THERE’S more to Davao Oriental than being the “the land of coconuts.”

The copra (dried coconut meat) capital of the Philippines also takes pride of its powdery white sands, crystal blue waters, scenic mountains, and many other diverse natural marvels you have to see with your own eyes to believe.

Striking a balance between laid-back and adventure-filled, the province, dubbed “A Pacific Destination,” is now an emerging tourism destination and thrilling sports haven that offer a unique experience to intrepid travelers and those with penchant for off-the-grid getaways.

With the launching of Cebu Pacific’s new route from Clark to Davao, North and Central Luzon tourists can now explore this landlocked province, easily accessible via a two-hour flight from Clark International Airport and three-hour bus ride from Davao City.

Let majestic sights, fascinating culture, and exhilarating activities welcome and surprise you here. There are a myriad of ways to explore “DavOr,” but here are some of the not-to-miss:

1. Dahican Beach

Situated in Mati, the lone city of Davao Oriental, Dahican Beach is popular with surfers, skimboarders, and beach bums, as it offers a charming and unspoiled slice of paradise, with its stunning crescent-shaped coastline facing the Pacific Ocean.

Derived from the local term which means “to come in from the sea,” the seven-kilometer stretch of beach is also known for its marine wildlife like pawikan or marine turtles, dugong or sea cows, dolphins, and whale sharks that thrives in its waters.

2. Subangan Museum

The Subangan Museum is an interactive, state-of-the-art museum that features treasured relics, photos, videos, documents and textiles from Davao Oriental. Its central attraction, Davor, was the main reason its creation was ignited several years back.

Davor is a 20-metric-ton sperm whale drifted into the shore of the municipalities of Governor Genoroso and San Isidro in 2010. Today, the skeleton of the 53-feet mammal, considered as the largest in the country and seventh largest on display in the world, is well preserved at the museum and is promoted as an icon of the province’s astounding biodiversity, pristine beauty, and exceptional potential.

3. Pusan Point

Not known to many, Pusan Point in Caraga, Davao Oriental is where the sun rises first in the Philippines. An interesting fact, it was on January 1, 2000 when hundreds of locals and foreign tourists gathered here to catch a glimpse of the first sunrise of the new millennium.

Two decades later, Pusan Point, is now a full-pledged park with a science center, thus the name “Pusan Point Eco Park and Science Discovery Center,” which features a viewing deck that gives visitors a splendid sunrise sight in the morning and a clear view of the Pacific Ocean during daytime.

4. Mindanao Saga Flying Club

Davao Oriental’s glorious beauty, untainted waters, and lush landscapes are already a sight to behold from eye level, but soaring over the area while riding an ultralight plane offers an even more stunning perspective. That is why visitors are highly encouraged to visit the Mindanao Saga Flying Club, Mati’s newest airborne attraction.

Here, daredevils, adrenaline junkies, frustrated pilots, and even the curious ones can experience flying in latest and well-maintained ultralight planes manned by seasoned pilots and staff who always go the extra mile to assure that your 15-minute ride above the air is safe and memorable.

5. Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary

Hailed as the “first and only Unesco World Heritage Site in Mindanao,” this majestic mountain with a peak of 5,345 feet above sea level is home to exotic, endemic, and endangered flora and fauna, as well as centuries old bonsai trees called “Pygmy Forest”. In addition to its majestic natural wonders are the awe-inspiring Twin Waterfalls and the Tinagong Dagat, a lake that experiences high tide and low tide.

Meanwhile, at the foot of the mountain which traverses the municipalities of San Isidro and Governor Genoroso and city of Mati is a well-curated museum that not only showcases the beauty of Mount Hamiguitan but also advocates for people’s participation in the mountain’s conservation efforts by introducing them to its rich biodiversity and what it means for the humanity.

Side note: Upon return to Davao City, allot ample time or even a day or two to explore the hometown of President Rodrigo Duterte. As Mindanao’s commercial hub, it has a plethora of lifestyle picks for travelers: restaurants, bars, cafes, shopping malls, nature parks, and cultural spots. And if those are still not enough, you may to take a 10-minute boat ride to nearby Samal Island for an idyllic beach getaway.

Moreover, if you opt for quality respite amid the hustle and bustle of the city, Park Inn by Radisson Davao is one of the best options. Located in front of SM City Lanang Premier Mall, the 206-room hotel is a stone’s throw away from some of the city’s major attractions and just 15 minutes away from Davao International Airport.

The must-visit property also serves a wide array of local specialties and sumptuous fares with a twist including its must-try Davao Kinilaw Crostini, Davao Cheese Platter, Pomelo and Fern Salad, Chicken Durian Curry, Mangosteen and Durian Cheesecakes, Davao Chili Truffles, and many other fruit-infused delights.

Experience the best of what Davao has to offer, now that Cebu Pacific flies from Clark to Davao and vice versa, daily! Book a flight for as low as P1,088!