Travel NOTES | Butuan City Travel Guide

Butuan City is spread across the Agusan River. This highly urbanized city previously held the distinction as the capital of Agusan del Norte until that was transferred to Cabadbaran. Still, it has retained its status as the regional center of the CARAGA Region where it belongs.

travel guide butuan

There are different interpretations as to the origin of its name. Some sources claim that it came from a former ruler, chieftain Datu Buntuan. Other sources refer to the batuan (Garcinia morella) sour fruit known to be abundant in the area. Others claim that is the natural disposition of the people to be kind or but-an. No matter what the exact reason may be, its name had always been Butuan in the history books. It was even known as the Kingdom of Butuan before the Spanish colonization.


·    Butuan City is known as the “Home of the Balangays”.
·   The balangay, a form of ancient boat, is an iconic symbol of Butuan City especially because of its status as a port city and because these boats were excavated just across Masao River.
·  The original balangay, dubbed as Balangay 1, was dated to be from 320 A.D. and now lies in the Balangay Shrine Museum in Butuan City. This became the source of inspiration of the Balangay boats which are part of the historic Balangay Voyage by Kaya ng Pinoy, Inc. The recreated balangay has set sail across the country and in other areas of Southeast Asia. It is the goal of the Balangay Voyage to sail across the world.
·   The city is the educational hub of the CARAGA Region.

Province: Agusan del Norte
Region: Region 13 - CARAGA
Country: Philippines
Area Code: 9600
Zip Code: 085 (+6385)
Currency: Philippine Peso (PHP 1= US$ 0.02)
Language: English| Tagalog | Cebuano | Butuanon
Local Dialect: Butuan City actually has a language of its own called the Butuanon but Cebuano is the prevailing dialect used across the city. In fact, even if most adults are fluent and still use the language, a study by Fred S. Cabuang revealed that less than 500 youngsters can speak it. Such a sad plight makes the Butuanon language an endangered one. This is based on the rule by international linguistics experts of classifying any language with less than 300,000 speakers as endangered. The Butuanon has major influences from the Surigaonon language and Tausug language but also features words and grammar rules from the Cebuano language.

The Cebuano language is prevalent not just in Butuan City but in many areas of Visayas and Mindanao. Much like other languages, there are words that are spelled the same but are read or used in a different manner. There are 16 consonants (b,d,g,m,n,ng,s,h,w,l,r,y,p,t,k,ʔ) and 5 vowels (a,e,i,o,u). The language also offers a rule of verb–subject–object in most cases. The word “nga” is used as connector between a noun and an adjective.

·         Butuan City Mayor’s Office: (085)342-3074 | (085)225-5737 (fax)
·         Butuan City Fire Department: 160 | (085) 342-8217 | (085) 815-0160 | 09106670623
·         Butuan City Water District: (085) 342 3145
·         Department of Foreign Affairs: (085) 342 7822
·         Butuan City Police Office: 166
o   Station 1: (085) 342-2160
o   Station 2: (085) 345-5245
o   Station 3: (085) 342-2825
o   Station 4: (085) 342-5321
o   Station 5: 0921-3473998

  •  Almont Inland Resort. J.C Aquino Avenue, Butuan City. Contact: (085) 342-7414, (085) 341-2103, (085) 342-9524 (fax) | email: | website: 
  • Almont City Hotel. San Jose Street, Butuan City. Contact: (085) 342-5263, (085) 815-4174, (085) 341-5010 (fax) | email: | website:
  • Balanghai Hotel & Convention Center. Bacolod Street, Doongan, Butuan City. Contact: (085) 342-3064, (085) 815-1193, (085) 225-5559, 0920-9540705 | |
  • VCDU Prince Hotel & Convention Center. South Montilla Boulevard, Butuan City. Contact: (085) 342-7587, (085) 342-6610, (085) 342-7567, (085) 225-9275, (085) 345-5850 | email: | website:
  • The Red Palm Suites & Restaurant. Villa Kananga Road, (behind Capitol Grounds) Butuan City. Contact: (085) 341-2000 loc. 121, (085) 342-4242, (085) 225-9265, (085) 816-2338 (fax), 0915-296-8791 (Globe), 0999-785-5888 (Smart), 0922-815-6052 (Sun)|                            | website: 
  • Wayfarer Pension House & Dormitory. T. Calo St. Extension, Brgy Limaha, Butuan City. Contact: (085) 342-8827, (085) 342-8828, 0946-971-1243, 0946-971-1244 | | website:
  • Gloreto Guest House. Ilang-Ilang St., Langihan Road, Butuan City. Contact: (085) 342 9351 | email: | 
  • Gloreto Guest House and Dormitel. T. Calo St., Butuan City. Contact: (085) 342 9350 |       email: |


