10 Things to Do in Banana Beach Resort - Hijo Estate Resorts in Tagum, Davao

When people, especially Manilenos, think about Davao and talk about its attractions and tourist spots, “Samal Island” invariably springs up in the conversation. Along with eagle sanctuaries, crocodile shelters, orchid gardens, and wildlife resorts, Samal Island is practically an instant go-to with its proximity to the city. Not that I hate Samal—I’ve been to Pearl Farm and I adored it—but in my recent trip to the Durian Capital, I realized that you can actually find something more beautiful, if only you’re willing to look (and walk) farther.

I’m talking about Tagum in Davao del Norte, in which lies Banana Beach in Hijo Estate Resorts—a 760-hectare expanse of leisure space, rivers, forests, and plantations. Imagine everything you could possibly want in a getaway all together in one place: beach, sea, river, forest, comfortable lodging, activities, food, and many more! It’s a dream come true for any traveler seeking the perfect hideaway.

Just an hour and a half drive from Davao City, Banana Beach is situated at the heart of Davao gulf in Madaum, Tagum City, a little—no, enormous—piece of paradise that instantly throws away all the stresses related to city living, a respite from all things toxic. The resort caters to both peace lovers and adventure seekers—how they have managed to combine two opposing worlds, I have no idea. All I know is that I am a bit of both, and I had an amazing time at Banana Beach.

Had my friends not told me about it, I would never have discovered that such an awesome place exists! Thank you R and M for your recommendation! As for you, dear reader, I’ve taken the time to compile a list of 10 things you can do at Banana Beach. Aside from enjoying the sand and water, here they are:


1. Sail through the Madaum River

Relax aboard Banana Beach's cruise and bask under the warm sunlight and the cool province air as you enjoy the lush greenery and the peaceful Madaum river. Marvel at the century-old mangrove trees that line up the riverside, and see the different species of birds inhabiting the area as well as crabs on which the Calagan community—which resides near the riverbanks—relies for food. Don’t forget to “test drive” the boat!

The River Cruise is available at PhP500/head (1 hour tour).

2. Conquer 9 Hanging Bridges and Discover a Century-Old Forest

If you're feeling a bit more adventurous, Banana Beach's Forest Tour is the perfect activity. It starts with a safari drive, and along the way you will see wild pigs and long-tailed macaques freely roaming the area. The trek then begins with 9 hanging bridges, followed by a 50-meter ground trail in the 60-hectare forest. Let your eyes wander and discover hundred-year-old trees taller than skyscrapers, endless vines, and colorful flowers and fruits—as well as a stray monkey or two. The tour guide has a few tricks up his sleeve to make this tour more exciting that it already is—see for yourself!

The Forest Tour is available at PhP300/head.

3. Visit the Plantations and Choose Your Sweet Ending at the Orchard

Learn how Banana Beach grows its own fruits and discover why its products are world-class—and are sought-after around the globe. Not only is Banana Beach the first plantation to export Cavendish bananas to other parts of Asia, it also manufactures organic coconut products.

During Kadayawan season, fruits such as durian, marang, rambutan, and lanzones are abundant, and guests can tour around the orchard and see these delicious bounties. For only PhP500, guests can even enjoy an orchard buffet—that’s right, unlimited fruits!

The Banana Plantation Tour is available at PhP300/head.

4. Sharpen Your Senses through Arrows, Bullets, and Knives

Train your aim, concentration, consistency, and coordination with three of Banana Beach’s land activities: archery, shooting, and knife throwing.  Vent out your pent-up anger at the wild pigs scattered about—plastic toys, of course—or hurl knives from a distance at wooden planks and master your aim, constancy, and arm strength. The knife throwing is especially challenging!

