Vacationing in Davao is turning out to be a popular leisure activity for many. As you may already know, the city of Davao is located on the beautiful Philippine island of Mindanaw which is known for its tropical beauty and friendly people.
What to do while on vacation in Davao? You don’t have anything to worry about if you are visiting this beautiful city. Good food, friendly people and a lot of places to see. For tourists and locals alike, read on for some of the best places to visit and things to do.
Davao. The name says tropical paradise. Imagine a vacation in Davao where you’re served by white sand beaches, swaying palm trees and the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean. Flying there is so much fun! Its a 4 hour flight from Manila (3 if you take the fastcraft Catamarans) and the flight is by far one of the most scenic ones in Asia Pacific. Flying up Northwest from Manila will bring you over mountains, thru clouds and then you’ll find yourself above the sea as you wind your way towards land again. The azure blue of Davao Gulf will welcome you as you approach Daang Hari/Mabuhay International Airport.
Vacation In Davao
Davao is the southernmost city in Philippines and the largest city in Mindanao, with around 1.5 million people. Located on the island of Mindanao, south of Manila, Davao is surrounded not only by sea, but also a number of natural wonders making it an interesting tourist attraction.
1. Explore Samal Island
Leave the noise of the city and escape to Samal Island. This piece of paradise is often the go-to destination of travelers exploring this part of the country and is one of the top destinations for island hopping in the Philippines. This island has a mix of attractions for a diverse Davao to Samal itinerary. Hagimit Falls is a beautiful place to relax and unwind.
The falls may be too developed for some, but it still has its natural charm. Jump off one of the tiers into the pool, go swimming, or take photos.
You can also add Monfort Bat Cave to your itinerary. They have a night immersion wherein you get to see them emerge from inside the caves! It’s a great way to commune with these species. However, flash photography is not allowed, as this would disturb them.
Samal is easy to reach; from Tagum City, go to Davao City first then make your way to the pier for the ferry to the island. You can also join a guided Davao activity if you want a hassle-free experience exploring the various attractions in Samal Island.
2. Discover Eden Nature Park
Photo from Eden Nature Park Resort
If you want to commune with nature, you have to visit this next destination. Eden Nature Park and Resort in Davao City have been named after the famed Biblical Garden.
Trying out Eden Nature Park activities is highly-recommended because its serenity and tropical forest climate will certainly remove anybody’s anxiety from the stress and noise of the busy city.
Whether you want to meditate alone or take a break with your family and friends, a tour in Eden Nature Park is worth it.
The Amphitheater, the Lola’s Garden, the Flower Garden, the Plaza Maria, Mayumi’s Well, and others are all tourist spots in the nature park.
Have a look at the lives and lifestyles of the Mindanaoan ancestors, and take a walk to Tinubdan and enjoy their swimming pools, playgrounds, cottages, souvenir shops, accessible areas, and a wireless internet business center.
The nature park is also a resort. They have a 24-hour front desk, an outdoor pool, and buffet breakfast. Their rooms are equipped with a flat-screen TV, wardrobe, en-suite bathroom, and more.
Staying at the park means direct access to everything it offers, which is a great way to spend time with your loved ones during your trip to Davao.
3. Unwind at Malagos Garden Resort and Chocolate Museum
Photo from the Philippine Department of Tourism
One of the best attractions in Davao is the Malagos Garden Resort. It’s a 12-hectare Davao nature theme park and is a one-stop destination for travelers wanting to enjoy the environment and at the same time, find refuge in the serenity of the area.
You can encounter bird species that you can feed with your two fingers, as you communicate directly with them at the bird feeding dome.
Get the ability to pet animals at the petting zoo, know the habits of butterflies in the butterfly sanctuary, or play a great outdoor activity for children and young people when you try a Malagos Garden tour.
Along with these natural locations, Malagos is also home to the Philippines’ first chocolate museum. The famous tree-to-bark chocolate from Malagos is manufactured and is sold to countries in Japan in particular.
Malagos also houses Mindanao Contemporary Art Gallery, which provides art and history to explore Mindanao’s rich culture.
4. See the Reptiles at Crocodile Park
The Davao Crocodile Park is one of the popular tourist spots included in a Davao wildlife experience. This destination showcases the “state of the art” crocodile farming in the country, complete with modern equipment and facilities.
This park is home to thousands of crocodiles — both freshwater and saltwater reptiles, which are bred and born on site. Visitors can also tour around the incubator room where hundreds of crocodile eggs are taken care of.
Other than crocodiles, the Davao Crocodile Park is also home to different species of birds, monkeys, snakes, and other reptiles. They also offer lectures, educational experiences, and wildlife conservation awareness.
There are several food stalls and souvenir shops just outside the park. If a culinary experience guy selling unusual varieties of ice cream like crocodile tea, durian crocodile, crocodile roll and chocolate ostrich at one of the food stalls.
