ButuanAgusan del Norte in the Philippines. Located in the northeastern part of Agusan Valley sprawling across the Agusan River, the city is known for its colorful history and culture.
This article also covers the nearby towns of Buenavista and Nasipit; both towns used to be barrios (present-day barangays) of Butuan until they were made separate municipalities in 1929 and 1936, respectively.
Butuan is governed separately from the province of Agusan del Norte (locals do not vote for provincial officials), but for practical purposes, Butuan belongs to the province. Butuan remains the de facto capital of Agusan del Norte, even after the capital has been moved to Cabadbaran.
Butuan’s history, culture, arts and people date back to the 4th century as showcased in museums which makes Butuan an exciting source of cultural artifacts in Mindanao. As early as the 10th century, according to Chinese historical documents, people from Butuan had already established trading relations with the kingdom of Champa in what is now South Vietnam. By the 11th century, Butuan was the center of trade and commerce in the Philippines. The best evidence of this is the discovery of 9 balangays (called the "Butuan boats") and other archeological finds in the vicinities of Butuan City, particularly in Ambangan, Libertad near the Butuan and Masao rivers.
ClimateButuan is usually dry from March to September while the wet season stretches from October to February. Temperatures range as low as while the maximum is . With the humidity it will feel more like to .
By boatFerries call at Nasipit, a port town west of downtown.
2GO TravelFerries depart from Manila, with a stop at Cebu.
Cokaliong Shipping LinesServices from Cebu City
Lite FerriesOperates the Jagna-Nasipit route
Trans-Asia Shipping LinesOne ferry departs from Cebu City.
By bus or minivan
Butuan City Integrated Transport Terminaladdress: Salvador Calo Street, ObreroThere are three terminals: one for buses, one for UV Express (minivans), and another for jeepneys. Each of them is within walking distance from each other.
Bachelor Express, whose buses are in a bright yellow livery, is the main carrier for trips within Mindanao, from the stations at Cagayan de Oro (, 8 hours) and Davao (, 6 hours). Philtranco has one bus daily from Manila, via Maharlika Highway.
UV Express (minivans) come from Surigao, Tandag, and Bislig. They terminate near Mancao Market, at barangay Langihan.
Both terminals have rather squalid surroundings, abounding with vendors and slums. The roads around the bus station is paved with concrete, but nearby is a slum, and across the street is a noisy and smelly public market. The minivan terminal is unpaved and dusty, alongside the overall atmosphere, being near two bustling public wet and dry markets.
The bus station building has indoor stalls, which primarily sell snacks to take in the bus, and just behind the bays are a row of shops. Just nearby is a Puregold, which may have a better selection of food and drinks.
Butuan City South Market and Bus Terminaladdress: Montilla AvenueUnder construction. It will be somewhat smaller, but cleaner than the present terminal.
There are no taxis in the city. But there are multicabs and motorized tricycles that can take you anywhere in the city. The bus terminal is (1 km) from downtown. and the airport is (2 km) from downtown.
- Balangay Shrine Museum: 5 km east of the city proper lays the graveyard of the Balangay 1 dated 320 AD. This wooden plank-build and edge-pegged boats measured an average of 15 meters in length and 3 meters wide across the beam. Nine balangays have already been discovered in Ambangan, Libertad sites. Three have been excavated and others are still in Situ.
- Butuan Regional Museum This museum is the repository of historical and cultural materials and artifacts that proves Butuan's prehistoric existence and rich cultural heritage. There are two exhibit galleries. The Archaeological Hall and Ethnological Hall specimens of stone crafts, metal crafts, woodcrafts, potteries, goldsmith, burial coffins, and other archaeological diggings are exhibited. At the Ethnological Hall are exhibits of contemporary cultural materials the Butuanon or every Filipino for matter used for a living.
- Mount Mayapay: Looming southwest of the Agusan Valley is this majestic mountain plateau. It rises to 2,214 feet (675 m) above sea level. Mount Mayapay got its name from the ancient Madjapahit Empire. The history behind the Sri-Vishaya period bears much meaning and influence of Butuan's pre-historic and archaeological discoveries.
- Agusan River: Butuan River is the widest, deepest and longest navigable river in Mindanao. A cruise along the river barangays reveals much about Butuan's history, culture, arts, and people, and as a tribute to the Patroness of the Agusan River Senora Sta. Ana, the Abayan Festival was born – a day-long celebration of baroto races and fluvial procession at the Agusan River.
