DAPITAN CITY TRAVEL GUIDE: Best Things To Do and 5 Top Destination Spots
Born and raised in the beautiful province of Zamboanga del Norte, Dapitan City is more than just a place that we have read in history books. It’s far beyond the historically based stories of Dr. Jose Rizal’s exile. Dapitan being rich in history and culture is what usually captivates Filipino tourists to visit this thriving city, but all the events that took place in it has wonderfully shaped this ever-changing place into a magnificent destination city.
Dapitan City is most well-known because of its historical treasure as our national hero Dr. Jose Rizal spent 4 years of his life in the city where he was exiled. He gives Dapitan its identity establishing it as a unique place where Philippine history unfolded. It is like slipping into the crack of time and find yourself caught in a time wrap.
Dapit na sa Dapitan City this 2023 through this ultimate travel guide with updated list of the best destinations in the city, new places for food trip, things to do, and a lot more.
Top 5 Travel Destination Spots in Dapitan City
With a number of scenic attractions, breathtaking views and very inviting travel spots that have emerged in the city over the years, Dapitan has remained raw, calm and admirable. My one week itinerary has taken me to a lot of places in Dapitan City, but these are my most recommendable destination that you must visit.
1. DAKAK PARK AND BEACH RESORT — The Best Beach resort in Dapitan City
Dakak Park and Beach Resort offers all the fun and excitement within the comfort of your own spacious and private bedrooms with a touch of class and elegance
Over the years, the amenities and activities of Dakak have been expanding and so, a day tour possibly wouldn’t be enough especially if you’re an adventure seeker like me. I’m not saying that you have to try everything, but with a wide varieties of things to do, your adventurous self might want to consider.
- Dakak Safari Adventure Zone
- Dakak Aqua Sports
- Dakak Golf Club
- Dakak Yoga Wellness Club
2. VILLA ANGELINA LUXURY SUITES — The Luxury Wing of Dakak Park and Beach Resort
Villa Angelina Luxury Suites is a highly exclusive resort that is a luxury wing of Dakak Park and Beach Resort.
It has an exclusive amenities with a royal service treatment to its guest. If you want to be a bit luxurious when you travel to Dapitan City, book an overnight stay in Villa Angelina Luxury Suites and get a free access in Dakak Park and Beach Resort with your own resort service.
- Soaked in a warm bubble jacuzzi bath
- Get mesmerized with the view of infinity swimming pool
- Experience a premium relaxation in Spa At The Villa
- Visit the manmade waterfalls at Sabores Del Mar
- Chase that sunset at Sunset Cove
3. ALIGUAY ISLAND — Best Diving Spot in Dapitan City
Living the island life in #CampAliguay means beautiful sunrise, bike tour, scuba diving, bonfire by the beach, and a lot more. The way of life in the island is much slower, but time seems to be moving fast.
Aliguay Island boasts of its calm, serene vibes with rich natural resources, heartwarming locals, white sand, and heavenly blue waters. The vast and alluring clear water of the Sulu Sea is a sight to see as you cruise by and if you get lucky, dolphins may jump in the fun along with the boat with you.
- Take a photo in the “I Aliguay”
- Rent a bike for PHP50 to tour the island
- Bonfire by the beach
- Bring a tent and camp out
- Book a scuba dive experience through Dakak Aqua Sports
- Play a beach volleyball
- Enjoy a sunrise or sunset walk in the coastline
- Seafood trip at Tacubo Restaurant
- Take a photo of the beach swing in front of the Tacubo restaurant
- Freediving in Aliguay island
4. SELINOG ISLAND — Must-Visit Island in Dapitan City
Selinog Island is one of the best destinations that you must visit along with Aliguay Island.
With its white sand beaches and rich aquatic resources, this island is a breath of fresh air especially to travelers who seeks of an island escape away from home. The island can be enjoyed in one day, but to make the most out of it, I highly suggest that you should book an overnight trip instead of a day tour.
- Bike Tour in Selinog Island
- Visit Catappa Cafe — The first cafe in Selinog Island
- Swimming in the crystal clear water near the Sandbar
- Take a Photo in “Selinog Island” Landmark
5. GLORIOUS FANTASYLAND — The Best Theme Park Destination in Dapitan City
Glorious Fantasyland Complex (formerly Gloria de Dapitan) is a world-class business, entertainment, and gastronomic destination nestled at the heart of Dapitan City. Glorious Fantasyland showers its spectators with a magical array of dreamy characters, exciting rides, thrilling shows, enchanting sights, and joyous music to the ears. It is home to the truly scary Horror House and the biggest corkscrew coaster in the country, the ZIMMERMAN!
- Experience their 22 theme park rides
- 6 unique restaurants food trip
- Festival of Colors
- Fun games
- Snow World
- Lakbay Pinas
- Go Kart
- Studio 77 Glorious Fantasyland
Come and visit Gloria’s Fantasyland – Where Every Day is a Festival!
8 Best Things To Do AND ACTIVITIES In Dapitan City
As a local, I have seen and experience its vibrance and diversity. Now, I want to celebrate its culture, people, food, nature, and a lot of adventures by sharing the best things to do in Dapitan City.
1. Freediving in Tag-ulo Reef
2. Daytour Hike or Overnight Camp in Mt. Lab, Dapitan City
Mt. Lab is
Mt. Lab in Dapitan City is a beginner-friendly peak to trek.
3. Tour the Rizal Park and Shrine
The José Rizal Memorial Protected Landscape, also known as the Rizal Park and Shrine, is a protected landscape and memorial to the Philippines’ national hero located in Dapitan City.
