Top 12 Best Things to Do in Butuan City

What are the top tourist spots in Butuan City?

The Agusan River and Magsaysay Bridge in 2019 by Herbert Kikoy via Wikipedia CC

Butuan Bucket List: 12 Best Places to Visit in Butuan City, Philippines

When we talk about Butuan City, the first thing that comes to mind is its exceptional stature as one of Mindanao’s first-class and highly urbanized cities. Butuan City is also hailed as the “Timber City of the South” given that timber once drove its entire industry and economy. Historically speaking, Butuan City also played a huge role in how Mindanao became successful today. Butuan City was one of the first established cities in the Philippines; it was named Rajahnate of Butuan from the year 1001 to 1521. It was known to be the best in manufacturing gold and boats during its glory years. Hence, the Butuan Balangay Boats was born.

Butuan is also home to some of the most beautiful wonders of nature in the country. It is, in fact, surrounded by several landscapes and mountains, giving the tourists exclusive access to the must-see destinations even in the nearby provinces. Given its historical supremacy, you can also expect breathtaking architectural buildings scattered around the city. And until now, Butuan City is still the commercial, industrial, and administrative center of the Caraga region. So you can expect some of the best infrastructures and buildings situated in this beautiful city!

Indeed, if you’re planning to visit the island of Mindanao any time soon, then Butuan City is the perfect place for you to start! With that in mind, consider yourself lucky because today, we will be talking about the 12 Best Things to do in Butuan City!

Visit the Butuan National Museum

Butuan National Museum by Paolobon140 via Wikipedia CC
Butuan National Museum By Paolobon140 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, CC

Like I always say, the best way to start exploring a beautiful city is by discovering its rich history and culture. And how do you do that? That’s right, by visiting a museum. The Butuan National Museum is home to some of the most important artifacts and pieces of history for our country.

Collections of ethnographic materials from ethnolinguistic groups like the Tiruray, Mamanua, and Bukidnon can be found here. Also, the ever-famous Butuan Boats or Prehistoric Balangay are the main attractions in this museum!

Discover Magellan’s Anchorage

Magellan's Anchorage Marker @ Brgy. Masao by kbraner via Wikipedia CC
Magellan’s Anchorage Marker @ Brgy. Masao By kbraner, CC BY-SA 3.0, CC

To further enlighten you about the rich history of Mindanao, you should also visit Magellan’s Anchorage. This site is believed to be where Ferdinand Magellan first landed and made a blood compact with Raja Siaiu. Imagine standing at the very spot where the 300-year Spanish colonialism of our country started. Amazing yet terrifying at the same time!

Tour Around the St. Joseph Cathedral

St. Joseph Cathedral of Butuan by Ryme26 via Wikipedia CC
St. Joseph Cathedral of Butuan By Ryme26 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, CC

The St. Joseph Cathedral of Butuan is also one of the most important pieces of Philippine history. It is considered the first-ever church established on the entire island of Mindanao. It is also where the first mass of Easter was celebrated.

The St. Joseph Cathedral paved the way for Christianity to still thrive in Mindanao to Roman Catholics and historians alike. Aside from its historical significance, tourists also love to admire the architectural brilliance of this structure!

Explore the Banza Church Ruins of Butuan City

Banza Church Ruins of Butuan City by Historyadororig via Wikipedia CC
Banza Church Ruins of Butuan City By Historyadororig at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, CC

Another top attraction in the historical city of Butuan is the Banza Church Ruins. This historical landmark features several aesthetically pleasing structures of the Spanish colonial era that many people may consider “Instagrammable.” Moreover, many tourists also find the history behind these ruins amazing, so it’s really worth visiting!

Cruise the Agusan River

The Agusan River and Magsaysay Bridge in 2019 by Herbert Kikoy via Wikipedia CC
The Agusan River and Magsaysay Bridge in 2019 By Herbert Kikoy – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, CC

Another perfect thing to do in Butuan is no other than cruising at the third-largest river basin in the Philippines, the Agusan River! Moreover, it is also the longest and widest navigable river in the entire country! That’s right, so don’t miss the chance to experience nature in the grandest way possible.

