Aerial view of Siargao Island

Top 18 Must-Visit Tourist Spots in Mindanao: Beaches, Islands, Waterfalls

Ryan Gabriel Arcadio

18. Philippine Eagle Centre (Davao)

17. aliwagwag falls eco park (davao), 16. maria cristina falls (iligan), 15. samal island, 14. pink beach (zamboanga), 13. malagos garden resort (davao), 12. eden nature park (davao).

  • 11. Dinagat Islands

10. Panampangan Island (Tawi-Tawi)

9. pink mosque (maguindanao), 8. white island (camiguin), 7. mount apo (davao), 6. tinuy-an falls (surigao del sur), 5. lake sebu (south cotabato), 4. magpupungko rock pools (siargao), 3. whitewater rafting (cagayan de oro), 2. enchanted river, surigao del sur.

  • 1. Cloud 9, Siargao

Lake Sebu and Camiguin's White Island

Mindanao, the second-largest Philippines primary island after Luzon, encompasses the southernmost part of the archipelago. It's the farthest island region from the capital Manila but you'll find many stunning natural wonders here that will surely be worth the trip. 

Mindanao's largest city is Davao , which showcases the conservation area for the Philippine Eagle, the country's national bird. Davao is also home to the colorful Kadayawan Festival , one of the major festivals in the Philippines .

Some of the top breathtaking tourist spots in Mindanao and also some of the best places to visit in the Philippines include the laidback surfing hotspot called Siargao Island, the tropical beaches of Samal Island  dubbed the largest resort city, the small but beautiful island of Camiguin that's blessed with white sand beaches , and the multitude of waterfalls in Iligan. Mindanao is also home to some of the top island hopping in the Philippines . As a mountainous region, Mindanao is also home to Mount Apo, the highest mountain in the country and famous for hiking tours . 

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Thanks to the  geographical features of the Philippines , the most convenient way to go to the islands of Mindanao is by plane. There are regular flights from Manila and select international airports to Davao City's International Airport, Cagayan de Oro's Laguindingan International Airport, Zamboanga's International Airport, and Siargao's Sayak Airport. Read our articles on the best cars to rent in the Philippines  and the requirements to rent a car in the Philippines for your Mindanao vacation. 

To help you plan your trip to the Philippines and plot your Davao itinerary , here are the top tourist spots in Mindanao that you shouldn't miss and have more reasons why visit the Philippines : 

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A Philippine Eagle in Davao's Philippine Eagle Centre

Home to the critically endangered bird species, the Philippine Eagle, the Philippine Eagle Centre is an 8-hectare wildlife breeding center in Davao City that shelters the only captive eagles in the country. From massive aviaries to smaller cages for other endemic birds, the world-class park features enclosures and towering aviary duplexes resembling those in Singapore Zoo.

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Aside from eagles, this wildlife shelter also shelters macaques and crocodiles. For more than 20 years, the Philippine Eagle Centre has been educating its guests about the importance of preserving the haribon and its habitat. The wildlife center has a free guided tour with lectures about the eagles. 

Guests who want to see raptors in action can request a falconry demonstration. The park also offers lectures about its captive breeding program and its current field research about the last remaining eagles in the wild.

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View of Aliwagwag Falls in Mindanao

Another must-see attraction in Davao is the Aliwagwag Falls Eco Park, one of the most scenic waterfalls in the Philippines . It boasts the highest waterfalls in the Philippines, the 84-tiered Aliwagwag Falls, which stands at 1,110 feet and features over 130 cascades.

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Apart from swimming, you can try riding a 680-meter long and 180 feet high zipline across the waterfalls. You may also opt to cross the Monkey Bridge with a view of the falls rushing beneath you.

Aliwagwag Falls provides a source of irrigation for rice fields surrounding the area and renewable hydropower for communities in Davao Oriental. Before the eco-park was developed, the only way to get there was by passing through the Cateel River.

Wide shot of Maria Cristina Falls

One of the most beautiful waterfalls as told in Philippine history books is the Maria Cristina Falls, also called the Twin Falls. The 320-foot cascade is a sight to behold in Iligan, which is also known as the City of Majestic Waterfalls. According to the legend, Maria and Cristina are beautiful twin sisters who fell in love with the same man.

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Maria Cristina Falls supplies 70% of Mindanao’s electricity. It is regulated by the National Power Corporation (NPC), which developed a National Power Nature Park connected to the waterfalls. Guests can try rock climbing and trekking. Swimming is strictly prohibited because of the strong current.

You may also opt to have a picnic by the Agus River. There is even a restaurant and cafe inside the park. If you’re looking for some adrenaline rush, you can ride a zipline. Then, stroll along the Botanical and Zoological Garden to get a close encounter with ostriches, monkeys, and crocodiles.

White sand beach on Samal Island

The Island Garden City of Samal in Davao del Norte, commonly known as Samal Island , is the largest resort city in the Philippines that houses more than 30 resorts with over 1,000 rooms. Teeming with vibrant coral reefs and crystal clear blue waters, Samal Island boasts white-sand beaches like Kaputian Beach, Vanishing Island, and Talikud Island. 

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During low tide, you can walk over the so-called Vanishing Island. At Talikud Island, you can go scuba diving, snorkeling, or just lounge on its long stretch of powdery white-sand beach. You can also go hiking at Mt. Puting Bato and go spelunking at Baga, Magongawong, and Balete Caves.

Take a dip at Hagimit Falls, featuring 3-feet to 7-feet deep cascades with natural pools. Then, explore Monfort Bat Cave to see thousands of fruit-eating bats.

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Pink Beach in Zamboanga

Featuring unique pink sand, the Santa Cruz Island of Zamboanga City boasts its own Pink Beach. As the name implies, the sand gets its pinkish color from the crushed red organ pipe coral washed ashore. Santa Cruz Island also features a small inland lagoon surrounded by century-old mangrove trees. 

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Teeming with vibrant marine life and calm blue waters, the Pink Beach serves as an ideal scuba diving and snorkeling site. The City Tourism Office provides dive guides for guests who seek prior dive registration. Camping is not allowed on the beach, and there is no accommodation available on the island. 

To get to the famed Pink Beach, you have to take a 15 to 20-minute boat ride from Paseo Del Mar, which is only 5.2KM away from Santa Cruz Island. Upon arrival, you can lounge on the beach, take some photos, and swim in the crystal clear waters. If it’s low tide, you can pass by the small sandbar on the island.

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Kalesa ride in Malagos Garden Resort

Photo by Department of Tourism

Up next is an agri-tourism resort in Davao City, the Malagos Garden Resort. It is a 12-hectare lush greenery resort that makes you feel closer to nature. What makes it one of the leading recreational resorts in Davao is its exciting multitude of activities like skating, horseback riding, animal feeding, and vegetable harvesting.

Malagos Garden Resort caters to couples, barkadas (group of friends), and families who want to unwind and break free from the ordinary. Kids and adults young at heart can explore the resort’s signature attractions: Chocolate Museum, Chocolate Laboratory, Chocolate Park, Museo De Mariposa, Butterfly Sanctuary, Bird Feeding Dome, Petting Zoo, and Treeline Birdwatching Deck.

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The Chocolate Museum, which was opened in 2017, lets you have a glimpse of the history behind the world-class homegrown cacao chocolate bar. You may also try decorating your own chocolate bars at the Chocolate Laboratory. Then, you can strike a pose behind life-size statues of chocolates and cupcakes at the Chocolate Park.

Tourists trying Eden Nature Park's skycycles

Photo by Eden Nature Park

Nestled at the southern end of Davao City, Eden Nature Park is a 40-hectare mountain resort sitting at 3,000 feet above sea level. One of the best tourist spots in Davao , it is a great spot to unwind, try recreational activities, and capture spectacular views. The mountain resort has different types of accommodation, ranging from garden/mountain villas to log cabins.

Eden Nature Park boasts 11 attractions: Amphitheater, Birdwalk, Deer Park, Flower Garden, Hiking Trail, Lola’s Garden, Hydroponics, Playground, Butterfly Garden, Tinubdan, Bamboo Maze. Enjoy taking photos while trying out some exciting activities like the skyrider, skycycle, sky swing, horseback riding.

The resort also provides an array of dining options. At the Fishing Village, you can catch fish and have it cooked at the restaurant. You may also opt for an enchanting dinner at the Vista Restaurant. Other cafes and dining spots at the resort include the Cafe Vista, Fisher’s Grill, and Skyview Cafe.

11. Dinagat Islands 

Shoreline of Dinagat Island

Another underrated yet must-visit place in the northeast of Mindanao is the Dinagat Islands. This emerging attraction in Surigao del Norte features secluded beaches, waterfalls, Philippines caves , and panoramic mountain views.  

One of the must-see spots you wouldn’t want to miss in Dinagat Islands is its mystical Lake Bababu. It is a meromictic lake, which contains both saltwater and freshwater. Another interesting thing about the lake is its 650-meter long and 2,200-feet deep underwater cave, the longest one in the Philippines. It connects scuba divers from the lake to the open sea.

After your lake exploration, you can lounge on the pristine white sand of Bitaog Beach. Then, you can go island-hopping to the nearby islets. Up next is Cabacungan Cove, which boasts turquoise-colored waters surrounded by towering coconut trees and limestone cliffs. 

Another majestic attraction is the Pangabangan Island, which boasts a Tidal Pool and Blue Lagoon that is often compared to El Nido , Palawan. Meanwhile, Hagakhak Island features impressive rock formations.

Boasting the Philippines’ longest sandbar at 3KM, Panampangan Island in Tawi-Tawi is a 12-hectare white sand dotting the Celebes Sea. It is a secluded paradise with clear blue waters and powdery sand, which seemingly invites you to walk barefoot.

  • Check out this  Tawi-tawi tour to Bud Bongao, Boloboc Cave, and Badjao Village
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Tawi-Tawi is the southernmost province in the Philippines located in the southwestern Sulu archipelago between the Celebes Sea and the Sulu Sea. It is considered as one of the most off-beaten spots destinations in the country. Among all of its tourist spots, Panampangan Island is undeniably its most stunning attraction.

Not only is it surrounded by turquoise waters, but it is also teeming with lush greenery and towering coconut trees that provide adequate shade. During low tide, the sandbar extends far out to its neighboring islet, known as Basibuli. 

Exterior of Maguindanao's pink mosque

Dubbed as the first-ever pink mosque in the Philippines, Masjid Dimaukom or The Pink Mosque is a Maguindanao centerpiece constructed in 2013 to become the new image and representation of the province. The sacred building is the initiative of Mayor Samsudin Dimaukom of the Datu Saudi Ampatuan town who happens to have chosen pink as his favorite color.

Pink represents peace, harmony, and love. Likewise, the people of Datu Saudi Ampatuan believe that the mosque will bring them unity and brotherhood. Inspired by the mosque’s color and design, the town’s municipal hall, police stations, and public market are also set to be repainted pink. When you enter the town, you will also be greeted by the pink flags lined on the sidewalks.

Mosques serve as a place for worship for Muslims around the world. Its magnificent interiors also draw tourists to countries like the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, and Turkey. The Pink Mosque is a perfect example of a mosque that turned into an attraction. 

Camiguin's White Island

Emerged from the shifting tides off the coast of Mambajao, Camiguin is a powdery white sandbar known as White Island. It is also called the Naked Temptress due to its immaculate white sands and crystal clear blue waters. Although the sandbar is originally boomerang-shaped, it changes its form every year depending on the tides.

Camiguin Island is also known as the Island Born of Fire due to its volcanic origin. At White Island, you will see the panoramic view of one out of seven volcanoes in Camiguin. Mount Hibok-Hibok is an active stratovolcano alongside a smaller volcano known as Mount Vulcan or the island’s last-formed volcano.

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White Island’s clear waters are also ideal snorkeling sites. It is teeming with colorful reefs and vibrant marine life. Aside from swimming, you can also lounge and sunbathe on its pristine sandbar. You can visit the island via a  Camiguin White Island & countryside tour .

Hikers at the peak of Mount Apo

Towering over Southern Mindanao, Mount Apo is the highest mountain in the Philippines located in the Durian Capital of the country, Davao. It rises over 2,956 MASL and covers the provinces of Davao del Sur and North Cotabato. 

Mount Apo features mossy forests, swamps, and volcanic structures. It possesses an array of lush landscapes that mountaineers can pass through by following the Kidapawan-Magpet Trail. When hiking Mount Apo, you must consider its difficulty level of 7/9 that requires a major climb.

  • Read our guide to hiking in the Philippines

You will cross the Lake Agko and Mabel River before reaching the first campsite at the Mainit Hot Springs. It has a small pool where you can take a soothing dip. Up next is Lake Venado, featuring a serene swamp with pine trees. After hours of trekking, you will reach the rocky summit, where you can find wild berries and temperate plants.

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People floating on a raft by Tinuy-an Falls

Often described as the Little Niagara of the Philippines, Tinuy-an Falls is a curtain-like waterfall that stretches around 95-meters wide and 180-feet deep in Bislig, Surigao del Sur. This 3-tiered cascade features natural pools perfect for taking a plunge. The biggest and tallest of the three layers is wide enough to accommodate bamboo rafts for guests who want to get closer to the waterfall drop.

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  • Check out this Britania Group of Islands tour

In 2018, Tinuy-an Falls is proclaimed as one of the three protected areas of the Caraga region. It is home to 91 species of animals, including amphibians, birds, reptiles, freshwater fish, and more. There are also 144 species of flora and 33 of which are nearing extinction.

A boat in Lake Sebu

Situated in South Cotabato or the Land of the Dreamweavers, Lake Sebu is a major watershed recognized as a UNESCO cultural landscape in Mindanao. It irrigates the provinces of Sultan Kudarat and South Cotabato. There are three lakes in the area: Lake Sebu, Lake Seloton, and Lake Lahit. What makes each of them stunning are the floating pink lotus flowers. 

With its picturesque view, tourists will find themselves drawn to its beauty and charm. Apart from the lake itself, there are other attractions in Lake Sebu, including The Seven Fall with a total of 7 waterfalls and the Punta Isla Lake Resort, featuring the lake’s panoramic view.

Lake Sebu is also home to various indigenous tribes, including the Tirurays, Ubos, Manobos, and T’bolis. If you like to learn about the T’bolis rich culture, you can visit the T’boli Museum and School of Living Tradition (SLT). Then, see their special weaved fabrics at the Grand Dulay T’nalak Weaving Center.

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Aerial view of Magpupungko Rock Pools

One of the majestic sights in the Surfing Capital of the Philippines, Siargao Island , is the Magpupungko Rock Pools. It has a stunning tidal rock pool with crystal clear emerald waters surrounded by striking rock formations. This crown jewel is only accessible during the low tide and is not visible when the tides are high.

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Magpupungko Rock Pools is only a 45-minute drive away or 35KM away from the center of General Luna. The best way to enjoy the tide pools is to go cliff diving into its 3-meter deep refreshing blue waters. It is situated near Magpupungko Beach with towering coconut trees that offer adequate shade.