The shrine features a collection of structures that retells the tales of former Dapitan and the passion of an extraordinary man who lived as an exile with a purpose—to teach and serve the Dapitanons. The legacy of his life lies in the stories wrought in the place, the poems written, and insights gained when one visits the Rizal Shrine.
4. Visit the Punto del Disembarco de Rizal
On this beach of Sta Cruz, Jose Rizal landed at 7:00 pm on July 17, 1892 to begin the life of an exile in Dapitan. Today, it’s now one of the most visited historic landmark in Dapitan City
5. Visita Iglesia in St. James Church
A lasting heritage and symbol of Christianization of the region and locality, St. James Church and the Catholic Rectory are two edifices that have withstood the test of times. It is also where Rizal hear mass every Sunday during his exile.
6. Relief Map of Mindanao
The Relief Map of Mindanao is a historical landmark in Dapitan City that is situated across St. James Church. The map is made of grassy mounds in rough scale of the Mindanao Islands.
With an area of more or less 900 square meters in size, it is part of Jose Rizal’s beautification project to the town plaza. It is also intended as a motivating device for teaching geography and history to his pupils in Dapitan. The stone fence around the map was built by the Americans sometimes in the 1920’s.
7. Aniana Adasa Heritage House
The Aniana Adasa Ancestral house is one of the fascinating heritage houses in Dapitan City. Housing the city tourism office and heritage office today, this ancentral house is a beautiful turn of the century wooden structure built by Don Aniano, a notable and prominent political figure once served before the Philippine revolution against Spain.
The imposing two-storey house said to be the biggest and one of the oldest resident houses in Dapitan City. The city is rich with history and culture that’s why I suggest to visit a few heritage houses during your visit. Along with the Aniano Adasa ancentral house, you might also want to check Balay Hamoy which is now a must-visit museum in the city.
8. Hike the Ilihan Pill
Known today simply as Ilihan Hill, it is an elevation of about 112ft located right in the middle of the Poblacion and just a stone’s throw away from the city plaza.
How to get to Dapitan City
Dapitan City can be traveled by a different mode of transportations as more transportation facilities were developed to give convenience to those who want to visit the Shrine City of the Philippines.
✈️ By Air
If you’re coming from Luzon and Visayas area, daily air trip schedules are available bound for Dipolog City with an approximate travel time of 80 minutes (Manila) and 45 minutes 9Cebu) by local airlines such as Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific. Dipolog City airport is just 14 kilometers away. Once you go outside the gate of the Dipolog airport, take a tricyle going to the Dipolog City Integrated Terminal. The fare will costs around ₱60.00 to ₱100.00.
🚌 By Land
Dapitan City is accessible by a land trip both for private vehicles and public transportation bus from Dipolog City which is the only arrival city of all local flights in Zamboanga del Norte. From the Dipolog City Integrated Terminal, take an Evergood bus that will take you to Dapitan City which costs around ₱40.00 to ₱60.00. Another entry point by land are from Ozamis City, Pagadian City, Cagayan de Oro, and Zamboanga City.
- Rural Transit Bus on all bus terminals at all times 24 hours
- Evergood Transit or Vans on Regular Trips – Dipolog to Dapitan City for 30 minutes
🚢 By Boat
Many domestic shipping companies like Medallion, Cokaliong, GP, Montenegro Lines that offer ferry routes going to Dapitan City vice versa from Visayas area like Cebu and Dumaguete, and nearby region. From Pulauan port, the downtown can be reached with just a short 10-min ride. While it will take around 30-40 minutes travel time from Galas port in Dipolog City.
Very soon, Dapitan City will be offering a route going to Siquijor from Pulauan Port with Starlite Shipping.
Getting Around The City of Dapitan
Getting around is easy because Dapitan City has motorized tricyles that are spread throughout the city for affordable, laid-back trips. You can also have it rented for a private trip to tour around Dapitan City.
🛺 TRICYCLE / BAO-BAO — Tricycles, habal-habal, and “bao-bao” rides are available for your convenience and a minimum of PHP 15.00 fare price will cover short distances within the heart of the city.
🚘 For group travelers, I highly recommend to rent a private van/car to tour the city of Dapitan. It will also conveniently reached you to coastal areas which are the best destinations that you should tick off on your list when you visit Dapitan City,
Where To Stay in Dapitan City
- Travelbee Heritage Inn
- Racquel’s Pension House
- Dakak Park and Beach Resort
If you feel extra luxurious, stay in the most premiere hideaway in the south — VILLA ANGELINA LUXURY SUITES and experience the vacation fits for royalty.
Where to Eat in Dapitan City
- Glorious Fantasyland Complex
- Beer and Barbecue
- Chow Bai
- Taguilon Bay Bistro
PRO RECO: Craving for some affordable coffee? Try the pop-up coffee store at Buena’s Brewery located at Sta. Cruz Beach, Sunrise Boulevard.
Pasalubong Delicacies of Dapitan City
Dapitan City proudly stands for its local delicacies exported and distributed in the national market and even outside the Philippines.
One of their well-known product delicacy is the cassava chips. The product is made purely by the hands and heart of pure Dapitanons wherein the production has became the main source living of some of the local farmers of Dapitan City.
With its satisfying taste, it’s not surprising to me that this cassava chips has gone international as well and they are now exclusively exporting to S&R market.
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO To DAPITAN CITY
Dapitan is a laidback lifestyle city. It’s adaptable to most people from different walks of life because it has a lot to offer. From budget traveler, solo adventurers to those who want to experience luxurious staycations. But no matter what type of traveler you are, here are some tips that you can take away with you when you visit Dapitan City.
- Bringing cash with you is less-hassle than paying through cards.
More information about Dapitan City
Follow their official social media pages to get the latest updates about Dapitan City
- Local Government Unit of Dapitan City
- Dapitan City Tourism