Butuan City Travel Guide
Butuan City Overview
Being the former capital of the province of Agusan Del Norte, Butuan is one of the highly urbanized cities in Mindanao which is also home to the Balangay boats dating back to precolonial times. This bustling city is one of the major gateways to Mindanao, alongside Surigao City to the North and Cagayan de Oro to the Southwest. Coming from the word “Batuan” which is a sour fruit once abundant around the area, Butuan City is one heck of a city to explore!
Best time to go to Butuan City
As the Philippines has two predominant seasons (wet and dry), Butuan is best visited during September until October. During these months, the weather is more comfortable and only a few isolated rainshowers are reported. It is also a good time to explore Cagayan de Oro City (approximately 2-3 hours away) and Surigao City to the North as well. The average temperature in the city is 23°C – 31°C.
How to visit Butuan
Going in and around Butuan is easier as it is also connected to major cities in Northern Mindanao such as Surigao City and Cagayan de Oro City. There are regular buses that ply these major cities with bus stops in almost each municipality. There are also multicabs, tricycles, and bao-baos that service Butuan City. Minimum fare is around ₱ 11-15. In Butuan, their multicabs are also marked with special signages depending on the route where you are going. The two major integrated terminals in the City are located in (1) Langihan Bus Terminal (northbound) and (2) Robinsons Place Butuan (southbound).
Butuan (BXU) has one airstrip located in Barangay Bancasi. The airport is located approximately 3-4 kilometers from the city center. Air travel to / from Manila is around 1.5 to 2 hours. Cebu Pacific, Philippines AirAsia, and Philippine Airlines service the airport with daily flights.
Passenger boats and barges are the main means of getting to the City of Butuan. They can either pass through the Agusan River or just make a stop at one of the ports along Butuan Bay.
Things to know about Butuan City
As one of the major cities of Mindanao, Butuan City has an area of 817.3 km², about three times the size of Surigao City. The people in Butuan predominantly speak Butuanon, Cebuano and Bisaya. They also speak Filipino and English.
The cellular signal within the city is good to better, especially for Smart Telecom users. “Piso-WiFi” is also evident in the municipalities’ poblacions / town propers. You can connect to someone’s Piso-WiFi for as low as ₱ 1 for 10-15 minutes.
The mode of payment in Butuan is cash and other establishments accept card and online payment methods as well (e.g., Maya, GCash). I advise you to bring enough cash before visiting the city. The main currency used in the city is the Philippine Peso (PH₱).
Exploring the Timber City of Mindanao
Getting in and around Butuan is easy as it is one of the main gateways when visiting and exploring Mindanao and the province of Agusan del Norte. Bao-baos, tricycles, buses, and multicabs are the modes of transportation in the city proper. Traffic congestion is quite a problem in the city especially during rush hours. The minimum fare around Butuan City is around ₱ 12-15, depending on the destination.
If you want to explore the rest of Butuan City, read here and know how you can enjoy Mindanao’s Timber City!
We’re born to travel!