Davao city and Samal Island Travel Guide

Davao City Samal Island

Welcome to my blog. I have been writing my epic travel stories but this is the first time I’ve posted a blog about my hometown. In this post I’d like to share the “chill” itinerary for your short stay in Davao. Let’s say it’s a 3 day stay in Davao City where you don’t need to be confused and to exhaust yourself in going for an adventure. Hope my information helps. Please feel free to comment your suggestions and reaction.

I would love to read them. Thanks in advance.


Davao city “The land of Durian, the fruit” is the central and industry hub of Mindanao island. It’s where you can find the highest mountain in the Philippines – the Mt. Apo and hometown of the present Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.

AIR FARE PRICES: From Manila, round trip ticket starts at Php 2, 500.00-Php 4, 000.00 for the usual ticket promo. Or watch out for PISO promo fares, if you are lucky to book a roundtrip for less than Php 1, 000.00. Airlines that call Davao’s Francisco Bangoy Airport are Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and Air Asia.



You can find this natural falls in Penaplata, Samal Island, a 10-minute boat ride from Davao city and less than 30 minute ride from Penaplata proper to the final location. People love to take camping and overnight cottage in here. It does not cost that much to experience this paradise.

How to get there: Php 10.00 Barge fee (per ride) from Davao city to Samal Island, ride a “habal-habal” local term for a single motorcycle ride Php 100.00 (per ride if you are alone). NO Entrance Fee. Only Php 20.00 for the maintenance fee of the area.



The best beach I’ve gone so far! Being there is heaven on earth I must say. Isla reta is perfect for a weekend get-away. An hour away from Davao city. Surely, it can take away the stress from your work and normal routine. This resort is ideal for relaxation with white sand and clear waters that you would not want to leave the beach and go back to city again. You can do camping, snorkeling, sun-bathing, diving, grilling, anything that you like on a holiday.

How to get there: In Davao city, go to Sta. Ana wharf beside the Magsaysay Park to get on board in a boat or barge going directly to Isla Reta Resort in Talicud Island. The fare is Php 80.00 per way per person. The entrance fee in the resort will cost Php 100.00 for day tour/Php 200.00 for overnight stay. The accommodation will vary from Php 100.00 for tent-Php 800.00 native room.


This is an amusement park in Davao. Over 40 exciting activities are available in D’ Leonor Inland resort and adventure park where you can enjoy the popular Wave pool. You can stay in the hotel for overnight with the affordable accommodation rates or you can enjoy the day tour for only Php 50.00 as entrance fee. The resort can also hold venue for parties, company team building, or events, great for spending quality time with family and friends. Note that rates vary per activity.

How to get there: Located in Brgy. Communal, Cabantian, a 20-minute ride from downtown Davao City, you can opt for a jeepney ride fare – Php 12.00 then tricycle for only Php 10.00. It’s also near the Davao International Airport.


A massive park built in late 2000’s where you can see the diverse culture of Davao through the sculptures, art and heritage of different tribes living as one created by the famous Mindanao artist Kublai Millan. This place is your sanctuary within the city where you can just sit and have chat with your friends after a long day.

How to get there: You can walk if you are staying nearby within downtown area or you have the option to ride jeepney for Php 8.00 or taxi minimum fare Php 40.00. Most jeepneys can take you there because it’s located in Ponciano/Ilustre street.


It’s Davaowenos favorite place in the city. It’s a fun place for the youngsters, like students and workers, a wonderful place for dating couples and for the whole family, and definitely recommended for the tourists. You can meet your friends and enjoy a variety of street food there. It’s only open from 5:00 PM – 1:00 AM and jam-packed with crowd on weekends. It’s a safe night market where there is always police presence. Food price starts at Php 5.00. You can taste and enjoy the grilled seafood, pork and chicken bbq, fresh fruit juices, durian, kwek-kwek, dynamite, butchi in different flavors, the popular Mang Danny’s dirty ice cream, etc. Ukay-ukay or thrift shopping is also available from jackets, shirts, pants, shoes, bags at a very affordable price.

How to get there: Simply ride a jeepney going to Roxas avenue if you are coming from the southbound or ride any jeep that goes toward Ateneo de Davao University. The Night Market is just in front of the university Roxas gate and Aldevinco shopping center. Minimum fare only Php 8.00.


A restaurant with a twist. Only serving organic fresh vegetables and meat coming directly from the farm. It promotes healthy living. The food price is also affordable. The interior of the restaurant is refreshing and cultural at the same time. You can play board games and sungka while waiting for your order.

How to get there: Ride a Toril bound jeepney from Roxas Avenue/market and drop off to Sandawa along Quimpo Blvd just in between Yellow Fin and Marina Tuna restaurant.


Now if you are looking for a chill vibe with a panoramic view of Davao city, come to Jack’s Ridge to discover more of Mindanaoan culture and history during the World War II Japanese invasion. The place is great for their swimming pool, restaurant and live band music. They also have a coffee shop and a piano KTV bar. An event’s place perfect for any occasion. I suggest to come here at sunset so you can capture a memorable view.

How to get there: Since it’s located in an elevated area, taking a taxi or private car is recommended especially at night or you can opt for a tricycle during daytime.


It’s an art gallery and hotel at the same time owned by artist Kublai. It is located in the downtown area near the malls of Victoria Plaza, Abreeza and Gaisano Mall. It’s a four-storey gallery. It has a rooftop bar and cafe where you can hang-out with your friends and chill if you are staying overnight. Rooms starts at Php 750.00. You can also visit the place on a day tour which only cost Php 20.00 per person. His interesting paintings and masterpiece will inspire you.


We are in  an Asian country so temples are must-see attraction. In Davao where culture is so much diverse with Muslims, Lumad and different Mindanaoan tribes, Cebuano, Tagalog, Indian, and Korean, the Chinese people still preserve its Buddhist religion.  Admission is FREE and the Temple is open to the public from 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM

How to get there: Ride the Route 4 jeepney or Route 10 going to Cabaguio Avenue. Fare is minimum Php 8.00.


Want to try out the best ribs and chicken? Visit Lyndon’s – the original one in Roxas Avenue. Lyndon’s will satisfy your hungry tummy.  It’s completely the opposite of worst and awful. They serve delicious food in Lyndon’s at a reasonable price.

How to get there: You can just walk through the Roxas Avenu/Roxas night market. You will easily locate the restaurant.

My favorite hang-out in the heart of the city. Located in Anda St. at the lower level of Claude’s Cafe & Restaurant. I remember the first time coming here with my family (mom, bro, sis and grandma) feeling intimidated because we thought eating there is very expensive. In fact, they all loved the cozy ambiance especially the food. Their food is good for sharing and I must say has value for money. Food prices range from Php 200-Php 400.00. Appetizers, soup, and desserts range from Php 80-160. Beer starts at Php 40.00. So I recommend this place where you can have intimate conversations with your family and friends. I would love to come back whenever I’m in Davao.

Reah Montederamos