Butuan City Travel Guide

In the beginning, there was no Philippines but there was BUTUAN

Basic Information About Butuan City

Dubbed as the “Timber Capital of the Philippines”, Butuan is a highly Urbanized City located in Agusan Del Norte, in Northern Mindanao. It is the former provincial capital of Agusan Del Norte. Butuan City is also the home of the balanghais that were excavated in mid 70’s and are believed to have been used as early 320AD.  A balanghai is a large boat used during the pre-hispanic period.  It measures about 18 meters in length and could carry a clan.

How To Get To Butuan City

By air from Manila, both Cebu Pacific and PAL Express operate several daily flights to Bancasi Airport, Butuan. Travel time is approximately 2 hours. By land and sea from Manila, Philtranco operates daily trip via the Pan-Pacific Highway.  Travel time is approximately 45 hours.

From Cebu City, Cebu Pacific flies daily to Bancasi Airport. Travel time is approximately 30 minutes.  By sea, Sulpicio Lines and Trans-Asia Shipping have trips to Butuan and travel time is approximately 12 hours.

From Cagayan De Oro City, Butuan City is 3 hours and 30 minutes away by public bus. From Davao City, Butuan City is 6 hours away via public bus. From Surigao City, Butuan City is 2 hours away by public bus. The Butuan Integrated Bus Terminal is located in Langihan. Public buses, particularly Ceres Transport and Bachelor Express are generally safe and comfortable.

10 Places To See and Things To Do in Butuan City

Laksoy – Laksoy is a nipa palm wine that is distilled in a crudely-made tanks. To get an authentic taste of this local wine, head over to Barangay Babag.

Butuan City Travel Guide | How To Get There, Where to Sleep, Where To Eat, What To See and Do, Etc

Rizal Park – Rizal Park in Butuan City is the site of the National Shrine of the Philippine Flag in Mindanao which commemorates the first formal hoisting of the flag in Mindanao on January 17, 1899.  The Rizal Park is located in front of the cathedral.

Butuan City Travel Guide | How To Get There, Where to Sleep, Where To Eat, What To See and Do, Etc

Banza Church Ruins – Banza Church Ruins are the oldest church ruins in Mindanao.  It is now engulfed by Balete Tree.

Butuan City Travel Guide | How To Get There, Where to Sleep, Where To Eat, What To See and Do, Etc

St. Joseph Cathedral – St Joseph Cathedral is the seat of the Diocese of Butuan

Butuan City Travel Guide | How To Get There, Where to Sleep, Where To Eat, What To See and Do, Etc

Butuan Diocesan Liturgical Museum – The Butuan Diocesan Liturgical Museum houses several collections of the Roman catholic Church in Mindanao.  It is located at St. Joseph Cathedral. Note that the Museum is not always open.  Prior notice must be made before visiting.

Balanghai Shrine Museum – The Balanghai Shrine Museum houses the more 1,650-year old balanghai – the oldest of the 9 balanghais that have been excavated. The balanghais are declared as National Cultural Treasure. Head over to Barangay Libertad to see this museum.

Butuan City Travel Guide | How To Get There, Where to Sleep, Where To Eat, What To See and Do, Etc

National Museum in Butuan – The National Museum Butuan Branch houses the rich cultural, historic and artistry of Butuan.  It was established after the discovery of the balanghais.  The Museum is few steps avail from the City Hall.

Butuan City Travel Guide | How To Get There, Where to Sleep, Where To Eat, What To See and Do, Etc

City Hall – the seat of government of Butuan City

Butuan City Travel Guide | How To Get There, Where to Sleep, Where To Eat, What To See and Do, Etc

Provincial Capitol of Agusan Del Norte – The seat of government of Agusan Del Norte is still in Butuan City though its official provincial capital since 2000 is Cabadbaran City.

Butuan City Travel Guide | How To Get There, Where to Sleep, Where To Eat, What To See and Do, Etc

Magellan’s Anchorage – located in Barangay Masao, this place is believed to be the site where Magellan had blood compact with Raja Siaiu.

Butuan City Travel Guide | How To Get There, Where to Sleep, Where To Eat, What To See and Do, Etc

Delta Discovery Park – though I have not seen it myself, I still included in the list. People say it’s a nice place to see and enjoy. You may want to give it a try.

