You are currently viewing Island Adventure Awaits: Hopping Islands in Mindanao

Island Adventure Awaits: Hopping Islands in Mindanao

Mindanao is the second-largest and southernmost island in the Philippines. It is known for its diverse landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and vibrant communities. The island is characterized by lush tropical rainforests, fertile plains, and picturesque mountain ranges. Here is a look into some of the top island hopping destinations in Mindanao. Mindanao is home to many popular islands including Samal, Camiguin, Tawi-Tawi, and Dinagat.


Located near Davao City, Samal is renowned for its pristine white-sand beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant marine life. It’s a popular choice for beach lovers and water enthusiasts.

Island hopping in Samal

  • Talicud Island: Talicud Island, located on the southern part of Samal is home to pristine beaches and clear waters. Snorkel or dive in the coral-rich areas around Talicud, known for its diverse marine life.
  • Babu Santa Beach: On Talicud island you will find the serene Babu Santa beach. Offering a peaceful atmosphere, it is ideal for swimming and sunbathing.
  • Angel’s Cove: Angel’s Cove is a secluded spot known for its turquoise waters and natural rock formations. You can snorkel around the cove and experience the vibrant underwater life.
  • Hagimit Falls: Here you will find a refreshing cascade surrounded by lush vegetation. Take a dip in the cool waters and enjoy the natural beauty.
  • Isla Reta Beach: Conclude your island hopping tour at Isla Reta Beach. Relax on the sandy shores, take in the sunset, and enjoy a beachside picnic.
Talicud island


Dubbed the “Island Born of Fire,” Camiguin is famous for its volcanoes, hot springs, and lush landscapes. It’s a haven for nature lovers, with opportunities for hiking, diving, and exploring unique geological formations.

Island hopping in Camiguin

  • White Island: Begin your island hopping adventure with a visit to White Island, a pristine sandbar located a short boat ride from Agoho. Enjoy the panoramic views of Mt. Hibok-Hibok and Mt. Vulcan as you relax on the fine white sand.
  • Mantigue Island: Explore Mantigue Island, known for its vibrant coral reefs and diverse marine life. Snorkel or dive in the crystal-clear waters, and take a walk around the island to appreciate its natural beauty.
  • Katibawasan Falls: Next, head to Katibawasan Falls, a stunning waterfall surrounded by lush tropical greenery. Take a refreshing dip in the cool waters of the natural pool.
  • Ardent Hot Springs: Visit Ardent Hot Springs to relax and unwind in the soothing warm waters. The springs are nestled at the foot of Mt. Hibok-Hibok and provide a unique experience surrounded by nature.
  • Sunken Cemetery: Explore the Sunken Cemetery, a historical site marked by a large cross commemorating the graves submerged during the volcanic eruption in the 1870s. Take a boat to reach the site and learn about its significance.
  • Gui-ob Church Ruins: Visit the Gui-ob Church Ruins, the remnants of an old Spanish-era church destroyed by the eruption of Mt. Vulcan. The ruins offer a glimpse into the island’s history.
Sunken cemetery


Situated in the far southern part of Mindanao, Tawi-Tawi is known for its stunning coral reefs, clear waters, and diverse marine life. It offers a unique cultural experience, with a predominantly Muslim population. While Tawi-Tawi may not be as popular as other tourist destinations but it offers unique experiences for those seeking off-the-beaten-path adventures.

Island hopping in Tawi-Tawi

  • Panampangan Island: Start your island hopping tour with a visit to Panampangan Island, known for its long sandbar and clear turquoise waters. Relax on the beach, stroll along the sandbar, and enjoy the serene atmosphere.
  • Bongao Peak: Explore Bongao Peak, the highest point in Tawi-Tawi, offering panoramic views of the surrounding islands and the Sulu Sea. The climb will be rewarded with breathtaking vistas and a sense of accomplishment.
  • Sanga-Sanga Japanese Shrine: Visit the Sanga-Sanga Japanese Shrine, a historical site from World War II. The shrine serves as a reminder of the island’s wartime history and offers a quiet place for reflection.
  • Pamansig Cove: Discover Pamansig Cove, a secluded spot with crystal-clear waters, vibrant coral reefs, and diverse marine life. Snorkel or dive to explore the underwater beauty of Tawi-Tawi.
  • Simunul Island: Experience the cultural heritage of Tawi-Tawi by visiting Simunul Island. Explore the historic Sheik Karimol Makhdum Mosque, considered one of the oldest mosques in the Philippines.
  • Tandubanak: Head to Tandubanak, an island known for its mangrove forests and bird-watching opportunities. Enjoy the tranquility of the natural surroundings.
  • Bud Bongao: Conclude your tour with a visit to Bud Bongao, a sacred mountain with a series of stairs leading to the top. Aside from the panoramic views, the site is known for its diverse flora and fauna.
tawi-tawi beach photo


The Dinagat Islands are situated in the Caraga Region of northeastern Mindanao, Philippines. Known for its scenic landscapes, including the breathtaking Bitaog Beach and the mystical Enchanted River, Dinagat Islands offer a mix of natural wonders and cultural richness.

Island hopping in Dinagat

  • Bitaog Beach: Explore Bitaog Beach, known for its pristine white sand and crystal-clear waters. Relax on the beach, take a dip, and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.
  • Hagakhak Island: Hagakhak Island is a small islet with beautiful coral reefs. Snorkel or dive to discover the vibrant marine life and colorful coral formations.
  • Tinago Cove: Visit Tinago Cove, a hidden gem with turquoise waters and limestone cliffs. It’s an ideal spot for swimming and taking in the scenic views.
  • Hinabyan Beach: Head to Hinabyan Beach, a secluded stretch of white sand surrounded by lush greenery. Enjoy the tranquility and natural beauty of this lesser-known destination.
  • Kabakungan Cove: Kabakungan Cove offers a picturesque setting with clear waters and interesting rock formations. It’s a peaceful spot to relax and appreciate the coastal scenery.
  • Lingin Bayan Cave and Beach: Explore Lingin Bayan Cave, a cave system with a hidden beach. The cave’s entrance leads to a small beach, creating a unique and enchanting experience.

Keep in Mind

It is always advisable to coordinate with local guides or authorities to ensure a safe and respectful experience. Always be mindful of local customs and environmental conservation efforts during your island hopping tour.

Green Gecko