Butuan – A History Rich City


Posted by geemiz | Posted in Agusan del Sur, Byahe Pilipinas | Posted on 18-03-2017


Butuan is one of Philippines culture rich city. Not known to many it is in Butuan where you can find the remnants of the great Balangay – a plank boat used by our ancestors to travel and trade to other countries. The longest zipline in the Philippines is situated here in Butuan. Magellan first landed in Butuan in 1521 and according to the people the first catholic mass was celebrated here in Butuan. Before I forget you can have a great view of the Philippines third largest River, The Agusan River.

Butuan Travel Guide

Butuan City Travel Guide


Butuan is often just the jump off point to Surigao. Here, let me show you why you should include Butuan in your itinerary.

Travel guide- Butuan City

How to go to Butuan?

  1. By Air. There are several flights from other parts of the country to Butuan City.
  2. By Boat. There is no direct ferry to Butuan city. The nearest is via Nasipit, a municipality 18km away from Butuan.
  3. By Land. (Butuan City Integrated Bus Terminal)
    1. From Bislig, Surigao del Sur there is a non-aircon bus at 2:00am
      1. Bislig, Surigao del Sur to Butuan City fare is 252.00 pesos.
      2. Bislig, Surigao del Sur to Butuan City travel time is 5 hours.
    2. From Cagayan de Oro City there are both aircon and non aircon bus
      1. Cagan de Oro City to Butuan City fare aircon bus is 350.00 pesos.
      2. Cagayan de Oro City to Butuan City travel time is 6 hours.


Butuan City Itinerary


7:00 AM Arrival in Butuan City
Breakfast or Check-in
Butuan City Tour 1,500 php Whole day Multicab Tour
   Balangay Shrine Museum
   Agusuan Provincial Capitol
   Butuan City Museum 20 php Entrance Fee
   The Golden Tara
   Bood Promontory & ECO Park “First” catholic Mass
   Magellan Landing Site
   Ruins of Banza Under the Banyan tree is the ruins
   Balangay Boat Building Site
12:00 PM Lunch – Try Palagsing
1:00 PM Buy Pasalubong
1:30 PM Delta Discovery Park
   1.3 km zipline 650 php
   Zorbe 105 php
   Jeep 4×4 Adventure Ride
Diosdado Macapagal Suspension Bridge Overlooking the great Agusan River
5:00 PM Back to hotel or Terminal


This is the Butuan itinerary we had during our Southeastern Mindanao Backpacking – Davao, Surigao, Agusan del Sur, Misamis Oriental, and Bukidnon.

What to do in Butuan?

There are so many things to do in Butuan City. Visit Magellan’s history places, go Museum hopping and you can do adrenaline adventures.

Magellan Landing Site in Butuan

National Museum – Balangay Shrine

  • Admission: Free
  • Opening Hours: Mondays-Fridays 9am-4pm; Saturdays, Sundays and holidays by appointment
  • The Balangay Shrine Museum houses the more than 1,650-year old balanghai – the oldest of the 9 balanghais that have been excavated. The balanghais are declared as National Cultural Treasure.

Balangay Shrine Butuan

Balangay Shrine in Butuan


Butuan Museum

  • Admission: Php20
  • Opening Hours: Mondays-Fridays 9am-4pm; Saturdays, Sundays and holidays by appointment.
  • The most significant find were the prehistoric Balanghai or Butuan boats that date from 4th to 13th centuries A.D. For more details click here.

Butuan Museum

Artifacts Butuan Museum Butuan City Artifacts


The Golden Tara

  • Admission: Free
  • Opening Hours: Anytime
  • Located near Balanghai Hotel which is also adjacent to the City Hall.
  • Regarded as the Icon of the Storied Past of the Pre Colonial Times of Butuan.
  • It was found by a Manobo woman in Wawa River in Agusan after the 1917 flood.
  • The Tara measures 8 inches in height, 4 pounds in weight and is made of 21 karat gold. It is said that it dates back as early as 14th century.
  • It is a manifestation that the Kingdom of Butuan was trading with the Indians during the Sri-Visayan Empire sometime 700-1370 AD.
  • The original Tara? It is now at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago.

