DAVAO is the second largest city in the world with a natural haven for both bold and tranquil pursuits. From white sand beaches to picturesque landscapes to enchanting parks to fruit plantations and flower farms to amazing volcanoes, hills and mountains to wealthy museums to virgin forests to water adventures to rare wildlife, this city is sure to satisfy your every whim. If you’re in for some adrenaline rush, go whitewater rafting and brave the many rapids on a raft. But if you want it even more extreme, the highest peak in the country is Mt. Apo. At 2954m, it’s the closest thing to heaven around here. Yup, it’s a long way up but every hike promises primeval forests, rushing waterfalls, regal flowers like the Queen of the Rainforest called waling-waling and the possibility of spotting endangered species like the Philippine Eagle.
Davao is also famed for the festival of all Philippine festivals called Kadayawan. Celebrated during the 2nd week of August, this festival is a grand display of its colorful culture and traditions, made more fun by the street dance called Indak-Indak. It’s wild and you are cordially invited.
The Davao Riverfront Complex houses the Crocodile Park, one of the city’s most popular attractions. The park showcases more than just crocs — it is also home to a variety of wildlife. Be sure to catch feeding time, educational talks and other shows. The complex also contains the Davao Butterfly House and the Tribu K’Mindanawan, a cultural village that holds an impressive fire-dancing performance. When you’ve worked up an appetite, try Filipino fare or exotic crocodile and ostrich-based cuisine at the RiverWalk Grill.
TOP THINGS TO DO
- Have an animal encounter, or several of them — from the reptiles at the Crocodile Park to the majestic Philippine Eagle at the Philippine Eagle Centre.
- Bounce around. Try walking over water or rolling down a hill in a Zorb.
- Hang out outdoors. Go for a leisurely afternoon at People’s Park, family fun at the Eden Nature Park or adrenaline-pumping white water rafting at Davao Wildwater Adventure. Scream your hearts at the zipline destinations or ride the thrill at Deca Wakeboard Park.
- Learn about local culture.Learn more about the city’s heritage and its people at the Museo Dabawenyo and Davao Museum or inject a dose of indigenous culture at Tribu K’Mindanawan.
- Pamper yourself. Enjoy a relaxing treatment at Marco Polo Davao’s Lazuli Spa or in any of the 100-plus spas around the city for that much needed rub-down.
Admire the Waling-Waling. Head to the Malagos Garden Resort to see beautiful gardens and the region’s famous orchid.
- Eat exotic cuisine. Have a bite of the crocodile and ostrich dishes at the Riverwalk Grill or dig into the durian-flavored dishes at Blugre.
- A buffet of choices. The combination of city & outdoors means fresh ingredients are within chefs’ reach. Whether a bucket full of crabs appeal to you, or melting a thick, rich tablet of chocolate in your mouth is your thing, fill your belly with Davao’s cuisine at the end of an action-packed day.
Davao is accessible by air, sea, and land transportation: It is an hour and 40 minutes away from Manila by plane and only 40 minutes away from Cebu City, or about 54 hours by boat from Manila and 24 hours from Cebu. There are daily direct flights from Manila. There are also daily sea voyages to and from Manila and the different points in Luzon and Visayas.