There are nearby restaurants along Magpupungko Beach. You may also drop by the nearby Sugba Lagoon, a gorgeous emerald lagoon with verdant mangroves in Del Carmen.

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Whitewater rafting in Cagayan de Oro

Cagayan De Oro  (CDO) is known as the whitewater rafting capital of the Philippines. Among the many extreme sports in CDO, whitewater rafting is the most popular one for adrenaline junkies. It takes place along the Cagayan River, which spans up to 48 kilometers with over 59 rapids. The best time to try this sport is from July to December when the water current is strong. For a hassle-free adventure, book a  Cagayan de Oro whitewater rafting package .

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Whitewater rafting usually takes around 5 hours, and you need a lot of arm strength to paddle and face the turbulent waves. This wet and wild ride will take you through huge rock formations between lush mangrove forests. Throughout the ride, a professional river guide will accompany you.

The ride gets tougher as you paddle along the rapids. At the end of the exhilarating ride, you will go down the calmer part of the river where a verdant surrounding awaits you.

Make the most of your trip to Cagayan de Oro and try other activities and tours, including a Cagayan de Oro city tour , a Cagayan De Oro Sinulom Falls & Bolao Cold Spring tour , and a  Seven Seas Waterpark Cagayan de Oro day pass with transfers .

People swimming in Enchanted River, Surigao del Norte

There is probably no other river in the country that will surpass the blueness of the famous Enchanted River, another mystic gem nestled in Hinatuan town in Surigao del Sur. It is 290 meters long, but its depth remains a mystery for many divers. 

There were diving expeditions made in the past, yet there is no clear picture of what lies at the bottommost part of the mystical river. With water flowing to the Philippine Sea and the Pacific Ocean, the Hinatuan Enchanted River opens up to an estuary where salt water mixes with the river’s spring water.

The famous blue river is only a small portion of it. Divers even found an opening of an underwater cave at the river’s deepest portion. To preserve its beauty, visitors are not allowed to swim in the main pool. There is a designated area for swimming, which is only 10 meters away from the main pool.

1. Cloud 9, Siargao 

Sunrise at Cloud 9, Siargao

Cloud 9 is one of the best spots to learn and practice surfing in the Philippines . This famous surfing destination is located on the laidback island of Siargao. Local and international travelers love going back to this place to witness its white-sand beaches, blue-green waters, and scenic islands.

  • Check other  tourist spots to visit and activities to do in Siargao  aside from surfing
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Cloud 9 is recognized as one of the world’s best surfing destinations. It is even ranked as one of the top ten waves worldwide, where international surfing competitions are often held. Beginners can watch the pros showcase their skills and limits. Siargao is also a good choice for couples who want to have their honeymoon in the Philippines .

  • Aside from surfing, check out what other rainy season activities in the Philippines you can do

The ideal time to go to Siargao is from September to November. Surfers can ride waves as high as 8 feet up to 12 feet. There are also surf schools around the area that offer beginner, intermediate, and advanced surf courses. Surf camps in Siargao usually last a week, which already include surf rental equipment and instruction. Read our guide to surfing in Siargao to learn more. 

Discover Mindanao’s Top Tourist Spots 

Aerial view of Siargao Island

If you’ve already been to several destinations in the Philippines, you may want to consider traveling further to the southernmost part of the country. For those of you wondering where to go next, Mindanao is the place to be! Whether you like to explore iconic attractions or gaze at natural wonders, there are various parks and historical spots  in Mindanao. 

  • Book a Basilan tour to Bulingan Falls, Tulip Garden, and Wee Siu Tuy Museum

You can visit numerous islands and beaches in the Philippines  nestled in the southernmost part of the archipelago. Other than white-sand beaches, Mindanao also boasts some of the highest and most scenic waterfalls in the Philippines .

Start planning your trip to Mindanao! Discover the top Mindanao tourist spots when you book the best Mindanao Philippines tour packages  and stay at one of the luxury resorts in the Philippines  or one of the  wellness resorts in the Philippines , or try glamping in the Philippines . Don’t miss out on the chance to lounge on its paradise-like beaches and be in awe of its majestic landscapes.

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Top tourist spots in Mindanao

25 MUST-SEE Tourist Spots in Mindanao (Cities, Islands, Mountains, Etc)

I’ve backpacked across the Philippines and nothing compares to the beauty of Mindanao — from its breathtaking nature attractions such as Asik-Asik Falls and Magpupungko Pool to its vibrant towns and cities brimming with unique culture, good food, and even their own dialect. Mindanao is also home to different indigenous tribes in the country, so it’s a great destination for cultural immersion.

Aside from nature, city, and cultural tours, Mindanao also hosts some of the best local festivals in the country including Kadayawan Festival in Davao and Zamboanga Hermosa Festival in Zamboanga City.

Here we’ve compiled the best tourist spots in Mindanao that you should add to your bucket list!

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2. Tinuy-An Falls

3. enchanted river, 4. zamboanga city, 5. lake sebu, 6. white island, 7. cagayan river, 8. lake holon, 9. asik-asik falls, 10. magpupungko rock pools, 11. sugba lagoon, 12. sohoton cove, 13. mount apo, 14. dahican beach, 15. sunken cemetery, 16. great sta. cruz island, 17. malamawi island, 18. bud bongao, 20. tinago falls, 21. aliwagwag falls, 22. mount hamiguitan, 23. philippine eagle center, 24. eden nature park, 25. dinagat islands, what to read next:.

Location: Siargao, Surigao del Norte

Cloud 9 in General Luna, Siargao

Cloud 9 is a surfing haven in Siargao Island, visited by tourists from all over the world for its laid-back vibes, gorgeous views, and of course big waves that are ideal for both beginner and professional surfers. There are numerous surf breaks in and around Cloud 9 where you can test your mettle. Surfing lessons are also available for those who are just starting out.

This tourist attraction can be found in General Luna, the central tourist hub in Siargao Island . It features an iconic boardwalk where you can enjoy the scenic ocean view and wait for the sunset. It’s surrounded by resorts, shops, and restaurants and bar, which makes it the best place to stay at in the island.

The best months for surfing start from September to November . There is also an annual surfing competition held every October.

Where to stay in Siargao:

  • Luxury : Nay Palad Hideaway | Siargao Bleu Resort and Spa
  • Midrange : Villa Cali Siargao
  • Budget : Patrick on the Beach

Location: Bislig, Surigao del Sur

Tinuy-An Falls in Bislig

Tinuy-An Falls is one of the most recognizable waterfalls in the Philippines and one of the best tourist spots in Mindanao that you shouldn’t miss. This wide curtain waterfall measures an impressive 95 meters wide and 180 feet deep. It has three layers, with the second featuring the biggest pool where you can swim and ride a bamboo raft to get close to the waterfal ldrop.

Aside from its tourism value, Tinuy-An Falls is also an important part of the local ecosystem as it is home to different flora and fauna, some of which are considered endangered species.

Location: Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur

Enchanted River in Hinatuan, Surigao

There is truly something magical about the beauty of Enchanted River. Just the view of its blue, crystal-clear water will make you will like you’re in a fairy tale setting.

Located in the quiet town of Hinatuan in Surigao del Sur, the Enchanted River remains a mystery. Its true depth remains unknown, although divers have attempted to explore it in the past. Currently, it is open to tourist who wish to see its beauty in person.

Although the main pool is closed to the public for preservation, there is a designated area for swimming just a few meters away. There you can enjoy refreshing water and snorkel to see the schools of fishes underneath. Make sure to stay for the fish feeding done every afternoon.

Street of Zamboanga City

Ahhh, the colorful city of Zamboanga City. If you’re on a journey to explore the best tourist spots in Mindanao, then you should consider staying here for a few days at least. There are so many things to do in Zamboanga City that days go by so quickly!

Zamboanga City is the third-largest city in the Philippines and the commercial center in the south. It’s also the gateway to the nearby provinces of Basilan and Tawi-Tawi . It is home to interesting local attractions such as Fort Pilar, Yakan Weaving Village, and Paseo del Mar. You can also visit its local food hubs to taste local cuisine rooted from indigenous culture, Malaysian- or Spanish-influenced heritage dishes, and fresh seafood such as the famous curacha with alavar sauce.

If you’re itching for a nature trip, you can go on a day trip to the Great Sta. Cruz Island , Merloquet Falls , and Once Islas .

Aside from these, this city also celebrates one of the best festivals in the country — the Zamboanga Hermosa Festival , a month-long festivity done in honor of Our Lady of the Pillar.

Where to stay in Zamboanga:

  • Midrange : Marcian Garden Hotel | Garden Orchid Hotel
  • Budget : Winzell Suites

Location: South Cotabato

Best ecotourism spots in the Philippines - Lake Sebu

One of the must-visit Mindanao tourist spots, Lake Sebu is a beautiful community in South Cotabato where a Tboli indigenous tribe resides. It is also called the “Land of the Dreamweavers,” referring to the Tboli’s traditional art of weaving.

There are many things to do in Lake Sebu. One of course is to meet the Tbolis and learn their way of living and their culture, art, and dances. You can also wear their traditional attire and proudly take photos of it while in the community and in a boat over the lake while being surrounded by beautiful lotus blooms. Lastly, you can explore the surrounding areas and trek the nature trails or visit two of the Seven Falls, which is one of the highlights of visiting this province.

Location: Camiguin

Hali in Camiguin

Another spot for beach lovers, White Island is a white-sand sandbar surrounded by clear blue waters, located a few minutes from the mainland in Camiguin. It is originally boomerang shaped, but its shape changes along with the tide every year.

White Island is a great place to beach bum, swim, and take pictures. Though there are no establishments here, there are umbrellas you can rent for shade and vendors selling fresh sea urchin and cool drinks for refreshment.

It’s a nice day trip from the town and is often included in tours in Camiguin Island .

Where to stay in Camiguin:

  • Midrange : Bintana sa Paraiso – Binunsaran | Naasag
  • Budget : Paras Beach Resort

Location: Cagayan de Oro

White water rafting in Cagayan de Oro

One of the best things to do in Mindanao is white water rafting in Cagayan River. For this, you need to take a flight to Cagayan de Oro City , where you can find outfitters that will take you to the Cagayan River for white water rafting.

Choose between the beginner and advanced courses and spend an afternoon navigating the river and the wild rapids. You can also ask for a boodle fight arrangement along the river for a fulfilling experience.

For beginners, the best time to go is from February to May when the river is calm. Those who want a little more challenge can go during the rainy months of July to December .

Where to stay in Cagayan de Oro City:

  • Luxury : Seda Centrio Hotel | Limketkai Luxe Hotel
  • Midrange : Cagayan de Oro Red Planet Hotel
  • Budget : Primeluxe Hotel

View deck of Lake Holon, South Cotabato

Also known as the Crown Jewel of the South , Lake Holon is a beautiful crater lake in Mount Parker, South Cotabato. It is also home to the Tboli Tribe, an indigenous local tribe in Mindanao.

Lake Holon is ideal for those who love adventure. It is challenging to trek here, and you need to be physically fit to go. The route requires trekking in the mountains to reach the view deck, where you can see the entirety of the lake, before descending to the lakeside community where the camping site is located.

Once in the campsite, you can enjoy the tranquility of the lake area. It’s also a nice experience to mingle with the locals and get to know their culture and lifestyle, swim and kayak at at the lake, and do stargazing at the clear, night sky. Pro Tip: Due to lack of light pollution, Lake Holon is a great place for astrophotography.

Location: North Cotabato

Asik-Asik Falls

Asik-Asik Falls is a stunning sight to behold — streams of water running down a verdant mountain cliff, looking straight out of a storybook. This is definitely one of the top tourist spots in Mindanao that you should see for yourself!

This waterfall derived its name from the Hiligaynon word asik-asik (“sprinkle sprinkle”). It was already known by the locals but was only discovered by the public when a photo of it was submitted in a national geography contest in 2012. Since then, it has been one of the best tourist attractions in North Cotabato.

There is no water basin in Asik-Asik Falls, but you can sit in a boulder under the streams for a waterfall shower or swim in the river that runs beneath it.

Magpupungko Rock Pools in Pilar, Siargao

Magpupungko Rock Pools was a popular swimming hole for locals. Over the years, it has risen to become one of the top attractions in Siargao.

Here you can find gorgeous natural pools surrounded by interesting rock formations. The water is so clear and refreshing that you’ll immediately want to dive in!

Magpupungko Rock Pools is located inside a resort. It has a modest in-house restaurant where you can buy food and drinks. Make sure to time your visit here because the tidal pool is only visible during low tide.

Sugba Lagoon in Del Carmen, Siargao

To be honest, everything in Siargao is a must-visit and so it is not a surprise that we’ve got another spot for our bucket list of top touris spots in Mindanao!

Sugba Lagoon is a beautiful lagoon with a floating cottage and restaurant, a diving board where you can jump directly to the water, and watersport rental facilities including kayak and paddleboard. It’s a great place for a swim, a kayaking tour, and generally a place to rest and enjoy the beauty of the island.

Location: Bucas Grande, Surigao del Norte

Small paddle boat to jellyfish lagoon, Sohoton Cove

Sohoton Cove National Park is an otherworldly maze of lush islets and caves. It’s only an hour away from Siargao by boat, making it easily accessible as a day or overnight trip.

Here you can kayak in the Blue Lagoon with its clear blue water, venture deep in Crystal Cave or dive underwater to get inside Hagukan Cave, or take a dinghy into the stingless jellyfish lake. Don’t forget to visit the floating restaurant for delicious seafood and Filipino meals to replenish yourself during your adventure.

Location: Davao del Sur and North Cotabato

Mount Apo, Philippines.

Rising over 2965 MASL, Mount Apo is considered the highest mountain in the Philippines. It spans across the provinces of Davao del Sur and North Cotabato.

Mount Apo features different landscapes, from streams and swamps to mossy forests and rocky terrains. Only experienced mountain climbers are advised to go here, as it is considered a major climb with a difficulty of 7/9. The climb from the trailhead to the summit and back usually takes 3 days.

Location: Davao Oriental

Surfing in Dahican Beach in Mati, Davao Oriental

The Philippines features countless beautiful beaches, and one of them is Dahican Beach in Davao. It features a crescent-shaped shoreline and big waves that make it popular among surfers and skimboarders. It’s also a nice option for people who just want to beach bum or get away from the noise of the city for a while.

Sunken Cemetery in Camiguin

The Sunken Cemetery is one of the top tourist attractions in Camiguin Island . Here you can see a unique vista — a giant white cross standing above the sea. It is said the the cross marks the resting place of the island’s first settles who were buried alive during the eruption of Mount Vulcan in the 1870s.

You can take a boat to reach the Sunken Cemetery or watch at the shore for its sunset views. You can also swim and snorkel around the area, where you can find colorful corals and fishes.

