Next to offering dives along the awesome deep sea walls at the Bunaken marine Park, the province of North Sulawesi also offers no less adrenaline-surging activities on land to lure those into extreme sports. The Ranoyapo and the Nimanga rivers offer most challenging grade 3 to 5-plus rapids that should only be ventured by experienced and professional rafting enthusiasts.
The Ranoyapo is the largest and longest river in North Sulawesi that passes through the district of Minahasa. Ranoyapo, meaning God’s large waters, is a swift and clear river, 35 kilometers of which runs through impressive tropical forests and coconut plantations, offering a variety of challenges, from mild currents to steep rapids with 10 to 20 meter gradients where oarsmen must navigate past small and large river boulders. The Ranoyapo has a total of 60 challenging rapids that can be covered in two days and one night by advanced groups. However, a shorter version for intermediate groups is available that can be taken in 3 hours. This is a grade 3 to 5+ river. Rafting starts from the Lompat Lama village near the town of Tomohon. For groups taking the long journey, overnight facilities are at a village by the river, then early the next morning groups proceed down river to finally finish at the Ranoyapo bridge in Amurang.
For those taking the shorter trip, there is an 8 km stretch for intermediate groups that takes a half day rafting.
The Nimanga river rafting starts from the village of Timbukar near Tomohon. This is a medium challenge river. Nimanga offers 25 rapids. En route you will enjoy the wonderful view, watch the wildlife, kingfishers, monitor lizards, pigeons, wild chicken and wild pigs wandering along the edge of the water.
The forests are also habitat of the Sulawesi black macaques and the tiny tarsiers. This is a grade 3 to grade 5 river. The short journey takes between 2 to 3 hours. Although there are many rapids, the Nimanga has plenty of flat waters which follow the steep rapids to make this a reasonably safe river.
Another opportunity for rafting is on the Sawangan river, which takes between one to two hours. There is a 3 to 5 km rapid passing small and big boulders. The river is near the ancient cemetery where are Minahasa’s Waruga sarcophagi.
There are a number of operators with professional instructors who can assist your adventure. Please make sure that your operator is a professional member of the Indonesian White Water Federation, called Federasi Arung Jeram Indonesia (FAJI), which is member of the International Rafting Federation (IRF).
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