Hidden Gems to Visit in Cagayan De Oro

Rafting in Cagayan De Oro Hidden Gem

Quiet beaches, hidden waterfalls, and an abundance of adventure locations, Cagayan De Oro should be on every adventurer’s bucket list. So, Let’s take a trip and visit the hidden gems o one of the happiest places in the Philippines, the Cagayan De Oro!

Friendly faces, adventurous places, and very welcoming Kagay-anons are the heart of Cagayan De Oro, the capital city of Misamis Oriental and it is one of the country’s most popular cities. It is the entryway to Northern Mindanao since it acts as a crossroads for trade with neighboring provinces. As a result, business and tourism are more active than in nearby towns and cities. Aside from the city’s growing economy, Cagayan de Oro is also home to stunning natural beauties such as beaches, gorgeous mountains, and lush forests with hidden gems such as lovely waterfalls, rivers, and caves. On top of all of this, there’s another reason why travelers love returning to Cagayan De Oro, and that’s because of their incomparable hospitality. Cagayan de Oro is known as the “City of Golden Friendship” for the reason that you can anticipate meeting and encountering its people, known as Kagay-anons, with warm welcoming smiles and friendly vibes while you discover and visit their hidden gems. 

So, without further ado, fasten your seatbelts and get ready as we discover and visit the hidden treasures found in Cagayan de Oro!


Northern Mindanao has long been seen as a cultural crossroads, with 1) indigenous hill peoples, 2) lowland Christians (Visayans, Tagalogs, and Filipino-Chinese), and 3) Maranao lake dwellers from Marawi who have established themselves in key towns. This museum was established in the year 2008 and featured in a well-known university in Cagayan de Oro City, Capitol University. It has a fascinating Northern Mindanao and Butuan cultural archive. It has a diverse collection of Manobo and Higaonon cultural treasures, including paintings, pottery, pictures, and even the furnishings of previous sultans’ mansions. You may spend a day here learning more about the three civilizations by looking through pottery, pictures, and artifacts. The ceremonial swords, royal beds, and gorgeous artwork are all worth seeing. The museum’s purpose is to educate the public on how to appreciate and comprehend the diversity of culture and art.


The Garden was founded in the year 1992 and is situated in Sitio Malasag Cugman. It is an eco-friendly tourist spot with 7.2 hectares filled with beautiful natural scenery and a living museum that depicts the lifestyle of the indigenous tribes of Mindanao. The cultural village showcases the traditions of Mindanao’s indigenous tribes in a botanical garden setup. The village was inspired by the gardens of Granada, Spain, and Canada’s Bouchart. It’s a monument to the rich culture of the Ifugaos, Maranaos, Talaandigs, Higaonons, and Subanons, with everything from tribal dwellings to sculptures that represent tribal crafts and rituals. There is a multi-purpose hall, a swimming pool, a playground, a souvenir store, an orchidarium, a native restaurant, overnight lodging, and cottages. The location creates a welcoming atmosphere for visitors to learn about Northern Mindanao’s flora, wildlife, ecotourism, and arts, as well as providing revenue and livelihood to indigenous tribes.


The Philippines’ summer season is almost approaching! If you’re an adventure-seeker, don’t miss out on a visit and experience in the heart of Cagayan de Oro, the “Whitewater Rafting.” CDO is well-known for its whitewater rafting and tubing, kayaking, canoeing, and a lot of extreme sports where you really make a great time with your loved ones and group of friends. That’s why the city of Cagayan de Oro is well-known for being an “Adventure” and “Whitewater Rafting Capital of the Philippines.” It is a recreational activity that a group of adventurers will enjoy it by riding a raft that will navigate to the Cagayan de Oro River. Going on a route and continuing paddling is a tough yet fascinating journey as your adrenaline levels rise as you pass through the mangrove forest with its dispersed huge rocks and massive rock formations. You’ll be treated to breathtaking scenery across the river, occasionally sliding off the raft, but don’t worry, it’s all part of the enjoyment. Whitewater rafting has three (3) levels of difficulty to choose from Beginner, Advanced and Extreme. If you’re a beginner don’t worry because their lifeguards scattered around the area help you, your safety is their first priority. 


Another hidden gem found in Cagayan de Oro that is located in Indahag is the Mintugsok Falls. It is locally known as the “Treasure Falls”. It is a series of waterfalls, river pools, and other rock formations. It may be reached via the Indahag or Mapawa trails. Mintugsok Falls is one of the Cagayan de Oro hidden gems that most of the Kagay-anons are unaware that there is a waterfall near the heart of the city. This treasure contains free-falling cold water from the Malasag Mountains and Libona’s two rivers. It radiates the tranquillity of a well-preserved naturalistic environment. The sight of this waterfall will rejuvenate your body, mind, and spirit. It is most likely the cheapest experience available in the city.


Next, Macahambus Cave is a local name derived from the word maca means “cave” and hambus means “falling at the point in the river”. Macahambus Cave is a “through” cave, meaning you may enter from one end and emerge from the other. The ancient Macahambus Cave is located a few kilometers uptown in Barangay Lumbia, Cagayan de Oro City. The cave is known for the “Battle of Macahambus Hill,” which took place on June 4, 1900. It has three chambers, including the hideout and escape of Kagay-anon warriors and their families during the Battle Macahambus Hill in 1900, which represented the first Filipino triumph against the Americans in the whole Philippine-American War in this country. It is a historical landmark where tourists may take in the beautiful view of the cave filled with bats. 


Finally, sixth in our list of hidden gems to visit in Cagayan de Oro is the captivating Catanico Falls, located in Cugman, Cagayan de Oro, is another must-see tourism site. This hidden gem is a natural wonder that’s definitely worth visiting, especially if you’re a nature lover. The beauty of rushing sparkling streams flowing past stunning rock formations and lush flora is quite peaceful and tranquil. Apart from its amazing beauty and accessibility to the city, it takes less than 20 minutes to get there. Catanico Falls also appeals to many since it is run by locals. This means that you will only be charged a little admission price to visit this magnificent natural beauty.

It’s more fun in the Philippines specifically in Cagayan de Oro! It truly has many well-known names from being a “City of Golden Friendship”, to “Adventure Capital of the Philippines” and now “Whitewater Rafting Capital! If you’re an adventurer and nature lover, you shouldn’t miss the hidden gem found in this city. Aside from its white rapid, extreme adventures, and hidden natural treasure, its people make Cagayan de Oro the happiest place in the country. 

Written By Sheryl Ann D. Damgo