Davao City and Samal Island – Mini Travel Guide

On the day of the inauguration of the 16th President of the Philippines, we decided as a family to discover the president’s own hometown and experience firsthand the so called “Duterte City” and be like a real Dabawenyo. This city which was recognized as smoke free community, awardee of best performing city police and home for top getaways, we are definitely excited to see what this community has to offer.

When to get there?

In general, any time of the year is a good time to be in Davao. If you’re into peak season, then go during the summer months (March – June) or during Davao’s special festival events. There are two main festival events: Kadayawan Festival during August and Araw ng Dabaw on March 16. Make sure to reserve early if you plan to visit by that time due to high number of tourists and expect pricey rates.

We recommend going during off peak season, shoot for like September – February which are usually cool and dry best for roaming around and exploring the city.

On our case, we had our booking on June 30 – July 4th this year, below is a quick overview on our 4days-3nights journey in the Land of Promise, Davao!

How to get there?

We booked a flight at Cebu Pacific from Manila to Davao. Two hours travel time and we arrived at Francisco Bangoy International Airport.  Other airlines such as Philippine Airlines, Air Asia and PAL Express have also direct flights going to Davao.


Roaming around Davao comes in two ways, for a more convenient and quite costly tour, go straight at the taxi bay and rent it for the whole day tour. On the other hand, for a cost efficient and more adventurous tour, ride a jeepney which covers most of the nooks and crannies of the city, ask the locals around.

Taxi Phone Numbers

Mabuhay Taxi – 234-1360, 235-1784

Holiday Taxi – 300-1717, 221-3085

Maligaya Taxi – 299-1111, 298-5837

You can also make your stay easier by renting local package tours. We refer Kuya Joey Davao Tours which we personally booked for our whole stay in Davao – Samal tour, click here for his FB page.

Where to stay?

Since we opted for a cheap accommodation which allows us to cook, we stayed at a transient house at Priscilla Estates 2 Village at Cabantian. It was 15 minutes away from the airport and 20 minutes away from the city town proper. This is definitely recommended specially for families with bigger groups such as 5 – 10 pax. The price for 1 night is 1,500 pesos, minimum stay should be 2nights.

Here are some photos of the rental house: 

You can contact the owner via this number : 09481360387 or visit their FB page.

What to do?

Explore culture and heritage sites of Davao.


• Museo Dabawenyo •

Andres Bonifacio Rotunda, Poblacion District, Davao City


• D’Bone Collector Museum •

San Pedro St, Poblacion District, Davao City


• San Pedro Cathedral •

San Pedro St, Poblacion District, Davao City


• People’s Park Davao •

Palma Gil St, Poblacion District, Davao City


• Jack’s Ridge Resort and Restaurant •

Shrine Hills Matina, Davao City

Do the wildlife encounter and watch fun shows. 


• Eagle Selfie at Philippine Eagle Center •

Malagos, Baguio District


• Crocbytes at Davao Crocodile Park •

Gadi Road, Talomo, Davao City


• Fire Dance at Tribu K Mindanawan Cultural Village •

Gadi Road, Talomo, Davao City

Pump up your adrenaline rush and carry out the eco-adventure.


• Eden Nature Park •

Bo Eden Toril, Davao

D Leonor

• D Leonor Inland Resort and Adventure Park •

Forestal Rd. Buhangin, Davao City


• Zip City Davao •

Brgy Langub, Talomo, Davao City


• Davao Wild Water Adventure •

Near Crocodile Park, Diversion Highway, Maa, Talomo Davao City

Extend your stay and visit Samal Island


• Monfort Bat Cave •

Circumferencial Rd, Island Garden City of Samal


• Hagimit Falls and Nature Park•

Poblacion, PeñaPlata, Island Garden City of Samal


• Maxima Resort and Aqua Fun•

Poblacion, PeñaPlata, Island Garden City of Samal



• Kaputian Beach Resorts •

Brgy. Kaputian,  Island Garden City of Samal


Our top fave pic for this trip:  Breakfast at Hof Gorei Beach Resort ♥

Where to eat?

Davao cuisine is definitely competent when it comes to its wide array of seafood, local fruit delicacies and home dishes which are just right for the budget. Make sure to pig out while in Davao, foods were so powerful to say no.


Jack’s Ridge Resort and Restaurant

Location: Shrine Hills Matina, Davao City

Serves: Filipino Foods

Budget: Price starts at 100 PHP


Farmers V

Location: Penaplata, near Central Warehouse Supermarket, Samal Island

Serves: Native Filipino Foods

Budget: Price starts at 50 PHP


Penong’s BBQ Seafoods and Grill

Location: Sta Ana Ave., Davao City

Serves: Seafood, Filipino Dishes,

Budget: Price starts at 50 PHP

Where to buy souvenirs?

If you want to shop for souvenirs like trinkets, colorful bags, malongs, pearl accessories and handicrafts, the cheapest you can find is on Pasalubong Center at Palma Gil Street and Aldevinco Shopping Center at corner Roxas and CM Recto Avenue.


If you want to hoard and buy for tropical fruits such as mangos teen, durian, pomelos, rambutan and lanzones, opt to Bankerohan Public Market, stalls outside Magsaysay Park and Agdao Public Market. The prices are really cheap compared to Manila, just make sure you have boxes to store them.


For Durian Lovers, make sure to visit Apo ni Lola at Matina, Davao. 

For Tshirt collectors, we personally pick Island Souvenirs and Lumad Collections for their unique Davao designs. You can find their stores at the airport, Pasalubong Center and SM Lanang Premier.


Suggested Itinerary

Day 1 Samal 
Morning Monfort Bat Cave
Hagimit Falls and Nature Park
Afternoon Maxima Resort and Aqua Fun
Check-in Resort
Day 2  Samal – Davao
Morning Island Hopping (Talikud Island, Kaputian Beaches)
Afternoon Davao Wild Water Adventure
Davao Crocodile Park/Butterfly House/Tribu K Mindanawan
Evening Jack’s Ridge
Day 3 Davao Countryside
Morning Eden Nature Park
Philippine Eagle Center
Afternoon Malagos Garden
Japanese Tunnel
Zip City Davao
D Leonor Inland Resort and Adventure Park
Day 4  Davao City Tour
Morning Museo Dabawenyo
Bone Museum
San Pedro Street/Cathedral
People’s Park
Afternoon Chinatown And Magsaysay Fruit Market
Aldevinco Shopping Center
SM Lanang Premier

There is more to this story than meets the eye, life is definitely here. #SiDavao ♥


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