BUDGET TRAVEL GUIDE : Tuguegarao & Peñablanca (Cagayan) and Tumauini & Cabagan (Isabela) - Things To Do, Tourist Spots, Itinerary, How To Get There, Accommodation and more!

This is a travel guide that will help you plan a 3D/2N trip to Tuguegarao City and its nearby towns of Peñablanca (Cagayan), Tumauini and Cabagan (Isabela). It will provide you with basic information on how to get there, things to do, where to stay, suggested itinerary and estimated budget that will help you plan your visit.

These provinces offers a wide array of activities such as spelunking, church visits, trying out local delicacies, crossing a bridge and more. This is just a few of the so many things that can be done in these 2 huge provinces in Northern Luzon. A re-visit is definitely a must-do to have more time to explore! Enjoy Tuguegarao City!


Explore Callao Cave and Pinagcanauan River
Callao Cave is probably one of the most well-known cave systems in the country. As one of the tourist attractions in Cagayan province, one should not go home without visiting the cave. It is composed of 7 chambers with many different formations such as the Column, Praying angel, the Chapel, Skeleton, mini Banaue Rice Terraces, Elephant’s head, Rocket, Ice cream scoops, Lion’s Head, a silhouette of Michael Jackson and many more. To read more, click here.

Experience the Delectable Pancit Batil Patung, Tuguegarao's Best!
Batil means mix and patung means topping. Its basic ingredients include sauteed carabao beef, pork liver, egg, bean sprouts, sliced leeks, carrots, crushed pork-rind cracklings (chicharon), lots of onions and freshly-made flattened noodles (miki) with seasonings of soy sauce (toyo) and fish sauce (patis). The distinct ingredient of it is the egg placed on top and cooked by the heat of the pancit. Yummy! To read more, click here.

Visit the centuries-old Tumauini Church, a National Historical Landmark
The church made of stone was built in the 1783 and completed in 1805 by the Dominicans. The Church of San Matias or the Tumauini Church is well known for its cylindrical bell tower, the only of its kind in the Philippines. The church walls are made of red bricks. It is said that artisans from Pampanga custom-built the wood moldings used for the clay insets of the bricks. To read more, click here.

Savor on Isabela's Saucy Pancit Cabagan
After visiting Tumauini Church and before heading back to Tuguegarao City, take a public van to the town of Cabagan and alight at the public market. There are some panciterias in front of it where you can order Pancit Cabagan. It is a delectable medley of stir-fried, fresh miki noodles mixed with cabbage, chicharo, carrots, baguio beans, spring onions, eggs and topped with crispy lechon de carajay. It also comes with a thick soy sauce-based soup which makes it different from other pancit versions. To read more, click here.

Visit Tuguegarao Cathedral, the Biggest Church in Cagayan
Built from 1761 to 1767 under the supervision of the Spanish Dominicans who came to evangelize Cagayan Valley. The Metropolitan Cathedral of Tuguegarao or the Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral is the seat of the Archdiocese of Tuguegarao and considered as the biggest Spanish-built church in the entire Cagayan Valley Region. Its facade is made of red bricks highlighted with white columns and has a stunning five story bell tower. To read more, click here.

Cross Buntun Bridge, the Longest River Bridge in the Philippines
Buntun Bridge is considered as the longest river bridge in the country. It stretches from Tuguegarao City to Solana, Cagayan and spans over the mighty Cagayan River, the largest river basin in the Philippines. The bridge’s length is 1.098 kilometers and provides an unassailable view of the magnificent Cagayan River and the mountainous terrains nearby. To read more, click here.


10:00 AM - Departure (Manila - Tuguegarao City)
11:00 AM - Arrival at Tuguegarao City
11:30 AM - Take a tricycle to centro (city proper)
12:00 NN - Check-in at a Hostel
01:00 PM - Lunch at Jomar's Pancit Batil Patung
02:30 PM - Go back to centro
03:00 PM - Explore the City
04:00 PM - Visit Tuguegarao Cathedral
05:00 PM - Cross Buntun Bridge (catch the sunset)
06:00 PM - Go back to the hostel
07:00 PM - Dinner
09:00 PM - Sleep

