cagayan de oro philippines

Experience the best of what Cagayan de Oro, Philippines has to offer. What are the top Cagayan de Oro tourist spots that have the best adventure activities? What amazing local dishes should you try and what restaurants in Cagayan de Oro should you add in your food trip list? Here are some of the best things to do in Cagayan de Oro City to add in your itinerary for the ultimate adventure getaway!

Cagayan de Oro City, often simply called CDO, is the capital of Misamis Oriental, a province located in Northern Mindanao. It has many nicknames like “The Gateway to Northern Mindanao” because of its location on the map; “The City of Golden Friendship” because of its locals’ warm hospitality; and “The New Adventure Capital of the Philippines” because of the many adventurous activities you can do here.

In fact, Cagayan de Oro City is also called “The Whitewater Rafting Capital” of the Philippines because of the extreme sport’s popularity here. But the Cagayan de Oro map is also filled with other must-see spots for both thrilling and relaxing activities.

It’s also the 3rd most popular destination among local tourists next to Cebu in Visayas and Davao in Mindanao, and a safe destination for foreign travelers.

If you’re looking for an adventurous getaway, we offer you this list of must-dos to add to your travel itinerary! Majority of these Cagayan de Oro tourist spots are accessible via public transportation like the jeepneys or private van transfers for a convenient trip.

Are you ready to choose your own adventure? Here we go:

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Get Your Adrenaline Pumping When You Try These Fun-Filled Things To Do in Cagayan de Oro

cagayan tourist spots

When they say Cagayan de Oro City is “The New Adventure Capital of the Philippines”, don’t take it lightly. The city really has a lot of blood-pumping activities at its prime tourist spots that you shouldn’t miss out on. Here are the best of the best.

1. Experience Whitewater Rafting

Whitewater rafting is, perhaps, the most popular and must-try adventure-filled activity you can do when visiting Cagayan de Oro, Philippines.

In this recreational activity, your group will be riding a raft that will navigate Cagayan de Oro river. You’ll be treated to stunning views while getting splashed on by the water as you paddle, sometimes even falling off the raft but don’t worry, it’s all part of the experience! There are over 25 rapids to take on, with the trained guides leading you and your crew for navigation and safety. This experience is also for all types of rafters, even beginners! If you’ve tried whitewater rafting before and want to take on a more challenging course, there are rapids that are for advanced rafters too.

There are many tour companies offering this type of thrill-seeking activity. The entire experience usually takes up half of the day, with some including lunch on the riverbank. Make sure you have dressed appropriately so you can maximize this experience in Cagayan de Oro!

2. Try River Tubing and Hop on a “Donut”

River tubing is a less rigorous way to explore the river. Instead of rafts, you’re given a donut-shaped innertube to hop on to. You can still explore the river in groups, but you get your own “donut” or “biscuits.”

The river conditions dictate the type of tubing experience you’ll get. If the river is calm, tubing can be a relaxing experience. Otherwise, it can be as exhilarating as whitewater rafting but without the crazy rapids.

3. Go Solo and Try River Kayaking

For more experienced rafters, you can take on river kayaking. Instead of paddling in groups, you’re on your own so expect your core and arms to work double time. Depending on the river’s state, kayaking can still be relaxing but it is often more thrilling than whitewater rafting and river tubing combined.

4. Spend a Relaxing Afternoon at Catanico Falls

Nature lovers will surely enjoy this beautiful waterfall in Cagayan de Oro. It’s not as tall as other waterfalls in the Philippines. It’s also narrower but people go here to spend a relaxing afternoon in one of the city’s natural attractions. Located in Barangay F.S. Catanico, you can spend a day here and even have lunch at one of the picnic huts.

5. Go Spelunking at Kweba de Oro

As the Philippines' adventure capital, you can also go spelunking here, particularly at Kweba de Oro. To enter the cave, you need to take on a 40-meter descent. It’s a challenging experience, especially since there are parts of the cave where the water level almost touches the ceiling. You also need to take a short dive so you can reach the small pond illuminated by sunlight.

If you’re up to the challenge, taking on Kweba de Oro is a rewarding experience. It’s another natural attraction that you should add to the list of things to do in Cagayan de Oro.

6. Enjoy Extreme Sports at the Macahambus Adventure Park, Cave and Gorge

Are you an extreme sports enthusiast? Then don’t miss this adrenaline-pumping must-visit adventure park in Cagayan de Oro City! Located in Barangay Lumbia, which is about 10 minutes away from the airport, you can go rappelling from a 150-feet gorge. This amazingly thrilling experience gives you an unrivaled view of the forest from above! For a more heart-pounding ride, you can also take on the 120-meter zipline!

