Mindanao is one of the three principal geographical divisions of the Philippines, along with Luzon and Visayas.  It is the southern part of the Philippine archipelago.

Mindanao Regions Map

Fast Facts

Mindanao is the second largest island in the Philippines. 

Mindanao and the smaller islands surrounding it make up the island group of the same name.

The Mindanao island group is grouping of islands in southern Philippines which is comprised of the Mindanao mainland, the Sulu Archipelago (consisting of the islands of Basilan, Sibutu, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi), and the outlying islands of Camiguin, Dinagat, Siargao, Bucas Grande, Samal, Talikud, Sarangani, Olutanga, and Mapun.

Mindanao Island Group Map

The population of the main island is approximately 22 million people, while the entire Mindanao island group has an estimated population of about 28 million people.

The dominant languages spoken in this region are: Cebuano, Tausug, and Hiligaynon.

Davao City is the major port and city. 

The island is forested and mountainous, rising to the active volcano of Mount Apo, at 2,954 meters (9,690 feet), the highest peak in the Philippines. 

The jagged coastline features deep bays and islets. There are numerous inland waterways and lakes. 

The economy is primarily agricultural. Tin mining takes place around Mindanao.

The chief crops are corn (maize), rice, abaca, bananas, pineapples, mangoes, and coconuts. Cotton, ramie (a fibre plant), coffee, and cacao are also grown. 

The timber industry is important, and there are gold, nickel, iron, and coal deposits. 

Mindanao is a Muslim outpost in the predominantly Roman Catholic Philippines. Although Muslims are no longer a majority, Islamic culture is evident; there are many mosques, and distinctive brassware, including the kris, or dagger, is manufactured. The autonomous region of Muslim Mindanao—consisting of territory in western and southwestern Mindanao along with a number of nearby islands, including Tawi Tawi and Jolo — was established in 1990.

It also has the largest concentration of ethnic minorities in the Philippines.

Chartered cities include Zamboanga City, Cotabato City, Davao City, Cagayan de Oro, and Butuan.

The major cities and municipalities in Mindanao are:

(km2| mi2)
1Davao19373,965 km2 | 1,531 mi21,633,000Davao Region
2Zamboanga1937 1,415 km2 | 546 mi2861,800Zamboanga Peninsula
3Cagayan de Oro1950413 km2 | 160 mi2676,000Northern Mindanao
4General Santos1968 493 km2 | 190 mi2594,500SOCCSKSARGEN
5Iligan1950 813 km2 | 314 mi2342,700Northern Mindanao
6Butuan1950817 km2 | 315 mi2337,100Caraga
7Cotabato1959176 km2 | 68 mi2299,500BARMM
8Tagum1998196 km2 | 76 mi2259,500Davao Region
9Marawi194088 km2 | 34 mi2201,800BARMM
10Pagadian1969 379 km2 | 146 mi2199,100Zamboanga Peninsula
11Valencia2000587 km2 | 227 mi2193,000Northern Mindanao
12Panabo2001251 km2 | 97 mi2184,600Davao Region
13Koronadal2000277 km2 | 107 mi2175,000SOCCSKSARGEN
14Malaybalay1998969 km2 | 374 mi2174,700Northern Mindanao
15Digos2000287 km2 | 111 mi2169,400Davao Region
16Pikit Town, CotabatoNA 605 km2 | 233 mi2154,500SOCCSKSARGEN
17Surigao City1970 245 km2 | 95 mi2154,200Caraga
18Polomolok Town, South CotabatoNA340 km2 | 131 mi2152,600SOCCSKSARGEN
19Midsayap Town, CotabatoNA290 km2 | 112 mi2151,700SOCCSKSARGEN
20Ozamiz1948170km2 | 66 mi2141,900Northern Mindanao

This island group accounts for about one-third of the landmass of the Philippines (97,530 km2 | 37,660 mi2),  and approximately 25% of its population (approximately 28 Million).


(km2| mi2)
Butuan City817 km2 | 315 mi2337,100MindanaoAgusan del NorteMAP
Cagayan de Oro City413 km2 | 160 mi2676,000MindanaoMisamis Oriental, BukidnonMAP
Camiguin Island238 km2 | 92 mi288,500CamiguinCamiguinMAP
Cotabato City176 km2 | 68 mi2300,000MindanaoMaguindanao del NorteMAP
Davao City3,965 km2 | 1,531 mi21,633,000MindanaoDavao del SurMAP
Dapitan City390 km2 | 151 mi282,500MindanaoZamboanga del NorteMAP
Dinagat Island802 km2 | 310 mi2128,000DinagatDinagat IslandsMAP
Dipolog City241 km2 | 93 mi2130,800MindanaoZamboanga del NorteMAP
General Santos City493 km2 | 190 mi2594,500MindanaoSouth CotabatoMAP
Illigan City813 km2 | 314 mi2342,700MindanaoLanao del NorteMAP
Lake Sebu3.54 km2 | 1.36 mi287,450MindanaoSouth CotabatoMAP
Mati City589 km2 | 227 mi2141,141MindanaoDavao OrientalMAP
Malamawi Island20 km2 | 8 mi212,400MalamawiBasilanMAP
Pagadian City379 km2 | 146 mi2199,100MindanaoZamboanga del SurMAP
Samal Island301 km2 | 116 mi2104,123SamalDavao del NorteMAP
Siargao Island437 km2 | 169 mi294,273SiargaoSurigao del NorteMAP
Surigao City245 km2 | 95 mi2154,200MindanaoSurigao del NorteMAP
T'Boli Town896 km2 | 346 mi291,453MindanaoSouth CotabatoMAP
Tawi-Tawi Island1,087 km2 | 420 mi2390,715Tawi-TawiTawi-TawiMAP
Zamboanga City1,415 km2 | 546 mi2861,800MindanaoZamboanga del SurMAP

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To learn more about popular destinations within each island group, make a selection by clicking on one of the divisions below.


Luzon Island Group


Visayas Island Group


Mindanao Island Group