Davao City Travel Guide (with 4 Days, 3 Nights Sample Itinerary)

Davao City Quick Facts

Land area: 2,443.61 km2
Distance: 608 miles south of Philippine Capital Manila
City Classification: Highy-urbanized
Population: 1,632,991 (2015 Census)
Language Spoken:; Cebuano; Filipino; English
Currency: Philippine Peso
IDD : area code (0)82
Local Chief Executive: Inday Sara Duterte-Caprio (Mayor)
Mode of transportation:
Air- Major airlines have daily flights to and from Davao City
Land – Bus, taxi, jeepney

There’s a lot of reasons to visit Davao City. It is the home of Philippine eagle; the basket of the king of all fruits, durian; the economic gateway of Mindanao – you name it! And, of course, it is the hometown of the president, our President Rodrigo Duterte.

This Davao City travel guide is aimed at giving you a list of top things to do in the city. In particular, this is intended for those who are planning for a 3-day or so vacation. So, hope you’ll find this guide useful.

Davao City is big. And I mean BIG. In fact, you can put about three Metro Manilas in it.  Thus, if you are planning for a short visit to the city, it makes sense that you strategize so that you can make the most out of your stay – i.e. you can visit and enjoy more attractions, given your limited time.

Top things to do in Davao City

Touring the city proper (Poblacion)

There is no better way to learn more about Davao City – its rich history, the people, products, and the way of life of the locals – but to tour the city by foot. Visit the famous and important landmarks within the city proper such as the following:

  • The City Hall of Davao
  • The City Council Building (Sangguniang Panglungsod)
  • Davao Museum (Museo Dabawenyo)
  • San Pedro Cathedral (the oldest church in Davao City)
  • People’s Park (a public park – no entrance fee)
  • Roxas Night Market (Street food bazaar along Roxas Avenue)

People's Park Davao City
People’s Park, Davao City, Philippines

Davao City Hall
Davao City Hall, San Pedro St. Davao City

‘Bonding’ with crocs at Davao Crocodile Park

Crocodile Park Davao City
Pangil – the largest crocodile in captivity at Davao Crocodile Park (photo credit: biagkensiak.wordpress.com)

After touring the city proper, the next activity you could have is to visit Davao Crocodile Park, located at Riverfront, Corporate City, Diversion Highway Ma-a, Davao City 8000 Philippines. There you can see crocodiles of various sizes, including the biggest one in captivity, Pangil. The park also houses other animal species like raptors, monkeys, bearcats, snakes, birds, and other reptiles. You will surely enjoy visiting the place most especially during animal exhibits. Apart from that, the facility also boasts of their butterfly garden. Plus, if you are visiting in the late afternoon or early evening, you might be able to witness fire dance presentation from Tribu K’Mindawawan.

Go extreme at Outland Adventure Camp

Outland Adventure Camp - Ma-a, Davao City
Outland Adventure Camp – Ma-a, Davao City

If you wish to do some extreme outdoor activities, then head to Outland Adventure Camp – a facility that offers various outdoor activities including rope courses and zip lines, which are ideal for group team building activities or even for a small group wanting to have some fun. This facility is located along Diversion Road, Ma-a Davao City – a 30-minute taxi ride from the city proper.

Whitewater Rafting at Davao River

Whitewater Rafting at Davao River
Whitewater Rafting at Davao River (photo credit: triptophilippines.com)

If the extreme activities at Outland Adventure Camp makes you wanting more, then you can go even more extreme with whitewater rafting (aka wild river rafting) at Davao River. This blood-rushing, heart-pumping activity will surely leave your physical self exhausted but your spirit exalted with all the excitement that conquering the rapids gushing through the wide winding river brings you. Please note that this activity lasts about eight hours, so you need to dedicated a full day for this.