Not a fan of extreme rides? That’s fine! You can head to the 135-meter-long Sky Bridge and enjoy the majestic views of Mother Nature, including the century-old trees.

7. Paragliding at Sierra del Oro

Want to fly? You can in Cagayan de Oro! This thrill-seeking free-flying experience is a must for all daredevils. Paragliding can also be enjoyed by everyone, even newbies!

Head to Sierra del Oro in Indahag Hills and try the tandem flights. Here, you don’t need to do any maneuvering. As a happy passenger, you can simply enjoy the views with your pilot navigating the skies.

Visit These Cagayan de Oro Prime Tourist Spots

Want to take a break from all that physically challenging activities? You can spend some downtime on these prime tourist spots.

1. Visit the Capitol University’s Museum of Three Cultures

The Capitol University is a famous landmark in the city of Cagayan de Oro and one of its main attractions is the Museum of Three Cultures. As the name suggests, there are 3 galleries that showcase the cultures of Mindanao, Cagayan de Oro, and Marawi.

You can spend a leisurely afternoon here, gazing at ceramics, photos, and artifacts so you can learn more about the 3 cultures. Don’t miss seeing the ceremonial swords, the royal beds, and the beautiful paintings. Entrance fee is PHP 100.00 per head.

2. See the Transformers Autobots at Larry’s Hill Adventure Hub

Want to see the Transformers in Cagayan de Oro City? Go to Larry’s Hill Adventure Hub in Barangay Indahag. This elevated, outdoor adventure land should be on top of your things to do in Cagayan de Oro especially if you are traveling with the whole family!

Located just 30 minutes away from the city center, the entrance fee to the adventure park is PHP 50.00. As the name suggests, this adventure hub offers a lot of adrenaline-pumping activities like rappelling, zipline, maze adventures, bungee trampoline, ball pits, and more!

It’s an amazing experience for the kids and the kids at heart! An afternoon here is a great workout too for the adults!

3. Enjoy the Outdoors at Garden of Malasag Eco-Tourism Village

Located in Barangay Cugman, guests can enjoy a relaxing day checking out the botanical gardens. More than the butterflies, you can find birds and even deers at the eco-tourism resort. There’s also a museum, swimming pools, a mini zoo, and an in-resort restaurant. If you want to take a break from all the adventure tripping in Cagayan de Oro, spending a day and even overnight here is a great way to destress.

This 7.2-hectare eco-tourism resort is a great alternative to many Cagayan de Oro hotels. Guests can stay overnight at any of the villas, cottages, and even camping tents!

4. Visit the Divine Mercy Shrine

divine shrine cagayan

The shrine’s most striking landmark is the 50-foot tall statue of Jesus Christ. But it’s not just any ordinary statue. The “rays” that radiate from the statue’s body is actually a staircase that is said to lead the faithful up to Him. Nifty, right? The overall depiction is a spectacular sight to behold, especially during sunrise and sunset. The shrine is located on the summit of Divine Mercy Hills. At the base of the giant statue is a healing chapel. If you go up the staircase, you will find a chamber of adoration.

There is no entrance fee to the shrine and everyone is welcome. But visitors are asked to dress appropriately as you should if you’re visiting a place of worship.

5. Have Some Water Fun at Seven Seas Waterpark & Resort

The “pirates” theme is evident in every part of this popular waterpark and resort in Cagayan de Oro, Philippines. Bring the whole family and enjoy exploring the resort’s Shipwreck Island, Treasure Island, and Pirate Lookout Tower.

Apart from the impressive man-made attractions, the main highlights here are the massive slides! In fact, Seven Seas Waterpark & Resort is home to the longest waterpark slide in Mindanao and the biggest dual wave pool in the Philippines, the Buccaneer Bay! Entrance fee to the waterpark is PHP 799.00 for adults and PHP 499.00 for kids.

Discover Nearby Attractions from Cagayan de Oro

As “The Gateway to Northern Mindanao”, there are many nearby attractions you can explore from Cagayan de Oro. Here are some top ones to add to your travel goals.

1. Conquer Asia’s Longest Dual Zipline at Dahilayan Adventure Park

dahilayan adventure park cagayan

Did you know that the longest dual zipline in Asia can be found in the province of Bukidnon, Philippines? Grab a friend and head to the launch pad set at 4,700 feet above sea level and enjoy a thrilling ride at 90 kph. Don’t worry, this 840-meter ride is fun and safe for all types of passengers, even for seniors!

