20 Breathtaking Tourist Spots in Mindanao You Shouldn’t Miss This 2021
Mindanao is home to many pristine islands with delicate shores and turquoise waters, otherworldly waterfalls, historic sites, and breathtaking wonders of nature. Whether easily accessible or remote, travelers make sure to visit the famous and hidden tourist spots in Mindanao.
With the beauty of Mindanao and its timeless allure, it’s easy to see why travelers find it hard to leave Mindanao.
Top 20 Must-Visit Places in Mindanao
From beaches and waterfalls to lush greenery, you’ll surely have a great time exploring the beautiful places in Mindanao. We’ve rounded up all the best places in Mindanao we think you shouldn’t miss.
- Island Garden City of Samal – When it comes to beaches, this tourist spot in Mindanao comes first. Samal is famous for pristine beaches.
- Cloud 9 – A famous surfing spot in Siargao.
- Magpupungko Rock Pools – Natural rock pools perfect for cliff jumping and swimming.
- Hinatuan Enchanted River – A stunning tourist spot in Mindanao that is a clear blue saltwater river hidden in the jungle, and flawlessly flowing into the Pacific Ocean.
- Naked Island – A famous beach in Siargao that doesn’t have any shade.
- Guyam Island – One of the most beautiful Mindanao places to visit that’s a perfect island-hopping destination.
- Daku Island – A beach in Siargao where there are a lot of coconut trees, and the usual lunch spot of tourists.
- Sugba Lagoon – A popular diving spot in Siargao.
- Camiguin – Dubbed as the Island Born of Fire because of the many volcanoes in the province.
- Tinuy-an Falls – Dubbed as the Crown Jewel of Surigao del Sur.
- Mt. Apo – The highest mountain in the Philippines and among the highest in Southeast Asia standing at 10,311 feet.
- Tinago Falls – A hidden but majestic waterfall, and one of the most beautiful Lanao del Norte tourist spots.
- Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary – It boasts of a beautiful pygmy forest, and hosts rich biodiversity and endemicity of flora and fauna.
- Aliwagwag Falls – This picturesque 84-tiered falls with more than 130 cascades stands at 1,110 feet making it the highest waterfall in the Philippines.
- Maasin River – A famous river in Siargao where you can see a bent coconut tree perfect for swinging and falling on the water.
- Coconut Mountain View – A roadside tourist spot in Mindanao where you can see thousands of coconut trees along the road.
- Cape of San Agustin – Many divers frequent this place because of the diving experience at the famous diving site known as “the wall.”
- Lake Sebu – This South Cotabato tourist spot is one of the Philippines’ most important watersheds and a major provider of irrigation to the provinces of Sultan Kudarat and South Cotabato.
- Dahican Beach – Popular for surfers and skimboarders because of the thrilling waves there.
- Philippine Eagle Center – It operates as a conservation breeding facility for the critically endangered Philippine Eagle and other birds of prey.
What’s inside this blog?
- Best Tourist Spots in Mindanao
- Where to stay in Mindanao
- Frequently Asked Questions About Tourist Spots in Mindanao
Read this Mindanao travel guide to find out all the beautiful spots to check out, from Davao de Oro tourist spots, Calinan tourist spots, Sulu tourist spots, and more.
Best Tourist Spots in Mindanao
Here are the best tourist spots in Mindanao with description and pictures tagalog that will let you see the jaw-dropping beauty of Mindanao.
1. Island Garden City of Samal
If you’re craving the sun, sand, and sea, the Island Garden City of Samal tops the list. Here you’d find some of Davao’s most pristine beaches including Samal Island and Talikud Island. These places will definitely give the relaxation you need while enjoying a great view of the ocean. It’s one of the best Davao tourist spots that you shouldn’t miss for an awesome beach getaway.
How to get there: From Manila, take a flight bound for Davao International Airport or Francisco Bangoy International Airport. Upon arrival, you will have to take two jeepney rides to reach your preferred port, either Sasa Wharf or Santa Ana Wharf. Once at the port, take the ferry bound for Samal Island.
