Davao Travel Itinerary and Expenses 3D 3N
I’ve wanted to go to Davao for so long. Having heard and read of its superb security, safety and natural beauty, I was always curious why this city is different from other cities in the Philippines. I have many questions like: Why are they getting lots of prestigious awards? Why is it one of the safest cities in the world? Does the government of Davao have ties with the infamous Davao Death Squad? Is it really beautiful there?
The cost of flying to Davao always hindered me from going as the fare is almost the same as say to another country like Hong Kong! But lucky for us that last year, I finally booked a roundtrip piso fare from Air Asia! What a steal!
Our Davao adventure finally happened and my curiosities were ended. Now it’s my time to give back. Here is our travel experience in the Philippines’ new seat of power! You will see our itinerary, accommodations, places we went and expenses (divided by 5 people). Please note that this trip is not much of a backpacking trip since I also considered the comfort level of my parents but surprisingly, we didn’t spend much either. Read on for further details.
9PM – Depart Manila (8PM flight delayed)
11PM – Arrive Davao / Check-in Royale House Travel Inn
7:30AM – Start of tour
Abandoned Ampatuan Mansion
Philippine Eagle Center
Lunch at Penong’s BBQ
Apo ni Lola Durian Candy factory
Shrine of the Holy infant Jesus of Prague
Dinner at Jack’s Ridge
7:30AM – Go to Samal Island
9AM – Arrival in Samal, leave bags in Camp Holiday Resort
9:30AM – Start of Tour
Monfort Bat Cave
3PM – Check-in Camp Holiday Resort
Rest and swimming
Chill at Camp Holiday Resort
11AM – Check-out
11:30AM – Go back to Davao City
12:30PM – Check-in Hotel Uno
1PM – Lunch at Penong’s BBQ again
2:30PM – People’s Park
3PM – Bankerohan Public Market
4PM – D’ Bone Collector Museum
5PM – Museo Dabawenyo
5:30PM – San Pedro Cathedral
6:30PM – Roxas Boulevard Street food and night market
7PM – Aldevinco Shopping
8PM – Go to Airport
10:40PM – Depart Davao
12:40AM – Arrive Manila
As mentioned above, I booked roundtrip piso (1 peso) fare tickets from Manila to Davao but payment totalled to P827.84 per person including seat request, check-in baggage for our return and some fees (including online processing fee). Still not a bad deal.
Going to Downtown Davao from Airport
From the airport, you can easily ride a cab or use Uber or Grab Taxi to downtown Davao.
Taxis are still the undisputed mode of transportation here for tourists. But if you are on a very tight budget and don’t mind knowing the routes, then multi-cab is your choice. There are also tricycles with umbrellas there called Payong-Payong plying around the city.
For the tours, I’ll explain it in the Tours section.
Going to/from Samal Island
This depends on what part of Samal you are going to as there are several wharfs in Davao where you can take a barge going to the island city. In our case, we went to Sasa wharf to go to Camp Holiday resort in Babak district. Fare for the barge ride is P10. You can also take the Island City Express Bus that takes the same barge.
Around Samal Island
There are many habal habal, tricycles and multi-cabs in Samal. If you want, you can rent a car in Davao then take the barge and drive it there in Samal as places of interest are also far from one another.
More info on the tours section.
In Davao City:
Royale House Travel Inn
We booked one Triple sharing room for P2100 a night and one economy double room for P950 through Agoda in Royale House Travel Inn. The room’s nice and clean, though it needs some re-paint job and the aircon’s knob is loose. Breakfast is free with your choice of continental or Filipino (silog meals) plus banana and coffee/tea. It was a nice stay overall though I’d suggest to train their reservation staffs to handle the bookings more efficiently because I contacted them directly at first and they told me they don’t have a triple sharing room when in Agoda the room is available?
Book your stay here in Royale House through Agoda! or compare prices here
It was our last day in Davao and we just wanted a place to leave our bags while exploring the city. I searched the net and found Hotel Uno to be one of the cheapest, so we went there and ask if we can book two fan rooms for the five of us. The receptionist happily assisted us and even recommended us not to book a room anymore (since we are not staying overnight) and just leave our bags to them for free and pick it up when it’s time to go to the airport. I was glad with the offer but humbly declined and asked them if we can just book one fan room since I assumed that we might still need the room to pack our things and maybe rest for a little. The room cost us just P300 for a double bed fan room.
