Phweekly Manila

Mindanao, the southern group of Philippine islands, hide within it many travel gems that are yet to be discovered. Many amazing Mindanao points of interest remain a secret to the travel sphere and are only visited by the lucky few who would go out of their way to find these sites. Included in this list are just few of those many underrated, fascinating tourist destinations in Mindanao Philippines.

Magpupungko Rock Formation and Tidal Pools – Siargao

Why you should go

When Mother Nature creates something out of its own beauty and energy, one must strive to witness it. Such is the case for Magpupungko Beach which has spectacular rock formations and tidal pools at its northern end, formed by the forces of nature.

The coral reef at the edge of the island make a wall that keeps the waves out and the seawater in a depression when there is low tide. What comes out of it are beautiful tidal pools with turquoise water that seems like infinity pools. And surrounded by it are eye-catching rock formations. The Magpupungko Rock fascinates best, where one giant boulder sits atop a flat rock. Truly, the place is mesmerizing.

How to get there

From General Luna in Siargao, Surigao del Norte, you could either take a habal-habal. You would rent one at General Luna and go straight to Magpupungko beach. It would take about an hour, with P100 per head fare. Otherwise, take a jeep to Dapa Public Market from General Luna. When you get there, ride another jeep to the town of Pilar and ask to be dropped off at Magpupungko.

Things to do

Take a dip and swim in the tidal pools! With such a pool, the current and waves are kept out from being a hazard and you can enjoy the sea. Also, because tidal pools have relatively still waters, you can snorkel around and see the diverse marine life underneath the surface.

Britania Islands – Surigao del Surfascinating tourist destinations in Mindanao Philippines

Why you should go

Touted by the Geographic Channel as “one of the best spots in Asia”, the Britania Group of Islands compete with Boracay when it comes to white sand beaches. 24 islands and islets at the Lianga Bay make up Britania. All of them are surrounded by pristine blue seawater, and have arguably the best white sand beaches in the South.

In some of the islands, there are also beautiful karst limestone formations that can be seen. An example would be those in Buslon Island, the more populated with tourists island.

How to get there

Coming from Butuan City, you can take a bus at the Butuan City Integrated Bus Terminal going to Bislig. Going there, asked to be dropped off at San Francisco Terminal or Barobo Terminal. At the terminal, ride a bus, jeep or van going to Tandag and asked to be dropped off at Salvacion, San Agustin. When you get there, hire a habal-habal going to Barangay Britania. There you could now hire a package tour around the group of islands.

Things to do

Island hopping is the major thing to check off your bucketlist in Britania. The four major islands to tour around are Hagonoy Island, Naked Island, Buslon Island and Hiyor-Hiyoran Island. At Hagonoy, you can opt to take your resting break because the line of coconut trees provide a cool shade for everyone. At Naked Island, as it name implies, there are no trees, just purely a bar of naked white sand. Swimming here is great as you can swim on both sides of the bar to your heart’s content. On the other hand, at Buslon Island, you could eat lunch as what most people do. Many establishments sell good food here. Plus, you can also swim here. Lastly, at Hiyor-Hiyoran, if you have snorkeling gear, go and snorkel around the island.

Lake Agco – Kidapawanfascinating tourist destinations in Mindanao Philippines

Why you should go

Where else would you find a boiling pool of sulfuric-rich mud and waters that go into pools and a mini-lake? Nowhere else but in Lake Agco at the foot of Mt. Apo, of course! The mudpool is literally boiling – you would hear it gurgle and see steam come out of it. Lake Agco offers relaxation to everyone who would dare dip into its pools. The resorts here provide the perfect spa places with many springs dispersed in the area. Truly, this place is extraordinary and a must-visit for travelers to Kidapawan.

How to get there

From Kidapawan City, hire a tricycle to take you to the habal-habal terminal going to Ilomavis. Once there, rent a habal-habal going directly to Lake Agco.

Things to do

Pools and jacuzzis abound. The only thing you have to do is to go try dipping and bathing in them. In these pools and jacuzzis, the resort managements combine the hot and cold water from the springs to get just the right temperature for those who want to try. Better yet, try to have a mud spa. The mud all over the place is yours to have a mud facial mask or over-all body spa. How cool is that? The locals believe that the sulfur content of the mud here is good for your skin and also has healing powers, so it is recommended that you try it out. Aside, from the mud bath, you can also go for steam baths at the Antapan Mountain Resort or dip into the famous healing spring.

Opol Beach – Cagayan de Oro

Why you should go

The long stretch of soft, gray sand in the municipality of Opol by Cagayan de Oro, makes it a prime spot for many beach resorts. The waves are pleasant, not too rough nor too weak, for a great beach experience in Misamis Oriental. Moreover, there are too many activities to enjoy at Opol because of the many resorts that are here. Your time to have fun under the sun will be enriched by the many things you can do with family and friends.

How to get there

From Cagayan de Oro City, take either a taxi, a jeep, or private vehicle going to Opol which is just 11 km west of CDO.

Things to do

Aside from the obvious swimming at the beach, you could also sun bathe over the long stretch of sand as most do. From the resort you are staying, maybe the Apple Tree or Maravilla Resort, you can lounge out at the shore. Also, you can rent jetskis for P2000 per vehicle, or rent a banana boatfor your group of barkada. The resorts also rent out nipa huts and picnic tables for you to enjoy your lunch out while at the beach. Within the resorts, you can enjoy pool tables, videoke machines or for the pricey ones, even swimming pools.

Tinago Falls – Iligan

Why you should go

Iligan is known for its many falls, most notably Maria Cristina Falls. However, it also boasts of the more unpopular ones that are just beautiful. Tinago Falls serves as an example. Truly hidden, you have to go down a flight of some 400 steps to get to the falls. When you get there, you will be struck with awe by the explicit beauty and calmness of nature. Definitely, this is the spot to relax, unwind and be one with nature.

How to get there

From Iligan City, take jeep bound to Buru-an. Ask the jeepney driver to be drop you of at the Buru-an Market. From there, take a tricycle to take you to Tinago Falls. Alternatively, hail a cab from the city proper to take you directly there.

Things to do

At the site, you can choose to rent out a cottage and stay there to just lounge and relax, or perhaps eat. Also, you can rent a raft to take you around the pool that catches the water from the falls. The best thing to do however is to take a swim into that pool and feel the waterfall’s refreshingly cool water to really enjoy the place. Aside from the picturesque waters, you can also explore a cavern which beautifully resonates the sound of the water.

The beauty and wonder of these places clearly demystifies that the South is an unstable and dangerous place. Easily, these fascinating tourist destinations in Mindanao Philippines trumps out these negativity and replaces them with amazing travel treasures. Hopefully more travelers get to discover the many tourist spots in Mindanao, and find that it really is a promising land of travel.



 

Phweekly Manila