3 Days Davao and Samal DIY Itinerary – Travel Tips & Expenses | Blushing Geek

3 Days Davao and Samal DIY Itinerary – Travel Tips & Expenses

I’ve wanted to visit Davao after hearing that it’s one of the safest cities not just in the Philippines, but in the whole world. Every night before I go to sleep, I always make it a habit to check online if there’s some cheap flights available until finally, I was able to snag one. It wasn’t really my plan to travel solo but I failed to snag tickets for my girlfriends. I was kind of nervous at first, but I think my desire to really experience the city gave me the confidence to go to the airport and just go for it. And I can’t thank myself enough. Even with an unexpected mishap (my shoes decided to give up on me) I have to say that my overall Davao experience was still a success.

I was able to snag the ticket October last year, and since then I’m itching to create my own itinerary (but I’m so lazy, haha). I am going there alone which means I have no one to share the expenses with and since arranged tours are going to be expensive, I decided to DIY. I’m always good when under pressure so it wasn’t a surprise that I only drafted my itinerary a week before my travel, haha.

Below is my 3 days itinerary in Davao and Samal Island and I have to warn you, it wasn’t perfect. I came there to check out their tourist spots as well as book (especially manga) hunting so feel free to change some destinations if you decided to follow my itinerary, *wink.

Davao and Samal Island Destinations

  • Davao City Hall and Surrounding Public Parks
  • Museo Dabawenyo
  • Bankerohan Public Market
  • Philippine Eagle Center
  • Malagos Garden Resort
  • San Pedro Cathedral
  • Lon Wa Buddhist Temple (Philippine Academy of Sakya)
  • Davao Crocodile Park
  • Roxas Night Market
  • Sasa Wharf – Davao to Babak Samal
  • Hagimit Falls
  • Monfort Bat Sanctuary
  • Samal Mango Haven

3 Days Davao and Samal Itinerary

Day 0 (Friday)

  • 7:55PM – Depart Cebu
  • 9:05PM – Arrive Davao / Check-in Hotel Uno

Day 1 (Saturday)

  • 8:00AM – Walk to Davao City Hall Area (Osmena Park, Rizal Park, San Pedro Cathedral)
  • 9:30AM – Museo Dabawenyo
  • 10:15AM – Bankerohan Market
  • 10:45AM – Ride L300 van to Calinan (45 minutes) Drop off point on the terminal or on Clinica Feliciano
  • 11:30AM – Ride habal-habal to Davao City Water District
  • Davao City Water District
  • 12:15PM – Philippine Eagle Center
  • 1:15PM – Late lunch in a carenderia in Davao City Water District
  • 1:45PM – Ride motorcycle (since there was no habal-habal available) to Malagos Garden Resort
  • 2:00PM – Malagos Garden Resort
  • 4:00PM – Habal-habal ride to Calinan proper
  • 4:20PM – L300 ride to Bankerohan (45 minutes)
  • 5:05PM – Buy fruits and some pasalubong in Bankerohan
  • 5:30PM – Walk back to hotel then eat dinner
  • 6:00PM – Walk to Aldevinco Pasalubong Center
  • 7:00PM – Walk back to hotel

Day 2 (Sunday)

I was supposed to explore Samal Island this day but changed my itinerary in the last minute because I want to see the different shows in the Crocodile Park. They have lots of shows on the weekend rather than weekdays.

  • 6:30AM – Attend mass in San Pedro Cathedral
  • 7:30AM – Eat breakfast at Tapa King
  • 8:15AM – Walk back to hotel
  • 8:45AM – People’s Park
  • 9:45AM – Jeepney ride (Sasa via Cabagiuo Route) to Lon Wa Buddhist Temple (but it’s most commonly known by  the locals as Sakya or Philippine Academy of Sakya) (ride is not more than 30 minutes)
  • 10:15AM – Lon Wa Buddhist Temple (Note: They have morning mass so it’s advisable to go there on Saturday or weekdays and make sure not to wear shorts)
  • 10:45AM – Ride jeep (Panacan via R. Castillo Route) to SM Lanang Premier
  • 11:15AM – SM Lanang Premier, lunch, book hunting
  • 1:00PM – Ride jeep (Panacan via Cabaguio route or Sasa via J.P. Laurel route) to Abreeza Mall
  • 1:30PM – Abreeza Mall, book hunting
  • 2:15PM – Ride jeep (Panacan via Cabaguio route or Sasa via J.P. Laurel route) to Gmall (Gaisano)
  • 2:30PM – Gmall, book hunting
  • 2:50PM – Ride jeep (Panacan via Cabaguio route or Sasa via J.P. Laurel route) to Hotel Uno
  • 3:05PM – Rest in the hotel
  • 3:20PM – Taxi going to Crocodile Park (30 minutes)
  • 3:40PM – Crocodile Park
  • 6:20PM – Habal-habal ride to Maa 7-eleven
  • Ride jeep (forgot the route, but asked the driver if it’ll go to CM Recto) back to hotel
  • Changed clothes (because it was raining in the ride from Crocodile Park to Maa centro)
  • 7:15PM – Walk to Roxas Night Market
  • 7:20PM – Roxas Night Market, dinner, explore
  • 8:45PM – Walk back to hotel

