If you’re planning a trip to the Philippines, chances are you’ve heard about the stunning beaches in Boracay or Palawan. But did you know that the region of Mindanao also has its fair share of beautiful beaches?
Located at the southernmost part of the Philippine archipelago, Mindanao boasts a rich cultural heritage and diverse natural landscapes. And what better way to experience its beauty than by visiting some of the best Mindanao beaches?
In this guide, we’ll take you on a virtual tour of breathtaking beaches in Mindanao that will make you fall in love with this region even more!
- 1. Great Sta. Cruz Island (Zamboanga City)
- 2. Daku Island (Siargao)
- 3. Dahican Beach (Mati City, Davao)
- 4. White Island (Camiguin)
- 5. Dakak Park and Beach Resort (Zamboanga del Norte)
- 6. Britannia Islands (Surigao del Sur)
- 7. Cagwait Beach (Surigao del Sur)
- 8. Mantigue Island (Camiguin)
- 9. Gumasa Beach (Glan, Sarangani)
- 10. Samal Island (Davao del Norte)
- 11. Panampangan Island (Tawi-Tawi)
- 12. Dinagat Islands (Surigao del Norte)
- 13. Tandu Beach (Sulu)
- 14. Malamawi White Beach (Basilan)
- 15. Balot Island (Sultan Kudarat)
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1. Great Sta. Cruz Island (Zamboanga City)
It seems that Zamboanga has it all – interesting cityscape, delicious food, and beautiful nature attractions. One of the most tourist spots you should visit here is the Great Santa Cruz Island, more commonly known as the “Pink Beach of Zamboanga.”
This beach gets its name from the stunning naturally pink sand, a unique feature that’s a result of crushed red organ pipe coral mixed with white sand. Visit here for a day of beach bumming, snorkeling, and indulging in fresh seafood! You can also visit the nearby mangrove tour for an eco-friendly kayaking tour.
Afterwards, have dinner at the Paseo del Mar near the port and enjoy some of the best cuisines in Mindanao.
2. Daku Island (Siargao)
One of the top beaches in Mindanao that you should visit is Daku Island in Siargao. Daku Island is one of the three islands included in a Siargao island hopping tour. Of these, it is the largest (hence the name “daku,” which means “large” in the Visayan language) and is the most suitable for beach bumming and swimming, with its white-sand shoreline surrounded by coconut trees and cottages where you can rest and relax.
3. Dahican Beach (Mati City, Davao)
Up for some fun surfing and skimboarding? Then come visit Dahican Beach, a surfing haven located in Mati City, Davao. This beach features a long stretch of white-sand beach flanked by coconut trees, perfect for swimming, sunbathing, surfing, and camping!
Aside from these activities, you’ll also love the laid-back atmosphere at Dahican Beach, where you can catch a glimpse of the locals and fishermen at work. All in all, it’s a perfect destination for a little rest & relaxation.
4. White Island (Camiguin)
Camiguin‘s very own White Island is a staple in the list of top Mindanao beaches. This uninhabited, horseshoe-shaped sandbar is a sight to behold with its pure white sand that contrasts beautifully with the turquoise waters surrounding it. The beach offers an unobstructed, panoramic view of Mt. Hibok-Hibok and Old Vulcan that will take your breath away.
The absence of shade on the sandbar provides the perfect spot for sunbathing and the clear waters make for a fantastic swimming and snorkeling site.
The best time to visit here is in the mornings, when the sun warms lightly but still tolerable to the skin. Don’t forget to bring your sunscreen, umbrella, and some change so you can purchase fresh seafood such as sea urchins being sold right on the sand bar.
5. Dakak Park and Beach Resort (Zamboanga del Norte)
Dakak Park and Beach Resort is a one-of-a-kind paradise in Mindanao, comprising 15 hectares of mountain, forests, and powdery-white sand beach. You can opt to stay here for a staycation, enjoy watersports at the beach, or engage in fun activities at Dakak’s Adventure Zone.
It is also known for its top-notch amenities, from a range of restaurants serving local and international cuisine to comfortable and luxurious accommodation options.
The resort offers over 160 accommodations, from rooms to luxury suites and villas with their own jacuzzi, so you can choose which suits your preferences best. Couples can book Deluxe or Garden Rooms, while families can opt for the more spacious family rooms.
Whether you’re into watersports, exploration hikes, or simply lounging by the beach, Dakak has something for everyone. With its perfect balance of relaxation and adventure, Dakak Park and Beach Resort is another gem in Mindanao that deserves a spot on your beach bucket list!
Dakak Park and Beach Resort: Book discounted rooms here
6. Britannia Islands (Surigao del Sur)
In the coastal town of San Agustin, Surigao del Sur, you’ll find one of Mindanao’s hidden treasures – the Britannia Islands. This fascinating group of over 20 islets scattered across the azure waters of the Pacific is a sight to behold. Each islet boasts its own charm, ranging from tiny specks of land barely enough for a single coconut tree, to larger ones covered with lush vegetation.
Hop on a boat and island hop to four islands open to tourists: Boslon, Hagonoy, Britania, Hiyor-hiyoran, and a bare sand bar called Naked Island.
For beach lovers seeking the best beaches in Mindanao, the Britannia Islands are a must-visit.
7. Cagwait Beach (Surigao del Sur)
Want to experience the white-sand shores of Boracay but without the huge tourist crowd?
Cagwait Beach is a crescent-shaped beach famous for its powdery, white sand and clear blue waters, surrounded by a thick throve of coconut trees. It is a popular destination among the locals and still a hidden gem among those living outside Surigao del Sur Province. There are several resorts and restaurants along the beach, where you can stay for a beach vacation and enjoy local food and beer while watching the scenery.