Where to Sleep in Butuan

There are several hotels and lodging houses in Butuan City where one can stay.  During my trip, I stayed at Juliana’s Inn and Garage Bar – cheap and descent lodging house but a bit far from the city center.  It is located in a subdivision. Here is a list of various accommodation facilities in Butuan City

Hotel Address Contact Numbers
Almont City Hotel San Jose St. (085) 342-5263 and 815-4174
Almont Inland Hotel & Resort JC Aquino Ave (085) 342-7414 & 341-2103
Ariano’s Inn KM 3 Baan, (085) 342-7462
AVP Tourist Inn & Coffee Shop J. Satorre St., Langihan (085) 815-2233; 342-5797
Balanghai Hotel & Convention Center Bacolod Street, Doongan (085) 3423064, (085) 3423064, (085) 8151193
BeverlyInn Montilla Blvd (085) 342-8082
Butuan Luxury Hotel R. Calo St., Cor. Villanueva St, Butuan (085) 225-2357
Butuan Royal Plaza Hotel T. Calo St. (085) 342-5824; 341-5125
Caraga Ultimate Capitol Drive (085) 342-0200; 342-7349; 342-5866
Country View Inn San Francisco St. corner Lopez Jaena St. (085) 341-9820
Donia Lodge Pili Drive (085) 342-2027
Dottie’s Place & Convention Center J.C Aquino Avenue (085) 341-4579; 341-4575; 815-2649
Embassy (MBE) Hotel Montilla Blvd. Cor. Pili Drive (085) 342-5883; 341-4948
Emerald Villa Hotel Villanueva St. (085) 342-5376; 225-5377
Fortune Inn 1 E. Luna St. (085) 342-5861; 225-3417; 225-3418
Fortune Inn 2 611 P. Burgos St. (085) 342-5861
Goat 2 Geder Hotel & Restaurant Montalban St. (085) 341-7871; 341-1657; 342-5779
Hensonly Plaza Lodge San Francisco St. (085) 342-5866; 225-2040
Hotel Karaga Montilla Blvd. (085) 815-6105; 342-8387; 225-3888; 341-5405;342-5610;342-5857
Imperial Hotel San Francisco St. corner Lopez Jaena St. (085) 341-5319; 225-7099
Jet’s Inn 025 Villanueva St. (085) 341- 5162
Julian’s Inn and Garage Bar 219 Nangka road (085) 3413075 / 2257075
LucianaInn and Restaurant San Jose St., corner A.D. Curato St. (085) 342-3293; 342-3294; 342-3295
Lucky Inn 470 R. Calo St. (085) 342-5383
Mavel’s Lodge Montilla Blvd. (085) 342-8433
Mitz Lodge 1 602 Pili Drive (085) 342-3511
Mitz Lodge 2 T. Calo Ext. (085) 225-7677
Orient Lodge 7th St. Guingona Sub. (085)342-5098
Royal Plaza Hotel 308 T. Calo St. (085) 342-5824; 341-5125
Wendell’s Place Villa Kananga (085) 815-4111
White House Eco-Inn LuzVillage (085) 225-6880

Where to Eat in Butuan City

Being a highly urbanized city, Butuan has many options for good eats – be it a fine dining restaurant, fast food or carinderia.

Going Around Butuan City

Tricycle is the main transportation within the city.  Jeepneys and mini buses are used for nearby towns.

Why Visit Butuan

3 reasons.

1. Butuan came before Philippines. Surprise?

2. The balangais which are carbon-dated to be as old as 1650 years, are older than any European counterpart. Hence, our forefathers were great ship builders and explorers!

3. It is the only place in the country where you can see Hindu remnants.  Our forefathers were not Pagans!

Best Time to Visit Butuan

Anytime of the year is great but you may want to visit Butuan on these special occasions:

  1. Kahimunan Festival – celebrated every 3rd Sunday of January
  2. Balangay Festival – celebrated during the month of May
  3. Butuan Charter Day – celebrated every August 1-2

How much it Cost to Visit Butuan

For overnight stay and sight-seeing tour around the city and nearby municipalities, 25USD is more than enough to spend for accommodation, transportation and meals. 50-60USD for 3D2N trip.  Airfare cost approximately 100usd for a return ticket.

Travel Insider Tip

When visiting Butuan, its nice to include CDO and Surigao City.  One can either start in CDO or Surigao City. To do the northwestern Mindanao trip, one needs about 10 days.  Granting that you only have 3 days and 2 nights, a just stick to Butuan and nearby towns. Since Butuan is not a popular destination, save by that fact, expect a less touristy trip here.  Almost everything is still at its finest!


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  2. Any tourist spots and restaurants in Butuan you can recommend? I haven’t been there for more than 10 years, I’m planning to do a side-trip there on the way to Siargao.

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