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Safe Places and Destinations to Visit in Mindanao

This may sound a little absurd as this article might ring the confirmation that Mindanao is a dangerous place to visit. But I am only writing this article just to give emphasis on the beautiful places that we have visited and have been tested to be tourist friendly to both local and foreign visitors. Stereotyping is really out of the question!

We know that there are other beautiful places worth visiting like the Latin City of Zamboanga, the Asik Asik Waterfalls of Alamada, North Cotabato, and The Grand Mosque of Cotabato City, but as of now, the security and readiness can’t still be 100% assured.

I may not be able to list down all but you are free to send us your suggestions and let us know about it. 

1. Enchanted River (Surigao del Sur)

This wonder of nature has an enchanting beauty that is a total knocked out. Words aren’t enough to describe how mesmerizing this blue river in Brgy. Talisay, Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur. The place is more in danger of getting abused more than you are actually.

2. Tinuy-an Water Falls (Surigao del Sur)

Another safe destination in Mindanao is the Tinuy-an Waterfalls in Bislig City. This water body is also known as the “little Niagara of the Philippines”. To get there you must take the local’s basic mode of transportation, the habal habal. Is it safe? Definitely YES!

3. Britania Group of Islands ( Surigao del Sur)

It is a mind-blowing experience finding these cream-like sand islets in Brgy. Britania, Surigao del Sur. The paradise destination is a just a few minutes away by boat. The grandeur of this place is comparable as to that of El Nido in Palawan.

4. Siargao (Surigao City)

Nobody would ever negate the idea that the best surfing site in the Philippines is found in Siargao Island, Surigao City. The water sports capital of the Philippines is praised by thousands of surfing enthusiasts in the world and some foreigners even find this place as their second home.

5. Cantilan’s Blue Lagoon (Surigao del Sur)

Even some of the locals of Cantilan were surprised to know that this place exists in their own backyard. The Blue Lagoon of Libtong is another revelation as one of the hidden treasures in Mindanao, sitting in the heart of the quiet town of Cantilan.

6.  Waterfalling in Iligan City (Lanao del Norte)

Just two hours away from Cagayan de Oro, Iligan City owes its name as the Majestic City of Waterfalls due to more than 20 accessible waterfalls including the famous Maria Cristina Waterfall. But my favorite will always be the enchanting Tinago Waterfalls in Buru-un. Most of these waterfalls can be reached safely via public transportation available in the city without any hassle (jeep and motorcycle).

7. Bongao  (Tawi-Tawi)

Everyone is paranoid when they hear someone is traveling to Tawi-Tawi. But what they are missing is that, Tawi-Tawi is one of the provinces in the Philippines having a few populations and record of criminality is almost negligible. 

Be mindful that people that Tawi-Tawi is not the same as Sulu or Basilan. If you are thinking what to do in Tawi-Tawi, you will get confuse where to go with the hundreds of white sand beaches littered on the shores of Bongao and especially at the islets surrounding the main island. 

The locals are more aloof but curious being visited by non-Mindanaon. And they are a little timid at first but very smart when get engaged into a conversation. 

8. Skim boarding and surfing at Dahican Beach (Mati, Davao Oriental)

Five hours from Davao City, this beach does not only possesses beauty and serenity, it has also a perfect gradient for skim boarding. The white-sand beach of Dahican is also a home to the hundreds of marine turtles to lay their eggs every year. Warning, poaching is strictly prohibited.

9. Samal Island (Davao del Norte)

The Island Garden City of Samal Island (IGACOS)  is one of the most popular destinations in Davao Region. Not only it offers white sand beaches perfect for sun bathing, but the place is also a home to the millions and millions of bats roosting in one of the caves of the island. In fact the Monfort Bat Sanctuary Cave the Guiness Book of Record for the most number of bats in a single colony

10. Bega Waterfalls (Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur)

One of the best waterfalls I have seen in Mindanao is hidden in the silent municipality of Prosperidad. Too aloof from the eyes of tourists, the cleanliness and beauty of the place were preserved. The municipality and the barangay where the waterfalls are located is very welcoming that they would even guide you to the exact location of the hidden gem.

11. Delta Zipline 1.3km (Butuan City)

Butuan is one of the gateways in Mindanao but this city is not just a transit point to other preferred destinations in Mindanao. This place simply got a lot of surprises and activities that will make you busy and make your stay worthwhile without having a thought of being kidnapped or being bombed (which is really a stupid thought in the first place).

12. Mountain trekking to Lake Holon (T’boli, South Cotabato)

I was in trans when I visited Lake Holon in South, Cotabato. Please Cotabato City is hundreds of kilometers away from this province and it is just sad that this progressive province is always being associated with the terror activities of the Abu Sayaff Group because of the word “Cotabato”. It seems like a lot of Filipinos were not paying attention with their HEKASI (geography) class during their elementary days.

13. Seven Waterfalls and Zipline (Lake Sebu, South Cotabato)

Aside from the breathtaking lake, the venue of the Majestic Waterfalls is highlighted with the colorful traditions of the peaceful tribe of the T’boli. You’ll witness the grand of Lake Sebu on top hanging on a zip line. You’ll sense no danger in the area, as you’ll only hear tribal songs and dances of peace and courtships when you cruise the lake.

14. Gumasa Beach (Sarangani)

I love the beach of Gumasa minus the two resorts in the area. Safety is not a question in the area as the locals are very accommodating to lead you to your desired place to visit.  If it is not the season of the Sarbay Festival, you can have the whole beach cove just for yourself. Swim, jump, run, get a tan, do whatever you want!

15. Street Dancing Kadayawan Festival (Davao City)

Don’t you dare compare Davao City with Manila! This place differs in terms of prosperity and SECURITY. In fact, Davao City was named as one of the 7 safest cities on earth. Aside from the strict implementation of the law, you will find most of the people here honest and most of the establishments are tourist-friendly.  Here in Davao, taxi drivers give back change to the very last centavo.

16. Malaybalay Bukidnon

This province in the south is the Baguio equivalent of Mindanao. The coldbreeze of the mountains is just enticing to wander around and enjoy the beautiful ethnic scenery and the not-so-crowded street of the town. Just be careful in Malaybalay, because you might just fall and lose your heart in this place.

17. Cantiasay (Surigao City)

The San Pedro-Cantiasay bridge is the longest wooden bridge you can find in the Philippines. There is nothing to worry about in this place other than bringing your own food. You’ll be ashamed when the locals here approach you and offer you some snacks just like what we had experience during our visit in the area. So hospitable, so Pinoy!

18. Dinagat Island

This neophyte island province is a road less traveled place. But this places holds some mind-blowing destinations that you wouldn’t think have existed. Their public beaches is even better than the cream-liked-sand of Boracay and the mountains are filled some exotic flora and fauna that never been found anywhere else in the world. Worrying about the myth about the Ecleo clan and their “cult”, bash this off as this is just a pure urban legend. You can reach San Jose, Dinagat by an hour boat ride from Surigao City.

Now what are you waiting for? Come and visit Mindanao! #VisitPh2015

Do you have some places to add? Share it with us. Comment your suggestion below.

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