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Traveloka PH

28 Dec 2021 - 10 min read

Maligayang pagdating sa Cagayan de Oro! Let’s Revisit the Wonders of North Mindanao!

Cagayan de Oro (CDO), located in Northern Mindanao, is a vibrant and modern, multi-cultural city. It is also the capital of the Province of Misamis Oriental. The city is considered among the safest and one of the most progressive cities in Northern Mindanao. It boasts of multitudes of gourmet restaurants, fine hotels and is also considered the shopping capital of the island.

Due to the hospitable nature of the kagay-anons, the city has earned the nickname the "City of Golden Friendship''. Travelers can always find that Cagayan de Oro will always offer its visitors a special welcome wherever their origins may be.

Cagayan’s history is long, rich, and diverse. Archaeological findings dating back to the Palaeolithic Age indicate that the ancestors of modern humans had settled in Cagayan as early as 500,000 years ago.

Evidence shows that commerce and trade were practiced by its inhabitants and further flourished with the Japanese, Chinese, and other neighboring Asian countries even before the Spanish colonists reached their shores.

There is also evidence that agriculture has developed very early in Cagayan than in any other place in Asia based on the presence of centuries-old churches and other religious relics, archaeological sites of nomadic tribes, and the richness of its local language and culture.

How to get to Cagayan de Oro

There are a few ways to reach CDO depending on your budget and preferences. If you’re planning to visit for a couple of days, the best choice is to go there via plane. Other methods such as sea or land take up more time but could also be an interesting experience.

Traveling to Cagayan de Oro by Air

You can easily book plane tickets to Cagayan de Oro via Cebu Pacific, AirAsia, or Philippine Airlines (PAL). Prior to the pandemic, Cebu Pacific and AirAsia offered direct flights every day, while PAL flew twice a week thrice. You can book flights for as low as PHP 1000-2000 or even lower when you book within seat sale promos. You can even get direct flights from Cebu, Iloilo, Davao, and more.

From Manila

From the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, you can reach the Laguindingan Airport after approximately 90 minutes of travel.

From Clark, Cebu, Davao, or Iloilo

Philippine Airlines also provides direct flights to Cagayan de Oro from other main parts of the country, such as Clark, Cebu, Davao, and Iloilo.

Traveling to Cagayan de Oro by Sea

If you’re not a fan of flying by air or you’re nearer to a port, you can travel to CDO via sea. Depending on where you’re coming from, it could take more than a day to get to Cagayan de Oro. The Cagayan de Oro port is one of the busiest seaports in the country. It offers boat trips to Cebu, Manila, Tagbilaran, Iloilo, and Bacolod. Traveling by sea is longer than most types of transportation, but it is a more cost-effective way. Tickets range from PHP900 or lower depending on the location you’re coming from.

From Manila

2Go Travel sails two to three times a week from Manila, going to Cagayan de Oro. Because of the distance, it can take 35 hours or more to reach your destination.

From Cebu

Trans-Asia Shipping Lines also sails daily from Cebu going to Cagayan de Oro. Coming from Cebu will cut your trip time much shorter, which would take less than 10 hours.

Traveling to Cagayan de Oro by Land

Many terminals from different areas offer bus trips to CDO. The travel time from Metro Manila to Cagayan de Oro by bus takes approximately 30 hours. There are also bus lines in Pasay that offer daily trips to CDO. Tickets can range from somewhere between PHP2000-2500.

From Manila

The Philtranco bus offers daily rides from their Pasay terminal to Cagayan de Oro. It takes around 30 hours to get to CDO from Manila.

From Davao

You can take the Davao City Overland Transport Terminal bus and reach Cagayan de Oro in under eight hours. They have multiple trips every day that you can choose from. You may also rent a car in Davao and drive yourself to Cagayan de Oro. Coming from Butuan, Surigao, and North Cotabato is also possible via land.

What are the Top Airlines Operating to Cagayan de Oro?

Airlines that still offer flights into Cagayan currently are AirAsia, Cebu Air, and Philippines Airlines. Ticket fares can range from as low as PHP1300 to PHP13000.

Low-cost carriers such as AirAsia and Cebu Air will offer the most affordable prices as it is a no-frills flight, and any additional on-flight services will incur extra charges.

Airlines like PAL, on the other hand, offer all-inclusive tickets, which include a 20kg baggage allowance and inflight meals and entertainment. Direct flights from Manila to Cagayan de Oro will usually take 1 hour 35 minutes; however, flights that include 1-2 transit points can be as long as 30 hours.

What are the Best Places to Visit in Cagayan de Oro?

Mapawa Nature Park

One of the most beautiful and breathtaking tourist spots in Cagayan de Oro is the Mapawa Nature Park. This 2500-hectare forest park is located at Barangay Cugman and is home to towering trees and lush greenery, magnificent waterfalls, and stunning spots that offer panoramic views.

The park also offers a wide variety of activities such as climbing or swimming in the waterfalls, horseback riding, canyoneering, and also cliff jumping. Adrenaline junkies can try rappelling from a 65-foot waterfall, conquer the zip line, explore the entire park via horseback ride, and even jump from a 25-ft high cliff. You would not only enjoy all the activities they offer, but you could also have fun with nature surrounding you.

When you visit Mapawa Nature Park, you can just relax, go on a hike, or maybe even set up a camp in the forest. Just be sure to clean up after yourself. All visitors will be required to pay a PHP50 environmental fee, while the various activities available at the park will also impose different fees depending on the activity itself.

