Cagayan, not to be confused with the Philippines city of Cagayan de Oro, is a province in the Philippines that has recently gotten a lot of attention as the chosen filming spot for Survivor: Blood vs. Water and Survivor: Cagayan – two of the latest installments of the Survivor television series. The province can be found in the northeast region of Luzon Island. Long overlooked by tourists, Cagayan Province includes the pristine Babuyan Islands and calls Tuguegarao its capital city. According to the 2010 census, Tuguegarao has nearly 140,000 residents. Among the attractions of note in the capital are the Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul and the Cagayan Provincial Museum and Historical Research Center. The cathedral is the largest Spanish church in the area. The museum features ancient artifacts and liturgical works and is noted for its all around quality.
When Cagayan Philippines visitors aren’t exploring the province’s capital city, they can venture out and hit the regional beaches for some swimming, snorkeling, skin diving, or sunbathing. Many of the beaches are quite stunning, not to mention pristine and peaceful, with Palaui Island ranking especially high as a Cagayan beach destination. This island, which is noted for its raw beauty, was the more specific Cagayan filming destination for the Survivor television series. Back on Luzon Island, the Pinacanauan River and the Cordilleras and Sierra Madre mountain ranges that flank the Cagayan Valley allow for such pursuits as kayaking, fishing, hiking, and mountain climbing. No discussion about the Cagayan Valley tourist spots would be complete without mentioning the Callao Caves. Comprised of seven different chambers, the first of which was converted into a chapel by locals, the Callao Caves feature spectacular stalactites and stalagmites. Natural crevices allow plenty of sunlight to enter, thus enhancing the viewing experience.
Most Cagayan Philippines visitors arrive in the provincial capital of Tuguegarao by way of plane or bus. Daily flights from Manila are available, and there are also weekly flights to Tuguegarao from Cebu. Buses typically arrive from Manila, which is a trip of about 12 hours. Being that Tuguegarao is the largest city and the travel hub of the up-and-coming Cagayan Province, it is where you will find the bulk of the province’s hotels. While Cagayan isn’t overflowing with luxury trappings, there are comfortable places to stay in the capital, and most rooms won’t put a very big dent in the budget. Hotels outside of Tuguegarao are relatively few and far between, but there are some options. Regional visitors can also consider the regional pension houses that rent rooms. The most notable of the Cagayan hotels is the Cagayan Holiday and Leisure Resort (pictured). Found on the north coast in the Santa Ana municipality, this resort offers numerous onsite facilities to go with its proximity to Palaui Island. As a side note, there are no commercial accommodations on Palaui Island ifself. Visitors to the island, who usually end up staying at the Cagayan Holiday and Leisure Resort, arrive by way of a short boat ride out of the San Vicente port.
Cagayan Philippines Map
Cagayan Philippines Map
Consult a map of the Cagayan Province, and you’ll notice that it is found in the extreme northeast of the Philippines on the country’s largest island – Luzon Island. Not far offshore in the Luzon Strait are the Babuyan Islands, which include Palaui Island. The islands in general are protected, but are also being considered for future tourism projects. On the island of Calayan, for example, there are plans to make an ecotourism destination out of Sibang Cove, with whale watching figuring among the possible tourist activities. Back on Luzon Island, the Cagayan Philippines province borders the provinces of Ilocos Norte, Apayao, Kalinga, and Isabela.
Top image: flyinsnow17 (flickr)