Air travel is the quickest way to get to Cagayan de Oro from Metro Manila. Both Cebu Pacific Air and Philippine Airlines offer flights to Cagayan de Oro, which all land at Laguindingan Airport. Travel time lasts around an hour and a half.
You can also reach Cagayan de Oro via sea travel. 2GO Travel departs the Port of Manila for the Port of Cagayan de Oro every Wednesdays at 6:30 PM, Thursdays at 9 PM, and Sundays at 9 AM. Expect a long trip of about 32 hours.
Another alternative is taking the bus. Philtranco Bus Company offers 30-hour trips from Cubao or Pasay to Cagayan de Oro.
How to Get Around
Jeepneys ply the main roads of Cagayan de Oro. It is also the cheapest mode of transportation in the city since the minimum fare costs only PHP 7.00.
By Taxis and TNCs
You can also find taxis on the streets of the city. The flag down rate is at PHP 30.00. Aside from taxis, transportation network companies or TNCs like Grab and Uber operate in Cagayan de Oro.
Motorelas are Cagayan de Oro's version of the tricycle. The sidecars are roomier, built to accommodate more than three people.
If you want to get to other destinations in Mindanao, the buses at Agora Integrated Bus Terminal can take you towards your next adventure.
What to See
Historical sites, natural wonders, and places for adventure await those who visit Cagayan de Oro.
St. Augustine Cathedral, which serves as the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cagayan De Oro, is a must-visit in Cagayan de Oro. Featuring a Neo-Gothic design, the church's foundation is believed to have been laid down in the early 1700s.
Another notable landmark is the General McArthur Memorial Marker at Macabalan Wharf. A monument resembling a giant military cap commemorates the location where General Douglas McArthur docked en route to Australia during World War II.
Meanwhile, Gaston Park is not only a beautiful park; it remains a part of Cagayan de Oro's history as it served as the main plaza during the Spanish colonial period.
Cagayan de Oro River is a favorite destination for thrill-seekers because of whitewater rafting. This extreme activity is considered as the city's main attraction. Aside from whitewater rafting, whitewater kayaking is also available.
If you want to go spelunking, there are also some caves in Cagayan de Oro. Discover the hidden wonders of Monigue Cave and Macahambus Cave. The latter is also the site of the Battle of Makahambus Hill in 1900 where Filipino forces defeated the Americans.
Cagayan de Oro is also rich in waterfalls. Take a dip in the soothing fresh waters of Migtugsok Falls, Palalan Falls, Mimbalut Falls and Catanico Falls. The city also has its share of beaches and resorts. Bon Bon Beach is a public beach within the city that you can visit if you’re craving for pristine shores and a charming seascape.
Adrenaline junkies will surely enjoy the extreme sports and attractions that Cagayan de Oro's adventure parks have to offer. At Macahambus Gorge, you can enjoy zip-lining and rappelling. Both are also offered at Mapawa Nature Park, along with trail and river hikes, cliff jumping, and even horseback riding. At Jatico Adventures, not only will you be able to enjoy zip-lining, but you can also try the Giant Swing, ride a Zorb, and even bungee jump if you're up for it. But if you want to push it further, try sky diving with Sky Diving CDOC at the site of the former Lumbia Airport.
For those who want to know more about the city, there are several museums you can visit. Head to Museo de Oro at Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan or Museum of Three Cultures at Capitol University to learn all about the history and culture of Cagayan de Oro. You can also swing by Malasag Eco Tourism Village to have a glimpse of the traditions of the natives and to enjoy the beautiful nature sceneries.
For a nice and peaceful walk in the park, Plaza Divisoria, also known as the Golden Friendship Park, should definitely be on your list. Enjoy a relaxing stroll and visit some of the monuments displayed there, including those of Dr. Jose Rizal and the late President Ramon Magsaysay. Lastly, if you want to enjoy an awesome view of cityscape from a ridge, head to Eden's Solace.
Events and Festivals
Every year on the 28th of August, Cagayan de Oro comes alive as it celebrates Higalaay Festival in honor of St. Augustine, its patron saint. Formerly known as the Kagay-an Festival, the event features lively parades, colorful street dances, and all sorts of contests and competitions like beauty pageants.
Where to Eat
Fast Food Chains
Since Cagayan de Oro is a highly urbanized place, you can expect branches of popular fast food chains around like Jollibee or McDonald's.
If you want to have a taste of Kagay-anon cuisine, be sure to try Kagay-anon Restaurant. Aside from local dishes that will make your mouth water, there are also exotic offerings like ostrich dishes for real gourmets. Meanwhile, Boy Zugba is a quirky Filipino restaurant that offers hearty local dishes like pork barbecue, inasal, and sisig. For big groups, they also have a selection of boodle meals.
