Travel Guide: Cotabato City - Tourist Spots and Attractions, How To Get There, Things To Do, Where To Stay, Where To Eat, Itinerary, Expenses and Contact Persons

Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Masjid

Cotabato City is the administrative center of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). Although geographically located within the boundaries of the province of Maguindanao, Cotabato City is politically independent from the province and is part of SOCCSKSARGEN region. The city offers monumental attractions, historical sights, and other man-made and natural wonders. There are a lot of tourist spots and attractions to enjoy and activities to do in Cotabato City. One could experience a different culture, learn new things, appreciate great architectures, and try new food, among many others.

This travel guide will provide you with basic information on how to get there, things to do, where to stay, where to eat, suggested itinerary, estimated budget and contact persons that will help you plan your visit.

Welcome to Cotabato City and Maguindanao


From Manila: There are direct flights to Cotabato City. The airport is located at Brgy. Awang in the neighboring municipality of Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao. From Awang airport, take a habal-habal to get to the main road, fare is 10 pesos. Then take a jeepney bound for Cotabato City, fare is 15 pesos.

From General Santos City: There are buses (Husky Bus) and passenger vans that go directly to Cotabato City. Fare is around 300 pesos and travel time is about 4 hours.

From Davao City: There are also buses (Weena Express) and passenger vans that go directly to Cotabato City. Fare is also around 300 pesos and travel time is about 4 hours.

Inaul Weaving at Al Jameelah Weaving Center


    1. Visit the Grand Old City Hall and City Plaza
    2. Marvel at the Magnificent Grand Mosque
    3. Take a look at The People's Palace (New City Hall)
    4. Cross Tamontaka Bridge
    5. Try Local Delicacies
    6. Buy Souvenirs and Pasalubong
    7. Visit Tamontaka Church
    8. Go Caving at Kuta Wato Cave
    9. Climb Pedro Colina Hill
    10. Visit the Metal and Brass-making Community
  • Other tourist spots and attractions in Cotabato City:
    Regional Autonomous Government Center, Barter Trade Center along Governor Guttierez Street, Sultan Kudarat Monument, Takumi Butai Memorial Shrine, Tantawan Park, Timaco Hill and Bongo Island

Since Datu Odin Sinsuat in Maguindanao is nearby, you could also visit:

Hotel Filipino and Restaurant


Hotel Filipino
Sinsuat Avenue
Tel. No. (064) 421-2307
Telefax (064) 421-3232

Grand Rio Hotel
#80 Don Rufino Alonzo Ave.
Telefax: (064) 421-8770
Cellphone: 09196555167

Estosan Garden Hotel
Gov. Gutierrez Boulevard
Tel. No. (064) 421-6777 to 78
Telefax: (064) 421-5488

Diamond Hotel
Cor.Makakua and Jose Lim St.
Tel. No. (064) 421-5118

Pacific Heights Hotel and The Marqueza
#66 Don. T.V. Juliano Avenue
Tel. No. (064) 421-2249
Telefax: (064) 421-5252

Citi Plaza Hotel
Makakua Street
Tel. No. (064) 421-91-48

El Manuel Hotel
111 Quezon Avenue, El Manuel Drive
Tel. Nos. (064) 421-9883 / 421 5552

Vision Inn
#48 Notre Dame Avenue
Tel. No. (064) 421-9008

Azaleas Pension House
128-I-A Sinsuat Avenue,RS
Tel. No. (064) 421-8122
Telefax No. (064) 421-9088
Mobile No. 09177260282

Sardonyx Pension House
Gov. Gutierrez Avenue
Tel. No. (064) 421-1364

Pension Rafael
San Isidro St.
Tel. No. (064) 421-2941

Fiesta Cotabato
Dr. Rabago St.
Tel. No. (064) 421-5491

Hotel Cirilo
Sultan Makakua Street
Tel. No. (064) 421-3583

Pastil, a popular Maguindanaon delicacy


There are fast food chains such as Jollibee, Mc Donald's, Chowking, Greenwich and Mang Inasal. Alternatively, you could look for the street-side eateries and barbeque stands along the streets near the City Plaza and experience the local flavors of Cotabato City. Have a taste of the pastil (one of the most popular Maguindanaon delicacies) and other local delicacies such as beef rendang, kumukunsi and beef sinina at specialty restaurants around the city.