Visiting the Philippine Eagle Center and Malagos Garden Resort

Philippine Eagle Center - Malagos, Davao City
Philippine Eagle Center – Malagos, Davao City (Photo credit: travelingmorion.com)

Malagos Garden Resort, Calinan Davao City
Malagos Garden Resort, Calinan Davao City (Photo credit: Michael Sinjin Pineda)

Another must visit places in Davao City are the Philippine Eagle Center and Malagos Garden Resort. The former is an 8.4 hectare haven for the critically endangered Philippine Eagle and other birds of prey, mammals , and reptiles; it is located within the Malagos Watershed, at the foothills of Mt. Apo. The latter is a 12-hectare nature theme park located just a few distance away from the Philippine Eagle Center. If you want to breathe in cool mountain breeze and get even closer to nature, then you should not miss visiting the place. The resort cultivates a wide variety of plants, including the famous orchids, fruit trees, palms, and ornamental plants.

Engaging more with nature at Eden Nature Park

Eden Nature Park, Davao City
Eden Nature Park, Davao City

Located at the outskirt of the city, Eden Nature Park provides a relaxing escape from the hustle and bustle of the metropolis. Its high elevation (about 1000 meters above sea level) results a significantly cooler temperature that is comparable to that of Baguio City. Besides giving you a wonderful taste of nature, the park provides for extreme outdoor adventure as well such as its zip line and sky-cycling facilities. Tourists can also enjoy its swimming pool along with other amenities. Its fishing village gives an exciting treat as well. Indeed, Eden Nature Park is an ideal place to go to for those who are looking for a refreshing and enjoyable vacation.

Talicud Island Hopping

Talicud Island Hopping, Davao, Philippines
Talicud Island Hopping, Davao, Philippines (Photo credit: wayph.com)

Davao, indeed, has its fair share of nature’s gift – from highland to island, as they say it. If going to beach is your thing (and I call it “beaching”), you should go for island hopping. There’s quite a number of travel and tour companies that offer island hopping packages that you can avail; you can go for a joiner tour as well. This activity usually starts at sunrise and ends at sundown; you will be touring beautiful spots around Talicud Island – white sand beaches, diving spots, islets – so be sure to dedicate a full day schedule for this activity.

Where to eat in Davao City

Looking for a place to eat in Davao City should not be a problem; you can find one in almost every corner of the city – be it for a budget meal or for a more luxurious dine; from a regular plated meal to buffet dining.

Here are some popular options:

Dencia’s

Davao Dencia's Restaurant

Address: General Luna St, Poblacion District, Davao City, Davao del Sur
Phone: (082) 226 4336
Business Hours: 07:00AM – 09:00PM

Davao Green Buffet Haus

Davao Green Buffet Haus, Davao City

Address: Pelayo St, Poblacion District, Davao City, 8000 Davao del Sur
Phone: (082) 225 1860
Business Hours: 11:00AM – 02:00PM; 05:30PM – 10:00PM

Kuya Ed’s

Kuya Ed's Restaurant, Davao City
Kuya Ed’s Restaurant, Davao City

A. Pichon St, Barangay 2-A, Davao City, 8000 Davao del Sur
Business Hours: 11AM–8:30PM
Phone: +63 82 224 2162

Jack’s Ridge (a chain of dining places and resort)

Jack's Ridge Restaurant, Davao City
Jack’s Ridge Resort, Davao City (Photo credit: Bianca Capiral)

Shrine Hills Rd, Talomo, Davao City, 8000 Davao del Sur, Philippines
Phone: +63 82 297 8830
Business Hours: 10AM–12AM

Penong’s (A chain of restaurants)

Penong's Seafoods and Grill
Penong’s Seafoods and Grill, Davao City

Mt.Apo St., Davao City 8000

Phone: (082) 321 2973
Business Hours: 10AM–2PM, 5:30–10PM

Vista View

Vista View Resto, Davao City
Vista View Resto, Davao City
Hilltop, Brgy. Langub, Talomo, Davao City 8000
Phone: (082) 284 2291 / 0923 723 3615 / 0923 740 1724
Business Hours: 10:00AM – 10:00PM

