5 Things To Do in Cagayan de Oro

Cagayan de Oro is best known for Whitewater Rafting and kayaking adventures. This first class and capital city in the province of Misamis Oriental in Northern Mindanao has been dubbed the “River Rafting Capital of the Philippines.” However, this adventure activity is best experienced if you’re staying a few days in the city. I tried this years ago during pre-blogging days when waterproof digital cameras were not yet that popular. For first-time visitors, this would be the major highlight of your visit to Cagayan de Oro.

mapawa nature park cagayan de oro travelup tree

But aside from whitewater rafting, what else is there to do if you only have a limited time to go around?  Here are some things to do in Cagayan de Oro around the city that you can easily visit in a day.

Visit the Mapawa Nature Adventure Park

Located just 30 minutes from the city proper, Mapawa Nature Park is an adventure park that offers a range of activities. We visited briefly for a tree-planting activity, but I would love to go back to try the different activities you can do there including canyoning, river treks, horseback rides, and mountain biking trails.

mapawa nature park cagayan de oro photo of trails

One of the most visited attractions here is a trail hike that takes you to a 350-year-old Dao heritage tree. For those doing the river trek and canyoning, Mapawa has several waterfalls including one that’s two storeys high and acts as a natural slide, a six-storey-high waterfall that you have to rappel down, and a 25-foot-high cliff jump. This river trek costs P1,200 per person, with a minimum of five people per group. Lunch is included.

mapawa nature park cagayan de oro group shot heritage tree

You can also try the forest zip line for P325 or go horseback riding for P200 an hour. The park also contains a bed and breakfast cabin where you can stay for P650 per head, minimum of five people in a group.

Mapawa Nature Adventure Park is located in Malasag, Cugman, 9000 Cagayan de Oro City. Tel. no: 0926-1773441. Website: http://www.mapawa.com/

Eat in Kagay-anon Restaurant

Kagay-anon Restaurant is said to be one of the best Filipino restaurants in the city, with several awards under its belt. The name of the restaurant means someone who is born or from Cagayan de Oro or Misamis Oriental. The restaurant has native interiors, is spacious and good for big groups. They have a pretty wide menu of typical Filipino favorites like sinigang, barbecue and sisig.

kagayanon restaurant specialties cagayan de oro

Our hosts ordered several Kagay-anon specialties including pinakbet served inside a whole pumpkin, Kagay-anon soup with huge clams, Kilawin, ostrich salpicao and crocodile sisig. They also serve ostrich cooked ala pobre, steak, tapa and tenderloin and crocodile salpicao and sisig. While the dishes are a bit pricey (P450 for ostrich dishes and P375 for crocs), those who are interested in trying exotic cuisine may still want to visit this homegrown restaurant.

kagayanon restaurant cagayan de oro ostrich salpicao kilawin

Kagay-anon Restaurant is located in Limketkai Center, Rosario Cres, Cagayan de Oro, 9000 Misamis Oriental.

Visit the Museo de Oro

There are several museums around Cagayan de Oro, but one of the most well-curated is the Museo de Oro located inside Xavier University. The museum is composed of two main exhibit rooms focusing on The Ethnohistory of Northern Midnanao and The Ethnology of Mindanao.

museo de oro cagayan de oro traditional crafts

The museum is open from Tuesday to Saturday 8am – 12nn, 1pm-5pm. Closed on Mondays. Open on holidays upon advance booking of group tour minimum of 10 pax. Admission: Regular rates – P70. XU Alumni & XU Graduate Students – P60. Students and Senior Citizens – P30.

museo de oro cagayan de oro weaponry

Museo de Oro, Xavier Center for Culture and Arts. Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan. Corrales Avenue, Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines. Tel No. 8583116 (2402). Facebook: XU – Museo de Oro

Ride a Motorela

The motorela is the main form of public transportation in Cagayan de Oro. The unique homegrown vehicle, which is also used in Camiguin and other areas of Mindanao, is the brainchild of Rafael D. Floirendo, Sr., a Filipino inventor who designed the vehicle in 1964 to give more space for passengers.

motorela cagayan de oro

This local version of the tricycle has a jeepney-like cabin with two benches facing each other built around a single motorcycle giving space for 8-10 people. The name is said to come from the combination of “motorized” and “caretella”.

Buy unique souvenirs and local products

Coming from Camiguin, we passed by the town of Salay near the port on our way to Cagayan de Oro. Here, you can find Salay Handmade Products, a homegrown brand that is a key Fair Trader in the Philippines and an active world class player in handmade paper products and pressed flower designing. The company offers tours for people to see how the traditional paper is made and experience flower pressing firsthand.

salay handmade products presed flower calendar misamis oriental

One of their product lines that make good souvenirs are trendy and well-designed modern wallets branded Gutsy Fiber, which are made from strong, wear and tear resistant biodegradable handmade paper made from non-tree raw materials such as grass and fibers.

Salay Handmade Products Industries, Inc.(Shapii) is located in SHAPII Bldg., El Progreso Salayano St., Salay, 9007 Misamis Oriental Misamis Oriental Region 10, Philippines. Website: http://www2.salayhandmade.com/ 
missy bonbon pastel cagayan de oroBefore heading home, we also passed by Plaza Divisoria to buy fresh fruits like lanzones from Camiguin. Other must-buys, which you can grab in the airport include Missy Bonbon Pastel (the Hazelnut chocolate flavor is really good), SLERS meat products and chicharon and cashew products.


Strategically located just 200 meters from the Limketkai Mall and 45-minutes away from the Laguindingan International Airport., Limketkai Luxe Hotel is an ideal choice for leisure and business travelers. The hotel, said to be one of the biggest and highest hotel in Cagayan de Oro, features an infinity pool, restaurant and wellness center with sauna.

limketkai luxe hotel cagayan de oro room key

Air-conditioned rooms are clean and very modern, with touchscreen panels for the door and lights, soundproofing and carpeted floors. Rooms come with a flat-screen TV and cable channels. The hotel has its own in-house restaurant and bar, which offers buffet breakfast, local and Chinese cuisine.
TPB VisitPh2015 logo
Thank you to the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) of the Philippines and Region 10 Northern Mindanao office of the Department of Tourism (DOT) for making this trip to Cagayan de Oro possible.

7 thoughts on “5 Things To Do in Cagayan de Oro

  1. Pingback: Gear Review: Keen Uneek Footwear | Travel Up

  2. You missed…….. Go to the only Bus Terminal in the world where you need to pay to get in 🙂 🙂

    The bus from Balingoan dropped everyone off outside and I was very surprised to find that in order to catch a bus to Malaybalay i had to pay P3 to actually enter the terminal.
    In all my years of travel i have never experienced this anywhere else, so CDO is unique indeed 🙂

    • Hi Ana. Like I said in the intro, CDO is best known for whitewater rafting, which I got to try during my last visit (I didn’t have a waterproof camera at the time). These are suggestions for those who have a limited time in the city only. 🙂

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