Davao is an easy choice when choosing destinations in Mindanao. From Manila, it is accessible via the international airport in Davao City. From there, other destinations are reachable with a bus, cab, or ferry.
1. Samal Island Beaches
The Island Garden City of Samal is only ten minutes away by motorboat from Davao City and offers sixty or so beach resorts to choose from. Aside from water sports and activities, Samal also has festivals at different times of the year. For starters, you can catch the Caracoles festival during the last week of April.
|Babu Santa Beach Resort in Talicud Island, Samal|
2. Mount Apo
Mount Apo is, the highest mountain in the Philippines. Go peak hopping and experience diverse environments from lush forests, raging waterfalls and calm lakes to rocky sulphur vents. Tours are available, and provide everything from transportation, guides, and accommodation to give you a hassle free trip.
|Mt. Apo | Photo Credit: Incrediblethots|
3. Dahican Beach
Somewhere in Mati, Davao Oriental, you’ll find the unspoilt beaches of Dahican. When there, you should try skim boarding along the beach or check out protected pawikan nursery pens. From Davao City, take a bus to Mati then a habal-habal to Dahican to start your adventure.
4. Balut Island
Balut Island is a volcanic island in Davao Occidental. It is accessible by boat a five hour boat ride from General Santos City. The trips are scheduled, so better check them beforehand. Once there, you can go island hopping and hot spring sightseeing to your heart’s content.
|Sabang Hot Spring, Balut Island | Photo by Harly Marcuap / Akrosdayunibers.com|
5. Kapatagan, Davao del Sur
Kapatagan is a highland destination at the foot of Mount Apo. Try the most expensive type of coffee in the world in the Civet Coffee Farm. If you want solitude, you can always take a walk in the trails under the pine trees. From Davao City, take a bus to Digos then ride a public utility van to Kapatagan.
|Camp Sabros, Kapatagan | Photo by Geobert Adan Son|
6. Philippine Eagle Center
The Philippine Eagle Center is a conservation and breeding facility that aims not only to study and breed the majestic raptors but also educate the public about these endangered species. From Davao City, take a bus to Calinan where you can ride a pedicab to the Center.
7. Crocodile Park
Only fifteen minutes away from the airport by taxi, the Crocodile Park should be one of the things to check off your list when in Davao. If you’re brave enough, take a picture with a baby croc or just enjoy the other animals in the zoo if you’re just there to enjoy.
8. Monfort Bat Cave
Monfort is an unassuming hole in the ground in Samal Island, but it houses the largest colony of fruit bats in the world. It is said that the fruit bats are responsible for the abundance of durian in Davao. The cave is accessible via habal-habal from anywhere in Samal Island.
9. Aliwagwag Falls
Aliwagwag Falls in Cateel, Davao Oriental consists of 1110 feet of majestically terraced waterfalls. It’s easy to get lost in the moment while watching the water cascade over the numerous rock formations. To get there, take a bus from Davao City to Cateel. Get off Aliwagwag, where the falls are closely situated to the national road.
|Aliwagwag Falls | Photo by Harly Marcuap / Akrosdayunibers.com|
10. Awao Falls, Monkayo
The trip to Awao falls is not easy, but the moment you reach the falls and see the wispy falling waters and soak yourself in its clear pool, you’ll realize that all the hardship of getting there is worth it. From Davao City, take a bus to Monkayo, then rent a habal-habal to take you to Awao where you’ll trek to the reach the falls.
Don’t forget to include Davao in this summer’s itinerary and make your vacation truly unforgettable.