The Philippines is full of natural wonders and hidden secrets if you choose to look past the usual mass tourism places in the country. Region X or Northern Mindanao is definitely an unspoiled paradise. Today we’ll go through the top region 10 tourist spots in the Philippines and see what this region has to offer.
We recommend Region 10 for travelers who want to see another side of the Philippines. This part of the country is covered in natural wonders and is big on agriculture. Eco and Agri tourism are both important here and you’ll get to meet the locals when visiting Northern Mindanao.
So if you are someone who likes local tourism more than mass tourism then Region 10 of the Philippines will definitely be a place you enjoy. So buckle up for an adventure that’s hard to forget and that will be very different from the Philippine resort towns.
Is Northern Mindanao a safe place to travel?
Before we begin there’s one thing we must share: certain caution must be taken before you decide to travel to Region X. This part of the country has not been without its fair share of problems. Things like insurgencies and tourist kidnappings have happened in the past. We suggest you consult your own government’s travel advisory website to see the latest advisory for the Philippines and Northern Mindanao.
Generally speaking though, Camiguin Island is considered pretty safe and it’s where most Western tourists go when they talk about Region 10.
Cagayan de Oro the main city of the region is also a big and bustling metropolis and while it’s still a safe place we advise you to be cautious as you move around town.
The same goes for the rest of the region. Travel with caution and try to avoid any risky situations.
1. Camiguin Island
Camiguin Island is wildly recognized as one of the best Region 10 tourist spots by travelers. Whether it’s international or local travel this little island has plenty to offer for everyone.
From the amazing coastline that’s dotted with nice beaches and beautiful resorts to the wilderness of the inner parts, it’s a nice variety in scenery and there’s plenty to do to keep you entertained.
Camiguin Island is also kind of in the middle of a mass tourist spot and a local paradise. It’s not as well known as some other parts of the Philippines but it’s still fairly popular. However, this limited number of tourism allowed the small island to develop a style of its own and to keep some of its traditions.
What’s unique about this island is that despite its small size there are a total of seven volcanoes on the island. As you might guess it’s a volcanic island in the first place and even today these volcanoes shape and change the landscape of the island bit by bit.
Among the many beautiful and unspoiled beaches of Camiguin Island one stands out as the most popular and probably as one of the most unique tourist spots in Region 10.
As the name suggests White Island is a small sandbar located just off the coast of Camiguin Island. It has a very characteristic fine white sand that feels like powder under your feet.
The island may seem close to the coast but it’s not swimming distance so do not attempt to swim here. Rather, you can hire some boats from the coast that will take you to the small White Island where you can soak in the sun, swim out in the open waters, and take the best pictures for Instagram.
2. Cagayan de Oro
As far as cities go Cagayan de Oro is the capital of Northern Mindanao and it’s another one of the popular tourist spots in Region 10.
The city is a true mix of locals, local travelers, and international travelers. This town is among the top spots for in-country travel which means that you can find plenty of tourist spots that cater to the local population.
It’s a unique experience as an international traveler as you get a peek into Philippines culture and you’ll feel more than welcome in Cagayan de Oro.
The city is great for sightseeing with many interesting buildings and memorials near the center and it’s also an excellent tourist spot to sample the Philippines cuisine and street food options.
If you don’t want to go to Camiguin Island then Cagayan de Oro is a good base for exploring Region X.
3. Mount Kalatungan Range National Park
Climbing Mount Kalatungan is truly a test of endurance and will. It’s the fifth-highest peak in the Philippines and the national park offers some of the most beautiful vistas of Northern Mindanao’s rolling hills and beautiful forests.
This is wildly regarded as one of the hardest hikes in the Philippines so we only recommend this one for experienced hikers who’ve conquered many mountain trails before. Usually, it takes 2 days, or if you want to really enjoy it 3 days to complete this hike.
You start the hike from Mendis in Pangantucan, Bukidnon. From here you’ll hike for two days through rough terrain that’s straining even for the most experienced hikers. If you are fit and you can tackle the challenge you’ll be rewarded with excellent views and an experience you’ll want to brag about to everyone.
Once again: this is a HARD hike. Do not attempt if you are unsure that you can complete it. For a full trek guide and experience you can read this blog post from TransitPinas.com
4. Mount Kitanglad Range Natural Park
Another excellent mountain trek is Mount Kitanglad Range Natural Park. This mountain and nature park offers a tourist attraction in Region 10 that is not as demanding but it’s just as amazing as the other mountain ranges around.
In fact, regardless of the easier trek Mount Kitanglan still is the second highest point in the whole Philippines. Yep, you’ll be up really high in the mountains.
This Natural Park also represents some of the only remaining rainforests in the Philippines. Needless to say, it’s quite a unique experience to trek through these forests and mountains and ascend to the mountain peak.
