Cagayan de Oro may very well be the happiest place in the country. The “City of Golden Friendship,” as it is sometimes called, is home to especially friendly and warm Filipinos. Their ready smiles are a fitting welcome, with Cagayan de Oro’s accessible location also making it the “Gateway to Northern Mindanao.” Cagayan de Oro’s much talked-about whitewater rafting and river trekking make it the premier whitewater destination in the country. The Cagayan de Oro River is famed for challenging rapids that quickly follow one after the other. It’s really an experience like no other and well worth the initial scare. They say the wild river helps you discover your inner strength and endurance. Nice! Character-building fun!
Still not enough thrills for you? Make sure you visit the Macahambus Hill Cave and Gorge. Ask your Tourism officer about the Battle of Macahambus Hill, the first Filipino victory against the Americans. Admire the view from the 120-meter long Sky Bridge suspended 120 feet from the ground, and then take the 120-meter breathtaking zipline.
More action-packed fun awaits you at Jatico Adventures. A five-course zipline, ATV rides, and hiking trails are among the many things on offer.
Not to be missed are the Mapawa Nature Park for its waterfalls, trekking, and rappelling.
It’s not all thrill rides though. What’s a great adventure without culture and heritage?
Understand local customs and traditions at the Museo de Oro. Or acquaint yourself with the people of Northern Mindanao at the Museum of Three Cultures. and the Gardens of Malasag Eco-Tourism Village for its showcase of tribal houses set amidst nature trails.
At the General MacArthur Marker, you’ll learn more about the role played by Cagayan de Oro in history and about US General MacArthur, one of the most important figures of World War II.
Admire the centuries-old stained glass panels of the Gothic St. Augustine Metropolitan Cathedral. While nearby, the tree-lined Gaston Park is a relaxing haven in the city.
In Cagayan de Oro, the month of August is synonymous with the Kagay-an Festival. This almost two week-long celebration has a carnival-like atmosphere, and is dedicated to its patron, St. Augustine. It’s a full-blast party, with activities such as agricultural trade fairs and a cultural street dancing parade and competition. The highlight of the celebration is the Golden Float Parade. Make sure to bring your shades! The bright colors will dazzle you.
Cagayan de Oro has something for the eco-tourist as well as the sports lover. So, grab your backpacks and head to where nature’s beauty will thrill you. This happy place could very well leave you with a smile on your face.