Contributed by Miked’s Travel PH
Extreme and exciting activities, majestic waterfalls and lovely natural attractions — all these and more await you in Northern Mindanao! Let me share with you a travel guide to help you prepare for your Iligan, Camiguin, Bukidnon and Cagayan de Oro adventure!
How to Get There
Laguindingan Airport in Misamis Oriental
Northern Mindanao comprises five provinces: Camiguin, Misamis Oriental, Lanao del Norte, Bukidnon and Misamis Occidental. The main entry point is via Misamis Oriental. Laguindingan International Airport gives access to Northern Mindanao via air travel.
From Manila/Cebu to CDO
We <3 CDO
There are direct flights coming from Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and Mactan-Cebu International Airport to Laguindingan International Airport. Ferries from Manila and Cebu to Cagayan de Oro are also available. The flight takes around an hour while travelling by sea is around 33 hours and 8 hours from Manila and Cebu, respectively.
Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific Air, and AirAsia have Manila or Cebu to CDO (Laguindingan Airport) flights. Cebu Pacific and AirAsia usually have cheaper promo flights. Once in Laguindingan Airport, you can either take a bus going to the city proper for PHP 50.00 (non-AC) and 85.00 (AC) or a shuttle that ranges from PHP 100-200. Alternatively, you can rent a car or van with driver for a day for PHP 1,000 – 1,800.
By sea, you can check 2Go Travel or Cokaliong Shipping for ferries from Manila and Cebu. There are also provincial buses from Cubao that can take you to Cagayan de Oro City.
From Manila or Cebu to Iligan
Shuttles in Laguindingan Airport
Iligan City is geographically part of the province of Lanao del Norte. Laguindigan Airport is still the access point when going to Iligan since there are no airports in Lanao del Norte.
By air, take flights from the airlines mentioned above. At the airport, ride a shuttle van going to Laguindingan Intersection. The fare is PHP 50. At the intersection, ride a bus bound to Iligan City. The fare is PHP 145 and travel time is around an hour and a half. By sea, you can also check the ferry lines mentioned above.
From CDO to Camiguin
Van routes in Agora Terminal
Camiguin is an island in Northern Mindanao. Air and sea travel are options but the former is limited since its airport only serves flights coming from Cebu City.
From the city proper, ride a jeep going to Agora Market Terminal. Then ride a bus or van bound to Balingoan Port. The fare is around PHP 150++ and travel time is two to three hours. At Balingoan Port, take a ferry or RoRo vessel going to Benoni Port in Camiguin. The fare is around PHP 150 – 170 and travel time is at most two hours. At Benoni Port, there are motorbikes that you can rent or multi-cabs you can hire to get you around the island.
Waiting area in Balingoan Port
Where to Stay
Cagayan de Oro City is highly urbanised so finding a place to stay here is not a problem. Same goes for Iligan City. While in Camiguin, you can stay at beach resorts.
Cagayan de Oro
- Win Min Transient Inn (Agora): +63 088 856-8043 (Recommended)
- D’Morvie (Yacapin Street): +63 088 856-7197
- Park View Hotel (Triso Neri Street): +63 088 857-1197 / +63 088 857-1198
- Executive Pension (Mabini Street): +63 088 856-4360
- Victoria Suites (Tirso Neri Street): +63 088 309-2222 / +63 088 22-72-2222 / +63 088 857-4447
Win Min Transient Inn at Agora Terminal
- Famous Pension House (Tibanga/San Miguel): +63 063 225-3968 / +63 922 8919636 / +63 063 225-3966
- Jasmine Penssione Home (Tibanga): +63 063 222-1362
- Alya Vista Lodge (Poblacion):+63 063 223-3915
- Casa Absuelo (Catarman):+63 088 387-8020 / +63 949 362-7760 / +63 928 706-3640
- JJE Pension House (Poblacion):+63 088 387-2094
- Chumz Travelodge (Mambajao):+63 088 387-9549/ +63 917 303-7305
- Paras Beach Resort (Mambajao): +63 088 387-9008 / +63 917 715-2285
- Ardent Hot Spring Resort (Mambajao): +63 088 387-0948
Ardent Hibok-Hibok Spring Resort
Attractions and Activities
Here’s a list of places to visit and activities that you should definitely try!
Chasing the Majestic Waterfalls of Iligan City
The majestic Tinago Falls
There are around 23 waterfalls in Iligan City. You can have a day trip to the city to visit some of the accessible sites like the Maria Cristina Falls, Mimbalut Falls, and the ever beautiful Tinago Falls.