06:00 AM - Wake-up / prepare
07:30 AM - Travel to Callao Cave in Peñablanca
09:00 AM - Arrive at Peñablanca
09:30 AM - Register at the Callao Cave, rest
10:00 AM - Explore the Callao Cave and Pinagcanauan River
11:30 AM - Depart for Tuguegarao City
12:30 PM - Arrive at Tuguegarao City, Lunch
02:00 PM - Depart for Tumauini Isabela
03:00 PM - Arrive at Tumauini Church, take photos
04:00 PM - Depart for Cabagan
04:30 PM - Arrive at Cabagan Market for Pancit Cabagan
05:30 PM - Depart for Tuguegarao City
06:15 PM - Arrive at the hostel, freshen up
07:00 PM - Dinner / Socials / Night life
09:00 PM - Sleep

07:00 AM - Wake-up / prepare
08:00 AM - Breakfast
09:00 AM - Explore Tuguegarao City
10:00 AM - Pasalubong Shopping
11:00 AM - Back at the hostel, prepare for departure
12:00 NN - Check out
01:00 PM - Depart for Tuguegarao City Airport
01:30 PM - Arrive at the Airport
02:30 PM - Depart for Manila

Note: This is my suggested itinerary for a 3D/2N trip in Tuguegarao and Peñablanca, Cagayan and Tumauini and Cabagan, Isabela.


How to get to Tuguegarao City
Tuguegarao City, the capital of Cagayan province, can be reached by plane from Manila via Cebu Pacific and AirPhil Express. Travel time is about 50 minutes to an hour.

By land, Tuguegarao City is 485 kilometers north of Manila. It can easily be reached through various bus companies via an approximately 10-hour travel from Manila.

How to get to Callao Cave
Option 1: From Tuguegarao City, hire a tricycle that will bring you directly to Callao Cave. Fare may vary, depending on your arrangement with the tricycle driver. Travel time is about an hour.

Option 2: From the city terminal in Tuguegarao City, take tricycle to Peñablanca. Fare is 70 pesos and travel time is 1.5 - 2 hours. From there, take a boat to cross Pinagcanauan River. Fare is 40 pesos (2-way).

How to get to Jomar's Panciteria
Jomar's Panciteria is located at Diosdado Macapagal Ave., Tuguegarao City. Just take a tricycle and ask the driver to bring you to Jomar's Panciteria. Fare is about 15 pesos and travel time is around 10 minutes from the city center.

How to get to Buntun Bridge
Ride a tricycle from Tuguegarao City town proper to Buntun. Travel time is about 10 minutes, fare is around 30 pesos.

How to get to Tumauini Church
From Tuguegarao City, take a public van to Ilagan Isabela and alight at the Tumauini town center. Fare is 60 pesos and travel time is about an hour. From there, you can take a tricycle (10 PHP) or take a short walk to the church which is a few meters away from the national hi-way.

If you're coming from Manila by bus, take a Tuguegarao bound bus and tell the bus collector to drop you at Tumauini town center. From there, you can take a tricycle or walk towards the church, a few meters from the national hi-way on the left side of the road.


Ivory Hotel and Suites

Ivory Hotel and Suites
Address: Buntun Hi-way, Tuguegarao City, Cagayan
Contact Number: +63 (078) 844-1275
Website: www.ivoryhotelandsuites.com
BOOK ONLINE: Click here to see room rates and book online

Pensione Joselina
Address: #52 Aguinaldo St. Centro 6, Tuguegarao City
Telephone Number: (6378) 844 7368 / (63906) 930 1313
Rooms Rate: starts at 450 pesos per night good for 2 persons
BOOK ONLINE: Click here to see room rates and book online

For the rates and my full review on Ivory Hotel and Suites and Pensione Joselina, click HERE.


The most common mode of transportation in going around Tuguegarao City are the tricycles with a minumum fare of 10 pesos. There are also horse-drawn carriages (kalesa) if you want roam around and have an "old feel" of the town or the city. If going to a different town or to towns in Isabela, there are public vans available. Terminals are located in the city or town proper.



For more travel information, please contact:

Department of Tourism, Cagayan Valley (Region 2)
# 29-A Rizal Street, Tuguegarao City, 3500 CAGAYAN
Telephone Nos.: (+6378) 844-1621 / 846-2435
E-mail Address: dotr2@yahoo.com

Province of Cagayan
Provincial Tourism Office
Telephone No.: (+6378) 846-7576
E-mail Address: cagayantourism@yahoo.com

Tuguegarao City
Tourism Office
Telephone No.: (+6378) 844-2894
Website: tuguegaraocity.gov.ph

Province of Isabela
Provincial Tourism Office
Telephone No.: (+6378) 622-0955
E-mail Address: boots3019@yahoo.com

This is part of my solo northern luzon adventure in Tuguegarao City and Peñablanca in Cagayan and in Tumauini and Cabagan in Isabela province that happened last November 5-7, 2011. Cagayan and Isabela are the 44th and 45th provinces on my list and this adventure is my 13th solo trip. Join me as I crossed a river and a bridge, explored a cave, visited churches, experienced local delicacies and walked through the streets of Tuguegarao City.

