Are you looking for a unique travel experience? Look no further than the beautiful province of Bukidnon. Located in Mindanao region, this province offers breathtaking natural landscapes and cultural sites that will leave you in awe!
The term “Bukidnon” means “mountain-dweller” or “highlander.” It is a landlocked province, which means you won’t find any beaches here. On the upside, it is home to majestic mountains, waterfalls, caves, plantations, and even relaxing resorts and campsites perfect for an idyllic getaway.
It also goes by many times. It is called the “Food Basket of Mindanao,” due to its large-scale production of rice, corn, and other fruits and vegetables. It’s also dubbed as the “Eco-Tourism and Cultural Heritage Capital of Northern Mindanao” and the “Highland Paradise in the Heart of Mindanao.” Its capital is Malabalay City.
A lot of people have been to Bukidnon, but only go as far as Dahilayan Nature Park — a favorite day trip from Cagayan de Oro City. And though this park is a must-see, there’s definitely more to see in this landlocked province! In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the best Bukidnon tourist spots + things to do in Bukidnon.
- 1. Dahilayan Adventure Park
- 2. Del Monte Pineapple Farm
- 3. Communal Ranch
- 4. Monastery of Transfiguration
- 5. Mt. Kitanglad Range Natural Park
- 6. Lake Apo
- 7. Panimahawa Ridge
- 8. KampoJuan
- 9. Limunsudan Falls
- 10. Balisbisan Falls
- 11. Cedar Park
- 12. Alalum Falls
- 13. Mount Capistrano
- 14. Rotypeaks Ridge Camp
- 15. Blue Water Cave
- 16. Attend the Kaamulan Festival
- How to get to Bukidnon
- Where to stay in Bukidnon
1. Dahilayan Adventure Park
Tucked in the heart of Bukidnon, Dahilayan Adventure Park is a great destination for adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts alike.
It is home to the longest dual zipline in Asia (at 840 meters long), where you can experience soaring through the sky at speeds of up to 90 kilometers per hour while soaking in the stunning forest view of Mount Dihayalan. The dropzone is an equally enthralling ride, with a 120-foot freefall ride that will make you feel a great adrenaline rush.
Other activities are also available at the park, including water rafting, rope courses, flying lizard canopy rider, python roller zipride, horseback riding, ATV rides, and more.
If you prefer a more leisurely experience, the park also features a picturesque pine forest perfect for picnics and calming walks. For the little ones, a visit to the animal sanctuary and playground can make their day unforgettable.
The park’s serene environment, coupled with its thrilling activities, make Dahilayan Adventure Park one of the must-visit tourist spots in Bukidnon.
2. Del Monte Pineapple Farm
Located in Camp Philips, the Del Monte Pineapple Farm is said to be the home of the sweetest pineapples in the country!
The plantation covers 28,000 hectares, stretching as far as the eyes can see with its rows of perfectly aligned pineapple plants. Not only does the farm offer an impressive sight, it can also provide you with an opportunity to learn more about pineapple cultivation, from planting to harvest. The pineapples are sold as fresh fruit or processed for export to other countries.
Aside from the farm, you can also visit a golf course and a club house where you can enjoy delicious meals and snacks.
And of course, don’t forget to take a picture at the large pineapple display near the Del Monte Pineapple Farm!
3. Communal Ranch
Sometimes you’ll come across a scenery that will make you feel like being transported in another space and time… and that’s exactly what Communal Ranch offers.
Undeniably one of the best Bukidnon tourist spots, Communal Ranch is the first government-owned ranch in the Philippines, featuring over 600 hectares of verdant pastures with mountain ranges at the backdrop. Visiting the ranch presents a picture-perfect countryside scene that’s relaxing and exciting at the same time.
Take in the beautiful views of the farm and the grazing cattle and horses, learn horseback riding, and stay in a homestay for an overnight rural experience.
Whether you’re staying in Bukidnon for a short visit or a little longer, this attraction deserves a spot in your itinerary.
4. Monastery of Transfiguration
The Monastery of Transfiguration is one of the popular landmarks in Bukidnon.
Nestled on a hill in Barangay San Jose in Malaybalay City, the monastery is known for its unique pyramid-shaped church designed by the National Artist for Architecture, Leandro Locsin. Visit the church to view this architectural marvel, see the miraculous Madonna and Child image inside the monastery, and set a time for reflection while enjoying the scenic vista of Bukidnon’s landscape from the hilltop.
