Major Island Groups in the Philippine Islands

Written by Patrick
Travel Insurance

The Philippines consists of about 7,600+ islands that are categorized broadly under three main geographical divisions from north to south: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.   To learn more about each Philippine island groups, select an island group using the buttons below.


Philippine Major Island Groups


Rice Terraces in the Cordillera Region of Luzon

Caption:  Rice Terraces in the Cordillera Region of Luzon

Luzon is the largest and most populous of the three main island groups. It is located in the northern part of the Philippines and is home to the capital city, Manila. Luzon features a diverse landscape, including mountains, plains, and beautiful coastlines. Some notable features on Luzon include the Bicol Peninsula, the Cordillera Central mountain range, and the Sierra Madre mountain range. The islands of Catanduanes, Marinduque, Masbate, Mindoro and Palawan are the outlying islands which are also considered part of the Luzon Island Group. Luzon is composed of eight administrative regions. These are Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley Region, Cordillera Administrative Region, Central Luzon Region, National Capital Region, CALABARZON, MIMAROPA and Bicol Region.

READ MORE: Luzon Island Group


White Beach on Boracay Island in the Visayas

Caption:  White Beach on Boracay Island in the Visayas

The Visayas is situated in the central part of the Philippines and is known for its stunning beaches, vibrant festivals, and rich cultural heritage. Some of the well-known tourist spots include Boracay, known for its powdery sand, the Chocolate Hills in Bohol, and the historical sites of Cebu. The Visayas hosts some of the country’s grandest celebrations, with festivals like Aklan’s Ati-Atihan, Iloilo’s Dinagyang, Cebu’s Sinulog, Bacolod’s MassKara, and Tacloban’s Pintados-Kasadyaan offering a glimpse into the Visayan spirit. This island group comprises significant landmasses such as Cebu, Bohol, Negros, and Panay and is administratively divided into the regions of Western Visayas, Central Visayas, and Eastern Visayas.

READ MORE: Visayas Island Group


Asik-Asik Falls in Cotabato, Mindanao

Caption:  Asik-Asik Falls in Cotabato, Mindanao

Located in the southern part of the Philippines, Mindanao is the second-largest island group. It is known for its diverse culture, stunning landscapes, and rich natural resources. Mount Apo, the country’s highest peak, is located in Mindanao, attracting hikers and nature lovers. Notable places in Mindanao include Davao City, Camiguin Island, and Siargao in Caraga. Mindanao is composed of six administrative regions. These are the Zamboanga Peninsula Region, Northern Mindanao Region, Davao Region, Caraga Region, SOCCSKSARGEN and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao.

READ MORE: Mindanao Island Group

These three major island groups make up the archipelago of the Philippines, each with its unique characteristics and attractions. Traveling through these regions allows you to experience the diversity of landscapes, cultures, and traditions that the Philippines has to offer.

VIEW: 35 Largest Philippine Islands

About the Author


Patrick is an entrepreneur, digital nomad, explorer, and photographer. Patrick is always in search of fun and adventure. He is well travelled throughout the world, and although location independent, his home base is Phoenix, Arizona in the USA. Patrick loves island lifestyle which is no wonder why he is so interested in spending time in the Philippines with it’s over 7,000 islands. Patrick created this site to share his knowledge of and experiences in the Philippines with Filipinos as well as other foreigners.

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