Ozamis City Travel Guide

Overview of Ozamis City

Ozamiz is renowned as the historical, cultural, and pilgrimage center in Mindanao for a number of reasons. The Fuerte de la Concepcion y del Triunfo, also known as Cotta Fort and Shrine, is a fort that was constructed in Ozamiz in 1755. The Our Lady of Triumph of the Cross is depicted in relief on the wall of the Cotta Fort that faces the harbor. The aforementioned image is a site of pilgrimage and is reported to be developing miraculously. Later, following Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, whose feast day is observed every December 8, the Birhen sa Cotta (Virgin of the Fort) was chosen as the second patroness of the city. Cotta is currently one of the most valuable jewels of the Ozamiznons, even to the Misamiznons, after 255 years.

The feast day of the Birhen sa Cotta is observed on July 16, which also marks Ozamiz City's anniversary of its founding. The city also has the Subayan Keg Subanen Festival on the same day, which honors the Subanon, a group of indigenous people from the "Lumads". The city's attractions include the Our Lady of Immaculate Concepcion Pipe Organ, one of the few remaining pipe organs in the country and the only one in Mindanao, as well as the Bukagan Hill, which offers views of Ozamiz City and Panguil Bay and is home to four enormous bells that were installed there in 1948. While exploring, be sure to visit the different restaurants in Ozamiznon that specialize in seafood including crabs, seashells, and the renowned "Laya" fish.

Where to Go

Cotta Fort

Delve into history by visiting Cotta Fort, a centuries-old fortress that has witnessed various periods of the city's past. The fort provides a glimpse into Ozamiz's rich cultural heritage.

Immaculate Conception Cathedral

Pay a visit to the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, a significant religious site known for its impressive architecture and spiritual significance. The cathedral is a serene place for reflection.

Tangub City

While not in Ozamiz City itself, Tangub City is nearby and is famous for its annual Christmas Symbols Festival. If your visit aligns with this event, it's a unique and colorful experience.

Ardent Hot Spring in Misamis Occidental Aquamarine Park

For a relaxing getaway, head to the Ardent Hot Spring within the Misamis Occidental Aquamarine Park. It's an ideal spot to unwind and enjoy the therapeutic benefits of natural hot springs.

Miguel de Allende Park

Spend some leisure time at Miguel de Allende Park, a well-maintained public space where you can enjoy a peaceful stroll, have a picnic, or simply relax.

What to Do

River Cruise along Panguil Bay

Take a scenic river cruise along Panguil Bay. It's a relaxing way to enjoy the picturesque views of the bay and the surrounding landscapes.

Explore the Local Cuisine

Indulge in the local culinary scene by trying out traditional delicacies. Ozamiz is known for its unique food offerings, so be sure to taste local specialties and street food.

Visit the Bucagan Hill

Hike or drive up Bucagan Hill for a panoramic view of Ozamiz City and its surroundings. It's a great spot for taking photographs and appreciating the beauty of the landscape.

Relax at Hoyohoy Highland Stone Chapel Adventure Park

Unwind at Hoyohoy Highland Stone Chapel Adventure Park, where you can enjoy recreational activities, including zip-lining and exploring the scenic stone chapel.

Shopping at the Public Market

Experience the local culture by visiting the public market. It's a bustling hub where you can find fresh produce, handmade crafts, and interact with the friendly locals.

Attend Mass at the Cotta Shrine

If you're interested in religious sites, attend a Mass at the Cotta Shrine. The shrine is not only a religious center but also an iconic landmark in Ozamiz City.

When is the Best Time to Visit Ozamis City

The best time to visit Ozamiz City during the dry season is from December to April. These months typically experience minimal rainfall and pleasant weather conditions, making it ideal for outdoor activities and exploration. During this period, you can enjoy the city's attractions, festivals, and natural wonders.

From May to November, Ozamiz City experiences its wet season with heightened rainfall. However, far from being a drawback, this period transforms the surroundings into a lush, green landscape.

Many travellers even appreciate the occasional rain showers as a refreshing and revitalising aspect of their visit.

How to Get to Ozamis City

By Air

Reaching Ozamiz City by air is convenient, thanks to Labo Airport (OZC), which serves as the main gateway. Several domestic airlines operate regular flights to and from Labo Airport, connecting Ozamiz City to major cities in the Philippines.

Upon landing, travellers can easily access the city center via various transportation options, making air travel an efficient and time-saving choice for those journeying to Ozamiz.

