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Cagayan Valley – 14 Great Places to Visit in Cagayan 2023

cagayan tourist spots

Cagayan tourist spots! Get this brief guide about the locations that you can go to during your visit to Cagayan province.

Cagayan Valley Map

Cagayan province is located in the northeastern region of Luzon. With a large valley as well as the longest stretch of river running through the region, the soil is thought to be among the richest agricultural areas.

However, the shoreline is a major part of the tourism industry due to its white sand and crystal-clear waters.

In addition to the undiscovered paradise, the province is the home of massive Spanish-style churches that date back to the past.

The capital city, Tuguegarao City, is well-known for its hot climate. The best time to travel to Cagayan is between February and April. This period has an average temperature that can range from 30-33 degrees. Then, the low average is between 20-22 degrees.

The peak times for tourism when planning an excursion to a particular location is crucial. If you are planning to go to Cagayan beaches, the best time to visit is in April and then in March.

Booking accommodation can help you save more money when you travel.

A journey between Manila to Cagayan

Take a flight between Manila to Tuguegarao

Tourists who are coming from Manila can arrange flights between Manila in the direction of Tuguegarao. The flight departs at Gate 4 of Ninoy Aquino International Airport and arrives at Tuguegarao Airport for about an hour. The journey to the city’s center will take about 15 minutes in an automobile.

Travel by bus starting from Manila to Tuguegarao

Perfect for backpackers who are solo or group travelers You can take provincial buses that travel between Manila to Tuguegarao. It will take about 11 to 12 hours; you should look into bus companies that have sleeper buses. If you’re looking to view Cagayan Valley’s lush mountain ranges along with the vast expanse of plains it is possible to travel in the morning hours.

Here’s a list of Cagayan tourist destinations you can visit:

1. Callao Cave in Cagayan

The cave is located in Penablanca. The Callao Cave is around 40 minutes drive from Tuguegarao City.

Once you’ve reached the drop-off location, you’ll be walking about 180 steps to get to the cave’s entry point.

Callao Cave in Cagayan
Callao Cave in Cagayan

The cave is located in Penablanca. The Callao Cave is around 40 minutes drive from Tuguegarao City.

Once you’ve reached the drop-off location, you’ll be walking about 180 steps to get to the cave’s entry point.

The cave is comprised of seven massive chambers. Many of them are reminiscent of the cathedral dome. On your visit, you’ll see amazing rock formations that resemble distinct shapes and sizes.

The best time to visit is during the daytime when there is sunshine; it passes through the gaps, creating an eerie atmosphere. Photograph a lot as the guide takes you around each chamber.

Bats can also be observed If you’re lucky, you may see that red-billed Philippine Hornbill.

The largest room houses The Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Piat. This is where a huge stone altar draws attention and is ideal for reciting small prayers.

If you’re planning a short trip to the province or looking forward to a vacation, Callao Cave is an ideal choice to add to the checklist of Cagayan tourist attractions.

2. Sierra Cave

Near adjacent to Callao Cave is adjacent to the Sierra Cave for those looking for more excitement.

In contrast to Callao’s relaxed Spelunking, going to Sierra Cave will make you get wet and muddy at the end of the day. Dress in the most comfortable clothes and equipment, and you’re ready to go.

Additionally, you’ll observe unique rock formations within. It is also possible to imagine its design in your imagination.

Sierra Cave

The exploration of Sierra Cave is no easy task and will require some effort. In the beginning, you’ll be walking along a steep slope until you reach the bottom. Additionally, you’ll have to climb at some point, which is why it’s best to choose waterproof devices to take photos.

Bathrooms are accessible near the final point of the trail making it possible to refresh yourself after your adventure.

3. Pinacanauan River, Cagayan

It is believed that the Pinacanauan River is one of the most popular Cagayan tourist destinations you can go to in the Callao Caves National Park.

Pinacanauan River, Cagayan
Pinacanauan River, Cagayan

After you’ve spelunk, hire boats and enjoy stunning views of the lush rocks, mountains, and cold fresh waters.

In the evening, you’ll be able to see an entire bat colony emerge from the cave when darkness begins to draw in.

The day’s tour ends in Penablanca by soaking in the natural beauty of The Pinacanauan River. The river’s currents are ideal to white-water rafting as well as kayaking.