5. Indulge in Fresh and Exquisite Food

Farm-to-table dining has never been this genuine. Each dish utilizes homegrown produce from Banana Beach’s own farms. Meats are bought from local farmers and fresh seafood are caught from Davao gulf or sourced from the city.
Left: Tinolang Imbao; right: the Banana Beach Restaurant

Banana Beach Restaurant’s menu features Filipino and international cuisines—you have to try the fresh and delicate Kinilaw na Tuna (raw cured tuna similar to the ceviche), the sweet-smoky ribs, the Tinolang Imbao (mangrove clam) and the Grilled Tuna Belly, as well as their signature drinks (cucumber and calamansi coolers) and desserts (artisanal banana ice cream). The Spot is a fishing village that doubles as a dampa-style restaurant, except that you get to catch the fish yourself. If you’re lucky enough, you can have the elusive, humongous talakitok (Kingfish) for lunch.
Left: The Spot; right: Kinilaw na Tuna

6. Chase after Your Own Lunch at The Spot

Now it’s time to get your hands dirty—without hard work, you won’t have dinner! The Spot features talakitok (Kingfish), bangus (Milkfish), lapu-lapu (Grouper), and kitang (Rabbitfish) freely swimming in the huge fishing pond; all you have to do is catch them—if you’re lucky or clever enough! Ask assistance from the local guides on how to use the fishing rods and how to lure the fishes to your bait. But take note: small fishes need to be returned to their home, while big catches are considered sold (varies from PhP280 - PhP350/kilo)!

7. Relax in an Open-Air Hut or an Air-Conditioned Casita

Whether you’re a backpacker who prefers to “rough it out” or a traveler who wants to feel a bit of luxury even in the midst of nature, Banana Beach has two accommodation options designed for nature-loving visitors.

The Al Fresco Casita is an open-air hut equipped with beds, a kulambo (mosquito net), and electric fan—perfect for daytime guests and for hardcore camper types. The Air-Conditioned Casita is a 30 sqm suite with a Queen-size bed, a lounge with a pull-out mattress, cable TV, coffee area, mini-bar, and an en suite bathroom with ample storage space—perfect for families or friends coming in a group of 4 to 6. The nearby resort, Lanikai, also has full-service rooms designed for guests who would prefer more isolation—a heritage house with a provincial vibe offering a one-of-a-kind experience.

There's an on-going promo for the Al Fresco and Air-Conditioned Casitas: book two nights and get the third night for free! Weekend room rates are currently at PhP1,500++ (al fresco) and PhP4,800++ (air-conditioned). Book now!

8. Bask under the Sunlight at the Infinity Pool

Soak up some sun and feel the fresh sea breeze as you revel in Banana Beach’s infinity pool—situated beachfront and a short walk from the restaurant. Swim up to the Sunken Pool Bar and enjoy a cocktail or two. Lounge by the pool as you sip your cold drink and take time to relish all the beauty around you.

9. Marvel at the Dolphins Swimming at the Davao Gulf

If the cosmos is on your side and you happen to be in the midst of the water, you will find dolphins playing around the Davao gulf. See video below.

(video courtesy of Banana Beach Resort)

10. Enjoy Your Favorite Water Adventure

Thrill seekers can enjoy their favorite water activities at Banana Beach. Kayaking? Check. Banana boat? Call your friends! Water trampoline? Jump as high as you can! I didn’t try any of these as I’m so in tune with water (LOL!) but I bet lovers of this kind of stuff would not be disappointed.

Activities available:

Banana boat
Water trampoline
Skim boarding
Paddle boarding
Horseback riding
Mountain biking
Ultimate Frisbee
Beach volley
30 minutes
PhP1,000 for 15mins (4 pax)
1 hour


What do you think about Banana Beach Resort? Do you feel it’s worth a visit?


Banana Beach Resort
Hijo Estate Resorts, Hijo Plantation, Brgy. Madaum, Tagum City, Davao del Norte
For reservations: info@bananabeachdavao.com
Packages and Rates: click here

Photos without the Pepe Samson watermark are owned by Banana Beach Resort.

the Calagan people on the riverbanks

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