Buy Pasalubong from Iligan
Iligan’s pride, Cheding’s Toasted Peanuts
Take home Cheding’s Toasted Peanuts as pasalubong (souvenir).
Explore Camiguin Island
Sunken Cemetery Marker in Camiguin
White Island and Mantigue Island in Camiguin
White Island with Mt.Vulcan and Hibok-Hibok
Take a million selfies in White Island with Mt. Vulcan and Hibok-Hibok Volcano at the background and go beach bumming in Mantigue Island.
Taste the Lanzones of Camiguin
The sweetest Lanzones!
Be sure to buy Lanzones that costs only around PHP 15 – 30 per kilo! Camiguin also celebrates Lanzones Festival every third week of October.
Extreme activities in Bukidnon
The 840 meter zip line in Dahilayan Adventure Park, Bukidnon
Try out some adrenaline pumping activities in Dahilayan Adventure Park like the 840-meter zipline, the drop zone, and sky tower base jump!
Whitewater rafting in Cagayan de Oro river
Continue the extreme activities by white water rafting in Cagayan de Oro River!
Mapawa Nature Park
This is another destination for extreme seeking travellers. Mapawa Nature Park offers extreme activities like zip-lining, rappelling, and canyoneering.
Eat local and Explore the City
Puto maya and hot chocolate or “sikwati” (top left) with Humba (top right) in Cogon Market
Go to Cogon Market to have some humba (somewhat like adobo) in Humba ni Aling Violy then sikwati and putomaya for dessert.
Buy some pastel for pasalubong
Pastel from Missy Bon Bon and Vjandep
Aside from Cheding’s Roasted Peanuts, be sure to take home pastels, the famous bread from Camiguin that you can also buy in Cagayan de Oro.
Visit the Divine Mercy Shrine in El Salvador City
Divine Mercy Shrine in El Salvador
Have a little side trip to El Salvador City to visit the Divine Mercy Shrine. It has a 50-foot statue of the Divine Mercy Christ.
This is our 5 days, 4 nights itinerary for our Iligan, Camiguin, Bukidnon and Cagayan de Oro Trip.
07:00 AM – ETA Laguindingan Airport
07:30 AM – ETD Iligan City
09:30 AM – Start of tour/ETA Maria Cristina Falls/Mimbalut Falls
12:00 NN – Lunchtime (Ihaw-ihaw eateries along Linamon Highway)
12:00 NN – Sidetrip Macaraeg-Macapagal Ancestral House
01:30 PM – Tinago Falls
05:00 PM – Back to CDO/Stay in inns at Agora Terminal
Day 2 – Camiguin Island Day 1
05:30 AM – Wake up call/Breakfast
06:00 AM – ETD Agora Terminal to Balingoan Port (2-hour bus ride)
09:00 AM – ETD Balingoan Port to Benoni Port in Camiguin (2-hour ferry ride)
11:00 AM – ETA Camiguin/Check-in to accommodation
12:00 NN – Lunchtime
01:00 PM – Start exploring the island:
–:00 PM – Katibawasan Falls, Soda Water Park, Tuasan Falls, Sto Niño Cold Spring, Ardent Hotspring
–:00 PM – Back to accommodation/Dinner/Rest
Day 3 – Camiguin Island Day 2
06:00 AM – Wake up call/breakfast
06:00 AM – Continue island exploration: Walkway to Old Volcano, Sunken Cemetery, Guiob Church Ruins
07:00 AM – White Island
09:00 AM – Mantigue Island
01:30 PM – Late lunch/Checkout
03:00 PM – ETD Benoni Port to Balingoan Port (2-hour ferry ride)
05:00 PM – ETD Balingoan Port to Agora Terminal, CDO (2-hour bus ride)
07:00 PM – Check-in to hotel/accommodation then dinner
Day 4 – Bukidnon and Cagayan de Oro
06:00 AM – Wakeup call/Breakfast
06:00 AM – ETD Agora Terminal to Brgy. Dahilayan, Bukidnon (an hour or more travel time)
08:00 AM – Extreme Activities in Dahilayan Adventure Park
11:00 AM – Go back to CDO
12:30 PM – Lunchtime/Prepare for White Water Rafting
01:00 PM – White Water River Rafting
06:00 PM – Back to hotel/accommodation then dinner
Day 5 – Cagayan de Oro and Going Home 🙁
07:00 AM – Wakeup call/Breakfast
07:30 AM – Optional: Mapawa Nature Park
07:30 AM – Optional: City Tour
12:00 NN – Lunchtime
03:30 PM – Prepare and pack up
04:00 PM – Visit Divin Mercy Shrine in El Salvador City (on the way to airport)
05:30 PM – ETA Laguindingan Airport
Chilling out in Sto. Niño Cold Spring
Here’s a breakdown of our expenses (per person in a group of five persons) during our trip. This only includes necessary expenses like fares, food, tour guides, entrance fees, and accommodations. Tips and other expenses like souvenirs are not included.
