Iligan City is usually visited as a Day Trip from Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines. If you have one day, you can definitely visit some of the famous Iligan City Tourist Spots during your Day Tour!
I’ve never really paid attention when people talk about Iligan City. Especially at work, when we discuss the warehouse when we conduct audits.
Yes, I know that it is the home to the ever famous Maria Cristina Falls. But that is all. It never really piqued my interest.
I’ve also heard countless recounts of visits to Maria Cristina Falls and maybe acknowledge that it was a place I’d like to visit… Well, maybe one day…
That ‘maybe one day’ came true when we visited Cagayan de Oro early this year. It was a short trip but we still managed to visit a couple of provinces around the city.
Our itinerary included visiting some of the Iligan City Tourist Spots.
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Table of Contents
How to Get to Iligan City
Before we cover the spots you need to include in your Iligan City Tour Itinerary, let us discuss the basics in visiting Iligan.
Travelling to Iligan City is easy especially if you are already in Cagayan de Oro City.
Laguindingan Airport is the nearest airport in the city. Flights from Manila, Cebu, Iloilo and Davao are available almost daily.
At the airport, you have two (2) options:
Option 1 is to take a taxi directly to Iligan City.
Option 2 is to ride a taxi going to the Laguindingan Terminal (Northern Mindanao). From the terminal, you can get a bus to take you to Iligan. Travel time is about an hour.
If you are in Cebu and Manila, there are boats that can take you to Cagayan de Oro.
Travel time is around 7-8 hours (overnight) from Cebu and around 44 hours if from Manila.
Once in Cagayan de Oro, you can now take a bus going to the city.
In Cagayan de Oro, you can now take a bus from the Bulua Terminal. Travel time is approximately 2 hours.
Please double check the schedule and fare for any of the transport mentioned above as the time and price may vary.
If you ever visit CDO, you can also decide to do a Day Tour to Iligan City. This is how:
Iligan City Tourist Spots
Maria Cristina Falls
Maria Cristina Falls is definitely one of the must-visit sites when in Iligan City.
If you’re a Filipino, you probably grew up reading about Maria Cristina Falls and how it is an important waterfall in the country.
The falls is about 320 feet tall and is surrounded by lush greenery on all sides. It is an oasis found at the boundaries of Barangays Maria Cristina, Ditucalan, and Buru-un.
Aside from being an Iligan City tourist spot, the falls also play a significant role in Mindanao’s energy supply.
The Maria Cristina Falls is protected by the National Power Corporation (NAPOCOR) and is in a Natures Park.
Before including it to your Iligan City Day Tour, make sure that the falls is not under ‘High Alert’. The management temporarily closes it to guests when this happens.
Entrance Fee: 50 Php per head
Another place to see in Iligan City is the Tinago Falls in Robocon, Linamon, Lanao Del Norte.
You need to go down 436 steps to see this beautiful waterfalls. Tinago means ‘hidden’ in English – which makes the name appropriate if not accurate. 😉
The falls is managed by the local government and is formally called the Tinago Falls Park and Resort. Personally, I was impressed by the presence of various CCTV camera in the area for safety and security reasons.
You can easily spend a day or maybe hours here if you want to. Cliff diving, waterfall massage and of course some nice and cool swimming are a few of the things that you can do here.
Entrance Fee: 30 Php
Mimbalut Falls is part of the Iligan Paradise Resort and Eco Park and is located near Brgy Buru-un. It is located just along the road, making it easy for people to spot.
The area surrounding the falls is commercialised with cottages, chairs and tables, a structure and even a pool.
When we arrived, not many people were inside the resort. But you will see locals washing clothes near the base of the falls.
There are tables and chairs at the base too where people can eat and enjoy a day out with their feet on the water.
Taking a bath here can be pretty tricky as there are big stones at the bottom. Though the management has seen to it that there are concrete basins that act as a pool of natural water in some areas.
We did not swim here though because we have already dried up and have already changed into dry clothes in Tinago Falls.
Nevertheless, you can also take a dip here if you want. 😉
If you are to spend a day here, please be informed that they do have corkage fees for drinks bought outside.
We saw some tourists (led by their guide) who went around the resort to get near the waterfalls.
If you want to avoid paying the fees to get near the falls for some photo session you can also do this. Though the view wouldn’t be as good as the view we had inside.
Entrance Fee: 50 Php (adult); 40 Php (kids and senior citizens)
Macaraeg-Macapagal Ancestral House
The Macaraeg-Macapagal Ancestral House is a historical spot in Iligan City. It is the ancestral home of the late President Diosdado Macapagal.
This is also where the second Lady President of the Philippines Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) grew up. Because of this, the house is considered to be the first house in the Philippines where two President’s lived.
