Cagayan Photo: Jara A.

Cagayan

If you’re looking for a taste of the Philippines’ rugged natural charm, look no further than the unspoiled province of Cagayan. Journey down the road less traveled to this enchanting province tucked away in the northeastern corner of Luzon island, where rich historical landmarks, stunning natural wonders, and an endless amount of adventures await every curious traveler.

Most travelers begin their journey in Tuguegarao City, the main gateway into Cagayan province. Once you’re in the city, you can drop by the grand Cagayan Provincial Capitol and brush up on the province’s history at the Cagayan Provincial Museum and Historical Research Center.

Since Cagayan used to house an old Spanish settlement, travelers will also find plenty of stunning colonial-era churches to tour all around the province. A good starting point would be the majestic Saints Peter and Paul Metropolitan Cathedral in Tuguegarao City. Built by Dominicans in 1761, this Baroque-style church is the biggest Spanish-built church in the Cagayan Valley region.

Continue your tour of archaic churches by visiting the Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Piat in Piat, the St. Dominic de Guzman Parish in Lal-lo, the St. Philomene Church in Alcala, and the San Jacinto de Polonia Parish in Camalaniugan, which houses the famous Camalaniugan Bell. Forged in 1595, this church bell is considered the oldest of its kind in the Philippines and Southeast Asia.

Journey to the peaceful town of Iguig to visit the Church of San Antonio de Galicia, the only church in Cagayan with traditional flying buttresses. This 18th-century church sits boldly atop the popular pilgrimage site, Calvary Hill. Here, guests can enjoy the stunning view of Cagayan River and marvel at the site’s massive life-size statues depicting the 14 Stations of the Cross.

Believe it or not, you’ll find one of Cagayan’s most iconic churches housed within the mysterious Callao Cave in Peñablanca. This seven-chamber limestone cave is also where archaeologists discovered the 67,000-year-old Callao Man, the oldest human remains ever excavated in the Philippines.

Aside from exploring the cave’s massive rock formations, Catholic travelers can also stop for a prayer in the “Divine Room” chamber. Once you’re done touring the cave, you can enjoy a scenic boat ride along the nearby Pinacanauan River. Those who tour the river at around five or six in the evening can watch as thousands of bats take flight from the lush forests surrounding the river.

You can also treat yourself to a stunning sunset by the Cagayan River, the longest and largest river in the Philippines. Rest along the river bank and you’ll be treated to a wonderful view of the majestic Buntun Bridge the country’s longest river bridge. This truss-type bridge crossing the Cagayan River also ranks second among the country’s longest bridges.

If you’re craving some relaxation away from the province’s bustling tourist hubs, head to the unspoiled white beaches of Sta. Ana. Here, travelers can soak up the warm tropical sun along the shores of Anguib Beach, Mapurao Beach, and Crocodile Island. You can also rent a boat to the enchanting Palaui Island and visit its centuries-old Cape Engaño Lighthouse.

Discover even more of Cagayan province’s rugged beauty by heading to the humble town of Claveria. Tucked away in the province’s northeastern shoulder, this town is home to untouched coastlines and verdant mountains. Guests can lounge on the shores of Sentinela Beach, climb the towering Ubing-ubing Rock, and hike up the Bantay Kalbo (Bald Watcher) hill.

Don’t forget to treat yourself to local delicacies like tinubong (sticky rice in bamboo stick), pawa (glutinous rice dough filled with peanuts), and the iconic noodle dish, Pancit Batil Patung, during your trip. You can also pass by Tuguegarao City to buy some Cagayan-blend coffee, Tuguegarao Longganisa (local sausage), and carabeef meat products to bring back home from your journey.

So the next time you’re in the mood for a different kind of adventure, try booking a trip to Cagayan. It may be a bit farther from the metro, but the countless sights and experiences one can discover in this explorer’s haven make it well worth the trip.

Top Rated Restaurants in Cagayan Browse All

  1. Bergblick Deutsches
    4.0 Stars
    Eastern European
    12 Reviews View
  2. Jollibee
    4.0 Stars
    Fast Food
    4 Reviews View
  3. Moon Garden
    5.0 Stars
    Filipino
    1 Review View
  4. Jaksilog
    5.0 Stars
    Filipino
    1 Review View
  5. J and J Restaurant
    5.0 Stars
    Filipino
    1 Review View
  6. Felicita's
    5.0 Stars
    Filipino
    1 Review View
  7. Mekeni Grill
    5.0 Stars
    Filipino
    1 Review View
  8. Kainang Pilipino
    4.0 Stars
    Filipino
    2 Reviews View
  9. Culinare
    4.0 Stars
    Fusion
    2 Reviews View
  10. Chowking
    4.0 Stars
    Fast Food
    1 Review View

Top Rated Hotels in Cagayan Browse All

  1. Kapuluan Vista Resort
    4.5 Stars
    Hotel
    11 Reviews View
  2. Hannah's Beach Resort and Convention Center
    4.0 Stars
    Hotel
    23 Reviews View
  3. Saud Beach Resort
    5.0 Stars
    Hotel
    4 Reviews View
  4. Evangeline Beach Resort
    4.0 Stars
    Hotel
    4 Reviews View
  5. Casa Consuelo
    4.5 Stars
    Hotel
    2 Reviews View
  6. Kingfisher Sand Sea Surf Resort
    4.5 Stars
    Hotel
    2 Reviews View
  7. Tartaruga's Hotel and Pagudpud Yacht Club Restaurant
    4.5 Stars
    Hotel
    2 Reviews View
  8. Cagayan Holiday & Leisure Resort
    4.5 Stars
    Hotel
    2 Reviews View
  9. Pannzian Beach Mountain and Resort
    5.0 Stars
    Hotel
    1 Review View
  10. Natsuca Beach Resort
    5.0 Stars
    Hotel
    1 Review View

Top Rated Places in Cagayan Browse All

  1. Patapat Viaduct
    4.5 Stars
    Tourist Attraction
    15 Reviews View
  2. Kapuluan Vista Resort
    4.5 Stars
    Hotel
    11 Reviews View
  3. Cape Engaño Lighthouse
    5.0 Stars
    Historical Site
    7 Reviews View
  4. Callao Cave
    5.0 Stars
    Great Outdoors
    6 Reviews View
  5. Hannah's Beach Resort and Convention Center
    4.0 Stars
    Hotel
    23 Reviews View
  6. Bergblick Deutsches
    4.0 Stars
    Eastern European
    12 Reviews View
  7. Saud Beach Resort
    5.0 Stars
    Hotel
    4 Reviews View
  8. Maira-ira Beach
    5.0 Stars
    Great Outdoors
    3 Reviews View
  9. Kabigan Falls
    4.5 Stars
    Great Outdoors
    3 Reviews View
  10. Anguib Beach
    4.5 Stars
    Great Outdoors
    3 Reviews View

Popular Areas in Cagayan

  1. Tuguegarao

    Tuguegarao

    66 Places
    View
  2. Santa Ana

    Santa Ana

    16 Places
    View