Sleeping Dinosaur Island - one of the top Mati City tourist spots
Guides and Itineraries,  Philippines

11+ BEST Mati City Tourist Spots + Things to Do

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Looking for a laid-back coastal town for a relaxing vacation? Nestled in the heart of Davao Oriental in the Philippines, Mati City is the perfect vacation spot for beach lovers, outdoor enthusiasts, as well as families planning a well-deserved break for fun and bonding.

Mati City is relatively less crowded compared to other beach towns in the Philippines, as it is mostly visited by locals and balikbayans. But that may change soon as it continues to grow in popularity. In fact, in 2022, three of the bays located in Mati City were included in the most beautiful bays in the world by the Club of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World.

In this guide, we’ll take you to the top Mati City tourist spots and activities that you shouldn’t miss!

1. Dahican Beach

Surfing in Dahican Beach in Mati, Davao Oriental
Dahican Beach.

The crown jewel of Mati City, Dahican Beach is a 7-kilometer stretch of pristine sand and crystal-clear waters, surrounded by coconut trees.

Its name is derived from the local word “dahik,” which describes the way sea turtles crawl up the shore to lay their eggs during summer. However, Dahican Beach is home not only to sea turtles but to other marine animals such as dolphins and dugong (sea cow).

This spot is not only perfect for swimming, sunbathing — and let’s admit it, doing nothing — but also a haven for surfers and skimboarders, thanks to its impressive waves.

These water activities come and go, depending on the season. If you’re interested in surfing, visit in the months of October to May to enjoy giant swells. Children as young as 7 years can also start charging surf breaks with their skimboards. Meanwhile, schedule your trip during the calmer months for a more relaxing ambiance or other activities such as stand-up paddle boarding.

2. Sleeping Dinosaur Island Viewpoint

Sleeping Dinosaur Island - one of the top Mati City tourist spots
Sleeping Dinosaur Island.

One of the landmark attractions in Mati City, the Sleeping Dinosaur is a rock formation that resembles a reclining T-Rex when viewed from a distance. Contrary to common belief, it is not an island but a “promontory,” referring to a piece of land sticking out to the sea. The Sleeping Dinosaur is part of the protected 20,000-hectares Pujada Bay.

You can easily stop by this spot on the way to Dahican Beach for amazing photo opportunities. It’s also included in the usual Mati City day tour itinerary.

3. Pujada Island

Pujada Island - island hopping in Pujada Bay, Mati City
(Photo by

The Pujada Bay is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Mindanao — including the small islands of Pujada Island, Waniban Island, and the vanishing Oak Island. These islands are accessible via island hopping tours.

Pujada Island is known for its powdery white-sand beach and vibrant marine life. Specifically, it is home to a variety of marine animals including fishes, dugong, hawkbill and green sea turtles, and even whale sharks.

A short boat ride away from the mainland, this island is perfect for swimming, snorkeling, or simply unplugging from the world.

Pro Tip: Don’t forget to bring your own food and drinks!

4. Waniban Island

Waniban Island - one of the top tourist spots in Mati Ccity
(Photo by Mati City Tourism)

One of the beautiful islands along Pujada Bay, Waniban Island boasts a secluded fine, white-sand beach on one end and interesting rock formations on the other. It is smaller compared to Pujada Island but is just as interesting — and should be included in your top tourist spots in Mati City to visit!

The island is ideal for swimming and snorkeling, with shallow pools that are perfect for dipping and taking IG-worthy snaps!

Bask in the solitude, wade into the transparent waters, and appreciate the beauty of the surrounding waters in Mati City.

5. Oak Island

Oak Island
(Photo by Mati City Tourism)

Oak Island is a sand bar within Pujada Bay, which appears during low tide and “vanishes” during high tide. It is stripped entirely of everything but sand, so if you plan on staying for a sunbath, make sure to bring sunscreen and shade!

This sand bar is often likened to other attractions like White Island in Camiguin and Naked Island in Siargao.

6. Subangan Museum

Subangan Museum
(Photo by Subangan Davao Oriental Provincial Museum)

Want to learn more about the local history and culture? Subangan Museum is a small museum in Mati City showcasing the history, cultural heritage and ethnic roots, and natural wonders of Davao Oriental province.

Subangan means “where the sun rises” in the local dialect, referring to the fact that the sun rises first at Susan Point in Caraga, Davao Oriental, in the whole country.

Here you’ll get to see everything from intricate indigenous crafts to exhibits on marine life and ecosystems. Another highlight of the museum is the remnants of a 53-feet-long sperm whale, which washed ashore in the province in 2010.

