An Enchanted River And 7 Magical Places You Should Visit Around Davao In The Philippines
So magic, much enchanted.
The city of Davao is located in the southern part of Philippines, and is surrounded by many beautiful natural treasures
Davao is not only the largest city in the Mindanao island area, but also one of largest in terms of land area in the country. It's known as the "Crown Jewel of Mindanao" due to the many natural wonders that are located near the city.
1. The Enchanted River, Hinatuan
The Enchanted River of Hinatuan is located in the province next to Davao, and it's basically the stuff dreams are made of. The river has a clear sapphire colour, leading locals to believe that it's 'coloured' by fairies. Till now, scientists have yet to figure out where the waters of this saltwater river come from.
Entrance fee: PHP40 (about RM3.09)
2. Tinuy-an Falls, Bislig
Tinuy-an is also nicknamed the Niagara Falls of the Philippines due to its shape, which closely resembles the famous waterfalls between Canada and USA. Visit the waterfall early, between 9-11am, and you'll be able the catch the famous rainbow shot on camera. The name Tinuy-an apparently also means 'a place you will revisit', and it's not hard to understand why.
Entrance fee: PHP50 (about RM3.87)
3. Aliwagwag Falls, Cateel
The Aliwagwag Falls is the highest waterfall in the Philippines, and is also said to be one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the country. It includes a series of 130 waterfalls, which looks like a stairway to heaven when you look at it from afar.
Entrance fee: PHP50 (about RM3.87)
4. Samal Island, Davao del Norte
Officially known as the Island Garden City of Samal, this beautiful beach paradise is known for its clean sandy beaches and pristine waters. It's a popular destination for local and international tourists, so you can find anything from budget accommodation to luxury resorts on the island.
Entrance fee: Free
5. Mount Apo, Davao del Sur
The view from the top of Mount Apo is phenomenal. It's the tallest mountain in the Philippines, and is home to 111 types of unique birds that you can only find on this mountain. You'll need to hire a guide to trek to the top, which will take about two days. The mountain is considered sacred by certain groups of indigenous people who live around it, who also refer to the mountain as their 'great grandparent'.
Permit fee: PHP2,000 - 2,500, depending on the season (about RM153.80 - 192.25)
6. Lake Sebu, South Cotabato
Nestled between two mountain ranges near Davao is Lake Sebu. It's said that the lake never dries up, and is peaceful enough that you can go paddling around it. The lake is also linked to seven waterfalls, two of which can be easily accessed by hiking.
Entrance fee: PHP20 (about RM1.54)
7. Asik Asik Falls, Alamada
Did you know that most Filipinos only found out about this beautiful waterfall through a national photography contest that went viral in 2012? A photo of Asik Asik Falls was chosen as the winner of the contest, which then became the hottest topic of the year in the Philippines. Locals and international tourists have since been flocking to the mountains of Alamada to see this sight.
Entrance fee: PHP30 (about RM2.31)
8. Lake Apo, Valencia
Lake Apo once won an award for being the cleanest lake in the Northern Mindanao region. It's a crater lake formed in an old volcanic cone, surrounded by lush greenery where you can relax and unwind. There are also a few floating cottages you can hop on for a short tour around the lake.
Entrance fee: Free, PHP200 for the floating cottage ride (about RM15.38)
Bonus mention: Apo Ni Lola Durian Delicacies, Davao
Since we're talking about magical places to visit around Davao, we just had to put this in because this store is every durian lover's heaven. Apo Ni Lola specialises in producing durian candy in all forms and flavours. You can find anything from durian jam to durian marshmallows in the store, and even cookies-and-cream flavoured durian candy!