The park also offers a package of PHP650 that includes accommodation, entrance, and breakfast. The park also caters to group events and conducts eco-lectures and team-building activities for companies.

Location: Malasag, Cugman, Cagayan de Oro
Admission fee: Environmental fee PHP50 and additional charges based on activities
Operation Hours:7 am – 5 pm daily

Divine Mercy Shrine

This is a Catholic monument situated in El Salvador City, just outside of Cagayan de Oro. Here, devotees can visit the 50-foot statue of Jesus. The monumental Christ has a healing chapel at his base, while in his chest, he holds a "chamber of adoration." It also offers excellent overlooking views of the Macajalar Bay (deep water bay of the Bohol Sea with CDO as part of its deep-water harbors).

This shrine has become an amazing tourist attraction, and many devotees flock to Divine Mercy Shrine to attend mass or join the events during Holy Week, the Feast of Mercy, and the Celebration of the Immaculate Concepcion. Apart from attending mass, you can also climb to the heart of Jesus guided by the people working there, and you can silently pray inside the heart.

There are also a lot of souvenir shops and food booths available if you're feeling hungry. Visitors to the shrine are advised to avoid being too loud or distracting devotees from praying and reflecting quietly. Visitors who camp over during the feast are also advised to clean up after themselves.

Location: El Salvador, Cagayan de Oro
Admission fee: FREE
Operation Hours:8 am – 5 pm daily (*The shrine is currently closed due to the Covid19 restrictions.)

High Ridge

If you are interested in getting a picturesque view of the city while dining at a restaurant, then High Ridge is definitely the place to go. With its elevated outdoor terrace and panoramic views over the city, High Ridge boasts a truly unique setting and unique ambiance that becomes most apparent at night, when hundreds of lights shine below. You can enjoy a view of the sunset while enjoying your meal with your fellow travelers or loved ones.

High Ridge serves international cuisine with an emphasis on American and Asian dishes. The night view here is considered the best in the city, and visitors are invited to come and admire the view of downtown Cagayan de Oro. Visitors can visit High Ridge by taking a free shuttle from Barangay Macasandig Covered Court.

The shuttle operates from 11.30 am – 1.30 pm, 5 pm – 5 30pm, 7 pm – 7 30pm, while drop off to Macasandig Covered Court is only during 9 – 9.30 pm only. There will be a PHP100 entrance fee imposed on all adults while children below 12 years old can enter for free.

Due to the Covid19 restrictions, the restaurant is now limiting the number of patrons in accordance with the SOP. Face masks and temperature check is also required upon entry.

Location: Bontula Upper Macasandig, Cagayan de Oro
Admission fee: PHP100 (consumable)
Operation Hours:Monday to Friday – 4 – 9 PMSaturday & Sunday – 11 AM – 9 PM

What are the Travel Tips When Traveling to Cagayan de Oro?

Despite being located in a typhoon-free area, Cagayan de Oro still experiences rain. The best time to go when the weather is a consideration would be from March to June as it is sunny during this time. The average temperature at this time is around 27 ˚C, while the air is moderately humid. This is certainly one of the best times to visit Cagayan de Oro and, ultimately, the peak season for tourists.
The primary language spoken in Cagayan de Oro is Cebuano. However, many of the locals are also well-versed in English. Kagay-anons show pride in being one of the friendliest people in the country, so travelers need not be scared to approach them at times of need! The locals will gladly find a way to help you out.
If you're going to CDO, chances are, you're going to try some extreme sports. Make sure to coordinate with your tour operator about the safety gear you should bring or if they can provide everything to you onsite. Don't forget to bring your essentials, like medicine, toiletries, a first aid kit, and lots of water so you'll be sure that you're hydrated during the trip!
Cagayan de Oro offers an amazing variety of food pasalubong. Some of the best food items to bring home as souvenirs to your loved ones are pastel bread, slers chicharron, roasted cashew nuts, Nanay Choleng’s Muron, Dulceta jam tarts, Jamon de Cagayan, to name a few. Most of these food items can easily be found in bakeries in Cagayan, such as Vjandep Bakeshop.
Extreme sports activities such as white water rafting are best done as a group. If you are a solo traveler, it is encouraged to find other like-minded travelers to join you in your activity. This not only saves money but you'll make new friends in the process.

What are the Latest COVID-19 Travel Requirements to Cagayan de Oro?

It is important to note that Cagayan de Oro is still not open for leisure travel; however, travelers are encouraged to keep themselves updated with the latest news on domestic travel in the Philippines. The information provided here is the usual practice of companies providing transportation to CDO prior to the pandemic.

All guests bound for Cagayan de Oro City are required to register to the following:S-PaSSOpCoorSStaySafe.PhHigala AppDOH Quarantine Certificate (for Returning Overseas Filipinos only)
Guests bound for cities and municipalities outside Cagayan de Oro City and within the Province of Misamis Oriental and in Lanao del Norte or Lanao del Sur, are only required to register in S-PaSS and StaySafe.Ph only.
Tourists are allowed in the Province of Misamis Oriental but note that the municipalities within the province have different requirements. Please coordinate directly with the local government units. All arriving passengers must pass symptom screening upon arrival.

These are the latest requirements to date. Requirements may change from time to time without prior notice. Please continue checking with the local government unit of your destination for the latest updates.

Before you head off to do your travel-to-do list, check out other domestic destinations to be explored in the Philippines that we’ve covered:

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