Cagayan de Oro Sights and POI
Cagayan de Oro is undoubtedly an adventure destination but you don't have to be an adrenaline junkie in order to enjoy the city. There's a good deal of strolling, shopping, and sightseeing that awaits an easy-going tourist.
Start your day by joining the Tsada Kagay-an City Tour or TK4 which will give you an insider's insight into the lives of the local people as you visit historical and cultural landmarks. Depending on your availability, you can sign up for a half day tour for only 500PHP. It lasts about 4 hours. We visited places such as Plaza Divisoria, Cogon Market, Gen. MacArthur Marker, and a lot more. It was a well-organized event and we had a really good time going around in a coaster with our very own DOT accredited guide. If you wish to see more you can book a full day tour with lunch for 1,499PHP and visit three additional spots: Museum of Three Cultures, Bulua Stoneware Pottery, and Malasag Eco Village.
St Augustine Metropolitan Cathedral
If you prefer to do it on your own however, getting around is not a problem and we can recommend a few places that you simply should not miss. For example, the Saint Augustine Metropolitan Cathedral with its beautiful Gothic Revival architecture is the city's pride and joy. The present structure was built shortly after the Second World War but it has a more extensive history that saw the conversion to Christianity of the early settlers. The vibrant stained glass is a fascinating contrast to the church's muted external facade.
Next up, visit some local parks. We had a curious time observing avid chess players in Vicente de Lara (Provincial Capitol) and going from one makeshift stall to another for a taste of their local street food. It's also a nice place to jog and we were even able to join a free Zumba class!
Next, there's the oldest landmark in the city, Gaston Park, which is conveniently located between Saint Augustine Metropolitan Cathedral and the city museum. It's well loved by the Kagay-anons and it serves as a central meeting place for friends on weekends as well as families after the Sunday church services.
Landmarks and Monuments
Plaza Divisoria (RN Abejuela Street, Tirso Neri St.) is where you will find statues of local heroes like Jose Rizal and Andres Bonifacio. This place used to come alive at night to host a night cafe and flea market until the crackdown on street vendors sometime last year (2016). Now people who want to spend an evening shopping and dining can go to Corrales Avenue where you will find bars, cafes, spas, restaurants, KTV's, and clothing shops.
The city also doesn't lack in museums. There's Xavier Museum which is a part of a premier university and boasts a huge collection of artifacts. The entrance fee is 70PHP only and the displays are well presented and labelled.
Similarly, the Museum of Three Cultures (Capitol University, Corner Osmena Street and Corrales Avenue) also features interesting artifacts, archaeological finds, ceramics, jewelleries, arts, antiques, and a lot more showcasing the rich culture of the Lumads, the Muslims and the Christians. Admission fee to the museum is 50PHP.
F.S. Catanico Falls
Finally, if you haven't had enough of nature yet, we strongly recommend going off the beaten path and heading to F.S. Catanico Falls located about 20 minutes from the city. It is a nice place for a swim and some picnic with open cottages available for rent. This little pocket of green is a nice respite and the admission fee is also amazingly cheap at only 20PHP. If you decide to go there, note that there's a bit of a hike to reach the falls, so wear appropriate shoes.