Cagayan de Oro
If you’re wondering if there’s more to the Philippines than Luzon’s stunning landscapes and Visayas’ breathtaking beaches, it’s time to head down south and visit the beautiful Cagayan de Oro.
Fondly called by Filipinos as the “City of Golden Friendship”, Cagayan de Oro is not just filled with affable locals but is a booming destination filled with picturesque natural sights, adrenaline-pumping adventure experiences, and delicious local delicacies that will make you come back for more. In Cagayan de Oro, nature and city life seamlessly fuse together creating an exciting blend of history, culture, and art.
Cagayan de Oro is a haven for those who love adventure, history, and food! Nature lovers and adventure seekers will love the endless list of things to do in Cagayan de Oro. Conquer the mighty rapids of the Cagayan de Oro River, bask in the unspoiled beauty of Mapawa Nature Park, enjoy a one-of-a-kind paragliding adventure at Sierra del Oro, and explore Macahambus Adventure Park. See the beauty of Cagayan de Oro up close by joining the Camiguin Island Day Tour. History buffs can visit several museums — you can find them in the city centre — and learn more not only of CDO’s rich history but also that of its neighbouring cities and provinces. Of course, last but not the least — food! Cagayan de Oro is riddled with both famous and small dining options that always serve dishes that will tickle your taste buds.
Major airlines in the Philippines, Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines, offer several flights from Manila to Cagayan de Oro (Laguindigan Airport) every day. Other destinations that also have flights to CDO include Iloilo, Cebu, Zamboanga, and Davao.
A cheaper but slower way of getting to CDO is via bus. Philtranco Lines in Pasay, Manila offers bus services to Cagayan De Oro. Fare is PhP 2300 (USD 44) and travel time is 30 hours. Buses to Cagayan de Oro leave at 11:00.
2Go also provide ferry services from Manila to Cagayan De Oro. Travel time is 22 hours and fares range from PhP 2500 to PhP 3500 (USD 50 to USD 70).
The currency accepted by most establishments in Cagayan de Oro is Philippine Peso that comes in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, and 1000. CDO is a highly urbanised city, thus, ATM services are everywhere. In big establishments, you can use both credit and debit cards. Prepare cash when buying from small stores. Reliable money changing services can be availed of inside the malls.
The weather in Cagayan de Oro only varies slightly. Throughout the year, the weather is hot and humid, with rainstorms occurring on certain months. The hottest months are from March to May. The wet season begins on June and ends in August. The best time to visit Cagayan de Oro is between November and March. During this time, rain showers are scarce and the temperature is cooler.
You can get to attractions within the city via jeep, taxis, multi-cabs, or motorela (CDO’s tuk tuk). Getting around via jeepney is the best choice during the day since it’s fast and cheap. For attractions that are far from the city, you can rent a car or — if you’re part of a tour — board on a van provided by most CDO tours. When taking a taxi, don’t agree on a flat rate if you don’t want to pay three times the original fare.
One thing that sets Cagayan de Oro apart from other destinations is its food — it doesn’t fall short in giving tourists a gastronomic experience. The place boasts of dishes and delicacies that can only be found in CDO. Indulge in authentic Cagayanon dishes at Kagay-anon Restaurant, a place that serves homegrown and elevated dishes such as Kagay-anon Pinakbet — a sweet and tangy concoction of vegetables served inside a squash. Order Wild Onion Pub and Grub’s “El Presidente Burger” — a real treat inspired by President Duterte. Never miss the sinuglaw — a comfort dish made of pork, eggs, ginger, and coconut milk. For dessert, fall in love with the delicacy that made Cagayan De Oro Famous — Missy Bonbon’s pastel, a soft bread with sweet yema (caramelised milk) filling.
Compared to other regions, Cagayan de Oro is considered an off-the-beaten-path attraction. But taking time to visit this endowed part of Misamis Oriental can make anyone realize that the Philippines does not run short of beautiful places. You’ll find that out for yourself when you’re already in Camiguin munching some irresistible pastel.