Iligan is a tropical paradise in northern Mindanao. With 24 waterfalls, more specifically the Maria Cristina Falls, Iligan is hailed as the “City of Magnificent Waterfalls.”
Despite this, however, the city is an underrated tourist destination, and is primarily an industrial city with several factories around. One needs to take a trip outside Iligan to fully appreciate the entire location.
How to Go
Travelers must first make a plane ride from either Manila, Cebu, Iloilo, or Davao to Cagayan De Oro Airport. Iligan does not have its own airport.
By land transportation
From Cagayan de Oro, take a Super 5 Transport for around one hour and twenty minutes at less than PhP200. The bus will stop at the Terminal of Iligan City.
Iligan City is a prosperous municipality so getting around is easy. You can either take a jeepney, taxi, or pedaled tricycle… or even a kalesa (horse-drawn carriage).
The majestic Maria Cristina Falls should be on everyone’s must-visit list while in Iligan. It stands at 98 meters and delivers hydroelectric energy to Iligan and the rest of the Mindanao region. Travelers who enjoy walking may want to try going to Tinago Falls, which is accessible through a 300-step staircase. Another grand waterfall to visit is Mimbalut where can take a quick dip and even have lunch in the nearby resort.
Things to Do
You can go and chase the 24 waters located throughout the city, especially if you plan to stay for a while in Iligan. However, you can also try visiting Timoga to submerge yourself in cold spring pools – perfect after a long day of trekking. If you’re tired of waterfalls, try hiking up Mt. Agad-Agad, a two-hour climb that gives mountaineers a beautiful view of the city below.
Where to Eat
Many locals recommend dining at Iliganon Restobar and trying out their Durian Shake, filled with durian toppings. It may be an acquired taste, but it’s worth experiencing.
Another fun restaurant to try is Jacko’s Kan-Anan, a homegrown restaurant that serves great seafood. Try their tuna belly, and paksiw na buntot
B.Bu.Q serves grilled food with cold, cold beer every night, but be sure to try their homemade chorizo. This place is a favorite hangout for the locals – but Iligan in general has a sprawling nightlife worth exploring.
Where to Stay
Most of Iligan’s accommodations are budget hostels and transient hotels where you can stay for as low as PhP500/night.
For a slightly more luxurious stay, book a room at Maria Cristina Hotel
for less than PhP2,000/night, or if you want beachfront accommodations, stay at Chelina Beach Resort for also less than PhP2,000/night.
• If you want to bring a souvenir, get a pack of Cheding’s Peanuts near the Sea Port.
• There aren’t large shopping malls in the area, but you can go and get some good deals at Gaisano Mall – as well as some bazaars and ukay-ukay stores throughout the city.
• There are many banks in Iligan but it’s still good to bring cash with you instead of withdrawing from an ATM.