The Ultimate Travel Guide to Cagayan de Oro City
CDO, Philippines — Dubbed the City of Golden Friendship, Cagayan de Oro City is a popular tourist destination for those seeking fun and adventure. Visitors often go beyond the city to experience adrenaline-pumping activities such as whitewater rafting, rappelling, zip-lining, and many more.
In this Cagayan de Oro Travel Guide Blog, we’ll give you comprehensive budget travel tips to the “City of Golden Friendship,” with budget tips and advice on things to do and see, travel itineraries, money-saving tips, best hotels to stay in, and more.
Best Time to Visit Cagayan de Oro
Cagayan de Oro does not receive an even amount of rainfall throughout the year. The driest months are March and April, while August and September are the wettest months. The rainy or wet season lasts from June until November, with the relatively drier seasons lasting from December until May. The city lies outside the typhoon belt but is affected by the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone.
If you’re looking for the best time to visit the city, December to February is definitely the time you should visit. This is based on a number of factors, such as the weather, cost of hotels and flights, peak travel season, activities you can do, and more.
How to Get There
The main entry point to Cagayan de Oro City via air is the Laguindingan Airport, which also serves Iligan, the provinces of Misamis Oriental and Lanao del Norte, and other places in Northern Mindanao. Often called the Cagayan de Oro airport, you can get direct flights here from Cebu, Manila, Davao, and Iloilo.
The Cagayan de Oro port serves daily boat trips from Cebu (P980 via Trans-Asia), Manila, Tagbilaran, Iloilo, and Bacolod. It is among the busiest seaports in the entire country.
The city is being served by three bus terminals which serve as the gateway to other provinces around Mindanao. The Agora Integrated Bus Terminal has regular bus schedules to and from Bukidnon, North Cotabato, Surigao, Butuan, Davao, and Balingoan (for Camiguin). The Eastern-Gusa Jeepney Terminal serves trips to and from Manolo Fortich in Bukidnon and the eastern towns of Misamis Oriental. The Westbound-Bulua Integrated Bus and Jeepney Terminal has trips to and from western Misamis Oriental such as Laguindingan, Oroquieta, Ozamiz, Dipolog, Pagadian, Zamboanga and many more.
From Pasay City, Philtranco Bus offers daily trips to Cagayan de Oro City. The bus ride takes about 30 hours and the bus ticket costs around Php2,500 per passenger (USD50).
Cagayan de Oro Bus terminals
There are two bus terminals in the city: The Eastbound Integrated Bus Terminal also known as Market City and The Westbound Integrated Bus and Jeepney Terminal.
- The Eastbound integrated Bus Terminal (Agora) also known as Market City offers regular land trips to and from eastern municipalities of Misamis Oriental or the eastern part of Mindanao including Balingoan and Gingoog, Carmen, Nasipit, Butuan (change buses travel to Surigao City), Bukidnon including Central or Southern portion of Mindanao such as Malaybalay and Valencia, Davao City, Kabacan, Tacurong, and General Santos.
- The Westbound Integrated Bus and Jeepney Terminal also has regular land trips to and from western municipalities of Misamis Oriental or Western part of Mindanao including El Salvador and Laguindingan, Iligan, Marawi, Tangub, Ozamiz, Dapitan, Dipolog, and the rest of Zamboanga Peninsula including Pagadian and Zamboanga City.
Where to Stay
D’ Morvie Suites
D’ Morvie Suites is a popular choice among travelers looking for a place to freshen up or catch up on a few hours of sleep before heading to their next destination. At just P200 for 12 hours, it is among the city’s most affordable places to stay.
Online Hotel Reservation via Agoda
Address: Corner Lapasan Highway and Yacapin Street, Cagayan de Oro
Golden Pension House
If you are on a budget, you can opt to stay in Golden Pension House, which is about 500 meters away from the SM City Mall. This accommodation offers hotel-like comfort at a fraction of the cost. Rooms come with cable TVs, WiFi, hot and cold showers, and even private balconies.
Book via Agoda
Address: Golden Glow North, Pueblo de Oro, SM Bypass Road, Cagayan de Oro
Pryce Plaza Hotel
This hotel has among the best locations in that it is set on top of a hill thus giving it a great view of the city and of Macajalar Bay. Standard rooms come with a cable TV, fridge and minibar while upgraded rooms come with balconies. Room rates include complimentary breakfast and the hotel has a cafe, seafood grill by the pool, and a sushi bar.
