Tawi-Tawi Tourist Hotspots: Top Attractions You Really Need to Visit.

Tawi-Tawi, an island province in the Philippines, is home to some of the most stunning tourist spots in the country. With its crystal-clear waters, pristine beaches, and diverse marine life, Tawi Tawi has become a go-to destination for travelers seeking an off-the-beaten-path adventure.

Exploring the Island Province
Tawi Tawi is a remote province located in the southernmost part of the Philippines. Despite its distance from the country’s capital, Manila, the province boasts a plethora of tourist spots that are worth exploring. From the white sand beaches of Bongao Island to the vibrant coral reefs of Sanga-Sanga Island, Tawi Tawi has something for every type of traveler.

Cultural Landmarks and Heritage
Aside from its natural wonders, Tawi Tawi is also rich in culture and history. The province is home to various cultural landmarks and heritage sites that offer a glimpse into the region’s past. Travelers can visit the Badjao Village in Bongao and witness the traditional way of life of the Badjao people, or explore the ancient mosque of Simunul, which is considered one of the oldest mosques in the country.

Key Takeaways

  • Tawi Tawi is a remote island province in the Philippines that boasts stunning natural wonders and diverse marine life.
  • In addition to its natural beauty, Tawi Tawi is also rich in culture and history, with various cultural landmarks and heritage sites to explore.
  • Travelers to Tawi Tawi should not miss out on the opportunity to experience the local markets and immerse themselves in the unique local culture.

Exploring the Island Province

Tawi-Tawi is an island province in the southernmost part of the Philippines. It is known for its pristine beaches, crystal clear waters, and diverse marine life. The province is composed of 107 islands and islets, each with its own unique charm and beauty.

Island Hopping Adventures

Photo by: Ervin Malicdem – Own work

Island hopping is a popular activity in Tawi-Tawi. Tourists can rent boats and explore the different islands and islets in the province. Some of the must-visit islands include Panampangan Island, Bohe Island, and Sanga-Sanga Island.

Panampangan Island is known for its long stretch of white sand beach, crystal clear waters, and vibrant coral reefs. Bohe Island, on the other hand, is a small island with a beautiful sandbar that emerges during low tide. Sanga-Sanga Island is the largest island in Tawi-Tawi and is home to the province’s airport.

The Sacred Mountain of Bud Bongao

Photo by: www.tripadvisor.com

Bud Bongao is a sacred mountain located in the town of Bongao. It is considered a pilgrimage site for the Tausug people, the dominant ethnic group in Tawi-Tawi. The mountain is believed to be the home of spirits and is revered for its natural beauty.

Tourists can hike up Bud Bongao and enjoy the panoramic view of the surrounding islands and islets. Along the way, they can also see different species of flora and fauna, including the Tarsier, a small primate that is endemic to the Philippines.

In conclusion, exploring the island province of Tawi-Tawi is an adventure that should not be missed. From its pristine beaches to its sacred mountain, Tawi-Tawi has something to offer for every type of traveler.

Cultural Landmarks and Heritage


Sheik Karimul Makhdum Mosque
Photo by: www.mymindanao.com

The Sheik Karimul Makhdum Mosque is a significant cultural landmark in Tawi Tawi. It is named after Sheik Karimul Makhdum, who is known for spreading Islam in the Philippines. The mosque is located in Simunul, the first Islamic Kingdom in the country. It is believed to be the oldest mosque in the Philippines, built in 1380 by an Arab missionary. The mosque features traditional Islamic architecture, with a dome and minaret. Visitors can observe the daily prayers and learn about the hist

Sheik Karimul Makhdum Mosque

ory and significance of the mosque.

Badjao Village and Mat Weaving

Banig Weaving
Photo by: www.pinterest.ph

The Badjao Village in Tawi Tawi is a cultural heritage site that showcases the traditional lifestyle of the Badjao people. The Badjao are known as the sea gypsies of the Philippines, and their village is built on stilts over the water. Visitors can observe the Badjao’s daily activities, such as fishing and mat weaving. Mat weaving is a significant part of their culture, and visitors can learn about the process and even try it themselves. The mats are made from pandan leaves and are used for sleeping, sitting, and even as sails for their boats.

In conclusion, Tawi Tawi offers a rich cultural experience for visitors interested in learning about the region’s heritage. The Sheik Karimul Makhdum Mosque and Badjao Village are just two examples of the many cultural landmarks and traditions that can be explored in Tawi Tawi.

Natural Wonders and Dive Spots

Tawi Tawi is a hidden gem in the Philippines that boasts stunning natural beauty and a wide range of dive spots. The province is home to numerous islands, each with its own unique charm and beauty. Among these islands, Panampangan Island and Simunul Island stand out as must-visit destinations for tourists.

Panampangan Island

Image source: CNN

Panampangan Island is a small island located in the southern part of Tawi Tawi. The island is known for its crystal-clear waters, white sand beaches, and lush greenery. Visitors can enjoy a range of activities on the island such as swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing. The island is also home to a diverse range of marine life, making it a popular spot for diving and snorkeling enthusiasts.

Simunul Island and Rock Shelter

Simunul Island and Rock Shelter
Image source: businessweekmindanao.com

Simunul Island is the largest island in Tawi Tawi and is known for its rich history and stunning natural beauty. The island is home to the oldest mosque in the Philippines, which was built in the 14th century. Visitors can also explore the island’s rock shelter, which is believed to be the oldest human settlement in the Philippines.

Aside from its historical significance, Simunul Island is also a popular destination for diving enthusiasts. The island is home to numerous dive spots that are teeming with marine life, including colorful coral reefs, schools of fish, and even sea turtles.

