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Cotabato City is located on the North-West portion of Maguindanao Province, Central Mindanao.  Approximately, it is 698.9 nautical miles from Manila, the capital city of the Republic of the Philippines.

On the north, the city is bounded by the municipality of Sultan Kudarat, with Rio Grande de Mindanao as its boundary; on the east, by the Municipality of Kabuntalan; on the south, by the municipality of Dinaig; and, on the west, by Illana Bay.

Cotabato City has a total land area of 17,599 hectares.  However, based from records of the City Assessor's Office, the city has the following reported data on taxable and exempt properties.

It is situated in the low land portion of Maguindanao Province with practically 70% of its total land area below sea level.  Yet, there exist two elevated areas which abound the City, the PC Hill and the Timako Hill with an altitude of 90 ft. and 150 ft. respectively.

The City is basically a delta surrounded by two big rivers, the Tamontak River and the Rio Grande de Mindanao.  Hence, it is not surprising to note that there are brooks, rivulets and creeks of various size that traverse the City in all directions.  Likewise, there are also bigger bodies of flowing water found in this city; the Matampay, Parang, Timako, Esteros and Miwaruy rivers.