Davao City and its region of Davao del Sur have plenty of characteristics that make them stand out from other places in the Philippines.
Davao is the largest city in terms of land area and has been nicknamed the Durian Capital of the Philippines. Davao is also home to the national bird, the Philippine eagle, and the highest mountain in the country, Mount Apo. The city celebrates two major festivals: Araw ng Dabao (Day of Davao) every 16th of March and the thanksgiving Kadayawan Festival held every August.
You’ll never run out of things to do in Davao City, no matter what kind of traveler you are. Whether you want a relaxing escape, an epic food trip, a foray into history or a nature outing, your stay in Davao will be a guaranteed adventure.
You've heard legends and seen pictures of the monkey-eating eagle, the Philippines' national bird, but have you seen one up close? At the Philippine Eagle Center, you can watch them feed on raw meat, soar in the sky, and even take a personal photo with one! The center aims to conserve these rare birds as well as other species like serpent eagles, hawks, sea eagles, monkeys, and endangered plants.
Entrance fee: ₱350
Philippine Eagle Center
Malagos, Baguio District
(0917) 708 9084
Open daily, 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
If you're an animal lover with an affection for the wild side, a visit to the Davao Crocodile Park is a must. Home to 700 freshwater and saltwater crocodiles, this park also has tigers, wild boars, monkeys, birds, snakes and other reptiles. The country's biggest croc can be found here, the 18-foot saltwater crocodile named Pangil.
Entrance fee: ₱150 for adults and ₱75 for children
Davao Crocodile Park
Riverfront, Corporate City
Diversion Highway, Ma-a
(082) 286 8883 / (082) 221 7749
3. Kopiat Island
If you're looking for a seaside day trip, small and secluded Kopiat Island is only 30 minutes away from the mainland. The island is teeming with coconut trees and mangroves, and is home to leatherback turtles. The 87-hectare resort Lubi Plantation can provide you with authentic local dishes, soothing massages, exciting nature treks, cocktails under the sun, and activities in the clear waters.
4. Isla Reta
Another island hideaway close to Davao is Isla Reta with its crystal clear waters and pristine white sands. The more rustic beach is a favorite of campers and picnic-goers thanks to the leafy trees providing shade right along the shoreline. They also have cottages, rooms, and dining facilities that serve the fresh catch of the day. Isla Reta is only an hour away from the city.
Entrance fee: ₱100 for 11 years old and above, ₱50 for 4 to 10 years old, free for 3 years old and below
Brgy. Sta. Cruz, Talikud Island
(0998) 991 6690
Open daily, 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
For a quick snapshot of the rich history of the area, you can visit Museo Dabawenyo, which used to be the city court. Here you can view the Indigenous People’s Gallery with replicas of houses, musical instruments, and weapons and the Moro People’s Gallery with antique armor and furniture. The people of Davao are incredibly diverse with 11 indigenous tribes still residing in the area, and their cultural heritage is reflected in the museum's collection of artwork and artifacts. Put away your wallets because there's no admission fee.
(082) 222 6011
Open daily, 9:00 AM - 5:45 PM
6. Davao Museum
Another popular museum in the city is the Davao Museum, which focuses on the cultural minorities in the Philippines. Here, you can view centuries-old artifacts, rare maps, jewelry, weapons, armor, instruments, and other hand-crafted items that tell stories of another time.
Entrance fee: ₱100 for adults, ₱20 for students
Insular Village Phase I
(082) 233 1734
7. People's Park
Locals take quick respite from the busy urban lifestyle at the People's Park. The 4-hectare park is one of the cleanest and greenest in the country, and houses a variety of art and sculptures, including the Durian Dome, rainbow walk, and a dancing fountain. There are even ponds, waterfalls, wild eagles, and plenty of shady trees that make it perfect for morning walks, jogs, and Zumba classes.
Uy Building, 49 Jin Palma Gil St.,
(0907) 907 7807
Open from Mondays to Thursdays, 5:30 AM - 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM - 11:00 PM;
Fridays to Sundays, 5:30 AM - 10:30 AM and 1:00 PM - 12:00 AM
8. Roxas Avenue Night Market
The nightly street bazaar along Roxas Avenue is one of the liveliest areas in the city. Food lovers will be astounded by the choices of fresh and local seafood, meats, fruits and vegetables. Bargain hunters will also enjoy themselves at the night market, where there are plenty of ukay-ukay stalls and second-hand thrift shops.
Roxas Avenue Night Market
Roxas Avenue, Poblacion District
(0915) 259 2811
Open daily, 6:00 PM - 12:00 AM
At the base of Mount Talomo, you'll find a 95% manmade 80-hectare sanctuary with 100,000 pine trees. There's plenty to do here, like ziplining, skycycling, horseback riding, swimming, and fishing. You can also take the most Instagram-worthy photos in their flower garden, butterfly garden, and beneath their giant rainbow arch.
Entrance fee: ₱600 for adults, ₱400 for 4-10-year-olds
Eden Nature Park
Brgy. Eden, Toril
(082) 286 0383
Open daily, 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
10. Mount Apo
If you think you can brave the "King of the Philippine Peaks," then you'll be rewarded with stunning views of Davao, a glance at wildlife like boar and deer, and a visit to a 500-meter wide crater lake and a 150-meter tall waterfall. Anyone can hike through this natural park and experienced climbers can trek up to the summit during March, April, and October.
Entrance fee: ₱2,000 (₱1,500 trekking fee and ₱500 camp fee)
This luxe beach resort is the perfect escape for indulgent travelers. This resort, located on Samal Island and just 15 minutes from the city, is artfully designed and strategically located for the best views of the ocean and mountains. Davao is known for producing some of the finest pearls and as a guest at this resort, you can see the abundant marine life in the sanctuary for yourself. Other aquatic activities include jet skiing, kayaking, and fly-boarding.
Pearl Farm Beach Resort
Island Garden City of Samal
(082) 285 0601
12. Samal Island
If you want your trip to the beach to be a bit more of an adrenaline rush, head to other parts of Samal Island. The Bluejaz Beach Resort and Water Park has 130-meter long slides, while Maxima Resort Aqua Fun has a giant water slide that will drop you straight into the sea. You can go deeper into Samal Island and rent ATVs to visit the natural swimming pools of Hagimit Falls and see the wonders of the Balete, Mangongawong, and Baga caves.
HOW TO GET TO DAVAO
Though you can travel by ferry, the easiest way to reach Davao is still via plane. Airlines such as Cebu Pacific, Philippines Airlines, and Air Asia fly to Davao from Manila and selected airports in the country. From the airport, you can take a taxi to the city center.
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