Nestled in the heart of the Philippines’ southern island of Mindanao, Davao Beach stands as a beacon of progress, culture, and natural beauty. Known as the “Durian Capital” of the Philippines, Davao is more than just its iconic fruit; it’s a melting pot of history, rich biodiversity, and a confluence of both indigenous and contemporary cultures. This review provides an in-depth journey through Davao’s enticing facets.

Lubi Plantation in the davao beach
History of Davao

Davao’s history is a tapestry of cultural exchanges, battles, and resilience. Originating as a settlement of the Davaoeño indigenous people, it flourished due to its strategic location for trade. The influence of Spanish colonization in the late 16th century further shaped its destiny. However, despite Spanish rule, Davao remained relatively autonomous, thanks to its distance from Manila and its strong indigenous culture. By the time the Americans took over the Philippines, Davao had transformed into an agricultural hub, primarily producing abaca and coconuts. Today, its history can be seen in the preserved artifacts, landmarks, and stories passed down through generations.

Size and Appearance Davao’s Expansive Landscape

Stretching over a vast area of 2,443.61 square kilometers, Davao City is the largest city in the Philippines in terms of land area. The vastness allows for diverse landscapes, from lush green mountains like Mount Apo, the highest peak in the country, to expansive agricultural plains and pristine coastlines. Davao’s cityscape, though modern, is interspersed with green pockets, ensuring that nature and urbanization coexist harmoniously.

Environmental Health of Davao

Davao takes pride in its commitment to environmental preservation. The city is known for its eco-tourism attractions and strict environmental regulations. For instance, Davao was one of the first cities in the Philippines to implement a city-wide smoking ban, ensuring cleaner air for its inhabitants and visitors. With initiatives like tree-planting activities, conservation of its marine sanctuaries, and wildlife preservation efforts, Davao stands as a model for sustainable urban development.

Davaoeño: The People of Davao

Davao’s soul lies in its people. The Davaoeños, with their rich blend of indigenous, Muslim, and Christian traditions, are known for their warmth, resilience, and harmonious coexistence. Their festivals, such as the Kadayawan Festival, showcase the beautiful tapestry of their diverse culture. Their respect for each other’s beliefs and their unity in times of challenges are testaments to their admirable character.

A Glimpse at Palawan Benefits and Drawbacks

While this review is centered on Davao, it’s worth noting another Philippine gem: Palawan.

Top 3 Reasons Why You Should Choose Palawan

      • Untouched Beauty: Palawan, often referred to as “The Last Frontier” of the Philippines, offers some of the world’s most pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters.

      • Rich Biodiversity: The Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a diver’s paradise, boasting a myriad of marine life.

      • Unique Landscapes: The Puerto Princesa Underground River is one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature and is a testament to Palawan’s unique geological wonders.

    1 Reason Why You Might Avoid Palawan:

        • Tourism Surge: Palawan’s popularity has led to increased tourism, which can sometimes result in crowded attractions, especially during peak seasons.

      davao beach life while island-hopping


      5 Best Things to Do in Davao beach

      Climbing Mount Apo:

        • Location and Access: Mount Apo is located in the southern part of the Philippines. It’s accessible from various jump-off points, most commonly from Davao City.
        • Trekking Details: The trek to the summit of Mount Apo, which stands at about 2,954 meters above sea level, can take about 2 to 4 days, depending on the chosen trail and pace of the hike.
        • Scenery and Wildlife: Hikers can enjoy diverse landscapes including rainforests, river crossings, and even sulfur vents. The area is rich in biodiversity, including rare flora and fauna.
        • Preparation and Requirements: Climbers should be in good physical condition. Necessary preparations include securing permits, hiring local guides, and preparing appropriate gear for a multi-day trek.

      Visiting the Philippine Eagle Center:

        • Location: The center is located in Malagos, Baguio District, Davao City.
        • Conservation Efforts: It’s both a breeding facility and a rehabilitation center for the Philippine Eagle, one of the world’s largest and most endangered birds of prey.
        • Exhibits and Activities: Visitors can see eagles and other birds up close. The center provides educational tours explaining the eagles’ life cycle, habitat, and the threats they face.
        • Importance: It plays a vital role in the conservation of this critically endangered species and its habitat.

