Davao is one of the Philippines’ largest cities. When you first hear about this place, the President’s name Rodrigo Duterte will always follow. It currently holds the title of being among the safest cities in the country.
Home to the highest mountain in the Philippines, Davao will offer you different sceneries and activities. You’ll be surprised at what you can find.
If you’re planning on traveling to Davao and find yourself wondering what you should do, here are my top 10 picks.
Do you have travel insurance? This is something you should have but wish you never want to use. Accidents can happen anytime and having travel insurance can save you a lot of money in case something goes wrong during your travels! Never travel without one. Get a free quote here.
Travel Tip: Check schedules and availability of buses, ferries, taxis or flights to book online with 12Go Asia.
Things To Do In Davao
Try Whitewater Rafting
If you’re looking for some adventure, the whitewater rafting in Davao is a great place to start. The best times to visit is during the rainy season when the water level is higher.
We recently went to Davao and got my firsthand experience in white water rafting and it wasn’t so scary as I thought it was. I’d definitely recommend it to you if you want to try something new. I haven’t been to Cagayan yet but one of my friends says Davao white water rafting is better.
Davao Crocodile Park offers this activity so not only will you get the time of your life rafting through the rapids but you’ll also get a glimpse of crocodiles and other attractions.
Go Island Hopping
Did you know that Davao isn’t just all about city life? Locals have the luxury of getting on a boat and traveling to the nearby islands which only take around 30 minutes.
My fellow freelancers and I tried the Samal Island Hopping Tour. The beaches in Samal are worth checking out! Honestly, they’re one of the best ones I’ve seen so far. Crystal clear waters? Check. White sands? Check!
It’s best to start the tour early so you don’t miss any of the destinations on the list. If you just want to go beach hopping, here’s a list that you can tick off.
Food? Taste the dishes in Davao. They’re beyond heavenly. You’ll find here lots of seafood if you’re into that (which I am so I might be a bit biased but if a place has great seafood dishes, it’s worth going back to ohohoho). Anyways, some places to eat from that I’d recommend would be Jack’s Ridge, Roxas Avenue, and Matina Town Square.
- Jack’s Ridge provides you with great food and the best view of Davao City. Not to mention, it boasts of insta-worthy corners.
- Roxas Avenue, on the other hand, should be on your top list if you love street foods. You can find here grilled meat and seafood, as well as a few unique foods to try. Buy some buchi. They come in all sorts of flavors – Nutella, ube, durian, and a few more. There’s also the charcoal ice cream which is surprisingly quite yummy.
- Lastly, if you’re into live bands, the Matina Town Square is perfect. Watch the best singers in town belt out a song or two and order from different restaurants inside the hub.
Slide To The Sea
Have you ever tried a slide at resort pools? Fun, right? Let’s give that a twist and you’ve got yourself a 40-meter long slide which leads you directly to the sea! Super fun, right? When you’re in Davao, don’t miss this at Maxima Aquafun Resort.
I love love love snorkeling so imagine how happy I was when I learned there were great snorkeling spots in Davao. If you’re like me, here are some of the best places to snorkel in Davao.
- Coral Garden Marine Park
- Angel’s Cove
- Aundanao Fish Sanctuary
Check Out The Philippine Eagle Centre
The Philippine Eagle Centre in Davao is where you can watch eagles eat and fly. It’s the perfect place to visit when you want to see eagles up close and personal. What makes this center awesome is that they aim to protect the endangered eagle species.
All of the money collected here are used for eagle conservation and education. You will also see here some other animals such as monkeys, snakes, and other plant species.
Taste Civet Coffee
You don’t need to travel outside of the Philippines nowadays to taste civet coffee. You can easily do it in a Davao and at a cheaper price, too!
Hike Mt. Apo
Mt Apo is one of the highest peaks in South East Asia and the highest in the Philippines. It is frequented by the experienced climbers for its natural beauty. You can find here wild boars, deers, falls, rubber plantations and a lot more!
If you’re a history geek, you shouldn’t miss the different museums found in Davao. Our most recommended are:
- D’Bone Collector Museum
- Museo Dabawenyo
- Davao Museum
- Philippine-Japanese Historical Museum
Taste Cacao Specially Made In Davao
I didn’t know Davao sold cacaos until I set foot in Davao. This is a must buy and try food in the city. If you’re looking for souvenirs, this is a perfect choice. You can even get it in different flavors. There’s durian, coconut, banana, spicy and a lot of other kinds of flavors to choose from!
What to Pack for Davao
- Eco-friendly Reusable Water Bottle
- Light Rain Jacket (especially from June to November)
- T-shirts, a nice top, and a long-sleeved shirt
- Aqua Shoes
- Day Bag
- Power Adapter
- Universal Waterproof Phone Case
- Packing Cubes
- Microfiber Towel
- Travel Insurance
- Money Belt
- sneakers, hiking shoes (if you’re planning to hike) and some flats
- reusable straw and reusable bag (no to single-use plastic!)
Related Article: The Only Travel Packing List You’ll Ever Need (Trust Me)
Our Camera Gear
- Mirrorless Camera: Fujifilm XT3
- Lenses: Fujifilm Fujinon kit lens (18-55mm) | Fujinon 35mm f2 | Fujinon 50mm f2
- Drone: DJI Mavic Pro 2
- GoPro: GoPro Hero Black 7
- Power Bank: Romoss Powerbank
- Camera Backpack: Case Logic Camera and Laptop Backpack
- Monopod: Ifootage Cobra 2 a180
- Mic: Rode VideoMicro
- Gimbal: Zhiyun Weebill-S
You might also like…
- Davao Crocodile Park: How To Survive The White Water Rafting Adventure
- Samal Island, Davao: The Ultimate Travel Guide
Philippines Travel Guides
Backpacking around the Philippines? Don’t miss these travel guides!
BATAD RICE TERRACES: Batad Rice Terraces and Tappiya Falls: First Timer’s Budget Travel Guide