Mindanao, known as the Land of Promise, is filled with many fascinating natural wonders yet often overlooked by domestic and foreign tourists because of many proverbial grimy stories about the South.
The second largest island in the Philippines, Mindanao is the breadbasket of the country and is home to a number of waterfalls and lakes, mountains and valleys, nature parks and beaches, and a lot more. Today, Mindanao is slowly rising and making a name as a promising tourist destination, putting all the unpleasant stories in the backseat and showing the world its amazing beauty and tranquil way of life.
Start planning your vacation to the Philippines’ Land of Promise as we give you the 6 best gems in this southern part of the country.
1. Lake Sebu
Location: South Cotabato
Enclosed by verdant rolling hills and mountains, Lake Sebu is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Mindanao. Elevated at roughly 1,000 meters above sea level, Lake Sebu is primarily used for aquaculture and its shore is home to several indigenous tribes.
The tranquil atmosphere surrounding the lake seems to have a calming effect to its visitors, bringing one closer to nature with its unspoilt beauty and panoramic views.
Photo credits: @makoysworld via IG
2. Magpupungko Rock Pools
Location: Siargao Island
More than a haven for surfers, Siargao Island is filled with spectacular and interesting beauties made by Mother Nature to enjoy. One of these amazing natural attractions is the Magpupungko Rock Pools, a cluster of tidal pools in view only during low tide and hidden during high tide. The many fancy rock formations and the clear turquoise sea waters will certainly leave you astounded.
Photo credits: @akadenz via IG
3. Tinago Falls
Location: Iligan City, Lanao del Norte
Besides the mighty Maria Cristina Falls, one of Iligan City’s gems is the breathtaking TInago Falls. A beautiful cascade of 240 feet high, Tinago Falls is surrounded by lush vegetation, concealed in a deep ravine that requires 500 winding steps to reach; a cold deep blue-green natural pool and a scenic setting awaits after the exhausting hike.
Photo credits: @alyssafue via IG
4. Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mosque
Location: Cotabato City, Maguindanao
Also known by the name the Grand Mosque of Cotabato, Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mosque is the largest mosque in the Philippines. A famous landmark in the province, the mosque offers a stately architecture worth visiting. Aside from being a religious place of congregations for the many Muslims inhabitants of Cotabato, it is also the most popular tourist destination very much worthy of a photographer’s time.
Photo credits: @stigmatravel via IG
5. Camiguin White Island
An uninhabited, gorgeous lump of white sand just minutes away from the northern coast of Camiguin, Camiguin White Island or Medan Island to locals is a sandbar surrounded by pristine turquoise waters. Depending on the tide, the island changes its shape, with the eye-catching Mt. Vulcan and Mt. Hibok-hibok as the charming backdrop.
Photo credits: @mickeytan523 via IG
6. Mt. Apo
Location: Davao City, Davao del Sur
Hailed as the grandfather of Philippine mountains, Mt. Apo is the highest point of the Philippines and a dream mountain for local mountaineers and hikers out there. Regarded as a sacred place in native mythology, along its trails are the many rivers, lakes, forests and craters of sulfur deposits.
Mt. Apo is also the home of different rare and endemic flora and fauna, one of which is the endangered Philippine eagle.
Photo credits: @iam.val.jericho via IG
Start planning your trip now so you don’t miss out on the profusion of destinations this huge island has to offer — it is peaceful, booming and strikingly beautiful in more ways that one.
Cover photo credits: @chennythisgirl via IG