About Cotabato City
Did you know that Cotabato City doesn’t belong to the Province of Cotabato nor South Cotabato? It actually, politically and geographically belongs to Maguindanao Province.
Apparently, the city’s geopolitical location is as complicated as its history, culture and reputation. A city clouded with fear, and living in the stigma of its history and impression. A place struggling to move away from its own shadow.
But the truth is, like other Mindanaoan City, Cotabato is typically diverse, multicultural and generally peaceful. As the provincial capital of Maguindanao, it is a melting pot of religion and tradition, and a gateway to the best of the region.
I invite you to go beyond your comfort zone, explore and discover Cotabato City and be awed by the multitude of surprises that await every wandering soul in this city and beyond.
Asik-asik Falls of Alameda
How to Get to Cotabato City
Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific fly daily from Manila to Awang Airport of Datu Odin Sinsuat, the gateway by air to Cotabato City.
Cotabato City is accessible by land from many parts of Mindanao. Buses, jeepneys and minivans link the city to Midsayap, Koronadal, Lebak, Pagadian, Kidapawan, Marawi, Iligan, General Santos, Davao City and to various points in Maguindanao.
Kibucay Falls of Upi, Maguindanao
Going Around and Away
- Multicab and tricycle are the usual means of transportation around the city, minimum fare is P7.
- Awang Airport is situated south of the city in the vicinity of Barangay Awang of Datu Odin Sinsuat, flag an Awang jeep to get here from the city proper.
- Cotabato City has no integrated transport terminals, most vans going north (Marawi, Midsayap, etc.) are stationed along Quezon Avenue near Super Market. Weena Buses going to Davao are also stationed here.
- Husky Bus Terminal is located along Sinsuat Avenue on the way to Awang Airport from downtown. Husky Bus serves Cotabato City to Isulan and General Santos City routes.
- Vans to Lebak are also stationed along Sinsuat Avenue near the People’s Palace
A single room at Cotabato Diamond Hotel with own T&B for only P400
Where to Stay in Cotabato City
Cotabato Diamond HotelMakakua corner Jose Lim Sr. StreetsContact: +63-64-4215118Budget: P400 to P1,50
Fan and A/C rooms with own toilet and bath.
Citi Plaza HotelMakakua StreetContact: +63-64-4219148Budget: P500-P1000
Twin fan and A/C rooms with common toilet and bath, fan and A/C rooms with own toilet and bath.
Hotel FilipinoSinsuat AveContact: +63-64-4212307 / +63-644213232Budget: P700-P2000
Fan and A/C rooms. With restaurant/coffee shop.
Grand Rio Hotel#80 Don Rufino Alonzo AveContact: +63-64-4218770 / +639196555167Budget: P700 – P1,500
All A/C rooms. With restaurant and function hall.
Hotel CiriloMakakua StreetContact: +63-64-4213583Budget: P600-P1,000
Fan and A/C single, double, triple and family rooms.
Fiesta CotabatoDr. Rabago StreetContact: +63-64-4215491Budget: P500-P1,000
Fan and A/C single, double, triple and family rooms. With restaurant and convention hall.
Pension RafaelSan Isidro StreetContact: +63-64-4212941Budget: P550-P1,000
Fan and A/C double, triple and family rooms.
Sardonyx Pension HouseGov. Gutierrez AvenueContact: +63-64-4211364Budget: P700-P1,000
All A/C double and deluxe twin rooms. With convention hall.
Azaleas Pension HouseSinsuat AvenueContact: +63-64-4218122 / +63-64-4219088 / +639177260282Budget: P600-P1,200
Fan and A/C single, twin and triple superior rooms.
Vision InnNotre Dame AvenueContact: +63-64-4219008Budget: P400-P1,000
Fan and A/C double rooms. With coffee shop.
El Manuel Hotel111 Quezon Avenue, El Manuel DriveContact: +63-64-4219883 / +63-64-4215552Budget: P1,000-P4,000
All A/C rooms. With function rooms.
Pacific Heights Hotel / The Marqueza#66 Don. T.V. Juliano AvenueContact: +63-64-4212249 / +63-64-4215252Budget: P1,500-P4,000
All A/C rooms. With function rooms.
