Mabuhay! It means "Welcome!" in Philippines. And here, you truly are.
On Tourism Philippines Guide, you'll find friendly unbiased updated travel information for touring Philippines, what to see and what to avoid. More [+]

Cagayan de Oro

Posted by on May 7th, 2009
Filed Under: Cagayan De Oro, Featured


Cagayan de Oro City, the Gateway to Northern Mindanao, is situated along the northern shores of the Mindanao region. As a tourist destination, this golden city has a lot to offer. It is filled with outstanding scenic places ranging from beaches, mountains, limestone caves, museums, historical landmarks, timeless churches, and rivers. Whether it is business or leisure, there is something for you to enjoy in Cagayan de Oro.

As a highly urbanized metropolis, it is considered a first class city and is also the capital of Misamis Oriental. It is approximately a 5-hour drive away from the country’s biggest city, Davao, and is also just a couple of hours away from yet another tourist destination, the island of Camiguin.

Philippines Cagayan de Oro

Cagayan de Oro City: A view of the city of Cagayan de Oro bisected by the main highway of Northern Mindanao, traversing from the northwest mindanao to the northeast. The view also shows the Cagayan de Oro river almost bisecting the frame horizontally. To the bottom part of the frame is the area of Carmen, while across the river is to the east — Cagayan de Oro City Center. The highway(to the top of the frame) leads to the city of Butuan, to the bottom (and to the west) leads to Iligan.
Photo by storm-crypt

Why Not Go

If you are planning to go to a quiet place, Cagayan de Oro may not be your best choice. It is a bustling metropolis and tranquility is just not one of its strong features.

Why Go

Philippines Cagayan de Oro

Into the Rapids: One of several boats that day that started off earlier downstream. It was not a pleasant river color. The rains during the season washed away topsoil from the river banks. This rafting is classified as a Class 1. There are several other jump off points of higher levels(Class 2 and above). I don’t know if there’s a class 6 though as the river seems to be smaller to have a class 6 rafting route.
Photo by storm-crypt

There are so many things for you to do in Cagayan de Oro. From fun time frolicking in the beaches, to sports adventures and street parties, you can definitely experience it in this city. Cagayan de Oro is very well known as the White Water Rafting capital of the Philippines, too.

Best Time to Visit

Cagayan de Oro is said to be a typhoon-free area but it has not been able to escape rain showers and some depressions. The best time to go when weather is a consideration would be from March to June as it is sunny during this time.

However, if you would like to see colorful festivals and street parades, you should go there around the 4th week of August as this is the time they celebrate the Kagay-an Festival, an annual fiesta of sorts where there will be parades, street dancing, trade fairs, and a beauty contest. It is the biggest affair of the city.

Where to Stay

Philippines Hotels and Resorts

Save up to 75% on hotels in Philippines

There are expensive hotels and there are also budget-friendly accommodations in the city. For the most part though, the room rates are relatively inexpensive.
• If you want to stay in a hotel within a golf estate, you should stay at Hotel Koresco. It has an 18-hole golf course located at Pueblo de Oro Golf Estate and is just 10 minutes away from the city. Rates start at $79. Phone number (+63) (88) 859 2298
• You can also stay at a pricier place, Pryce Plaza Hotel, which is probably the most luxurious hotel in this side of the country. You get a fantastic view of the city, plus it also has the amenities of a first class hotel. Rates start at $98. Phone number (+63) (8822) 722 791
• The Mallberry Suites would be the most strategic hotel to stay in. It is a business hotel located just beside Robinson’s Mall and Limketkai so it is very convenient. The rates are pretty fair too, starting at $43. Phone number (+63) (88) 854 9999
• A much cheaper place to stay is the De Luxe Hotel, which offers spacious and clean rooms. Rates are quite low, starting at $17. Phone number (+63) (088) 857 2145

Where & What to Eat

• Peking House: for authentic Chinese dishes, this is the one place you should go. Located at Gaisano Mall, you can have a sumptuous array of food for only $4. Their specialties are: Pansit and Lumpia Shanghai.
• Sentro 1850: Great tasting tenderloin steaks you will surely find here. It’s cheap too- you can eat to your heart’s content for only about $10. You can find this restaurant along Don Apolinar Velez Street.
• P Joe’s Diner: American food at its finest, you can find P Joe’s along Limketkai Center. Good steaks, burgers and fries and pizza.
• Golden Arirang: The best Korean restaurant in town. You can try their Kimchi because it is better than most. Don’t order too much though as they tend to serve a lot of side dishes. They are located at Claro M. Recto Avenue.
• Kagay-anon Restaurant: Located at Limketkai Center, they cook authentic Filipino dishes plus you can also sample their ostrich meat cooked in a variety of ways, which is also one of the things this city is famous for.


