Davao's topography dazzles with a variety of picturesque landscapes. Fruit plantations and orchid farms, mantle volcano-fed hills and valleys. Virgin forests nurture rare wildlife. Coral islands lie on mirror flat water. And the country's highest peak, Mt. Apo, magnificently lords over the hinterland.
Just as enchanting is its brilliant tapestry of harmony, woven from the diverse cultural threads of its people. In Davao, the contemporary fuses with the traditional as migrant settlers from all over the country peacefully co-exist with a sizeable expatriate community and numerous ethnic tribes who continue to live as they did centuries ago.
Davao is home to the majestic Philippine Eagle, the country's national bird and considered the largest eagle in the world. It also boasts of the most priced Philippine orchid species like the Vanda sanderiana and some of the most exotic fruits like Durian and Mangosteen.
Davao is an anchor tourist destination, a natural haven for both sedate and daring pursuits. It is the jump-off point to satellite destinations on the island of Mindanao.
Island Garden City of Samal: The Island Garden City of Samal is a group of islands in the Davao Gulf. The largest, also called Samal, has a number of excellent resorts, including one that was once a pearl farm. There are also many fine beaches, with good opportunities for snorkeling and scuba diving.
With its cool mountain weather, Maragusan in the province of Compostela Valley is Davao's traditional summer capital. The ethnic Mansaka community lives in the coffee-growing valley amidst waterfalls and cold springs.
The provincial capital of North Cotabato, Kidapawan City is two hours by bus from Davao City. It is the main gateway to the ascent to Mt. Apo and hosts the 10-day Kalibongan Festival, a showcase of old ethnic rituals, songs, dances, and sports of the Manobo and other Mindanao tribes.
The province of Davao Oriental has at least 40 tourist spots. The town of San Isidro is home to Tinagong Dagat (or Hidden Sea), a mysterious lake; the highest waterfall in the country, the 338-meter high Aliwagwag Falls, is found in Cateel; in the old town of Caraga is a moss-covered 17th-century church.
General Santos City
GenSan is the tuna capital of the Philippines, where over 2,400 species of marine can be found, including the yellow-fin tuna, skipjack, and mackerel. GenSan can be reached by a 3-hour bus ride from Davao City.