Location: Zamboanga City

Kat in the Pink Beach of Zamboanga

The Great Sta. Cruz Island, also known as the Pink Beach of Zamboanga , is a must-visit for beach lovers around the world. It is one of the few pink-sand beaches in the Philippines, whose color is caused by the presence of crushed red corals mixed with the sand.

This island is a great day trip from the city. It’s easily accessible, as it only requires a 15- to 20-minute boat ride from the port.

Once at the island, feel free to take a break with the scenic view, take pictures of the colorful vintas (traditional boats), or swim at the crystal-clear beach. There is also a nearby mangrove area where you can kayak and an underwater snorkel spot open for snorkeling and diving.

Location: Basilan

Boardwalk in Malamawi Beach Resort

If you’re dreaming of visiting Basilan , one of the spots you should visit is Malamawi Island . This resort features a white-sand beach, baby-blue water, and a long boardwalk where you can take pictures.

You can go here for a day trip and visit another one of Basilan’s hidden gems: Lampinigan Island. Or you can stay overnight in the resort’s rooms and cottages.

Location: Tawi-Tawi

Bud Bongao summit

Bud Bongao is a sacred mountain located in the coastal province of Tawi-Tawi . It’s a must-visit destination for hikers and those interested in culture and history — it is said that two followers of an Arabic merchant who taught Islam are buried in the shrines in this mountain, and today it is visited by locals who wish to pray and meditate.

It takes an hour to reach the summit of Bud Bongao. A scenic view of the town including the bridge connecting two islands can be seen from above. It’s also a great place to view sunsets.

Location: Sulu

Stilt houses in Sulu

Jolo is the capital of Sulu Province , one of the most underrated destinations in the Philippines. It’s one of the best Mindanao tourist spots to visit for backpackers and those who love exploring off-the-beaten-track destinations.

The main charm of this coastal town is in its unique food, culture, and architecture. Here you can taste its local delicacies (such as the bangbang, a set of Tausug pastries), stroll along the local market, and visit the capitol and church. You can also take a boat trip to discover the islands in Panglima Tahil , which are some of the most beautiful and pristine islands in the country. There are also white-sand beach destinations nearby that can easily rival the kinds of Boracay.

Take note that visits in Sulu should be coordinated with the local tourism office first.

Location: Iligan City, Lanao del Norte

Tinago Falls in Iligan City

Tinago Falls is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the Philippines that you can find. Don’t be deceived by its name though — Tinago Falls (which translates to Hidden Falls) is far from being a secret. In fact, it’s one of the most famous attractions in Illigan City in Mindanao, visited by locals who want to witness its magnificence.

This waterfall is about 420 feet high, with a wide basin filled with deep-cold water where you can swim to your heart’s content. Around the waterfall are food stalls and tables where you can rest and eat while appreciating the waterfall view. There are also rafts that can take you to the stream itself, so you can experience bathing underneath the falls.

Aliwagwag Falls

Aliwagwag Falls is a sight to behold. It stands at about 1100 feet with over 80 tiers, making it the highest waterfall in the Philippines.

This is a great place to swim and enjoy the nature. For more adventure, you can ride the 680-meter long zipline across the waterfall and cross the monkey bridge where you can view the rushing waterfalls below.

Aside from being a tourist attraction in Davao, this waterfall also provides water for irrigation to the surrounding rice fields and renewable hydropower to local communities.

Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary is a UNESCO World Heritage Site found in San Isidro, Davao Oriental. It features interesting landscapes, including a pygmy forest — one of the few existing in the world. It’s also home to various flora and fauna, some of which is endemic to the area, as well as the Philippine Eagle, Philippine Cockatoo, and more.

Reaching the summit and back requires a 3-day trek. If the activity is not for you, you can instead visit the Mount Hamiguitan Natural Science Museum instead or arrange for a day trip to the waterfalls and natural pools in the surrounding forest.

Location: Davao City

Philippine eagle by the Philippine Eagle Foundation

For those who are interested in wildlife conservation, The Philippine Eagle Center is one of the tourist spots in Mindanao that you should include in your itinerary.

The Philippine Eagle Center is a wildlife breeding center located at the foothills of Mount Apo in Davao City. Spanning 8.4 hectares, it aims to provide shelter to the Philippine Eagle, which is considered an endangered species. It’s also home to other birds, macaques, and crocodiles.

The center offers a free guided tour to the facilities. You can also ask for a falconry demonstration to see the birds in flight or schedule a Keeper Talk to know more about the center, their work, and the eagles.

Eden Nature Park in Davao

The Eden Nature Park is a recreational park located at the southern end of Davao City. It’s a place for families or friends to relax and unwind, enjoy the mountain views, and of course engage in various outdoor activities.

The park features 11 attractions: Amphitheater, Birdwalk, Deer Park, Flower Garden, Hiking Trail, Lola’s Garden, Hydroponics, Playground, Butterfly Garden, Tinubdan, and Bamboo Maze. It also has several dining options, such as the Fishing Village where you can catch your own fish for cooking and the Vista Restaurant where you can enjoy food with a view.

You can visit Eden Nature Park as a day trip while staying in Davao City. Better yet, book one of their overnight accommodations to experience everything that it offers.

Where to stay in Davao City:

  • Luxury : Seda Abreeza
  • Midrange : Waterfront Insular Hotel Davao

Location: Dinagat Island

Pangabangan Pool in Libjo, Dinagat Island

Dinagat Islands is another underrated destination in Mindanao. It features pristine beach coves, lakes, and lagoons. Tourists who’ve explored the area often liken it to a raw version of El Nido in Palawan.

Some of the places you can visit here is Lake Bababu, Pangabangan Tidal Pool, and several beaches including Bitaog Beach, Cabacungan Cove, and Hagakhak Island.

There are a few resorts where you can stay at for your island hopping trip in Dinagat Islands. Make room for your calendar because the recommended stay to explore its best spots is 3 days at least.

That ends our list of the best tourist spots in Mindanao! Do you have other places to add? Let us know in the comments section below!

Planning a trip to Mindanao? Check out these guides:

  • Best Mindanao Tourist Spots + Things to Do
  • Best Beaches in Mindanao
  • 15 Mindanao Food You Need to Try

Katherine author profile

Katherine Cortes is a long-time backpacker and a freelance writer/editor. She likes beaches, snorkeling trips, and relaxing staycations (preferably with bath tubs!).

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20 Towns and Cities You Must Visit in Mindanao [Philippines]

There are countless of Mindanao Tourist Spots, and you’ll be amazed by how different they are from Luzon or Visayas. We’ll round up the 20 Best Towns and Cities that you must visit in Mindanao to add in your Philippines Bucket List.

Mindanao is the least traveled part of the Philippines; this is due to news on terrorist attacks, possible combats and kidnaps for ransom where tourists and missionaries are usually involved. Even Filipinos like me are a bit wary of this part of the country. However, we are mostly wrong.

Must Visit in Mindanao

The president of the Philippines has declared Martial Law in Mindanao, which makes it safer than other parts of the country. Much military personnel are deployed; security is everywhere. When traveling from a region to another, be sure always to bring your ID/Passport because when there are bus stops, the military will check your identification one by one.

Mindanao is the land of promise; you can do trail hikes on mountains, swim and surf on the islands, take a bathe on gorgeous falls or enchanted rivers, and encounter animals, notably the Philippine Eagle, up-close and personal.

Must Visit in Mindanao

There are six regions in Mindanao: Region 9 – Zamboanga, Region 10 – Northern Mindanao, Region 11 – Davao, Region 12 – SocCSkSarGen, and ARMM – Bangsamoro.

Table of Contents

Region 9 – Zamboanga

Must Visit in Mindanao

Zamboanga City

If you are Spanish or know Spanish, you would enjoy conversing with the locals here as they speak Chavacano, a Spanish-based language in Asia. The best spot here is Sta. Cruz Island , the only beach in the Philippines with pink sand. You could also go to the majestic Merloquet Falls . Hang around the city proper at Paseo del Mar and Fort Pilar . Buy colorful textiles for souvenirs at Yakan Weaving Village .

Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte

Our National Hero, Jose Rizal, was exiled to this place for four years; if you want to see where he lived, go to Rizal Park and Shrine . You can also dive at Aliguay Island or get some vitamin sea at Dakak Resort . Visit also St. James Church and if you want to have fun, then go to Gloria’s Fantasyland .

Region 10 – Northern Mindanao

Must Visit in Mindanao

Cagayan de Oro City

When going to CDO, you must try white water rafting . Travel in Cagayan River on a raft and survive paddling through the rapids; there are beginner and advanced courses which surely you will have fun especially with friends. After this strenuous activity, spend the next day relaxing or maybe do more adrenaline rushing activities in Seven Seas Water Park or at Mapawa Nature Park . Enjoy also scenic views at Garden of Malasag Eco-Tourism Village or Eden’s Solace .

Camiguin Island

Though Camiguin is one province; you could tour this place in a day or two. This Isle Born of Fire has seven volcanoes; Mt. Vulcan erupted on 1871 resulting to the Sunken Cemetery and Old Spanish Church Ruins . You can trek at Mt. Hibok-Hibok and see at Tuasan Falls . Don’t forget to check out the sunset at White Island .

Iligan City

Iligan City is the “City of Majestic Waterfalls,” how many falls are there? 24, yes, it’s twenty-four and you can waterfall-hop. However, in case you want a few here’s my top 5: Maria Christina Falls (the most popular one not only because it’s grandeur, but it’s a source of electricity in Mindanao), Tinago Falls , Limunsudan Falls , Mimbalut Falls , Dodiongan Falls .

Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon

For adventurers out there; go to Dahilayan Adventure Park and zipline or sky jump. You can also trek at Mount Kitanglad or Mount Ma-agnaw , or just hang-out near Alalum Falls . This place is also where Del Monte Pineapple Plantation is; you could sneak a peek or buy some pineapples.

Valencia City, Bukidnon

Want to go somewhere peaceful? Relax at Lake Apo , a crater lake at Barangay Guinoyoran. You could also hike to Mount Kalatungan , Mount Dulang-Dulang , or Musuan Peak .

Region 11 – Davao

Must Visit in Mindanao

Davao City is the capital of Mindanao; this is also where our current president, Pres. Rodrigo Duterte served as mayor for many years, right now the first lady, her daughter is serving as Mayor. You hike and camp at Mt. Apo , the highest mountain in the Philippines. You could also check out the Philippine Eagle Center or Crocodile Park where they serve Crocodile Ice Cream. You could also hang out at People’s Park . Also, they have Kadayawan Festival (article 9) here on the 3rd week of August, so it adds more excitement if you visit near that date.

Cateel, Davao Oriental

Aliwagwag Falls is the main attraction in this place, with 84 tiers; it seems endless but seems like a stairway to heaven. Walk from edge to edge at Maglahus Hanging Bridge and relax at Banahaw Beach Resort or San Antonio-Baybay Long Beach .

Island Garden City of Samal

IGCOS is the largest resort city in the country, so expect many beaches, marine life, and clear waters. You could check it at Pearl Farm Beach Resort that is owned by Ms. Universe 1973 Margie Moran. Explore Mount Putting Bato , Hagimit Falls or visit Batman’s friends at Monfort Bat Cave . Check out beaches also at Talikud Island .

Want to experience flying? Try booking at Mindanao Saga Flying Club, and you can glide above the skies of Mati. You can check out also islands like Sleeping Dinosaur Island , Waniban Island , or Pujada Island . Try also surfing at Dahican Beach .

Region 12 – Caraga

Must Visit in Mindanao

Bislig City

Tinuy-an Falls is the main attraction in the charming city, it’s gorgeous, and you won’t regret seeing this. While in Bislig, you can also go to Hagonoy Island , Lawigan Beach , Togonan Cold Spring or Lake 77 .

Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur

Want to see something like a fairy tale? Check out the Hinatuan Enchanted River that flows to the Philippines Sea. It is so bright and so blue you would see marine creatures without goggles. Hinatuan Bay is also a habitat of various species of turtles.

Siargao Island

Siargao Island is the Surfing Capital of the Philippines, when you’re visiting here don’t pass the opportunity to learn how to surf at Cloud 9 area. Also, try diving at Sugba Lagoon and do tri-island hopping from Naked, Dako and Guyam Islands . Catch the sunrise at Mapungko-pungko beach .

Region 13 – SocCSkSarGen

Must Visit in Mindanao

Glan, Sarangani

Gumasa Beach is perhaps the Boracay of the South, untouched white and sandy with clear waters. Many beach resorts are here; be sure to stay in one. You can also snorkel at Kapatan-Lago Dive Spots . Be in awe of the Century Old Houses in this town. Fun fact, renowned boxer Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao has a private beach in this province.

Lake Sebu, South Cotabato

This first-class municipality’s main attraction is the Lake Sebu itself. Allah Valley is a UNESCO as a cultural landscape. Try seeing all Seven Falls of Lake Sebu and do that exciting Zipline Adventure.

T’boli, South Cotabato

Want to go somewhere serene? The hikes to these places may be time-consuming and a bit difficult for non-professional hikers, but the view and the aura are worth-it; Mount Melibengoy , Lake Holon and Maughan Lake .

Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao – Bangsamoro

Must Visit in Mindanao

Cotabato City

Cotabato has the largest Mosque in the whole Philippines, the Masjid Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah or Grand Mosque . Also visit the Kutawato Cave , Tamontaka Church , and People’s Palace . You should also check out the Pink Mosque at Datu Saudi-Ampatuan, which is an hour ride from the city.

Basilan Island

When we Filipinos talk about Basilan, we think of a terrorist group. However, ever since people started opening up to Basilan, we have learned that it’s a hidden paradise and that people are warm and friendly there. You can start your adventure at Bulingan Falls then Island hop Lampinigan Island to Malamawi Island .

Tawi-Tawi Island

If you want to check out one of the longest sandbars in the Philippines, go to Panampangan Island . You could also trek Mount Bongao . Visit islands like Sangasiapu Island , Saluag Island , or Sanguisiapo Island .

With this list alone, I bet you want to travel Mindanao? I, myself, want to book a ticket there immediately. The Land of Promise has many things to offer; mainly natural attractions. However, Mindanao also has diverse cultures as it is home to different tribes. There are about 18 tribal Filipino groups; I hope you meet one on your adventure there.

It’s easy to go to Mindanao because Davao has an international airport and most regions have at least one. Unlike the Visayas , Mindanao is a big island with a few small ones in the outer part so that you can travel by bus. People in the Philippines can also speak English well, so don’t be afraid of language barriers.

Come and visit these Mindanao Tourist Spots. We hope that at least you go to one out of 20 Best Towns/Cities you must visit in Mindanao within a year. Remember, it’s more fun in the Philippines!