The Golden Tara - Butuan


Magellan’s Landing Site

  • Admission: Free
  • Opening Hours: Anytime
  • Located in Masao Butuan City, Agusan Del Norte
  • Believed to be the landing site of Magellan and made blood compact with Raja Siaiu.

Magellan's Landing Site - Butuan


Bood Promontory & ECO Park

  • Admission: Free
  • Opening Hours: Mondays-Fridays 8am-4pm; Saturdays,
  • This site, containing a large cross, is claimed by the Butuanons to be the place where Magellan celebrated the first mass in the Philippines on March 31, 1521 before dying in battle at Mactan a little less than a month later.

Magellan's Cross in Butuan

Butuan City Complete Guide


Ruins of Banza

  • Admission: Free
  • Opening Hours: Any Time
  • The ruins is under the banyan tree near the Agusan River.
  • The collapsed building beside the banyan tree is actually a remnant of a once productive saw mill in Northern Mindanao.
  • The church stands up to the edge of the river and was covered deeply due to siltation and increase in width of the river.
  • It could be the most beautiful church standing if only not burned down by the Moro pirates back in 1753.

Ruins of Banza- Butuan Travel Guide


Balangay Boat Building Site

  • Admission: Free
  • Opening Hours: Any Time
  • The Balangay Boat Building Site is located in Luna Compound, Brgy. Bading, Butuan City.
  • The Balangay’s named is “Masawa Hing Butuan”
  • This is where the balangay replica was built to commemorate the legacy of our sea voyager ancestors that ruled the sea in prehistoric times.
  • It can easily be access by crossing the Agusan River from the Ruins of Banza.
  • The size of the boat could fit more than 40 people with different expertise in sailing from carpenters to engineers.
  • Together with other 2 Balangays: “Diwata ng Lahi” and “Sama Tawi Tawi” the 3 sail around Southeast Asia for 15 months.


Delta Discovery Park

  • Admission: 20.00php
  • Opening Hours: 8:00am – 5:00pm Daily
  • Located at Purok 7, Brgy. Bonbon, Butuan City.
  • They have the longest single zipline in Asia
  • Delta Discovery Park Packages:
    • Swimming + zipline (400m zip line) = 400.00php
    • Swimming + zipline (400m zip line) + ATV Ride to Mt. Mayapay = 900.00php
    • Swimming + zipline (400m zip line) + Buggy ride = 1,080.00php
  • Delta Discover Park Rates:
    • Zipline 1.3km = 650.00php
    • zipline 400m = 350.00php
    • zorbe = 105.00php
    • Hore back riding = 250.00php/hour or 100.00php/15 minutes
    • ATV = 500.00php
    • Buggy = 700.00php for 2 persons
    • Swimming = 100.00php

Delta Discovery Park - Butuan Guide

Longest zipline in Asia     Butuan Travel guide: Delta Discovery Park

If you heard people say skip Butuan, please don’t. Give Butuan a day in your itinerary and learn more about the Philippines rich history and culture. There are so many things yet to be learned and you will be surprise of the new knowledge you will acquire.


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Meet geemiz

Geezelle Tapangan - A Management Accounting and Accountancy Graduate. She reads a lot and co-founded Cebu Book Club. She is a dog and nature lover. Gzell blogs about Travel & Life experiences.

Comments (9)

The city looks calm and peaceful and with a lot of activities to do..Thanks for sharing

It is a lovely city and I hope people won’t skip it.

Butuan looks like an interesting historical site. I haven’t been to the Philippines yet but this can be a good place to visit.

Hope you will visit Butuan when you come over the Philippines.

Thanks for sharing, great post! I love to travel and these places look awesome, especially Delta Discovery Park!

I always pass by Butuan during my random travels and I’m constantly wondering what the places of interest are. Thank you so much for sharing! I’ll try to visit the places you mentioned the next time I pass by Butuan! Do you have any recommendations of places to stay while in Butuan?

We were only there for a day but i will try to ask friends in Butuan for accommodation recommendation.

I have never really considered Agusan as one of the places that I would like to visit. But reading your post, I think I might reconsider. Sounds like a very interesting place to visit 🙂

Please do visit Agusan or Butuan City. It is a beautiful place and so many things to learn and do too.

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