Mindanao, the southernmost and second-largest island in the Philippines, is a hidden gem for travelers seeking adventure, culture, and stunning natural beauty. With its diverse ecosystems, from the turquoise waters of Siargao and the mesmerizing landscapes of Bukidnon to the vibrant cities of Davao and Cagayan de Oro, Mindanao has something for everyone. If you plan a trip to this island, you will want to take advantage of some of its must-visit tourist spots. Whether you’re a beach bum, a history buff, or a nature lover, there’s plenty to explore.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the top tourist spots in Mindanao, so you can plan the perfect itinerary for your next adventure. So, pack your bags and get ready to discover the wonders of Mindanao.
Why visit Mindanao?
Mindanao is a unique travel destination that offers a diverse range of experiences. With its stunning natural beauty, rich culture, and warm hospitality, it’s no wonder that more and more travelers are choosing Mindanao as their next adventure.
One of the main reasons to visit Mindanao is to experience its beautiful beaches, among the best in the Philippines. Mindanao is also home to several natural wonders, such as Mount Apo, the highest mountain in the Philippines, and Tinuy-an Falls, the Niagara Falls of the Philippines. Additionally, Mindanao is rich in history and culture, with many indigenous tribes calling the island home. These tribes offer a unique insight into the island’s rich heritage and traditions.
Top tourist spots in Mindanao
1) Siargao Island
Siargao Island is known as the surfing capital of the Philippines and is a must-visit destination for any surfer. The island is home to several world-class surf breaks, such as Cloud 9, which consistently ranks as one of the best surf spots in the world. But surfing is just one of many things to do in Siargao. The island also boasts stunning beaches, crystal-clear lagoons, and a vibrant nightlife. One of the most popular attractions on the island is the Sugba Lagoon, surrounded by lush mangroves and turquoise waters. Visitors can rent a paddleboard or kayak to explore the lagoon or simply relax on one of the floating huts.
2) Mount Apo National Park
Mount Apo National Park is a protected area located in the provinces of Davao del Sur and North Cotabato. It is home to Mount Apo, the highest mountain in the Philippines, which stands at 2,954 meters above sea level. The park is a popular destination for hikers and nature lovers, with several trails leading to the summit of Mount Apo. Visitors can enjoy the park’s stunning landscapes and diverse wildlife along the way. The park also has several hot springs, such as the Kapatagan Hot Springs, where visitors can relax and soak in the warm waters.
3) Tinuy-an Falls
Tinuy-an Falls, located in Bislig City, Surigao del Sur, is known as the Niagara Falls of the Philippines. The falls are 55 meters wide and 180 feet high, making them the widest waterfall in the Philippines. Visitors can rent a bamboo raft to get up close and personal with the falls or enjoy the view from one of the viewing decks. The falls are surrounded by lush greenery, making them perfect for a picnic or a relaxing afternoon.
4) Samal Island
Samal Island, also known as the Island Garden City of Samal, is a small island off Davao City’s coast. The island is known for its stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and diverse marine life. Visitors can go island hopping, snorkeling, or scuba diving to explore the island’s underwater world. The island also has several waterfalls, such as Hagimit Falls and Cawag Falls. One of the most popular attractions on the island is the Monfort Bat Sanctuary, home to over 2 million fruit bats.
5) Camiguin Island
Camiguin Island, located in the Bohol Sea, is known as the island born of fire. The island is home to several volcanoes, such as Mount Hibok-Hibok, which last erupted in 1953. Camiguin Island is a popular tourist destination despite its volcanic activity, thanks to its stunning natural beauty and unique attractions. Visitors can explore the island’s many waterfalls, such as Katibawasan Falls and Tuasan Falls, or relax on one of its beautiful beaches. The island is also home to several historical and cultural attractions, such as the Old Spanish Church Ruins and the Sunken Cemetery.
How to get to Mindanao
Getting to Mindanao is easy, thanks to its many airports and seaports. The island has several international airports, such as the Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao City and the Laguindingan Airport in Cagayan de Oro. In addition, several seaports, such as the Port of Davao and the Port of Cagayan de Oro, offer ferry services to and from other parts of the Philippines. Once on the island, visitors can use public transportation, such as buses and jeepneys, to get around.
Tips for traveling to Mindanao
Being aware of the local customs and traditions is essential when traveling to Mindanao. Mindanao is home to several indigenous tribes, such as the T’boli and the Manobo, with unique cultures and traditions. Visitors should respect these cultures and traditions and try to learn as much as possible about them. It’s also important to be aware of the security situation in certain areas of Mindanao. While most parts of the island are safe for tourists, some areas are considered high-risk due to the presence of insurgent groups. Visitors should check the latest travel advisories before traveling to Mindanao and avoid these high-risk areas.
Mindanao is a unique travel destination that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re a beach bum, a history buff, or a nature lover, there’s plenty to explore on this diverse island. Indeed, Mindanao has some of the most stunning natural beauty and cultural attractions in the Philippines. With its warm hospitality and rich culture, Mindanao is a must-visit destination for any traveler looking for adventure, culture, and natural beauty.