Upon eating the tasty crocodile ice cream, we charged the entry fee promptly and entered the park. If you have a backpack with you, don’t panic because they have a baggage counter at the park entrance.
5. Visit the Philippine Eagle Center
Every cent that is donated to the Philippine Eagle Center is spent on the conservation of the country’s national bird. This center dedicated efforts and time to protect the endangered species while providing an exciting and fun platform for locals and visitors.
The center is home to 36 Philippine Eagles, with 18 of them are captive-bred. It is also a sanctuary for ten other species of birds, four species of mammals, and two species of reptiles. It’s a well-known sustainable attraction included in a farm tour in Davao City.
Visitors can watch these birds eat raw meat by cutting it with their beak and claws. This center also provides an opportunity to watch these eagles fly freely around the property and take unclose photos.
6. Relax at People’s Park Davao
Visit Davao People’s Park, one of the Philippines’ most coveted parks. It’s one of the cleanest and greenest parks in the country. The Durian Dome is one of the park’s highlights and is one of the most photographed landmarks in Davao.
Enjoy the park’s nightlife and have the opportunity to watch the park’s walls lit by “waling-waling.” Table picnics are also found in the People’s Park for children, but most people feed on the fields or through the ponds with massive sculptures.
On one side of the complex is a learning center for children and adults. The Sunken Garden, the garden haven, and the Children’s Library are located in one corner of the park, where kids of all ages can read their books whenever they like.
The Philippine Eagle replica is the most important of the major sculptures. Children can play with swings, slides, monkey bars, and much more in the children’s playground.
7. See Panoramic View at Jack’s Ridge
Jack’s Ridge is the way to go to get the full eagle-eye views of Davao City. Other than the marvelous views, visitors can also find two restaurants here.
Karlo’s Gourmet, which serves coffee and different baked treats, and Taklobo that serves Philippine food while sitting in an open-air dining area and a majestic view of the whole city.
Jack’s Ridge is also part of the history of the Philippines. It was initially used as the headquarters for fleeing Japanese during the Second World War. Then half a century later, Jack’s Ridge is filled with memories of its intervening years.
There is a legend that somewhere in the caves are gold bullions and other loot the Japanese took from different countries and brought to Davao. Whatever the reality about the treasure, Jack’s Ridge retains the feature that made it a significant base for the retreating Japanese forces.
8. Taste the Durian Fruit
Because of its abundance and rarity in other parts of the Philippines, Durian has become almost synonymous with Davao City. It’s rich fertile volcanic soil and weather make it possible for the freshest, most flavorful Durians.
The region of Davao is free from a typhoon. Throughout the year, the town has balmy weather. It has a constant rainfall, temperature, humidity, and air pressure distribution.
The rainy and dry season is not pronounced, and predictability in the climate makes agricultural production highly favorable. Temperature varies between 20°C and 32°C, with an average precipitation of up to 2,000 millimeters annually.
The fruit is well-known for its scent. The majority say it has an odorous flavor. But some can compare its fragrance with perfume and love to consume the fruit! You can try a lot of durian varieties such as shake, ice cream, and many more during your trip to Davao.
9. Spend Time at Roxas Night Market
Taste the different cuisines that Davao City has to offer through the Roxas Avenue Night Market. The various stalls in this famous night market are homes to fresh and cooked kinds of seafood, veggies, meat, and more.
Sit down and savor a hot bowl of soup or talk to your friends while enjoying some grilled barbecue.
The prices are low, and there is a vibrant environment. Tables are kept close to each other for a more local feel. But, because there is no room to wash dishes, tables are wrapped in plastic, and consumers can eat thin plastic gloves on their fingers.
The Roxas Avenue Night Market is located between the ADD University and Aldevenco Shopping Center. Spend the daytime sightseeing and doing some “pasalubong” shopping and then stop by the night market after to satisfy your hunger.
10. Stop By at Museo Dabawenyo
The Museo Dabawenyo, or also known as the Museum of the People of Davao, is one of the most known museums in the country. This building is formally known as the Court of First Instance and was restored and rehabilitated to showcase the diverse cultural heritage and the rich history of the city.
Within the museum, visitors can see stilt house replicas, weapons, and musical instruments used by indigenous people. It also houses a full gallery of antiques like armors, chairs, crowns, and lamps of Moro People as well as traditional Filipino clothing, Filipino bills, musical notes, clothes, and more.
The Dabawenyo Museum is located on Fr. Salga Road, which is on Pichon Avenue, only a few meters from the Bonifacio Rotunda and the Osmeña Parks. It is accessible from 9 AM to 12NN from Tuesday to Sunday and from 1 PM to 6 PM on Mondays.
Local holidays wherein the museum accepts visitors is during Holy Week, All Saints Day, Christmas Day, and New Years Day