Not a fan of ziplines? You can still enjoy the cool weather at this adventure park with family and friends!

2. Conquer the 8-Story Sky Tower Base Jump

Also located at the Dahilayan Adventure Park, this 8-story base jump tower is the highest one in the Philippines so far. If you’ve always wanted to try base jumping, you should definitely include this activity in your list of things to do in Cagayan de Oro.

The split-second free fall gets your heart pumping. After this, you can enjoy the views during the slow descent and the soft landing. And all these happen in less than 10 seconds!

3. See the Hobbit House at Mt. Kitanglad Agri-Ecological Techno-Demo Farm

Are you a Lord Of The Rings fan? Head to the 22-hectare Mt. Kitanglad Agri-Ecological Techno-Demo Farm and see the so-called Hobbit House up close! The farm is actually located in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon but its close proximity to Cagayan de Oro makes a popular go-to destination and even accommodation. Enjoy time away from city life and explore the farm's many features like the hot pool, fish pond, eco-park, and natural forest.

4. Visit the Bukidnon Pineapple Farm

Also located in Bukidnon, the 5,000-hectare Del Monte Plantation is a popular side trip destination for people visiting Cagayan de Oro. The fruits produced here are shipped to countries like Japan and the USA.

Its crowning jewel is the pineapple farm. Here you can find a giant pineapple statue, American-style houses for the farm employees, and of course, the manufacturing plant where they make pineapple delicacies like jams. If you love pineapples, do include this side quest to your itinerary.

5. Go on a Day Trip to Camiguin

If you love the beach and some water activities, a day trip to Camiguin Island is for you. Apart from the white sand beaches, you can also explore its waterfalls, jungles, volcanoes, and of course, its local eats.

The day tours include the following spots: Gui-ob Old Church ruins, Hibok-Hibok Ardent Hot Spring, Katibawasan Falls, Sunken Cemetery, and Old Volcano Walkway. You can also choose between two white sand beaches, White Island or Mantigue Island for a relaxing afternoon swimming in its azure waters.

Go on a Staycation at These Top Cagayan de Oro Hotels

Want to add a short staycation in your Cagayan de Oro itinerary? An adventure-packed trip deserves a comfortable hotel where you can chill and get a good night’s sleep. You can check out the hotels below:

1. Book a Room at Seda Centrio

Both locals and tourists say that Seda Centrio is one of the best hotels in the city. Located in the Ayala’s Centrio shopping complex, the hotel provides travelers with extra comfort knowing that everything they could possibly need can be found at the mall below, including a shuttle van to the Laguindingan Airport.

The air-conditioned rooms are cozy and stylish. The breakfast buffet at its in-house restaurant Misto is delectable with a spread of Filipino, Asian, and Western dishes.

2. Enjoy the Comforts of Hotel Limketkai Luxe

This hotel is conveniently located within the Limketkai Complex, which is right across the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (USTSP). Since it’s located in a business area, the hotel is popular among business travelers.

Its Superior Room Queen has all the comforts you can ask for in a business hotel: air conditioner, Wi-Fi access, in-room safe, cable TV, a minibar, and even a baby cot for tourists with tots. Guests can also enjoy the free breakfast buffet at its in-house restaurant KaVe.

3. Ensure a Comfortable Stay for the Whole Family at N Hotel

This hotel is conveniently located along Cagayan de Oro’s national highway. Guests can enjoy its modern, comfortable rooms and amenities, including a gym and a pool. You can also upgrade to rooms that have living and dining areas if you’re traveling with a bigger group. N Hotel’s Bon Café offers all-day dining so you don’t have to worry if you miss breakfast!

4. Enjoy Live Band Performances at Mallberry Suites Business Hotel

If you’re looking for a comfortable and affordable hotel, you can book a room at Mallberry Suites Business Hotel. It has all the basic comforts of a typical hotel room and you'll definitely enjoy the food and dessert bar at Café Laguna and Tangerine Room.

If you want to enjoy some music, head to Café Berde and watch a live band performance with your nightcap. The hotel also has an in-house spa, a steakhouse, a lounge, indoor swimming, and a business center.

5. Traveling for Business? Book a Room at Newdawn Hotel Plus

If you're traveling for business and bringing the family with you, this hotel can give you that much-needed convenience and comfort. Its Standard Room is spacious with a writing desk, Wi-Fi access, vanity mirrors, and cable TV. Some rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows that offer a majestic view of the city.

You can play tennis at the hotel or you can enjoy the rooftop bar. The hotel is conveniently located near convenience stores, shops, hospital, and fast food chains.

