Last-Minute Wonders: Great Weekend Destinations Near Davao City

The rainy season may have already begun, but you still have a few days left before school officially starts—just enough time to go on a quick weekend trip!

Luckily, there are many great destinations that are only a few hours away from Davao City. If you and your family are looking for a weekend excursion, take a look at these suggestions:

Estimated Travel Time via Car: Around 1 Hour

There’s nothing more luxurious than staying at a private mountainside villa
Enjoy a respite from the summer heat at Saddleback Haven, a private mountain vacation home in Catigan, Toril. The villa sits 2,800 feet above sea level, allowing you to enjoy a cool climate and verdant vistas. Fun activities you can try include hiking, a dip in the nearby river, and of course, horseback riding.

Estimated Travel Time via Car: 1 Hour

How about a heart-pumping river rafting experience?
Looking for an adrenaline rush? Head to Tamugan, Marilog to experience whitewater rafting on the Davao River! Over the course of a 3.5-hour, 15-kilometer course, you’ll brave no less than 24 challenging rapids. During calmer stretches of water, you can also enjoy the lush greenery and maybe even spot some local wildlife.

Estimated Travel Time via Car: 2 Hours

BUDA is often dubbed the “Little Baguio of the South”

The Bukidnon-Davao (BUDA) area offers a quintet of worthwhile attractions. First up is Cicada Hills, where you can enjoy gorgeous mountainside views that are lush with pine trees. Is it any wonder why this area is called the “Little Baguio of the South?”

Wildberry Café is a hidden treasure

For lunch, check out Wildberry Café. Serving perhaps the best Mexican food this side of Mindanao, its signature dishes include Mexican beef menudo, papas con salsa, and pork carnitas. Also not to be missed is their Passion Fruit Shake.

La Toscana offers authentic Italian cooking

If Italian cuisine is more to your liking, book a table at La Toscana instead. Must-try menu items include Toscana Matriciana, Pizza Capriciosa, and the Tiramisu.

Enjoy suman and sikwate at Seagull Mountain Resort

When merienda time comes, head over to Seagull Mountain Resort to enjoy their famed suman and sikwate (hot chocolate). Be sure to arrive early or make a reservation, though—the suman and sikwate run out fast!

Fresh strawberries from Bemwa Farm
And for some pasalubong, drop by Bemwa Farm where you can purchase farm-fresh strawberries. For the health-conscious, you can also buy veggies such as arugula, green romaine, and iceberg lettuce.

Estimated Travel Time via Rented Lantsa: Around 1 Hour

Mansud Wall is a haven for diving and snorkeling enthusiasts

If you’d rather explore the wonders of the ocean, Mansud Wall in Talikud Island is a great diving and snorkeling spot. The three-kilometer stretch is home to colorful corals, a wide array of tropical fish, and sea turtles. And if you’re very, very lucky, you may even get a real-life encounter with a dugong, a vulnerable specie of manatees.

Estimated Travel Time via Car: Around 1 Hour

Catch the freshest shrimp and crab at the riverside Punong Restaurant

Start off your trip to Tagum City by dining at Punong Restaurant. The kubo-inspired restaurant sits on the lip of a river, and during low tide you can catch fresh shrimp and crabs straight from the water.

Banana Beach Resort is home to a forest reserve
Banana Beach Resort is the only resort in the country situated in an actual banana plantation. This 760-hectare property has a ton of fun activities for nature lovers, from plantation tours, to river boat rides, and even twilight safaris. The resort also has top-notch accommodations that are perfect for those planning to stay overnight.

Estimated Travel Time via Car: Around 1.5 Hours

Bihod is the local version of caviar
Satisfy your wanderlust and appetite by going on a food trip to Davao del Sur. The fishing town of Sta. Cruz is one of the best places to enjoy fresh seafood in Mindanao. It’s also home to a local delicacy made of tuna fish eggs called bihod.

Bibingka so good, it’s worth traveling out of town for

For dessert or merienda, head to Mers for a taste of their famous bibingka. And while you’re in the city, why not do a food crawl and taste the many kakanin that Digos offers?

Estimated Travel Time via Car: Around 2 Hours

The Batasan Falls doubles as a hot spring, too

Kidapawan is home to, not just one, but two stunning waterfalls. The first is Batasan Falls, which also doubles as a hot spring—the cold, crashing water is met by hot water that seeps up from the rocks beneath the falls.

Indangan Falls is actually a pair of 60-70 foot falls
Indangan Falls, on the other hand, is actually a pair of secluded twin falls that measure 60 to 70 feet tall. Like Batasan Falls, it is also surrounded by hot springs.

It’s amazing how a quick drive from the city can bring you a world of experiences and flavors. The days of summer break may be numbered, but Davaoeños won’t be running out of interesting destinations to visit anytime soon.

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