Once again, this is a 2-3 day trek so you’ll need some time allocated. People usually do this in groups. Here’s a writeup of what you can expect and you may try contacting them for a guided experience as well.
5. The Waterfalls of Region X
The jungles and mountains of Region 10 are a guarantee for picturesque landscapes. What elevates the scenery, even more, is the abundance of amazing waterfalls in Northern Mindanao.
Some of these you’ll encounter naturally as you hike around the region and explore the different areas while some of them you have to seek out for yourself. However, if you are into waterfalls then Region 10 is a place you’ll immensely enjoy.
Lanao Del Norte
Lanao Del Norte is the province of Region 10 south of Cagayan de Oro. It’s also the part of the region where you can encounter some of the most amazing waterfalls. If you have access to a car then definitely do some exploration here.
6. Lanao Lake
Lake Lanao is the second-largest lake in the Philippines and it’s a true hidden gem. Barely touched by tourism and definitely missed by mass tourism you can see picturesque scenes and cute towns around the lake.
Did you know that this lake is an ancient lake and has its own ecosystems? It’s so old and separated from the rest of the waters on Earth that Lanao Lake has its own type of fish found nowhere else on the planes. Wow!
It’s a very unspoiled place and one that’s worth checking out. Those who enjoy off-the-beaten-path attractions will definitely love this unknown Region 10 tourist spot.
7. Del Monte Pineapple Plantation
We’ve already mentioned Agritourism and Agriculture as an important part of Northern Mindanao. As an example, you can visit Del Monte Pineapple Plantation which is one of the largest Pineapple plantations on the whole planet.
You can visit the plantation where you’ll learn how pineapple is harvested and grown. You’ll also learn about slicing and packing pineapple into cans and into other foods. It’s an interesting experience, especially considering the size of this plantation: there’s a chance you’ve had pineapple that’s from here.
Interestingly the plantation also has its own golf course so you can golf a bit if you want and there’s also a clubhouse where you can dine and wine if you want a relaxing break from sightseeing.
8. Seven Seas Waterpark
The Seven Seas Waterpark is one of the main Region 10 tourist attractions. It’s an expansive waterpark that welcomes visitors from all over the world.
Whether it’s the epic slides you want to check out (which you’ll find an abundance of) or other water-based attractions there is no time to be bored at Seven Seas Waterpark.
It’s very much a developed waterpark that you can visit. One of the best places to spend a day when it’s hot and humid and you feel the need to cool down.
9. Dahilayan Adventure Park
Another famous Region 10 tourism spot is the Dahilayan Adventure Park. It’s one of the best adventure parks in the Philippines. The park is filled with attractions that will definitely have you face your fears and get your adrenaline flowing.
The main attraction is the zipline that runs 840 meters above the ground. Not only it’s an amazing experience but being that high up will give you some amazing views that will make you forget to be scared of the experience.
You’ll also find a variety of other zipline and height-based attractions like bungee jumping. It might not be the place for people with vertigo but if you don’t have a fear of heights then there’s plenty to enjoy here.
10. Mount Malindang Range Natural Park
Mount Malindang is another one of the amazing natural attractions in Northern Mindanao. It’s a beautiful mountain range that offers plenty of trekking opportunities for those who want to explore this part of Region 10.
It is another multi-day climb if you want to get the most out of your experience. The mountain range Natural Park has now been elevated to World Heritage Status as the biodiversity of the area is unique and must be protected.
One of the most famous attractions on the mountain is Lake Duminagat. This is a crater lake so it’s quite unique among the lakes of the Philippines.
11. Agricultural and Eco-Tourism
If you are into local tourism then you’ll be happy to learn that Agritourism and Eco-Tourism are both big Region 10 tourist attractions. You’ll find plenty of farms that you can visit. And even plenty of farm stays in the countryside of Northern Mindanao.
Similarly, if you deliberately seek out Eco-Tourism hotels and accommodations then you’ll find plenty in this region. The Philippines is a leader in Eco-Tourism anyways and the Camiguin Island along with other beach areas has plenty of Eco-Tourism spots you can book.
12. Adrenaline Inspiring Adventures
If the waterpark and adventure park of Northern Mindanao is not enough for you then the region has some other adrenaline adventures to offer.
One of the main tourist attractions in Cagayan de Oro is whitewater rafting. This region of the Philippines has some amazing rivers for rafting. Whether you are a novice or experienced in rafting there’s plenty to enjoy.
The good thing is that rafting is not limited to Cagayan de Oro so you can explore different streams of water on different days and get some truly exhilarating experiences.
Region 10 Tourist Spots – FAQ
Region 10 is a nice way to experience the Philippines from a different perspective. A place where mass tourism hasn’t yet reached and a place where natural beauty is abundant. If you are after these traits then Region X of the Philippines is definitely worth the visit.