The most sprawling city in the Philippines, Davao lies along the banks of the Davao River with the towering peak of Mount Apo behind. Its multicultural city centre sits opposite Samal Island, combining centuries of war history and contemporary shopping malls with pristine swimming bays and island festivals.
Things to do
In the heart of the city lies People’s Park where colourful indigenous sculptures, lush gardens and man-made waterfalls draw families to stroll in the evenings and at weekends. Admire the magnificent 19th-century San Pedro Cathedral, then visit the D’bone Collector’s Museum where bones from a huge array of animals are on display.
A short drive north of the city takes you to the Davao Crocodile Park where both salt and freshwater crocodiles are bred within state-of-the-art farming facilities. Take in one of the afternoon shows or crocodile feeding experiences, then surround yourself in colourful butterflies within their Butterfly House.
Davao is renowned for its natural beauty and there’s no better way to experience it than at Eden Nature Park. Whether you want to fly above the park on their Skyrider zip-line, Skycycle and Skyswing or go horseback riding, there are plenty of adventure activities and hikes to enjoy.
The stratovolcano of Mount Apo stands as the highest mountain in the Philippines, with a 2,954-metre-high summit that challenges many keen hikers visiting Davao. Trek through the craggy rockscapes, virgin forest and mossy swamps on the four-day return hike, with unparalleled views across Mindanao from its peak.
Davao International Airport lies around 30 minutes’drive from the city centre, with daily flights to both Manila and Cebu. Colourful jeepneys travel to all corners of the city and taxis are available if you want a more efficient way to get between the sights.