2. Cloud 9
Another stunning tourist spot in Mindanao is Cloud 9 in Siargao. This place is a perfect setting to experience the best Siargao waves. If you’re not game to surf, you can just go to the boardwalk and watch pro surfers. Its three-story wooden pier lets you pick the best spot to get a view of the huge waves while feeling the cool breeze of the air as you wait for the sun to set. And by the way, this is one of the best spots to see the beautiful Siargao sunset. It’s like a sketch that represents the beauty of Mindanao.
Must-read: A Complete Guide to Siargao Surfing
How to get there: Take a flight bound for Siargao. Upon arrival at the airport, you can rent a motorcycle to go straight in Cloud 9. It’s near General Luna and very easy to spot. Or you can just ride a tricycle to drop you off in Cloud 9.
3. Magpupungko Rock Pools
Magpupungko Rock Pools is a great spot for cliff jumping, swimming, and exploring. From General Luna, where most of the tourist accommodations are, it’s just a 45-minute motorbike ride. Its formation is unbelievably beautiful but there is a catch though. Some days, Magpupungko is closed to tourists so be sure to check before you make the trip there. And before going there, make sure what you prefer more because the area gives unique experiences during the low tide and high tide.
How to get there: From General Luna, it’s a 45-minute drive by motorcycle. The roads in Siargao are smooth so don’t worry about driving there. If you want a more comfortable trip, you can also rent a van that will take you there.
4. Hinatuan Enchanted River
Arguably the most magnificent tourist attraction in Mindanao, and one of the most beautiful places in the Philippines, Hinatuan Enchanted River is a magically clear blue saltwater river hidden in the jungle, and flawlessly flowing into the Pacific Ocean.
How to get there: From Manila, you can reach Bislig City by riding a plane going to Davao City, Butuan City, or Surigao City. From there, you can ride a bus going to Mangagoy, part of Bislig City. The fare costs PHP 250 to PHP 300 one way. The travel time depends on where you’re coming from. From Butuan City, the trip takes about 3 to 4 hours; while from Davao City, it takes 5 to 6 hours.
When you’re in Bislig already, ride a bus to Hinatuan Terminal. Upon arrival, ride a tricycle that will take you to the Enchanted River.
5. Naked Island
If you want to see a naked beach, literally, you’ll find one in Siargao. Naked island, as the name suggests, is completely bare. This tourist spot in Mindanao has nothing but white sand and azure waters surrounding it, no distractions for the 360° view of the island.
How to get there: From General Luna, you will just have to board a rented boat. It’s usually part of the three-island tour in Siargao where you’ll visit Naked Island, Guyam Island, and Daku Island.
6. Guyam Island
If Naked Island is completely bare, Guyam island offers a lush clump of vegetation for tourists. It is secluded and uninhabited, except by the island’s caretakers, with a sandy beach on one side and a rocky beach on the other. This island covered in palm trees is small enough to walk around in just a few minutes. There are few huts available on the beach so you can just chill out and enjoy your solitude.
7. Daku Island
Another stunning tourist attraction in Mindanao is Daku Island. It is mostly the place where tourists eat lunch during the three-island-hopping tour in Siargao. You can indulge yourself in a sumptuous meal that includes the freshest seafood and refreshing buko (coconut) juice. Your local Siargao guide will help you find the best cook on the island. You can ask locals to cook fresh seafood and enjoy it on a boodle fight! And unlike the other two beaches mentioned, there are a lot more things to do in Daku Island from kayaking to fishing.
Camiguin was once an offbeat destination but now is among the most-visited places in the Philippines. With so many Instagrammable Camiguin tourist spots, this island-province has become so popular. From the pristine beaches and jaw-dropping waterfalls to glorious underwater world, Camiguin definitely makes up the ultimate feed goal that every ‘grammer aims for! It’s no doubt that Camiguin is among the favorite Northern Mindanao tourist spots of travelers.
How to get there: As of writing, there is no direct flight from Manila to Camiguin. Cagayan de Oro City is the gateway to Camiguin. What you can do is book a flight from Manila to CDO. From CDO to Camiguin, the travel time is approximately over two hours including the land and sea travel.
