Life is Here: Tourist Spots in Davao to Add to Your Itinerary
The sun was setting in the west, and its soft and golden rays temporarily blinded my eyes as I stared and watched the scenery outside the taxi window. As I continue to roam around the city, I watch the sun slowly disappear.
The darkness falls, and the streets and cars light up in various colors, brightening my mood. I sigh deeply and think, “This is a wonderful place brimming with mysteries and wonders. I am happy I am home.”
A Natural Haven for Leisure and Adventure
Davao is a major tourist destination and a natural haven for both leisure and adventure. Some of the famous activities visitors love are island hopping in Samal Island and Talikud Island, and hiking up to the peak of Mt. Apo.
That said, it is a great place to begin your journey in the south. Aside from being the largest city in the country in terms of land area, Davao is also the gateway to satellite destinations in Mindanao island, including Samal Island, Davao Oriental, Davao del Norte
Davao’s topography is stunning, with a wide range of picturesque landscapes. Mantle volcano-fed hills and valleys, fruit plantations, orchid farms, and a variety of natural attractions.
Coral islands float on mirror-like water. Mt. Apo, the country’s highest peak, towers majestically over the surrounding countryside.
If you are planning a trip to this wonderful city, here are a few places you should include on your itinerary. Whatever your budget is, Davao can always provide something.
Experience Davao like a local and get to know the region better with these Davao tourist spots and attractions.
San Pedro Street in Davao City
Beating Heart of Davao City
Considered as the oldest street in Davao City, San Pedro Street or Calle San Pedro is the beating heart of the city. It is where the Sangguniang Panlungsod and the City Hall are located. The San Pedro Cathedral and the street itself were named after San Pedro (Saint Peter).
Since the early days of Davao, San Pedro St. has already been the city center and main hub of commercial activities. In 1960, San Pedro Street experienced a massive fire that damaged a big portion of the street, changing the landscape of San Pedro Street and that of Davao City in general.
There are numerous historical events that transpired along this street that defined what Davao City is today.
Attractions in Davao
Old Davao Museum and the New Museo Dabawenyo
When you plan a visit in Davao, your Davao trip must include museums where the region’s diverse cultural heritage and a gamut of national cultural treasure are showcased.
There are two public museums opened to the public in Mindanao Island, the old Davao Museum and the Museo Dabawenyo which is called the “New Museum” While newer, it is slightly smaller than the Davao Museum. Both museums are frequented by local and international tourists alike.
A Collection of National Cultural Treasure
Museo Dabawenyo features four distinct rooms: Its collection of arts, crafts musical instruments, weaponry from different tribes in the province can be found in The Indigenous People’s Gallery while The Moro People’s Gallery holds artifacts used by Muslim people who thrived in the southern part of the Philippines.
The Contemporary Gallery houses a collection of classic and modern designs, wood carvings, paintings, to name a few. A is a collection of clothes from the past, bills, porcelains and many more are featured in The Memorabilia Gallery.
Both museums only charge a minimal entrance fee. It is recommended to check its operating hours so you can get the most out of your visit.
Philippine Eagle Center
Location: Malagos, Baguio District, Davao City
Number one on the list and a must visit place when visiting Davao is the Philippine Eagle Centre! It is an 8.4-hectare area located in Malagos, Baguio District, Davao City, at the foothills of Mt. Apo and within the Malagos Watershed.
Caring for Endangered Species
The Philippine Eagle Center serves primarily as a breeding facility for the critically endangered Philippine Eagle and other bird species.
While tourists are unable to access the breeding centers, the bird feeding dome and petting zoo can be visited as well as the rest of the park is open to the public which provides an enthralling introduction to the Philippines’ avian wildlife. The farm only charges a minimal entry fee.
Awareness on the Eagles’ Plight
The park achieves its goal of serving as a means of spreading awareness about the eagle’s plight. For nearly two decades, the Philippine Eagle Center has educated schoolchildren, and tourists about the importance of preserving the haribon and its habitat.
During your visit, you will see eagles feeding on raw meat and cutting it with their sharp claws and beaks, as well as watch eagles soar around the area with huge wingspans.
Davao Crocodile Park
Location: Riverfront, Corporate City, Diversion Highway, Ma-a, Davao City
Philippines State of the art Crocodile Farming
Davao Crocodile Park showcases the country’s “state of the art” crocodile farming. This Davao City tourist attraction is home to thousands of crocodiles, both freshwater and saltwater, that are bred and born on the premises. You can also visit the incubator room, which houses hundreds of crocodile eggs.