      Exploring Eden Nature Park:

        • Location: Situated in the foothills of Mount Talomo in Davao City.
        • Attractions: The park covers about 80 hectares of land, offering activities like guided tours, zip-lining, horseback riding, and a birdwalk.
        • Flora and Fauna: The park is home to various plant species and a butterfly garden, offering a serene experience amidst nature.
        • Accommodations: There are also accommodations and dining facilities, making it a great spot for families and groups.

      davao-things-to-do-samal-islandDiving in Samal Island:

        • Location: The Island Garden City of Samal is a short ferry ride from Davao City.
        • Diving Sites: Known for its pristine beaches and clear waters, Samal Island offers numerous diving spots with vibrant coral reefs and a diverse range of marine life.
        • Activities: Besides diving, visitors can enjoy snorkeling, beach resorts, and other water activities.
        • Accommodation Options: There are many resorts on the island catering to different budgets and preferences.

      Participating in Kadayawan Festival:

        • Time of the Year: This week-long festival is usually celebrated in the third week of August.
        • Cultural Significance: It’s a celebration of life, a thanksgiving for the gifts of nature, the wealth of culture, and the bounties of harvest.
        • Events: The festival features colorful parades, traditional dances, and exhibits. One of the highlights is the Indak-Indak sa Kadalanan, a street dancing competition showcasing the rich culture of the indigenous tribes.
        • Experience: It’s a vibrant and immersive way to experience the local culture, crafts, and cuisine of Davao and its diverse communities.

      Each of these activities offers a unique way to experience the natural beauty, cultural richness, and adventurous spirit of Davao.

      Famous Hotels, Resorts, and Foods

      Name Address Google Map Link
      Marco Polo Davao Hotel C.M. Recto Street, Poblacion District, Davao City, 8000 Link to Marco Polo Davao
      Pearl Farm Beach Resort Kaputian, Island Garden City of Samal, 8119 Link to Pearl Farm Beach Resort
      Durian Pastel Lola Mommy’s, 123 Durian St., Davao City, 8000 Link to Lola Mommy’s

       What to Eat in Davao

      Davao offers a rich culinary palette influenced by its indigenous tribes, Malay, Spanish, and Chinese heritages. Don’t miss out on:

          • Durian: Often referred to as the ‘King of Fruits’, its unique smell and taste make it a must-try.

          • Sinuglaw: A delightful mix of grilled pork belly and fish ceviche, seasoned with calamansi and chili.

          • Tuna Panga: Grilled tuna jaw, a delicacy that’s both flavorful and tender.

          • Pomelo: A sweet citrus fruit that’s refreshing and juicy.

          • Tsokolate: Traditional Filipino hot chocolate made from locally-grown cacao.

        DurianFavorites Famous Foods and Where to Buy

        Food Shop Address Google Map Link
        Durian Durian Garden, Toril, Davao City, 8025 Link to Durian Garden
        Sinuglaw Dencia’s Restaurant, Ilustre St, Davao City, 8000 Link to Dencia’s Restaurant
        Tuna Panga Yellow Fin Seafood Restaurant, Sandawa Plaza, Davao City, 8000 Link to Yellow Fin
        Pomelo Lola Abon’s, Matina, Davao City, 8000 Link to Lola Abon’s
        Tsokolate Cacao City, Palma Gil St, Davao City, 8000 Link to Cacao City

        When in Davao, immersing oneself in its culinary scene is a journey of flavors, traditions, and stories. Whether you’re savoring the rich aroma of durian, indulging in the succulent bites of Tuna Panga, or warming up with a cup of tsokolate, every taste offers a piece of Davao’s heart.