9. Tinuy-an Falls
Because of its breathtaking beauty, Tinuy-Falls is dubbed as the Crown Jewel of Surigao del Sur. Unlike other waterfalls, Tinuy-an Falls has natural pools where you can swim. The natural pool of the second waterfall of the three layers is the biggest. It is wide enough to accommodate bamboo rafts to take guests closer to the falls where the waters drop.
Many people describe this tourist destination in Mindanao as the “Little Niagara Falls of the Philippines” because of its curtain of water cascading down a four-tier drop. The waterfall is 95 meters wide and 180 feet high.
Related article: Tinuy-an Falls: The Little Niagara of the Philippines
How to get there: From Manila, you can reach Bislig City by plane going to Davao City, Butuan City, or Surigao City. From there, you can ride a bus going to Mangagoy, part of Bislig City. The travel time depends on where you’re coming from. From Butuan City, the trip takes about 3 to 4 hours; while from Davao City, it takes 5 to 6 hours.
Upon reaching Mangagoy, go to the terminal and ride a jeep going to Barangay Borboanan, the location of Tinuy-an Falls. Motorcycles are also available, which can be paid 100-150 pesos per person.
10. Sugba Lagoon
Another must-visit Caraga Region tourist spot is the Sugba Lagoon in Siargao. It is a famous diving spot because of its great view and turquoise waters. If you’re not fond of diving, you can also enjoy snorkeling, paddle boarding, or just picture-taking in the area. Whatever the case is, Sugba Lagoon is a great place to be!
How to get there: From General Luna, Sugba Lagoon is about an hour and a half boat ride; if from Del Carmen, it’s an hour boat ride.
11. Mt. Apo
Dubbed as the “King of Philippine Peaks,” Mt. Apo is the highest mountain in the Philippines and among the highest in Southeast Asia standing at 10,311 feet. This Davao City tourist spot is a must-visit especially if you’re looking for a thrill adventure. There are different trails you can take and there are seven different peaks at the summit where you can see scenic views–from the majestic sunrise and sunset, to the magical sight of seeing the ground touching the sky.
How to get there: From Manila, book a flight bound for Davao City. From the city proper, ride a van bound for the jump-off point. It will take around 4 hours to reach Kapatagan.
12. Tinago Falls
Photo credits to Jose Nicdao via Flickr
Tucked within a ravine in Iligan City in Lanao del Norte, this majestic waterfall is the main tourist attraction of the province and also serves as a water source for residents near the area. Its name—Tinago Falls in tagalog—means “hidden” that perfectly fits its location that one can only reach by descending some 500 steps.
This 240 feet high tourist spot sa Mindanao is surrounded by colossal rock structures dotted by thick masses of trees and natural foliage. Its basin features a stunning blue-green pool of cold water perfect for swimming, similar to Palawan’s jaw-dropping lagoons. The water comes from the outflow of the man-made Lanao Lake flowing to the Agus River that cuts into two channels before going to Iligan Bay. One channel goes to Tinago while the other goes to the famous Maria Cristina Falls, also in Iligan City. So if you’re looking for beautiful Lanao del Norte tourist spots, add Tinago Fall in your list.
How to get there: From Manila, book a flight to Laguindingan International Airport in Cagayan de Oro. It is the nearest airport to Iligan City. Travel time is approximately one hour and 20 minutes.
From the airport, get a taxi to take you directly to Iligan, or ask to drop you off at Bulua Bus Terminal (Cagayan). At Bulua Bus Terminal, you can find buses going to Iligan. Travel time from Cagayan de Oro to Iligan is approximately one and a half hours.
13. Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary
Another Davao City tourist spot that will surprise you is the Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary. It boasts of a beautiful pygmy forest, one of the very few all over the world, and hosts rich biodiversity and endemicity of flora and fauna, an embodiment of ecological balance, which in this age and time, we can seldom see and behold.
How to get there: From Manila, you can book a flight bound for Davao City. From Davao Ecoland Terminal, take the bus going to the Municipality of Governor Generoso which will usually take 3.5 hours at most.