Tuguegarao City and Peñablanca

Tumauini and Cabagan

Maps By: Wikipedia


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  1. Thanks for such a detailed guidelines. ^_^

  2. complete info. =) safe ba magtravel dito, wala NPA?

  3. you've almost covered the whole of PH, you'll fulfill your wish, the same as mine, ahead of me :P keep on blogging...btw, I work in Makati :P

    1. baka nga po nagkita na tayo.. you've remained anonymous kc all these years...hehehe! hope to bump with u on the road soon! thanks Tutubi! :)

  4. Thank you for sharing. Excellent detailed guidelines..

  5. submit ka na ng info sa lonely planet para sa next na revision. kakatulong to.

  6. thank dito mervz....eto na yung hinihintay kong post...excited na tuloy gawin ang x-ploreboyz expedition for 2012...hehehehe...^_^

    1. welcome Brian! have fun and Enjoy Tuguegarao! regards to the x-ploreboyz! :)

  7. na miss ko ang jomar's. sarap at very filling ang pansit nila

    1. oh yes! i agree! pagbalik ko dun, yan ang unang kong pupuntahan.. hehehe! thanks Estan! :0

  8. Batil Patung looks appetizing

  9. Wow! Galing tipid trip talaga! I bookmarked your page! Nakaka excite naman pumunta ng Tuguegarao because of this detailed iti with expenses pa!

  10. hala! galing naman nito! complete details :)

    parang ang sarap ng pansit sa photo :)

  11. I wanna try the Callao cave..
    You post is detailed and organized.. as usual!!
    Very informative! Gujab!

  12. Informative and detailed post. What else we need? Hehehe I have nothing to ask.

  13. A very detailed post. What more can I ask for? Wala na. Please keep on sharing useful travel tips like this.

  14. really? that cheap? i mean, not too costly for those travel destinations..i must check that travel agency..


  15. wow all of those for less than P3k??? wow!! i want to see that cave and those churches are amazing!

  16. I honestly appreciate blogs as informative as this. I hope I can do my posts as detailed as you do. I will definitely go back to this post if I'm planning to go to Tuguegarao and Cagayan. =)

  17. Busy so much! Can I ask, naka pag pahinga ka ba after the tour? Full na full and agenda mo! Anyway, you got a very detailed guidelines and very cheap tour! Fantastic!

  18. May ibubuga ang Cagayan Valley!

    By the way ikaw na talaga! Ang laking tulong ng mga details mo oh. Just the perfect page to view when visiting Cagayan Valley. Ayus Mervz!

  19. Ang ganda ng sceneries, pero I cant help it. Sa food ako nag focus. Hahaha!

  20. Naks! Very detailed yung guidelines. Di ka ba nabitin sa 3D/2N stay mo dun?

  21. awesome travel! ;) hope to reach this place too soon!

  22. thanks for the detailed info. i will be going to tuguegarao 2nd week of june. 3 days and 2 nights so susundin ko schedule dito. salamat po

  23. now i'm ready to explore that place! thanks for the detailed itenirary i might go next week and see what happens.

  24. Inspired by travelers like you, I'm now starting my own travelling mission to visit all the Philippine Provinces and cities...

    I've visited 20 provinces so far and 31 cities... Still a long way to go... :)

    Thanks for your very definitive guide... :)

  25. What a nice blog!
    I always travel but tired of making blog hehehe
    You have a great travel blog..
    I like it...


  27. Hi!thanks for the very informative and helpful infos.im planning to visit the city before the year ends.i might follow your itinerary bec. I dont have any idea at all. Thanks and godbless

  28. Hi! Thanks for this. We r going nxt week -- can i get advise best area to stay in for accom-- should we stay in tugegarao or sta ana/san vicente? We are planning to go to both the callao cave and palaui island :) thanks!!

  29. So if im going to Tumauini, Tuguegarao Airport is much closer? Do you know if there are hotels or pensione in Tumauini? Can you please let me know? Thanks...

  30. Matagal ko ng gustong pumunta sa Cagayan Valley, OK lng po b kung by bus lng kahit na 10 to 12 hrs ang biyahe? Thanks


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