5 Reasons Why You Should Visit Davao on Your Next Trip

Enjoy nature, seafood, and more at the Durian Capital of the Philippines.

By: Monette Atilano | May 19, 2017
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Enjoying a renewed interest from tourists both local and abroad, the presidential hometown of Davao is gearing up for an influx of vacationers lured by its pristine beaches and urban attractions. Romantic enough for a honeymoon escapade yet also outdoorsy for nature lovers, Davao is indeed a city of many charms. So whether you’re a culture-seeking travel buff, a discerning foodie, or just fascinated by its reputation as one of the safest cities in the world, we give you five reasons why a visit to this southern destination is in order.

1. The boiled crabs and shrimps are crazy good.

reasons to visit Davao

Shrimp buckets call for enormous appetite. (Image: Blue Posts Boiling Crabs)

We all know Davao is famed for its mouthwatering tuna. But for those who want to sample even more seafood, a visit to Blue Posts Boiling Crabs in either Bajada or Lanang is a must. Roll up your sleeves and be ready to dig in to some seriously fresh and tasty crustacean dishes served by the pound. Choose among crabs, mussels, shrimp, and tuna in this quirky seafood shack designed like a fishing vessel. Boiled to perfection or fried in loads of garlic, you’ll want to use your hands and not let any of that delicious crab sauce go to waste.

Be prepared to spend somewhere between PhP1,500 to PhP2,000 for you and a friend to enjoy a couple of bestsellers on the menu, such as the buttered cereal shrimps. If you’re happy about your meal, you can scribble on the walls, lamps and chairs of the restaurant, which serve as vibrant graffiti areas for their satisfied customers.

2. There’s no shortage of fun, family-friendly parks.

reasons to visit Davao

Get up close and personal with reptiles at Davao Crocodile Park. (Image: Writer)

Gear up for a day of close encounters with not only basks of giant crocodiles but a menagerie of other wild animals at Davao Crocodile Park. From feathered fauna like majestic peacocks and hawk eagles, to furry creatures such as Siberian tigers and Philippine deer, this zoo boasts of hundreds of exotic wildlife. Throughout the week, the park hosts several live shows featuring their friendly inhabitants. After visitors explore the zoo area, they can walk to the neighboring Tribu K’ Mindanawan Cultural Village. Here, kids and adults alike can learn about the rich Mindanao culture.

Weekends are a better time to visit so you can witness the stunning fire shows in the early evenings. A nearby butterfly sanctuary is also just a stone’s throw away from the park for those who have more time to explore the riverside complex.

3. The sunset views are spectacular.

reasons to visit Davao

Have a good eats at Taklobo Restaurant while enjoying the view of Davao City. (Image: Noronisah Amerol)

You may think you’ve already seen the best that Davao has to offer. But locals would say the best location to enjoy unrivaled sweeping views of the city is from a vantage point not far from the city center. Jack’s Ridge provides a breathtaking panorama of Davao City and the Davao Gulf while offering a variety of food choices with its café and restaurants. Wind down with a delicious latte at Karlo’s Gourmet and Coffee while enjoying the fresh air and the impressive vista. In the evenings, check out Taklobo Restaurant or have a drink at Kai’s Bar and Grill with the starlit cityscape as your backdrop.

4. You’ll experience a nature trip unlike any other.

reasons to visit Davao

This large swingset at Eden Nature Park lets visitors swing their worries away. (Image: Writer)

Imagine a foggy, pine tree-covered mountain haven just 45 minutes away from Davao city center. Eden Nature Park appeals to urban dwellers who want to immerse themselves in nature while enjoying modern amenities which inspire an appreciation for the environment.

The 80-ha. reserve hosts a plethora of exciting activities for thrill-seekers such as the Skyswing, where you’re suspended up to 90 feet up and swung with a harness, or the Skycycle, where you pedal your bike on a cable wire through the clouds.

If you’re only staying for the day, take a tour around the nature sanctuary, go fishing, check out the outdoor museum, or go horseback riding. For a more relaxing experience, it is recommended that you stay the night at one of the log cabins by the woods where you can enjoy a view of the forest. In the morning, take a leisurely hike along the mountain trails then relish the breezy weather at one of the restaurants serving freshly picked greens.

5. And then there’s that island paradise that is Samal.

reasons to visit Davao

Time stands still at Pearl Farm’s beach huts dotting the ivory shoreline. (Image: Pearl Farm Resort)

Davaoenos are fortunate to have been blessed with natural, cultural, and historical richness. But perhaps there is no better reflection of its stunning topography and bountiful gastronomy than Samal Island. Located a mere two kilometers away from the city and just a 15- to 20-minute boat ride away, Samal Island is home to over 60 beach resorts. This diver’s dream destination is brimming with coral reefs and underwater life. One of the first-class resorts cosseted in the many coves of Samal is Pearl Farm Beach Resort, named after the jewels harvested from its waters.

reasons to visit Davao

An three-tiered gazebo at the end of Pearl Farm’s dock welcomes weary travelers. (Image: Pearl Farm Resort)

In this 11-ha. utopia, guests can indulge in the finest amenities and accommodations in the island. From seaside villas that redefine luxury, infinity pools that stretch out to the ocean, and dining outlets serving culinary masterpieces, Pearl Farm lives up to its reputation as an internationally renowned getaway. Don’t miss its very own attractions such as the secluded Malipano Island, or take a guided tour of the lush tropical grounds.

Because of its accessibility, Samal Island gets its fair share of locals, vacationing Manileños, and foreign tourists especially during the summer. For a more relaxing escape, book your trip during off-peak seasons and get bigger discounts for group rates.

With more long weekends and holidays around the corner, there is no better time to be planning your next vacation. For sun-starved urbanites with a sense of adventure, the untold beauty, city attractions, and maritime treasures of Davao are waiting to be discovered.

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About Monette Atilano
“I write because I breathe. And because I've always been better at it than math! Contributing articles to my favorite teen magazine got me started at 16...and I've been typing away since (whether for work or my own pleasure). When I'm not penning about wine for beginners or raving about a gastronomic experience, you'll most likely find me re-watching classic movies from my extensive DVD collection, going on a local adventure with my husband, or daydreaming.” - Monette
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