Cotabato City People's Palace (New City Hall)


Day 1
  • 10:00 AM - Depart for Cotabato City from Manila
  • 11:00 AM - Arrive in Cotabato City
  • 12:00 NN - Check-in
  • 01:00 PM - Depart for Datu Odin Sinsuat
  • 01:30 PM - Arrive at Al Jamelah Weaving Center
  • 02:30 PM - Depart for Lourdes Grotto
  • 03:30 PM - Go back to Cotabato City
  • 04:00 PM - Visit People's Palace (New City Hall)
  • 05:00 PM - Visit the Old City Hall
  • 06:00 PM - Dinner / try local delicacies
  • 09:00 PM - Sleep

Day 2
  • 07:00 AM - Breakfast
  • 08:00 AM - Depart for Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Grand Mosque
  • 08:45 NN - Arrive at the Grand Mosque, explore
  • 10:00 PM - Depart for Awang Airport or wherever your next destination is

This is my suggested itinerary for a 2-day trip in Cotabato City and Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao coming from Manila. You could adjust it based on how many days you want to explore and the places you want to see and experience.

Old City Hall and City Plaza


  • Habal-habal (Airport to High-way) - 10.00 pesos/way
  • Jeepney (Main road ro Cotabato City) - 15.00 pesos each
  • Accommodation at Hotel Filipino - 391.00 pesos each per night (group of 3)
  • Food (2 days) - 500.00 / person
  • City proper to People's Palace (jeepney) - 8.00 pesos
  • People's Palace to Datu Odin Sinsuat (Jeepney) - 8.00 pesos
  • Datu Odin Sinsuat to Husky Bus terminal (Jeepney) - 8.00 pesos
  • Habal-habal to Grand Mosque from Husky Bus terminal - 80.00 pesos (2-way)
  • Jeepney going back to City Proper - 10.00 pesos
  • Jeepney (City Proper to Lourdes Grotto) - 15.00 pesos
  • Jeepney and Habal-habal to Airport - 20.00 pesos
  • Airport Terminal Fee (as of July 2012) - 40.00 pesos


Please note that these are just the basic expenses per person for a group of 3 persons. These are dependent on the places you want to visit in Cotabato City, you may add other expenses for souvenirs and tips.

Al Jamelah Weaving Center


For assistance, please coordinate with the Department of Tourism ARMM through the following contact details:

Fax: 0920-9377021
Email: pgo_lds@yahoo.com
Madame Raifa Adiong: 0917-7068838
Shiela Ganda: 0915-4686806

Cotabato City

This trip to Cotabato City and Datu Odin Sinuat in Maguindanao happened on July 7-8, 2012 during my "2-day Maguindanao and Cotabato City trip". You may read other posts below:

NOTE: It is certainly safe to travel to Cotabato City and Datu Odin Sinsuat in Maguindanao. We explored these places on our own and without any guide. But it is also highly suggested that you coordinate with DOT-ARMM for assistance. You may contact them through the contact details given above.

More photos on Pinoy AdvenTurista's Facebook Page, click here.


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wanderme said...

Very comprehensive! Been wanting to go there mainly coz of the mosque. So I guess 2d/1n there is enough.

Adrenaline Romance said...

Amazingly beautiful Cotabato! We have always been mesmerized by Muslim culture. We'll visit Cotabato soon. Thank you very much for this comprehensive guide.

Would you know any adventures available in Cotabato?

kaibiganglokal said...

Hi, would you know how to get to Datu odin sinsuat's blue lagoon? Also, hotels in maguindanao to reccommend/ i'll be there on december but I still don't have a definite itinerary for this, and I have no idea where to stay. Hope you could help. Thanks.

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