Southern Mindanao

The area around Davao is ripe for adventures, from climbing Mt Apo and hiking opportunities in the Compostela Valley to exploring the long coastline, both north and south of the city, plus several offshore islands. It sees few foreign travellers, but does get more than its fair share of weekending Davaoeños. Lake Sebu is an out-of-the-way spot to experience tribal cultures and savour the beauty of the countryside. Wherever you travel in the region, roadside stands are piled high with distinctive fruits such as marang, mangosteen, rhambutan, lanzones, doco (a variety of the latter) and, of course, durian (there are more than eight varieties available), not to mention more ordinary fruits (bananas, pineapples and papayas are farmed on an industrial scale).

Check the latest travel advisories regarding safety in this region. There have been several incidents of violence and high-profile kidnappings in recent years.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Southern Mindanao.