- Bood Promontory 1st Easter Mass Eco Park: This historic site is where Magellan and his men erected a cross and celebrated the 1st Mass on Philippine Soil on March 31, 1521. It is the highest elevation and promontory overlooking the whole of Butuan bay then. Today, the indigenous “Hadlayati Tree” still abound lording over a Clonal nursery and tree park, and the serpentine Masao River (El Rio de Butuan) amidst fishponds and archaeological treasures.
- Banza Church Ruins: This site was one of the old poblacion of the city. The church built here in 1625 by the Recollect Friars was reduced into ashes in 1753 by Moro pirates. What remains of this church is its bell tower banyan (balete) tress. Now enveloped by as the most beautiful church in the region before its destruction. Today, it is the oldest ruin of a stone church in the entire island of Mindanao.
- Magellan's Landing Site: Every year on March 31, the city celebrates Mazaua Discovery Day to commemorate a historic milestone, the 1st Easter Mass on Philippines' soil on 1521, celebrated by Ferdinand Magellan. No matter what, Butuanons proclaim with pride that such historic event took place in Butuan, not in Limasawa.
- Nipa Wine Distillery: Laksoy is a local wine made out of the indigenous Nipa palm that abounds in Butuan. It goes through the process of fermentation from a crudely-made vat only a native Butuanon can ingenuously produce.
- Mountain hiking in Mount Mayapay. Make sure, though, that you are accompanied by an experienced hiker and that you have the complete necessary gear.
- Go to beaches in nearby towns of Carmen, Buenavista, and Cabadbaran.
- See the various historical sites and museums mentioned above
- Meet, mingle and make friends with nice and hospitable Butuanons
- Go to bar and clubs, particularly those near the Gaisano Mall.
- Listen to concert of local bands at Caraga Square
- Watch for cultural presentations on May 19 – City Fiesta (in honor of St. Joseph) , August 2 – Adlaw Hong Butuan (Charter Day Anniversary), or the Kahimunan Festival, Butuan City’s version of the Sinulog Festival of Cebu, it is celebrated to pay homage to the city’s patron, Sto. Niño. Kahimunan is the Lumad term for “gathering.” The annual fest is a mixture of Christian and folk elements celebrated with pomp and pageantry.
Flavored otapBuy flavored otap (a Filipino delicacy) with flavors Durian and Ube.
Balangay souvenirsModels of Balangay (an ancient boat used by first native Filipinos) are particularly popular as souvenirs.
Shopping malls & supermarkets
Gaisano Malladdress: J C Agino Avenue and National HighwayHas a McDonald's, a Jollibee and a Pizza Hut.
Robinsons Place Butuanaddress: J c Aquino avenue. Libertad
address: San Jose Street
address: Jose C Aquino Aveune Brgy Lapu-lupa33.214 sm shopping mall. with a savemore supermarket
address: San Jose Street
Banks & ATMs
BPI. Bank of the Philippines IslandsHas a Master Card/Visa Card ATM.
- BDO Bank has Master Card/Visa Card ATMs. Max
- Metro Bank has Master Card/Visa Card ATMs. Max
- PNB has Visa Card ATMs. Max
RIBBSTheir specialty are ribs BBQ & seafoods
Almont Inland Hotel/Resort
Caraga HotelGood location downtown, clean. Air conditioned room with hot shower.
Wayfarer Pension House & Dormitoryphone: +63 85 3428827address: T. Calo St. Brgy Limaha
Hensonly Plaza Innphone: +63 85 3425866address: 2040 San Francisco StOnly fan rooms with outside bathrooms.
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Albecks Innphone: +63 85 3419018address: Ochoa AveA/C room with outside bathroom.
Beverly Innphone: +63 85 3428082address: Montilla BlvdFan room outside bathroom. A/C room with outside bathroom. Cheapest A/C room in Butuan
Julians Inn Annexphone: +63 85 3413075, +63 9183188687address: Nangka RdFan room with outside bathroom, cable TV and free Wi-Fi.
Mejestic Pensionphone: +63 85 3429063address: Pili DriveA/C single double rooms with own bathroom and cable TV.
Uccp Guest house.phone: +63 85 2252169, +63 85 3410103address: 850 R Calo StFan dorm beds.
Jets Innphone: +63 85 3415162address: 25 villanueva streetA/C single or double rooms with bathrooms.
Flor-al-Mansionaddress: Jose s Aquino avenueA/C double room with own bathroom. 40-inch cable TV. Free Wi-Fi.
- Butuan Medical Center. Km5 Baam. +63 85 3417490. (Government Hospital).
- Bureau Of Immigration Butuan Office. 3rd Floor. Rural Bank Bldg. AD Crato Street. +63 85 3000052.