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Sugba Bay, Siargao

The mesmerizing Sugba Lagoon located on Caob Island off the northwest side of Siargao is one of the top places to see in Siargao.


Famous Leaning Palm Tree

The Instagram-worthy leaning palm tree at Maasin River in Siargao offers an amazing playground where you can swing and jump to your heart's content.


Enchanted River, Hinatuan

A deep spring river famous for its deep blue and strikingly clear waters.


Sunken Cemetery, Camiguin

An ancient cemetery that sank beneath the sea during a volcanic eruption in 1871 now has become a unique tourist attraction.


Mindanao,Philippines - A Quick Guide

Mindanao is the southernmost island of the Philippines and the second largest after Luzon. Mindanao and the smaller islands surrounding it make up the group of islands of the same name.

The entirety of Mindanao islands has more than 25 million inhabitants. Davao City is the most populated city on the island, followed by Zamboanga City, Cagayan de Oro City, General Santos City, and Iligan City.

About 70% of the residents identify themselves as Christians, and 20% identify themselves as Muslims.

Mindanao is considered the main breadbasket of the Philippines. Eight of the top 10 agricultural products exported from the Philippines come from the island. Mindanao is known by the nickname of the Land of Promise of the Philippines.

Where is Mindanao?

The administrative region of Mindanao includes the island of Mindanao plus a number of smaller ones nearby: the Sulu Islands are to the southwest, Dinagat and Siargao are to the northeast side, and the tiny island province of Camiguin, also frequented by tourists, is in the strait between Mindanao and Bohol.

Further, six administrative regions make up Mindanao: Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, Caraga, Davao, Soccsksargen, and the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

Mindanao Top Tourist Destinations

Camiguin Island

In Camiguin, known as the green island born of fire, you will discover a charming island destination still largely untapped. And this, although a relatively small island with a size of only about 330 square kilometers, Camiguin can surprise its visitors with many spectacular highlights.

Like an oversized, natural water leisure park, this island has a lot to offer. Look forward to white dream beaches, impressive waterfalls and species-rich coral reefs, and even hot volcanic springs! Water sports and wellness in its most natural form await you there.

Batanes Group of Islands
Siargao Island

What to See and Do in Mindanao?

The main tourist attractions are scattered throughout Mindanao, consisting mainly of spas, diving centers, surfing, museums, natural parks, mountaineering, and rafting.

You will find archaeological sites, interesting historical ruins, and remarkable museums in Butuan. Siargao, better known for its surfing tower at Cloud 9, also has caves, pools, waterfalls, and lagoons. Cagayan de Oro boasts spas, the Mapawa Natural Park, rafting and kayaking, museums, and some historical monuments. Zipline is the main attraction at the Dahilayan Adventure Park in Bukidnon. White Island is a well-known tourist destination in the small yet awe-inspiring island of Camiguin. The diving centers in Duka Bay and Matangale in Misamis Oriental province offer glass-bottom boat trips and diving lessons. Other attractions include parks, historic buildings, the unique experience of Vinta Ride at Paseo del Mar, lovely boat villages, and the historic Fort Pilar Museum in Zamboanga City. Iligan City has The Maria Christina Falls, Tinago Falls, natural parks, beaches, and historical sites. There are festivals, fireworks, and the Baras Bird Sanctuary in Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat. Davao del Sur has Mount Apo, parks, museums, beaches, historical sites, and diving centers.

A Little Bit of History

Mindanao has a rich and complex history

Mindanao has a rich and complex history. At the southwestern tip of Mindanao are the Sulu Islands. Sulus and western Mindanao are predominantly Muslim; it is the heart of the Moro (Filipino Muslim) people, although there are also many Muslims in Palawan and other parts of Mindanao, and some anywhere in the Philippines.

Spain achieved geographical dominance over the island, during the late 18th century, having established settlements and forts in most of Mindanao; including Zamboanga City and Misamis Occidental in the northwest, Iligan City, Misamis Oriental, Bukidnon, and Camiguin Island in the north, Butuan and the Caraga region in the east, and Davao on the island's gulf coast. Spain continued to engage in battle with the Muslim sultanates until the end of the 19th century.

Until the late 19th Century
Total War against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF)

Tourism in Mindanao: Key Information


WARNING: Precautions should be taken when traveling to ARMM and the Zamboanga Peninsula; pirates, human traffickers, drug traffickers, and terrorist groups have been known to kidnap, torture and kill civilians in these regions. The crime rate in the island is also dangerously high.

In May 2017, the Philippine government declared martial law for the entire island of Mindanao after Islamic radicals took over the city of Marawi. In late December, President Duterte wants an extension of martial law until 2018, but some in Congress strongly oppose it.

If you are considering a trip to the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao or the Zamboanga Peninsula, check out the news. On the other hand, other places in Mindanao are considered less dangerous and tourist-friendly.

1. How to travel to Mindanao
2. Transportation in Mindanao
3. Hotels in Mindanao
4. Weather in Mindanao

Other Travel Destination Guides in the Philippines

El Nido, Palawan

El Nido, Palawan Travel Guide

Baguio & Benguet

Baguio & Benguet Travel Guide


Bohol Travel Guide

Banaue, Ifugao

Baguio & Benguet Travel Guide

Boracay Island & Aklan

Boracay Island & Aklan Travel Guide

Metro Manila

Metro Manila Travel Guide

Batanes Islands

Batanes Islands Travel Guide

Camiguin Island

Camiguin Island Travel Guide

Coron, Palawan

Coron, Palawan Travel Guide

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