Exploring the museum usually takes around 30 minutes, so you can easily add it to your itinerary of Mati City tourist spots to see.

7. Masao View Resort and Spa

Masao View Resort and Spa
(Photo by Masao View Resort and Spa)

As a coastal town, Mati City offers a plethora of beach resorts for you to relax and unwind. One of its landmark resorts is Masao View Resort and Spa.

This resort is renowned for its picturesque waterfront cottages. It also features a fine, white-sand beach perfect for swimming and beach bumming, swimming pools, and a view of the Sleeping Dinosaur in Pujada Bay.

8. Touch the sky via ultralight aircraft flying

PH adventure collab - ultralight flying in Davao
Ultralight flying with an open aircraft.

Ever dreamt of flying? At Mindanao Saga Flying Club, turn that dream into a reality with an ultralight aircraft. Take an aerial tour of Mati’s glorious landscapes — from the rich greenery to the blue sprawl of the Pacific Ocean — and feel your spirit soar.

The ride via a 2-seater ultralight aircraft takes about 20 minutes. From up above, you’ll not only feel the thrill of flying but also appreciate the landmarks in Mati City, including the Sleeping Dinosaur, Dahican Beach, Pujada Island, and Waniban Island.

Pro Tip: Check the weather condition before you visit, as ultralight aircraft flying is not allowed when it is windy.

9. Relax and eat at Mati City Baywalk

One of the quintessential things to do in Mati City is visiting the Mati City Baywalk Park — a great spot for families and friends to relax, eat, and enjoy the views of Pujada Bay. The best time to come here is during sunset!

Along the baywalk, you’ll find a myriad of food stalls and restaurants, catering to all budgets. Don’t forget to try the famous empanada and lumpia at the Seaside Restaurant!

10. Tinikaran Peak

Tinikaran Peak - one of the outdoor activities in Mati City
(Photo by Tinikaran Peak / ECOCatmonan)

Not for the faint of heart, Tinikaran Peak offers a short but challenging hike to a summit filled with hundreds of bonsai trees. It’s a great day tour activity in Mati City for those who love the outdoors.

From the jump-off point, it takes an hour to reach the summit of Tinikaran Peak. The trail includes trekking, river crossing, and scrambling over rocks. Once at the summit, you can enjoy the surrounding lush forests and bonsai trees. As there is no shade at the summit, don’t forget to bring a hat and sunscreen!

After your climb, reward yourself by taking a swim at the river at the base of Tinikaran Peak and discover various flora, including the exotic pitcher plant, wild orchids, and more.

Tinikaran Peak is part of the Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary, currently the only UNESCO World Heritage Site in Mindanao. It is one of the lesser-visited tourist spots in Mati City.

11. Pangyan Falls

One of the most popular Mati City tourist spots especially among the locals, Pangyan Falls is a three-tiered waterfall offering a quick respite from the tropical heat.

The waterfall area is located half an hour away from the city proper, which makes it part of the standard Mati City tours. From the entrance, you need to trek for 10 minutes to reach the waterfalls. Afterwards, take a dip in the nearby man-made pools filled with natural hot spring water, sourced from vents of an underground volcanic activity.

There are small sari-sari stores in the area, but you can also bring your own food and drinks.

12. Witness the Sambuokan Festival

Immerse yourself with the culture of Mati City by attending the Sambuokan Festival, held every October. This festival is the founding anniversary of Mati City. Its name is derived from the local word “buok,” which means one, referring to how the festival celebrates the oneness or unity of the people of the city.

The festival hosts an array of activity, the highlight of which is the Street Dancing Competition.

How to get to Mati City

The closest airport to Mati City is Francisco Bangoy International Airport (or Davao Airport) in Davao City.

Here’s how to get from Manila to Mati City:

  • Fly to Davao City. Flights from Manila to Davao City takes 1.5 hours.
  • Take a bus or van to Mati. Buses and vans bound to Mati City depart from various terminals in Davao City, including Ecoland Transport Terminal and Davao City Overland Transport Terminal. Travel time is 3-4 hours, depending on traffic and road conditions.

Where to stay in Mati City

Here are the best resorts and hotels in Mati City:

  • Masao View Resort and Spa. Known for their waterfront cottages.
  • Blue Bless Resort. One of the most popular beach resorts in Mati City, with pools, watersports activities, sky bike, and zipline.
  • Prymm Beach House. An exclusive beach house in Pujada Bay.

Has this travel guide on the best Mati City tourist spots and activities been helpful to you? If you have questions or comments, let us know in the comment section below!

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