Aside from being a beach bummer’s paradise, Cagwait Beach is also the site of the annual Kaliguan Festival, a vibrant celebration featuring a fluvial parade, street dancing, and a beauty pageant. So if you’re in Mindanao, make sure to add Cagwait Beach in Surigao del Sur in your itinerary.
8. Mantigue Island (Camiguin)
Camiguin may be a small island province, but it’s filled with gorgeous natural attractions that will make you want to stay longer than planned!
Just a few minutes boat ride away from mainland Camiguin, Mantigue Island is a haven for nature and beach lovers alike. It boasts of a white-sand beach encircling a lush forest, as well as a marine sanctuary teeming with vibrant aquatic life. You can visit here on a day trip to beach bum, swim, and snorkel to see the beautiful corals, giant clams, and variety of fish species thriving in its underwater ecosystem.
The island also features a few cottages where you can rest and enjoy a picnic.
Whether you’re a thrill- or peace-seeker, Mantigue Island offers a unique blend of natural beauty and adventure that’s hard to match. It’s no wonder this picture-perfect island is considered one of the must-visit beaches in Mindanao!
9. Gumasa Beach (Glan, Sarangani)
Dubbed as “Boracay of the South,” Gumasa Beach in Sarangani Province is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. This six-kilometer stretch of white sand beach boasts of crystal-clear waters and a peaceful atmosphere free from the commercial clutter. Surrounded by lush greenery, Gumasa Beach offers visitors a serene getaway, perfect for beach camping, picnics, and swimming.
It is also known for the annual Sarangani Bay Festival, one of the biggest festivals in Mindanao. It’s a local celebration with a multitude of activities including beach sports, dance competitions, and cultural shows to the most awaited night-long concert and party.
10. Samal Island (Davao del Norte)
Just a short boat ride away from Davao City, Samal Island is a popular weekend getaway for both locals and tourists alike.
It offers a variety of beaches to choose from, from the famous Pearl Farm Beach Resort to white-sand beaches such as Kaputian Beach and Isla Reta in Talicud Island to the more secluded Canibad Cove. You can also try island hopping and explore other hidden coves and beaches in this tropical paradise.
Pearl Farm Beach Resort: Book discounted rooms here
11. Panampangan Island (Tawi-Tawi)
Next on our list of the best Mindanao beaches you should see is Panampangan Island, an off-the-beaten island in Tawi-Tawi Province. This island is known to have the longest sandbar in the country, stretching over 3 kilometers at low tide.
Enjoy an afternoon of lounging in the white-sand beach, enjoy fresh seafood from the neighboring barter market, and visit other nearby islands for a complete island hopping experience!
Getting to Panampangan Island can be challenging, as you need to charter a whole boat to get here from the town of Bongao, the capital of Tawi-Tawi. However, the journey is worth it, and you’ll not only discover one of the most pristine beaches in Mindanao, you’ll also get the opportunity to mingle with the locals.
12. Dinagat Islands (Surigao del Norte)
Did you know that there are more amazing island hopping destinations in the Philippines aside from El Nido and Coron?
Dinagat Islands in Surigao del Norte is a group of islands featuring white sandy beaches such as Bitaog Beach, turquoise waters, and an array of beautiful rock formations. It is also home to a bonsai forest, an in-land lake, and a breathtaking tidal pool.
Explore the islands through a day of island hopping or book a night in one of the island resorts where you can experience sleeping in beachfront cottages getting lulled by the relaxing sounds of the ocean.
13. Tandu Beach (Sulu)
Sulu is another off-the-beaten location in Mindanao, boasting pristine islands and white-sand beaches. Most notably, Tandu Beach in the town of Parang offers a long stretch of fine white sands, coconut trees, and public cottages that you can use. It’s the perfect spot to swim and beach bum, enjoy bangbang (local pastries in Sulu), and mingle with the locals.
Don’t forget to bring your sunscreen and shades!
14. Malamawi White Beach (Basilan)
Malamawi White Beach is one of the most well-known beaches in the Mindanao region and a popular day trip from Zamboanga City.
This beach resort features a magnificent stretch of powdery white sand against the backdrop of turquoise waters. Take a picture along its iconic boardwalk, order fresh seafood for your meal, or stay a night or two to truly experience the beauty of Malamawi White Beach.
If you’re up for more adventure, you can also include the nearby Lampinigan Island in your itinerary or head to other tourist spots in Basilan.
Also Read: Is the Philippines Safe to Visit?
15. Balot Island (Sultan Kudarat)
Balot Island is one of the off-the-beaten destinations in Mindanao, featuring a few beautiful white-sand beaches that will delight any beach lovers. Its main beach is a long strip of white-sand shore surrounded by coconut trees. Except for a small community of Muslims, there are no other establishments here. You’re free to frolick in the water, bask in the sun, and take endless pictures at the rock formations beside the beach.
For those who wish to stay overnight, there are certain areas in Balot Island where you can find casual beachfront resorts.
From popular destinations such as Siargao and Samal Island in Davao to hidden gems, the region of Mindanao has something for every beach lover. So pack your bags, grab your sunscreen, and get ready to explore these stunning Mindanao beaches!
What to read next:
Planning a trip to Mindanao? Check out these guides:
- Best Mindanao Tourist Spots + Things to Do
- Best Beaches in Mindanao
- 15 Mindanao Food You Need to Try
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Katherine Cortes is a long-time backpacker and a freelance writer/editor. She likes beaches, snorkeling trips, and relaxing staycations (preferably with bath tubs!).