Davao City - Tourist Attractions, How to Get There, and More

Davao City, Philippines

The city of Davao is located on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines. Mindanao is the island located furthest south of all the islands of the Philippines. The city of Davao is part of the metro Davao region on the eastern side of the island. Davao is a coastal community facing the Davao Gulf which flows into the Pacific Ocean. The city covers 943 square miles, making it one of the largest cities in the world. It is approximately 587 miles from Manila.

The People

In 2010, the population of Davao City was 1,449,296. But with the large number of people working in the city, that population totals between 2 and 4 million during the work week. The population consists of Filipino, Chinese, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, and Arabic races. The languages spoken there are DavaoeƱo, a Cebuano dialect, English and Tagalog.


The city was founded in 1848 by the Spanish crusaders. American settlers arrived in 1900 which resulted in the city’s growth of farms, transportation and communications. Japanese plantation owners arrived in 1903 and were responsible for developing abaca and coconut plantations and teaching the Filipinos better methods of cultivation. Agriculture remains an important part of the city’s economy. Although much of the original city was destroyed by bombing in World War II, the city survived and became a center of trade for Southern Mindanao.


The culture of the city is a blend of Spanish, Japanese and Chinese influences. Many of the celebrations in the city are fiestas celebrated with dance and music. Most of the Chinese live in an area called Chinatown, and most of the Japanese live in an area called Japantown. Davao has the largest Japanese population of any of the cities in the Philippines.

Terrain and Produce

The terrain in Davao is mostly hilly, becoming flatter as the land slopes down to the shores on the southeast region. Rain is plentiful with rain averaging about 200 days out of the year and measuring over 70 inches. The temperature averages about 78 degrees and does not change much during the year. About half the land is used for timberland and forest, and a good portion of the remaining land is used in agriculture, producing bananas, coffee, coconut and pineapple.

Davao is known as a city that is clean and green. Their water is considered to be one of the best in the world for safety, taste and mineral content without a need to boil or purify, and there is no smoking in public places. It is also one of the most inexpensive cities to visit.


Davao City Map
Mount Apo, located in Davao, is the largest mountain in the Philippines, measuring 11,194 feet high.. It is a huge tourist attraction. There are also popular beaches on Samal Island, located just east of Davao City, Crocodile Park, Davao Museum, the Philippine Eagle Center, parks, amusement parks, water parks, gardens, ancient churches and cathedrals, and quiet walks along the water.

Surrounding Areas

Davao City is within just a one-hour flight to Cebu and Palawan, and the flight to Manila (the capital city of the Philippines) is only about 1.5 hours long. From Davao City, a person can also drive to Cagayan De Oro within about 10 hours or to Bukidnon within about 6 hours. Davao is about a 3 hour drive from General Santos, famously known as the home of world champion boxer Manny Pacquiao. A non-stop flight from Davao to Singapore would take about 4 hours.