The monastery also houses a souvenir shop which sells locally grown coffee — harvested, processed, and roasted by the monks themselves; as well as peanut butter, peanut brittle, and more.
5. Mt. Kitanglad Range Natural Park
For those who love mountains, a tour of Bukidnon wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the breathtaking Mount Kitanglad Range Natural Park.
Covering a total of 47,270 hectares, this park is a declared ASEAN Heritage Park and one of the few remaining rainforests in the Philippines. It is home to rare and endemic flora and fauna, including the Philippine Eagle (the country’s national bird), Philippine Tarsier, and rafflesia (a rare flora considered the second largest flower in the world).
It is also home to more than a dozen mountain peaks, forests, caves, waterfalls, and hot springs.
Currently, the Mount Kitanglad Range Natural Park is a favorite hikers’ destination, with its challenging multi-day Dulang Dulang-Kitanglad Travelerse trail that allows experienced hikers to conquer both Mount Dulang-Dulang (the second highest mountain in the Philippines) and Mount Kitanglad (the fourt highest).
6. Lake Apo
Lake Apo is one of the must-see Bukidnon tourist spots, especially among those looking for relaxing, family-friendly destinations.
Nestled amidst the verdant hills of Valencia City, Lake Apo is a crater lake known for its tranquil green waters and stunning panoramic views. The lake was named “apo,” which means elder or grandfather in the local dialect after a local folkore.
The lake park is well managed and is hence a favorite destination among local families. You can rent a floating cottage for the whole group, enjoy a leisurely boat ride across the calm waters, have a refreshing swim, or simply relax and appreciate the escape it offers away from the hustle and bustle of the city life.
The entrance fee to the lake is cheap and there are available outdoor cottages for picnicking. So whenever you’re looking for a quick getaway in Bukidnon, don’t forget to consider visiting Lake Apo.
7. Panimahawa Ridge
For the avid social media users, Panimahawa Ridge is perhaps one of the more familiar tourist spots in Bukidnon.
The ridge, also known as Impasug-ong’s Viewpoint, offers a panoramic view of the majestic Mt. Kitanglad and Mt. Kalutungan. It’s a popular spot for sunrise and sunset watching, as well as stargazing at night.
The ridge can be visited on a day hike or overnight stay, as there is a dedicated camping site for those who wish to experience the peaceful outdoors. The hike to the summit is beginner-friendly but still challenging and typically takes 2 hours depending on your pace.
With its awe-inspiring landscape and refreshing mountain breeze, Panimahawa Ridge is considered one of the top Bukidnon tourist spots.
KampoJuan is one of the most unique attractions in Bukidnon, offering a mix of adventure and cultural tour.
Nestled in the lush landscapes of Manolo Fortich, this eco-adventure resort features a 120-year-old heritage house, complete with cultural antiques and artifacts. It also has two swimming pools and various outdoor activities, such as the Anicycle, Asia’s first skybike where you can experience biking along a 300-meter cable line with a view of the ravine below. If you’re after a more laid-back activity, the park’s lush surroundings are perfect for a picnic or leisurely stroll.
Of course, staying here wouldn’t be complete without tasting delicious delicacies in Bukidnon!
9. Limunsudan Falls
Get ready to be mesmerized by the grandeur of the Limunsudan Falls, one of the hidden gems in Bukidnon. It also goes by the name of Bayug Falls or Mindamora Falls.
This waterfalls stands at 870 feet high and is considered the second highest waterfall in the Philippines, after Aliwagwag Falls in Davao. Its water cascade consistently creates a thunderous roar and a misty spray, while being surrounded by unique block-shaped rocks.
Technically, Limunsudan Falls is located within Lanao del Norte but is most accessible via Talakag in Bukidnon. Before starting the trek, your guide will often perform a ritual first for safety. Then it’s about an hour of steep climb down the waterfall base. However, if you’re simply after the view, you can just stay at the viewdeck at the top of mountain where you can see the entirety of the waterfall.
10. Balisbisan Falls
We know we’ve already covered a lot of waterfalls in Bukidnon, but the list actually goes longer!
Balisbisan Falls is another one of the tourist spots in Bukidnon that you shouldn’t miss. This waterfall is often described as a smaller version of Asik-Asik Falls in Cotabato, with flows of water sprouting from a wall of rock amidst lush greenery.
The waterfall can be found deep in the mountain in Atugan Canyon in Impasug-Ong, Bukidnon. To get here, you need to trek for about 40 minutes across forest trails and plantations.