         Estimated Cost for a 1-Day Visit to Davao

        Expenses Budget (in USD) Mid-range (in USD) Luxury (in USD)
        Accommodation $20 (Hostel) $60 (3-star hotel) $150 (5-star hotel)
        Food $10 (Local eateries) $30 (Mid-tier restaurants) $80 (Fine dining)
        Transport $5 (Public transport) $15 (Private car rental) $50 (Chauffeured service)
        Basic Activities $10 (Local attractions) $25 (Guided tours) $70 (Premium experiences)
        Total (approx.) $45 $130 $350

         2-Day Photogenic Itinerary in Davao

        Day 1: Natural Beauty and Scenic Vistas


            • Mount Apo: Start your day early with a drive to the foothills of Mount Apo. While climbing the entire mountain would require more time, the foot areas offer beautiful viewpoints, especially during sunrise.

            • Breakfast: Have breakfast with a view. There are local eateries offering local delicacies such as rice cakes and fresh fruits.


            • Eden Nature Park: Head to this mountain resort, where you can not only enjoy the lush greenery but also spot beautiful landscapes and backgrounds for your photos.

            • Lunch: Eden Nature Park offers a buffet with a spread of local dishes. Enjoy your meal amidst nature.


            • Samal Island: Take a ferry ride to Samal Island during the sunset. The interplay of colors during this time on the sea is a photographer’s delight.

            • Dinner: Samal Island has beachside eateries. Enjoy grilled seafood by the beach.

          Day 2: Cityscapes and Cultural Spots


              • People’s Park: This urban park in the heart of Davao is adorned with large sculptures, beautiful landscapes, and is a hub of local life, making it great for candid shots.

              • Breakfast: Try a local coffee shop for a hearty Filipino breakfast.


              • D’ Bone Collector Museum: A unique place showcasing bones of various animals. The displays here are well-lit and make for some intriguing shots.

              • Lunch: Head to a local eatery to try Davao’s signature dishes like Tuna Panga and Durian fruit.


              • Roxas Avenue Night Market: As the sun sets, this bustling market offers a plethora of opportunities from food stalls to local crafts. The vibrant energy and lights make for dynamic shots.

              • Dinner: Indulge in street food delicacies at the night market, including barbecued skewers, fresh fruit juices, and local desserts.

            This itinerary is packed with locations that offer a mix of natural beauty, urban charm, and cultural insights, ensuring a plethora of beautiful photographs to take back from your trip.

            Reflections on Davao

            Davao, with its rich history, expansive landscapes, environmental initiatives, and the warmth of its people, truly stands out as a must-visit destination in the Philippines. Its harmonious blend of nature and urbanization provides a unique experience that promises both relaxation and adventure.

            Tips for a Safe and Memorable Adventure in Davao

                • Respect Local Norms: Davaoeños are known for their discipline. Following city regulations, especially environmental ones, is crucial.

                • Engage with Locals: Interacting with locals can provide insights into hidden gems and local stories.

                • Prioritize Safety: While Davao is safe, standard travel precautions, like not flashing valuables, are advisable.

                • Stay Hydrated and Protected: With its tropical climate, it’s essential to stay hydrated and wear sunscreen.

                • Savor the Flavors: Davao offers a culinary journey with its fresh fruits, seafood, and local dishes. Take your time to savor them all!

              Traveling to Davao promises an enriching experience that resonates both in memory and in the heart. Whether you’re an avid history buff, a nature enthusiast, or someone seeking genuine cultural immersion, Davao welcomes you with open arms. Enjoy the journey!

              Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

              Here we answer some of the most common questions about these offers a rich tapestry of history, culture, and modernity. can expect results 

              Is the Sundarbans a UNESCO World Heritage Site?
              • Absolutely! Davao is often touted as one of the safest cities in the Philippines, thanks to its stringent security measures and disciplined residents.
              When is the best time to visit Davao?
              • hile Davao is a year-round destination, visiting during the Kadayawan Festival in August offers a colorful and vibrant experience.
              Can I climb Mount Apo?
              • Yes, but ensure you secure the necessary permits and preferably go with a local guide to enjoy a safe and informed hiking experience.
              Is Davao City the same as Davao del Sur?
              • No, Davao City is an independent chartered city, while Davao del Sur is a separate province. However, they are part of the same Davao Region.
              What local delicacies should I try in Davao?
              • Don’t miss out on the durian fruit, pomelo, and the local dish called “sinuglaw” – a mix of grilled pork belly and fish ceviche.

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