Davao City is known for a lot of things: its clean, peaceful streets, honest cab drivers, exotic fruits and affordable cost of living. This city sitting at the foot of the majestic Mt. Apo offers a lot to the curious and adventurous but it also does not run short of attractions for those looking for a quiet getaway.
When the heat in downtown Davao gets too much, our first choice for a mini vacation destination is always Eden Nature Park and Resort. The resort is perched on Davao’s highland district, surrounded by verdant foliage and a few residential buildings. Having been there quite a few times, I would say Eden Nature Park is a personal favorite.
Best Time to Go
Eden is a perfect place for outdoor adventures so summer (March to May) is definitely the best time for a visit. The weather in the highlands is almost always desirable but the wet months may hinder you from following the mountain trail, enjoying the pool, or riding the zipline. And while staying indoors in one of their villas is also a tempting idea, rains get a little too much in the mountains. If you’re looking to save on room rates, they offer off-peak promos. You’ll just have to do some guess work on whether or not the sun will be out during your visit.
How to Get There
There are at least three ways of getting into Eden Nature Park and Resort. You can arrange taxi service via Eden Nature Park and Resort’s booking office. This will cost between P750 to P850 depending on your pickup point. You can also drive your own or rented vehicle. If you own a car, P500 for fuel can will do for a round trip. If you rent a car however, it will be quite expensive; car rentals in Davao City can cost upwards of P3500, excluding fuel costs. Travel time by car/cab is more or less an hour provided that you don’t make stops along the way.
You can also commute and I actually prefer it. It’s cheap and it gives one a sense of adventure. There’s something about back-riding a single motorcycle that gives me a high, especially because we’re going through a rural area. A jeepney ride from downtown Davao to Toril costs about P20 and the motorcycle ride up costs between P100 to P200.
What to Expect
Eden Nature Park is a vast property with a manmade forest, restaurant, cottages, trails, orchards, a pool, and a good number of other attractions. Guests would never run out of things to do during a visit. The cold weather might tempt you to stay indoors or on a hammock with a good book but exploring the entire property is a more exciting pursuit.
During the few times I have been to Eden Nature Park, I never missed riding the Indiana Jones and the Skyrider Zipline. Recently, they have added another adventure called Sky Cycle which allows you to ride a bicycle up in the air. It’s a thrilling adventure, I am sure but since I don’t know how to ride a bike, I let my husband and sister do it instead. Very soon, they will introduce a new free-fall adventure which I can only guess to be much like bungee jumping.
During overnight stays, we always made it a point to complete the mountain trail; aside from the close encounter with nature, this activity also provides a much-needed exercise. The hike covers around four kilometers of rugged terrain, passing by towering trees, streams and orchards within the property. On our most recent visit however, the trail was not recommended because the trail signs needed to be replaced.
For those who would rather not rough it out, the resort has guided tours aboard an open mini cab. This tour should take you around the property with three stopovers: The Botanical Garden, Tinubdan the Native Village and Lola’s Garden. Read about the guided tour here.
If you’re staying overnight, entry to the Fishing Village and swimming pool are free. You can catch tilapia, catfish and dory at the Fishing Village. Catch and release is not allowed though; you would have to pay for your catch and either bring it home or have it cooked onsite. Eden Nature Park and Resort’s infinity swimming pool is surrounded by trees and provides a wonderful view of Davao City. The butterfly garden and aviary are close to the pool.
The Vista restaurant serves the freshest ingredients obtained from their hydroponic gardens. Needless to say, their vegetable salads are fantastic! Read all about Vista Restaurant here.
Eden Nature Park offers different types of accommodations. There are small cottages and large villas/cabins available for different group sizes. I personally recommend the Vista Cottages especially if you’re a traveling couple or small family. Room rates include buffet breakfast, access to the fishing village and swimming pool, and shuttle service around the resort.
Accommodations at Eden Nature Park and Resort are generally lovely, well-appointed and airy. Air conditioning is not needed since the air in these parts is naturally chilly. Most of the rooms are situated among the trees; the Gardenia rooms actually give you a Cabin in the Woods “feel” which honestly freaked me out. All rooms are screened to keep mosquitoes and other insects out but I still recommend putting on insect repellent lotion for good measure.
Visiting Eden Nature Park and Resort is part of Davao City’s “islands to highlands adventure”. It’s a perfect weekend destination whether you only have a full day to spare or you want to stay a couple of nights to step up your mountain experience.
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Have you been to Eden Nature Park & Resort? What did you think? Comment below and let us know!