Lanao Del Norte Travel Guide

Overview of Lanao Del Norte

The ecologically rich Province of Lanao del Norte is synonymous with unspoiled natural beauty. Most of the area is blanketed by pristine tropical rainforests and is considered among the best preserved in the country. The province has a very rich and colourful history, cultural mix, and has a teeming aqua marine life. It is a destination stopover tourists wouldn't want to miss.

Located along the northwest coast of the big island of Mindanao with the Illana Bay to its south, the province is the land bridge of the Zamboanga Peninsula to the rest of Mindanao. It serves as the gateway to the cities of Pagadian, Tangub, Oroquieta, Ozamiz, and Zamboanga.

From the majestic peaks of Mount Inayawan to the tranquil shores of Lake Lanao, this hidden gem offers a myriad of adventures for nature enthusiasts. Delve into the colorful history of the area through visits to ancient landmarks like the Maigo Old Church and Kolambug.

Lanao del Norte is home to several waterfalls, lakes, and valleys. It is endowed with interesting lowland and highland natural spots, famous of which is the Tinago Falls in the town of Linamon. The word "Tinago" is the Cebuano word for hidden and indeed, the waterfalls seem to have been concealed from the rest of the world as it is located in a deep ravine. A trek down a steep stairway with only the sound of the cascading waterfalls echoing in the ears, then the eyes behold a breathtaking sight. That is how one discovers this hidden treasure. It is a haven for nature lovers and gives evidence of Mother Nature"s amazing works of wonders. It is one of the most-visited towns in the province, basking in the splendour of its strategic and scenic location.

Where to Go

Maria Cristina Falls

Located in Iligan City, Maria Cristina Falls is a breathtaking waterfall that is considered the landmark of the city. It is a two-tiered waterfall surrounded by lush greenery and is a popular destination for nature lovers.

Tinago Falls

Another beautiful waterfall in Iligan City, Tinago Falls is known for its enchanting surroundings and clear blue waters. Visitors can take a trek to reach the falls and enjoy its serene ambiance.

Mimbalot Falls

Situated in the town of Linamon, Mimbalot Falls is a stunning waterfall surrounded by tropical vegetation. It's a great spot for those seeking a more secluded and less crowded waterfall experience.

Ma. Cristina Ancestral House

This ancestral house, located in Iligan City, is a heritage site that provides a glimpse into the colonial past of the region. The house showcases antique furniture, artifacts, and memorabilia.

Timoga Springs

Located in the municipality of Iligan, Timoga Springs is a natural spring complex featuring several pools with crystal-clear waters. It's a popular spot for locals and tourists alike, offering a refreshing escape from the heat.

Mount Agad-Agad

For those interested in hiking and trekking, Mount Agad-Agad is a challenging yet rewarding climb. The summit offers panoramic views of Iligan City and the surrounding landscapes.

Paseo de Santiago

Found in Iligan City, Paseo de Santiago is a scenic park and recreational area where visitors can enjoy a leisurely stroll, have a picnic, or simply relax by the river.

Iligan City Park

A public park in Iligan City, this area is great for unwinding and enjoying some green space. It's a popular spot for locals to exercise, jog, or have a family outing.

What to Do

Waterfall Hopping

Lanao del Norte is home to several stunning waterfalls. Plan a waterfall-hopping adventure to Maria Cristina Falls, Tinago Falls, and Mimbalot Falls. Enjoy the natural beauty, take a refreshing dip, and explore the surroundings.

River Tubing at Iligan City

Experience the thrill of river tubing along the rivers of Iligan City. It's a fun and adventurous way to enjoy the scenic beauty of the area.

Hiking and Trekking

Explore the natural landscapes by going on a hike or trek. Mount Agad-Agad offers a challenging trek with rewarding views at the summit. Make sure to prepare adequately for the trek.

Visit Historical and Cultural Sites

Explore the cultural heritage of the region by visiting places like Ma. Cristina Ancestral House. Learn about the history and traditions of Lanao del Norte.

Relax at Timoga Springs

Spend a relaxing day at Timoga Springs, enjoying the cool and clear spring waters. It's a great place to unwind and escape the hustle and bustle of city life.

Photography and Nature Walks

Lanao del Norte offers picturesque landscapes. Capture the beauty of the province by taking a photography tour or simply going on nature walks.

When is the Best Time to Visit Lanao Del Norte

The dry season in Lanao del Norte typically spans from November to April. This period is characterised by less rainfall and more stable weather conditions. It serves as the best time for outdoor activities, such as hiking, trekking, and exploring natural attractions, as there is a lower chance of heavy rain interrupting your plans.

The wet season in Lanao del Norte occurs from May to October. During this time, the region experiences more rainfall, leading to lush green landscapes and vibrant vegetation.

