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Rio Grande de Mindanao

The Mindanao River, also known as the Rio Grande de Mindanao, is the second largest river system in the Philippines, after the Cagayan River of Luzon.

by Jhaypee Guia on July 16, 2012
Rio Grande de Mindanao

Rio Grande de Mindanao (Cotabato City)

The Mindanao River, also known as the Rio Grande de Mindanao, is the second largest river system in the Philippines, after the Cagayan River of Luzon. It is the largest river on the southern island of Mindanao with a drainage area of 23,169 km2 (8,946 sq mi) draining majority of the central and eastern portion of the island. It is also the second longest river in the country with a length of approximately 373 km (232 mi). It is an important transportation artery on the island, used mainly in transporting agricultural products and, formerly, timber.

Its headwaters are in the mountains of Impasug-ong, Bukidnon, south of Gingoog City in Misamis Oriental, where it is called the Pulangi River. Joining the Kabacan River, it becomes the Mindanao River. Flowing out of the mountains, it forms the center of a broad, fertile plain in the south-central portion of the island. Before its mouth in the Moro Gulf, it splits into two parallel sections, the Cotabato and Tamentaka, separated by a 180 m (600 ft) hill.

Population centers along the river include Cotabato City, Datu Piang, and Midsayap.

Where to Stay

  • Grand Rio Hotel - #80 Don Rufino Alonzo Ave., Cotabato City
  • Estosan Garden Hotel - Gov. Gutierrez Boulevard, Cotabato City
  • Diamond Hotel - Cor.Makakua and Jose Lim St., Cotabato City
  • Pacific Heights Hotel and The Marqueza - #66 Don. T.V. Juliano Avenue, Cotabato City
  • Citi Plaza Hotel - Makakua Street, Cotabato City
  • El Manuel Hotel - 111 Quezon Avenue, El Manuel Drive, Cotabato City
  • Vision Inn - #48 Notre Dame Avenue, Cotabato City
  • Sardonyx Pension House - Gov. Gutierrez Avenue, Cotabato City
  • Pension Rafael - San Isidro St.,Cotabato City
  • Fiesta Cotabato - Dr. Rabago St., Cotabato City
  • Hotel Cirilo - Sultan Makakua Street, Cotabato City

How to Get There

By Air

To Cotabato City

  • From Metro Manila        1 hr 30 min
  • From Cebu City              45 minutes
  • From Zamboanga          25 minutes Check for Plane Fares and Flight Schedules

To Marawi City (through Cagayan de Oro City)

  • From Metro Manila to CDO        1 hr 20 min
  • From Cebu City to CDO 35 minutes

(Marawi is 3 hours overland from Cagayan de Oro.)

By Sea

Sulpicio, Negros Navigation, Aboitiz, William and Gothong Lines ply routes from Manila to Cotabato, serving areas of Cotabato province, Cotabato City, and Sultan Kudarat.

Their Manila-to-Cagayan-de-Oro routes also serve the areas of Iligan, Lanao del Norte, and Marawi City.

Check SuperFerry Schedule and Fares

By Land

( PUV's like L300 Vans, Jeeps and Buses ply these routes)

  • To Cotabato City From Davao City                     4 hrs
  • To Marawi City From Cagayan de Oro via Iligan 3 hrs
  • To Cotabato City From General Santos City        4 hrs

 By Bus

From Davao to Cotabato City    6 hrs

Air-conditioned minivans

From Lanao Sur, General Santos City, Tacurong, Marawi City, Kidapawan City to Cotabato City


From General Santos City, Kidapawan City, Marawi City, all points of the Municipalities of Maguindanao.

Non-aircon/aircon Bus lines

From the city to nearby municipalities and to Davao City. Weena Express, and Grand transport provides service from the north leading to Davao City.

There are many jeepneys and tricycles to get you around the city.

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