From Natural Attractions to Historical Sites: 8 Must-Visit Tourist Spots in Mindanao

Mindanao is home to iconic tourist attractions known not only to Filipinos but also on the international scene. From beaches and resorts, rivers, and vast parks to caves and waterfalls down to historical sites, there’s a lot to explore on the second-largest island in the country. 

There are so many places to visit that most tourists are compelled to stay for weeks or months, with some even choosing to put down roots here. With more infrastructure projects on the way, the region is expected to see more travelers and residents in the coming years.

If you’re visiting Mindanao soon, include these places in your travel bucket list:

1. Mount Apo

Known as the highest mountain in the Philippines, Mount Apo has an altitude of 2,954 meters above sea level. It’s located in south central Mindanao, stretched out in the provinces of North Cotabato and Davao del Sur. The climb to the peak usually takes two to three days, depending on the trail you choose. Aside from the thrilling hike and the panoramic view at the top, you can enjoy the waterfalls and natural hot springs in the natural park.

2. Maria Cristina Falls

The waterfall at the Agus River is among the most popular tourist attractions in Iligan City, Lanao del Norte. While a gorgeous sight, the twin falls are also a powerful force, as it boasts a strong current estimated to have an electricity generation capacity of around 200 megawatts. With this, it supplies 70 percent of Mindanao’s electricity. Although swimming isn’t allowed in the area, you can enjoy lots of recreational activities here, including having a picnic by the river, ziplining, and seeing different kinds of animal and plant species at the Botanical and Zoological Gardens.

3. Cagayan de Oro River

The capital of Misamis Oriental is known as the Adventure Capital of the Philippines, partly because of the thrilling activities you can do at its most popular river, the Cagayan de Oro River. Go whitewater rafting and kayaking when you visit CDO. Even beginners can enjoy this daring activity. With trained guides helping you navigate the river, you can freely enjoy the thrill of the raging rapids.

4. Daku Island

The Surfing Capital of the Philippines, Siargao, is in Surigao del Norte, and it hosts the country’s most beautiful beaches. The largest of them is Daku Island. Dotted with beautiful palm trees, the 136-hectare tropical paradise has a wide shoreline, fine white sand, and clear blue-green waters. Here, you can do snorkeling, picnics, volleyball, and frisbee. If ever you decide to embrace this relaxing lifestyle for good, here are the most important things to consider when living on an island.

5. Aningaw Cave

This popular cave in Agusan del Sur is a tourist favorite because of its awesome structure. Outside, you’ll be greeted with huge rocks that form a gothic-like design. Inside, you’ll find incredible stalactites and stalagmites, which are centuries old. The cave’s unique build produces a beautiful echo when sounds are made inside. This is where the cave got its name Aningaw, the Manobo term for echo.

6. Fort Pilar

If you want to include a history lesson in your itinerary, visit this 17th-century military fortress in Zamboanga City. This heritage landmark was built in 1635, at the request of Jesuit missionaries. Through the years, the structure has witnessed social and political changes in the locale. Today, it serves as an outdoor Marian shrine and a regional branch of the National Museum. Have a relaxing afternoon or evening stroll here at Fort Pilar.

7. Sunken Cemetery

The Sunken Cemetery in Camiguin is one of the most frequently visited historical places in the country, as travelers from different parts of the world are drawn to its story. In the 1870s, a volcano in the province erupted and caused the cemetery, along with the surrounding community, to sink below sea level. To remember the lives lost, the local government placed a huge cross where the cemetery once stood. Aside from seeing this iconic site, you can go for a dive to see the old gravestones.

8. Rizal Park and Shrine

Also known as the Jose Rizal Memorial Protected Landscape, this famous tourist attraction in Zamboanga del Norte is a preserved farm that was once the home of national hero Jose Rizal when he was exiled from 1892 to 1896. During his stay here, he built houses, a farm, a school, and a hospital. Now, the site hosts five reconstructed houses: Casa Residencia, Casa Redonda, Casa Cuadrada, Casitas de Salud, and Casa Redonda Pequena. Entrance to Rizal Park is free.

Mindanao is filled with amazing tourist spots, from natural attractions to historical sites. It’s no surprise that a lot of tourists become residents here. As much as the region boasts beautiful travel destinations, it’s also filled with well-designed residential communities. 

The best of the best developments in Visayas and Mindanao will be honored at the upcoming The Outlook 2022: Philippine Real Estate Awards. The gala ceremony, which will be held on September 27, 2022, is co-presented by KONE and in partnership with media organizations Philippine Daily Inquirer, Inquirer Property, Business Mirror, Manila Standard, The Manila Times, Malaya Business Insight, Sunstar Cebu, Real Estate Blog PH, Negosentro, Property Finds Asia, Village Connect PH, and World Executives Digest. 

The silver sponsors are Maximus and Gorenje, while the bronze sponsors are Inventi, BDO, RCBC, BPI, Metromart, Shopee, Zalora, and CleanSource Solution.

If you’re considering residing in the southern Philippines, visit the region first and discover for yourself how it’s more fun in Mindanao.

Photos via DepositPhotos


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