Top 15 Tourist Spots in Davao Mindanao: Home to Mount Apo Hiking & Nearby Samal Island Resort City

Top 15 Tourist Spots in Davao Mindanao: Home to Mount Apo Hiking & Nearby Samal Island Resort City

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Mount Apo in Davao City is touted as the King of Philippine Peaks

Visit Davao and be surprised by how much is in store for you. Find the top things to do in this beautiful province and what food or drink you should try while in the area by checking out this guide. 

Davao City is one of the most well-known destinations in the Philippines. The city is the right mix of both natural and man-made attractions, and Davao Airport makes it accessible from other tourist destinations.

From parks, beaches, conservation centers of rare animals, outdoor adventures, unique local cuisine, top-notch Davao hotels, and the famous Kadayawan Festival, the province has it all for you. Read on to find out what top activities and attractions in Davao you should definitely add to your bucket list.

1. Explore Samal Island

Stilts at Pearl Farm in Samal Island of DavaoLeave 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. It is also home to several Samal Island resorts.

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.

Climb up Mt. Puting Bato to break a sweat or get beautiful overlooking views. There are several beaches and resorts here where you can get a tan, bum around, or wade in its waters.

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 get close to these species. However, flash photography is not allowed, as this would disturb them.

Samal is easy to reach. From Davao City first, then make your way to the Sta. Ana Wharf for the ferry to the island. You can also joinSamal Island tour or a Samal island-hopping tour if you want a hassle-free experience exploring the various attractions in and near Samal Island.

2. Discover Eden Nature Park

Travelers doing the Skyswing activity at Eden Nature Park Resort in DavaoPhoto 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 was named after the famed Biblical Garden.

Trying out Eden Nature Park activities is highly recommended because its serenity and tropical forest climate will 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, Lola's Garden, the Flower Garden, 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, a wardrobe, and an en-suite bathroom.

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 

Malagos Chocolate Museum in Davao, PhilippinesPhoto 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 as you interact directly with them at the bird feeding dome.

Get close to other animals at the petting zoo, know the habits of butterflies in the butterfly sanctuary, and simply enjoy the great outdoors 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 in Davao and sold to other countries like Japan.

Malagos also houses the Mindanao Contemporary Art Gallery, which showcases art and history that tackle Mindanao's rich culture.

4. See the Reptiles at Crocodile Park 

Bask of crocodiles at the Crocodile Park in Davao, Philippines

The Davao Crocodile Park is one of the popular tourist spots included in a Davao City Tour C. This destination showcases state-of-the-art crocodile farming in the country and is complete with modern equipment and facilities.

This park is home to thousands of crocodiles, both the freshwater and saltwater kinds, which are bred and born on site. Visitors can also tour the incubator room, where hundreds of crocodile eggs are cared for.

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 is what you are after, there is a guy selling an unusual variety of ice cream like crocodile tea, durian crocodile, crocodile roll, and chocolate ostrich at one of the food stalls.

5. Visit the Philippine Eagle Center

Phlippine Eagle at Davao's 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 has dedicated effort 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 being 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 the usual Davao City tour

Visitors can watch these birds eat raw meat by slicing it with their beaks and claws. This center also provides an opportunity to watch these eagles fly freely around the property and take up close 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. A fitness center is also located here for everyone interested in getting active.

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, which serves Philippine food in an open-air dining area with 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. 

There is a legend that somewhere in the caves here are gold bullion bars and other loot the Japanese took from different countries and brought to Davao. 

8. Taste Durian Fruit

Fresh slice of durian fruitBecause of its abundance and rarity in other parts of the Philippines, durian has become almost synonymous with Davao City. Its rich, fertile volcanic soil and weather make it possible for the freshest, most flavorful durians.

The region of Davao is generally free from typhoons. Throughout the year, the town has balmy weather. It has consistent 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. The 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 of people say it has an odorous flavor. You can try a lot of durian varieties, such as shakes, ice creams, 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 home 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 the environment is vibrant and lively. 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 with thin plastic gloves on their fingers.

Once the food stalls are closed, the clothes and accessories shops open. If you want to spend some time shopping, go for it!

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 Park. It is accessible from 9 AM to 12 NN from Tuesday to Sunday and from 1 PM to 6 PM on Mondays.

Local holidays wherein the museum accepts visitors are Holy Week, All Saints Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day.

11. Trek Mt. Apo — The Highest in the Philippines

Travelers trek to catch the sunrise at Mt. Apo, the highest peak in the Philippines

Photo from the Philippine Department of Tourism

A trip to Davao City is not complete without a visit to the King of Philippine Peaks or Mount Apo.

