Discover Mati, Davao Oriental: Budget + Itinerary

This is such a long overdue post and I’ve been meaning to share our Mati trip that happened last September 2018 cause I think this is one of the most underrated destinations in the country. This hidden gem is located just 2-3 hours away from Davao City and Mati is definitely an easy place to reach if you are looking for a weekend getaway without the crowd.


There is no direct flight to Mati City so you have to take an airplane at least to Davao City. From there, you can take either a bus or a van to Mati. In our case, we rode a van at the terminal beside GMall at Php 250 per way. They open as early as 6am. Van ride took 2-3 hours only (although our ride back was less than 2 hours)

Taking the van is the best option for me since it can save you much time in traveling although you’ll feel like you’re in a Fast and Furious movie with the speed they run.


For our tour, we contacted a local operator for a day tour which includes our ride and entrance fees at Php 650. Unfortunately, I lost the local operator’s number but maybe at least you’ll now have the idea at how cheap a day tour in Mati can be.

At the Van Terminal, Kuya Nonoy, our guide and driver, picked us up with his Tricycle which we rode the entire trip. Kuya Nonoy was very accommodating as he took our group photos. He also brought his own digicam, took our pics and also showed pictures of his previous customers.

Capitol Mansion

Our first stop was the Capitol Mansion which is the provincial capitol of Davao Oriental. Honestly there’s nothing to do here but just plain photo ops so we didn’t really stay long. Although, when I saw the Capitol, I’ve realized how far south of the Philippines I am and its an amazing feeling 🙂

Mayo Bay Park and Beach Resort

Our next stop was Mayo Bay Park and Beach Resort. Amazingly, entrance fee was only Php 5 per head.

Here you can find a fresh water pool which is actually just a few meters away from the beach. Quite awesome. The beach here is stony (but not sharp!) and has black sand and I think it just adds to the uniqueness and beauty of the place. Note though that the waves here in Mati are quite strong perfect for surfing. The locals also seem to enjoy it so much.

Mati Airport (ultralight plane activity)

Home of the Mindanao Saga Flying Club, this what Mati also became famous for, the experience of a lifetime riding an ultralight plane. It is a 15minute ride where you see Mati in a different angle. Fee is Php 2700 for a flight open aircraft and Php 3200 for a flight closed cockpit.

We didn’t get to try it and I actually wished I got to visit years ago cause I heard the activity was way cheaper. So we just took pictures in the middle of the runway, which was something I think one can rarely do in his lifetime too. We had the place all to ourselves.

Subangan Museum

After our runway photoshoot, we went to Subangan Museum – the official museum of Davao Oriental province. Here we were greeted by DavOr, a 53-feet skeleton of a sperm whale who was washed ashore in the province in 2010. He is considered as the 1st largest whale exhibit in the country and said to be the 7th in the world.

Aside from DavOr, you will know more about Davao Oriental’s cultural heritage at Subangan Museum. Displayed are the tribal group’s (who are only found in Davao Oriental) clothing, way of living, musical instruments and more. You will also realize how there is so much more to see at Davao Oriental at their Biodiversity section.

I must say, it is a very well kept museum and I’m glad the province decided to put up one for visitors and locals to see. This is a must visit for me when you are in Mati. Entrance rate is only Php 50 for local tourists.

Sleeping Dinosaur Viewdeck

One of the sights to see in Mati is the Sleeping Dinosaur. From the viewing deck, look closely and you’ll see a giant calmly sleeping. The view from above is quite scenic. Also, you can actually trek the “Dinosaur” mountain and as others say, it’s an easy trail to travail. Just make sure not to wake the sleeping giant, okay?


At the Baywalk is where you can see the “I love Mati” sign. We stayed here and watched people just hanging out, kids playing and people soaking in the sea breeze. Makes me wish we had more parks in the Philippines

Dahican Beach

Our last but definitely not the least destination is Dahican Beach. We opted to have this as our last destination since we will be staying overnight at Dahican Surf Resort.

I never knew that Dahican Beach can be so beautiful in person. I mean just wow. It is a long stretch of white sand beach with waves great for surfing. Water was clean with beautiful blue hues. They said, if you are looking for a surfing destination aside from Siargao, one of the best places in Mindanao is the Dahican Beach.

To my surprise, there weren’t a lot of people here but I’m still glad there’s not much crowd to share with 🙂

I will write more of Dahican Surf Resort in a separate blog soon. Watch out for it!


Van Ride (Davao City to Mati City)250
Day Tour650
Lunch at Penongs-Mati City130
Dahican Beach to Van Terminal40
Van Ride (Mati City to Davao City)250
Total in Php2070

At least now you have an idea how beautiful Mati City is and how cheap a weekend getaway can be if you plan to go there. I know people have worries when traveling to Mindanao. Please, get rid of that mindset cause Mindanao, especially Mati City, is very beautiful, worth the visit and has very kind people (well, in general, Filipinos are).

Ciao for now! 🙂

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