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One thought on “ 20 Towns and Cities You Must Visit in Mindanao [Philippines] ”

PHILIPPINES is a nice place to visit and explore the beauty there. First I would like to share a little about me: Travel is my passion. I am also a travel blogger and love to share posts on travel tips, locations, etc. I found this post very interesting, as author shared complete information about the best towns and cities to visit in Mindanao ,Philippines. I recommend this blog for getting details about such type of information. I explored the whole blog and found that a lot of informative posts shared that can help people who search about travel tips, locations and other things before go on travel vacations. I highly recommend this blog.

Regards Thomas Salzano A poet, traveler & avid reader

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Mangroves forest cove a Sugba lagoon in Siargao, Philippines. Aerial shot taken with drone

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Despite jaw-dropping beaches, killer surf, rugged mountains and indigenous cultures living much as they have for centuries, Mindanao, with the exception of Siargao and to an extent Camiguin, remains off the tourism industry’s radar. Of course, the conflict that has simmered for several generations (and the 2017 declaration of martial law in the region) bears much of the responsibility for this. That’s not to say, however, that there isn’t development and the woes that go with it – the southern city of Davao is, for example, fairly cosmopolitan.

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Go from dreaming to planning with trip planning options made to help you craft your ideal itinerary.

Attractions

Must-see attractions for your itinerary.

The Philippine Eagle

Philippine Eagle Center

Southern Mindanao

To view one of the largest eagles in the world (in terms of wing span), head to the Philippine Eagle Center, which is dedicated to conserving these…

Museo Dabawenyo

Museo Dabawenyo

An excellent museum with two floors of well-designed galleries exploring the complex patchwork of indigenous tribal groups, religions and ethnicities of…

Kublai's Gallery

Kublai's Gallery

An unconventional setting for a fine-art gallery, paintings by artist Kublai Millan fill the walls of this large space. Take an elevator to the 4th or 5th…

Fort Pilar Museum

Fort Pilar Museum

At the southeastern end of town near the waterfront is this solid and squat building, partially restored to maintain its historic character. Inside is a…

Binangawan Falls

Binangawan Falls

At 15m or so this is the shortest of the falls on Camiguin and one of the most difficult to reach. You can go on your own or with a guide arranged through…

White Island

White Island

Uninhabited White Island, a pure white-sand bar a few hundred metres offshore, is accessible by boats (P450, up to four people) that leave from a spot…

Davao Crocodile Park

Davao Crocodile Park

Around 5km north of the city centre is this large complex spread out along the Davao River. A combination conservation centre and zoo, there are croc …

Malasag Eco-Tourism Village

Malasag Eco-Tourism Village

Cagayan de Oro

Set in acres of botanical gardens with a small wildlife collection of butterflies, birds and deer, the Malasag Eco-Tourism Village is a theme park of…

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Mindanao and beyond

Transparent turquoise water at the Idyllic White Island with the volcanic landscape of Camiguin in the background.

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Traveller's Guide To Mindanao, Philippines

Mount Apo Summit

Majestic and breathtaking – that’s how travelers describe Mindanao’s top nature spots and hidden gems. Being the second largest island group next to Luzon , Mindanao has been dubbed the country’s ‘Land of Promise’ for its untapped, promising natural resources. It has become globally known for being home to the surf capital of the country, a famous highly-urbanized city, and jaw-dropping beaches.

Brief history and culture.

Mindanao is known to have the largest Muslim community and diverse native ethnic groups in the country. Because the area is near to the countries of Malaysia and Indonesia, historical accounts mention that Muslim, Hindu and Buddhism influence were very prominent during the early times of Mindanao because of neighboring migrants. The term ‘ Mindanao ‘ was coined after the largest group which settled in the area – ‘ Maguindanaos.’ While Sultanates were among the first to establish their presence, they were soon converted into Islam because of the Muslim migrants who displaced the non-Muslim natives.

Apart from Muslims, Malaysians and Indonesians, some inhabitants of Mindanao are also of Indian, Arab, or Chinese descent. It won’t be sufficient to pinpoint a prevailing culture because the island is rich in diversity and various origins, temperaments and religions are present. There are remnants of Spanish settlement in the northwestern peninsula, whereas Sultanates are found in the southwestern part, for instance.

While the Visayans ‘ Cebuano language is widely-spoken in Mindanao, there are also dialects spoken in other areas such as Chavacano, Hiligaynon, and Illonggo. There are also ethnic minority groups such as T’boli, Maranao, Bagobo, and Manobo living in the area.

Natural features and climate

Mainly characterized by narrow coastal plains, peninsulas, and faulted mountains, Mindanao has a range of tropical rainforests and great biodiversity. Some of the world’s largest pineapples, bananas, and pomelos are grown here. There are also abundant mineral resources and the area takes pride in its rich variety of fish, corals, and pearls, wherein the finest pearls are found in Sulu City in Mindanao.

places to visit in mindanao philippines

The best time to travel to Mindanao is during the months of March to May, where it’s generally summertime in the country.

Must-see destinations in Mindanao

Among the three main island groups of the Philippines , Mindanao seems to be the least visited despite its spectacular beaches and fine-looking tourist attractions. The tourism industry in Mindanao has been plagued by terrorism threats. However, there are notable areas which have won the hearts of adventure-seekers and travelers. These are:

places to visit in mindanao philippines

Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur

Enchanted River in Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur

Both the provinces of Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur have become part of the bucket list for most first-time travelers in Mindanao. The teardrop-shaped island of Siargao , popular to surfers, is found in Surigao del Norte whereas adventure-seekers are being drawn to the majestically blue river called Enchanted River in Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur. Get ready to immerse yourself in the wonders of nature and be rewarded with a relaxing atmosphere in these two destinations!

Davao Region

Samal Island in Davao

Davao Region has become famous for having one of the most highly-urbanized cities of the country, marvelous beach escapades, and being home to the endangered Philippine eagle species. Davao City is said to be among the safest cities in the world, being known to enforce strict laws to its citizens. Within the region, you can also visit Mindanao’s most sought-after beaches of Samal Island. The Philippine Eagle Center, the breeding facility of the critically-endangered species, is also found in the Davao Region.

Camiguin Island

Renowned for its long stretch of white sand and clear turquoise waters, it’s expected that the pear-shaped island of Camiguin will soon become an enormous tourist spot. That’s because it’s a natural paradise of unspoiled beaches, waterfalls, cold and hot springs, and historical treasures. Easily reached from neighboring island Cebu , this amazing island will surely satisfy the wanderlust!

Camiguin

For mountain climbers and nature lovers, you shouldn’t skip to visit the highest peak in the country, Mount Apo. Situated in between Davao Region and Cotabato province, the active stratovolcano is surrounded by rivers, boulders, and forests rich in flora and fauna, making the climbing and trek experience an extraordinary and challenging one.

Mount Apo

Cagayan de Oro

And, for anyone looking to have an ultimate adventure travel in the Philippines, it’s never complete without visiting the country’s white water rafting adventure capital, which is also in the island of Mindanao. The Cagayan River or Rio Grande de Cagayan has wild, unlimited rapids perfect for an adrenaline-filled experience. This fast-paced, extreme outdoor activity will surely test your nerves!

Cagayan de Oro River

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25 Best Tourist Spots in Mindanao That You’ll Love

  • December 21, 2022

the beautiful Mount Apo. One of the tourist spots in Mindanao

If you’re looking for an amazing and exotic travel destination , look no further than Mindanao. This beautiful island is home to some of the best tourist spots in the Philippines. From stunning beaches to lush rain forests, there’s something for everyone in Mindanao. In this blog post, we will highlight 25 of the best tourist spots on the island. 

ABOUT THE TOURIST SPOTS IN MINDANAO

Mindanao is an incredibly beautiful place, full of stunning scenery and interesting tourist spots. It is the second largest island in the Philippines and is home to a huge variety of different cultures and traditions.

There are many beautiful places to visit in Mindanao, such as the stunning beaches of Siargao, the enchanting waterfalls of Davao, and the majestic mountains of Bukidnon. Mindanao is also home to a number of important historical and cultural sites, such as the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Butuan City.

There are 25 different tourist spots in Mindanao that should be on your list if you’re planning on visiting the Philippines. From stunning beaches to magnificent waterfalls, there’s something for everyone in Mindanao.

Here are just a few amazing places you can visit in Mindanao:

1. Camiguin

Camiguin. ourist Spots in Mindanao

Image source: https://www.roughguides.com/articles/is-camiguin-the-most-beautiful-island-youve-never-heard-of/

Previously an extraordinary travel destination, Camiguin is now one of the best tourist spots in Mindanao. This island province of Camiguin has gained a lot of popularity due to its abundance of Instagram-worthy tourist attractions. Camiguin definitely makes up the ultimate feed goal that every Social media user strives for, with its beautiful beaches, breathtaking waterfalls, and gorgeous underwater environment. Camiguin is without a doubt one of the most popular places to visit in the Philippines.

Manila-Camiguin flights are not yet available. Camiguin begins in Cagayan de Oro so you have to book a Manila-CDO flight. CDO to Camiguin takes over two hours by land and sea.

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2. Hinatuan Enchanted River

Hinatuan Enchanted River. Tourist Spots in Mindanao

Image source: https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/hinatuan-enchanted-river

Hinatuan Enchanted River is a mystically clear, blue, salty river is hidden in the jungle that flawlessly flows into the Pacific Ocean. It is undoubtedly one of the best tourist spots in Mindanao and one of the most beautiful sites in the Philippines.

3. Daku Island

Daku Island. Tourist Spots in Mindanao

Daku Island is also one of the best tourist spots in Mindanao. Typically, it is where visitors have lunch when on the three-island hopping tour in Siargao. The finest seafood and cool buko (coconut) juice are available for you to partake in throughout a delicious food meal. You can find the island’s top chef with the help of your local Siargao guide. Fresh seafood cooked by locals can be enjoyed during a boodle fight! And unlike the other nearby beaches, Daku Island offers a lot more activities, such as fishing and kayaking.

4. Magpupungko Rock Pools

Magpupungko Rock Pools. Tourist Spots in Mindanao

Image source: https://www.jonnymelon.com/magpupungko-rock-pools/

An excellent place for swimming, exploration, and cliff jumping is Magpupungko Rock Pools, one of the best tourist spots in Mindanao. It just takes 45 minutes to go there on a motorbike from General Luna, which is where most of the tourist lodgings are. Although its structure is breathtakingly gorgeous, there is a catch. Check before you travel because there are some days when Magpupungko is off-limits to tourists. Additionally, consider your preferences before traveling there because the area offers distinctive experiences at both high and low tide.

5. Guyam Island

Guyam Island. Tourist Spots in Mindanao

Image source: https://www.zenrooms.com/blog/tourist-spots-in-mindanao/

Guyam Island, in comparison to Naked Island, has a lot of green plants for tourists to see. People who take care of the island are the only ones who live there. On one side, it has a sandy beach, and on the other, it has a rocky beach. This island is covered with palm trees and is small enough that you can walk around it in just a few minutes. On the beach, there aren’t many huts, so you can just chill out and enjoy your own company.

Cloud 9. Tourist Spots in Mindanao

Cloud 9 in Siargao is yet another one of the best tourist spots in Mindanao. The best Siargao waves can be found here in the ideal setting. If you don’t want to surf, you may simply watch professional surfers on the boardwalk. As you wait for the sun to set, you can choose the perfect spot on its three-story wooden pier to catch a glimpse of the massive waves and enjoy the cool wind. Additionally, this is among the best locations to view the breathtaking Siargao sunset. The beauty of Mindanao is like a sketch painted into it.

7. Island Garden City of Samal

Samal Island. Tourist Spots in Mindanao

If you’re looking for a place to relax and unwind, Samal Island is the perfect destination for you. This beautiful island is located near Davao City and it’s known for its stunning beaches.

The Island Garden City of Samal is number one on the list if you’re seeking some sun, sand, and water. Samal Island is one of the most beautiful sandy beaches which can be found in Davao. These locations will undoubtedly let you unwind while providing a wonderful ocean view. It’s one of the best tourist spots in Mindanao that you shouldn’t skip if you’re looking for a fantastic beach vacation.

Fly to Davao or Francisco Bangoy International Airport from Manila. You must take two jeepneys to reach Sasa Wharf or Santa Ana Wharf when you arrive and then take the Samal Island ferry from the port.

8. Naked Island

Aerial view of Naked Island. tourist Spots in Mindanao

You can go to Siargao if you want to see a naked beach. As its name suggests, Naked Island is empty. The only things around this tourist spots on the island of Mindanao are white sand and blue water. There are no other things that block the view of the island in every direction. It is a great place to visit in Mindanao.

You can get there by renting a boat from General Luna. It is usually part of the three-island tour in Siargao, where you visit Naked Island, Guyam Island, and Daku Island.

9. Tinago Falls

Tinago Falls. Tourist Spots in Mindanao

Image source: https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/tinago-falls

The biggest tourist draw of the province of Lanao del Norte is a magnificent waterfall that is tucked away in a ravine in Iligan City. It also provides water for nearby residents. Its name, Tinago Falls, is Tagalog for “hidden,” which appropriately describes where it is—down some 500 steps to get there.

The huge rock formations that surround this tourist destination in Mindanao, which is 240 feet high, are scattered with dense stands of trees and other forms of natural vegetation. Similar to Palawan’s jaw-dropping lagoons, it has a gorgeous blue-green pool of cool water that is ideal for swimming. The water comes from the manmade Lanao Lake’s outflow, which flows to the Agus River and splits into two channels before reaching Iligan Bay. One channel travels to Tinago, and the other, also in Iligan City, travel to the famous Maria Cristina Falls. Tinago Fall should therefore be added to your list of the best tourist spots in Mindanao.

10. Tinuy-an Falls

Tinuy-an Falls. Tourist Spots in Mindanao

Image source: Image source: https://www.zenrooms.com/blog/tourist-spots-in-mindanao/

Tinuy-Falls is known as the Crown Jewel of Surigao del Sur due to its stunning beauty. Unlike other waterfalls, Tinuy-an Falls offers swimming-friendly natural pools. The natural pool at the second waterfall is the biggest of the three. Bamboo rafts can be used to transport visitors closer to the falls where the waters drop since it is wide enough to do so. This is one of the best tourist spots in Mindanao and is frequently referred to as the “Little Niagara Falls of the Philippines” because of the water curtain that cascades over a four-tier drop. The waterfall is 180 feet tall and 95 meters broad.

11. Mt. Apo

Mount Apo. Tourist Spots in Mindanao

Image source: https://fstoppers.com/photo/567668

Mount Apo, which is 2,954 meters high, is the tallest mountain in the Philippines. The mountain is located in Davao City, on the island of Mindanao. Mount Apo is a popular destination for hikers and climbers and offers stunning views from the summit.

With a height of 10,311 feet, Mt. Apo, often known as the “King of Philippine Peaks,” is the highest mountain in the Philippines and among the highest in Southeast Asia. If you’re seeking a thrilling adventure, you should definitely visit this Davao City tourist attraction. You can choose from a different pathway, and there are seven distinct peaks at the summit where you can enjoy breathtaking views, including the magnificent sunrise and sunset as well as the unique experience of seeing the ground touch the sky. Moreover, it is one of the best tourist spots in Mindanao.

