Top 15 Things to Do in Davao Oriental

Top Tourist Spots in Davao Oriental

San Victor Island in Davao Oriental photo via AirAsia

Bucket List: 15 Best Places to Visit in Davao Oriental

Davao Region, one of the Philippines’ centers for trade and investments, boasts some of the most beautiful vacation destinations in the country. Located on the eastern tip of the region, sandwiched by Compostela Valley to the west, is the province of Davao Oriental. The province’s expansive landscape, majestic waterfalls, and dense forests offer some of the best ecotourism adventures.

1. Pusan Point

Pusan Point by Chito Samontina
Pusan Point by Chito Samontina

Location: Barangay Santiago, Caraga, Davao Oriental
Entrance Rates: P75 per person

The easternmost part of the Philippines is where the first lights of sunrise touch. Found in Santiago, Caraga is Pusan Point, where a Jubilee Cross stands to mark the First Millennium Sunrise in 2000. The historical vantage point is one of the newest ecotourism destinations in Davao Oriental, together with the Pusan Point Discovery Center and Eco-Park, which was inaugurated in 2016. After taking in the first rays of light at the site, visitors can head to the Discovery Center and Eco-Park, start the day with fresh buko juice sold from outside the gates, or jog along the promenade.

2. San Victor Island

San Victor Island in Davao Oriental photo via AirAsia
San Victor Island in Davao Oriental photo via AirAsia

Location: San Victor Island, Baganga, Davao Oriental
Day Tour Rates: P50 per person
Overnight Rates: P100 per person
Environmental Fee: P50 per group
Contact: 0915 625 2482; 0950 354 3417

Davao Region is filled with islands with popular ecotourism destinations, like the famous Samal Islands. Along the region’s eastern coasts are the lesser-known islands. Perfectly quiet, peaceful, and detached is San Victor Island. Located close to the town proper, the island has powder-fine sands, almost creamy, with coral stones scattered on the shores. Across the island are huts to accommodate overnight guests. San Victor Island used to be the island retreat religious sect, hence the cabins.

3. Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary

A tree growing in the dwarf forest of Mount Hamiguitan by Kleomario via Wikimedia cc
A tree growing in the dwarf forest of Mount Hamiguitan By Kleomarlo – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, cc

Socials: facebook.com/MtHamiguitan

Mount Hamiguitan is home to diverse endemic wildlife and native flora. The mountain’s dense forests are a unique pygmy forest with several endangered, endemic and rare species of flora and fauna. Some wildlife that populates the mountain range includes the Philippine mossy-pygmy fruit bats, Philippine warty pigs, and the Philippine cockatoo. Mount Hamiguitan was proclaimed a national park and wildlife sanctuary in 2003 and then listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014. Back then, Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary is only open to researchers. Now, adventurers and hikers can climb and witness the natural wonders of Mount Hamiguitan.

Located close to the sanctuary is the Mount Hamiguitan Natural Science Museum, an interactive museum that encourages the public to join the conservation efforts in Mount Hamiguitan.

4. Aliwagwag Falls Eco Park

Aliwagwag Falls Eco Park by Edge Genciagan via Flickr cc
Aliwagwag Falls Eco Park by Edge Genciagan via Flickr cc

Location: Aliwagwag Falls Eco Park, Cateel, Davao Oriental
Visiting Hours: 8AM to 5PM, Daily
Entrance Rates: P100, Adults; PHP 75, Senior Citizens; P50, Children between 10 and 14 years; P25, Children below 10 years
Zipline Ride Rates: P200, Non-Cateel Residents; P150, Cateel Residents
Monkey Bridge Rates: P50 per head
Tables and Chairs Rates: P100-200

Aliwagwag Falls Eco Park, also called Aliwagwag Nature Park, features a monkey bridge, a 680-meter zip line, and a common area for picnicking. Aliwagwag Falls is considered one of the country’s highest, with a hundred series of tiered waterfalls, some of which measure 69 feet. This makes Aliwagwag Falls Eco Park one of its kind, where the public can gather, have fun, and marvel at the grandiosity of Aliwagwag Falls.

5. Cream Sand Long Beach

El Yanis Creamsand Longbeach Resort Cateel photo via FB Page
El Yanis Creamsand Longbeach Resort Cateel photo via FB Page

Location: Barangay San Antonio, Cateel, Davao Oriental

Aptly named Long Beach, Cream Sand cuts across two barangays in Cateel, Barangay San Antonio and Barangay Baybay. Cream Sand Long Beach stretches its creamy sandy beach for nine kilometers, ideal for those looking to destress. Because the beach intersects two barangays, visitors are bound to come across small resorts and private properties. Ask for permission or pay the required entrance fee before traversing the long beach.

6. Lake Carolina

Lake Carolina, Baganga, Davao Oriental, Philippines
Lake Carolina, Baganga, Davao Oriental, Philippines

Location: Baganga, Davao Oriental
Entrance Rates: P10 per person
Cottage Rates: P300

Lake Carolina, similar to other lakes in the Philippines, has that striking turquoise color with crystal waters surrounded by coconut plantations. The area is ideal for travelers looking for a short weekend getaway that is easy to get to. Visitors can relax under a coconut tree or on a boat and bask in the captivating ambiance of Lake Carolina.