If you happen to be there during the weekend, don’t miss out on the famous Night Café which is open only on Fridays and Saturdays. You can have some beer and grilled food. You also get to interact with other tourists and locals, as well as experience Cagayan’s street party. The city also has lots of family KTV bars such as M2 and Loreto’s. And a popular hangout for yuppies would be The Site at Limketkai Center.

My to do List

Philippines Cagayan de Oro

Whitewater Rafting at the Cagayan de Oro River: The stretch from Baraga Dansolihon to the city provides you with a panoramic view of the river’s rocky walls, untouched vegetation, and the sight of the resting haven of monkeys and snakes. It has breathtaking rapids that provide the more adventurous with thrills and challenges of rapids interval not less than 10-15 minutes of each other. Cagayan de Oro River has everything that makes for a memorable experience with awesome roar and power of water cascading over rocks and boulders.
Photo by storm-crypt

• White water river rafting: Cagayan de Oro has the best white water rafting in the Philippines, with 14 rapids stretching from Baraga Dansolihon to the city.

• Tubing and Kayaking: These are alternative activities for river rafting which you can also experience in Cagayan de Oro.

Philippines Cagayan de Oro

Macahambus Cave: Located just about 4 kilometers south of Cagayan de Oro city’s airport, this cave was a strategic location to several wars in the 20th century. It is a three chamber – two way cave, one end is beside the highway and the other exit is to a cliff overlooking the Cagayan de Oro River.
Photo by storm-crypt

• Cave exploration: You can go to Monigue Cave, which is probably the most popular place for spelunking in Cagayan de Oro.

Philippines Cagayan de Oro

Macahambus Adventure Park: The Zipline or so — that’s what they call it. What is it? Well, to put it in a more simpler way, you go up, your body get tied to a rope, the rope is attached to a steel cable, and you slide down slowly(if it ain’t close to supersonic, it’d be slow). That’s it. Thrilling? No. Life’s more thrilling, the fact that you don’t know when you’re going to die, how many people are going to betray you in your lifetime, and some idiot named satan who seems to be always trying to be disrupting humanity(I learned it from people who say that our souls are always in peril), a fragile planet that is more difficult to maintain than ever, born in a country where people don’t learn lessons from the past — I’ve got enough thrills in my life. I opt not to try this as I may just fall asleep and end up embarassing the nature park(or thrill park) organizers. Well, its fun for some though. No denying — which is why I’m here at this time.
Photo by storm-crypt

• Nature Tripping: You can check out Macahambus Adventure Park which is about 20 minutes away from the city. Here you will experience nature at its finest, with age old trees and a lot of greens. They also have zip lines and a sky bridge. Additionally, you can also go to Mapawa Nature Park where you can take a dip in a mini waterfall and do horse-back riding.

Philippines Cagayan de Oro

A hut overlooking Mapawa Nature Park
Photo by storm-crypt

• Shopping: There are a lot of ukay-ukay places in the city which is heaven for the budget shopper. You can also go to the Night Market where you can find cheap stuff, along Divisoria. However, they are only open on weekends- Friday and Saturday 7pm until 2am.

Philippines Cagayan de Oro

San Agustin Church: It is the city’s main Catholic Church and the seat of the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro. The original church was built in 1845 by the Augustinian Friars but was destroyed during the American bombardment in 1945. Only the wooden cross in front of the church survive up to this day.
Photo by erick_photomurals

• Sight-seeing: You can find historical sights in Cagayan de Oro, such as the St. Augustine Cathedral which was built in 1845; Gaston Park which is where the first Spanish settlement was located; and the Museo de Oro, which shows collections of things that Muskim tribes used in the past.
• Extras: You can also go to Bukidnon, the pineapple capital of the country where you can see the Del Monte Pineapple plantation. They also offer great tasting steaks in their restaurant. It takes 2 hours to get there by bus.

Stay Away From

Generally, it is a safe place to be in. Just stay away from deserted locations at night, and keep your valuables where robbers and pickpockets cannot find them.

Getting There

The fastest way to get to Cagayan de Oro is by plane. There are flights from Manila and Cebu daily through airlines: Cebu Pacific, Air Philippines, Philippine Airlines and other airlines such as Asian Spirit that have small planes. There are also ferry boat trips and fast crafts from Manila, Cebu, Dumaguete, and other cities. Buses for those who are just within Mindanao area are also available.

google custom search on Tourism Philippines

Roz Visarra has always been fond of travelling. As a young girl, she would travel with her parents in the Visayas and Mindanao because their relatives are from all these areas. She currently resides in Cebu, the Queen City of the South and looks forward to her next travel. Learn more about me [+]

Tourism Philippines thrives on the knowledge of the community. Got a tip, photo or even a guide on a place you been to in Philippines? We will love to hear from you!