Mount Apo is on top of the list of the highest mountains in Southeast Asia, and it has an elevation of 10,311 feet. Before reaching the top of Mount Apo, there is a crater lake naturally created by volcanic activities.

Seven peaks can be spotted at Mt. Apo's summit. You can see the beautiful sunset and sunrise in good weather. You'll be treated to a panoramic view of South Cotabato's Mt. Matutum, Lake Venado, and many more.

Going to Mt. Apo is one of the must-try activities while in Davao. There are various trails you can choose from, and it depends on the level of difficulty. 

This mountain also houses rubber plantations as well as the Tudaya Falls, along with wild deer and boars. Experienced mountain explorers can climb the summit for March, April, and October. Various tour and mountain climbing groups organize mountain climbing events. You can also book a Mount Apo camping package for a hassle-free experience.

12. Visit Davao Butterfly House 

The Davao Butterfly House is a protected sanctuary for different species of butterflies, flowers, and plants, as well as exotic species of insects and animals. 

In addition to displaying colorful butterflies to the public, Davao Butterfly House also breeds them in the Learning Garden.

They allow such butterflies to help pollinate flowering plants of Davao City and to attract domestic and international travelers. Butterflies take one month to grow from eggs.

The best time for visiting the area is in the morning when it is not hot and butterflies are the most active. It is the time when these beautiful insects dance, match, and date. In the heat of the day, many species take shelter under the leaves. It's a great chance to watch and photograph them.

13. Try Civet Coffee 

Packs of world-famous civet coffee at Mt. Apo Cafe in Davao, Philippines

Photo from Mt. Apo Coffee

Civet Coffee is one of the most unique yet expensive coffee in the world, not only because of its taste but also the way it is prepared.

Civet Coffee is made with the help of a civet, a cat-like wild animal that is native to the country, particularly in Davao. It eats the sweet coffee cherries and then poops the beans.

This organic process gives the coffee beans a more profound and smoother flavor with no bitter taste, making it a favorite among coffee lovers. However, purchasing it in Europe or America can cost a fortune!

Getting it from the source is a less expensive option. Mt. Apo has a cafe where visitors can buy a cup and take home a bag of beans of this world-class coffee.

The strength of its dark chocolate-like scent is so natural that it tastes like roasted hazelnuts. It's a must-try drink during your stay in Davao.

14. Immerse in the Kadayawan Village 

The Kadayawan Village at Magsaysay Park shows how houses of the eleven indigenous and Moro groups in Davao City are constructed. It's a popular attraction in Davao as it gives visitors not only a deeper appreciation of the indigenous and Moro's history but also an appreciation of Philippine architecture.

Here, you can get a glimpse into the Lumad and Moros’ lives and traditions. Most of the ethnic groups, such as Ata, Ovu Manovu, Bagobo-Klata, Bagobo-Tagabawa, and Matigsalug, are in the lower part of the house with a veranda or a waiting shed.

Besides the unification of these eleven communities, the village will always be witness to the heritage and culture of Davao. 

15. Visit Nearby Tourist Spots in Davao Region 

Explore nearby tourist spots outside the city and Samal Island. If you're up for an adventure, you can visit two of the popular attractions, Dahican Beach and Aliwagwag Falls! It's the perfect way to make your trip to Davao as complete as possible.

Dahican Beach

Dahican Beach in Mati, Davao Oriental is one of the most beautiful beaches in the PhilippinesThis beach in Mati, Davao Oriental, is hands down one of the most popular tourist spots as well as one of the most beautiful beaches in the Philippines.

Visitors can rent a lounge chair and relax for a day or soak up the sun and explore the 7-meter-long sandbar and the crystal-clear turquoise water.

Aliwagwag Falls

This is one of the most popular natural sights in Davao Oriental. It is also considered the highest waterfall in the Philippines. The cascades, comprising more than 100 waterfalls, are situated just 30-40 minutes from the municipality of Cateel.

Visit and Explore Davao

Boat docked at Dahican Beach in Mati, Davao OrientalDavao City has a lot to offer. The various excursions in Davao showcase not only the beauty of the city but also the history behind them. Step out of your comfort zone and add Davao to your bucket list of desintations.

Explore Davao and everything it has to offer! Look into Davao tours and activities that you can add to your itinerary. You may also check out options if you want to rent a car in Davao for a hassle-free trip. Just make sure you have all the requirements to rent a car in the Philippines.

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