12. Sugba Lagoon

Sugba Lagoon. Tourist Spots in Mindanao

Image source: https://www.dreambigtravelfarblog.com/blog/sugba-lagoon-siargao

Another one of the best tourist spots in Mindanao is the Sugba Lagoon on the island of Siargao. It is a well-known place to dive because of the beautiful scenery and turquoise water. If you don’t like diving, you can also go snorkeling, paddle boarding, or just take pictures in the area. Any way you look at it, Sugba Lagoon is a great place to be.

From General Luna, it takes about an hour and a half by boat to get to Sugba Lagoon. From Del Carmen, it takes an hour.

13. Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary

Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary. Tourist Spots in Mindanao

The Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary is also one of the best tourist spots in Mindanao that will surprise you. It has a beautiful pygmy forest, which is one of only a few in the world. It also has a lot of plants and animals that are only found there, which is a rare example of ecological balance in this day and age.

To get there, take a bus to Tagum City and then a jeepney to Governor Generoso or Sigaboy from there. Tell the driver to drop you off at the corner where you can ride a habal-habal motorcycle to the museum.

14. Philippine Eagle Center

Philippine Eagle Center. Tourist Spots in Mindanao

Image source: https://www.tripsavvy.com/philippine-eagle-center-davao-city-1629744

The Philippine Eagle Center is one of the best tourist spots in Mindanao for animal lovers to visit in Davao City. It’s an 8.4-hectare area at the base of Mount Apo. The main responsibility of the Philippine Eagle Center is to protect the critically endangered Philippine Eagle and other birds of prey by breeding them.

You can take a van from the Bangkerohan terminal (shown on Google Maps) up to the town of Calinan, where you can switch to a tricycle that will take you to the “Water District.” From there, the Philippine Eagle Center is just a short walk away.

15. Aliwagwag Falls

Aliwagwag Falls. Tourist Spots in Mindanao

Image source:https://pin.it/2B4t4sK

Aliwagwag Falls is one of the best tourist spots in Mindanao that will blow your mind with its beauty. It is known for its boulders that look like stairs. This beautiful waterfall has 84 levels and more than 130 cascades. It is the highest waterfall in the Philippines, standing at 1,110 feet.

Aliwagwag is about seven (7) hours from Davao City. From Davao, ride a bus to Mati City. then ride in a van to Cateel’s actual town. Take a habal-habal from Cateel’s central business district to the highway, where Aliwagwag is located. It takes around thirty minutes.

16. Dahican Beach

Dahican Beach. Tourist Spots in Mindanao

Image source: https://pin.it/1K17NI3

Dahican Beach is one of the best tourist spots in Mindanao. It is a small, undeveloped piece of paradise with a beautiful crescent-shaped beach and exciting waves that give surfers, skimboarders, and beach bums an adrenaline rush. Mindanao looks like it came straight out of a travel book. If you want to sketch an image of the beauty of Mindanao, Dahican Beach is the place to go.

To get there, you can take the Bachelor Express bus from the Davao City airport or the Ecoland Transport Terminal to Mati. At Victoria Plaza or Gaisano Mall, van rides are also available. From the Mati City Bus Terminal, you can take a habal-habal or a tricycle to Dahican Beach.

17. Maasin River

Maasin River. Tourist Spots in Mindanao

Maasin River is known as one of the best tourist spots in Mindanao for its beautiful river, especially where a twisted coconut tree arches over the river and is often featured on Instagram photos. You can swing from a rope that is attached to the tree and then jump into the 6-foot-deep river. The Maasin River should not be missed if you want a trip to Mindanao. The best way to get there is to drive along the main road (Siargao Circumferential Road). There are no signs along the road that tell you where the Maasin River is. You’ll be about 25 minutes away from General Luna when you see a red bridge.

18. Lake Sebu

Lake Sebu. Tourist Spots in Mindanao

Image source: https://wayph.com/lake-sebu-south-cotabato-travel-guide/ .

Lake Sebu is a freshwater lake located in South Cotabato province, on the island of Mindanao. The lake is famous for its clear waters and beautiful scenery and is a popular spot for swimming, fishing, and boating.

It is easy to identify Lake Sebu from a photograph when it features a boat, a mountain in the background, and a lake with lotus flowers. This South Cotabato tourism destination stands out because you may engage with nature there peacefully without being bothered by anyone or anything. But because Lake Sebu is one of the most important watersheds in the Philippines and a major contributor of irrigation for the provinces of Sultan Kudarat and South Cotabato, it serves a larger function than simply being one of the best tourist spots in Mindanao.

19. Coconut Mountain View

Coconut Mountain View. Tourist Spots in Mindanao

Image source: https://www.nopostcode.com/coconut-road-siargao/

When there are tens of thousands of coconut palms in the backdrop of a picture and a traveler is sitting by the side of the road, you can know that the picture was taken on the island of Siargao. Do not skip the Coconut Mountain View if you want to take images that are suitable for Instagram. It is widely regarded as one of the best tourist spots in Mindanao.

20. Cape of San Agustin

Cape of San Agustin. Tourist Spots in Mindanao

Image source:https://pin.it/3RWGmfL

The Cape of San Agustin, which faces the big Celebes Sea, has both old Spanish buildings and beautiful beaches from the Philippines. It is one of the best tourist spots in Mindanao to see amazing sea creatures. Many divers go to this place because they had a good time at “the wall,” which is a famous dive site. The views from all three lighthouses on the Cape of San Agustin are just as beautiful. You can also go to a spectacular rock formation called “the altar.” From Davao City, you can rent a car to get to the Cape of San Agustin. The trip will take about 4–5 hours.

21. Dahilayan Adventure Park

Dahilayan Adventure Park. Tourist Spots in Mindanao

Image source:https://www.zenrooms.com/blog/dahilayan-adventure-park/

Dahilayan Adventure Park has been one of the most sought-after tourist spots in Mindanao. Located in the highlands of Del Monte, it is the best place to get your adrenaline pumping. Many unique attractions can match every kind of thrill-seeker’s fancy – from zip lining to rock climbing and to take a go at their gigantic 330-meter Dual-Racing Zipline! With all these exciting activities, Dahilayan promises a perfect day filled with many actions and unforgettable experiences that will make you return for more!

22. Malinawon Whitewater Rafting

For those who love adventure, Malinawon Whitewater Rafting is a must-do activity. Located in Davao City, this activity is perfect for those who want to get their heart pumping.  It is one of the best places for an adventure-filled time and a great way to explore Mindanao’s surrounding areas. Tourists can have fun on the two-kilometer stretch of rapids and white water currents ranging from class I to class IV, wherein rafts can traverse safely under the supervision of experienced river guides. From brave souls to newbies in whitewater rafting, Malinawon Whitewaters provide an unforgettable journey that everyone can enjoy!

23. Pulangi River

Pulangi River. Tourist Spots in Mindanao

Image source:https://www.facebook.com/phils.pride79?__tn__=-UC*F

For those who love nature, Pulangi River is a great place to explore. This river is located in Bukidnon, and it’s known for its clear waters and scenic views. You can go rafting or kayaking down the river or just enjoy the views from the banks. Tourists can enjoy activities like bird watching, experiencing nature trails, and boating in this fascinating river. The scenery is breathtaking, and the rich culture observed in the area will surely give tourists a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Tourists looking for something different and exciting should definitely choose to explore Mindanao’s wonderful tourist spots!

24. Eden Nature Park

Eden Nature Park. Tourist Spots in Mindanao

Image source:http://www.edennaturepark.com.ph/

Eden Nature Park and Resort, one of Mindanao’s top tourist spots, is the perfect destination for your next vacation. Located in Toril, Philippines, visitors come here to enjoy the fresh mountain air and picturesque sights. With a variety of recreational facilities available, like horseback riding, fishing trips, tree houses, and zoo-themed activities, there’s something for everyone to enjoy! Not only that, but this park has an exquisite dining experience as well, with world-class cuisines from all around the globe. Get ready for an unforgettable nature retreat at Eden Nature Park and Resort – it’s definitely the best place for travelers looking for an engaging adventure in Mindanao.

25. Asik-Asik Falls Trail

Asik-Asik Falls Trail. Tourist Spots in Mindanao

Asik-Asik Falls, which the locals call Dulao Falls, is in Sitio Dulao of Barangay Upper Dado in the town of Alamada, North Cotabato. It lives on the lower slope of Mount Ragang, which is also called Mount Piapayungan or Blue Mountain. Mount Ragang is an active stratovolcano on the border between Lanao del Sur and North Cotabato.

THESE ARE THE LIST OF THE BEST TOURIST SPOTS IN MINDANAO

There are many tourist spots in Mindanao that are definitely worth visiting. From the stunning beaches to the majestic mountains, there is something for everyone in this beautiful region of the Philippines.

Whether you are looking for a place to relax and unwind, or you want to explore and experience something new, Mindanao has it all. So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip to Mindanao today!

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Mindanao, the massive island at the foot of the Philippine archipelago, is in many ways the cultural heart of the country, a place where Indigenous people still farm their ancient homelands and Christians live alongside Muslims who first settled here in the fourteenth century. Due to anti-government insurgencies, terrorist attacks and tourist kidnappings, caution is advised against travel anywhere on the island with the exception of the islands of Siargao and Camiguin, one of the country’s most appealing tourist spots and an island with more volcanoes per square mile than anywhere else in the world.

The best travel tips for visiting Mindanao

Best things to do in mindanao, where to stay in mindanao, best restaurants and bars in mindanao, how to get to mindanao, how many days do you need in mindanao, tips for getting around mindanao, best time to visit mindanao, tailor-made travel itineraries for philippines, created by local experts.

Tropical Escape to Palawan

4 days  / from 1250 USD

Tropical Escape to Palawan

Only have a few days to discover the island paradise of El Nido? Fly into Manila and take a domestic flight the next day to enjoy the white sandy beaches. Take a full day boat tour to discover the Bacuit Bay before enjoying a last dinner on the island and heading out to Manila on Day 4.

Island Paradise Palawan

13 days  / from 2453 USD

Island Paradise Palawan

Explore the island paradise of Palawan: From the Underground River in Sabang to feeling like Robinson Crusoe on Flower Island to the popular dive and beach hang-out El Nido, this itinerary shows you the variety Palawan has to offer.

Paradise Islands: Boracay & Palawan

9 days  / from 2750 USD

Paradise Islands: Boracay & Palawan

Discover two paradise islands in the Philippines: world-famous Boracay and El Nido on Palawan. Enjoy luxurious hotels, white sandy beaches, a fascinating underwater world and the hospitality of the local population.

A Palawan Beach Dream

15 days  / from 2450 USD

A Palawan Beach Dream

Endless white beaches, a fascinating underwater world, snorkeling, kayaking, diving - this itinerary is a dream for all the beach bums out there. Discovering Modessa Island, El Nido and Coron, you will see highlights of Palawan with plenty of time to relax and sip coconuts on the beach.

Total immersion - Visayas

16 days  / from 2878 USD

Total immersion - Visayas

Explore the fascinating Visayas: First you will get to know Cebu with its waterfalls and islands before heading to Dumaguete to swim with turtles and over to Bohol: known for its chocolate hills and tarsiers, this island never ceases to amaze. A few more beach days in Siquijor conclude this trip.

A diving adventure in Palawan

10 days  / from 1950 USD

A diving adventure in Palawan

A fascinating underwater world is ready to be explored. Coron is known for its wreck diving while El Nido has beautiful islands, hidden lagoons, and hundreds of species of coral and marine life. This itinerary allows you to discover both places, above and below the water.

Island Duet - Boracay & El Nido

7 days  / from 1430 USD

Island Duet - Boracay & El Nido

Spend a delightful week in the Philippines, exploring the paradisiacal islands of Boracay and El Nido. Enjoy ample leisure time lounging on pristine beaches and staying in beautiful hotels. Immerse in the serene beauty of these destinations, promising a perfect blend of relaxation and comfort.

Beach Hopper Philippines

8 days  / from 782 USD

Beach Hopper Philippines

From Siquijor's mystical charm to Bohol's Chocolate Hills, historical Cebu, and the tropical paradise of Boracay, you'll encounter a diverse tapestry of experiences. Immerse in pristine beaches, rich heritage, and unforgettable memories on this captivating journey through these stunning islands.

Three Islands Escape

10 days  / from 2365 USD

Three Islands Escape

From Bohol's natural wonders, such as the Chocolate Hills and tarsiers, to the idyllic beaches of El Nido, and finally, the vibrant shores of Boracay. Savor ample leisure time on these pristine beaches, while also embarking on adventures to explore nature's marvels.

Gorgeous Philippines

14 days  / from 2905 USD

Gorgeous Philippines

From the awe-inspiring mountain regions of Banaue and Sagada to the pristine islands of Bohol, Cebu, El Nido, and Boracay. Explore natural wonders, diverse cultures, and idyllic beaches on this enriching and diverse adventure.

North Mindanao, which sees the most tourist activity, is comparatively safe and accessible, most visitors make a beeline for the pint-sized island of Camiguin.

Elsewhere, northeast Mindanao is rich in ecotourism potential and offshore islands. Highlights include the ancient wooden boat discovered at Butuan, the spellbinding Enchanted River and the surfing and backpacker hotspot of Siargao.

The southeast is home to Mindanao’s largest city, Davao, a diverse and friendly place best known for its fresh fruit. Davao is also the gateway to Mount Apo, the nation’s highest peak and a magnet for trekkers and climbers.

The countryside nearby Davao and coast offer plenty of attractions, from Samal Island to the Philippine Eagle Center.

Much of western Mindanao is part of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), an area of huge tourism potential, but where the security situation is in a state of flux. Check the current security situation before considering a visit.

Lanzones festival, the Philippines

© Shutterstock

Whether you want to sunbathe and surf or experience something more adventurous, there are plenty of things to do in Mindanao. These are the best:

#1 Go whitewater rafting on the Cagayan de Oro River

Whitewater rafting along the fourteen major rapids of the Cagayan de Oro River gained popularity after former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo took a ride here in 2002.

The jumping-off point is at the barangay of Mambuaya, a thirty- to forty-minute ride from the city proper. The wet months (Sept and Oct) are best for intermediate and professional levels (when the rapids range from class 3 to 4), while the rest of the year is more suitable for beginners.

Cagayan de Oro river rafting, Philippines © Shutterstock

Cagayan de Oro river rafting, Philippines © Shutterstock

#2 Get a taste of lanzones in Camiguin

Visit this dazzling little island in October, when the colourful four-day Lanzones festival is held. Held in the fourth week of October, revellers dressed only in lanzones leaves (a tropical fruit) stomp and dance in the streets as a tribute to the humble fruit, one of the island’s major sources of income. It's a vibrant and good-natured outdoor party.

