Davao Del Sur Travel Guide

Overview of Davao Del Sur

Marvel at the majestic Mount Apo, an icon of the region and a haven for hikers and nature lovers alike. Explore lush forests, cascading waterfalls, and captivating landscapes that will leave you in awe. Delight in the warmth and friendliness of the locals as they share their traditions and heritage with open arms.

Indulge in mouthwatering local cuisine and fresh produce, a true gastronomic delight. Immerse yourself in the unique charm of Davao del Sur's towns and immerse yourself in their vibrant festivals and celebrations. Whether seeking adventure or tranquility, Davao del Sur offers an unforgettable escape that will leave a lasting impression on your heart.

Where to Go

Mount Apo

As the highest peak in the Philippines, Mount Apo is a must-visit for nature enthusiasts and hikers. It offers challenging trails, diverse ecosystems, and stunning views from the summit.

Eden Nature Park

A vast nature park nestled in the highlands of Davao City, Eden Nature Park provides a peaceful retreat with scenic landscapes, gardens, and various recreational activities.

Kapatagan Valley

Known for its picturesque landscapes and cool climate, Kapatagan Valley is a great destination for those seeking a peaceful escape. Enjoy the scenic views of rolling hills, meadows, and flower farms.

Lake Mirror

Located in the town of Kiblawan, Lake Mirror is a serene freshwater lake surrounded by lush greenery. It's an ideal spot for picnics, boating, and enjoying the tranquility of nature.

Tinagong Dagat

This hidden gem in Malalag is a secluded cove with crystal-clear waters and a white sand beach. It's perfect for those seeking a quiet and pristine coastal getaway.

Mati City

While Mati City is part of Davao Oriental, it's worth mentioning for its beautiful Dahican Beach, famous for its long white sand stretch and turquoise waters. Mati is a few hours' drive from Digos City in Davao del Sur.

Bansalan Butterfly Sanctuary

Explore the Bansalan Butterfly Sanctuary, where you can witness various butterfly species in a natural habitat. It's an educational and visually appealing experience for visitors of all ages.

Lipadas River

Adventure seekers can explore Lipadas River for kayaking and river tubing. The river offers thrilling rapids and beautiful scenery, providing a unique outdoor experience.

Osmeña Peak

While Osmeña Peak is more commonly associated with Cebu, it's worth noting that Davao del Sur has its own version of Osmeña Peak. It's a relatively easy climb and offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes.

What to Do

Hiking Mount Apo

Embark on a challenging yet rewarding adventure by hiking Mount Apo, the highest peak in the Philippines. The climb offers stunning views, diverse ecosystems, and a sense of accomplishment.

Eden Nature Park Adventure

Visit the Eden Nature Park in Davao City for a day of outdoor activities. Enjoy activities like sky cycling, Indiana Jones ride, and experience the scenic beauty of the park.

Explore Kapatagan Valley

Take a trip to Kapatagan Valley to appreciate its cool climate, flower farms, and scenic landscapes. It's an excellent destination for relaxation and nature appreciation.

Visit Lake Mirror

Spend a peaceful day at Lake Mirror in Kiblawan. Enjoy a picnic by the lakeside, go boating, and relish the serene atmosphere.

Discover Tinagong Dagat

Head to Tinagong Dagat in Malalag for a secluded beach experience. Relax on the white sand, swim in the clear waters, and enjoy the tranquility of this hidden gem.

Dahican Beach in Mati City

While it's in Davao Oriental, Mati City is a nearby destination known for Dahican Beach. Revel in the beauty of its long white sand shoreline and turquoise waters.

Bansalan Butterfly Sanctuary

Explore the Bansalan Butterfly Sanctuary for an educational and visually captivating experience. Witness a variety of butterfly species in their natural habitat.

Adventure at Lipadas River

For thrill-seekers, try kayaking or river tubing at Lipadas River. Navigate the river's rapids while enjoying the scenic surroundings.

Osmeña Peak in Digos City

Climb the Osmeña Peak in Digos City for panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes. It's a relatively easy climb compared to its Cebu counterpart.

When is the Best Time to Visit Davao Del Sur

The best time to visit Davao del Sur is during the dry season, which typically spans from November to April. During these months, the weather is generally more predictable, with minimal rainfall and sunny days. This is an ideal time for outdoor activities, hiking, and exploring natural attractions such as Mount Apo. The dry season provides comfortable temperatures and clear skies, making it conducive for various adventures and sightseeing activities across the province.

The wet season in Davao del Sur usually occurs from May to October, characterised by increased rainfall and occasional typhoons.

How to Get to Davao Del Sur

By Air

The most common way to reach Davao del Sur is by air. Francisco Bangoy International Airport (DVO), also known as Davao Airport, serves as the main gateway to the region. The airport is well-connected to major cities in the Philippines, including Manila and Cebu, with several domestic airlines operating regular flights. Upon arrival at the airport, travellers can opt for various transportation options to reach specific destinations within Davao del Sur.

By Sea

While Davao del Sur is accessible by sea, it's important to note that there isn't a major seaport directly serving the province. However, nearby cities like Davao City have seaports that cater to passenger ferries and cargo vessels.

