1Look at Anna. Is she afraid that her feet will get wet? lol

Adrenalin Rush

Me enjoying the rapids!

Whoever says river tubing is just floating gently in a calm water is wrong since we were definitely in for a roller coaster ride!

Berns 3

The guide at the back 

As you can see, our guide is at the back. Our rubber disk has a a rope tied at the end so that the guides can hold unto the ropes. This is to ensure that the tuber won’t get lost in the rapids. It also helps them control where tubers go.

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Splash splash splash

Soon the water becomes deeper and the current becomes stronger. The little rapids we experienced during the first half now turned into big rapids. The first one whose tube got flipped over and toppled was Berns.

Berns 2 lol

 The guide trying his hardest to manuever Berns over the rapids

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Berns falling out of the tube

The manuever was not successful as she falls out of the tube.The guide was able to grab her immediately so she was not carried away by the current. Anna and I were laughing out loud while looking at them (of course we know she’s in safe hands so we’re not worried) and little did we know that we would be experiencing the same thing and much worser. Indeed, karma is digital 🙂

Joy lol

My pic before I fall out of my tube

Here you can see me still enjoying the ride even with the big waves looking happy 🙂 After this, I fall out of the tube and the water was deep. The guide momentarily lost me and I was carried away by the current. Everything was so fast! Good thing I bumped into a big rock which stopped me from being carried away. My whole body pressed unto the rock. I can feel the huge water gushing out on me. I can feel the strong current. If not for the huge rock I would be carried away. Minutes later, two guides were lifting me up. Whew! Good thing I was wearing a helmet and life vest. I remember hitting the rock with my helmet and the vest serves as a cushion so I was not hurt.

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Smiling Anna prior to her tube flipping over

Now comes my friend Anna whose tube flipped over too! It was worse for her because she was carried away by the strong current and the guide was able to catch up on her only at the shallow water. During briefing, we were instructed that if such things happen, just go with the water flow and you end up in shallow water anyway. Well, provided you don’t drink that much water 🙂

Rock Cimbing

Our guide climbing the cliff without any safety harness

Halfway through, we rested. Not that we really needed rest. My suspicion, our guides must have been exhausted! lol Just kidding! While resting, two of the guides showed us their skills in rock climbing without any safety ropes. We held our breaths while they climbed. It was very risky for them to do it but they claimed they have been doing it since they were kids.

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One of the guides diving after climbing the steep rock

After the much-needed rest, we continued our tubing. The water was already calm. This time, we were just floating gently down the river until we reached the site. As we alighted from our tube disks, we took a dip first of the cool fresh water.

??????????????????????I can’t help but swim in the cool fresh river

Our expenses per head is close to P400 pesos all-inclusive.  It consists of having your own guide (which is very important), tube rentals and motorbike to the river.So whether you’re a solo traveler, you can take part of this water sport. I’m glad we went to this place. I tell you, it was worth the fun and adventure!

11 thoughts on “River Tubing in Sibulan River, Davao City

  1. Mj

    Hi ma’am just wondering if may place n pwede pagiwanan ng gamit while doing the activity at kung safe nmn n iwan lng things? Saka gnu po katagal yung activity? Thanks.

    1. Joy Post author

      Iniwan lang namin gamit dun sa bahay kung san kami nagpalista para sa river tubing. Wala nman kmi valuables na dala. Damit pampalit lang 🙂 Safe naman kse wala nawala sa gamit namin and besides, magkkaron sila bad record pag may nawala. Yung activity half day. Worth the experience.

  2. Joy Post author

    Hello. Unfortunately, nawala ko phone number nila. You don’t need to reserve. Wala din sila fb. Pumunta lang kmi dun sa place nila 🙂

  3. Joy Post author

    Hi Dang,

    Sorry for the super duper late reply. No need to reserve. Just go there. No fb account nor contact number. I’m so sorry. Pero di kayo mawawala basta sundin nyo yung sinulat ko 🙂

  4. Joy Post author

    Hi Dang. Nawala lahat numbers ko when I changed my phone. Wala din sila FB account last time I asked. Still you can go there kse wala naman reservation. Advisable is 7-8am andun na kayo para di ganun kainit. Andami naman available na guides once ur there. You will love it there. Mejo mas exciting kesa sa white water rafting kse kaw lang mag isa but you’re safe naman…

  5. Zenna D.

    hi! do you mind sharing your guide’s contact number? we’re stoked to have the same experience!!! thanks in advance 🙂

    1. Joy Post author

      Hi Zenna, unfortunately I lost my contacts sa old phone ko. Just go there. No need for advance reservation. Pag andun ka na, madami naman sila. Mas prefer ko to kse wala required number of people. Solo traveler or groups pd. Affordable din. Sulit. You will enjoy it!

  6. Trisha Monica

    Hello! Thank you for this ma’am! It would be nice to go to Sibulan river for some river tubing. But I would like to ask. Did you contact a guide before coming to Sibulan River? Or were there available guides waiting there for clients to come? Hoping for your reply Ma’am! 😀

    1. Joy Post author

      Hi, sorry it took me so long to reply. We did not contact any guide. Just go there and there are available guides waiting for you! Magagaling sila. Strong swimmer and they know what they are doing. You’re in good hands!

  7. Teresa Giesecke

    Wow, thank you for sharing your experience in such vivid details! While reading, I felt as if I was there watching you guys, lol! Nice blog, keep it up!

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