Famous for its fruit farms and laid-back ambiance, Davao City is surrounded by a scenic harbor, lush forests and the highest mountain in the country. Base yourself in Davao and enjoy the wealth of natural attractions on its doorstep.
Many visitors stop here on their way to climb Mount Apo. At nearly 10,000 feet (2,954 meters) above sea level, this is the tallest mountain in the Philippines. It takes between two to four days to climb, with the views from the top across Mindanao well worth the effort. For those feeling less energetic, you can visit the surrounding national park and marvel at thunderous waterfalls, lively geysers and lush dense forest.
Animal lovers won’t want to miss the two excellent sanctuaries just outside the city. You can feed fearsome Philippine crocodiles at the Crocodile Park or see the largest species of eagle in the world at the Philippine Eagle Center. This also contains several other birds, mammals and reptiles in a realistic forest environment.
Escape to the idyllic Samal Island for a day or two to enjoy diving in the clear warm waters and explore the network of bat caves. Back in the city, you can find out about the area’s complex cultural heritage in the Museo Dabawenyo, which also has a small art collection alongside informative exhibits.
Internal flights from Manila and Cebu run regularly and buses connect Davao with most other major centers in the country. Once in the city, taxis are the easiest and quickest way to get around. Try traveling like a local and hail one of the many jeepneys.
The climate is tropical and humid year-round with the most rainfall in the summer, so any time is good to visit. And make sure you try the area’s most famous fruit, the durian. It can be an acquired taste, but is a must when staying in this relaxed and beautiful city.