Aside from crocodiles, you’ll also get to see monkeys, snakes, reptiles and other birds. Crocodile Park provides educational tours, seminars, and public awareness about wildlife conservation.
Overall, it’s a wonderful way to experience the Philippines’ natural and cultural wonders.
Malagos Garden Resort
Location: Baguio District, Calinan-Baguio Rd, Davao City
Visiting Davao soon? The Malagos Garden Resort is Davao’s popular tourist spot. It’s a 12-hectare Davao nature theme park that serves as a one-stop go-to destination for visitors looking to enjoy the outdoors, fresh and cool mountain air, while also seeking sanctuary in the area’s tranquility.
In addition to these natural wonders, Malagos is home to the Philippines’ first chocolate museum.
It is also important to note that Malagos Chocolate was recognized by the International Cocoa Awards in 2017, making it the first in the Philippines. Because of its quality, this chocolate is also sold in Singapore, Japan, Australia, and the United States.
Indeed, Malagos Garden Resorts has something for everyone, no matter what kind of vacation they have planned!
People’s Park Davao
Photo from Davao City Tourism Website
Named Best Park in the Philippines
In the heart of city Davao, lies a four-hectare cultural-themed park popularly known as People’s Park Davao. This verdant gem, embraced by the locals with pride, is more than just a park; it’s a vibrant tapestry of nature, art, and recreation. It is well maintained and managed by the efficient city government of Davao.
Hub of Activity
Within the park’s embrace is a captivating mini-forest, testifying to Davao’s commitment to preserving its lush biodiversity.
Meander through its winding pathways, where the air is filled with the soothing sounds of a man-made waterfall, and discover the harmony between the urban and the natural.
As dusk descends, witness the park transform into a magical spectacle with the dancing fountain, a mesmerizing display that illuminates the night sky.
People’s Park is not merely a scenic spot but a dynamic hub of activity. It caters not only to tourists seeking a tranquil escape but also to students honing their talents for school activities.
A Fitness Haven
For those yearning for a fitness haven, the expansive grounds beckon joggers, turning the park into a lively canvas of movement and well-being.
Revered as one of the most expensive and undoubtedly the cleanest and greenest parks in the Philippines, Davao People’s Park has earned the esteemed title of the “Best Park in the Philippines.”
What adds to its allure is the fact that entrance is free, inviting everyone to partake in its beauty. At the heart of the park, the iconic Durian Dome stands tall, symbolizing the city’s identity with the famed fruit.
Adorned with the beauty of Waling Waling
As daylight gives way to the enchanting night, People’s Park reveals yet another facet of its charm. The walls adorned with the radiant beauty of “waling-waling,” the Queen of Philippine Orchids, create a mesmerizing tapestry of light. It’s a nightly celebration of nature’s grandeur and artistic finesse.
Close Encounters with Nature
For those who seek encounters with nature, the Philippine Rainforest, a haven for hundreds of pigeons, offers a tranquil retreat. Marvel at the meticulously crafted replica of the majestic Philippine Eagle, a testament to the city’s commitment to wildlife conservation.
Children, too, find delight in the park, where swings, slides, monkey bars, and more await at the children’s playground. It’s a space where imaginations soar, and laughter echoes amidst the sculpted wonders that dot the landscape.
San Pedro Cathedral
A Majestic Symbol of Faith
Discover the timeless beauty of San Pedro Cathedral, a testament to Davao City’s spiritual heritage. The San Pedro Cathedral or Davao Cathedral stands as a majestic symbol of faith and architectural prowess and considered the oldest church in the Davao region.
This Catholic Romanesque masterpiece not only graces the city skyline but also serves as the spiritual cornerstone as the ecclesial seat of the Catholic Archdiocese of Davao.
The cathedral’s rich history traces back to its humble beginnings in 1847 when it emerged as a smaller church, echoing the neo-Gothic style of that era.
However, as the faithful in Davao City multiplied, the need for a more expansive sanctuary became evident. In the 1960s, the Diocese of Davao embarked on a mission to transform the modest church into a grand testament to the city’s growing spiritual significance.
Architect Manuel Chiew, entrusted with the monumental task, led the charge in the expansion and renovation. Departing from the neo-Gothic aesthetics, Chiew embraced Spanish influences and ingeniously crafted a design that evokes a sense of timelessness.
