Information about Davao City
Davao City is a highly urbanized coastal city located in Davao del Sur. Davao City is located along the southeastern region of Mindanao and is known as the third most populated city in the Philippines after Quezon City and Manila City. It is also the center of Metro Davao, a metropolitan area in the Davao region that comprises Davao City, Digos City, Tagum City, Panabo City, and the Island Garden City of Samal.
Aside from being among the most populated areas in the country, Davao City is well known among Filipinos as the "Durian Capital of the Philippines" due to the abundance of durian fruit that grows in the city premises, specifically on Mount Apo. Another nickname for the city is the "Chocolate Capital of the Philippines" since the city produces a large number of cacao beans annually and is known to export high-quality cacao to other countries. You will also find the Malagos Chocolate Museum, which gives a behind-the-scenes look at how the city's world-class chocolate is made.
On top of its rich agriculture, Davao City is also home to families from all walks of life. Most of the residents mainly speak in Cebuano or Tagalog but can also converse in English. Along with the different languages, the locals also follow different religions such as Catholicism, Islam, Buddhism, and Shinto.
Best time to visit
While you can enjoy most of Davao City's tourist spots all year round, it is best to visit the city in the dry season when there are fewer chances of rainfall. In the Philippines, the dry months generally include December to June. Planning your trip during these months also allows you to hop from one spot to the next without having to worry about the weather.
Cheapest time to visit Davao City
Traveling during the rainy season, when flight and hotel rates are lower, is recommended for anybody looking to save money. The rainy season in the Philippines begins in the early weeks of July and lasts through November. Because there is a higher likelihood of rain and tropical storms during this season, you should always check the weather forecast prior to your trip.
Weather in Davao City
Similar to most destinations in the Philippines, Davao City enjoys a tropical climate. This also means that you can visit the city any time of the year. However, traveling to Davao City during the dry months is still highly recommended so you can avoid heavy rains. For those who favor cooler temperatures, the best time for your trip would be from December to February since the weather is cooler during these months.
Peak season in Davao City
Expect more tourists between March and June as most students are on summer break and head out on vacations with their families. August is also a busy month for the city as this is when the annual Kadayawan Festival is celebrated.
Main festivals/events in Davao City
The most widely celebrated event in the city is the Kadayawan Festival, held every third week of August. This event honors the region's indigenous communities and their contributions to the city's history. In addition, the locals regard it as a way of showing thanks for a successful harvest each year.
Many flower floats and street dancers will be seen in numerous parades during the festival. A variety of trade fairs will also be held in the public squares, where you can view the works of Davao's local artisans.
When to avoid visiting Davao City
It is best to visit Davao during the dry months and avoid the typhoon season in the Philippines, which runs from July to November.
How to get to Davao City
You may fly or take a ferry to get to Davao. If you're flying in from outside the Philippines, check for a flight to Davao International Airport in Davao City for a stress-free journey. Domestic visitors from Luzon and Visayas can fly to Davao International Airport from Manila or Cebu.
If you opt to take a ferry, you'll land in Nasipit Port in Agusan del Norte, around 300 kilometers from Davao City.
Safety in Davao City
The crime rate in Davao City is low, and it is regarded as a safe destination. Despite this, basic safety precautions are still recommended, such as keeping an eye on your belongings while going here.
Getting around Davao City
Hiring private vehicles such as vans and taxis, or renting a car, is the most convenient method to navigate Davao City. However, a jeepney is the most cost-effective mode of transportation. Before boarding a jeepney, be sure you know the route you're traveling. Multicabs, buses, and tricycles are other popular public transportation alternatives in the area.
Food and Drinks
Davao City is best known for its fresh durian fruits that are often used to make other durian-flavored delicacies such as tarts, candies, and ice cream. Along with this pungent tropical fruit, Davao City's cacao beans and the chocolate made from them are considered world-class quality.
Outside of these two popular products, you will also find a diverse range of restaurants in the city that draw inspiration from the cultures of the different families living here. Among the top dishes served in the city's best food hubs are classic Filipino street food, Halal meals, and Chinese recipes.
Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Davao City
Booking accommodations within the downtown area of Davao City is the best move if you want to be close to most of the tourist spots and activities. In the downtown part of the city, you can find several parks, churches, shopping malls, restaurants, and hotels. Since it is a highly urbanized area, you will also have an easier time finding public transportation options here, such as jeepneys and tricycles, making it easier for you to get around.
If you prefer waterside properties, you can choose from the many resorts that are situated along the city's coastline. Meanwhile, those who need to stay close to the Davao International Airport can also find several hotels in the surrounding area.