The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises against all travel to parts of Mindanao, including western and central Mindanao and the Sulu Islands. Check the latest before you travel.
Welcome to Mindanao
Despite jaw-dropping beaches, killer surf, rugged mountains and indigenous cultures living much as they have for centuries, Mindanao, with the exception of Siargao and to an extent Camiguin, remains off the tourism industry’s radar. Of course, the conflict that has simmered for several generations (and the 2017 declaration of martial law in the region) bears much of the responsibility for this. That’s not to say, however, that there isn’t development and the woes that go with it – the southern city of Davao is, for example, fairly cosmopolitan.
Though big and bulky, Mindanao's varied ethnographic make-up, competing land claims and highly prized natural resources can make it seem undersized. Since the 1950s Muslims have been outnumbered and currently muster a majority in only five of Mindanao's 21 provinces. Of these five, 14,000 sq km are given over to the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), an area that includes islands stretching towards Malaysia and Indonesia.