Read our quick guide here.
Developing Davao City is getting a lot of praise for ranking the 9th safest city in the world, but adventure awaits just a couple of hours outside the city for tourists who want to get lost. If you think you’ve seen the best beaches in country in Coron or Boracay, you should go to Dahican Beach in Mati City, Davao Oriental. The best part: you can fly over the beach for only P1,600.
- Book a flight to Davao City. Major airlines like Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines have direct flights to Davao City.
- Head over to Gaisano Mall or Buhangin Gym (along the Pan-Philippine Highway) in Davao City. The first Mati-bound van leaves at 5:00 AM from Buhangin Gym. Travel time is around 3-4 hours.
- The trip ends in Mati City van terminal. If you’re traveling solo, ride a habal-habal to Mati Airport. You can also ride a tricycle good for 4-5 people. Travel time is only 20 minutes max.
- Get the contact details of your habal-habal or tricycle driver so he can pick you up after flying. Go to Dahican Beach after your ultralight aircraft flight.
- 0500 Van departs en route to Mati City, Davao Oriental
- 0700 Arrival at Mati City Proper. Go to the airport.
- 0730 Ride the plane over Mati City
- 0830 Call your driver and head over to Dahican Beach
- 0900 Arrive in Dahican Beach. Have lunch, swim, chill, get lost.
- 1400 Go back to Mati City, ride an ordinary bus to Sleeping Dinosaur Viewing Deck
- 1500 Wait for Davao City bound bus or van
- 1900 Arrive in Davao City
Ride the van before sunrise to Mati City. The earliest Mati trip leaves Buhangin Gym at past 5:00 AM. The van takes a lot of stops in different towns along the highway during the course of the trip. We strongly suggest the van over the bus because the bus accommodates more passengers – therefore more stops. The trip ends at the van terminal in Mati City Town Proper. From there, habal-habal and tricycle drivers await.
Make your way to the abandoned Mati City Airport to ride the ultralight aircraft. The Mindanao Saga Flying Club operates in the deserted city airport. They charge P1,600 for a 15-minute Trial instructional Flight (TIF) aboard the ultralight aircraft, flying on top of Dahican Beach and thousands of coconuts trees. The view and experience is breathtaking. They also offer 30-minute and 45-minute flights, as well as airplane rentals for licensed pilots.
After your flight, ride a habal-habal or tricycle to Dahican Beach, around 10-15 minutes away from Mati City Airport. There are a lot of beach front resorts to choose in Brgy. Dahican. For day-trippers, we suggest the government-owned Menzi Beach Resort because of its wide beach front and long coast line.
Its diversity makes Dahican Beach distinct among popular white sand beaches in the country. Families and group of friends hang-out or swim by the beach. Tourists and locals surf (depending on the swell) or skim board along the crescent-shape beach. Dahican is also a sanctuary for the endangered sea turtles. And at the end of the 7km beach are isolated resorts for those who want a quiet escape.
Once you’ve had enough sun, sea and sand (if you ever will), wash-up and head on the viewing deck of the Sleeping Dinosaur. Go back to the city proper of Mati and ride a non-air conditioned bus to the viewing deck. Take your photos before you hitch for a van or bus back to Davao City.
- Transportation: P220 Van from Davao to Mati City. P40 habal-habal from Mati van terminal to abandoned airport. P60 habal-habal from Mati City Airport to Dahican Beach. P80 habal-habal from Menzi Beach Resort to Mati City Town proper. P10 bus from Mati City to Sleeping Dinosaur viewing deck. P200 bus back to Davao City. Total: P630
- P10 entrance in Menzi Beach Resort.
- 15-minute Trial instructional Flight: P1,600
- Ride a van, not bus, from Davao to Mati. Buses stop in almost every town along the highway for 5-15 minutes per stop. Bus trips can even reach up to 5 hours.
- Contact Mindanao Saga Flying Club prior your trip. It’s open from sunrise to sunset. Call Tico Bondoc at 09177265505 or Inaki Seivert at 09173070670. They’re open everyday except Mondays.
- Get the number of your habal-habal driver so you can call him anytime you want to be picked up. Mine is Kuya Ray: 09127816357.
- If you have time, spend 2-3 days in Dahican.