The second-largest island region in the Philippines might not be the top of mind destination for travel getaways, but trust us, you’ll definitely want to consider it.
With stunning natural beauty, Instagram-worthy landmarks, and highly-urbanized cities, the Mindanao region has a whole lot of fun experiences in store for you. Known to be the home of the surfing capital of the country, this southern region boasts stunning beaches and breathtaking nature spots.
If you’re having second thoughts about making this your next destination, check out some of the amazing off-the-beaten tourist spots in Mindanao just waiting to be discovered and experienced by you!
Mindanao is known for its coasts, so we’re starting the list with one of the most gorgeous beaches in the region. Located in the surfing capital, Siargao, this island beauty boasts powdery white sands and turquoise waves right out of your summer dreams.
Daku is often compared to Boracay, but what makes it an ideal beach getaway is that it isn’t flocked by tourist crowds. You can reach the island via an island-hopping tour with its neighboring islets Naked and Guyam islands.
Braving Basilan might sound daunting, but there are parts of this island province that are safe to visit and totally worth your time. Nestled in the city of Isabela is an off-the-beaten destination for beach lovers.
Named “The Hidden Paradise of Basilan,” Malamawi Island features a long stretch of white sand and clear blue waters. It’s often devoid of tourists, which gives you a chance to have the beach all to yourself. Now that’s paradise!
Trade the over-commercialized beaches with this beautiful, untouched island in Sapa-Sapa, which also holds the record for the longest sandbar in the country!
Take in its pristine beauty and enjoy the deserted sands—perfect for your Instagram feed. There are no hotels or stores on the island, but there are basic cottages you can use. Make sure to take note of the low tide schedules to be able to fully appreciate the 3-km sandbar stretch.
Looking for heart-stopping experiences? Travel to Bukidnon and experience the Vertical Bivouac on Kiokong White Rock Wall. Take your camping trips to the next level in this thrilling hidden destination that allows you to sleep on a two-meter wide cliff ledge, 400 ft above the ground!
Other activities you can also do on-site are rock-climbing, rappelling, and swimming in the nearby water cave pool.
This region is also home to some fantastic waterfalls that you should definitely see at least once in your life. This multi-tiered wonder in Bislig City, Surigao del Sur is dubbed as the Philippine’s Niagara falls and is definitely a sight to behold.
It’s only 45 minutes via habal-habal from the city proper and is truly worth the visit. For daring travelers, you can ride a bamboo raft which can take you right under the waterfalls. Travel tip: locals have said that a rainbow appears by the falls at certain hours in the mornings, so make sure to keep an eye out for it!
Another breathtaking waterfall is located in North Cotabato. It springs water from huge rocks and lush vegetation—an unusual thing as most falls have a river or stream above its towering walls.
It’s no easy feat getting here as it will take an hour-and-a-half bumpy motorbike ride, plus trekking up 376 stone steps. You’ll be rewarded when you reach it though—the adventure is worth it!
If you want to see real-life Atlantis, you might as well visit this wonder in Camiguin.
After the eruption of Mount Vulcan in the 1870s, most areas of the island submerged below sea level, including the local cemetery. The only remains are the ruins of tombstones underwater, making the whole place feel almost mystical.
To commemorate the lost cemetery, a single cross was built on the water, which has now become a tourist attraction. Visit and marvel this manmade wonder embedded with history and magic.
The road leading to the southernmost part of the Philippines may be a bumpy ride, but the trip to Cape of San Agustin is only a small price to pay compared to the breathtaking scenery it offers.
Once there, climb up one of the lighthouses, which you can access for free, and take in a stunning panoramic view of the clashing waters of the Celebes Sea and Davao Gulf. The waters here are so clear you can actually see the corals beneath the shallow waves!
The highest peak in the country is a must-visit for hiking enthusiasts! Mount Apo is located in Davao City and is a major attraction for tourists, especially adventure-seeking ones. Since it’s located within the city, you can also visit several Davao tourist spots nearby.
For an adventure of a lifetime, join a summit climb through local adventure providers and have your trip arranged. The climb is definitely a challenging one and takes about three to four days to reach the summit and back.
Visit this historic site and see the place where Portuguese explorer, Ferdinand Magellan, landed in the Philippines. Located in Butuan, it’s a great place to know more about an important part of Philippine history.
In addition to this historic adventure, you’ll also get to see beautiful mountain views on your way to the main destination.
Experience the wonders of Mindanao and include these hidden gems on your local adventures list. Find cheap flights online at Traveloka and discover more wonderful places in Mindanao today!
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