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2 days in Davao: From islands to highlands

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Getaway Category: Island LifeGetaway Tags: Beach, Davao, island, and Philippines

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  • Known as Durian City, Davao will surely delight you with its endless array of exotic fruits. With easy access to the highlands and beaches, you’ll be surrounded by natural beauty and opportunities to learn about sustainability, conservation and environmental preservation. Also, the south of the Philippines is far less visited than anywhere else so you are likely to rub shoulders mostly with locals.

    The city is proud of their high levels of safety, a result of the strict rules implemented by Rodrigo Duterte, Davao’s previous Mayor and now President of the Philippines.

    Davao city is full of fantastic food and warm, friendly people – perfect for a weekend away and it is also one of the best places to visit in the South of the Philippines. Be sure to spend some more time in the southern part of the country and explore other parts like Cagayan de Oro main tourist spots.




    Day 1 in Davao, Philippines

    1pm: Arriving at Francisco Bangoy International Airport
    (Davao International Airport)

    Immigration went smoothly for us at the Davao International Airport– in no time at all you’ll be free to explore the city. Head to your hotel to put your bags down and freshen up. We recommend using Grab for a fuss-free and reliable mode of transport from the airport.

    2.30pm: Lunch at Lachi’s Sans Rival, Atbp

    Raved about by the locals, the food and service at Lachi’s will make you feel right at home. The freshest ingredients are used to create dishes every Filipino will recognise and love- complete with an irresistible selection of desserts.

    Open from Monday to Saturday, from 11am to 8pm

    3.30pm: Malagos Garden Resort

    Enjoy a peaceful afternoon at the beautiful Malagos Garden Resort! This 12-hectare nature theme park is filled with thriving wildlife- from birds and butterflies to a bevy of ornamental plants.

    From a skywalker challenge to a game of mini-golf, you’re spoiled for choice at the Malagos Garden Resort. Pick your favourites and enjoy an afternoon surrounded by the calming sounds of nature.

    Malagos Garden resort has many packages depending on the activities you’d wish to participate in. Details here!

    5pm: Pearl Farm Resort

    Make your way to the prestigious Pearl Farm Resort. Boat transfers to and from the resort follow a regular schedule. If you prefer to take a private boat, they are available for hire. The ride takes approximately 45 minutes- with a view of Mount Apo if you’re lucky!  

    6.30pm: Dinner at Maranao Restaurant

    After marveling at the endless view of the sea from your room, head over to the Maranao Restaurant and spoil yourself with delicious Filipino and Western fare.

    Day 2 in Davao, Philippines

    8am: Breakfast at Maranao Restaurant

    Rise early for the scrumptious breakfast buffet that awaits every morning. If you’d like, have a morning dip in the infinity pool in front of the restaurant.

    9am: Water activities at the Aqua Sports Centre

    From riding a banana boat to going on a giant clam snorkelling tour, there is a bevy of water activities for you to choose from. Take advantage of Davao’s sparkling waters and indulge in as many water activities as you can handle!

    2pm: Lunch

    You can request for lunch to be served by the beach. If not, have your meal at the Maranao Restaurant- their diverse selection for lunch will surely satisfy.

    3pm: Bat Cave Tour

    Get up close and personal with bats during the Bat Cave Tour run by Pearl Farm Resort. Its definitely interesting, but be warned of an extremely strong smell!

    4.30pm: Mandaya Spa

    Unwind completely with a full body massage at the Mandaya Spa.

    6pm: Dinner at Maranao Restaurant

    Savour a mouthwatering dinner in the evening breeze at the Maranao Restaurant.  

    8pm: Drinks at Parola Tapas Bar and Lounge

    End your night with refreshing drinks at the Parola Tapas Bar and Lounge.


    Day 3 in Davao, Philippines

    8am: Breakfast at Maranao Restaurant

    Start the day with the delicious breakfast at the Maranao Restaurant. Check out and prepare for your boat transfer back to the mainland.

    11.30am: Hijo Resorts Davao

    Head over to Hijo Resorts Davao, an environmentally conscious tourist destination and one of the oldest banana and coconut plantations in the Philippines. Dedicated to sharing the natural beauty of the environment, Hijo Resorts Davao will provide an interesting insight to the beauty and workings of their 760 hectare property.

