Davao City is best known for being the durian capital of the Philippines and Mt. Apo, the highest peak in the Philippines. Other than this, Davao is also a center of trade and industry as part of the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area and offers a more relaxing take on city life.
Davao is reachable by plane, the Davao International Airport (DIA) has flights from major points in the Philippines such as Manila, Cebu, Iloilo, Bacolod and Zamboanga. Davao’s main transportation is via taxi (P40 flagdown rate), or you can save by taking the jeepney (P8 for four kilometers).
When in Davao, pop in to visit the Davao Crocodile Park located in Corporate City, Diversion Highway, Ma-a. The industrial crocodile farm has expanded to accommodate tourists and offers different wildlife encounter programs and performances as well as advocates and explains the animal’s role in the ecosystem and how we can conserve the species. Entrance fee is P150 for adults and P75 for children under 12.
The Philippine Eagle Center in Malagos, Baguio District, is also open to the public and simulates a tropical rainforest! Entrance fee is just P50. The non-profit organization has been working to conserve the monkey-eating eagle, better known as the Philippine Eagle, and its habitat for almost 30 years.
Experience the rich cultures of Mindanao’s indigenous people at Tribu K’Mindanawan in Davao Crocodile Park Complex, Davao City. On weekends, the ten tribes, Tog’Gan, Uyaanan, Binotok, Binanwa Baluy, Bakag, Bale, Gono Taug’Na, C T’boli House, Gumne, and Bal’Lay, have a cultural show and an exciting fire dancing presentation.
Davao might not be known as Mindanao’s adventure capital, but don’t count it out just yet. The riverside area of the Davao Crocodile Park is the jump-off point for Davao’s take on the adrenaline-pumping experience of white water rafting.
Try wakeboarding at Deca Wakeboard Park, Tacunan, Mintal. They offer their basic package at P350 for two hours during weekdays, and P500 for the same on weekends and all-day unlimited packages for P600 on weekdays and P750 on weekends. Wakeboarding packages include equipment rental and instructor’s fees.
Try eating at Ranchero Grill Steak and Seafood Restaurant at Tionko Avenue cor. Arellano Street. Ranchero is your best bet for a busog-to-the-bones dinner and offers has set meals for as low as P100. Taklobo Restaurant at Jack’s Ridge, Matina is also a convenient place to get a filling meal with familiar recipes. They are best known for their seafood. For dessert, try Mangosteen Cake from Karlo’s Gourmet and Coffee at Jack’s Ridge, Matina. This local Davao café has turned the purple fruit with sweet, white pulp into a pastry.
Planning to extend your visit? You can stay at Microtel Inn and Suites at Damosa Gateway Complex, Mamay Road, Lanang which is just 10 minutes travel from DIA. Rooms for two start at P3500 a night, with the most expensive suite at P4700 a night; all room rates include a continental breakfast.
If you wanted a different experience, try checking in at Ponce Suites Gallery Hotel at Corner Road 3 & Road 4, Doña Vicenta Village, Bajada, Davao City. Almost every wall here has been decorated by Maximinia Millian, the artist who owns the hotel. Rooms for two start at P1500 a night, with the suite going for P2800 a night. Every added guest can sleep with for P280 per night.
If you’re on a budget, you can room at Deca Wakeboard Park at Tacunan, Mintal, Davao City. Deca has single occupancy “budget beds” that go for P500 a night, inclusive of free wi-fi internet.