The Crowning Glory
The crowning glory of his vision is the cathedral’s distinctive roof, resembling an ark—a symbolic gesture that unites the architectural marvel with the spiritual essence of the congregation.
The culmination of this visionary project came to fruition in 1964, unveiling a sanctuary that melds tradition with modernity.
San Pedro Cathedral beckons both devout worshippers and admirers of architectural beauty alike, inviting them to explore a space where history, faith, and artistic ingenuity converge in harmonious splendor.
Join us on a journey through time and spirituality as we unravel the layers of significance within the sacred walls of the Davao Cathedral.
Roxas Night Market
Bargain Hunting in Roxas Night Market
Roxas Night Market emerges as a bustling haven for those seeking both culinary delights and cheap bargains. A tapestry of sights, sounds, and scents, this nighttime oasis has firmly etched its place in the hearts of locals and visitors alike, beckoning all to experience the unique charm that sets it apart.
For the avid street food enthusiast and seasoned bargain hunter, Roxas Night Market stands as Nirvana. Nestled in the heart of Davao, it has earned its reputation as the go-to destination for those craving not only the best local bites but also the most wallet-friendly treasures.
The accessibility of the location and the diverse array of goods and delicious food on offer have made it a beloved hotspot in the city’s evening landscape.
Unlike the polished night markets found in bustling metropolises like Manila, Roxas Night Market embraces an authentic, city life with down-to-earth ambiance.
Blend of Goods and Food
Here, grand displays give way to the charm of makeshift food stalls and humble food carts, creating an intimate atmosphere where the focus is on the treasures waiting to be uncovered.
Wander through the labyrinth of small tables and low stools, where the true magic of Roxas Night Market unfolds. It’s not about elaborate showcases but rather the genuine offerings of local vendors, each presenting a unique blend of flavors and goods.
From delectable street food that tantalizes the taste buds to an eclectic array of affordable finds, the market embodies the spirit of community and commerce under the moonlit sky.
Davao Butterfly House
One of the Country’s Distinguished Butterfly Conservation Facilities
Another of the city’s tourist spots is the The Davao Butterfly House. It unfolds as a butterfly sanctuary where nature’s delicate wonders come to life. More than a mere exhibit, it stands as a haven for butterflies, flowers, plants, and a menagerie of exotic creatures, including fishes, crickets, tarantulas, and scorpions.
Here, the symphony of fluttering wings and vibrant hues creates an enchanting tapestry, inviting visitors into the heart of a thriving wildlife habitat.
As one of the Philippines’ distinguished butterfly conservation facilities, Davao Butterfly House joins the ranks of esteemed sanctuaries like the Boracay Butterfly Farm, Bohol Butterfly Conservation Center, and the Jumalon Butterfly House in Cebu.
Each of these havens shares a common mission — to preserve the delicate balance of nature and nurture the captivating beauty of these ephemeral creatures.
For those seeking an immersive encounter with butterflies, the morning sun unveils a spectacle of nature’s marvels. It is during this time that many species take to the air, engaging in the delicate dance of hatching, courtship, and mating.
The air is alive with gentle flutters and vibrant colors, creating a visual symphony that captivates the senses.
As the day progresses and the sun reaches its zenith, the butterflies seek refuge under the protective canopy of leaves.
Up Close with Winged Wonders
This presents a unique opportunity for observers to witness these winged wonders up close, their intricate patterns and delicate features on full display. It’s a golden opportunity for photographers to capture the intimate details of their ethereal beauty.
However, nature has its rhythms, and on cloudy days or as the sun begins its descent, the butterflies retreat into seclusion.
The Davao Butterfly House, with its carefully crafted environment, allows visitors to witness these natural behaviors, fostering a deeper appreciation for the delicate balance of life within the sanctuary’s confines.
Here, amidst the flourishing flora and fauna, discover the beauty of preservation and witness the fleeting grace of butterflies as they gracefully navigate the intricacies of their enchanted realm.
Mt. Apo – The Highest Peak in the Philippines
The King of Philippine Peaks
A trip to Davao City would be incomplete without a visit to Mount Apo, also known as the King of the Philippine Peaks. Mount Apo, with an elevation of 10,311 feet, is the highest mountain in Southeast Asia. Before reaching the summit of Mount Apo, there is a crater lake formed naturally by volcanic activity.
