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.
From parks, beaches, conservation centers of rare animals, outdoor adventures, feasting on unique local cuisine, top-notch hotels, and the famous Kadayawan Festival, the province has them all for you. Read on below to find out what top activities and attractions in Davao you should definitely add to your bucket list.
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. This island has a mix of attractions that want a diverse 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This mountain also houses rubber plantations as well as the Tudaya Fall, along with wild deer and boars. Because of the difficulty of climbing the hill, it is for experienced climbers only.
Experienced mountain explorers can climb the summit for March, April, and October. Various tour and mountain climbing groups organize mountain climbing events.
Following the paths surrounded by green grass and trees and colorful flowers is just the beginning of experiencing this tourist spot. 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 and render flowering plants of Davao City and to attract domestic and international travelers. Davao Butterfly House takes one month to grow butterflies from eggs.
The best time for visiting the area is in the morning, when it is not heat and butterflies are the most active. It is the time when those 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 them and take pictures carefully.
Photo from Mt. Apo Coffee
It is famous for a reason — 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's being prepared.
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 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 a roasted feather of hazelnuts. Although it may be clinically deficient, many people consider Civet Coffee an aphrodisiac. It's a must-try drink during your stay in Davao.
The Kadayawan Village at Magsaysay Park shows how houses of the eleven indigenous and Moro groups in Davao city are constructed replicating to where they live in different proximity to the town.
It's a popular attraction in a sightseeing escapade in Davao as it expresses not only a deeper appreciation of the indigenous and Moro's history but also an appreciation with Philippine architecture.
The village fellow Dabawenyos can get a sight of 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 in the city kept in Kadayawan, the village will always be a witness to the heritage and culture of Davao. Make sure that you stop by at Magsaysay Park to visit Kadayawan Village on Saturdays, particularly during cultural festivities.
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 called Dahican Beach and Aliwagwag Falls! It's the perfect way to make your trip to Davao as complete as possible.
This 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 meters long of the gorgeous sandbar and the crystal clear turquoise water.
This is one of the most popular natural sights in Davao Oriental. It is also considered the highest waterfall in the state. The cascades, comprising of more than 100 waterfalls, are situated just 30-40 minutes from Cateel.
This consists of rock formations in different shapes and sizes.
Davao 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 the comfort zone, and put Davao as the next destination to cross off the bucket list.
Explore Davao and everything it has to offer! Look into Davao tours and activities that you can add to your itinerary.