Vikings

Vikings, Davao City Branch
Vikings, Davao City Branch (Photo credit: Pinasmuna.com)
Ground Floor, The Fountain Court, SM Lanang Premiere, J.P. Laurel Ave, Agdao, Davao City, Davao del Sur
Phone: (082) 285 3888
Business Hours: 11AM–2:30PM, 5:30–10PM

 

Zab’s Buffet

Zabs Buffet Restaurant, Davao City
Zabs Buffet Restaurant, Davao City (Photo credit: All Honest Reviews)
27 Roxas Ave, Poblacion District, Davao City, 8000 Davao del Sur
Phone: 0998 866 9163
Hours: 11AM–2PM, 6–9PM 

 

Where to stay in Davao City

A place to stay in Davao City should not be a problem either; you have a lot of options to choose from – from backpacker accommodations (you can get as cheap as 150 per day) to a budget solo room to a more luxurious choices.

Here are the popular accommodations:

Apo View Hotel

The Apo View Hotel, Davao City
The Apo View Hotel, Davao City (photo credit: philippinesedirectory.com)
Bonifacio Street, Brgy. 3-A (POB.) , 8000 Davao City , Davao Del Sur
Phone: +63 (82) 221-6430 to 40
http://www.apoview.com/

Casa Leticia Boutique Hotel

Casa Leticia Boutique Hotel, Davao City
Casa Leticia Boutique Hotel, Davao City
J Camus Street, Davao City, Davao del Sur 8000 Philippines
Phone: +63 82 224 0501
Fax: +6382 221 3585
http://casaleticia.com

Green Windows Dormitel

Green Windows, Davao City
Green Windows, Davao City
5Th Floor FTC Towers, 1034 Mt. Apo Street, Davao City
Phone: (082) 300 3893
http://www.greenwindowsdormitel.com/ 

Hotel Uno

Hotel Uno, Davao City
Hotel Uno, Davao City (photo credit: thebackpackpolymath.com)
CM Recto St., Davao City, Philippines 8000
Landline: +63 82 282 1111
Mobile: +63 917 682 0051 or +63 933 850 2210
https://www.hotelunodavao.com/
hotelunodavao@gmail.com  

Marco Polo Davao

Marco Polo Davao
Marco Polo Davao
CM Recto Street, Davao City 8000, Philippines
Tel. (63 82) 221-0888
Fax. (63 82) 225-0111
http://www.marcopolohotels.com
davao@marcopolohotels.com

Park Inn by Radisson Davao

Park Inn by Radisson, Davao City
Park Inn by Radisson, Davao City (Photo credit: chengreyes.com)
J.P. Laurel Avenue, 8000 Davao City, Philippines (Next to SM Lanang Premier)
Phone: +63 82 272 7600 local 226 and 227
Fax: +63 82 272 7601
https://www.parkinn.com/hotel-davao
Email: reservations.davao@parkinn.com 

Red Planet Davao

Red Planet Hotel, Davao City
Red Planet Hotel, Davao City (Photo Credit: Red Planet Hotels)
J.P. Laurel Ave, Buhangin, Davao City, 8000 Davao del Sur
Phone: (082) 224 0577
https://www.redplanethotels.com/hotel/davao

Seda Abreeza Davao

Seda Abreeza Hotel, Davao City
Seda Abreeza Hotel, Davao City
Abreeza Ayala Business Park,, J.P. Laurel Ave, Poblacion District, Davao City, 8000 Davao del Sur
Phone: (082) 244 3000
http://www.sedahotels.com/abreeza/ 

The Pinnacle Hotel and Suites
The Royal Mandaya Hotel
Waterfront Insular Hotel Davao

 