How to Get to Lanao Del Norte

By Air

To reach Lanao del Norte by air, you would typically fly into Laguindingan Airport (CGY) in Misamis Oriental, which serves as the main gateway to the province. Laguindingan Airport is approximately 46 kilometers from Iligan City, one of the key cities in Lanao del Norte.

Upon landing at Laguindingan Airport, you can take a taxi, shuttle, or other transportation options to reach your specific destination in Lanao del Norte.

By Sea

While Lanao del Norte does not have a major seaport, nearby cities with seaports can serve as entry points. The nearest significant seaports are in Cagayan de Oro City and Iligan City.

If you prefer traveling by sea, you can take a ferry or boat to either of these cities and then use land transportation to reach your final destination within Lanao del Norte. Cagayan de Oro Port and Iligan Port are well-connected to various parts of the Philippines by sea.

By Car / Bus

Lanao del Norte is accessible by road, and you can travel by car or bus from major cities in Mindanao and other parts of the Philippines. If you're coming from Cagayan de Oro or Iligan City, both cities have well-developed road networks that connect to Lanao del Norte.

Buses and vans are common modes of land transportation. You can either use public transportation services or rent a private vehicle to reach your specific destination within the province.

How to Get Around

By Taxi / Ride-Sharing Services

Getting around Lanao del Norte by taxi or ride-sharing services is a convenient option within urban areas and cities. In places like Iligan City, taxis are readily available, and ride-sharing services may operate depending on local regulations.

By Car / Motorcycle

Renting a car or motorcycle is a popular choice for travelers who prefer flexibility and autonomy in exploring Lanao del Norte. Car rental services are available in major cities and towns, offering a range of vehicle options.

Motorcycle rentals are also an option for those comfortable with two-wheeled transportation.

What to Eat

Local Food

Exploring the local food scene in Lanao del Norte offers a delightful culinary adventure with a mix of traditional Filipino flavors and unique regional specialties. Here are notable restaurants such as De Siete, Soy Cafe & Diner and Rodolfo's Cuisine.

Fresh Seafood

Along the coastal towns and beachside areas, travellers can find numerous seafood restaurants and eateries offering a wide array of ocean-fresh delights. Establishments like Batucan Seafood Centre, Fish Head Seafood & Grill and Tatay's Grill Seafood Haus.

Western Food

In Lanao Del Norte, several restaurants offer a delectable array of Western cuisine, providing a delightful contrast to the local flavours. Establishments like Downtown Fried Chicken & Steakhouse, Soy Cafe and InTeaNational Cafe.

What to Buy

When exploring Lanao del Norte, consider bringing home locally crafted Maranao products as souvenirs. Handwoven textiles, such as malongs and inaul, showcase the rich cultural heritage of the region. Additionally, traditional brassware and woodcraft, featuring intricate designs, make for unique and meaningful keepsakes.

Where to Stay

In Lanao del Norte, you can find a range of accommodation options catering to various preferences and budgets. For those seeking comfort and amenities, reputable hotels and resorts in Iligan City, such as the Maria Cristina Anecito Pension House and the Iligan Paradise Hotel and Resort, provide convenient stays with easy access to local attractions.

Alternatively, budget-friendly options like guesthouses and inns are available for travellers looking for more economical choices. It is advisable to check online booking platforms for the latest reviews and availability, ensuring a suitable stay that aligns with your preferences and travel plans.

What to Bring

  • Bring sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses to shield yourself from the sun's rays.
  • Comfortable sandals or flip-flops are ideal for beach outings, while a pair of sturdy walking shoes may be useful for hiking or exploring.
  • If visiting during the wet season, a compact umbrella and a lightweight rain jacket can come in handy.
  • Stay hydrated by carrying a reusable water bottle, particularly if you're engaging in outdoor activities.
  • Ensure your electronic devices stay charged by bringing the necessary travel adapters.
  • While there are ATMs in urban areas, having some local currency can be useful, especially in more remote locations.

What to Wear

When packing for a trip to Lanao del Norte, consider the tropical climate and the activities you plan to engage in. Lightweight, breathable clothing is recommended due to the warm temperatures. Casual and modest attire is suitable for most occasions, but if you plan to visit religious or cultural sites, it is advisable to have conservative clothing, covering shoulders and knees.

Comfortable footwear, especially if you plan to explore natural attractions or engage in outdoor activities, is essential. Pack swimwear if you intend to enjoy the beaches or water-related activities. A hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen are also useful for protection against the sun.

Things to Note

  • Stay hydrated, especially in the warm weather, and use sunscreen to protect against the sun. Consider bringing insect repellent, particularly if you plan to explore nature reserves.
  • The local currency is the Philippine Peso (PHP). While ATMs are available in urban areas, it's advisable to have some local currency on hand, especially in more remote locations.
  • Keep a list of important contacts, including the local emergency numbers, contact information for your accommodation, and the nearest embassy or consulate.
  • Filipino and English are widely spoken, but learning a few basic Filipino phrases can enhance your travel experience and interactions with locals.

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