Other than a gastronomic tour of Roxas City’s fresh seafood, another way of appreciating its surrounding nature is by taking a river cruise in Palina River or in Cadimahan River. On either location, bamboo raft huts are made available to a group of guests, where they are serenaded, massaged, or served with seafood lunch while gliding along a calm green river for two hours.
Because Roxas city is teeming with marine life, its natural resources were eventually exploited, its rivers overloaded with fish pens and its trees depleted to make way for charcoal production. To prevent irreparable damage, the local government stepped in before it was too late. Thus, in 2006, the Palina Greenbelt Ecopark was established, with newly built venues for guests, and the local fishermen now trained as tourist guides, cooks, singers, and even massage therapists. This ecotourism provided new jobs for those affected by the banning of excessive fishing, while simultaneously giving an avenue for the rehabilitation of the once dying Palina River and its mangroves.
Guests can ride floating cabanas that would cross the Palina River. There they will pass by mangroves, see different fishing contraptions and fishermen at work, and witness the sea where the river flows to while locals sing Capisnon folk songs in the background. Upon request (and with additional reservations), lunch may also be served, as well as other services like a traditional Filipino massage (hilot), mangrove tree planting, fishing, and shell gathering. From time to time, rare birds can be spotted in the river too, including the Mangrove Blue Catcher, Egret, and Black-winged stilt.
The Cadimahan River tour offers the same attractions and services like the one in Palina River, except that the bamboo rafts are stationary.
Getting to Palina Greenbelt Ecopark from the city proper consists of a 30-minute tricycle ride to Barangay Cagay, Sitio Cablatan. On the other hand, a tricycle ride from Roxas city to Sitio Lawis will take guests to Cadimahan River, where the second river cruise is located.