Mt. Apo’s summit is surrounded by seven peaks. In good weather, you can see the beautiful sunset and sunrise. A panoramic view of Mt. Matutum, Lake Venado, and other South Cotabato landmarks awaits you.
Visiting Mt. Apo is one of the must-do activities in Davao. There are a variety of trails to choose from, depending on your level of difficulty.
Photo courtesy of Peakvisor
There are hot springs in the foothills of Mt. Apo that will relax your tired body and reduce muscle aches, such as Mundo Apo hot spring, Agco Hot Springs in Kidapawan, Bongolanon Falls in Magpet, and Mainit hot spring in Kapatagan, which is a very ideal thing to do.
So, dare to climb Mt. Apo, the Philippines’ highest peak, for an adventure of a lifetime!
Island Garden City of Samal
A Dream Vacation in Samal Island
Want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and immerse yourself in a tranquil and charming ambiance just outside of Davao City?
The Island Garden City of Samal, located in the heart of the Davao Gulf, has long been a favorite tourist destination, particularly for those living in Davao City, not only because of its proximity, but also because the island is tranquil, brimming with pristine beaches, and alive with life.
Your entire trip of the island will reveal the island’s inland riches, including rivers, waterfalls, heritage houses, and the world-famous cave that is home to the world’s largest population of fruit bats.
According to local and international scientists, the cave (one of the island’s 70 caverns) is home to millions of Geoffrey’s Rousette Fruit Bats.
Pristine Beaches and other Natural Attractions
But it is the island’s kind and delightful people who make it so beautiful, not only its white and pristine beaches or its various natural features.
All of these factors combine to make this island a world-class ecotourism destination in this region of the Philippines. The local government ensures that the place stay true to its promises.
Furthermore, among the beautiful resorts Samal has to offer, Pearl Farm Beach Resort is one of the most prestigious and opulent beach resorts.
Prepare for a gourmet feast at Maranao, the hotel’s in-house dining establishment, and indulge in their delectable cuisines. You may hang out in the resort’s bar if you want a 360-degree view of the property.
Enjoy a relaxing massage at the spa and activities like swimming, canoeing, and beach volleyball during your staycation. You can also arrange for scuba diving, fishing, and windsurfing, as well as sightseeing tours.
Eden Nature Park and Resort
Location: Eden, Toril District, Davao City
Save the best for the last! The Eden Nature Park and Resort, located at the foot of Mt. Talomo in Davao City’s Toril District, is an 80-hectare man-made nature park that has provided a calm respite from the city’s hectic metropolitan life for years.
Communing with Nature in Vast Gardens
Enjoy the temperate climate and fresh forest air while communing with nature in their vast gardens of organic vegetables, various tropical flora, thousands of pine trees, and other plants.
A tour is recommended for first-time visitors who want to see the Amphitheater, Lola’s Garden, Flower Garden, Plaza Maria, Mayumi’s Well, and other attractions.
Trek down their Mountain Trail, camp in their grounds, attempt rope gliding in their Indiana Jones, play and move in their grounds, or zip down their 200-meter zip line dubbed Sky Rider for an adventure.
Indulge in their scrumptious dishes, which are primarily crafted from natural fresh raw ingredients collected in their garden and expertly prepared to suit everyone’s delicate palate.
Take a walk to Tinubdan to learn about our Mindanaoan ancestors’ lives and cultures, or enjoy their other amenities, which include swimming pool, playgrounds, cottages, souvenir shops, function areas, and a business center with WiFi
Eden promises “a respite, an adventure, a spiritual retreat, a cultural excursion, and a sensuous feast” to all visitors.
Since you are already in Talomo, try dropping by the Shrine Holy Infant Jesus of Prague along Matina crossing.
Other Sites to Visit in Davao
There are other Davao tourist spots and natural attractions that should be part of your Davao trip. Include the Magsaysay Park for a leisurely stroll, the Monfort Bat sanctuary, and the Dahican beach. Also visit Kadayawan Village.
Explore Davao City, Philippines
Live close to these tourist destinations by exploring a community that is a short drive away. Camella Davao is a 38-hectare house and lot development, located just at the heart of the city, Barangay Communal, Davao City.
This community is also only 5-10 minutes away from Davao International Airport, making it an ideal residence for those who like to travel internationally.
Come home to your new home here in Davao. For house and lot for sale in Davao, check out Camella’s catalog of home options. For other projects, you may check Camella’s property for sale options across the Philippines.
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