Here, you can admire and appreciate the beauty of nature through the vast waters and forestry surrounding the Agusan River.

Hike the Mt. Mayapay

Mt. Mayapay by Wolfgang Hagele via Wikipedia CC
Mt. Mayapay By Wolfgang Hägele – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, CC

For more than thousands of years, Mount Mayapay was considered the major landmark of Butuan City. Its “tabletop-like” appearance really caught the attention of many tourists. It is also one of the top destinations for hiking and trekking enthusiasts!

Sitting at just 675 meters above sea level, climbing Mt Mayapay is so much easier than other Mindanao mountains. Moreover, the skyline atop the mountain is also breathtaking!

Visit the Balanghai Boat Building Site

Just like what I’ve mentioned earlier, one of the most important things Butuan City is known for is its famous Balangay Boats. So, you also shouldn’t miss the chance to witness where and how these prehistoric boats are made! By visiting Balanghai Boat Building Site, this is precisely what you’ll experience!

Drop by the Bunawan Eco Park and Wildlife Reservation Center

Ah, if you want to be closer to nature by meeting and discovering some of nature’s most beautiful creations, then the Bunawan Eco Park and Wildlife Reservation Center is the perfect place for you! Aside from hundreds of different species of flora and fauna residing here, what really caught the attention of local and international tourists was the main centerpiece of the exhibition.

A photograph of Lolong during captivity by MartyWilliams via Wikipedia CC
A photograph of Lolong during captivity By MartyWilliams BY-SA 3.0, CC

Lolong, the longest saltwater crocodile ever caught! Sadly, Lolong passed away, but he still made Bunawan Eco Park and Wildlife Reservation Center a well-known institution!

Learn More at Bequibel Shell Midden

Bequibel Shell Midden photo via FB Page
Bequibel Shell Midden photo via FB Page

Another top attraction in Butuan is the Bequibel Shell Midden. If you’re wondering, a midden is the “trash” of prehistoric people. Meaning it is a repository of some of the most significant artifacts about the prehistoric life of our ancestors. These include shells and bones of animals.

Although it is one of the underrated tourist sites in Butuan, I still believe that the Bequibel Shell Midden is one of the most important spots in the city, given that it can impart knowledge to us, tourists!

Show Your Guts at Delta Eco Park

Ah, yes. If you’re looking to engage in one of the most daring and heart-pumping adventures of your entire life, then Delta Eco Park is the perfect place for you! Show your guts here as you try the record-holder of the longest zipline in Asia at 1.3 kilometers!

While you’re flying along the skyline of Delta Eco Park, you can also witness the incomparable view of Butuan City exclusively!

Relax at the Bonbon Eco Park and Leisure Farm

Bonbon Eco Park and Leisure Farm
Bonbon Eco Park and Leisure Farm

Yes, another place to relax, breathe fresh air and admire the beauty of nature is no other than Bonbon Eco Park and Leisure Farm. This well-preserved mountain resort offers some of the most relaxing and exciting activities to make your stay even more memorable! Indeed, some of these man-made attractions and naturally-made landmarks can really bring out the daring adventurer in you!

Buy Souvenirs at the Madyaw Kadyaw Souvenir Shop

Madyaw Kadyaw Souvenir Shop photo via FB Page
Madyaw Kadyaw Souvenir Shop photo via FB Page

Finally, how else do you want to end a memorable and exciting vacation by buying some souvenirs to help you remember them? Yes, here at Madyaw Kadyaw Souvenir Shop, you can easily pick and buy some of Butuan City’s finest like fresh produce, delicacies, the famous Balangay Boats, wood products, and several other items!

Butuan City Travel and Tour Packages

Searching for the best hotels, resorts, tour packages, and affordable flights in Butuan City and nearby cities? Check out our list of cheap Butuan City hotels and resorts via Agoda and Booking.

Want more updates about new package tours and tourist attractions in Butuan City that you can add to your itinerary?

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Also read: Golden Reasons Why Compostela Valley Should Be Your Next Getaway.

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