Website: Hotel Uno
Trunkline: 63 (82) 282 1111
If this is not what you’re looking for, check these recommended accommodations:
Or search for more hotels in Davao and compare their prices here
We enjoyed the suite room in Camp Holiday Resort in Babak district for P3500 a night and it was worth it. The suite has 2 rooms (1 Kingsize bed, 1 twin room), 3 air-conditioners, 2 bathrooms, 2 LED TVs and a fridge! It also has a nice veranda overlooking the whole resort. Plus, guests who are checked in can enjoy the infinity pool for a nice, warm dip.
If this is not what you’re looking for, you can also check the following accommodations:
Telephone #: (082) 273-37-43 / 284 7005
Fax Number: (082) 226-36-83
Mobile Number: 09333096370 / 09189354278
Sales Office: 09255337936
Davao Tour c/o Kuya Joey
We availed of Kuya Joey’s Davao Package 3 Tour for P3000 that consists of the ff:
Ampatuan’s abandoned mansion
Eden Nature Park
Philippine Eagle Center
Malagos Garden (skipped)
Crocodile Park (skipped)
Tribu K-Mindanawan (skipped)
Butterfly House (skipped)
Durian Candy Factory
Shrine of Holy Infant Jesus of Prague
Jack’s Ridge resort
We skipped some places there since we spent a lot of time in Eden Nature Park and in the Phil. Eagle center. Kuya Joey is a very kind and accommodating person. He always assisted us with our needs and he let us enjoy our time and wasn’t in a hurry. He even waited for us to finish the mass in the Shrine of Holy Infant Jesus before going to Jack’s Ridge for dinner.
The whole day was very well spent and my parents really enjoyed the tour especially Eden Nature park where we tried the skycycle and skyrider and toured the whole park with their shuttle tour. You can also buy fruits on the way to Eden as it tends to be cheaper there than in downtown Davao city.
You can also book a room in Eden Nature Park here
We’re so thankful of Kuya Joey that even when the tour finished late at around 8PM, he didn’t complain and asked for additional charge. We’re very satisfied of his service and we highly recommend him to anyone planning a tour in Davao!
Contact him at: www.facebook.com/KuyaJoeyTaxi2199
Mobile: 0920 695 4333
On our last day in the city, we DIYed the places to see. We went to the ff:
People’s Park – nice park with lots of trees!
Bankerohan Public Market – for fruits
D’ Bone Collector Museum – make this optional in your tour.
Museo Dabawenyo – This is a must. Free entrance plus you’ll gain lots of knowledge about Davao and its government. Picture taking inside the museum not allowed.
San Pedro Cathedral – boat shaped church
Roxas Boulevard Street food and night market
Aldevinco for Shopping
The place we regretted not visiting is the Davao City 911 Center. Had I known that we can actually go on a field trip to the 911 center then we should’ve went there instead of the D Bone collector museum (which is nice but we would just prefer the 911). We were informed of this of our guide in Museo Dabawenyo but it’s too late since it’s already 5PM. Anyway, the national government said that the whole Philippines will have a 911 by August (Thanks Mayor!).
Samal Tour c/o Mang Jun
I didn’t research on the transport services there in Samal because I just planned to get one when we get there, but lucky for us, Kuya Joey recommended a multi-cab driver (based in Samal) to tour us at least to 3 places we planned to visit for half a day. We paid P1500 to Mang Jun to visit Monfort Bat Cave, Hagimit Falls and Vanishing Island. Entrance fees and boat ride expenses posted in the end of this blog.
The one thing I kinda regretted is we didn’t wander around the famous beaches here. Well, there’s always next time! I heard Isla Reta is a paradise.
3 days is a short time to explore food in Davao but I think we managed to eat at least some of the best. Here are some of them:
Penong’s BBQ and Seafoods Grill
We ate here twice. Yes, twice! At first visit, we didn’t get to order their chicken barbeque for a reason I don’t know why, but it did leave us a positive impression of the food and the restaurant. Of all our orders that time, their pinakbet stood out the best. Fresh veggies with savory sauce topped with mouth watering chicharons is my description of their pinakbet. Servings is ample and price is affordable.