By Sea

For those who prefer a scenic sea voyage, Ozamiz City is accessible by ferry. The city's port, accommodating both passenger and cargo vessels, serves as a vital maritime hub. Ferry services operate from various points, providing connections to Ozamiz City from neighboring islands.

The sea route offers a unique travel experience, allowing passengers to enjoy the coastal views and embrace the maritime charm before disembarking in Ozamiz City.

By Car / Bus

Travelling by road to Ozamiz City is a convenient and picturesque option. Well-maintained highways and roads connect the city to nearby regions, making it accessible by car or bus.

Those arriving from cities like Cagayan de Oro or Davao can embark on a scenic road trip, passing through beautiful landscapes and experiencing the diverse scenery of Mindanao.

How to Get Around

By Taxi / Ride-Sharing Services

Getting around Ozamiz City is made easy with the availability of taxis and ride-sharing services. Taxis are readily available throughout the city, providing a convenient and efficient mode of transportation. Additionally, ride-sharing services offer a modern and often more cost-effective option.

By Car / Motorcycle

For those who prefer the flexibility of independent travel, renting a car or motorcycle in Ozamiz City is a great option. Several rental agencies in the city provide a variety of vehicles to suit your needs. Renting a car allows you to explore Ozamiz and its surrounding areas at your own pace, while motorcycles are an ideal choice for a more adventurous experience.

Enjoy the freedom to visit off-the-beaten-path locations and take in the scenic beauty of the region by opting for a rented car or motorcycle during your stay in Ozamiz City.

What to Eat

Local Food

In Ozamiz City, the local food scene is a delightful exploration of diverse flavours and culinary traditions.

One of the must-try dishes is "kuracha," a local crab known for its sweet and succulent meat. Some notable restaurants where you can savor the local flavors include Big J Grill House, Monjoe's Garden Cafe, and Isla Grill Restaurant.

Fresh Seafood

Ozamiz City, with its coastal proximity, offers a delectable array of fresh seafood for visitors to enjoy. Along the waterfront and in various seafood markets, travellers can immerse themselves in the vibrant local seafood scene.

Notable restaurants such as Yammy's Seafood Grill, Isla Grill, Villa Tuna, and Coastal Seafood Grill provide excellent opportunities to savour the richness of Ozamiz's marine resources.

Western Food

In Ozamiz City, the culinary landscape showcases a delightful fusion of Western flavors alongside the rich local cuisine. Eateries like Cribs Restaurant and Cafe in Ozamiz City provide a satisfying selection of steaks, sandwiches, and fries, delivering an American-inspired dining experience. Additionally, cafes such as Gat's Bar, Grill Champ, and Mon's Grill Ozamis offer a cozy atmosphere to indulge in Western-style coffee, desserts, and light meals.

What to Buy

When exploring Ozamiz City, indulge in a memorable shopping experience by seeking out unique local products and handicrafts. Take home intricately woven Mindanao fabrics, known for their vibrant colours and traditional designs, as a stylish memento. Bring home local delicacies such as sweet pastries and coconut-based treats, offering a taste of the city's culinary delights.

Explore the bustling markets and artisan shops for handmade souvenirs crafted by skilled local artisans, ranging from intricately carved wooden items to indigenous jewellery. Whether it's a piece of local art or a flavorful snack, the diverse range of items available ensures you'll find the perfect keepsake to commemorate your Ozamiz City adventure.

Where to Stay

In Ozamiz City, you'll find a range of accommodations to suit various preferences and budgets. For a comfortable stay with modern amenities, consider reputable hotels in the city center like Royal Garden Hotel, Oakhill Inn and Be Palace Hotel, offering convenience and easy access to local attractions. Alternatively, if you prefer a more laid-back atmosphere, explore charming guesthouses or boutique inns like 67th Boulevard Pension House that showcase the local hospitality.

Ozamiz also has resorts near the coast, providing scenic views and a tranquil retreat. Whether you opt for a cozy guesthouse, a centrally located hotel, or a seaside resort like The MU Manor and Bethany Gardes Hotel, Ozamiz City offers diverse options for a memorable and enjoyable stay.

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

For your journey to Ozamis City, it is advised to pack lightweight and comfortable attire, taking into account the tropical climate. Choose breathable materials such as cotton and linen to remain cool in the heat.

Bring swimwear for beach outings, and consider modest clothing when visiting religious sites. Comfortable sandals or flip-flops are suitable for casual outings, while a pair of sturdy walking shoes may be useful if you plan to explore nature reserves or hike.

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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