Find oud more about Camiguin

enchanted-river-hinatuan-village-surigao-del-sur-mindanao-island-philippines-shutterstock_772861219

#3 Be wowed by the Enchanted River

This magical, remote lagoon is a deep cove of crystalline water crammed with colourful tropical fish – a visual delight. Swimming in the Enchanted River is one of the highlights of a trip to Mindanao.

The accessible part of the river is more like a narrow saltwater lagoon that ends at an underwater cave and ravine crammed with all sorts of tropical fish that get fed every day at noon.

The colours are mesmerizing; the water glows like liquid sapphire, surrounded by dense jungle and karst outcrops. The site is managed as a small park, but it’s well off the beaten path, and few foreign tourists make it this far.

#4 Check out the backpacking scene on Siargao Island

Off the northeastern tip of Mindanao lies the teardrop-shaped island of Siargao, on of the most beautiful islands in the Philippines . It's a largely undeveloped backwater with languid beaches, dramatic coves and lagoons battered by the Pacific Ocean.

Some of the first tourists here were surfers, who discovered a Pacific reef break at Tuason Point – so good, they called it Cloud 9. Though old-timers now dub it “Crowd 9” because of its popularity, there is a friendly, welcoming surfing scene here.

Siargao gives Malapascua and Panglao a run for their money as the backpacker capital of the southern Philippines .

The annual Surfing Cup, usually held in late September or early October, attracts international competitors from Australia, the US and Europe, as well as from around the Philippines

Socorro Philippines, Sohoton Cove in Bucas Grande, Siargao © Shutterstock

Socorro Philippines, Sohoton Cove in Bucas Grande, Siargao © Shutterstock

#5 Get clued up at the Museum of Three Cultures

The Museum of Three Cultures is devoted to the Christians, Muslims and seven Indigenous traditions (or “Lumad”) of northern Mindanao.

The first gallery is dedicated to this history, with exhibits on the Huluga Caves, early trade with China and the Butuan boats.

The most interesting section is dedicated to the M’ranao 9 of Marawi, an area at the heart of the Moro dispute. Exhibits cover Islamic brass work, giant ceremonial swords and traditional torogan-style houses.

#6 Get your thrills at Dahilayan Adventure Park

Billed as Mindanao’s most extreme playground, the Dahilayan Adventure Park makes for an entertaining day out, primarily for its long zipline and refreshingly cool alpine location, in the hills some 1370m above sea level.

The Dahilayan Zip Zone comprises three ziplines: an exhilarating 320m section, a tamer 150m segment, and the 840m finale, where you are chained into a full-body harness before hurtling down the mountain at 90km/hour. There’s also whitewater rafting – either come with a group or call in advance and they should be able to place you in a boat (minimum six).

Dahilayan Forest Park Manolo Fortich, Philippines © Shutterstock

Dahilayan Forest Park, Philippines © Shutterstock

#7 Gawp at Maria Cristina Falls

The most impressive cascade in the region, and located within the NPC Nature Park, the Maria Cristina Falls serves as the main source of power for much of Mindanao.

The twin falls (named after two heartbroken girls who are supposed to have jumped from the top), plunge 100m into the torrential Agus River, and are at their best on Saturday and Sunday at 11am, when the Agus VI Hydroelectric Plant upstream releases the most water. There is a zipline here, too.

#8 Sunbathe on White Island

About halfway between Mambajao and Bonbon, off the island’s northwest coast, lies one of Camiguin’s most popular attractions, White Island, a dazzling serpentine ribbon of sand only visible at low tide and easily reached by bangka from Yumbing.

The views and the water are gorgeous, but there’s no shade, so make sure that you take lots of sunblock.

Aerial drone view of a beautiful white sandbar surrounded by coral reef near a tropical island (White Island, Camiguin) © Shutterstock

Aerial drone view of a beautiful white sandbar surrounded by coral reef near a tropical island (White Island, Camiguin) © Shutterstock

#9 Surf Cloud 9 (Tuason Point)

Sleep, eat, surf: that’s the mantra 2km further north from GL at Cloud 9, the world-renowned break at Tuason Point. On most days, from sunrise to sundown, you’ll find surfers in action: beach bums previously watched from the multi-storey wooden viewing pavilion in front of the break, and will no doubt do so again once it is rebuilt following its destruction in Typhoon Odette.

The peak surf season is September and October before things slow down at the end of the year; beginners will find the weaker surf in June and July more manageable.

Both Camiguin and Siargao have an array of different options, from quality hostels and identikit business hotels to luxurious beachside resorts. For an authentic night's kip, book a rural homestay. There are the best places to stay in Mindanao.

Cagayan de Oro and around

Full of identikit downtown hotels, cheapie business stays and some half-decent midrange options . The high-end hotels tend to be newer here.

Iligan and around

Kitschy complexes with pools and reliable national chains. There are decently priced, if unimaginative, hotels in and around Iligan. It’s unlikely to be the standout accommodation of your trip.

Camiguin Island

Most of the seaside accommodation in Camiguin is west of Mambajao on the beaches between the small towns of Bug-ong and Naasag. Resorts near the town of Agoho, a little west of Bug-ong, remain popular due to their easy access to White Island. East of Mambajao, around the village of Balgabon, you’ll find more resorts, although the beach here isn’t as good as at Agoho, Yumbing or Naasag.

Surigao City

There's a bit of luxury here with the Almont which offers good rooms with sensational views of the bay. Else it's smart modern business hotels, a couple of boutique options, and some okay B&Bs.

Siargao Island

Siargao accommodation ranges from low-budget surf lodges to upmarket tropical resorts. Most places are a short distance from GL or Cloud 9, and the best can help arrange motorbike rentals, bangka trips and all kinds of tours.

From the gleaming, multi-storey hotels to 1950s-era heritage houses, Davao has the lot. There are some great upmarket hotels here as well as value-for-money a/c backpacker dorms in hostels.

Browse the best hotels in Mindanao .

Maria Cristina Falls, Iligan, Mindanao, Philippines © Shutterstock

Maria Cristina Falls, Iligan, Mindanao, Philippines © Shutterstock

Away from the cities, expect to have decent pizzas, curries, burgers and the like served at your resort. In Davao and Cagayan de Oro, though, there are endless opportunities to eat out.

Cagayan de Oro

Head to the Rosario Arcade or the Ayala Centrio Mall for a vast selection of restaurants and takeaway food. As well as Filipino classics, there are numerous Western outlets in the city too.

Eating on Camiguin is mostly limited to the resorts, but a few new standout restaurants have opened in recent years. Like everywhere else in the Philippines, there’s an inexplicable number of Italian pizzerias and restaurants, while in Mambajao, there’s a cluster of cheap places to eat around the market area.

Burgers, pizzas, curries and seafood are all available throughout this busy city with the best food generally serve on the seafront. There are some great places to try Filipino food too.

Most of the best places to eat and drink are in the resorts, but a number of independent places have opened over the past few years. Everywhere is lively during peak season, particularly during the Surfing Cup, when various places on Cloud 9 put on live music.

Davao’s best restaurants are scattered all over the city, but the safest bet for a cheap meal are the food courts located in or around the shopping malls. Durian fruit is a big deal in Davao, and is available in every form, from durian ice cream to durian-flavoured cappuccino. The best season for the fruit is Sept–Dec.

Guerrera, Camiguin The street-food craze has reached Camiguin, and the location of this first-rate restaurant, set beside a beautiful rice paddy and organic garden, instantly transports you to rural Vietnam or Laos. Dishes such as pad thai, Vietnamese noodle salads and bánh xèo (savoury crispy pancakes) are all knockouts.

Sunset behind a large cross marking an old, sunken cemetery under the tropical ocean (Camiguin, Philippines) © Shutterstock

Sunset behind a large cross marking an old, sunken cemetery under the tropical ocean (Camiguin, Philippines) © Shutterstock

The best way to get to Mindanao is by flying into Cagayan de Oro, which has domestic and international flights.

Laguindingan International Airport is 33km northwest of Cagayan de Oro – about an hour’s drive. The airport is accessible by jeepney (first to the Laguindingan turnoff, then take the shuttle to the airport), but the most convenient transfers are with LAX Shuttle, which picks up at the Centrio Ayala Mall, or with Magnum Express, which leaves from Magnum Radio in CM Recto.

The Eastbound bus terminal is near the Limketkai Center, 3km east of the centre (off Recto Ave), while the Westbound Bus and Jeepney Station lie 6km west of the centre on the Iligan road.

Find out the best way to get to the Philippines .

If you want to explore the entire island, you may need several weeks in Mindanao, or even a month. However, if you have limited time, it's possible to experience some of the highlights in around two weeks.

This would include Davao, tackling Mount Apo, the highest peak in the Philippines, and stopping in at the Philippine Eagle Center. It would also mean surfing and sunbathing in Siargao Island, seeing the waterfalls, hot springs, and historical landmarks of Camiguin and going white-water rafting in Bukidnon.

Looking for inspiration for your trip? Talk to our Philippines travel experts .

Siargao Island, Philippines © Adel Newman/Shutterstock

Siargao Island, Philippines © Adel Newman/Shutterstock

Most locals use tricycles in the larger cities, but there are a number of ways to get around Mindanao, which are affordable and easy. Note that choices for getting around Siargao are fairly limited.

By tricycle

Most locals use tricycles to get around the cities like C AND D (6am–10pm). Tricycles will often quote high charges to tourists.

Jeepneys are easy to pick up and typically run back and forth along all major thoroughfares in cities with their destinations pasted on the side – it’s just a question of flagging one down and hopping on.

A/C taxis can take you around town or on tours to most local sights. There are also non-a/c “PU” taxis which run fixed routes for a set rate. They are both cheap and easy to use. Hail them in the street and check the meter is turned on.

By habal-habal

Most locals use the habal-habals, good for up to two people and light luggage; the vehicles are customized with retro-fitted carry racks for long- and shortboards. Rates are fixed, so you shouldn’t need to negotiate.

By motorbike rental

If you intend to do a lot of roaming around, having your own wheels is definitely recommended. Ask your accommodation about renting a motorcycle.

The best time to visit Mindanao is during the dry season, which runs from December to April. During these months, the weather is generally warm and sunny, making it an ideal time for beach activities, hiking, and other outdoor adventures. However, it's worth noting that this is also the peak tourist season, so expect higher prices and larger crowds.

The months of May to November mark the rainy season in Mindanao, and while the rainfall may not be constant throughout these months, it's best to avoid visiting during this time. The wet season can lead to landslides and flooding, making it difficult to travel around and enjoy the island's attractions fully.

Overall, the best time to visit Mindanao is during the dry season from December to April. However, if you're looking for a more budget-friendly trip with fewer crowds, visiting during the shoulder season months of May and November can still offer a great experience with the added bonus of lush, green landscapes.

Find out more about the best time to visit Philippines .

Plan your trip to Mindanao with our guide to The Philippines .

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Top Things to Do in Mindanao

Things to do in mindanao.

  • Budget-friendly
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  • Good for Kids
  • Good for Couples
  • Good for a Rainy Day
  • Good for Adrenaline Seekers
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  • Things to do ranked using Tripadvisor data including reviews, ratings, photos, and popularity.

places to visit in mindanao philippines

31. Dahilayan Forest Park Resort

JudilynnSolidum

32. Canibad Beach

jeniec2022

33. Cloud 9 Surfing Tower

184knutr

34. Monastery of the Transfiguration

164jenm

35. Maria Cristina Falls

122wolfgangb

36. Japanese Tunnel

Adventure62443737600

37. Sunken Cemetery

122gamaliel

38. Monfort Bat Sanctuary

oldgit68

39. Sto. Nino Cold Spring

779tinec

40. General Santos City Fish Port Complex

809test

41. Dipolog Sunset Boulevard

viajerolokal1925

42. Gloria's Fantasyland

keiksmom

43. Giant Clam Sanctuary

graceababan

44. Sugba Lagoon

Ketan3195

45. Zamboanga City Hall

ybo7000

46. The Rizal Shrine

code357

47. Matina Town Square

drialexie

48. Magpaponko Swimming Hole

lorenzoarceo

49. Giant Clam Sanctuary

KristinaSunshine

50. Paseo del Mar

kimitakas

51. Aldevinco Shopping Center

sabi0james

52. Roxas Avenue Night Market

V9519JTchrish

53. Aliwagwag Falls

ernsfacs

54. Holy Infant Jesus of Prague Shrine

JoyfulEm

55. Davao Museum of History and Ethnography

DonDan16

56. Mt Hibok-Hibok

6laxar

57. Lake Holon

lolcats28

58. Maxima Aquafun

EmppuL

59. Timoga Cold Springs

helentejeroimcc

60. Tuasan Falls

124vincem

What travelers are saying

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9 Beautiful Tourist Spots in Mindanao You Have to Visit

Mindanao is the second-largest island in the Philippines and it’s still commonly known as the Southern Philippines. There are many beautiful tourist spots in Mindanao which will surely amaze every traveler who loves to explore and have fun.

Exploring Mindanao can be very exciting especially if you’re the adventurous type of person. There are many fun things to do – you can visit various waterfalls, climb mountains , and taste different local dishes .

Let’s have a look at the most beautiful tourist spots in Mindanao.

Featured photo by I Travel Philippines (© Flickr ).

Obsah / Table of Contents

1) Enchanted River

Enchanted River

Enchanted river or also known as Hinatuan river is located in Surigao del Sur. This magnificent river can be found on the island of Mindanao and is famous for its emerald-colored water . The enchanted river is being visited by all sorts of tourists because of the soothing and calming vibe it has.

If you’re a big fan of diving , then this is the perfect place for you. The enchanted river is deep within the forest and is also along mountainsides which is why it’s the perfect place to take a dip and relax at the same time. If you’re planning on exploring Mindanao, make sure to visit this place.

Best accommodation near Enchanted River:

You can sleep conveniently in nearby Enchanted River Rock Island Resort or choose a cheaper but further option in Lopez Residences Inn with outstanding reviews.

2) Camiguin Island

Camiguin Island - one of the best tourist spots in Mindanao

Camiguin island is the best destination for people who love to go to the beach. This island is famous for its fine white sand and beautiful view which will surely be enjoyed by every traveler who wants to feel the salty air in their skin. You can also visit the different diving sites in the area and check the giant clams that leave underneath this astonishing island.

Other than sunbathing and swimming, you can also visit the sunken cemetery which is located in Camiguin. You will need to ride a boat for you to get there. Once you get there, you will see a giant cross that was built to commemorate the tragedy that happened in this place years ago. This place is visited by different visitors from all over the world.

Best accommodation on Camiguin Island:

We recommend either cheap Anito Mambajao Homestay or more luxurious Mountain View Cottages .

3) Lake Sebu, South Cotabato

Lake Sebu - Best Tourist Spots in Mindanao

This place is often called the Summer Capital of Southern Philippines because of the cool climate. I highly recommend bringing a jacket if you are planning on visiting this place because the temperature at night gets cooler. Lake Sebu is surrounded by stunning views which is why it’s the perfect spot for photography lovers.