7. Guang-Guang Mangrove Park and Nursery

Guang-Guang Mangrove Park and Nursery by Claudine Sanchez via FB Page
Guang-Guang Mangrove Park and Nursery by Claudine Sanchez via FB Page

Location: Mati City, Davao Oriental

Guang-Guang Mangrove Park and Nursery, also called the Guang-Guang Marine and Research Center, is a 21,000-hectare mangrove forest in Guang-Guang, Dahican, Mati City. The mangrove forest includes some of the endangered mangrove species in the Philippines and serves as a habitat for marine life.

8. Poo Sandbar

Poo Sandbar photo via Fb Page
Poo Sandbar photo via Fb Page

Location: Barangay Kinablangan, Baganga, Davao Oriental
Entrance Rates: P100 per person
Boat Rates: P75 per person
Environmental Fee: P30 per person
Contact: 0967 556 6845
Socials: facebook.com/poosandbar

Poo Sandbar is another ecotourism site managed by the local government. Visitors can have fun swimming as they wait for the peak time and revel in taking pictures when the sandbar comes into sight. Visitors should first drop by Poo Sandbar Tourism and Information Center near Kinablangan Public Market. Poo Sandbar is best visited during low tide hours. Tide time updates are regularly posted on the official Facebook page of Poo Sandbar Tourism and Information Center.

9. Dahican Beach

Dahican Beach by Edge Genciagan via Flickr cc
Dahican Beach by Edge Genciagan via Flickr cc

Location: Mati City, Davao Oriental

Dahican Beach is considered to be the Surfing Capital of Davao Oriental. Popular among surfers and skimboarders, it’s no wonder why the beach has several surfboard and skimboards rentals and lessons. The pristine paradise is also a favorite among backpackers who look for that straightforward provincial life.

10. Subangan Museum

A photo of Mandaya Tribe inside Subangan Museum in Mati City
A photo of Mandaya Tribe inside Subangan Museum in Mati City

Location: Mati City, Davao Oriental
Socials: facebook.com/subangandavor

Subangan Museum, or the Subangan Davao Oriental Provincial Museum, opened to the public in 2014 after years of planning. The idea to build the museum came in 2010 when a 53-feet long and 20-metric-ton sperm whale drifted ashore. The locals supported the idea and voiced their desire to promote the rich heritage and diverse culture in Davao Oriental. Today, the museum continues to feature exhibits on the rich heritage and biodiversity of the province. The museum’s main attraction is DavOr, the sperm whale found along Davao Oriental’s shores.

11. Sleeping Dinosaur Island

Location: Mati City, Davao Oriental
Environmental Fee: P50 per person

Sleeping Dinosaur Island is a popular viewpoint by the highway. Back then, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, visitors could only pull over and take a photo with the island as the backdrop. It is again open to the public for guided hikes to the island.

12. Sigaboy Island

Location: Sigaboy Island, Governor Generoso, Davao Oriental

Sigaboy Island is one of the newest go-to islands in Davao Oriental for those who want a quick time alone. The island’s name comes from the words “siga” and “baboy” to refer to the folklore when a spirit on fire suddenly appeared. Once on the island, visitors can play and swim on the island’s waters or hike toward the island’s summit.

13. Pujada Island

Pujada Island photo via FB Page
Pujada Island photo via FB Page

Location: Mati City, Davao Oriental
Environmental Fee: P50 per person

Located in Pujada Bay, the island is distinguishable by the dense forest along its ranges and the white sand beach that overlooks the scenic ocean. Visitors can time their arrival to see the Oak and Ivy Sandbar. The island’s serene atmosphere and magnificent surroundings make it an ideal day trip away from the city.

14. Cape of San Agustin

Location: Cape of San Agustin, Governor Generoso, Davao Oriental

Cape San Agustin, formerly Provincia de Caraga, is one of the most important strategic sites during the Spanish colonial era and WWII. The cape’s iconic lighthouses are popular among bikers and motorbikers, with Parola, or San Agustin Lighthouse, being the most popular attraction. The lighthouses were built in 1938, about 50 to 100 feet from the ground. Because the cape faces the Celebes Sea and Davao Gulf, the area has become a hunting ground by American submarines in WWII. Visitors can also look closely at “The Altar,” a natural rock formation where the first Holy Eucharist and Holy Mass occurred in 1550.

15. Chase the Waterfalls

From impressive twin waterfalls to the cascading tier waterfalls, Davao Oriental is no stranger to tourists who chase the waterfalls. Aliwagwag Falls is one of the highest in the country, consisting of hundreds of smaller-tier waterfalls. Inawiyan Falls requires an 850-meter hike through rocky terrain, while Busay Falls is the easiest to access. Magpong Falls is another site that requires a treacherous trek along its rugged dirt path. Anagacian Falls is a relatively new waterfall, only recently discovered in Baganga. Curtain Falls is one of the prettiest, with shower-like cascades spread like a curtain. Know that waterfalls may be best visited during the rainy season so expect to trek on muddy paths. Remember to take nothing but memories and leave nothing but footprints.

How to get there

To get to Davao Oriental, visitors can take a flight to Francisco Bangoy International Airport, also known as Davao International Airport, from any major city such as Manila, Clark, and Cebu. It is the main airport in Davao City and the whole Davao Region.

Visitors can take a taxi from the airport to any point in Davao City or Ecoland Bus Terminal. Then, board the bus or van bound for Mati. There is no direct bus from the airport. The best way to get around Davao Oriental is by jeepney and, for the sake of ease and convenience, by rented vehicle.

Follow Out of Town Travel Blog on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest if you want more travel and tech-related updates.

Read:

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.