Estosan Garden HotelGov. Gutierrez BoulevardContact: +63-64-4216777 to 78 / +63-64-4215488Budget: P2,500-P5,000
All A/C rooms. With function rooms and swimming pools.
Alnor Hotel and Convention CenterAlnor Commercial Center, Sinsuat AvenueContact: +63-64-5520188 / +639475557003Budget: P1,500-P4,000
All A/C rooms. With function rooms.
The Blue Lagoon of Barangay Margues, Datu Odin Sinsuat
Things to do in Cotabato City
- Taste the local delicacy “pastil”, rice topped with sauteed chicken strips and wrapped in bana leaves
- Visit Masjid Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah or the Grand Mosque
- Explore other attractions of the city: Kutawato Cave, Tamontaka Church, Old City Hall, People’s Palace or New City Hall, Al Jamela Weaving Center, Brassware producers in Barangay Kalangalan, Sultan Kudarat Monument, markets and barter trade centers, etc.
- Proceed to Asik-Asik Falls of Alamada
- Check-out Kibucay Falls of Upi
- See the Blue Lagoons of Margues, Datu Odin Sinauat
- Go to the Pink Mosque of Datu Saudi Ampatuan
Reese’s Baby Back Ribs! 🙂
Where to Eat in Cotabato City
There are fast foods and eateries in the city but I highly reccommend these homegrown restaurants:
Cafe Le SorelleSema Bldg, Sinsuat Ave cor MacapagalOperating Hours: 9AM to 830PM
Must Try: Chicken Lasagna, Blueberry Cheesecake, Halo-Halo A La Sorelle and Mais Con Yelo
Sugar PappiOperating Hours: 9AM to 830PM (Mon to Sat) / 10AM to 830PM
Best Sellers: Pansit Guisado, Pasta, Ribs, Sugar Pappi Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Yema
ReeseOperating Hours: 8AM to 8PM
Best Seller: Ribs!
The Pink Mosque of Datu Saudi Ampatuan
Sample Cotabato Itinerary
3D/2N in Cotabato City (With Asik-Asik Falls, Kibucay Falls and Pink Mosque)
Day 1:0800H – 0925H Arrival in NAIA T3, Check-in, Pre-Departure0925H – 1130H Manila to Cotabato1130H – 1200H Arrival Cotabato City1200H – 1300H Proceed to Sultan Hassal Bolkiah Masjid (Jeep to City + Trike to Mosque)1300H – 1400H Around Sultan Hassal Bolkiah Masjid, Back to Husky Bus Terminal1400H – 1500H Cotabato Husky Bus Terminal to Masjid Dimaukom (Pink Mosque) Datu Saudi-Ampatuan (Van or Bus to Isulan/Tacurong drop off at Datu Saudi)1500H – 1600H Around Datu Saudi’s Pink Mosque1600H – 1800H Datu Saudi (to Cotabato City) to Midsayap
1800H – Midsayap / Stay in White Hutt Inn and Resort (+639205329974)
Day 2:0530H – Call Time0600H – 0700H Midsayap to Asik-Asik (Habal-Habal)0800H – 1000H Asik-Asik Falls1000H – 1100H Asik-Asik to Alamada1100H – 1200H Alamada to Midsayap1200H – 1400H Midsayap to Cotabato1400H – 1600H Kibucay Falls, Upi1600H – 1700H Kibucay to Cotabato City
1700H – Cotabato City / Stay in Diamond Hotel
Day 3:0530H – Call Time0600H – 0900H Kutang Bato / Kuta Wato Cave, Tamontaka Church, People’s Palace, Market, etc.0900H – 1000H To Airport / Check-in1000H – 1125H Pre-Departure
1125H – Depart for Manila
- Take extra precautions and be mindful of travel advisory in this part of Mindanao
- Foreign nationals are advised to have a local guide or knows someone from the area
- Globe, Smart, Sun, Talk N’ Text and Touch Mobile have strong presence in the area
- Best months to travel: April to August
*Originally Published: 21-Aug-2015 | Updates: 04-May-2017; 24-Apr-2018; 23-Mar-2020