This is majestic place has been home to local tribes such as Ubo and T’boli . You can experience the culture and way of living they have by exploring this wonderful place. There are a lot of things you can do while you’re in Lake Sebu. You can ride a zipline, do some trekking, sightseeing or taste various local dishes. If you are looking for real adrenaline, try paragliding above Lake Sebu .

Best accommodation near Lake Sebu:

You can choose nearby Sunrise Garden Lake Resort or cheaper and slightly further MD Square Pension House .

4) The Grand Mosque of Cotabato

9 Beautiful Tourist Spots in Mindanao You Have to Visit 1

The Grand Mosque of Cotabato is located in the city of Cotabato. This sacred place is visited by different travelers because of its outstanding structure . This beautiful place is personally funded by a Brunei sultan named Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Masjid. Both Muslim and non-muslim travelers visit this place to admire its beauty.

If you’re a religious traveler, then you should consider visiting this place. You can get here by riding a taxi from Cotabato city or you can also rent a car so that you’ll be able to roam around the city of Cotabato before going to this place. You will need to wear proper attire when visiting this mosque because they are strict with the dress code.

Best accommodation in Cotabato:

We recommend spending night in Jeamco Royal Hotel , which is right in the city center.

5) Siargao Island

9 Beautiful Tourist Spots in Mindanao You Have to Visit 2

Siargao island is known to be the best place in the Philippines to do some surfing . It’s one of the most popular tourist spots in Mindanao and the whole country. I myself can’t get over to the beauty of this island. There are a lot of fun things you can do when you’re in this place. This is one of the places in the Mindanao that every traveler should visit.

You can rent a motorcycle for a very reasonable price and roam around the island of Siargao. You will surely enjoy your stay here because the island is not crowded compared to other islands in the Philippines. You can try different types of local dishes and shop for souvenirs at the same time.

This is my favorite place in Mindanao because you will be able to feel the island life here. You can also visit the wonderful Sugba lagoon, Sohoton cave, and Bucas Grande.

You need to take ferry from Eva Macapagal Passenger Terminal in San Juan.

If you don’t want to make everything easier, you can take Siargao Island Hopping Tour .

Best Accommodation on Siargao Island:

You can either choose White Coco Hut Villa , which is close to the ferry pier or Buko White House in the city center.

6) Mount Apo

Mount Apo - one of the best tourist spots in Mindanao

Mount Apo is the place for people who love to go on adventurous trips. You should be in perfect shape if you’re planning on climbing this mountain. This dormant volcano is known to be the tallest peak in the Philippines . This is the perfect destination for nature lovers and for people who love hiking.

You will also see different species of plants and animals living on this mountain. The journey to the peak might be tiring and stressing but once you reach the top, all your sacrifices will surely pay off because of the beautiful views you’ll see from the top. You will see different cities from above such as the city of Kidapawan, Digos, and Davao.

You need a permit for climbing Mount Apo. Read more information about the trek and permits here .

Best Accommodation near Mount Apo:

The nearest accommodation is in Davao City. We recommend affordable Mikos Residences Bonifacio or a more luxurious Marco Polo .

7) Tinago Falls

Tinago Falls - Best Tourist Spots in Mindanao (5)

Tinago Falls is located in the city of Iligan. This city is called the City of Majestic Waterfalls because of its 24 waterfalls. If you’re a big fan of waterfalls, then this is the perfect place for you. You will need to do a lot of walking if you’re planning on visiting the different falls in the city of Iligan that’s why it’s advisable to take a long rest before embarking on this kind of trip.

If you’re not ready to take on this kind of adventure, you can try visiting other waterfalls such as Maria Christina Falls which is also located in Iligan city. This place is safe for tourists who traveled with their families and friends. You will not have a problem going to this place because it is very accessible.

You will never regret spending money if you’re in this place because of the breathtaking views . You should never forget to visit this place if you’re going to explore different places in Mindanao.

Best Accommodation near Tinago Falls:

We recommend Go Hotels Iligan with good reviews or cheaper Maria Christina Hotel .

8) Zamboanga City

Zamboanga City

Zamboanga city is popular because of its Spanish themed buildings . Spaniards are known to have resided in this city years ago that’s why Zamboanga City is called the Latin city of Asia . This city has a rich culture which is why tourists from around the world visit this place all the time.

If you want to taste the local delicacies in Zamboanga City, you can visit restaurants such as Alavar Seafood Restaurant, Greenfields Mano-Mano Resto, La Vista del Mar, Don Vicente Restaurante Latino, and many more. If you have a strong stomach, you can also try the street food around the city.

You can also visit the island of Sta Cruz and enjoy the wonderful scenery. Most people who love photography often visit this place because of the pink sand. You can also do fun activities while you’re in here such as scuba diving and boat riding. Don’t forget to put this on your bucket list if you’re planning on touring Mindanao.

Best Accommodation near Zamboanga City:

You can choose between Hotel Primera with good reviews or choose a more budget-friendly option in Jardin de la Vina Hotel .

9) Dahilayan Forest Park

Dahilayan Forest Park

Dahilayan Forest and Adventure Park, located in Bukidnon province, is one of the most popular tourist spots in Mindanao. It’s known for various activities for tourists of all age groups and families.

Dual Zipline is one of the longest ziplines in Asia . There are also many natural scenic views you shouldn’t miss while exploring this park.

Best Accommodation near Dahilayan Forest Park:

We recommend Your home in Manolo Fortich , which is one of the closest accommodations you can find.

Map of Best Tourist Spots in Mindanao

We have prepared for you a detailed map  of all the best tourist spots in Mindanao.

You can  export  the map and  upload  it to  Maps.me  or  Locus  mobile apps.

  • Check here all of our travel maps .

Best Tourist Spots in Mindanao Map

Best Tourist Spots in Mindanao Takeaway

Traveling around Mindanao is a fun thing to do. You will learn about different cultures while embarking on this kind of adventure. There are certain places in Mindanao that still need improvement but are still worth seeing.

Watch also this beautiful video about the Philippines:

YouTube video

More Philippines inspiration:

Are you planning a trip around other islands in the Philippines? These articles might come handy:

  • 15 Beautiful Tourist Spots in Cebu
  • 17 Amazing Tourist Spots in Luzon
  • 5 Best Tourist Spots in Sagada

Author’s Bio – Joshua

This Guest Post was written by Joshua, who is a writer and a blogger from Tourist Secrets . He loves to travel all over Asia because of the variety of cultures and a wide choice of attractions fascinate him. Whenever he can, he goes to the basketball gym with his friends to break some sweat.

More tips for your travels:

We have prepared for you this comprehensive list of links, discounts, and resources for travel planning in one place. Bookmark this page and whenever you plan a vacation in the future, just open it and save yourself a lot of time.

1) Where to book accommodation?

  • We prefer to find an accommodation using Booking.com .
  • It's also worth it to compare with AirBnb .
  • Read also our guide - How to search for the best accommodation .

2) How to find cheap flights?

  • We recommend searching for flights on Skyscanner .
  • Read also our complete guide - How to find cheap flights .

3) How to rent a car?

  • We recommend a comparison portal RentalCars.com to compare the best offers of all available rental companies.

Pin this for later or for your friends:

9 Beautiful Tourist Spots in Mindanao

Tourist spots in Mindanao FAQ:

Is there a downloadable map of the best tourist spots in mindanao.

Yes, here you can find a  detailed map  with all the most beautiful tourist spots in Mindanao. You can download this map to your mobile phone.

Where to find cheap accommodation in the Philippines?

The best search engines for searching for cheap accommodation around Asia are  Agoda  and  Booking .

Where to find cheap flights to the Philippines?

The best search engine for searching for cheap flights around Asia is  Momondo . You can also try  Skyscanner .

What are the most beautiful places to visit in Mindanao?

The most beautiful places to visit in Mindanao are Enchanted River, Camiguin Island, Lake Sebu, South Cotabato, The Grand Mosque of Cotabato, Siargao Island, Mount Apo, Tinago Falls, Zamboanga City, Dahilayan Forest Park.

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Top 10 Must-See Places to Visit in Mindanao

Karen Ranara

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top 10 must see places to visit in mindanao

Mindanao, the second-largest island in the Philippines, is home to thirteen Muslim tribes, Christians, indigenous peoples, and a diverse range of flora and fauna. Known as the breadbasket of the Philippines, its rich blend of cultures, languages, and traditions makes it a captivating destination for travelers in search of authentic cultural experiences. Despite its image being tainted by media coverage, Mindanao is well worth a visit due hidden gems that may be unknown to many. In this article. we’ll provide you with a list of top places to visit in Mindanao.

Explore the lively culture and stunning scenery of the island, from the majestic heights of Mount Apo to the colorful t’nalak of the Lang Dulay Weaving Center. Soak up the Mindanaoan history and culture at the Aga Khan Museum, marvel at the beautiful landscape at the Strawberry Guyabano Farm, and encounter the majestic Philippine Eagle at its dedicated center.

  • Camiguin Island 

Top 1 place to visit in Mindanao - Camiguin Island

Described as the Island Born of Fire by Love the Philippines, Camiguin Island is a land blessed with natural wonders. Last April 2013, Yahoo! Philippines recognized the White Island Bar of Mambajao in Camiguin as the Number 1 beach spot tourist destination in the Philippines. My trip to Camiguin Island was unforgettable. It’s possible to explore the entire island in just one day!

  • Aga Khan Museum and Natural Science Museum (Marawi City) 

Top 2 place to visit in Mindanao - Aga Khan Museum and Natural Science Museum (Marawi City)

The Aga Khan Museum and Natural Science Museum is located in the Islamic City of Marawi, within the Mindanao State University Main Campus. The Aga Khan Museum preserves and promotes the folk art and artifacts of the Maranao people and other groups, while the Natural Science Museum emphasizes the conservation of the Philippines’ flora and fauna, particularly in the MINSUPALA Region.

In 2018, I took a field trip to the museum. We studied various artifacts, paintings, clothing, and musical instruments. We also examined preserved specimens of marine life. This visit deepened our understanding of the Maranao people’s culture and history, as well as our appreciation for Mindanao’s cultural and biological diversity.

  • Strawberry Guyabano Farm (Tupi, South Cotabato) 

Top 3 place to visit in Mindanao - Strawberry Guyabano Farm (Tupi, South Cotabato)

The Strawberry Guyabano Farm, as the name suggests, boasts vibrant and colorful landscapes ideal for horticulturists and agritourism enthusiasts.

The farm utilizes hydroponics, a technique that replaces soil with a water-based nutrient solution for growing plants. Additionally, visitors can relax with family and friends in the cafe and mini bars, pick strawberries, and participate in fun activities like camping. It’s a perfect destination for people who like to chill in a sustainable farm filled with fresh air and a serene atmosphere, while also learning about modern farming techniques and enjoying fresh, organic produce.

  • Philippine Eagle Center (Davao City) 

Top 4 place to visit in Mindanao - Philippine Eagle Center (Davao City)

The Philippine Eagle Center is home to 36 Philippine Eagles and houses 10 other bird species, 4 mammal species, and 2 reptile species. The center also provides insight into the country’s forest ecosystem. If you’re curious about the eagle on the 1000 peso bill, this is the place to visit.

  • Sheik Karimul Makhdum Mosque (Tawi-Tawi)

Top 5 place to visit in Mindanao - Sheik Karimul Makhdum Mosque (Tawi-Tawi)

According to local folklore, the Sheikh Karimul Makhdum Mosque was built by an Arab trader in 1380. The oldest known mosque in the Philippines, the establishment of the mosque introduced the beginning of Islamization in the Philippines. 

The mosque links the Philippines to the global Muslim community and stands as a proud symbol of Islam’s deep roots in the Tawi-Tawi province and the southern region, making it a crucial visit for those exploring the history of Islam in the area. 

  • Masjid Al-Islamia (Zamboanga City) 

Top 6 place to visit in Mindanao - Masjid Al-Islamia (Zamboanga City) 

Also known as the Rainbow Mosque, its colorful exterior symbolizes peace. The mosque, originally painted in white and green, was repainted after the Marawi Siege in 2017 as a tribute to the fallen heroes and a call for peace and unity in the city. The mosque’s vibrant facade attracts visitors from all walks of faith.

  • Kiokong White Rock Wall (Bukidnon) 

Top 7 place to visit in Mindanao - Kiokong White Rock Wall (Bukidnon)

If you’re looking for an adrenaline-fueled activity that combines rock climbing, rappelling, swimming, and camping, Kiokong White Rock Wall is the perfect destination. The “vertical bivouac” attraction, widely known for its extreme adventure appeal, draws various types of tourists. Here, you can sleep on a two-meter-wide cliff ledge, 400 ft above the ground! 

  • Lang Dulay Weaving Center (Lake Sebu, South Cotabato) 

Lang Dulay Weaving Center (Lake Sebu, South Cotabato) 

The Lang Dulay Weaving Center was established to preserve the T’nalak weaving tradition. It’s home to Lang Dulay and the women who craft the vibrant T’nalaks. 

Lang Dulay is renowned for her fifty unique T’nalak patterns, dreamt up and materialized on her loom by the younger generation. They are dedicated to preserving this distinct art form. The center stands as Lang Dulay’s legacy to her family and the Tboli community.

  • Mount Apo (Davao City) 

Mount Apo (Davao City) 

Known as the Philippines’ highest peak, Mount Apo is ideal for experienced trekkers and hikers. Mountain enthusiasts can ascend the summit in March, April, and October. Various mountaineering groups organize climbing events, which you can join.

  • Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary (Davao Oriental) 

Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary (Davao Oriental)

Home of the country’s most diverse wildlife populations including the Philippine eagle and several species of Nepenthes, its pygmy forest of century-old trees thriving in ultramafic soil is a spectacle, housing many endangered, endemic, and rare species. Its status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014 adds to its global recognition and appeal.If you’re interested in expanding your understanding of the Philippines’ biodiversity, this place is a must-visit.

Mindanao is a rich tapestry of diverse cultures, stunning landscapes, and vibrant traditions. From the breathtaking heights of Mount Apo to the intricate weavings of the Lang Dulay Center, the island offers a plethora of experiences for every type of traveler. 

Whether you’re a thrill-seeker, a history buff, a nature lover, or someone interested in immersing in local culture, Mindanao has something extraordinary to offer. 

Despite the challenges, its beauty remains resilient and its people warm and welcoming. Truly, a visit to Mindanao is a journey of discovery and an unforgettable exploration of the Philippines’ vibrant southern region.

Source: (1) , (2) , (3) , (4) , (5) , (6) , (7) , (8) , (9) , (10) , (11) , (12) , (13) , (14)

Also Read: DTI releases Noche Buena price guide for 2023 

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places to visit in mindanao philippines

Discover The Philippines

Tourist spot in Mindanao: The Best breathtaking places to visit

Mindanao is a very big island in the Philippines with many surrounding small islands and islets. There is a variety of activities, attractions, worth observing wildlife and historical places in Mindanao. Davao is the largest city on the island with Davao crocodile park and Philippine Eagle Center. There is a volcano Mount Apo with many tails and an enchanted river in Mindanao and many more tourist spots.

