Here’s the do-it-yourself (DIY) itinerary I took during a three day trip to Cagayan Valley. I flew from Manila to Tuguegarao, the capital city of Cagayan Province. I spent three nights in Tuguegarao City while making day trips to a number of tourist spots around Cagayan. First up was a quick tour of Tuguegarao’s “centro” and commute to the Basilica of our Lady of Piat. On the second day, me and my travel buddy, Eric, went to the Tumauini Church in Isabela Province, which was followed by a memorable visit to the Callao Cave in Penablanca. The Callao Cave is probably one of most photographed attractions this side of Luzon. We went on a church hopping tour of Northern Cagayan on our third day starting at Calamaniugan. We worked our way back to Tuguegarao passing by the historic towns of La-lo, Gattaran, Alcala, and Iguig.

My Tuguegarao and Cagayan Province 3 Day Itinerary

Day 1 – Tuguegarao “Centro” and Piat

  • 7:00am – Flight check-in at NAIA (Manila International Airport) Terminal 3 – P200 terminal fee.
  • 8:30am – Manila to Tuguegrao City, Cagayan Province flight departure.
  • 9:40am – Arrival in Tuguegarao Airport.
Baggage claim took  a while since the airport doesn’t have a conveyor belt. Checked-in items have to be manually handled by the airline personnel.
  • 10:30am – Tricycle ride to Hotel Ivory – P150 tricycle charter
Hotel Ivory is located at the other side of town. It probably would’ve been cheaper to walk to the highway (10 minutes), ride a regular passenger tricycle to the city center or “centro,” and ride another tricycle to Hotel Ivory.
  • 11:00am – Arrival in Hotel Ivory – P599 per night (aircon double room).
Hotel Ivory is a budget hotel located along the national highway in Buntun, Tuguegarao City. We rented an aircon room good for two at P599 per night. It was a bit far from the city center but the hotel rates were reasonable considering the ambiance and service.
  • Tricycle ride to Tuguegarao Cathedral – P10 fare per passenger
  • Tuguegarao Cathedral  stopover
  • 12:00nn – Lunch at Jomar’s Pancit Batil Patong
    • “Super” Pancit Batil Patong – P60 per serving
  • Tricycle to Buntun Westbound terminal beside Shell gas station – P50 tricycle charter
  • 1:20pm – Shuttle van (L300) ride to Piat (45 minutes) – P60 fare
  • 2:10pm – Tricycle ride to Basilica of Our Lady of Piat – P7 fare
    • Pawa (glutinous rice with sweet peanut filling) – P15 per pack
  • 2:40pm – Tricycle ride to Piat van terminal – P7 fare
  • Van ride back to terminal in Buntun, Tuguegarao – P60 fare
  • 4:40pm – Tricycle ride to western (far) end of Buntun Bridge – P20 fare
  • Tricycle ride to eastern end of Buntun Bridge – P7
  • Sunset / dusk photo-ops at Buntun Bridge over Cagayan River
  • Tricycle ride to Tuguegarao Centro – P10 fare
  • Dinner at Urban Kitchen
    • Garlic Buttered Chicken – P99
    • Cheese sticks – P100
  • Tricycle ride to Hotel Ivory – P50 charter
  • Hotel Ivory – P599 per night (double aircon room)

Day 2 – Tumauini Church and Callao Caves

  • 9:10am – Breakfast at Triple J Panciteria in Buntun (near Hotel Ivory)
    • Pancit Cabagan – P50
    • Tricycle to Triple J Panciteria – P10
  •  Tricycle ride to van terminal in Tuguegarao Centro – P20 fare
  • Shuttle van ride to Tumanuini, Isabela (45 minutes) – P60 fare
  • Tricycle to Tumauini Church – P10 fare
  • 10:55am – Tumauini Church stopover
  • Shuttle van ride to Tuguegarao – P60 fare
  • Tricycle ride to Gretchen’s Panciteria – P20 fare
  • 1:20pm – Lunch at Gretchen’s Panciteria
    • Cocke float – P25
    • Special Batil Patong – ?
  • Met a local who offered a ride to the Callao Cave in Penablanca
  • 3:00pm – Drive to Callao Cave (30 minutes)
  • Callao Cave – P20 entrance fee
  • 6:40pm – Dinner at Urban Kitchen
    • Pork Kebab P105 + rice (P15)
  • Hotel Ivory – P599 per night (double aircon room)

Day 3 – Northern Cagayan Church Hopping

  • 8:00am – Breakfast at Hotel Ivory
    • Native Longganisa, Rice, and Coffee – P105 set meal
  • Tricycle ride to van terminal – P20 fare
  • 9:00am – Shuttle van ride to Calamaniugan (2 hours) – P100 fare
  • 11:00am – tricycle ride to Calamaniugan Church – P15 fare
  • Tricycle ride back to highway – P10 fare
  • Muitcab ride to La-lo – P15 fare
  • 11:40am – La-lo Church
  • Jeepney ride to Magapit Bridge – P10 fare
  • 12:25nn – Magapit Bridge
  • Bus ride to Gattaran – P25 fare
  • 1:15pm – Gattaran Church
  • Shuttle van ride to Alcala – P20 fare
  • Tricycle to Alcala Church
  • 1:50pm – Alcala Church
  • Tricycle to Deano Milk Candy – P19
  • 2:30pm – Deano Milk Candy stopover – P30 per pack
  • Ride to Iguig
  • 3:20pm – Iguig Church stopver
  • Shuttle van back to Tuguegarao City – P30 fare
  • Walk to Tuguegarao City Hall
  • 4:15pm – Tuguegarao City Hall stopover
  • Tricycle ride to Cagayan Provincial Capitol – P50 charter
  • 4:25pm – Cagayan Provincial Capitol stopvoer
  • Tricycle ride to Tuguegarao Centro – P10 fare
  • Walk to Tuguegarao Cathderal
  • 5:10pm – Tuguegarao Cathderal stopover
  • Tricycle to Dok’s Panciteria near GMW Terminal – P10 fare
  • Dinner at Dok’s Panciteria
    • “Special” Pancit Cabagan – P50
  • Tricycle ride to Centro – P25 fare
  • Tricycle ride to Hotel Ivory – P50 charter
  • Hotel Ivory – P599 per night (double aircon room)
My trip to Cagayan was just the first part of my Northern Luzon circuit tour. The whole trip lasted for 11 days. On my fourth day, I did an early morning bus commute further northwards to Pagudpud in Ilocos Norte. I’ll be posting the rest of my Northern Luzon itinerary in separate posts.