The quickest and the most convenient way to travel from Manila to Cagayan de Oro is by air. Alternatively, you can travel by sea but it can be painfully slow and is not that cheap either. We would only recommend this option if you have an inherent fear of flying or you actually relish the idea of traveling onboard a ship for hours on end. Buses and RoRo are also a possibility to consider.
Cagayan de Oro sits 790 km southeast of Manila as the crow flies. It takes about 1 and a half hour to reach CDO by air. If you are crossing by sea and overland, the distance is around 1,400 kilometres via Pan-Philippine Highway; slightly less if travelling by sea. This means your voyage can take you anywhere between 30 and 40 hours.
Going by sea often is not the cheapest option as it will cost you anywhere between PHP1,600 to PHP4,500 one way depending on the type of the cabin you choose. In comparison, getting from Manila to Cagayan de Oro by air will cost you from PHP2,500 to PHP10,000.
Ferries from Manila to Cagayan de Oro
Depending on the vessel and the type of the cabin, ticket prices for the sea journey from Manila to Cagayan de Oro vary within PHP1,600-PHP4,500 range not including traveller’s insurance.
Whether it is going to be a devastating 40 hour journey or a day and a half sea adventure depends entirely on how you take it. Anyway, it is an interesting experience though definitely not for those who are prone to sea sickness.
Note! 2GO sails from Manila to Cagayan de Oro on MONDAY, WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY and SUNDAY.
There are several vessels that depart the Port of Manila every week heading to Cagayan de Oro. Every Monday, St. Leo The Great departs at 7.30pm while the St. Therese of Child Jesus leaves every Thursday at 9pm. On Wednesday and Sunday, St. Pope John Paul II departs at 6.30pm and 9am respectively.
There are several types of accommodation available depending on the vessel. The cheapest ones are mega value class and super value class where you will be bunking and sharing space with other people. An upgraded version would be the tourist and cabin classes. The stateroom and suite room accommodation options boast hotel-like amenities and facilities such as a private toilet and bath.
Flights from Manila to Cagayan de Oro
If you book at least a month ahead, expect to spend from PHP2,500 and up for a one-way ticket. On the average though, most flights can be bought for around PHP3,000. If you are traveling light, you can save significantly skipping adds-on like luggage allowance, meals or seat selection what is possible if you fly with the two low-cost airline flying the route.
There are currently two airlines that serve the Manila to Cagayan de Oro route on a daily basis. Cebu Pacific most often offers the cheapest deals with their regular seat sales plus a "fly only" option where you pay only the basic fare and taxes. Philippine Airlines can be a bit on the expensive side but they offer an all-inclusive flight with checked luggage allowance and a light snack.
No matter which airline you fly with, the flying time is almost the same – 1 hour 30 minutes.
Buses from Manila to Cagayan de Oro
Philtranco buses call to Cagayan de Oro on their route to Davao. This is you best direct option if you are ready to spend on the move up to 40 hours. A part of the way will be spent on ferries with the bus rolling on and rolling off the vessel. Passengers do not need to change the bus but do need to get off and on again though. Expect to pay around PHP2,200 for a one-way bus ticket. For more information please refer to our Manila to Davao article.