Davao City, my hometown which is located in Mindanao, has been called many names and it has earned many monikers. It is lovingly referred to as the Durian City, thanks to the abundance of the fruit which smells like heaven and tastes like hell; Fruit Basket, because it is a cornucopia of the freshest produce; and City in Bloom, because of the vast plantations of exotic orchids and other plants, waling waling being the most popular.
I am proud of my hometown and its peace, order and beauty and I yearn for the day when I finally go back to Davao and settle there. For now, I am happily looking forward to vacation days spent in the city and convincing friends, be it Filipinos or other people of other nationalities, to pay the city a visit for it is worth more than a passing glance.
If there is one tip I could offer to visitors of the city, it would be this, the city is large and if you truly want to experience it, you should be there for at least 5 days. Here is the ultimate travel guide to Davao City!
Free Things to Do and See in Davao City
Davao City is the perfect escape for travellers who want to see verdant greens; eat fresh produce; and adventure seekers. It is bucolic and cosmopolitan at the same time and it is one of the few places in the country where you can find anything and everything you like. People who are on a budget will be very happy to know that the city offers a multitude of free places to go to and free things to do.
Shrine of the Infant Jesus
The Shrine of the Infant of Jesus is one of the most popular tourist spots in the city. It has two open-air chapels where you can hear mass and it can is located in the serene surrounding of Matina Hills. For someone who wants to do a little
Jack’s Ridge is just across the Shrine of the Infant Jesus. It offers visitors a great view of the city at night and also has a few restaurants and bars where you can sip durian coffee while listening to a live band. Travel time is approximately an hour from the airport.
Davao Baywalk and Park
A beautiful park which offers visitors a refreshing and gorgeous views of the sea, its most famous landmark is the naked statue of David who packs a member bigger in proportion to the statue’s body. Suffice it today, it is just one of the many things which attracts people to Times Beach.
Davao China Town
If you are looking for cheap trinkets to bring home to family and friends or go bargain shopping, China Town is the best place to go. You will find an array of knockoff bags, fabrics, footwear and other things.
People’s Park Davao
People’s Park Davao is one of the cleanest and well-maintained parks in the country where people can go to for free. Formerly called the PTA Grounds, the park opened in December 2007 and features mini forests, water fountains, ponds, large sculptures of indigenous people and a toyland for children.
Places to Go For Adventure
So, you’re an adventure seeker? You have come to the right place. Davao City has a lot to offer that will make you scream, shout, laugh and even cry in fear and delight.
Davao Zorb Park
One of the most popular outdoor activities for both locals and tourists is zorbing or globe riding. Zorbing is going inside a huge inflatable and transparent ball and then rolling down on a gentle slope. Davao Zorb Park is located in Maa, Davao City.
DECA Wakeboard Park
The mecca of wakeboarding in the city, the park is equipped with a world-class cable system which offers beginners friendly obstacles. DECA Wakeboard Park is situated in Brgy. Tacunan, Mintal, Davao City.
Davao River Water Rafting
Wild water rafting is another outdoor activity which is wildly popular in Davao City. The 3 ½ hour water rafting activity starts from Bario Tamugan in Calinan and ends at the lowlands.
Mt. Apo National Park
The tallest mountain in the country, Mt. Apo, is also referred to as the King of Philippine Peaks. It has an elevation of more than 10,000 feet above sea level and it is one of the most sought after climbing destinations in the country. If you are looking to push yourself to the limit, this is the best place to go.
Places to Go to for Relaxation
If you are more inclined to sightseeing and dread heavy physical activity, the city offers a number of resorts and parks.
Malagos Garden Resort
One of the most visited resorts in the city, guests will be able to breathe in fresh mountain air and commune with nature. Malagos Garden Resort is a 12-hectar nature park which is just about a 45-minute drive from the city proper.
Eden Nature Park
One of the most beautiful parks in the city and one of my personal favorites, Eden Nature ParkEden Nature Park is about 95% man-made. There are various gardens in the park, as well wildlife. Because of the park’s beauty, it is often the venue of weddings and photo shoots. There are also various activities such as horseback riding, sky cycle, fishing and the skyrider. For more information, you may contact them here.
Seagull Mountain Resort
Situated in BUDA Road, Seagull Mountain Resort is nestled on a mountain 4,200 feet above sea level. It is a great place for people to relax and just have a good time away from work.
Places to Go for Nightlife
So, you want to unwind after a day of exploring the city. Here are the places where you can go to enjoy good food and good music.
Located along Rizal Street, hence the name, Rizal Promenade has at least 10 bars where you can listen to acoustic bands, and dance till the wee hours of the morning.
Al fresco dining at its finest, The Peak at Gaisano Mall in Davao has numerous restaurants to suit your taste buds. It is also one of the best places to get a view of the city during nighttime.
Matina Town Square
Matina Town Square is the premier place to go to for people ins search of good food and equally good music.