It is believed that the Pinacanauan River serves as a major tributary of Cagayan River, though.

4. Calvary Hills

Just 30 minutes away from the city center of Tuguegarao, Calvary Hills in Iguig, Cagayan is among the historic Cagayan tourist attractions that you shouldn’t be missed.

Calvary Hills
Calvary Hills

The San Antonio de Galicia Church and the life-sized Station of the Cross are the most visited tourist attractions in the area.

The church was built under Spanish occupation and is one of the few churches left with Gothic buttresses.

The Station of the Cross along the Cagayan River is a representation of the Jordan River’s Biblical setting within Israel.

Apart from that you can also enjoy an expansive view of the majestic Cagayan River at the back. Additionally, the grassy hills are an ideal place to stroll through.

5. St. Peter’s Cathedral

It is located in Tuguegarao City, you can swiftly go to St Peter’s Cathedral when you reserve your hotel in the capital city.

St. Peter's Cathedral
St. Peter’s Cathedral

The church is adorned with the Baroque architecture and is believed to be the longest-running church within the province that was built in the period of the late 18th century.

It is St Peter’s Cathedral, locally called Tuguegarao Cathedral, where the Archdiocese of Tuguegarao is situated. Relics that belong to St. Paul II, as well as St. Peter, are stored in this cathedral.

Take a brief visit or check the church’s mass times. Then, you can snap a quick picture of the church’s belfry as well as the building as a backdrop.

6. Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Piat

Another important cultural attraction within Cagayan can be Cagayan’s Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Piat. Just 30 minutes away from Cagayan’s capital, you’ll arrive in front of Piat.

According to historical records, Dominican friars brought Cagayan the mystical Our Lady of Piat from Macau, China, during the 16th century.

Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Piat
Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Piat

Many devotees visit the church, particularly the time of its celebration every 2nd of July and during Holy Week.

Once you arrive, you’ll be able to see the reddish-colored exterior of the church, which is constructed primarily of bricks. However, the interior is adorned with an angled high ceiling with historic images of tranquility and peace.

In the middle is the altar of the Mary, the Blessed Virgin Mary with the form of a glass enclosure.

Take a short trip to The Basilica Minore of Our Lady of Piat during your next visit to Cagayan.

You can also purchase souvenirs at a shop within the premises

7. Buntun Bridge

Buntun Bridge connects Tuguegarao City and Solana town in Cagayan. It is also called the second-longest bridge after the San Juanico Bridge in Eastern Visayas.

Buntun Bridge
Buntun Bridge

With 1,369m this bridge spans over the beautiful Cagayan River, with a clear view on both sides.
The steel structure is noteworthy as you enjoy a different view of the sunset along with the river’s wide.

8. Magapit Suspension Bridge

It is also possible to visit the Magapit Suspension Bridge in Lal-lo, Cagayan.
The bridge has the record for the longest suspended bridge in the Philippines which spans 257 meters along the Cagayan River.

Magapit Suspension Bridge
Magapit Suspension Bridge

It is known by some as being the Golden Gate of the north The bridge is an impressive structure with its distinctive suspension design.
Take a few photos as you visit the Magapit Bridge. Be aware however that the bridge can sway as cars pass through the bridge.

9. Blue Waterfalls and Cave in Baggao

An action-packed and thrilling experience awaits on the Blue Waterfalls and Cave in Baggao, Cagayan. This guided tour will allow you to take in the tranquil and simple daily life of the town.

It’s not an easy job, however. First, you’ll travel for two to three hours when arriving from Tuguegarao. When you reach the drop-off point, you’ll trek across plains and rolling hills for approximately 30 minutes.

Blue Waterfalls and Cave in Baggao
Blue Waterfalls and Cave in Baggao

Massive boulders, tropical plants, and trees will greet your arrival. It is easy to immerse yourself in crystal-clear water as a reward for long hours of traveling.

Additionally, you can go to the Duba cave, which is located just behind the gushing waterfalls.

Nature lovers will love exploring this cave due to the underground river that flows through it.

It is also possible to visit Lipit Canyon, just a couple of steps away from the cave to increase the duration of your stay.
A thin stream that runs between the towering walls of rocks is more than just an image-worthy to see.

This hidden gem is a must to discover during summer. Make sure to include this gem on the list of Cagayan tourist attractions on your next trip.

