Butuan Travel Guide and Itinerary

Butuan Travel Guide Itinerary Cebu Pacific

Once called the Kingdom of Butuan, this city on the rise is one of the oldest settlements in the country and retains a strong connection to the past.

About Butuan  

Butuan is a city with a deep sense of pride for its own and for what it has to offer. It is the regional center of the Caraga Region (Region XIII), which is made up of Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur. Situated on the northeastern part of the Agusan Valley, the city extends over a part of the Agusan River, the third largest and longest river in the country. To its north, west and south are the rest of Agusan del Norte while to its northwest lies Butuan Bay. While the city is grouped with Agusan del Norte, it is governed independently from the province.   

The third-largest city in Mindanao in terms of land area, Butuan prides itself on its long history, stretching back to its place as the center of the precolonial Kingdom of Butuan, a major trading port as early as 1000 AD.  

In modern times, Butuan City was the capital of the province of Agusan del Norte until 2000 when that title was transferred to Cabadbaran. Currently, Butuan is the commercial, industrial and administrative center of the Caraga Region and is a strategic commercial hub in Northern Mindanao. 


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Classified as a highly urbanized city, Butuan is a city on the rise — evident from the roads that are getting busier and the increasing number of commercial, banking and business establishments. With major roads and two great bridges — the Magsaysay Bridge and the Macapagal Bridge, the longest in Mindanao — the city is easily accessible from other main destinations like Cagayan de Oro, Davao, Malaybalay, Surigao and Tandag. The Butuan Bancasi Airport is also one of the busiest in the country. With people constantly coming and going, the locals are no strangers to visitors and can converse in Cebuano, Filipino and English. 


Highlights for the Traveler 

Once called the Kingdom of Butuan, Butuan is one of the oldest settlements known in the country and is also known as the home of the balangay or Butuan boat, a wooden water vessel believed to be used by the ancient Butuanons to travel to parts of Southeast Asia for trade. Nine balangay relics were unearthed around the city and are now on display at the Balangay Shrine Museum.  

Aside from the balangay boats, many other significant archaeological finds — like the Golden Tara, a 21-carat gold statue of a female Hindu deity — were also discovered in Butuan, leading to the establishment of the Butuan Branch of the National Museum of the Philippines. Located on Jose Rosales Avenue, it features relics and discoveries that offer glimpses of the city’s history and cultural heritage. 

The Bood Promontory 1st Easter Mass Eco Park, overlooking Butuan Bay and Masao River, commemorates the planting of the cross by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan. The Banza Church Ruins can be found near the Agusan River and is the site of the remains of the first Catholic churchthe oldest church ruins in Mindanao. Guingona Park in downtown Butuan, a public square where locals come to rest and relax, is found next to Saint Joseph Cathedral.  

For thrill-seekers, Delta Discovery Park and Mount Mayapay are great places to experience exciting adventures. Delta Discovery Park in Barangay Bonbon features the longest zipline in Asia and offers other activities like ATV rides, buggy rides and horseback riding. Meanwhile, Mount Mayapay towers over Butuan at a height of 675m. Visitors can go on day hikes to the summit and enjoy views of the city, Agusan River and Butuan Bay. 


Around Butuan 

Just over 40km from the city, the municipality of Carmen is known for its beaches and dive sites. Calo Horse Farm in Cabadbaran, the provincial capital of Agusan del Norte, is located over 24km away from Butuan and offers outdoor activities like horseback riding, hiking and camping. Tagnote Falls in the municipality of Remedios T Romualdez is about 25km from the city proper and is known for its two-tiered waterfalls, clear waters and lush surroundings.  


 By Leah Angue, as of January 2020.



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