Sample Itinerary & Budget Breakdown

Day 1: San Pedro Square; Crocodile Park; Matina Town Square

[7:00 AM] Arrival at Davao Airport
[8:00 AM- 9:30 AM] Hotel Check-in (preferably within downtown)
[9:30 AM – 12:30 PM] San Pedro Square (visit City Hall, City Council, Davao Museum, San Pedro Cathedral) – FREE
[12:30 PM – 2:00 PM] Lunch (Recommendations: Penong’s; Kuya Ed’s (buffet) – 200 per person
[2:00 PM – 5:30 PM] Davao Crocodile Park – Entrance fee: 250 adult; 150 kids
[5:30 PM – 8:00 PM] Dinner at Vista View (option 2: Jack’s Ridge) – 200 per person
[8:00 PM – 10:00 PM] Matina Town Square (for live entertainment, night out] – Free entrance fee
[11:00 PM] Back to hotel / rest

Day 2: Eden Nature Park; Roxas Night Market

[6:00 AM – 8:00 AM] Breakfast, preparation for 2nd day tour
[8:00 AM – 3:30 PM] Eden Nature Park Day Tour – Entrance Fee: 600 regular fee; 350 for kids 4 to 10 years old (with buffet lunch)

Guided shuttle tour inside the park – 120 per person (first come, first serve)
Buffet lunch – Included in the entrance fee of 600; served at 11:30 AM
Rides (Skycycling – 200 per person; Skyriding – 150 per person; Horseback Riding – 100 per person
Fishing Village – Entrance Fee: 40

[4:00 PM-7:30 PM] Dinner at Zabs Buffet – 375 per person for buffet (for limited budget, Roxas night market is a great option)
[7:30 PM-9:00 PM] Stroll at Roxas Night Market
[9:00 PM] Back to hotel/ rest (end of day 2)

Day 3: Talicud Island Hopping or Whitewater Rafting at Davao River

Option 1: Island Hopping (1,000 per pax)

[6:00 AM – 7:30 AM] Breakfast
[7:30 AM – 8:30 AM] Sta. Ana Warf – Preparation for Island hopping
[8:30 AM – 3:30 PM] Island hopping (Talicud)
[3:30 PM – 6:00 PM] Back to hotel / rest
[6:00 PM – 7:30 PM] Dinner (Recommendatons: Dencia’s; Green Buffet; Toryano’s)
[7:30 PM – 9:00 PM] People’s Park free entrance
[9:00 PM] Back to hotel to prepare for departure and rest

Option 2: Whitewater Rafting (1,700 per pax)

[6:00 AM – 7:30 AM] Breakfast
[8:00 AM – 9:30 AM] Assembly at Crocodile Park
[9:30 AM – 11:00 AM] To Put-in area, Tamugan (base)
[11:00 AM – 12:00 NN] Writewater Rafting
[12:00 NN – 1:00 PM] Lunch
[1:00 PM – 3:00 PM] To Take Out area, Purok 8, Lacson
[3:00 PM – 4:30 PM] To Davao Crocodile Park
[4:30 PM – 6:00 PM] Back to hotel / rest
[6:00 PM – 7:30 PM] Dinner (Recommendations: Dencia’s; Green Buffet; Toryano’s) – 200 per person
[7:30 PM – 9:00 PM] People’s Park – free entrance
[9:00 PM] Back to hotel to prepare for departure and rest

Day 4: Shopping & Departure from Davao

[6:00 AM – 7:30 AM] Breakfast
[7:30 AM – 9:30 AM] Shopping (for loved ones back home) – recommendations: Bankerohan (fruits); Pasalubong Center (RTW and food items); Aldevinco Shopping Center (RTW)
[9:30 AM] To Airport – Depart for Home

Travel tips:

  • Early booking is recommended to secure slots, most especially for activities in the resorts that are on a first come, first serve basis.
  • Ask and read brochure guide at the resort to ensure you do not miss the activity or attraction you most like.
  • It pays to preserve nature; do not litter (just a friendly reminder, guys 😀 )
  • Be friendly with locals; they are your buddies.

Content updated on May 26, 2017

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