TRAVEL GUIDE: Where to go in Davao City
So, you want to visit Davao?
Davao is known as the Durian Capital of the Philippines. As soon as you set foot in the city, you’d be welcomed to a myriad of durian offerings—from the fruit itself to candy, ice cream, and beyond. Even their public People’s Park features a Durian-inspired dome, along with sculptural works by local artists.
But if you look hard enough, you might be surprised to see what the country’s third largest city has up its sleeve beyond the smelliest fruit in the world.
The most populous city in Mindanao boasts stunning tourist spots perfect for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike. From what used to be one of the headquarters of the Japanese during the second World War to thrilling food and travel destinations, here are some places that should be on your bucket list when you’re in the King City of the South.
Jack’s Ridge carries some history of World War II as it stands in the exact spot that served as the headquarters of the Japanese forces when the global war was nearing its end. To this day, hints and traces of the significant event can still be found in the Davao resort. Aside from some caves dug by the Japan’s military, some bullets and other war items used in its historic fight against the American troops can still be found in the soil from time to time. Rumor has it that there are gold bullions and other gems hidden by the Japanese in one of the underground chambers that are yet to be found.
Beyond its rich history, the Davao destination is now loved for its panoramic view of the city that visitors can enjoy with good food and good company. Whether you go there in the morning or at night, it wouldn’t matter as it’s known to offer a charming view of the city and the gulf at any time of the day. Among the restaurants in the area are the Taklobo Restaurant, Kai’s Bar and Grill, and Karlo’s Gourmet and Coffee, with prices ranging from P100 to P800.
Jack’s Ridge is located along Shrine Hills, Matina, Davao City. It’s open daily from 10:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. with no entrance fee.
Eden Nature Park
Are you a thrill-seeker and nature lover? For first-timers to Davao City, Eden Nature Park is the place to go for an authentic mountain experience. Here you can enjoy the cool crisp mountain air while enjoying the spectacular views of pine trees.
Recreational activities here include horseback riding, a fishing village, a SkyRider zipline, SkyWheel, SkyCycle, and more. The resort has also set the bar high for extreme rides, by introducing another extreme ride attraction called the SkySwing which is said to be the first-of-its-kind in the Davao region.
Standing 95 feet off the ground, this extreme ride will literally let you swing and scream your heart out.
Eden Nature Park is located in Brgy. Eden, Toril, Davao City. The park is open from Mondays - Sundays from 9:00 AM - 5:00 pm.
Philippine Eagle Center
A hot spot in Davao City, the Philippine Eagle Center houses 36 Philippine eagles—18 of which have been bred in captivity. The tourist attraction provides a look at the forest ecosystem of the Philippines as it’s much like a tropical rainforest atmosphere.
Aside from the national bird of the Philippines that’s been classified as “critically endangered,” the center also has 10 other species of birds, four species of mammals, and two species of reptiles.
During your visit, you can broaden your knowledge of the Philippine eagle through conservation breeding program, conservation education program, captive breeding techniques, among other lectures with a focus on conservation. Tour guiding comes without a cost.
The Philippine Eagle Center is located along Malagos, Baguio District, Davao City. It’s open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily with an entrance fee of P50 for adults and P30 for visitors below 18 years old.
Mind you, Davao has also been hailed as the Fruit Basket of the Philippines. If you want to explore more of its tropical fruits beyond the durian, GAP Farm is the place to be. The star of this 10-hectare scenic paradise is the “Land of Promise”—a spacious area filled with tropical trees and fruits like pomelo and rambutan, as well as exotic flowers and plants.
There are more attractions in the vicinity such as the World War II Japanese carved tunnel, a Santo Niño chapel, Mother of Perpetual Help, and other statues like that of Juan Tamad, kapre, tikbalang, and white lady.
A spacious swimming pool, horseback riding, educational tours on the country’s natural resources, and campsites also await.
GAP Farm is located along the Green Valley, Diversion Road, Ma-a, Davao City. It’s open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with an entrance fee of P100 per head.
Blue Posts Boiling Crabs and Shrimps
We’ve talked about Davao City’s must-see destinations—now it’s time for food. Any trip to a charming Philippine destination would not be complete without getting your hands messy from delicious dishes. After sampling the usual Davao delicacies like Durian coffee and Malagos Chocolate, head on over to Boiling Crabs and Shrimps for a Filipino culinary experience like no other.
The food spot has a wide selection of seafood offerings, including shrimps, mussels, and crabs (market price)—that can be enjoyed with nine sauces: original, garlic fried, garlic salted egg, crab’s aligue, sambal, garlic lemon butter, Salvatore, creamy salted egg, and black pepper.
Aside from the massive crabs, other must-tries in the food lineup are the Cajun Prawns (P1,600/kg) and Buttered Cereal Shrimps (P573). The menu items may be quite heavy on the wallet (prepare at least P2,000 when you dine in with a friend), but the food and kamayan fun make it the perfect way to cap off your Davao visit.
Blue Posts Boiling Crabs and Shrimps just opened its third branch at Rogen Inn, Mt. Apo Street corner Lopez Jaena, Davao City. It’s open from Monday to Saturday, from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.