    Fees vary, do contact Hijo Resorts directly for confirmed rates.

    12pm: The Forest Tour

    Explore their 60 hectare forest during the Forest Tour, maybe even catching a glimpse of wild boars and monkeys. Appreciate vibrant greenery as you walk through hanging bridges- be sure to bring your camera!

    1pm: Lunch at The Spot

    Have a delectable lunch at The Spot, a Halal certified restaurant that offers dishes inspired by the indigenous people of Tausug and Kalagan. Visitors can take part in fishing and crabbing activities arranged by the resort to learn how the locally sourced ingredients are attained.

    2pm: The River and The Plantation Tour

    Take your pick! The Hijo Resorts Davao also offers a River Tour and a Plantation Tour.

    The River Tour brings you down Madaum River on a tranquil cruise, learning about sustainability and conservation as you gaze upon century old mangroves.

    The Plantation Tour takes you through their 177-hectare banana plantation and 92-hectare coconut plantation. You’ll learn how bananas are harvested and prepared for global export.

    4pm: Head to Francisco Bangoy International Airport
    (Davao International Airport)  

    Remember to give yourself ample time to get to the airport, traffic can be quite unpredictable.




    Places to Stay in Davao, Philippines

    Luxury

    Pearl Farm Beach Resort

    The resort was previously a breeding ground for rare white-lipped oysters that produced white, gold and pink pearls. Although it is no longer a pearl farm, its tropical beauty thankfully remains untouched. Declared a marine sanctuary, the corals and marine life that surround the Pearl Farm Resort are preserved and protected. Round trip boat transfers are included in the price of a room.

    Prices start at SGD$247

    Mid-range

    Park Inn By Radisson Davao

    Only 2 years old, Park Inn by Radisson is a stylish option that connects to SM Lanang Premier Mall and the SMX Convention Center. With quality facilities and located only 6 kilometres away from the airport, it promises a comfortable and convenient experience.

    Prices start at SGD$106

    Budget

    North Zen Basic Spaces

    Modern, clean and convenient, you’d be hard pressed to find a better deal in Davao. All the amenities you need at a great price.

    Prices start at SGD$26

    Flights to Davao, Philippines

    Silkair by Singapore Airlines has flights throughout the week to Davao. Prices start at SGD$927.40 (return)

    Cebu Pacific has daily flights to Davao. Prices start at SGD$481.32 (return)

    Getting around Davao, Philippines

    Taxis are an affordable option in Davao. Drivers are bound by strict regulations to ensure visitors are provided with a comfortable and safe ride. If the red light on the top of the cab is switched on, it means they are available for hire. Hiring a taxi at a fixed price for an entire day is also an option. Prices range from PHP2000 (SGD$64.51) to PHP5000 (SGD$161.14) or more depending on your itinerary. More information and numbers are available here.

    Grab is a convenient service that allows you to make bookings through an app on your phone. Although an internet connection is needed, you can make bookings in advance. Payment can be made by card through the app, which is useful if you don’t have any cash on hand.

    Jeepneys and Multicabs are the main source of transport used by locals. Starting at PHP8 (SGD$0.23), your fare depends on how far you will be traveling. Routes can be seen on the sides of the vehicle and on signs on the windshield. If you’d like to board, just wave one down by the roadside. When you wish to alight, simply say ‘lugar lang’ or knock on the ceiling. We recommend taking a jeepney only if you are familiar with the roads in Davao.

    Tricycles are usually used when navigating through the smaller roads in Davao. It costs PHP7 (SGD$0.20).

    Motorcab and Tricycads are another option for smaller roads that jeepneys don’t access. Motorcabs are motorcycles with an attached sidecar, whereas a Tricycad is a bicycle with an attached sidecar. Both cost PHP5 (SGD$0.14).

    Renting a car is also possible and recommended if you desire traveling to the picturesque outskirts of the city. There are many companies offering cars for rental in Davao, more information and numbers are available here!

    'Davao'

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