Most travelers think that the Philippines is only akin to the beautiful beaches of Boracay and bargain-hunting and bar-hopping adventures in Metro Manila. But most people often missed out on exploring various tourist attractions in Mindanao. One of the leading travel destinations in the southern region is Davao, one of the country's most progressive cities.
Covering an area of 943.6 square meters, Davao is the perfect place for travelers looking to experience an idyllic town setting at the comforts of a modern metropolis. The city, which is three times bigger than the entire Metro Manila, has a lot to offer. The "Land of Promise" is home to pristine beaches, beautiful diving spots, historical sites, and luxury resorts and hotels, among others. It's no wonder, then, that Davao has all the trimmings of an ultimate Philippine vacation.
To guide you to your Davao trip, the author came up with a list of the must-see tourist attractions in the city.
Towering over 9,650 feet above sea level, Mt. Apo is the highest peak in the Philippines. This national park is a haven for birdwatchers, as it is home to more than 270 bird species. Mt. Apo is also considered an ideal hiking destination for the adventure-bound. Experts said scaling this volcanic mountain is not a technical one. It may take up to five days to reach the summit depending on your pace.
Philippine Eagle Center
Davao also allows tourists to get up close and personal with the country's national bird, the Philippine Eagle. Situated in Malagos, the Philippine Eagle Center serves as temporary home and a breeding center for the critically endangered bird. The Philippine Eagle, one of the tallest and biggest birds in the world, usually feeds on flying lemurs, wild cats, and squirrels.
The perfect time to visit Davao would be August, when the city stages one of the most colorful festivals in the Philippines. Kadayawan Festival is an annual thanksgiving celebration for a bountiful harvest. Various activities, including street dancing, tribal parades, trade fairs, flower shows, and horse fight competitions, are lined up during the weeklong festival.
GAP Farming Orchard
You can also embark on a nature trip while in Davao. GAP Farming Orchard is a perfect place to escape city life and pollution. It has well-maintained cottages and camp sites, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, and horseback riding facilities. Exotic flowers and tropical fruits can be found in the garden. A giant one-eyed monster confined in a tunnel built during the Japanese occupation is also a major attraction at the resort.
There are many other things to do in Davao. For adventure seekers, a visit to Camp Sabros in Mt. Apo or to Eden Nature Park for a thrilling zip line experience is a must. For those who love swimming and other water activities, go to Samal Island, which is famous for its white-sand beaches. A Davao adventure is never complete without tasting durian, a fruit famous for its unique odor and thorn-covered husk.
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Allan Leandro Merin has been writing for a living since 2008. After leaving a career at a daily electronic crew newspaper, he joined a web development outsourcing company and linked up with Local Philippines, the most comprehensive online directory of Philippine destinations, events, and attractions.