Get discounted rates via Agoda
Address: Iligan-Cagayan de Oro-Butuan Road, Cagayan de Oro
Located very close to a bus stop, the Seda Centrio is a modern hotel that is also connected to the Centrio Mall. This place has wooden floors and modern facilities including flat-screen TVs, coffee makers and so on. Upgraded rooms have access to a club lounge that comes with complimentary breakfast as well as cocktails. Children under 12 can stay for free.
Online Reservation via Agoda
Address: Claro M. Recto Avenue, Cagayan de Oro
This business and leisure resort is located only eight kilometers from the city center. This place allows you to choose from its 26 hotel rooms and 28 separate regular and family cottages. Marco Hotel also boasts of an impressive indoor sports facility including a spa and a warm pool.
Book a room online via Agoda
Address: Alwana Business Park, Claro M. Recto Avenue, Cagayan de Oro
Mallberry Business Suites Hotel
This four-star business hotel is located at the Limketkai Center so guests are not too far from the sights and sounds of the city. It is around 50 minutes from the airport and around 3 minutes away from the city center. Facilities include a fitness center, a swimming pool, hot tub and sauna, restaurant, bar, and many more.
Get Hotel Discounts via Agoda
Address: Osmeña Street, Cagayan de Oro
Where to Eat
If there is one place you should never miss dining at when it is Cagayan de Oro, it is High Ridge. Beyond its delicious meals, mini playground, and spacious al fresco restaurant, this place offers among the best views of the city — perfect for dining during the day or even at night.
When it comes to local dining in Cagayan, this restaurant is on top of the list. What makes it so interesting? Beyond its Spanish, American, Italian, and French cuisines, the place also offers ostrich meat dishes which can be very intriguing.
Address: Limketkai Center, Rosario Cres, Cagayan de Oro
For those looking for comfort food, drop by Sentro 1850 located in CDO’s Divisoria. Right after dining, you can join in the crowds flocking the nearby bars or the busy night market.
Address: Don Apolinar Velez, Cagayan de Oro
MacArthur Memorial Marker
Perhaps the biggest military cap in the world, this marker located in Macabalan Port is dedicated to the landing of MacArthur, his family, and his team in 1942 en route to Australia. The wharf itself was once occupied by the American forces during the Philippine-American War after seizing it in the 1900s from the Filipinos.
Address: Macabalan Wharf, Cagayan de Oro
Museo de Oro
Located within the Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan campus, the Museo de Oro contains several artifacts and bones that have been dug from the Huluga Cave, a few kilometers away from the city. It also has a folkloric section that features tribal and Muslim culture.
Address: Corrales Avenue, Cagayan de Oro
Museum of Three Cultures
This museum of the Capitol University is home to several galleries including Maranao antiquities, Butuan archaeological artifacts, Higaonon and Manobo arts and crafts, Christian lowland artifacts, and many others. The place also has documents, photographs, and other memorabilia obtained from the Spanish era.
Address: Osmeña Avenue, Cagayan de Oro
Divisoria Night Cafe and Night Market
Otherwise known as the Golden Friendship Park, Plaza Divisoria becomes a bustling place where stalls for food and several types of merchandise become available for everyone. This is the best place to end the day, surrounded by cheap food and even cheaper goods.
Whitewater Rafting Adventure
When visiting Cagayan, one must never miss trying a whitewater rafting adventure. Rapids comes in four courses: Beginner, Advanced 1, Advanced 2, and Extreme, with the last one requiring a 1.5-hour trek before starting the adventure. The river where the adventure takes place is what separates CDO (left) and Bukidnon (right).
Mapawa Nature Park
This park is the best place for those who love fun and adventure. It features activities such as sliding down a 20-foot high waterfall, rappelling, jumping from a 25-foot cliff, trekking, and many more. Aside from nature adventures, it is also possible to go horseback riding, zip-lining and biking here.
Address: Malasag Cugman, Cagayan de Oro
Malasag Eco-Tourism Village and Gardens
This 7-hectare village is actually a reforested area of Malasag Hill. It boasts several replicas of tribal houses found in the region and a panoramic view of Macalajar Bay.
Address: Malasag Hill, Cagayan de Oro
Also read: Best Things To Do In Cagayan De Oro City
Originally Published on Oct 13, 2016
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