Dubbed as the City of Golden Friendship, Cagayan De Oro City is a gateway to some of the most famous destinations in Mindanao. I am also fortunate that my father came from this side of the Philippines, that is why I’ve been visiting Cagayan De Oro since I was a child, but never really got the chance to explore the places of interest around and close to the city.
So during my recent trip to Cagayan De Oro, I decided to stay in the City for a few days and explore the different tourist spots in the area. I am fortunate to have colleagues and friends who are from CDO and who could show me around. Oh! if you are planning to visit Cagayan de Oro sometime this summer or whenever time permits, do check out the Jetstar flight tickets prices at Traveloka website, as you may get lucky with the low fares they offer.
How to get to Cagayan De Oro?
To get to Cagayan De Oro is very easy. Several flights fly to Laguindingan Airport several times a day. The cost of the plane ticket varies but you can book cheap flights to Cagayan De Oro!
The airport is approximately an hour away from the city but you can easily get a van to the city. Some of them would even take you straight to your hotel. There is also a ferry from Manila to Cagayan De Oro, but that would take you at least 2 nights. So if you are not in a rush, then this could be an option for you. Anyway, here are the places we visited around Cagayan De Oro City and maybe this is something you could include in making your itinerary.
Where to stay in Cagayan De Oro?
Cagayan De Oro has a lot of hotels and resorts to choose from which cater to those who are on a budget and those who prefer to have more luxurious accommodation.
Where to Eat in Cagayan De Oro?
Panagatan Sea Food Restaurant
Also located in Opol is a seafood restaurant that offers a stunning view of the sea, the Pinagatan See Food. It’s a massive restaurant and offers a wide array of dishes to enjoy. They also have live bands at night and the food, in general, was good.
Butcher’s Best Barbecue
Located at Hayes St. right at the center of the City and close to Xavier University, you will find one of the best-tasting barbecues in town. We visited at around lunchtime and to my surprise it was full. And since they are cooking the barbecue outdoors, you can already smell the grill in the air and it smelled good! In the end, I ended up eating two cups of rice. Lol…
Sylvannas at Pane e Delci | 8th-21st Sts. Nazareth, CDO
We all know that Sylvannas didn’t originate in Cagayan De Oro, but one restaurant created one that is difficult to beat. Their sylvannas come in different flavors and they are huge. Each one is good enough for sharing. Your first bite will guarantee that this is the best sylvanna you’ve tasted!
Cucina Higala Filipino Restaurant
Considered as one of the best places to eat in Cagayan De Oro, Cucina Higala Filipino Restaurant is a must place to eat if you are looking for some quality and authentic Filipino cuisine. Wherever you are in the city, you can just take a tricycle and tell them the name of the restaurant. Everybody knows this place and everyone knows how good their food is.
Sunburst Fried Chicken
Another local favorite, Sunburst is perfect for those who are looking for fried chicken. On my recent visit, I decided to eat here and I must say that the chicken tastes good and the serving is quite generous too. Aside from the chicken they also have other local Filipino dishes you will enjoy. They are found everywhere around the city so there is no way you can’t miss this place.
Best Place to Party and Chill in Cagayan De Oro
Located inside the Lim Ket Kai Complex. the Hive is one place I kept coming back to. There are so many little restaurants where you can buy Filipino street foods and drinks. Also, you can listen or jam in their live band that performs every night.
Another favorite place to party in Cagayan De Oro is the Lifestyle District. This complex close to Gaisano Mall has several bars and restaurants. In good weather, you can just chill and also listen to the live band.
Located behind the Centrio Mall, SkyBar is located on the top level where you can find a nice view of the city. It’s very chill and windy on top and if you like to do some dancing, there is a bar right next to it that I am sure will offer you a great time.
Top View Resto Bar
If you want to take a glimpse of the city from the top, you must check this rooftop bar located at Newdawn Hotel Plus. This is probably one of the best known rooftop bars in Cagayan De Oro. If you are planning to visit, it is best to come in the afternoon. You can order drinks or food and just enjoy the panoramic view of the city.
Water Adventure in Cagayan De Oro
Only an hour or two out from Cagayan De Oro City, a visit to Tinago Falls in Iligan City is a must activity. Get to see these massive waterfalls where you can swim around and if you are brave enough, perhaps do a cliff jump. One thing is for sure, it’s a really beautiful and refreshing destination not far away from the city.
If anyone hears about Cagayan De Oro, this is primarily what is on their mind; to do rafting along the Cagayan River. The adventure takes around half a day so better start in the morning. They have two stages of the rafting, one takes around one hour and the other takes longer which also means the longer distance to conquer. We tried to go for a longer one, but since it was summer, we were told that the river is not high enough to push through. Oh well, I will just have to keep trying!
Where to Pamper yourself in Cagayan De Oro?
Everybody needs some pampering sometimes, I was walking around the streets of JR Borja St and saw Jaja Salon. It’s very busy which just means that they are doing a great job. They offer services like hair and make-up, spa and non-surgical treatments and much more. I walked in and decided to pamper myself with a foot spa and a massage. They were very good!
Massage at the Divi Soria Plaza
After a day of activities in and around the city, this is my favorite go-to place at night, to get a nice massage at the Divisoria Plaza. Locals and tourists alike of all ages come to visit this place where professionally trained masseurs are waiting for you. At a good price, you can just sit on the chair and relax and let their strong and firm hands do the job. Highly recommended!
Another place of Interest…
Philippine Ostrich and Crocodile Farm
Entrance: Php 30.00
Located in Opol, Cagayan De Oro, you can visit the Ostrich and Crocodile Farm. It’s only around 30 minutes by taxi or jeepney and once you get there, prepare yourself to see hundreds of ostriches in captivity. Since it’s a farm, you can also get ostrich meat. On the west side of the farm, you will find the crocodile farm. They don’t have much but it was just fascinating to see.
I am sure I’ve given you enough information that will help you with your itinerary and perhaps places you can visit in your free time, with all these, one thing is for sure in the City of Golden Friendship, you will never run out of things to do!