Another option is to ride the bus heading to Tagum City and from here, ride a jeepney bound for Governor Generoso or Sigaboy. Tell the driver to drop you off at the junction leading to the museum, where you can ride a habal-habal motorcycle.
14. Aliwagwag Falls
Aliwagwag Falls is one of the many Davao Region tourist spots that will make your jaw drop for its otherworldly beauty. Known for its staircase-like boulders, Aliwagwag Falls is among the top tourist destinations in the province. This picturesque 84-tiered falls with more than 130 cascades stands at 1,110 feet making it the highest waterfall in the Philippines.
How to get there: There are direct flights from Manila going to Davao City and Aliwagwag is seven (7) hours away from Davao City. From Davao, take a bus to Mati City. Then ride a van going to Cateel town proper. From downtown Cateel, ride a habal-habal going to the highway where Aliwagwag is nearest. It’s about a 30-minute ride.
15. Maasin River
Maasin River is most famous for its picturesque river, especially the spot with the bent coconut tree extending over the river that you’ll usually see on those Instagram photos. There’s a rope attached to the tree where you can swing and plunge into the 6-ft. deep river. If you want an extraordinary trip, make sure you wouldn’t miss Maasin River as it’s one of the most beautiful places in Mindanao.
How to get there: This tourist destination sa Mindanao is easily accessible and is best reached by driving along the main road (Siargao Circumferential Road). There are no signs along the road directing you to the Maasin River. You’ll know you’re almost there when you see a red bridge around 25 minutes from General Luna.
16. Coconut Mountain View
When you see a photo of a traveler on the roadside with thousands of coconut trees in the background, you know it’s in Siargao. You can also head to the famous street where you’ll see hundreds of coconut trees lined up on both sides of the road that make a perfect IG spot! Don’t miss this tourist destination in Mindanao if you want a feed-worthy photo.
17. Cape of San Agustin
Facing the great Celebes Sea, Cape of San Agustin mixes remains of the Spanish colonial rule and the beauty of the Philippine beaches. It is one of the best places in Mindanao where you can see amazing marine life. Many divers frequent this place because of the diving experience at the famous diving site known as “the wall.” Cape of San Agustin houses three lighthouses which offer equally breathtaking views of the sea. You can also visit an amazing rock formation called “the altar.”
How to get there: From Davao City, you can rent a van to reach Cape of San Agustin. Travel time will take around 4-5 hours.
18. Lake Sebu
Photo source: Wikimedia Commons
When you see a photo of a lake filled with lotus plants, a view of a mountain, and a boat, you know it’s in Lake Sebu. What makes this South Cotabato tourist spot a stand out is that you can connect with nature without anything bothering you as the place is serene. But more than being a beautiful tourist destination in Mindanao, it serves a greater purpose because Lake Sebu is one of the Philippines’ most important watersheds and a major provider of irrigation to the provinces of Sultan Kudarat and South Cotabato.
How to get there: From Manila, book a flight bound for General Santos City. ride a tricycle going to General Santos City’s Bulaong Terminal and from there, you can ride a van that is directly going to Lake Sebu.
19. Dahican Beach
Dahican Beach is one of the most-visited Davao tourist spots. It’s popular for surfers, skimboarders, and beach bums, that offers a simple, unspoiled slice of paradise with a stunning crescent-shaped coastline and thrilling waves for an adrenaline rush. It’s like a place that walked out straight from a travel brochure Mindanao. So in case you need inspiration for your beauty of Mindanao sketch, Dahican Beach is the perfect setting.
How to get there: Outside Davao City airport, or at the Ecoland Transport Terminal, ride the Bachelor Express bus to Mati. You can also ride a van at Gaisano Mall or Victoria Plaza. From Mati City Bus Terminal, hire a habal-habal or tricycle to take you to Dahican Beach.
20. Philippine Eagle Center
Another great Davao City tourist spot for animal-lovers is the Philippine Eagle Center. It is an 8.4-hectare area located at the foothills of Mt. Apo. The Philippine Eagle Center primarily operates as a conservation breeding facility for the critically endangered Philippine Eagle and other birds of prey.
