Cagayan Travel Guide: Nature Spots and Other Places of Interest


Cagayan, situated on the northern tip of Luzon, typically gives visitors second thoughts due to the 12-hour or longer land journey from Manila. Doubt no more, wanderers; there are daily direct flights from Manila to Tuguegarao, the province's capital city, and the plethora of attractions — natural, cultural, and cultural landmarks — make a long-distance trip to Cagayan well worthwhile for those who choose to drive.

Ayi del rosario
View from the Cape Engaño lighthouse

To further convince you of either hopping on a plane to Tuguegarao or taking that half-day road trip, here are some destinations in Cagayan you may want to visit in the near future and a few must-things to do.

Take a Dip at this Blue Lagoon in Baggao

The Blue Lagoon, as the locals baptized it to describe its azure-colored streaming waters, used to be the north's undiscovered gem, but that is no longer the case, much to the delight of travelers. 

Arianna de Borj
The waters of Blue Lagoon invites you to take a dip

The Blue Waterfalls, Cave, and Lagoon, located in the forested area of Baggao, Cagayan, is presently managed as a sustainable tourism destination by its local community. Hikers are led by resident guides trained by the Tourism Promotions Board of the Philippines (TPB)  to a series of spectacular nature places, including waterfalls, caverns, and natural pools that lead to a blue lagoon straight out of the famous Brooke Shields film.

Set out on a Scenic Trek to Cape Engaño Lighthouse at Palaui Island

If a land trip to Tuguegarao takes at least 12 hours, try adding 2-3 more hours going to Sta. Ana, Cagayan, and another 45 minutes of boat ride to Palaui Island. What arduous traveling you might say but wait till you get a glimpse of what awaits you on top of the hill where the Spanish-era lighthouse Cape Engaño stands. 

Charisse Vilchez
A sure inclusion in every list of most beautiful lighthouse views

A breathtaking panorama of the island's lush vegetation, jagged cliffs battered by Pacific Ocean waves, and stunning turquoise ocean water. Let's just say that traveling to Palaui Island is well worth it because it will undoubtedly provide you with amazing core memories.

Chasing Waterfalls and Volcanic Crater at Mt. Cagua

Visit Gonzaga for a double dose of natural wonders. A 3-4-hour climb at a brisk pace will lead you to Mount Cagua's caldera, a really unique natural feature highlighted by a boiling crater lake releasing sulfuric fumes. Wear a face mask to prevent inhalation, but also open your eyes to this incredible spectacle.

Audrey Trinidad
A remarkable sight after a 3-4 hour hike

An hour-long hike from Mount Cagua's volcanic crater takes you over rugged boulders and into the towering Cagua Falls, where you may take a relaxing plunge.

Marky Ramone Go
Cagua Waterfalls

Explore the Chambers of Callao Cave

Callao Cave is easily accessible from Tuguegarao and by foot from the jump-off point, with an established track leading inside. A sequence of stalactite and stalagmite rock formations will astound you until you reach the main chamber, dubbed "the chapel," because it is a modest church built by the locals. Above the rock altar, a mystical ray of light emerges from the main chamber's aperture.

Witness the Circadian Flight of Bats in Pinacanauan River

Visitors to Callao Cave may enjoy a kayak journey along the serene waters of the Pinacanauan River, which is not far from the entrance to the cave. 

Lauren Denoga
Bats flying out of their cave.

Your scenic river cruise will become even more memorable when your guide takes you to an area beneath a massive wall with a large circling hole. Wait until a few moments after dark to see the circadian flight of bats, when tens of thousands of bats emerge from the hole and into the evening skies.

Experience Beltfishing in Sta. Ana

Part of the "Nature and Adventure" tourism circuit penciled by the Department of Tourism Region 2, this experiential activity involves visitors teaming up with a seasoned fisherman to set out more than 20 nautical miles off the coast of Brgy. Diora-Zinungan in Sta. Ana, Cagayan. 