On our second visit, I then ordered their chicken barbeque and all I can say is it is worth visiting the second time around! The barbecue marinade is very tasty and the level of sweetness is just right as it seeps down to the very bone of the chicken. I got no decent picture as I devoured the food immediately, sorry for that.
This is a no-brainer must go dining place if it is your first time in Davao. The overlooking view of Davao is great with all of its pretty lights shining. But what’s greater is the food! Their barbecues are top notch and the crispy pata is amazing as well. Never forget to include Jack’s Ridge in your itinerary, it’s worth it!
Roxas Boulevard Night Market and Street food
We were looking for some cheap barbecue (yes, bbq again) on our last day for dinner and one of the security guards in Hotel Uno pointed us to Roxas Blvd. Walking towards the area, we can already see barbecue smoke from several stalls grilling fresh meat from afar. That’s the smoke I always wanted to see.
We sat and ordered Chicken intestines (isaw), tuna, chicken liver and pork barbecue. I really don’t eat liver, but when I tried their barbecued chicken liver, I was an instant liver lover boy. I even asked for more, that’s how good their barbecue is in Davao. And of course, their isaw, tuna and pork bbq was amazing as well. The marinade and the sauce they’re brushing on the meat while grilling is the tastiest ever. Will definitely be back here if ever.
Here is the detailed breakdown of our expenses. Please note that on Day 0, my wife and I were not yet with my family since we arrived later than them. Expenses from day 1 thereafter were divided equally by 5 people. Souvenirs not included.
|Per Pax||Total 2 Pax||Total 5 Pax||Remarks|
|Airfare (Air Asia)||827.84||1655.68||With check-in baggage (return), seat selection and online fee|
|Taxi from airport to Hotel||90||180|
|Royale House Travel Inn (2N)||950||1900||Double bed aircon|
|Midnight snack||45||90||2 order of batchoy|
|Kuya Joey Package Day Tour||600||1200||3000|
|Eden Nature Park entrance||220||440||1100||Plated snacks included|
|Eden Nature Park shuttle tour||120||240||600|
|Skycycle and skyrider combo||300||600||1500|
|Penong's BBQ Lunch||154.2||308.4||771|
|Phil. Eagle environment fee||4||8||20|
|Phil. Eagle Entrance fee||150||300||750|
|Japanese Tunnel entrance fee||50||100||250|
|Jack's Ridge dinner||402.6||805.2||2013|
|Taxi to Sasa Wharf||31.8||63.6||159|
|Barge ticket to Samal||10||20||50|
|Camp Holiday Suite room (1N)||700||1400||3500||Good for four pax|
|Mang Jun Multi-cab service||300||600||1500||Monfort, Hagimit, Vanishing Island|
|Monfort bat cave||100||200||500|
|Hagimit falls entrance||40||80||200|
|Hagimit falls environment fee||5||10||25|
|Cottage Hagimit falls||30||60||150|
|Lunch in carinderia||61||122||305|
|Boat to/from Vanishing Island||100||200||500|
|Vanishing island entrance fee||25||50||125|
|Dinner||90||180||450||Carinderia and lechon chicken/liempo|
|Barge ticket to Davao City||10||20||50|
|Taxi to Hotel Uno||34||68||170|
|Hotel Uno (1N)||60||120||300||Booked a room just to leave our bags and rest for a while|
|Penong's BBQ Lunch||162.4||324.8||812|
|Taxi to Bankerohan||13||26||65|
|Multi-cab to San Pedro Ext.||7.5||15||37.5||From Bankerohan to San Pedro Ext.|
|D Bone Collector entrance||80||160||400|
|Taxi from San Pedro Church to Hotel Uno||10.1||20.2||50.5|
|Dinner at Roxas Night Market||55||110||275|
|Taxi from Hotel Uno to Airport||33||66||165|
|Terminal Fee - Davao airport||200||400||1000|
For a total of P6,135.44 per person, it’s not bad for a semi-budgeted family trip. You’ll notice that we didn’t hold back on pigging out, transportation (we rode taxis), tours and stayed in a nice 2-star hotel and a suite in samal and yet we still didn’t spend that much. It’s not luxurious but it’s not cheap.
So there you go, hope this blog helped you in your planning and hope you’ll enjoy Davao as much as we did!