Mindanao, the Philippines: Travel/Tourist Information Guide

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Mindanao has a lot to offer in terms of sparkling beaches, great surfing opportunities, rugged landscape and indigenous culture with centuries old unchanged lifestyle. Despite this Mindanao is avoided by most tourists due to the violent conflict that has flown on the island for several generations.

Cagayan de Oro

Cagayan de Oro on the northern coast of Mindanao, is famous for being the white water rafting capital of the Philippines. Apart from rafting, the city itself offers a few nice sightseeing tours. Several parks provide a respite from the crowded downtown streets of Cagayan de Oro, which are filled with students most of the year. There is one museum in the city worth checking out, otherwise the surrounding areas will provide plenty of outdoor activities, like hiking, rock climbing and spelunking.


The island of Camiguin, just north of Mindanao, is renowned for having more volcanoes per square kilometer than any other island on the planet. Untouched by large-scale tourism, Camiguin remains one of the most tranquil islands of the region. Camiguin features good diving and snorkeling spots, cold and hot springs, waterfalls and beaches covered by brown sand. Adventurers can enjoy trekking through the jungle, rappelling, climbing volcanoes and many other outdoor activities. The regional capital of Mambajao offers shops, markets, government buildings and a few accommodation options.


Siargao is a small island to the northeast of Mindanao. Siargao’s main draws are its tranquility and good year-round waves. The island is a surfer’s paradise. Laid-back resorts still predominate, while several midsized condos and hotels have popped up over the past years. Siargao features mangrove swamps, rock pools, waterfalls and offshore islands with interesting rock formations and wildlife. The island’s laid-back lifestyle is perfect for relaxing on the beach or in a hammock.


Davao located in southern Mindanao, is the area’s largest and most urbanized cities. Mirroring Manila, Davao is teeming with malls, multinationals, cafés, restaurants and traffic jams. The city’s attractions include a couple of museums, parks, temples, galleries, markets and crocodile park. Around the city visitors can enjoy hiking up Mount Apo, diving and snorkeling in the southern Philippine waters and rafting the Davao River.