Belt fishing in Cagayan
Kuya Wilfredo, a beltfisherman, shows us how its done

Your mission, should you wish to accept it, is to catch a load of beltfish, also known as "espada," utilizing the fishing boat's one-of-a-kind "kariti," a local version of a hydraulic pulley. This is where the angler ties three thin wires with bait before weighing down on the water to entice the beltfish to bite.

Enjoy a fun (and slippery) Hike to Buwacag Falls

The common warning “slippery when wet” can't be any truer when following the trail to this waterfalls. The slick path is just a reminder of how off-the-beaten path Buwacag Fall is. Buwacag's many cascades, nestled among verdant woodland on the Sierra Madre's slopes, provide an ideal environment for a nature retreat.  

Hiking spots in Cagayan
Yes mam, sir, I'm going to take a swim here

Just be careful stepping on those dodgy rocks, and we're sure you'll have a fantastic time in this emerging outdoor destination in Sta Ana, Cagayan.

Anguib Beach

Many people refer to it to as the "Boracay of the North". However, Anguib Beach should be known by its own name, not in comparison to other beaches. It distinguishes itself with its unique blend of elements. 

Marky Ramone Go
Chillin by the beach

Nearby, there is a mangrove forest to explore, hills to walk, and a long stretch of pristine white sand beach to stroll on. Other destinations that can be combined with Anguib Beach are Crocodile Island and Mapurao Beach.

Meet the Potters of Iguig

In the town of Iguig, the One Town, One Product (OTOP) pottery creations take shape. Here, you can observe the men and women who have continued this backyard industry passed down from generations, create pottery items from slabs of clay.

Cagayan products
The perfect souvenir stop

Looking for a souvenir item? then the town of Iguig is the perfect pit stop for you to shop for some pottery items of various shapes and designs.

Take a Soulful Visita Iglesia

Complete a Visita Iglesia especially if you’re coming to Cagayan during Holy Week by visiting these churches located in the different towns of the province. 

Where to go in Cagayan
St. Philomene Church in Alcala

There's the St. Peter Metropolitan Cathedral in Tuguegarao, Basilica Minore de Nuestra Senora in Piat, San Antonio de Galicia Church in Iguig, St. Philomene Church in Alcala, San Jacinto de Polonia Church in Camalaniugan, and Sto. Domingo de Guzman Church in Nueva Segovia. 

Cagayan visita Iglesia
The Saint Peter the Apostle Metropolitan Cathedral

On top of gentle hillsides overlooking the powerful Cagayan River in Iguig is home to the Cavalry Hills, a site with fourteen life-size sculptures of the Stations of the Cross.

Hit your Daily Steps Quota by Going on a Walking Tour of Tuguegarao

Cagayan Travel guide
Rizal Monument in Tuguegarao

In between hunts of the best pancit batil patong stalls, you can set out on a walking tour of Tuguegarao by visiting these places of interests: the 18th-century The Saint Peter the Apostle Metropolitan Cathedral, Cagayan Museum and Historical Research Center, the Buntun Bridge — one of the country's longest bridges, Rizal Park Monument, San Jacinto Church, and the 1907 founded St. Paul University just to name a few.

Oh, and Don’t Forget to Order Pancit Batil Patong

It’s an unwritten rule among tourists in Cagayan to never leave the province without trying the popular local specialty, Pancit Batil Patong. Better come hungry before ordering the Pancit Batil Patong because it is one heavy and satisfying dish.  Its name was derived from the word "patil" which means "to whisk or beat" and "patong" referring to putting a topping on the dish such as a poached egg, sautéed vegetables, and minced beef. 

Where to eat in Cagayan
Pancit Batil Patong

Famous Pancit Batil Patong places are Tabing Tulay Panciteria, Jomar's Special Pancit Batil Patong, Ed's Panciteria, Win-Mae Panciteria and the pancit stalls at the night market in Tuguegarao.

How to get to Tuguegarao, Cagayan

Both Cebu Pacific Air and Philippine Airlines have daily Manila - Tuguegarao flights. For commuting via land, bus companies such as Baliwag Transit, GV Florida Bus, Victory Liner and Delta Bus serves Manila, Cubao, Pasay, Kamias and Caloocan routes to Tuguegarao City.

This article first appeared on