What are the beautiful spots in Mindanao?

Mindanao is one of the major islands of the country with many unique tourist spots and places to explore. Must-see tourist spot in Mindanao are:

The iconic cathedral and the seat of the archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro.

Cagayan De Oro City

CDO is the urbanized modern destination in northern Mindanao. It is located in the province of Misamis Oriental with independent administration. There are many activities offered by the island including water rafting, tubing, and other adventurous sports. There are many rocky, wild, and unspoiled areas in the city.

Britannia Group of Islands

Britannia Group has 24 islets in the San Augustin municipality of province Surigao Del Sur. You can book a boat to get around various islands and beaches. Turquoise water and powdery sand beaches are unique and beautiful. There are many unspoiled secluded beaches for romantic couples.

Camiguin Island

White sand beach with crystal clear water is a pristine paradise to attract tourists. Apart from the beach and coastline, there are plenty of amazing places to explore. Some notable places on this stretch of Mindanao are Katibawan falls and Catarman Church Ruins.

Cotabato City

Cotabato City offers a unique cultural experience. A major part of the tradition and culture is inspired by Muslim culture. You can explore the city, historical places in Mindanao, Muslim culture, and the beautiful Bollkiah Mosque. It is a grand beauty that provides a true essence of Islam.

Dapitan, Zamboanga Del Norte

Dapitan is a stunning spot to see marine diversity. You can explore Dakak Park and Beach resort to enjoy the unique species of fishes and corals. This is the best diving and snorkeling tourist spot in Mindanao.

Davao City is the main part of Mindanao with many well preserved and peaceful sites. There is a variety of striking and vibrant attractions. You can explore many places in Davao City like Eden Mountain resort, Philippine National eagle, Crocodile Park, Mt. Apo, Deca Wakeboard Park, and People’s park.

Dinagat Island

Dinagat Island is a gem in the middle of the sea with many exciting activities. Indigenous people of the island are very friendly and welcoming. They make this small island more special. Different activities of the island include hiking, diving, and strolling on the beach.

What is good in Mindanao?

Lake Holon

Lake Holon is a very romantic site in South Cotabato. It is best for camping and enjoying the surrounding with friends and family. The greenery around the lake makes the surroundings more beautiful.

Pagadian City

It is a lively and vibrant place like many other historical places in Mindanao. You can explore the place and interact with the welcoming people of the Pagadian city. There are a lot of interesting activities to do.

Waterfalls in Iligan City

Maria Cristina Falls is the most famous place to visit while visiting Iligan city. There are some other amazing wonders to see like Minbalut Falls and Tinago Falls that makes Iligan city known as the city of Majestic waterfalls. Do not miss the places to unwind and enjoy a dip in the water.

Mati City in Davao Oriental

This place calls the visitors to jump in the clear water and enjoy relaxation. It is a long stretch whereas tourists need to be careful while swimming because this area has a high tide. Water sports are also offered to experts.

Mt. Hamiguitan in Davao Oriental

This is a paradise for nature lovers due to the lush green surroundings, beautiful species of birds, and serenity. It is a part of the UNESCO world heritage site. This is the best place to relax away from the crowds.

Gumasa Beach, Sarangani

It is a spectacular place with calm and relaxing surroundings. Most of the part of the beach is unspoiled. It is a very peaceful part of the island because it is away from the flock of people. You can spend some relaxing and romantic time at this place.

Lake Sebu, South Cotabato

Lake Sebu is a fantastic cultural landscape and a very popular spot for tourists. There are three lakes with very amazing surroundings, delicious foods, and thrilling adventures.

Malamawi island, Basilan

Malamawi Island is a very magical and unexplored place. Many tourists do not know about this place whereas people who visit this place have it at the top of their list.

Samal Island, Davao Del Norte

Samal Island has some iconic beaches and resorts. Crystal clear blue water and creamy powdery sand will make you visit the place. The main beaches of Samal Island are Bali-Bali Beach, Chema’s by the Sea, Pearl farm, and many other attractions.

Rizal Park and Shrine Dapitan Dapitan City

It is a protected landscape that was created in the memory of a national hero Jose Rizal, of the Philippines. This is a farm site where he was exiled for four years by Spanish colonial authorities. Protected are is the Rizal National Park.

Fort Pilar, Zamboanga City

It is a military defense fort from the 17 th century created by the Spanish Colonial government. The place now serves the National Museum of the Philippines. This area is a landmark of cultural heritage with Marian Shrine for Our Lady of the Pillar.

San Pedro Cathedral

San Pedro Cathedral, Davao City

This Roman Catholic Cathedral is dedicated to Saint Peter. This is a very distinctive style of modern place belonging to the 18 th century. The initial structure of the cathedral was built by Nipa and Bamboo. Later it was remodeled and reconstructed in the 19 th century.

Sunken Cemetry

It is located in Camiguin below sea level. It sank into the water due to the Volcanic birth of Mount Vulcan. This 18th-century sunken cemetery was commemorated in the 19 th century by a huge cross erected in the water.

Masjid Dimaukom (Pink mosque)

This is a very unique and worth seeing the mosque in Datu Saudi Ampatuan. At first, it looks like a digital work because of its unique pink color. It was the property of the mayor’s family where the mosque was built. The beautiful pink color symbolizes love, peace, and interfaith brotherhood in the Philippines.

Japanese Tunnel

It is located in Davao City center. The tunnel offers access to all the major attractions and lively places in the city. There are Yuhico farms, Talomo beach, and Jack’s Ridge on the top of the tour list. This tunnel is designed to provide maximum convenience and fun to the guests. There are a restaurant, resort and car park is a wonderful place.

Enchanted River in Mindanao

There are ample attractions offered in the Philippines whereas some of them are unique and very special. One of these kinds of attractions of Enchanted River in Mindanao. It is known as the enchanted river because of the cleanliness and natural turquoise water. The top of the list attraction to take the stress away by the beauty and a dip in the cold water.

Enchanted River in Mindanao is located between mountains and forests. It is an amazing spot to relax. If you want to stay at the place to enjoy it for a couple of days, then there is an Enchanted River Rock Island Resort . You can visit the river early in the morning.

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Christine Peneva

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places to visit in mindanao philippines

1. Malagos Garden Resort

places to visit in mindanao philippines

2. Philippine Eagle Center

places to visit in mindanao philippines

3. White Island

places to visit in mindanao philippines

4. Camiguin Island

places to visit in mindanao philippines

5. Dako Island

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6. Naked Island

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7. Magpupungko Beach

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8. Davao Crocodile Park

places to visit in mindanao philippines

9. Enchanted River

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10. Mount Apo

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11. Tinago Falls

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12. D' Bone Collector Museum

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13. People's Park

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14. Guyam Island

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15. Tinuy-an Falls

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16. Mantigue Island

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17. Hagimit Falls

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18. Britania Islands

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19. Fort Pilar

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20. Sohoton Lagoon

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21. Abreeza Mall

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22. SM Lanang Premier

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23. Lake Sebu

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24. Dahican Beach

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25. Katibawasan Falls

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26. San Pedro Cathedral

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27. Great Santa Cruz Island

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28. Statue of the Divine Mercy

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29. Centrio Mall

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30. Museo Dabawenyo

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PAGASA predicts worst El Niño effects in Northern Mindanao by March

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This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

PAGASA predicts worst El Niño effects in Northern Mindanao by March

Alejandro Edoria

CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines – The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Northern Mindanao would likely start feeling the worst effects of the El Niño phenomenon more than a month from now.

The El Niño, which is characterized by below-normal or no rainfall for months, could render vast tracts of farmlands unproductive.

At least 15,000 hectares in the region currently devoted to agriculture and primarily utilized for palay , corn, and vegetable productions are vulnerable to drought, according to the Department of Agriculture (DA) in Region X.

Anthony Joseph Lucero, head of PAGASA’s Mindanao Regional Services Division, said on Wednesday, January 24, that they expect the worst conditions to be felt in Northern Mindanao between March and April. 

“Below normal rainfall conditions have started January this year, but I cannot exactly say when dry spell and drought conditions would occur,” Lucero said.

He dismissed criticisms about PAGASA’s El Niño advisories, especially in light of the recent flooding in some areas of Mindanao caused by a shear line and localized thunderstorm weather conditions.

“We never said it wouldn’t rain,” he said.

The onset of the El Niño in the country was officially declared by PAGASA on July 4, 2023. But as early as March last year, increasing sea surface temperatures at the central and eastern regions of the Pacific Ocean were already observed.

Joel Rudinas, a former DA assistant secretary and current consultant at its Northern Mindanao office, said the El Niño advisories from PAGASA give them the warning signals that are valuable inputs in policy discussions, even when they interact with farmers associations. 

Rudinas said they also utilized historical data which identify the southern Bukidnon and western side of Misamis Oriental as among Northern Mindanao’s most vulnerable areas to dry spells. 

He said about 15,000 hectares of farmlands in Northern Mindanao that are dependent on rainwater, including those within the communal irrigation and National Irrigation Administration (NIA)-assisted water systems are likely to be affected. The provinces of Bukidnon, Camiguin, Lanao del Sur, Misamis Occidental, and Misamis Oriental compose the region. 

In the 2018-2019 El Niño episode, the DA placed the damage and losses in the country at P7.96 billion, including over P293 million in Northern Mindanao. The prolonged dry spell destroyed crops planted in 277,890 hectares, affecting 247,610 farmers across the country.

Rudinas said one measure would be to advance the cropping calendar by a month for earlier harvesting. It takes 100 to 120 days for palay to be harvested, depending on its variety.

He suggested cutting losses in irrigated farmlands by reducing the planted area to match available irrigation, minimizing the impact of the dry spell. 

He also encouraged farmers to register with the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC) for potential compensation in case of El Niño-related crop damage. However, he noted that less than seven out of 10 farmers are currently in the PCIC’s records.

For those relying on rainwater, Rudinas advised minimizing tillage by harrowing only where seeds or seedlings are to be planted. During corn harvests, he suggested leaving the stalk and leaves in place to act as mulch, reducing soil moisture evaporation. – Rappler.com

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places to visit in mindanao philippines

PSA: Palawan and Mindanao residents may send their Korean visa application requirements via this postal service starting Feb. 1

By Camille Santiago Published Jan 29, 2024 5:02 pm

Korea is making things easier for tourists!

Now, tourist visa applicants residing in Palawan and Mindanao can submit their requirements without having to go to the Korea Visa Application Center (KVAC) in Taguig.

Through the Postal Visa Application service,  select WExpress branches in Mindanao will be accepting visa applications for C-3-9 Tourist Visa (or short-term stays), starting Feb. 1.

Applicants are asked to bring a government ID for verification. Once the requirements are met, they can now pay the P1,000 WExpress service fee and P900 KVAC service fee, which are both non-refundable.

Tourists will receive emails from WExpress and text messages from KVAC to confirm the application and issuance confirmation.

If KVAC finds that there are lacking documents or needs additional documents, the applicant must submit them to the same WExpress branch within seven working days. No additional fee will be collected.

If in case the applicant is not available to submit their requirements to the branch themselves, they can ask family members or co-workers to submit on their behalf with proof of relationship such as a PSA birth certificate or marriage certificate for family members and a copy of company ID or Certificate of Employment for both co-workers.

Since the process takes about 13 days, KVAC recommends applying for a visa at least four weeks before the planned flight date.

In July 2023, the Korean Embassy in the Philippines announced that they would no longer be accepting visa applications or releasing visas in their Taguig office. Instead, submission and release of passports will only be available at KVAC, which  started operating on Aug, 29.

TAGS: South Korea visa KVAC

Camille Santiago

Head editor

Camille covers fashion, beauty, and entertainment for PhilSTAR L!fe. She also dabbles in fashion styling on the side.

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    Aliwagwag Falls is one of the best tourist spots in Mindanao that will blow your mind with its beauty. It is known for its boulders that look like stairs. This beautiful waterfall has 84 levels and more than 130 cascades. It is the highest waterfall in the Philippines, standing at 1,110 feet.

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    Managed by the National Museum, it is a nice place to unwind and know more about the history of Zamboanga. See tours. 2. San Pedro Cathedral. 113. Churches & Cathedrals. By sergiris0. This place in the heart of Davao city. It is the Cathedral of the Archdiocese of Davao.

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  21. Tourist spot in Mindanao: The Best breathtaking places to visit

    Davao City. Davao City is the main part of Mindanao with many well preserved and peaceful sites. There is a variety of striking and vibrant attractions. You can explore many places in Davao City like Eden Mountain resort, Philippine National eagle, Crocodile Park, Mt. Apo, Deca Wakeboard Park, and People's park.

  22. 30 BEST Places to Visit in Mindanao

    Top Places to Visit in Mindanao, Philippines: See Tripadvisor's 91,586 traveller reviews and photos of Mindanao attractions.

  23. Mindanao Travel Advisory: Understanding the Current Situation and

    The headline Avoid travel to Mindanao highlights the impact of international travel restrictions on the southern Philippine island due to historical grievances and a complex conflict. The Bangsamoro Organic Law has brought opportunities and economic growth to the region, with improved security and a growing economy. Despite these positive developments, Canada issued a travel advisory citing ...

  24. 15 Best CAGAYAN DE ORO Tourist Spots (Gateway of Northern Mindanao)

    Travel, Food and Guides (Philippines & Beyond) To help you plan your memorable trip in CDO, join me as we both discover the 15 Best Tourist Spots in Cagayan De Oro City! ... With its fast-growing reputation as one of Mindanao's successful cities, CDO is slowly becoming the focus of investment and businesses in Northern Mindanao. Day by day ...

  25. PAGASA predicts worst El Niño effects in Northern Mindanao ...

    At least 15,000 hectares in Northern Mindanao currently devoted to agriculture and primarily utilized for palay, corn, and vegetable productions are vulnerable to drought CAGAYAN DE ORO ...

  26. 6 Historical places to visit in Mindanao

    2. The Rizal Shrine of Dapitan City. This is Dapitan City's most significant historical place to visit in Mindanao. It refers to Dr. Jose P. Rizal's estate, which is roughly sixteen (16) hectares in size and located two (2) kilometers northwest of the City Hall in Barangay Talisay. This park is dedicated to the memory of our beloved hero ...

  27. PSA: Palawan and Mindanao residents may send their Korean visa

    Korea is making things easier for tourists! Now, tourist visa applicants residing in Palawan and Mindanao can submit their requirements without having to go to the Korea Visa Application Center (KVAC) in Taguig.. Through the Postal Visa Application service, select WExpress branches in Mindanao will be accepting visa applications for C-3-9 Tourist Visa (or short-term stays), starting Feb. 1.