Where to stay
- Bed and Breakfast by Budgetel, Lifestyle District, Corrales Extension; +63 88 856 4200; www.budgetel.com.ph. A homely and affordable B&B with friendly and approachable staff.
- Limketkai Luxe Hotel, Limketkai Ave, Limketkai Center; +63 88 880 0000; limketkailuxe.com. A modern four-star hotel with a spa and an infinity pool.
- Marianne Suites, Tiano Brothers St corner Antonio Luna St; +63 88 880 2123. A simple three-star hotel with free WiFi and an in-house restaurant.
- Seda Centrio Hotel, Claro M. Recto Ave corner Corrales Ave; +63 88 323 8888; www.sedahotels.com/centrio. A modern hotel located in the upscale Centrio Mall – perfect for shopaholics! It’s also just steps away from Vicente de Lara Park.
Where to eat
- Bigby’s Café and Restaurant, G/F Centrio Mall, Claro M. Recto Ave; +63 88 855 1602; www.bigbyscafe.net. Signature dishes include the barbecued pork ribs and roast beef.
- Butcher’s Best Barbecue, Hayes St; +63 88 857 7333. If you’re on a budget, head to this barbecue joint, where you can get a full and satisfying meal for as low as PHP150. The sizzling sisig is a must-try.
- Candy’s Café, G/F Centrio Mall, Claro M. Recto Ave. A pleasant café where you can feast on spinach pizzas, spaghetti carbonara, black velvet cakes, mango crepes and more.
- Circa 1850, G/F Tune Hotel, Claro M. Recto Ave; +63 88 852 1850; facebook.com/Circa1850CDO. A restaurant concept inspired by the slow food movement, so expect predominantly local and organic ingredients.
- High Ridge, Macasandig; +63 943 708 5492. The best place to unwind with a cocktail or two as the sun sets over the city.
- Kagay-Anon Restaurant, 2/F Limketkai Center, Rosario Cres; +63 88 856 3688. Order the sinuglaw, a combination of grilled pork and fish kinilaw (ceviche).
- Mercedes Bakery, Brgy 34. A homegrown bakery specialising in breads, cakes and pastries, including a really mouthwatering pineapple crumble that’s made with fresh pineapples from the Del Monte plantation in Bukidnon.
- Minindal Cuisine, San Agustin St corner Tiano Brothers St; +63 922 966 0384. A Filipino restaurant near Gaston Park that dishes out sisig (sizzling pork) and other local fare.
- Panagatan Seafood Restaurant, Zone 3, Iligan-Cagayan de Oro-Butuan Rd, Opol; +63 922 858 6071. Sample the restaurant’s kinilaw (fish ceviche) or Native Chicken Tinola, whilst enjoying views of the Cagayan de Oro bay.
- Pane e Dolci, 8th-21st St; +63 917 708 6271; facebook.com/pane.e.dolci. Head here for delectable pastas, desserts like silvanas, and coffee. Try the Caffe Zibetto, which is civet coffee that can be prepared in three different ways.
- Prawn House Suites and Restaurant, Regatta Square, Pueblo de Oro; +63 88 851 9014; facebook.com/prawnhouse. This hotel is better known for its restaurant, which serves up a variety of affordable seafood dishes, such as prawn thermidor.
- Prito Paborito!, Rizal St. Kagay-anons take pride in their fried chicken, as demonstrated by this homegrown fast food joint. A two-piece fried chicken meal with rice costs only PHP64.
- Redtail Shrimps & More, Stalls 5 and 6, Papa Juanitos Square; +63 88 880 3950; facebook.com/redtailshrimps. Order the fisherman’s catch – mixed seafood in a pan that’s good for two persons.
- SLERS Express Meals, G/F Gaisano City Mall. Sample the best grilled pork belly in town. The restaurant’s breakfast meals, such as chicha-rice (fried rice topped with crispy chicharon), are good too.
What to do
- Canopy Walk, Claveria. Just an hour from the city center, this treetop walk is for the brave at heart. It includes a climb up Mt. Magbais, speeding down a zipline and traversing five hanging bridges suspended 36m above the ground. The memorable walk above lush cloud forest, however, makes it worth the sweat.
- Dahilayan Adventure Park, Dahilayan, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon; www.dahilayanadventurepark.com. Ride Asia’s longest dual zipline or go parajumping off an eight-storey high tower.
- Divine Mercy Shrine, El Salvador. This Catholic monument features a 15.24m-tall statue of Jesus as the Divine Mercy. Its surroundings are no less impressive — it overlooks Macajalar Bay on the southern island of Mindanao.
- Gardens of Malasag Eco-Tourism Village, Malasag Hill, Cugman; +63 88 309 3752; www.gardensofmalasag.com. Nature lovers should flock to this 7.2-hectare biosanctuary, which boasts an array of flora and fauna and offers great views of the surrounding bay.
- Macahambus Hill Cave and Gorge. Admire great views of the Cagayan de Oro River from the cave’s veranda.
- Mantangale. The beautiful coral reefs here are replete with colorful marine life, so invest in an underwater camera if you can. It’s also a great place to spot dolphins and whale sharks, and is the jump-off point to the beaches and dive areas of Camiguin Island.
- Mapawa Nature Park, Malasag; mapawa.com. This nature parks caters to all adventure seekers – you can go trekking, ziplining, and whitewater rafting here.
- Maria Cristina Falls, Iligan City. From Cagayan de Oro, take a 1.5-hour bus ride to Iligan City, home of the famous Maria Cristina Falls — one of the tallest waterfalls in the Philippines.
- Museo de Oro, Xavier University, Corrales Ave. Home to well-preserved artefacts, art and prehistoric fossils that celebrate Mindanao’s rich history and culture.
- Sinulom Falls. Take a jeep to Brgy Tignapoloan and trek to the riverbanks of Cagayan de Oro River to see the 28 cascades that comprise Sinulom Falls.
- Ultra Winds Mountain Resort, Convention Center Access Rd, Baungon, Bukidnon; +63 88 850 0000; www.ultrawinds.com. Go ziplining, horseback riding and more at this popular resort.
- Whitewater rafting. There’s no better way to explore the spectacular Cagayan de Oro River than on an inflatable raft. Kagay (+63 88 852 1021; www.kagaycagayandeororafting.com) uses state-of-the-art equipment and courses are conducted by experienced guides, so you can be assured of your safety.