How to get there: You can either take a van from the terminal in Bangkerohan (location on Google Maps) to take you up to the town of Calinan, where you can transfer to a tricycle that will take you to the “Water District”; the Philippine Eagle Center is a short walk from this point on.
Where to stay in Mindanao
When you’re done exploring the tourist spots in South Cotabato or other historical places in Mindanao, isn’t it so much better when you’re ending your day somewhere that feels like home? Here we’ve listed all the best budget hotels in Mindanao you can book.
Address: Tourism Road, Brgy. 2, General Luna, Siargao
Amenities: Baggage Storage, Designated Smoking Area, No Parking, Air Conditioning, Hot Shower, Free WiFi
Price from PHP 1,200/night
Address: Poblacion 5, General Luna, Siargao
Amenities: Baggage Storage, Designated Smoking Area, Spa (Massage), No Parking, Air Conditioning, Hot Shower, Free WiFi
Price from PHP 4,000/night
Address: Poblacion 3, General Luna, Siargao
Amenities: Parking, Hotel Restaurant, Hotel Bar, Airport Shuttle (Extra Cost), Ironing Facilities (Extra Cost), Baggage Storage, Shared Lounge / TV Area, Laundry (Extra Cost), Dry Cleaning (Extra Cost), Designated Smoking Area, 24h Security, SPA (Massage), Air Conditioning, Hot Shower
Price from PHP 3,100/night
Address: M. Roxas Ave. Corner Padre Faura St., Davao City
Amenities: 24h Front Desk, 24h Room Service, Parking, Hotel Restaurant, Wheelchair Access, Meeting Room (Extra Cost), Elevator, Ironing Facilities (Extra Cost), Concierge, Tour Desk, Baggage Storage, Designated Smoking Area, 24h Security, Air Conditioning, Hot Shower, Free WiFi
Price from PHP 900/night
Frequently Asked Questions About Tourist Spots in Mindanao
Q: What are the beautiful spots in Mindanao?
A: From beaches and waterfalls to lush greenery, you’ll surely have a great time exploring the beautiful places in Mindanao. We’ve rounded up all the best places in Mindanao we think you shouldn’t miss.
- Island Garden City of Samal
- Cloud 9
- Magpupungko Rock Pools
- Hinatuan Enchanted River
- Naked Island
- Guyam Island
- Daku Island
- Sugba Lagoon
- Tinuy-an Falls
- Mt. Apo
- Tinago Falls
- Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary
- Aliwagwag Falls
- Maasin River
- Coconut Mountain View
- Cape of San Agustin
- Lake Sebu
- Dahican Beach
- Philippine Eagle Center
Q: Is Mindanao safe for tourists?
A: While there are parts in Mindanao that are dangerous due to political conflicts, there are other tourist spots in Mindanao that are very safe for tourists.
Q: What are the best Davao tourist spots?
A: Whether you’re looking for Davao de Oro tourist spots or Davao del Sur attractions, we got you covered. Here’s a list of the most beautiful Davao tourist spots to check out.
- Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary
- Island Garden City of Samal
- Aliwagwag Falls
- Cape of San Agustin
- Lake Carolina
- Dahican Beach
- Crocodile Park
- Philippine Eagle Center
- Mt. Apo
- San Victor Island
Q: What are the different regions where you find the best tourist spots?
A: If you’re asking what are the different regions where you find the best tourist spots in the Philippines, the short answer is all the regions! From Batanes to Jolo, there’s something for everyone that will satisfy wanderlust.
Q: Where is Tinago Falls located?
A: Tinago Falls is located in Barangay Ditucalan, Iligan City, Lanao del Norte. This tourist spot in region 12 is one of the most beautiful.
Q: Is Siargao open for tourists?
A: Siargao Island is now open for domestic tourists. The reopening was also confirmed by Mayor Cecilia Ruson of the municipality of General Luna, Surigao del Norte through a local executive order. Flights to Siargao will resume on December 1, the DOT said, allowing travelers from outside the region to visit the teardrop-shaped island through Sayak Airport near the barangays of Del Carmen and General Luna.
Source: Department of Tourism
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