Another popular restaurant is Circa 1850. This quaint establishment serves hearty international dishes like different kinds of pasta, tuna tartare, and roasted bone marrow. Meanwhile, Sentro 1850 offers different cuisines for different tastes. They also have pasta as well as baby back ribs, steaks, and burgers. For seafood lovers, Redtail Shrimps and More offers sumptuous seafood dishes that will truly satisfy your cravings.
Aside from Filipino food, you can feast on other Asian cuisines while in Cagayan de Oro. For Thai food, you can check out the grub offered at Thai Me Up and Ramen Tei if you’re in the mood for some ramen and Japanese food.
Lastly, aside from being a lovely pastry and pasalubong shop, Missy Bon Bon Breadshop offers all-day breakfast meals, pastas, and salads. They also have different flavors of gelato for dessert.
While there are a lot of carinderias all over Cagayan de Oro, Humbaan ni Aling Violy is among the most popular. Located within Cogon Public Market, this eatery specializes in humba, a delicious pork stew that will keep you coming back for more.
Bars and Clubs
The Lifestyle District is a popular night life district in Cagayan de Oro. This commercial complex is home to several restaurants, bars, and KTV establishments for those who want to bar hop, mingle with the locals, or sing the night away.
Where to Shop
There are several malls in Cagayan de Oro that offers a wide array of shopping, dining, and entertainment options. You can visit SM City Cagayan de Oro, Ayala Centrio Mall, Robinsons Cagayan de Oro, and local malls like Limketkai Mall and Gaisano City Mall CDO.
In addition to these establishments, the Grand Central commercial center also has its share of restaurants and stores.
There is no shortage of public markets in CDO where you can buy some fresh ingredients like meat, fish, vegetables, and fruits if you're intending to cook your own meals in the kitchen facility of your hotel or resort.
Although it is said to have originated from Camiguin, pastel or soft bread with yema filling, remains as one of the popular pasalubong items from Cagayan de Oro. You can get them from two shops: Vjandep Pastel and Missy Bon Bon Breadshop. Aside from offering pastel with all sorts of filling, these establishments also carry a wide selection of pastries, breads, and other delectable take home treats.
Cagayan de Oro is also popular for its delicious hams. Make sure to drop by SLERS to buy delicious Jamon Cagayan de Oro and their crunchy chicharon (fried pork rind).
ATMs and Money Changers
The banks and ATMs in Cagayan de Oro are usually found in the commercial and business districts. You can also find money changers, pawnshops, and remittance shops in some points in the city.
Fare: PHP 2,000.00 to PHP 3,000.00
Riding the ferry is the cheapest mode of getting to Cagayan de Oro. A one-way fare costs more or less PHP 2,000.00. Meanwhile, bus fares to Cagayan de Oro cost less than PHP 2,300.00. Both trips take abouts 30 hours. Meanwhile, plane rides are already cheap at PHP 3,000.00 one way.
Food: PHP 50.00 to PHP 300.00
There are a lot of options when it comes to dining in Cagayan de Oro. For carinderia meals and value meals at fast food chains, PHP 50.00 to PHP 100.00 is already fine. If you're going to be eating at restaurants, meals range from PHP 200.00 to PHP 300.00.
Shopping: PHP 100.00++
For shopping, souvenir Cagayan de Oro T-shirts start at PHP 100.00. Meanwhile, a box of one dozen pastel at Vjandep's and Missy Bon Bon Breadshop cost around PHP 140.00.
Accommodation: PHP 500.00 to PHP 5,000.00
There is a wide selection of accommodations in Cagayan de Oro for all kinds of travelers. Budget inns and hotels already offer an overnight stay for two for less than PHP 500.00. You can also stay at 5-star hotels like Limketkai Luxe Hotel if you want to have a luxurious experience.
Activities: PHP 20.00++
If you want to see the amazing view at Eden's Solace, you'll have to pay the PHP 20.00 entrance fee. Meanwhile, both Museo de Oro and Museum of Three Cultures charge an entrance fee of PHP 50.00 per head. Malasag Eco Tourism Village also has an entrance fee of PHP 50.00.
For whitewater rafting, it only costs PHP 700 for the basic course. Other extreme activities like the zip-line ride and rappelling at Macahambus is PHP 300.00 each. A packaged price of PHP 500.00 allows you to enjoy both activities.
For a 15-minute horseback ride at Mapawa Nature Park, it's PHP 100.00 per head. River trekking and canyoneering are packaged at PHP 1,200.00 per person for a group with a minimum of five members.
Bungee jumping at Jatico Adventures is at PHP 3, 500.00, with an additional PHP 1, 500.00 if you want to have it filmed. And if you're brave enough to sky jump, a single jump is priced at PHP 14,500.00 with Sky Diving CDOC.
Other Fees and Taxes: PHP 200.00++
Remember to set aside PHP 200.00 for the terminal fee charged at Laguindingan Airport.