Feast at Top Restaurants in Cagayan de Oro and the Specialty Food

restaurants in cagayan de oro

All that walking, jumping, paragliding, swimming, and whitewater rafting will make you hungry. So here are the best local eats at the top restaurants in Cagayan de Oro you should feast on.

1. Get the Sinuglaw at Cucina Higala

Aptly called “Kitchen for Friends”, this restaurant is famous for its old word vibe and local, comfort foods. It will remind you of trips to your grandparents’ home for dinner and the foods and stories that come with those trips. Its signature dish, sinuglaw (PHP 270.00), is made with raw white fish, coconut milk, vinegar, and tabon-tabon, a local fruit specifically used for this dish.

2. Taste the Ostrich Salpicao at Kagay-anon Restaurant

It’s one of the oldest fine dining restaurants in Cagayan de Oro. Over the years, travelers and locals alike have been raving about the authentic Filipino dishes served here and its wonderful wooden furniture and décor.

Its signature dish is the ostrich salpicao (PHP 450.00) made with tender ostrich meat and sweet soy sauce. It is best paired with a steaming cup of white rice. Their pinakbet, vegetables cooked in shrimp or fish sauce, is also very famous!

3. Explore the Trendy Bisaya Cuisine at Boy Zugba Kusina Bisaya

The restaurant got its name from the word sugba which means grill. So you can expect a lot of grilled food at Boy Zugba Kusina Bisaya. But it’s more than just your typical restaurant serving grilled meats. The restaurant’s goal is to highlight the Bisaya (local) cuisine.

If it’s your first time in Cagayan de Oro, we recommend ordering the Chicken Inasal Bagetz Meal (PHP 99.00) and get the inasal (roasted meat) variety.

4. Explore Other Comfort Foods at Bigby’s Restaurant

Cozy, comfortable, and a homegrown favorite, Bigby’s Restaurant is an instant crowd pleaser among locals and tourists. The restaurant has been serving comfort foods from different cuisines since 1998 when it first opened its doors to the general public.

Not sure where to start? Try the Fisherman's Catch (PHP 575.00), which is a crowd favorite. It has breaded, deep-fried fish, prawn skewers, and onion rings!

5. Get the Best Chocolate Drink in Town at Nanol’s Kafe

Located inside the busy Cogon Market, a local public market, Nanol’s Kafe is not your usual fancy coffee shop. But it serves the best hot chocolate drink in Cagayan de Oro. Order a hot cup of tsokolate (chocolate) for PHP 16.00 and pair it with some puto maya (Filipino rice cake) for PHP 7.00. It’s a farm and filling combo that can power you through the morning.

6. Try the Pastel Bread at Missy Bonbon Breadshop

Now, if you’re looking for a fancy café to spend a lazy afternoon in, head straight to Missy Bonbon’s Breadshop along Velez-Fernandez Street. This hip and cozy café sells more than just artisanal bread. They also serve comfort food like the yema pancake de Cagayan. (PHP 165.00), three cheese pasta (PHP 155.00), coffee, and gelato!

You can grab boxes of Camiguin’s famous pastel bread (PHP 70.00 for 1 box), which is a soft bun filled with custard filling inside. It’s a popular pastry in many provinces across the Philippines that is often brought home as a souvenir but Camiguin’s is the most famous version.

7. Experience the Night Market at Plaza Divisoria

Cagayan de Oro’s street food culture is alive and kicking at Plaza Divisoria’s night market, which happens every Friday and Saturday night. If you want to try Filipino local street food, this is the place to start.

The plaza is also called the Golden Friendship Park and it transforms into a foodie, shopping, and entertainment hub where you can see various stalls selling everything from ukay-ukay (secondhand clothes) to lechon baboy (roasted pig).

See You at the Adventure Capital of the Philippines

Whether you’re looking for extreme sports to cross off your bucket list or you’re dreaming of a breathtaking getaway in nature’s wonders, Cagayan de Oro is the perfect destination for you.

As the Philippines’ adventure capital, we encourage you to get out of your comfort zone and experience a different kind of travel, one that would take you to different heights and give you that much-needed adrenaline high to inspire and make you feel refreshed and renewed.

Come and visit Cagayan de Oro, Philippines and see for yourself why people keep coming back here for the thrills.

Planning the ultimate adventure getaway to Cagayan de Oro? Do add some of our suggestions to your travel itinerary. Explore Cagayan de Oro tours and activities to help you conveniently plan an adrenaline-pumping trip!