Fun Galore: 7 Best Things To Do In Cotabato, Philippines

things to do in cotabato city philippines

Cotabato City is located in Mindanao in the Philippines. Its name comes from the words Kuta Wato, Kota, and Batu. It occupies an area of 1,700 sq km and has a population of 299,438 people. It is not densely populated meaning you can move around without much hassle. It is a beautiful, small city that has many incredible views and spectacular sceneries. It is about 1,300 kilometers (807 miles) from the capital city, Manila, far away from all the noise and commotion. I have hand-picked the best things to do in the best places in Cotabato. Let’s explore together.

1. Marvel at the Grand Mosque

Niamey Mosque
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user diasUndKompott used under CC BY-SA 2.0

This beautiful mosque is the largest in the Philippines and gets tons of visitors each year. It is not exactly hard to see why it would have such an influx because honestly, it is just breathtaking. Brief history. The mosque was built by one Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah (hence the name) and allegedly costs about 48 million USD. Imagine the grandiose gesture that 48 million USD can have! This beautiful palace-looking mosque is one hundred and forty-one feet high (43 meters) at the highest point. When I say it’s big, I mean enormous. Many people come here to say their prayers and worship. It can take approximately 1,300 people at one given time which is quite a marvel.

Grand Mosque

Address: Tamontaka Bubong Road, Cotabato City, Philippines

Price: None

Opening Hours: 9am - 6pm. Closed on public holidays.

Duration: around 3 hours required.

Access: 20 minute drive from Cotabato City along the Tamontaka Bubong Road

Contact: +49 15171225000

2. Explore the magnificent People's Palace

Cotabato City Hall
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user George Parrilla used under CC BY 2.0

The People’s Palace is in Malagpas. It is named the People’s Palace because it was built using the people’s money and it does not look like any of the money was put to waste! This building is simply a splash of architectural genius. It is a mix of urban and classic design and is visited by many people daily. Here you are graced with lots of shops, coffee-houses, and restaurants. It is a beautiful place to go for a lovely dinner or just to grab a bite!

People's Palace

Address: Cotabato City, Maguindanao, Philippines

Price: None. Open to the public

Opening Hours: 8am - 5pm. Closed on weekends.

Duration: around 1.5 hours required.

Access: 4 minute drive from Cotabato City using the Udtog Matalam Rd

Contact: +63 644218969

Near by Food: Bo’s Coffee and Calda Pizza

3. Cross the Tamontaka Bridge

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Tamontaka Bridge is the bridge that connects the city with Maguindanao province in Cotabato. It crosses over the Tamontaka River, Philippines’ second largest river. Looking on from this bridge, you get to enjoy views of both Cotabato City and Datu Odin Sinsuat Municipality as well as the silently majestic river.

Why not go for a walk one afternoon and cross the Tamontaka Bridge and explore places on the other side of the bridge such as the historic Tamontaka Church?

Tamontaka Bridge

Address: Along Sinsuat Avenue, Cotabato City, Maguindanao, Philippines

Duration: around 1 hour required.

Access: 10 minute drive south of Cotabato City along the Shariff Aguak - Cotabato City Rd/Sinsuat Ave

Near by Food: Smiley Foods

4. Have an adventure in the Kutawato Caves

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

The Kutawato Caves have probably got to be one of the most famous tourist destinations in Cotabato. This place is partly where the name of the city comes from. The caves are right in the middle of the town and have easy accessibility from the many entrances. History has it that they were taken over by the natives when the Spaniards tried to force all of them into the Castellan faith. Therefore, these babies have been standing strong since way before the Second World War. This location is prime to visit with kids because there are so many different sides of the caves to explore!

Kutawato Caves

Address: Barangay Poblacion I, Cotabato City

Price: None

Duration: around 3 hours required.

Access: Four entrances - the Provincial Capitol Cave, Bagua Cave, Caverna Español and the Kuweba ni Satur

5. Climb Pedro Colina Hill

Pedro Colina (PC) Hill Cotabato City
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user MarkoDalisay used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Let’s just start with the beautiful view that you will be met with once you get to the top. It is ridiculously amazing. There is a picturesque view to admire from the top of the hill. You will be able to see practically the whole city from the pinnacle of the hill. You can always make this climb a morning routine to get a little fit while in Cotabato. If you take this hike in the morning, for example, you would feel rejuvenated for the rest of the day because you have the opportunity to be part of the fresh tropical atmosphere. Then in the evening if you come here to watch the sun go down, bask in a breathtaking scene. It is going to be one of those moments where you truly appreciate mother nature. This experience is one that will stick with you for a lifetime.

Climb Pedro Colina Hill

Address: Pedro Colina Hill, Cotabato City, Maguindanao, Philippines

Duration: around 3 hours required.

Access: 11 minute drive Northeast of Cotabato City via Don Teodoro V Juliano Ave

Near by Food: McDonald’s, Jollibee

6. Go on a shopping spree at the Barter Trade Center

Traditional shops (7168673491)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user shankar s. used under CC BY 2.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

The Barter Trade Center is on the South side of the city. It is a vibrant market where you can find virtually anything from jewelry, leather products, you name it. There is a lot in the market for tourists. If you want to buy your husband a cultural neck piece or get some figurines to decorate your house, then the Barter Trade Center is the perfect place. Another reason to buy goods here is that nearly all of the souvenirs are made by the locals, mostly through handcrafting. They are affordable and elegant little memories. Therefore the money that you spend here makes a significant impact towards benefiting the local communities.

Barter Trade Center

Address: Gov. Gutierrez Avenue, Cotabato City, Maguindanao, Philippines

Opening Hours: Open all day

Duration: around 4 hours required.

Access: 9 minute drive Southeast of Catobato City via the Gov. Gutierrez Avenue

Near by Food: Estosan Garden Hotel

7. Enjoy the invoking cuisine

Indonesian Beef dish from Casa Blanca Restaurant
Source: Photo by Flickr user George Parrilla used under CC BY 2.0

I love food. Everyone loves food. If you are like me, then you like food a little bit too much. In Cotabato City, there is an extensive range of foods from both the local and international cuisines. The most well-known local dish is called ‘Pigek’. There are also other types of foods from Chinese, Arabic, Thai, Italian and many other western cultures. You should strive to sample at least a meal from a different country every day because as mentioned above, there is quite a number to choose from. Just remember to prioritize having more of the local dishes, since you are never going to meet such a variety in any other corner of the world.

Make Cotabato your summer haven!

ORG, Cotabato City bird eye view
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user PeterParker22 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Cotabato is a breathtaking city ready to be explored by new visitors. There is a throbbing rich culture, food, festivals and beautiful sceneries. The Philippines, in general, is such a beauty because once you get there, there is a sort of rustic, cozy feel that overcomes you. Life is simple and easygoing. Some people still live in the huts and get food straight from the plantations. You get the picture. Also, the people are friendly and welcoming, and a trip to Cotabato will be one you will live to cherish.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Hello there! I am Angie and I am a freelance writer. My main goal is to immerse you into the serenity and beautiful chaos that is part of cultures and environments across the world. Not only am I...Read more

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