10. Palaui Island

The white sands on Palaui Island make the quiet island so popular with adventurers and nature enthusiasts.

After a drive of 3 hours from Tuguegarao, you’ll arrive at the town of Sta Ana. When you reach the coastline, you need to ride a boat that will transport you to this hidden paradise.

Palaui Island
Palaui Island

The forest is pristine and covers the majority of the island. It is a landscape with green hills, dotted with grasses, and beautiful coves.

It’s the perfect getaway for a trip with your loved ones or friends.
Take advantage of every minute during your visit to Palaui island. In addition to swimming, you can swiftly walk up its hills and go to the lighthouse that is located in Cape Engano. Take plenty of photos while looking at the panoramic view across the Philippine Sea.

It is an ecological tourism spot that is managed by the community. You can also book accommodation or a homestay. Be aware that the island does not have power and is solely dependent on solar energy.
Seafood lovers will enjoy this island. They provide freshly caught types of fish at a cheap cost when compared with your local eateries.

If you’re planning for a day of touring it is possible to visit other beaches within Sta Ana, like Anguib Beach.

11. Anguib Beach

Other enjoyable Cagayan tourist destinations located in Sta Ana and Cagayan are Anguib Beach and Crocodile Island.

If you plan to include Anguib Beach in your Palaui tour, you’ll be taking a boat trip to reach it.

Anguib Beach
Anguib Beach

It will take you 15 minutes to get there from the town center if you decide to visit it on your own using the provincial road.

In addition to its white sands and crystal-clear waters, the waves are tranquil due to the cove’s location.

You will enjoy the long or short periods of your stay here. There are cottages to rent, and some stores offer quick meals.

Anguib Beach is a place to relax and unwind away from the bustle of the city.

Apart from sightseeing and kayaking, you can also do kayaking or snorkeling too.

Locals go to this beach during summer. You should consider going before or following the summer season if you don’t want crowded places.

12. Crocodile Island

It is also possible to visit Crocodile Island in addition to your visit to Palaui Island.
Don’t worry about crocodiles, as their name is derived due to their crocodile-like shape.
However, you can’t swim on its shores due to the unfriendly waves,

Crocodile Island
Crocodile Island

The island is home to a huge rock that you can walk around for around 15 minutes. It is also possible to walk over the rock to look out over Palaui Island.

Remember that you should take some protection from heat.

13. Nangaramoan Beach

Sta Ana in Cagayan is an undiscovered gem in northern Luzon. With its coastal setting, it is hard to deny the beautiful beaches.

If you’re planning to go beach hopping while in Cagayan you should think about going to Nangaramoan Beach as well.

Nangaramoan Beach
Nangaramoan Beach

In the vicinity of Anguib Beach, you can easily reach the other end of the beach via the use of a boat. Relax in the refreshing ocean breeze while strolling along the beach’s white and powdery shoreline. To make it more exciting you can enjoy the remainder of your day snorkeling or go to the mangrove forests nearby.

14. Foodtrip at Tuguegarao City

A trip to Cagayan tourist destinations can’t be complete without trying traditional dishes and local cuisine.

Carabao is often referred to as the “best friend of the farmer. Due to its abundance throughout the province, it’s become an integral ingredient in their food too.

Pansit Batil Patung
Pansit Batil Patung

The pancit batil patung for instance is a popular local dish and is known as the signature dish of the region. The noodles are stir-fried and served with numerous toppings.

A majority of Panciterias (noodle eateries) serve their noodles along with crispy pork belly and mixed vegetables and chicharron. The two most sought-after ingredients are carabeef and eggs (batil).

Other products made of carabao include Chicharabao freshly brewed milk, dairy candy, and tapa.

Is it worth Visiting Cagayan?

To visit the region of Cagayan means that you will have to travel for a longer period, particularly by land. If you’re looking for a long drive you should consider visiting this small estate located in the north.

When it’s scorching hot in the capital city throughout the year, visiting Callao Cave National Park is a great option. Callao Cave National Park provides many fun activities. If you’re someone who loves the beach then you should explore the towns along the coast too.
Plan your next trip today and make sure to include some of the suggested Cagayan tourist attractions.

If you are traveling in groups, it is a great way to reduce costs You can find the tour operators that are accredited on their local tourism websites.

If you are planning to visit other places in the Philippines you may want to check this.

The article was written by Darrell Ebdani


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