12 Responses to “Cagayan de Oro”

  1. Grace says:

    You can try these 2 rafting companies –
    The Red Rafts
    1st Rafting Adventure

    Tried both on different occassions.

  2. shinigaming says:

    Didn’t you even try the canyoneering package while you were in Mapawa? You wasted your stay there, then.

    • Ryan says:

      Hmmm…Hi Shinigaming, I am planning to do Cagayan de Oro and Camiguin this year – do you have information on canyoneering- quite interested with that- you’re right canyoneering wasn’t mentioned in this article. I reckon you do the abseiling with waterfalls and stuff? If you can, please that info please – I may have to skip white water rafting when I am there and will do canyoneering instead.



    • Ryan says:

      Confirmed my flight to Cagayan de Oro this September – will be going to CDO, Camiguin, and hopefully Iligan and Bukidnon. :)

      • shinigaming says:

        Hi Ryan! You may contact Mapawa Nature Park for the Canyoneering package
        (088) 8584402. Minimum of five persons.. But if there are other groups, then
        I guess it’s okay to join those groups. It would take about 3-4 hours, since you
        have to trek down the river, and do some slides, and jumps, ending with
        rappelling down the falls.. And you have to get good transportation to reach
        the Park.

        September? Then it’s not really a good time do rafting.. We did rafting two
        weeks ago, and the waters were uhm, chocolate brown. Not really appealing.
        haha.. blame the rains..

        CDO-Camiguin-Iligan-Bukidnon? Whew! I say you allot more time for Camiguin.
        We went there a month ago. And there a lot of places to visit. Don’t miss the
        Hot Springs, and of course, the White Island..^^,

        you could also visit this site for pics [for Rafting, Canyoneering, Camiguin
        and also Bohol, if you want to visit the island, too]:

        • Ryan says:

          Hi Shinigaming,

          Thanks for that information! But yeah, that’s the only long weekend in September – White Island and the hot springs and the underwater cemetery is definitely on our list of must visit. We leave first flight to Cagayan de Oro and then we head to Camiguin straight away- hopefully there is boat that leaves at 7 or 8am. We do the attractions pretty fast- think of it like a slower version of the Amazing Race as I really want to cover a lot of places. The following day we head back to CdO so depending on what time we get there, I really hope to do the Canyoning (was that 3-4 hours total? going there and canyoning and back?), On our last day, Id really like to do a quick day trip to Bukidnon- so depending on the response from the office of Senator Zubiri- we will see about that side trip. We might have to forego white water rafting but we are really interested with canyoning. :) There are only two of us so I hope there are other groups we can join.

          Once again, thank you very much for that information!



        • Ryan says:

          By the way I have been to Bohol twice – very nice place and I wouldnt mind going back there but alas, I have a lot of places to cover in the Philippines so I may not be able to go back there sooner. :)

        • Ryan says:

          Hey there,

          Finally I am back from that trip- we did exactly what we did. We went around Camiguin (Guiob Church Ruins, White Island, Sunken Cemetery, Katibawasan Falls, Ardent Hot Springs, Sto. Nino Cold Springs, Philvolcs Monitoring Centre and stayed at the Enigmata Treehouse); CDO – we went to Mapawa and met one of the owners, Iggy Pelaez (grandson of former Philippine VP Emmanuel Pelaez who showed us around on a hay ride)- we weren’t able to do the zip and the rappel as it started raining and the dangers of a flashflood is all too real, so we just had some Durian at the Ranch. At Iligan, we went to see the Macapagal-Macaraeg ancestral house in Timoga and the Maria Cristina Waterfalls as well as checked out the party places in the city with our Iliganon friends (that was really fun- Thanks to Ronnie, Arnie Mejia, Pempee and Spanky Fetalvero for showing us around). We even dropped by at Opol on the way back to CDO to visit my friend’s business in the area. And then we did a quick getaway to Manolo Fortich in Bukidnon and had a delicious roast beef lunch at the Kawayanon (Del Monte Golf Clubhouse). That was some traveling really!!


  3. neth says:

    gud day! we will be in CDO on August 19-21, can you give us a list of must try foods in the area. thank you. :)

  4. pam dionisio says:

    hey guys,

    thank you for sharing information about your trips. I found it very informative since I also enjoy travelling but don’t have lots to spend.

  5. neth estrada says:

    thanks for the infos, we had a nice time in CDO, our group stayed in Mallberry suites and its Aokay to all of us coz of its strategic location, nice room & service, accommodating staff and good food. we ate at panagatan restaurant, we all enjoy the fresh and delicious seafoods. again thank you very much.

  6. leonora pickering says:

    panagatan restaurant is superb…miami inn is also a decent hotel and we stayed there

Leave a Reply