Banana Beach Resort in Tagum, Davao del Norte organized a day tour and lunch for bloggers set a day after the Indak-indak sa Kadalanan of the Kadayawan Festival. This was the perfect time to enjoy the resort since we were already in Davao for the festival.
I was so excited about this trip because I’ve read the good review of my travel blogger friend and organizer of this tour – Glen of EscapeManila. We were 10 in this group tour – Me, Glen, Edgar and Ramil of PinasMuna.com, Rob of Palibut.com, Mervs of PinoyAdventurista.com, Renz of TravelingNomad, Darwin of TrackingTreasure, Suzette of swexie.me, and Chamee of Miss Litratista.
The scheduled call time was at 7:00 AM. We hired a van that took us to the famous “Beach Resort inside the Banana plantation”. Travel time is more or less an hour from Davao City.
We were welcomed by the accommodating staff of the resort. Ms. Chacha toured us around.
|Left Photo courtesy of Glen of EscapeManila.com and IloveDavao.com|
|photo courtesy of Palibut.com|
First Stop | Banana Beach Resort
A stunning place to visit, the sprawling Banana Beach Resort features a wide range of accommodations to cater to every budget and need of its guests. Ms Chacha showed us their accommodations – from the simplest to the most luxurious, including air conditioned to non-air conditioned casitas.
What are casitas? Non-air conditioned casitas are native-inspired huts, best likened to the typical bahay kubo but with larger space, depending on the actual capacity of each casita. The single casitas can accommodate 2 to 4 people while the family casitas can house up to 6 people. This native dwelling has a porch and is elevated from the ground the same way that most bahay kubos are designed. The rates vary between weekends and weekdays. Also, guests can choose to stay overnight or merely rent the casitas for day use.
Air conditioned casitas still have the native feel of a bahay kubo, complete with thatched roofs but are more spacious and elegant. These cabin-style dwellings have a larger porch area. The standard rates for these casitas are up to 4 persons only, with guests charged extra per additional person. The rates also vary between weekends and weekdays.
Guests who are staying in the casitas can freely use the facilities across the resort, although entrance fees may be collected at certain venues or activity areas.
The family tea houses are perfect for day use. These open-air pavilions have thatched roofs and comfortable furnishings. Small houses can accommodate up to 8 people while up to 16 can use the big ones in comfort and style.
There are also plans for much larger villas to be created across the resort but details have yet to be released.
Second Stop | Lanikai Resort
We took a 10-minute cab ride from Banana Beach to Lanikai Resort. Lanikai is a Hawaiian word which means "heaven by the sea". This is an extension of the resort. It’s primary attraction/accommodation is the heritage building which also houses different art collections, mostly works of Kublai Milan.
There is an infinity pool facing the sea in this resort, creating an extraordinary atmosphere of relaxation and serenity. You can also enjoy exotic tropical drinks while submerged in the sparkling waters of the pool, thanks to the sunken bar right beside it.
Third Stop | The Forest Reserve inside the Plantation
Riding in the cab, we literally entered a jungle! The woodland is still inside the vast plantation and declared as forest reserve for Philippine Macaques and wild boars. Honestly that was my first time to see wild boars – and they are really in the wild! I asked Chacha if they are feeding the animals. Surprisingly, she answered that the monkeys and wild boars are still hunting for their foods which are still available in the 60 hectares forest reserve. I assumed that they were fed and supplied with foods like banana since this is a banana plantation hehehe.
I thought that the close encounter with the monkeys and wild boars is the highlight of the forest tour. Meron pa palang hanging bridge walk. And it’s not just an ordinary hanging bridge. It’s a long bridge interconnected by large trees leading to the central part of the forest where you can see species of local/endemic trees, vines, and plants – anahaw, lanete, Dao, kubong, katmon, rattan etc.
|Yeah, It's Me and the Giant Dao Tree|
Last Stop | The Spot
Our last stop was at the SPOT. It is called the Spot because you will find your best SPOT to catch fish! Yeah, you can do fishing in this man-made lake. There are fishing huts at the SPOT that you can rent. Each hut rental already comes with 2 fishing rods. You can go fishing to your heart’s content and pay for each kilogram of fish you caught, be it talakitok or bangus. Excited to sample your fresh catch? Don’t worry. The resort can cook the fish for you – you only have to pay a reasonable cooking charge.
Aside from fishing, this part is also the best spot to take photographs – ganda ng view! I can say that this is one of the best places to do pre-nuptial photoshoots.
For our lunch they prepared SARAPinoy foods – sweet and sour fish, pinakbet, inihaw na pusit, clams soup. Opps I also love their banana muffins and special banana chips – the crunchiest and tastiest banana chips I’ve ever tasted. They also have their special dessert called “monkey’s tail” – frozen ripe banana coated with chocolates and sprinkled with candies – sweet and really BANANA!
During your stay, be it on an overnight or day trip, you can sample the mouth-watering local cuisine served at Banana Beach Restaurant and Bar. You’ll find those tasty foods I mentioned above plus so many other delicious choices to enjoy.
|Banana muffins and their signature dessert - the Monkey's Tail|
You will never run out of activities to enjoy in Banana Beach Resort. Aside from the jungle tours, other activities you can do include kayaking, banana boating, horseback riding, and frisbee. There are also river cruises offered. Try your hand at kayaking, paddle boarding, mountain biking, and skim boarding. There are also ATVs for rent. There’s also a children’s playground that the kids are sure to love. Don’t forget to try the water trampoline.
Entrance fee is Php 750, but those who are residing in Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley will have 200-peso discount. The entrance fee is really worth the fun and excitement you can enjoy inside the resort. What’s so great about this is that the entrance fee is fully consumable on food and drinks, activities, tours, equipment, and other facilities across the property.
For a truly enjoyable and sulit vacation, you can book the tour and adventure packages. Some of the equipment rental fees will already be included in these package tours for you to really want to make the most of your trip.
I might go back here with my family or friends – not just for a day tour but for at least 2–3 days stay!
Thank you very much Banana Beach Resort for the tour and the sumptuous lunch. So much fun and memories – Sarap Bumalik!
Banana Beach Resort in Hijo Plantation is located in Brgy. Madaum, Tagum City Davao del Norte.
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