Finally we made it to this adventure park this year, a long time in the planning. Dubbed as Mindanao’s favourite extreme playground, this place has more to offer than meets the eye. Mindanao is the second largest and southernmost major island in the Philippines.
Our trip began from Davao City with few disagreements on how long the trip it will take. Google map says 5 hrs and 16 mins, 240.7 km, though from word of mouth it’s only 4 hours. Reluctant on which time frame of travel to rely on, we headed off after lunch. We hit the road on the Davao-Buda National Highway with traffic along the way that totally slowed us down. The roads were relatively stable and well-maintained so it’s easy for a four-wheel-drive vehicle, at times we can speed up to 100 km per hour but mostly we remained under 80 km per hour.
After two hours on the road, we reached the winding road of Malampay and past The Overview Park, a scenic look out in the area. We continued on until we joined the Dologon-Busco Quezon Road, a right turn off Davao-Bukidnon Highway then onto Sayre Highway. We reached the city of Malaybalay in Bukidnon at around 6 and we were already way behind our schedule, a quick dinner at Chow King then we continued and we reached our final destination at around 8:30. We were on the road for at least seven hours, not the 4-5hrs as first imagined, sigh!
We checked in at the Pinegrove Mountain Lodge, a family room for 5,000 pesos (AUD131 for 7 persons) per night. The room has 6 single beds and a sofa bed with a touch of forest cabin feel, wooden flooring throughout, screened windows, electronic card entry, air condition and looking out over a pine tree forest. The beds were firm with white linen and has its own bathroom and toilet.
The hotel has a bright and spacious lobby, decorated with timber paneling, artefacts hanging on the wall, 3 large wooden chandeliers, a fireplace and adjoining restaurant.
After breakfast, (not included in the accommodation tariff), we headed out to check what this theme park has to offer for the young and the young at heart. All the adrenaline pack activities include the following; Skytower Base Jump, Ziplines including Asia’s longest dual zipline, Dropzone 120 ft free fall ride, Flying Lizard, Python Roller Zipride, Rope Course, Luge, and other rides. You’ll also find a horse riding area located opposite the main gate of the park. You can avail a single ticket for any of the rides on offer or take a combo, as it works out cheaper.
The tall and stately pine trees that surround the area bring a fragrant smell and lush greenery for a backdrop. The manicured and verdant gardens attributed a stunning ambience and perfect for all those photos and selfies. The park has few kiosks that sell souvenirs and snacks for all those pick me up moments. The restaurant is located inside the hotel but you can also BYO picnic packs and rugs for a full day out.
When it comes to extreme rides, I chicken out a bit but not with my nieces who thoroughly enjoyed them without a doubt. I enjoyed the zipline, thankfully I landed in one piece, but mostly my eyes were enjoying and admiring the green scenery, and the calming weather, it was a cool day when we were there. I was told the temperature in January averages at 18 degrees, that would be a perfect time for an open fire Dahilayan style.
As we headed out of Manolo Fortich, the town’s name on our way back to Davao City, we past part of the 9,000 hectares of Del Monte’s pineapple plantation in Camp Phillips. Bukidnon, the province is considered to be the food basket in Mindanao and is home to the finest and sweetest pineapple in the country. It has also vast areas of sugarcane plantations and other fruit bearing trees like bananas, mangoes and papayas.
On the way back, we took our time on the road, this time not really focusing on how far or how long it took, finally arriving back in Davao City.
- Cagayan de Oro City to Dahilayan Park is 1 hour and 28 minutes, 58 km via Sayre Highway, a good jump-off point.
- It’s advisable to break your journey between Davao City and Dahilayan Park, an overnight stay in Malaybalay or Valencia in Bukidnon, both are big cities.
- A visit to nearby cities of Iligan or Cagayan de Oro is recommendable if you allow time.
- Deluxe buses (Bachelor Express and Rural Transit Bus) operates between Davao City – Manolo Fortich – Cagayan de Oro City.
- If driving, make sure to check all the safety points of your vehicle, especially your tyre pressures and ensure you have enough fuel and general supplies on hand.
- Day Packages at Dahilayan Park are available including water rafting, some includes lunch or snacks, check out their website for all the prices at http://dahilayanadventurepark.com/
Dahilayan Adventure Park
Brgy. Dahilayan Manolo Fortich