The Ultimate Travel Guide to Dahican
I will admit it took me way too long to get this together. I know, and I'm sorry. I was too busy surfing and taking everything in - relaxing and getting that book finished that I completely (at times) forget to get information about my favorite place in the world.
There are just so much I can say about my favorite happy place and believe me, I would take forever if you let me keep talking. I finally 😅 have put together the most important tips to help you make the most of your trip to Dahican.
Note: I'll always keep this post updated with the latest information so be sure to check back from time to time. 💖
How to get there?
It takes approximately three hours to travel by private car going to Mati City, Davao Oriental. The road conditions from Davao City to Mati City is pretty much concrete, save for a few minimal ongoing road constructions as of January 2016.
It's never been easier traveling with technology nowadays. The cellular networks tend to be a little weak entering Pantukan, Compostella Valley (I'm on Globe) up until Brgy. Badas in Mati City (this is zigzag road where the Sleeping Dinosaur is). Fret not though there are minimal signages along the way and you can always ask for directions.
If you're bringing a surfboard that won't fit inside a normal Toyota Grandia commuter van then riding the bus is your best option. Riding the bus takes approximately 5 hours *groans* because the bus stops at every single terminal along the way. If you're on the airconditioned bus the seating is more comfortable while the non-airconditioned ones are quite cramped.
Here are the bus schedules I gathered from my most recent trip last January 2017:
Bachelor Express Inc.
- 12:00MN - Davao to Cateel (airconditioned, you can just go down at the Mati terminal)
- 1:00AM - Davao to Mati (first trip, non-aircon)
- 4:00AM - Davao to Mati (first trip, aircon)
- 7:00PM - Mati to Davao (last trip, aircon)
Non-airconditioned buses have around 20 minute intervals from the DCOTT while the airconditioned buses have an hour and a half waiting interval.
- Regular fare for airconditioned bus is PHP 285
- Regular fare for non-airconditioned bus is PHP 230
Update: No non-stop for Mati City during Sundays though. (As of March 2018)
Via Commuter Van
At the GMall van terminal, earliest trip to Mati is around 5:00AM. Trip intervals are hourly or earlier if the van gets full. Latest trip from Davao to Mati is around 7pm.
Travel time is usually 3 hours. It can get really cramped and quite uncomfortable in the van since they'll try to squeeze as much as 14 people (and their baggages) inside the vehicle.
Fare: PHP 250 one way
Update: Since the major van accident last 2017, the legit van companies have been strictly adhering to the maximum capacity of 10-12 people per trip. So they don't squeeze in four when it's only three per seat. Vans are safe again but if you're bringing surfboards, better ride the bus. (As of March 2018).
Where to stay?
There are more accommodation options available now that ever. Let's start with my favorite and go-to resort in Dahican.
Dahican Surf Resort has accommodation ranging from hostel type bunk beds to a whole hut for the barkada and the newest ones are air-conditioned rooms good for two.
Here are the latest rates as of November 2016:
- Hut good for 6 - PHP 2,400 per night
- Hut good for 5 - PHP 2,000 per night
- Air-conditioned room for two - PHP 1,500 per night
- Tent overnight - PHP 200 per head per night
- Hammock overnight - PHP 250 per head per night
- Day Tour - PHP 100 per head
- Hostel type bunk-bed - PHP 400 per night (not so sure)
Where to eat?
There aren't many restos like you would expect if you've been to La Union or Siargao but Dahican Surf Resort now has a bar and grill called Dahican Surf Shack. If you're looking for halo-halo or fruit smoothies then the Chill Station is ready to serve you.
They're also located in the same vicinity. The prices aren't touristy compared to the likes of restaurants in La Union or Siargao and they serve your food and drinks in the most Instagrammable way possible.
What to do?
One word: chill.
You could also organize a sunrise trek to the Sleeping Dinosaur or try a freshwater adventure at Pangyan Falls (which I have yet to visit since the waves are still great) and island hopping at Pujada Island.
Of course, who would I be if I didn't mention about surfing in Dahican?
But really this place is a haven to unwind, be one with nature and get that much-needed tan on. So I would recommend that having nothing to do or no plans is the best way to enjoy the place. Of course, surfing is a priority but when the waves are flat or the tide is out then the hammock is your best friend.
*Will continuously be updating this page as I get more info so be sure to check back. ✨