·         Buffet: Han's R Diner "Eat All U Can" | Mom's Eat-all-you-can | Roldan's | Manay Maling

·         Fine Dining: Embassy Hotel and Restaurant | Margies Kitchen | Island Seafoods Restaurant | Uncle Sams Burger and Steak House 

·       Fastfood Chains / Budget Restaurants / Barbeque Places / Grills: Rosario's Grillhouse | O'Henry's Grill | Big Daddy's Grill | RIBS | Nennette's Paboritos | Red Apple | Weegol's Grill House | Budget Foods And Restaurant | Lutong Bahay ni Aling Cora 1 and 2 | Mister Donut Lucky Bamboo | New Narra Restaurant | Weegool's Garden | Hans Noodles & Dimsum House | Pizza Hut | VJ's Sports Bar and Ihaw-ihaw | Vanch Bar and Grill Hauz


· Celebrate City Festivals. Kahimunan Festival (in honor of Sto. Niño) | Adlaw Hong Butuan (Charter Day Anniversary) celebrated every August 2 | Balangay Festival/City Fiesta (in honor of St. Joseph) celebrated every May 19 | MAZAUA DISCOVERY DAY (landing of Ferdinand Magellan) celebrated every March 31 

·  Visit. Nipa Wine Distillery | Magellan's Landing Site | Butuan Regional Museum | Balangay Shrine Museum | Banza Church Ruins | Guingona Park formerly Rizal Park 

·   Outdoor Fun: Mountain climbing and hiking at Mount Mayapay | Agusan River

·   Explore: Bood Promontory 1st Easter Mass Eco Park 

·   Shop. Robinsons Place Butuan | Unitop General Merchandise | Unicity | Gaisano Mall Butuan | Asialink Central Mall | SM City Butuan (Proposed) | Puregold Priceclub (Proposed)


· Airport. Butuan National Airport formerly Bancasi Airport | Served by Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines/PALexpress | Major commercial airport with 5 to 10 flights daily | Largest airport in CARAGA | Only airport in Agusan del Norte

· Sea port. Sea travel to Butuan City is currently limited to the Nasipit Port located 18 km away | Plans for construction of its own seaport to be called Port of Masao are already under way | Served by major shipping lines: 2Go Travel, Cokaliong Shipping  and Sulpicio Lines | Weekly trips to Jagna (Bohol), Cebu, Dumaguete, and Manila

· Inland transportation. Transport terminals: Butuan City Integrated Bus Terminal, New Integrated Van Terminal, Jeepney Terminal | Modes of public transport include: rental vehicles, bus, V-hire (hired van), taxis, orange-colored tricycles


·   A trip to Butuan City is never complete without tasting the palagsing. This native delicacy is a tasty treat, chewy and moist. It is made from young coconut, brown sugar, and what is locally known as unaw (lumbiya starch) which comes from palm trees.

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  1. I think the Buffet food establishments is the way to go when you are craving for some local menus.

    1. at mura lang dito ang eat all you can Chubs :) usually less than 200 pesos :)

  2. thanks for sharing all these information about Butuan...hopefully someday our family can visit this beautiful place! happy weekend.

    1. You should Cheerful :) dami pwedeng i explore sa Butuan :)

  3. I wish to visit that place. I have relatives there from my dad's side and I have yet to meet them in person. Thanks for the very informative post about Butuan.

  4. Napaka timely naman sir! will be there in Nov firstweek. =)

  5. Welcome to Home of the Balangays! Indeed! My best friend lives in Butuan and I have only been there a couple times but I always feel like going back. Hopefully, I can someday soon!

  6. This place takes a great place in our history for its "balangays". I also love the suman.

  7. This is great information, I've heard so many great things about that place and yes we indeed pass it by whenever we go to another province.

  8. Let me think it over, I have lots of relatives there. no worry where to stay. Sige, add ko sa wishlist ko.

  9. I always go to Butuan so I know some of the travel basics. Thanks for sharing this list :)

  10. I have been to Butuan once before but I forgot how old I was :-) Maybe I was in high school and it is one of the booming city in Mindanao :-) I miss our island too :-)

  11. I used to live in Cagayan de Oro, but I never realized that Butuan is a nice place. If I should have know, I probably would have visited this place.

  12. I'd love to visit this city someday and eat in those restaurants you mentioned here :)

  13. Another interesting place to visit in the Philippines. Thanks for this guide. We can definitely use this when we decide to travel there.

  14. So detailed and informative. Buffet would be my first choice.

  15. I got lots of relatives in Butuan and Agusan. Makakatipid na pala my family where to stay. Even back 1990's my late dad kept on promoting the place. Maganda raw talaga.


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