Unknown to some, Sultan Kudarat was once a part of the former Empire Province of Cotabato. Consisting mostly of forestland nestled away from the typhoon belt, the province is blessed with caves, islands, falls, and mountains that are generally protected from strong typhoons. Aside from its vibrant coffee industry and Islamic culture, Sultan Kudarat has a breathtaking assortment of destinations that not only make Instagram-worthy subjects, but also offers a glimpse into the natural wealth and wonders of the province. Here’s a list of attractions to include in your Sultan Kudarat trip.
Sultan Kudarat Provincial Capitol. The provincial capitol’s commanding presence is one of the top tourist spots in the province. Located in Isulan, visitors are greeted by a golden statue of eponymous Muslim ruler Sultan Kudarat out front and a majestic five-story building filled with classic Islamic design elements and details.
Baras & Wild Animal Tours: Baras Bird Sanctuary. Tacurong houses this protected bird and wildlife sanctuary, which is home to over a whopping 20,000 species of birds. It hosts the annual Tacurong Bird Festival which gathers birders, wildlife photographers, and nature enthusiasts from all over the world. Bird species sighted in the area include the Rufuous Night Heron, Black-crowned Night Heron, Great Egret, Little Egret, Glossy Ibis, and more.
Bansada Agri-Eco Adventure Park. This agri-eco adventure park in Bagumbayan offers stunning views from any angle. It has a restaurant/cafe, Carlito’s Restaurant in the Sky, which is aptly named as it overlooks the surrounding majestic mountains. The park also offers ATV adventures, a souvenir shop, and amenities for different corporate and public functions.
La Palmera Mountain Ridge. La Palmera Mountain Ridge in Columbio offers exhilarating views of velvety green mountain ridges that change to brown when the grass starts to wither – which has earned it the nickname ““New Zealand of Mindanao”. It is also a popular prenup shoot and wedding destination.
Marguez Hot and Cold Spring. Experience the rejuvenating perks of both hot and cold spring pools in Marquez Hot and Cold Spring. It also has beginner-friendly hiking trails in a lush, virgin forest. It has picnic tables and huts which can accommodate families and large groups.
Tres Andanas Falls. One of the most beautiful and most-visited waterfalls in the area. Its three cascades flow over an interesting, serrated rock formation and into a basin.
The Knife Edge Peak of Mt. Ugis. The Knife Edge Peak of Mt. Ugis is a short but challenging day hike destination in Esperanza, Sultan Kudarat. It got its name from the peak’s knife-edge shape. The trail leading there is equally rewarding, as it passes through a river and the Manirub Falls. Teduray farming communities may also be encountered during the trek, during which they may be able to share stories with visitors about their culture and surroundings.
Balot Coral Beach. Balot Coral Beach Resort is a lesser known beach getaway in Brgy. Paril, Sultan Kudarat. It is an ideal stopover to include in your island-hopping tours around Sultan Kudarat.
Balot Island. Camp on white sands in Mindanao’s hidden gem – Balut Island. A part of the Paril-Sangay Protected Area, it boasts stunning snorkeling and diving sites filled with marine life. The beach is just as beautiful and relaxing, with clear blue waters contrasting the vibrant greenery. The island is also home to some Manobo and Tausug indigenous communities.
Lebak Katunggan Coastal Eco Park. Lebak Katunggan Coastal Eco Park is a 720-hectare mangrove forest teeming with marine and wildlife. It has a 1.6-km boardwalk that goes through the forest and out to Taguisa Beach. Make sure to sample the fresh, local seafood such as prawns and crabs.
All these tourist destinations have health and safety protocols in place to protect locals and visitors alike. Everyone is expected to comply by wearing face masks, regularly washing their hands, and practicing physical distancing.
To check out up-to-date information regarding local destinations that are open and the safety protocols and requirements needed for each location, you may visit philippines.travel/safetrip or download the Travel Philippines app at app.philippines.travel, Apple Store, or Google Playstore.