Day 3 (Monday)

  • 7:30AM – Ride jeep (via Ramon Magsaysay Park) to Ramon Magsaysay Park
  • 7:50AM – Ramon Magsaysay Park
  • 8:50AM – Ride jeep (Sasa via J.P. Laurel route) to Sasa Wharf
  • 9:30AM – Sasa Wharf (waited for the roro)
  • 10:00AM – Ferry ride to Samal
  • 10:15AM – Habal-habal ride to Hagimit Falls
  • 10:40AM – Hagimit Falls
  • 11:20AM – Habal-habal ride to Monfort Bat Sanctuary
  • 11:50AM – Monfort Bat Sanctuary (not really recommended unless you love bats, lol)
  • 12:00PM – Habal-habal ride to Samal Mango Haven
  • 12:10PM – Samal Mango Haven, lunch, explore, kawa hot bath
  • 3:00PM – Habal-habal ride to Babak Ferry Terminal
  • 3:20PM – Babak Ferry Terminal (waited for the roro)
  • 3:45PM – Ferry ride to Davao
  • 4:00PM – Sasa Wharf
  • 4:15PM – Ride jeep (Sasa via Cabaguio route or any jeep that goes to San Pedro or Magallanes) to San Pedro st.
  • 5:00PM – Lighted candles in San Pedro Cathedral
  • 5:15PM – Walked back to hotel then buy takeout for dinner
  • Prepared everything for trip back home
  • 6:30PM – Taxi ride to Davao Airport

As I’ve said in my previous article, I tied my wallet for foods. I wasn’t able to try out some restaurants while I was in Davao and only tried Tapa King and the Roxas Night Market which is really highly recommended if you’re looking for budget friendly foods and if you like ukay-ukay. And if you love fruits, Bankerohan Public Market is a haven for you.

Hotels in Samal Island is quite expensive compared to Davao City so I decided to only take a day tour, well, actually it’s only a half day tour since my flight is scheduled the same day.

Other destinations


  • Mt. Apo
  • D’Bone Collector Museum (I wasn’t able to visit since the place is under renovation when I went there)
  • Tamayong Prayer Mountain
  • Shrine of the Holy Infant Jesus of Prague
  • Zipcity (perfect for those who love extreme adventures)
  • Eden Mountain Resort
  • Kublai Art Garden
  • Japanese Tunnel
  • Jack’s Ridge


Another Budget Friendly Hotels

Expenses breakdown

I luckily chose a perfect location for my hotel so most of the time, I found myself just walking going to different destinations in Davao City. Overall, I only took taxi thrice (twice going to the airport) so I was able to save my expenses. Souvenir, foods and other personal expenses not included.

Davao trip expenses | Blushing Geek

For a total of Php4,637 per person for 3 days in Davao, not bad eh? I’m not very picky with the hotel so I only chose a single fan room since I won’t be around all day and only need a place to sleep. The only downside was the shared bathroom, but overall, it was a pretty good deal. I’ll be posting my review about my stay in Hotel Uno pretty soon. Also, as you can notice, my trip in Samal Island was the most expensive especially the transportation since there’s no other way to tour the place but hire a habal-habal driver. Their rate is actually Php100 per destination.

So there you go, hope this article will help you in planning your tour in Davao. And I hope you’ll enjoy your stay as much as I did, *wink.

You may also want to check out:

3 Days Davao and Samal DIY Itinerary – Travel Tips & Expenses | Blushing Geek

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Mary Kirkland
6 years ago

I don’t travel or like going to places. I’d rather read about others doing it. lol

6 years ago
Reply to  Mary Kirkland

Reading books feels like traveling too 🙂

Lily B
6 years ago

oh wow that is a lot of ground to cover in 3 days o.o was probably fun tho

6 years ago
Reply to  Lily B

Even if I was alone, I have to say that I really enjoyed it 🙂

6 years ago

This is awesome. Considering that you went to a lot of places, your budget was just right. For three days, I think you didn’t spend that much. Good job, Van! See? We know you’ll love Davao. I hope I can come back someday.

6 years ago
Reply to  DeeDee

Hehe, true Dar. I was actually proud about that, haha. Yep, I’ll definitely come back someday 🙂

Alyssa Susanna
6 years ago

Wow, you certainly got around! That’s a jam-packed itinerary! I’d not heard of Davao and had no idea it was such a safe and tourist-friendly place. Thank you for sharing your experience, Vanessa!

Have a lovely weekend. =)

Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

6 years ago
Reply to  Alyssa Susanna

Hehe thanks Alyssa 🙂

Basha Juaneza
Basha Juaneza
5 years ago

This is very helpful! Thank you <3

5 years ago
Reply to  Basha Juaneza

Awww, I’m glad it helps 🙂

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