Travellers can take a ferry to Davao City, and from there, continue their journey to Davao del Sur by land transportation, such as buses or private vehicles.

By Car / Bus

Travelling to Davao del Sur by land is also an option, particularly for those coming from nearby provinces or cities. Major highways connect Davao del Sur to various parts of Mindanao.

Travellers can take buses from key transportation terminals in major cities like Davao City, General Santos City, or Cagayan de Oro City. Private vehicles, including cars and vans, provide flexibility for those who prefer a self-driven journey.

How to Get Around

By Taxi / Ride-Sharing Services

Getting around Davao del Sur by taxi or ride-sharing services offers a convenient and efficient mode of transportation, particularly within urban areas and cities. Taxis can be easily hailed in major towns or booked through taxi stands. Additionally, ride-sharing services like Grab may operate in certain locations, providing a hassle-free way to travel to specific destinations.

By Car / Motorcycle

Exploring Davao del Sur by car or motorcycle provides visitors with the freedom to navigate the province at their own pace and discover its diverse landscapes. Car rental services are available in major cities, offering the convenience of self-driven journeys. For those seeking a more adventurous experience, motorcycles, commonly known as habal-habal, can be hired for shorter distances or exploration of areas with limited road access.

Navigating the scenic routes by car or motorcycle allows travellers to access various attractions, remote areas, and off-the-beaten-path destinations, providing an immersive and personalised experience of Davao del Sur's natural beauty and cultural richness.

What to Eat

There is a diverse range of dining options in Davao Del Sur, catering to various budgets and culinary preferences.

Local Food

Explore the authentic flavours of local cuisine in Davao del Sur. Here are some of the notable restaurants such as Balik Bukid Farm & Kitchen, The Fat Cow and Davao Famous Restaurant.

Fresh Seafood

Enjoy the delicious taste of freshly caught seafood in Davao del Sur. Dive into a local culinary adventure with the best flavours from the nearby waters. Establishments like Yellow Fin Seafood Restaurant, RD Crab Shack and Crabs & Co Seafood Buffet.

Western Food

Indulge in the rich tastes of Western cuisine, with an array of delightful restaurants to choose from, including Mr & Mrs B, Bigby's, and The Good Food Co.

What to Buy

When shopping in Davao del Sur, consider indulging in local products that reflect the region's rich culture and natural resources. Davao is renowned for its high-quality fruits, particularly durian, mangosteen, and pomelo, which you can find in local markets. Additionally, explore the vibrant woven products such as the T'nalak fabric made by the T'boli people, known for its intricate patterns and cultural significance.

Delight in unique handicrafts like indigenous tribal accessories, wooden carvings, and batik textiles, offering meaningful souvenirs that showcase the artistic heritage of the region. Bring home delectable treats like durian-based delicacies, chocolates, and local coffee, providing a flavourful reminder of your time in Davao del Sur.

Where to Stay

Davao del Sur offers a diverse range of accommodations catering to various preferences and budgets. In Davao City, the region's urban hub, you can find a mix of international hotel chains, boutique hotels, and budget-friendly inns. Notable options include Marco Polo Davao, Seda Abreeza, and Apo View Hotel.

For those seeking a nature retreat, eco-resorts and beachfront accommodations can be found in coastal areas like Samal Island. Budget travelers can explore guesthouses and backpacker hostels, providing affordable yet comfortable stays. Additionally, there are resorts and lodges near natural attractions such as Mount Apo for those seeking adventure.

It is advisable to book accommodations in advance, considering the type of experience you desire and the specific destinations you plan to explore within Davao del Sur.

What to Bring

  • Bring sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses to shield yourself from the sun's rays.
  • Comfortable sandals or flip-flops are ideal for beach outings, while a pair of sturdy walking shoes may be useful for hiking or exploring.
  • If visiting during the wet season, a compact umbrella and a lightweight rain jacket can come in handy.
  • Stay hydrated by carrying a reusable water bottle, particularly if you're engaging in outdoor activities.
  • Ensure your electronic devices stay charged by bringing the necessary travel adapters.
  • While there are ATMs in urban areas, having some local currency can be useful, especially in more remote locations.

What to Wear

When preparing for a trip, it is advisable for travelers to pack thoughtfully, taking into account the planned activities and the climate of the destination. In tropical locations like Davao del Sur, lightweight and breathable fabrics are suggested to cope with the warm weather.

Daytime outings are best suited for casual wear, including shorts, T-shirts, and sandals. It's essential to pack accordingly to ensure comfort and enjoyment during the journey.

Things to Note

  • Stay hydrated, especially in the warm weather, and use sunscreen to protect against the sun. Consider bringing insect repellent, particularly if you plan to explore nature reserves.
  • The local currency is the Philippine Peso (PHP). While ATMs are available in urban areas, it's advisable to have some local currency on hand, especially in more remote locations.
  • Keep a list of important contacts, including the local emergency numbers, contact information for your accommodation, and the nearest embassy or consulate.
  • Filipino and English are widely spoken, but learning a few basic Filipino phrases can enhance your travel experience and interactions with locals.

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