11. Cedar Park
One of the most underrated tourist attractions in Bukidnon, Cedar Park is a 1000-hectare eco-tourism park ideal for those looking for a nature getaway.
The park features a campsite with a swimming pool, a large nature forest, rolling hills, and waterfalls that you can visit in a day (namely, Gantungan Falls, Natigbasan Falls, Dila Falls, and Makabayot Falls). The entrance fee is inexpensive, so you can enjoy the many activities here without breaking the bank… or if you prefer, you can just spend your time strolling amidst the trees or soaking in the tranquil atmosphere.
Cedar Park is a great day tour destination in Bukidnon and also a good side trip after Panimahawa Ridge.
12. Alalum Falls
Bukidnon is home to some of the most beautiful waterfalls in Mindanao — including Alalum Falls.
The captivating waterfall stands about 45 meters high, its gushing waters creating a mesmerizing curtain against the lush backdrop. Its surrounding greenery makes it picture perfect, a perfect stopover when you need a quick nature trip.
Alalum Falls is notably visible from Sayre Highway in the town of Sumilao, where a viewdeck and a small café stands. A short trek leads to the cascade’s base where a deep pool awaits. Although it is not ideal for swimming, it’s still worth seeing the waterfall’s beauty up-close.
Although it is one of the most accessible waterfalls in Bukidnon, few people outside Bukidnon are aware of its existence. So if you’re coming here from Cagayan de Oro, make sure to include this tourist spot as a side tour in your itinerary.
13. Mount Capistrano
Another popular day hike in Bukidnon is Mount Capistrano, known for its limestone rocky peak and views of the surrounding Basakan Area rice fields and other mountain ranges.
Although the hike takes only 2 hours, the trail is challenging. Hikers are advised to be physically fit before embarking on a trip to get here.
14. Rotypeaks Ridge Camp
It isn’t just Tanay that offers mountain cabins with panoramic views. Rotypeaks Ridge Camp is a mountain lodge nestled in the rolling landscapes of Sumilao, Bukidnon, offering a 360-degree view of the surrounding mountain ranges. Visit here to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, watch the sunrise from a sea of mist, and spend time just appreciating the beautiful scenery.
Accommodations include modest cabins and tents. As of 2023, going here is a bit challenging as you may need to ride a 4×4 vehicle or, more simply, ride a habal-habal to take you there.
Whether you’re a seasoned camper or a first-timer, Rotypeaks Ridge Camp is a place that you won’t want to miss on your Bukidnon tour.
15. Blue Water Cave
Bukidnon has several caves perfect for spelunking, and one that stands out is Blue Water Cave in the town of Quezon.
As its name suggests, this underground river system is known for its enchantingly blue and crystal-clear waters, which flow out to Pulangui River. The water is cool and perfect for a refreshing swim especially in the summer.
There is no entrance fee to the cave, but it’s recommend to get a local guide to help you navigate the area. The cave itself can be accessed by climbing down a series of boulders. It’s recommended to go here during the summer months, as the current can get strong on rainy days.
16. Attend the Kaamulan Festival
One of the best things to do in Bukidnon is attending the Kaamulan Festival. This annual gathering is a rich cultural spectacle that showcases the traditions of the seven indigenous tribes of Bukidnon.
Held between February and March at the Kaamulan Nature Park, this festival is a visual feast of colorful tribal costumes, rhythmic dance performances, and ethnic music. The locals also perform a reenactment of their ancient rituals, which can offer you the opportunity to learn more and connect with their culture and tradition.
Witnessing the Kaamulan Festival is one of the highlights of visiting Bukidnon. So while in this province, don’t miss out on seeing one of the best festivals in Mindanao!
How to get to Bukidnon
The nearest airport to Bukidnon is the Laguindingan Airport in Cagayan de Oro City. From CDO, you can take a bus or van to Bukidnon, which takes about 2 hours.
Once in Bukidnon, there are public transports available. You may need to charter a habal-habal to some of the more remote areas in the province.
Where to stay in Bukidnon
Here are the best resorts and other accommodations in Bukidnon:
Though not as popular as other tourist spots in Mindanao, Bukidnon is a worthwhile province to visit for its beautiful nature attractions, cultural spots, and of course food. For those who love nature especially, it’s a must-visit destination in the Philippines.
Katherine Cortes is a long-time backpacker and a freelance writer/editor. She likes beaches, snorkeling trips, and relaxing staycations (preferably with bath tubs!).