Road Trip in Northern Mindanao

Day 1- Cagayan de Oro; Camp Phillips: Del Monte, Bukidnon

Cagayan de Oro City, the Gateway to Northern Mindanao. Cagayan de Oro, officially the City of Cagayan de Oro or simply referred to as CDO. This golden city has a lot to offer. It is a bustling metropolis and tranquility is just not one of its strong features. Cagayan de Oro is very well known as the White Water Rafting capital of the Philippines.

The fastest way to get to Cagayan de Oro is by plane. There are also ferry boat trips and fast crafts. Buses for those who are just within Mindanao area are also available.

We took a direct flight from Iloilo City to Cagayan de Oro with a 55 minutes journey. Around 12:55pm we are landed at Laguindingan International Airport then we meet and greet the staff of our rented car.

We drive all the way to Bukidnon to visit the Del Monte Pineapple Plantation. Travel time from Cagayan de Oro to the closest Bukidnon town of Manolo Fortich is about 1 hour. Bukidnon is also known for the freshest fruits and vegetables, so never forget to try some of Bukidnon’s produce straight from the many farms and ranches in the province.

Checking in at Ram’s Place we book via Airbnb. We chose Ram’s Place because of the location. We will be visiting Dahilayan Adventure Park and it’s 30mins drive to Dahilayan. When in Bukidnon, Ram’s Place provides a safe and laid-back space for families and small group of friends wanting to experience the idyllic afternoons and cool evenings spent stargazing, uninterrupted by the flashing city lights. Inside this private property, you will fall in love with the modern-themed bedrooms and enjoy a cool dip in the private swimming pool.

Though it’s quite difficult to find an eating place in the town as most of the store closed early we manage have our dinner at a Carinderia (a food stall with a small seating area, typically in a market or at a roadside), Vill Violeta Carinderia with choices of Filipino cuisine affordable food and will saves a lot.

Locals seem to be all in the house before 6pm and super few stores are open. Every afternoon it rains in Bukidnon with a foggy ambience. I think the climate is cool due to its altitude and the temperatures are usually compared to those of Baguio City.

Day 2- Dahilayan Adventure Park; Christ of the Divine Mercy; Tinago Falls; Maria Cristina Falls

The highlands of Bukidnon literally explode with breathtaking sceneries from its cool climate to rugged mountains. To see this beauty we brave to try Asia’s Longest Dual Zipline and fly like Superman from a launch point at 4,700 feet above sea level. With speeds of up to 90 kph, zoom through lush greenery and breathtaking views only found in the mountains of Dahilayan.

*Note: There are few packages of extreme rides available

After the Zipline ride at Dahilayan Adventure Park we drove back to CDO and visit the Divine Mercy Shrine El Salvador. We left at around 9:30am in Bukidnon and we reached in Divine Mercy Shrine at 12nn.

Up above the Macajalar Bay in El Salvador on the Philippines island of Mindanao is a 50-foot statue of Jesus, where the faithful process into his body via a staircase that radiates out from his body. The monumental Christ is located at Divine Mercy Hills, and at his base is a healing chapel, while in his chest he holds a “chamber of adoration.”

WhatsApp Image 2020-04-16 at 7.16.17 PM*Note: Traffic may affect your estimated journey

Around 1pm we left Divine Mercy Shrine and drove to City of Majestic Waterfalls, Iligan City. Iligan was derived from the root word “Ilig” which means “to go downstream” in the native Iligan dialect – thus the numerous waterfalls surrounding the city.

Our first itinerary in Iligan is to visit Maria Cristina falls but we lost the route thus not to waste our time we decided to go Tinago Falls first.

You will be awed with how it looked majestic in real life, and how peaceful you’ll feel once you’ve reached this destination. Tinago Falls has 365 steps before you see its beauty yes that’s is the reason why its called Tinago meaning hidden. Cold waters and its calm blue-colored lagoon, making it a picture-worthy tourist attraction.

After going to Tinago Falls, we went to the second highest waterfalls in the Philippines, Maria Cristina Falls also called as the “twin falls” due to a large rock at the waterfalls brink dividing the water flow. This time we manage to get the correct route by asking the locals (must mention you wanted to see the falls nearer).

*Note: Due to red alert the falls is not open for public. We were just lucky after asking permission to the chief they allowed us but with tight security. The security guard will guide you when going in and only specific area is allowed for viewing.

We head back to CDO at around 5:30pm, reached 8pm then checked in at Win Min Transient Inn. Win Min Transient Inn is located within the Bus Terminal Arrivals Building in Market City (formerly Agora). It is quite convenient for passengers arriving in the terminal late in the evening or early morning. Commuting to other destinations especially to Camiguin Island is hassle free.

Late night the rented car was collected and we call it a day. Day 3 will be an adventure to Camiguin Island and it will be posted separately.

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