The island is the 2nd largest in the Philippines with amazing natural wonders and heart pumping travel adventure activities but unfortunately even Mindanao Top Tourist Spots are not as visited as the other travel tourism destinations of Luzon and Visayas. This is a sad reality due mainly to the ‘perceived’ degrading peace and order situation that is often attached to the word “mindanao”. Yes, there are conflict ridden places in Mindanao that is best avoided for those who are only after leisure travel but there are far more many places and destinations where you are as safe as you can be like in any other places and provinces of the Philippines. And what’s more you can have a cheap Mindanao vacation options by doing a do it yourself tour as you can commute by buses, have an affordable food trip and stay in accommodations that is budget friendly.
The vastness of its land area together with the fact that majority of Mindanao provinces are landlocked, traveling and going around the big island to check its tourism hot spots are a lot easier as you can just hop into a car and drive away as opposed to riding boats and braving waves to go around the Visayas Region. Unless of course you are checking out the little islands of Mindanao.
Mindanao long considered as the Philippine’s Land of Promise offers so much to travel aficionados; the area is blessed with rich natural resources and wondrous tourist sites that just take your breath away with its simplicity and raw beauty. You might even discover hidden paradise and beautiful places that are not yet known and popular. If you do, please share it to us and let us help Promote Mindanao Tourism.
The following are the most popular tourist destinations and spots in Mindanao for both local and foreign visitors (according to me hahaha, for any protest just shoot me an email ^_^ ) :
Cagayan de Oro (CDO) – This famous city south of the Philippines is gateway to the major tourist spots in the landlocked provinces of Mindanao. It has its own domestic airport as well as seaport that make the life of any traveler easier. Among the top favorite thing to do in CDO is its white water rafting adventure. Get your hearts pumping on this wild river ride, caution though this adventure is not for the faint of heart because you will need to navigate the river aboard a small rubber boat while strong rapids threaten to overturn your boat and your fellow adventure seekers. Best pasalubong or local delicacy food item from CDO is Pastel, that bread with sweet filling goodness and Chedeng’s roasted peanuts, and the delicious CDO Jamon de Cagayan.
Camiguin Island – Lanzones, Underwater Cemetery, Hibok-hibok Volcano, Bura Soda Water Swimming Pool in Catarman, the white sand beaches, easy rural living are the great tourism draw of this tiny island in the northern part of Mindanao. Be charmed with the beauty of Camiguin and feast your eyes on laid back island sceneries.
Siargao Island – If you are dreaming of that huge rolling waves and cloud 9 barrels then head to Siargao, an island that faces the Pacific Ocean and the Philippine Deep on the northeastern part of Mindanao. Siargao Island is the Philippines’ surfing capital and fast becoming one of the world best surfing haven, in fact every October the island is host to an international surfing competition that attracts the best surfers across the globe. Siargao belongs to the province of Surigao del Norte. Surigao Del Sur on the other hand offers hidden gems like Tinuy-an Falls in Bislig City.
Bukidnon – Bukidnon is home to the largest pineapple plantation in the country, and not only that its vast plain and mountains allows the rich locals to herd horses and establish haciendas, if you want to see cowboys in the Philippines, your best bet is to go to this province.
Davao City – Davao province is the commercial and economic center of Mindanao and you can do a lot of things in Davao City, its capital. Here you can find one of the Philippines famous resorts The Pearl Farm as well as the highly popular Samal Island with white sand beaches and an assortment of resorts that caters to every budget. Davao is a major fruit producer for the country from the pungent smelling but tasty durian fruit to sweet sour pomelo to marang and export worthy bananas. Nightlight is bustling in Davao’s Matina Square in downtown area. If you are interested in wildlife you will not be disappointed because there are many wildlife conservation centers in Davao from the centers that focuses on the Philippine Eagle and Philippine Crocodiles. The Philippines highest peak, Mt Apo can also be found in Davao.
Zamboanga City – This unique city on the northwestern part of Mindanao speaks a dialect with most words inspired by the Spanish language. Zamboanga City is famous for its colorful vintas that sail its waters and the curacha, a large type of crab, batiks and malongs, dried fish and more.
There are still countless cities and places in Mindanao that has a great potential of becoming one of the Philippines premier tourism destinations. And hopefully more tourists especially Filipinos will check out its wonderful places. Go now to Mindanao and discover the hidden gems and wonderful places. Have more adventure! It’s more fun in the Philippines!
Tinuy-an Falls, Bislig City, Surigao del Sur
*Thanks to fellow iStoryan dcshoeboy for the picture. His site is Lakbay Pinoy.