The house is now a part of the National Historical Institute. It is being preserved as a tourist spot for people passing through Iligan City.
The house is home to several antiques and memorabilia of the Macaraeg-Macapagal family. There are several photos of GMA during her youth and her early years as a wife too.
We were taken to a complete tour around the house and given some information on when the family still lived here. The house is pretty simple and reflects the mid-range lifestyle of a politically powerful family.
Entrance Fee: None but donations are welcome.
A visit to this 40 plus year old and only ‘Pasalubong Center’ in Iligan is also a must during your visit to the city.
Chedings’ Peanut is home to quality peanut products that Iligan City is famous for. Aside from the variety of peanuts sold, they also sell other delicacies and tasty snacks that you can munch on the road or take home to your family and friends.
We visited the peanut house on our way back to CDO. It was a quick stop for us and a chance to stretch our legs too. The traffic was heavy by the time we arrived at the centre.
Entrance Fee: None
Iligan City Tour Itinerary
For a quick view of our itinerary, below is a sample of our Iligan City Day Tour plus costs:
Our friend from LUDIFY Trips arranged everything for us including the itinerary and van rental. We had six other travellers who were there with us. This helped lessen the expenses, especially for the van rental.
Where to Stay in Iligan City
There are several accommodations in Iligan City that you can choose from if you decide to visit more of its waterfalls.
Below are some of the recommended places to stay in Iligan:
Maria Cristina Hotel
Location: General Aguinaldo corner Mabini street, Iligan City, Iligan City, Philippines
The hotel’s convenient location is a good and smart choice for travellers who want to be near the city. Amenities include 24-hour security, daily housekeeping, postal service, private check in/check out and, 24-hour front desk
Location: Purok 3, Atis Street, Pala-o, Lanao del Norte, Pala-o, Iligan City, Philippines, 9200
Cozy Inn is a cozy affordable accommodation in Iligan City. Most rate already include breakfast.
Facilities inside the room include a restaurant, a 24-hour front desk and room service and, free WiFi
Go Hotels Iligan
The Go Hotels Iligan is another accommodation when in Iligan City. It is located 9 miles from the Tinago Falls and 39 miles from the Labo Airport in Ozamiz City.
Rooms have a flat-screen TV with satellite channels and a private bathroom as well as a 24-hour front desk and a shared lounge for guests.
So, do you think you’ll want to spend a day or more in Iligan?
Personally, I’d love to go back and explore more of the city’s waterfalls. 😉
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Yet another incredible place to visit in The Philippines!! We are planning on returning next year so we’re on the look out for new places to go. We love waterfalls and nature so this would be an ideal place for us and it makes a change from beaches!!
Thanks for sharing this guide- super helpful for those who are on a time crunch!
I can completely understand why the falls are such a draw, they are spectacular! My husband would be all over Cheding’s peanuts and my daughters would love to try swimming and cliff diving! A great place for everyone.
Tinago Fall is amazing and very appropriately named because it does seem as they are very hidden. 436 steps to go down sounds great until you have to come back up! LOL! Absolutely beautiful!
Absolutely love the falls! How beautiful are these photos. I would love to visit the Philippines one day, and certainly spend a few days in Iligan city! Thanks for sharing these fun sites!
You are welcome, Yara!
lligan city sounds like it is worth a visit simply for the falls — Maria Cristina Falls
Tinago Falls and Mimbalut Falls. I am a sucker for waterfalls anywhere. I’m checking out your other story n Maria Cristina Falls as well.
Aww.. Thanks Michael!
I never knew about Iligan City but would love to visit now after reading your post. Mimbalut Falls looks beautiful Thanks for sharing great details about how to reach by road, rail, and boat.
It’s so beautiful! The Maria Cristina Falls are absolutely stunning but I’d also love to see the Tinago Falls. Swimming underneath looks so relaxing.
Sorry to hear it didn’t spark up your interest. Your article got me interested though. I love seeing waterfalls during our trips. And it must be nice to stay at one of those tables with your feet in the water on a hot day.
At first. 😉 But it was definitely interesting when we arrived.. 🙂
Great post! I’m really happy to see that you’re shedding light on a place that is rarely written about in travel writing! I’m a LOVER of waterfalls and this place seems to have an abundance of them. Maria Cristina Falls is not an attraction I’ve ever heard of, but is now definitely on my Bucket List! I always get very overwhelmed trying to find the “right” hotel as well when traveling to new places, so thanks a bunch for including some good ones and taking the stress out of that!
Thank you Stephanie!
This blog is really helpful! We’ll be in Iligan this March and reading your blog just helped us finish our itinerary for the trip. Thanks a lot! 🙂
Great to be of help, Chaste! Enjoy your trip. 🙂