Day 1: CDO and Iligan
- Fare (Van Rental from CDO-Iligan-CDO with tour): PHP 2900.00 / 5 = PHP 580.00
- Entrance Fee (Maria Cristina Falls): PHP 50.00
- Food (Lunch at Glorias Ihaw-Ihaw): PHP 160.00
- Entrance Fee (Mimbalut Falls): PHP 25.00
- Entrance Fee (Donation in Tinago Falls): PHP 20.00
- Others (Bamboo raft in Tinago Falls and Life Vest): PHP 10.00 + PHP 20.00
- Food (Dinner at Agora Terminal): PHP 70.00
- Accommodation (AC Room Win Min) PHP 1260.00 (good for 3) = PHP 420.00
Total: PHP 1,355.00
Ihaw-ihaw and puso rice in Gloria’s Ihaw-Ihaw, Iligan
Day 2: CDO and Camiguin
- Food (Breakfast in Agora Terminal): PHP 100.00
- Fare (Van from Agora to Balingoan Port): PHP 100.00
- Fare (Terminal Fee in Balingoan Port): PHP 15.00
- Fare (Ferry from Balingoan Port to Benoni Port, Camiguin): PHP 170.00
- Transport (2 Motorbike Rental for 24 hours): PHP 1200.00 / 5 = PHP 240.00
- Transport (Gas for the 2 motorbikes): PHP 200.00 = PHP 40.00
- Food (Lunch in Guerrera Asian Restaurant): PHP 175.00
- Entrance Fee (Soda Water Park): PHP 30.00
- Entrance Fee (Sto Niño Cold Spring): PHP 30.00
- Food (Dinner at Luna Ristorante): PHP 700.00 / 5 = PHP 140.00
- Accommodation (AC Room near Paras Beach Resort): PHP 1500.00 / 5 = PHP 300.00
Total: PHP 1,340.00
Riding in Camiguin
Day 3: Camiguin and CDO
- Entrance Fee (Katibawasan Falls): PHP 30.00
- Transport (Extra Gas for 2 Motorbikes): PHP 150.00 / 5 = PHP 30.00
- Entrance Fee (Ardent Hotspring): PHP 30.00
- Food (Lunch at Ardent Hotspring): PHP 130.00
- Transport (Boat to White Island): PHP 450.00 / 5 = PHP 90.00
- Entrance Fee (Environmental fee for White Island): PHP 40.00
- Fare (Terminal Fee in Benoni Port): PHP 15.00
- Fare (Ferry from Benoni Port to Balingoan Port): PHP 170.00
- Fare (Trike from Balingoan Port to Bus Terminal): PHP 8.00
- Fare (Bus going to Agora Terminal): PHP 85.00
- Accommodation (AC Room Win Min) PHP 1260.00 (good for 3) = PHP 420.00
Total: PHP 1,048.00
Sunset in Balingoan Port
Day 4: Bukidnon and CDO
- Food (Breakfast in fast food in Agora Terminal): PHP 100.00
- Fare (Van Rental CDO-Bukidnon-CDO): PHP 2500.00 / 5 = PHP 500.00
- Activity (Zip Challenge Package in Dahilayan Adventure Park): PHP 1000.00
- Food (Lunch in fast food SM CDO) PHP 100.00
- Activity (White Water Rafting): PHP 1100.00
- Other (Photo and Video CD of the rafting): PHP 500 / 5 = PHP 100.00
- Food (Dinner in Divisoria): PHP 100.00
- Accommodation (Hotel near Divisoria): PHP 1500.00 / 5 = PHP 300.00
Total: PHP 3,300.00
Divisoria in Cagayan de Oro
Day 5: CDO
- Fare (Cogon Market): PHP 7.00
- Food (Breakfast at Humba ni Aling Violy): PHP 46.00
- Food (Sikwati and Puto Maya): PHP 20.00
- Fare (Cogon Market to Divisoria): PHP 8.00
- Fare (Van Rental CDO to Airport with side trip to Divine Mercy Shrine): PHP 150.00
Total: PHP 231.00