11 Things to do in Davao City, Philippines.
There are lots of really neat things to do in Davao City, Philippines.
Davao is the third largest city in the Philippines by population and the largest city by land area. It is located on the island of Mindanao in the Southern Philippines and is the gateway to trade and commerce for the island.
Because the island of Mindanao has instability in the Western part, the whole island gets a bad reputation from travelers, however, Davao City and the larger Davao region is really pretty safe. The current President of the Philippines is the former Mayor of Davao City, and he has made the city very stable and safe for travel. Personally, I would feel much safer in Davao City than I would in say Manila or New York.
Davao is much cheaper than Manila for just about everything, and if you are using U.S. Dollars, your money will go a lot farther.
One thing that certainly stands out in Davao compared to Manila is the food. People in this region seem to take much more pride in their work. The food is so much better in Davao compared to Manila.
The people in this area are much more conservative than the people in Manila or Cebu. They are very friendly but in some ways more shy. This is probably because there are not nearly as many foreigners that come to this part of the country.
So here is my list of the top things to do while visiting Davao City in the Philippines!
Eden Park is a recreational area just outside Davao City in the mountains. There are lots of attractions and things to do at the park. The park is mostly about nature and the indigenous people that are from this land.
There is a tram tour that goes around the park and takes you to different places pointing out the nature of the park. Along the way you stop at a rainbow pass amphitheater and get to take pictures. You also get to see the native deer of the Philippines.
The park has a walking tour of different birds in cages. One of the neatest things is the Butterfly Garden. It is an enclosed location with tons of butterflies. The caretaker was kind enough to gather lots of them and put them in our hands to do a time-lapsed video of them flying away on our phones!
They also have lots of other attractions such as sky cycling and horseback riding. It really is a good day trip and is very cost effective.
The Malagos Garden Resort is another nature park that emphasizes birds. There are lots of activities that can be done here.
The main park of the resort features different animals from the Philippines. These include lots of different birds and bird shows. One of my favorites is the Philippine Eagle which is the largest eagle in the world.
This is a really good day trip and you can purchase a package that includes lunch.
Philippine Eagle Center:
Located very near the Malagos Park is the Philippine Eagle Center. The admission fee is only P50 (about $1.00). It features the Philippine eagle, which is the largest eagle in the world in terms of length and surface.
This is a really nice day trip which can be combined with Malagos Park for a great day trip!
It takes about 45 minutes to an hour to get to the site from Davao. It is well worth the trip.
Davao Crocodile Park:
The crocodile park in Davao is an active crocodile farm where the crocodiles are used for commercial purposes such as making leather. The park is open to the public for a small fee and is really worth visiting. The park also features several animals other than crocodiles such as:
- Snakes and other reptiles
The park features lots of different live shows throughout the day and during the week. These include:
- Crocodile feeding frenzy
- Animal petting
- Feeding the largest monster croc in the park
- Raptor bird show
- Tightrope walking
- Animal talent shows
- Tiger climb
- Fire show
At the time of this writing you could get a three in one pass for P250 (roughly $5.00) that included the park, the Davao butterfly garden, and Tribu K’ Mindanawan Cultural village. This is incredibly cheap by western standards!
Their shop lets you buy souvenirs including leather belts, wallets and soaps made from crocodiles.
Head over to the Riverwalk Grill and get yourself a plate of Crocodile Sisig!
Bone Collector Museum:
This is really a neat day trip in Davao! The museum was started by an American that lives in Davao City. It has hundreds of different animal skeletons on display including several whales. The museum was recently renovated and I have not been there since the change, but I expect that it will be even better than before.
The museum has animal skeletons not just from the Philippines but from all over the world! Admission is only P100 (about $2.00) for adults! It is a great way to spend an afternoon in Davao!
There are a ton of really great restaurants in the city of Davao.
My favorite for fast food is Chow King. It is really cheap and has some of the best lumpia in the city.
The Blue Post Boiling Crab is a really good restaurant if you are craving a taste of the USA. It is a little pricey by Filipino standards, however, it is a really good meal. The price is reasonable by United States standards but much more than you would pay for local Filipino food.
All of the Filipinos raved about the Viking’s Buffet. It is a buffet that features international cuisine from various countries. I have never really been impressed with this restaurant due to the price. However, it is decent food at what I consider an inflated price.
This is a restaurant and resort that sits on a mountain overlooking the city of Davao. There are really great views of the city of Davao. It is especially good to see the landscape and lights of Davao at night. I highly recommend going to this spot.
There are so many things to do on Samal Island! You can opt to take an island hopping tour by boat. In that case you rent a boat to take you to various spots on the island to enjoy the great beaches and have a swim. It is really an amazing experience.
It you want to spend some real money you can stay at the Pearl Farm Resort on Samal Island. This place is absolutely fantastic! But be warned that you will pay western prices for the adventure. It is a great place to take your significant other for a little vacation.
This is a small museum that showcases a Japanese tunnel made during World War II. It is a short tour that talks about the Japanese occupancy of the Philippines during World War II. Most of the tunnels have collapsed but a small portion remains. If you are a history buff it is worth the trip.
This is a free park open to the public. It has several sculptures done by local artists. A nice diversion if you are bored and looking for something to do in Davao.
Learn to Scuba Dive:
There are several outfitters in the Davao area that offer scuba diving certification for far less that you would pay in the West. There are great dive locations off of Samal Island and other places near Davao.
The Coral and marine life are amazing! You can see all kinds of tropical fish and dolphins! It really is some of the best undiscovered diving in the Philippines.
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