About Us

We are a company wholly owned and operated by Kalinga Province locals. Our goal is to provide friendly, professional service and safe commercial river tours for all our clients. We encourage everyone to be active participants in the efforts to preserve and conserve the Chico River and its resources.


It is founded on the philosophy that the Chico River is a River of LIFE for the Kalingas and that the Kalinga locals are active stakeholders in the economic management and preservation of the Chico River. We keep alive the legacy of our forefathers that life is attached to our ancestral domains and the fundamental, enduring goodness and richness of Mother Earth. We are community based and every opportunity is given for the locals to participate in the economic activities of sport.


We pioneered in whitewater rafting and made the First Chico River Descent in 1997 from Bontoc, Mt. Province to Kalinga together with three American whitewater enthusiasts who rated the Chico River as a world class whitewater rafting destination. From thence they returned year after year with American volunteer raft guide instructors and trained Kalinga raft guides. It was in 2000 when the first commercial trip was launched with the Young President's Organization of the Philippines(YPO). We lay claims to have the country's first kayakers and lady raft guides. We did First Descents of the Pasil and Saltan Rivers with Tao Berman, a Guinness Book of Record Holder in Kayaking.

Chico River Quest, Inc. is duly registered under the Securities and Exchange Commission and operates under a business permit granted by the local government of Kalinga Province. Our main office is located in Tabuk, the capital of Kalinga Province. The operations are strictly guided under Kalinga customary laws and in coordination with the local government.

The River


The Chico River is considered the umbilical cord or River of Life for the Kalingas. Its headwaters emanate from Mt. Data and span the whole of Central Kalinga.From the First Put-In In Tinglayan to the Tabuk Take-out is approximately 72 kilometers. With its waters, run the rich political and cultural history of the Kalingas. It is one river that united the whole of the Cordilleras in opposition to development aggression. It will be recalled that in the early seventies the Chico River was supposedly the site of one of the biggest hydroelectric dams in Southeast Asia but the Kalingas successfully opposed the project. The opposition to the hydroelectric dam dramatized the struggle of the indigenous peoples to be free from development aggression and for self determination. To the Kalingas it is popularly called "KAYAKAYAM" which means crawl but it was given the name Chico Rio by the Spaniard to differentiate it from the "Rio Grande of the Cagayan".

Safety Measures & Policies


We operate under American Safety Standards and maintain cut-off levels for our river runs. Guests are required to sign liability release waivers before each trip. The minimum age for any participant is 13 years old. Chico River Quest, Inc. reserves the right to alter, reschedule or cancel any trip due to weather and other unforeseen circumstances without prior notice. Safety Lecture. This is an integral part of the river trip and is a must. Risk is an inherent part of this water sport and that makes it unique. With the safety lecture to be given by the guides the guests are given the necessary instructions on what to do in the river, how to put on the river gear and the execution of the commands given. This is some sort of a briefing to give confidence to the guest that they will be safe and so they will enjoy the trip.

Our Guides

Our guides are truly the pride of Chico River Quest Inc. They are all locals from the villages of Kalinga and from a multi-disciplined group. They are all trained under American white water professional rafting guides and have undergone the most rigorous training in the river. They have extensive training on wilderness first aid and river rescue under R-3 International and certified American Trainers in cooperation with the Philippine National Red Cross. They all have to earn their river mileage to be considered as a guide or a trip leader. These enthusiasts know the Chico River well and share a legitimate aspiration to be active stakeholders in the management and development of the Chico River as their River of Life. They all belong to the Kalinga River Guides Association (KARGA).

Facilities & Equipment


Our company maintains a base camp in Tabuk and is presently equipped with rafts (state-of-the-art inflatable & self-bailing from SOTAR), inflatable kayaks and hard-shell kayaks. PFD's, paddles, helmets and safety/rescue gear have passed American Standards for safety and quality. We use only U.S Coast Guard approved life jackets and provide guests with water proof bags and boxes for cameras. We provide necessary accommodations, meals, river shuttles, rafting gear & equipment and guide services for our clients. All you need to bring are a change of clothes and a positive attitude. Chico River Quest Inc. takes care of the rest!


Depending on the season that we have in the country, water levels at the Chico River is generally of Class III and IV based on International Scale of difficulty.

The following are the classes of rapids:

  • Class I (Easy) - River is flat with clear passages and no serious obstacles. Ideal for photo opportunities.
  • Class II (Medium) - Rapids of moderate difficulty with clear passages.
  • Class III (Intermediate/Difficult) - Waves are numerous, high, irregular, rocks, eddies, rapids with passages clear, though narrow, requiring experience in maneuvering.
  • Class IV (Very difficult) - Long rapids, powerful waves, irregular, dangerous rocks, boiling eddies, powerful and precise maneuvering required.
  • Class V (Extremely difficult) - Exceedingly long and violent rapids following each other, riverbed seriously obstructed, big drops, violent current and steep gradient requiring skillful and precise maneuvering.
  • Class VI (Unrunnable) - Risking life and limb.

The Chico River is never to be conquered but to be respected and protected.