Overall, Tawi Tawi is a paradise for nature lovers and diving enthusiasts. Its stunning natural beauty and diverse range of dive spots make it a must-visit destination for anyone looking to explore the Philippines.

Local Experiences and Markets

Bongao Public Market

bongao market
Image source: mymindanao.com

One of the must-visit places in Tawi-Tawi is the Bongao Public Market. It is located in the heart of Bongao and is considered the largest public market in the province. The market is a bustling hub of activity where locals and tourists can find a wide variety of fresh seafood, fruits, vegetables, and other local products.

Visitors can experience the vibrant atmosphere of the market and witness the daily lives of the locals. The market is also a great place to sample local delicacies such as the Tausug delicacy “tiyula itum” (black soup) and “satti” (grilled meat on skewers).

Panglima Sugala: The Town Center

Panglima Sugala is the town center of Tawi-Tawi and is a great place to experience the local culture. The town center has a variety of shops, restaurants, and food stalls where visitors can try out local delicacies.

One of the highlights of Panglima Sugala is the “Kamahardikaan,” a festival that celebrates the town’s foundation day. During the festival, visitors can witness traditional dances, music, and performances that showcase the unique Tawi-Tawi culture.

The town center is also home to the “Bud Bongao,” a mountain that is considered sacred by the locals. Visitors can hike up the mountain and experience breathtaking views of the town and the surrounding islands.

Overall, the local experiences and markets in Tawi-Tawi offer visitors a chance to experience the vibrant culture and unique way of life of the locals. From the bustling Bongao Public Market to the traditional festivities of Panglima Sugala, there is something for everyone to enjoy in Tawi-Tawi.

Travel Essentials

Travel Essential To For Tawi Tawi Travel

When planning a trip to Tawi Tawi, there are a few travel essentials that visitors should keep in mind to ensure a comfortable and hassle-free experience.

Getting There

Tawi Tawi is located in the southernmost part of the Philippines, and the most convenient way to get there is by plane. The Tawi Tawi Airport is located in Bongao, the capital of Tawi Tawi, and is served by several airlines such as Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, and AirAsia. Visitors can also take a ferry from Zamboanga City to Bongao, but the journey can take up to 15 hours.


There are several options for accommodation in Tawi Tawi, ranging from budget-friendly guesthouses to upscale resorts. Visitors can choose to stay in Bongao or in one of the smaller islands such as Simunul or Sanga-Sanga. It is recommended to book accommodation in advance, especially during peak season.

Climate and Clothing

Tawi Tawi has a tropical climate, with temperatures ranging from 25°C to 32°C throughout the year. Visitors should pack light and breathable clothing, as well as comfortable walking shoes. It is also recommended to bring a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to protect against the sun.

Currency and Language

The currency in Tawi Tawi is the Philippine Peso (PHP), and visitors are advised to bring enough cash as credit cards are not widely accepted. The official language is Filipino, but many locals also speak Tausug and English.

By keeping these travel essentials in mind, visitors can have a stress-free and enjoyable experience exploring the natural beauty and cultural richness of Tawi Tawi.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top attractions to include in a Tawi-Tawi travel itinerary?

Tawi-Tawi is a province in the southern part of the Philippines, known for its pristine beaches, rich cultural heritage, and diverse marine life. The top attractions to include in a Tawi-Tawi travel itinerary are the Bud Bongao, Panampangan Island, and the Tawi-Tawi Underwater Cave. Bud Bongao is a sacred mountain that offers a panoramic view of the entire island. Panampangan Island is a secluded paradise with crystal-clear waters and powdery white sand beaches. The Tawi-Tawi Underwater Cave is a must-visit for scuba divers and snorkelers, as it is home to a variety of marine species.

Can you recommend any beach resorts in Tawi-Tawi for a seaside getaway?

There are several beach resorts in Tawi-Tawi that offer a relaxing and enjoyable seaside getaway. Some of the top beach resorts are the Sang-at Aqua Resort, Bongao Peak Beach Resort, and the Simunul Island Beach Resort. These resorts offer comfortable accommodations, delicious food, and breathtaking views of the sea.

What unique culinary experiences should tourists try in Tawi-Tawi?

Tawi-Tawi is known for its unique and flavorful cuisine, influenced by the local Tausug culture. Some of the must-try dishes are the Tiula Itum, a black soup made of beef or chicken, and the Pastil, a dish made of rice, shredded chicken or beef, and spices wrapped in banana leaves. Tourists should also try the local delicacies such as the Daral, a sweet rice cake, and the Panyalam, a savory pancake made of rice flour and coconut milk.

How does Tawi-Tawi compare to the Maldives in terms of scenic beauty?

Tawi-Tawi and the Maldives are both known for their stunning natural beauty, but they have distinct differences. Tawi-Tawi offers a more authentic and cultural experience, with its rich history and diverse marine life. The Maldives, on the other hand, is known for its luxurious resorts, pristine beaches, and crystal-clear waters.

What safety advice should travelers heed when visiting Tawi-Tawi?

Travelers should exercise caution when visiting Tawi-Tawi, as it is located in a region with a history of conflict. It is recommended to avoid traveling to remote areas and to stay updated on the local news. It is also advisable to travel with a local guide and to follow their advice.

Are there any white sand beaches in Tawi-Tawi that are a must-visit?

Yes, Tawi-Tawi has several white sand beaches that are a must-visit for tourists. Some of the top white sand beaches are Panampangan Island, Cagayan Beach, and the Sanga-Sanga White Beach. These beaches offer crystal-clear waters, powdery white sand, and breathtaking views of the sea.

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