Iligan City, the bustling metropolis of Lanao del Norte is best-known for the poster girl of the province – Maria Cristina Falls. Though it is hemmed by 23 gorgeous falls, this land hailed as the City of Magnificent Waterfalls doesn’t thrive mainly on tourism. Colossal factories poured into the city’s vast industrial park that further strengthened their economy. A trip outside the city center will give visitors an eyeful of the city’s natural beauty.
- How to get to Iligan City:
1. From Manila to Iligan (by plane via Cagayan de Oro)
As of my trip last year, the nearest airport to Iligan City is at the neighboring Cagayan de Oro City – Lumbia Airport.
Cagayan de Oro City to Iligan (by bus)
From Cagayan de Oro City Airport, take a bus bound to Iligan City at Bulua Integrated Bus and Jeepney Terminal. Fare is Php 85, travel time is 1.5 hours.
You may take a cab or multi-cab to Bulua Integrated Bus and Jeepney Terminal from the city proper, fare is Php 12. They also have trips to Ozamiz, El Salvador, Marawi, Dipolog, Oroquieta, Pagadian, and Zamboanga.
*The Laguindingan International Airport in Iligan City has soft opened last June 15, 2013 and should be completed by June 2014. The airport will replace the Lumbia Airport of Cagayan de Oro and will now service flights to and fro Iligan City and Cagayan de Oro. (airport is now open confirmed by Godfrey Gemal).
If you have more information about the airport and flights, please comment below so I can update this guide.
2. From Manila to Iligan City (by plane via Ozamiz)
Alternatively, you may also take a flight to Ozamiz from Manila
Ozamiz to Iligan City (by ferry and bus)
From Ozamiz, you may take a bus bound to IliganCity which will board a ferry boat. Charter a tricycle at the airport to take you to the Integrated Bus and Jeepney Terminal. Fare is about Php 50.
At Ozamiz the Integrated Bus and Jeepney Terminal, ride a bus bound to Cagayan de Oro City. Tell the driver you will get off at Iligan City.
Aternatively, if you’re already at the city center, just take a tricycle or pedicab to the port where you can buy tickets for the ferry and then once you get off the ferry at Mukas Port (Lanao del Norte), ride a bus (that just came out of the ferry). It is cheaper this way. Ferry fare is Php 25.
Or if you are at Ozamis City center after exploring its nearby attractions, you may also opt to ride the bus at the port, this way you can make sure you already have a sit at the bus once you get off the ferry. Bus fare is Php 70. Ferry ticket is Php 25. Travel time is 1.5 hours.
*Rates mentioned here are as of April 2012.
- Iligan Accommodations:
There are a couple of hotels and inns in Iligan but I stumbled on a budget inn (they have hourly rates, so you know what I mean) – Jessica Lodge, fronting the church, just above Reyes Haircutters.
Air-conditioned room rate is Php 400, with private bath. Room is basic but spacious and it is close to the banks and restaurants.
Other places to stay in Iligan City:
5 Sparrow Road, IsabelVillage, Palao
IliganCity/ (063) 221 4456
Maria Cristina Hotel
Poblacion IliganCity /(063) 221 3352
Villa Verde IliganCity /(063) 223 8118
20 Zamora St Iligan City /(063) 223 8907
- How to get to the waterfalls in Iligan City:
How to get to Maria Christina Falls :
From the city proper, ride a tricycle to take you to the terminal of jeeps bound for Buru-un. Make sure you remind the driver that you will get off at Maria Cristina Falls. Fare is Php 12, travel time is less than 20 minutes. Alight after the steel bridge and cross the road to the entrance of the NPCNaturePark. Take an uphill walk for less than 10 minutes.
At NPC Nature Park, pay the necessary fees. Entrance fee is Php 35 for adults, Php 25 for kids and seniors. Add Php 10 for the roundtrip shuttle fare.
*During weekends, the plant releases water to create the legendary “twin falls”.
How to get to Tinago Falls:
Tinago Falls as its name suggest is hidden in a lush wilderness. If you’re coming from Maria Cristina Falls, just cross the street after the steel bridge and ride a jeep en route to Brgy, Buru-un.
Alight at the jeep stop and charter a motorbike (habal-habal) to take you to TinagoFalls. Rate depends on your haggling skills, could be Php 50-100. Road to TinagoFalls is quite craggy and strenuous.
From the jump off point to TinagoFalls, kids or teenagers will offer to guide you. You don’t really need one unless you will be swimming alone as they can take care of your stuff while you’re out there enjoying the refreshing waters. Also, it doesn’t hurt to help the friendly kids and teenagers.
Bring swimming outfits and extra shirts and shorts because you will surely be tempted to jump into the gorgeous deep turquoise waters of Tinago Falls.
How to get to Mimbalut Falls:
Also situated at Brgy. Buru-un, Iligan City. Mimbalut Falls can be reached by jeeps bound for Buru-un. Ask the driver to drop you at the corner road to Mimbalut adjacent to Iligan City National School of Fisheries.
Coming up : more of Iligan Tourist Attractions
About the Blogger : Gael Hilotin is a travel blogger and freelance travel writer with a background in Anthropology. She's been to all 81 provinces in the Philippines. Her work has appeared in local and international publications. She was a solid contributor of Yahoo Southeast Asia News (Travel) from 2011-2015 and the winner of the travel writing contest at the Blogfest Asia 2012 held in Cambodia. Follow her on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram. For advertisements, sponsorship and partnerships, you may reach her at gaelhilotinblog (at) gmail (dot) com. ***********************************************************
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