Jude The Tourist

Top 15 Hidden Gems of Tourist Spots in General Santos City 2023

General Santos City, also known as GenSan, is a highly developed city located in the southern part of the Philippines. It is the southernmost city in the country and the center of commerce and industry in the SOCCSKSARGEN region.

History of General Santos City

The history of General Santos City dates back to the early 20th century when it was still part of the then-municipality of Buayan. The area was sparsely populated, with most of the inhabitants being indigenous peoples, such as the B’laan and T’boli tribes.

In 1939, a settlement was established by the National Land Settlement Administration to encourage landless people from Luzon and the Visayas to settle in the area. This led to the influx of settlers from different parts of the country, who were attracted to the area’s vast fertile lands.

The area began to develop rapidly in the 1950s when the Philippine government launched a massive agricultural program to boost the country’s economy. General Santos City became the center of this program and was designated as the site of the country’s largest agro-industrial complex.

The city was named after General Paulino Santos, a former military man who was appointed by President Manuel Quezon to head the program. General Santos was tasked with the development of the area, and under his leadership, the city grew rapidly, attracting investments and industries.

In 1968, General Santos City was officially declared a city, becoming the 14th city in the Philippines. Since then, the city has continued to grow and develop, becoming a major player in the country’s economy and a hub of trade, commerce, and industry in the southern Philippines.

The city became a major player in the tuna industry and became known as the “Tuna Capital of the Philippines.” This led to a surge in economic growth and development, and the city became one of the fastest-growing cities in the country.

Today, General Santos City is known for its bustling markets, vibrant culture, and natural attractions. It is a popular destination for tourists, traders, and investors who are drawn to the
city’s rich history, diverse culture, and thriving economy.

Practical Information Tips for Visiting General Santos City


General Santos City has a relatively small and easy-to-navigate airport, with several flights from Manila and other cities in the Philippines. Jeepneys and tricycles are the main mode of transportation within the city. Be sure to negotiate the fare before getting in a tricycle.


General Santos City has a tropical climate with high humidity and temperatures ranging from 22°C to 33°C. The rainy season runs from June to October, so it’s best to bring rain gear if you plan to visit during this time.


As with any city, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and take basic safety precautions, such as avoiding unlit areas at night and not carrying large amounts of cash or valuables.


The main dialect spoken in General Santos City is Cebuano/Bisaya, but Tagalog and Ilonggo are also widely spoken and understood.


General Santos City is known for its fresh seafood, especially tuna. Don’t miss out on trying some of the local dishes such as grilled tuna belly, kinilaw (ceviche), and tuna panga (jaw).

Respect Local Customs

As with any destination, it’s significant to value local customs and traditions. In General Santos City, it’s common to greet people with a smile and a nod, and to remove your shoes before entering someone’s home.

How to Get to General Santos City

There are several ways to get to General Santos City, depending on your location and preference.

If you’re coming from Manila, the easiest way to get to GenSan is by plane. Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, and AirAsia offer daily flights to General Santos City from Manila. The flight takes about 1.5 hours.

If you prefer to travel by land, you can take a bus from Davao City to General Santos City. The travel time is around 3-4 hours, depending on the traffic.

If you have your own car, you can also drive to General Santos City. From Davao City, you can take the Pan-Philippine Highway (AH26) and follow the signs to General Santos City. The travel time is covering 3 hours.

Essential Items to Pack for a Trip to General Santos City

If you’re planning to visit General Santos City for a road trip or hiking, here are some essential things you may want to consider bringing:

Appropriate Clothing

General Santos City has a tropical climate, so you should bring lightweight, breathable clothes. If you’re planning to go hiking, you may want to wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and a hat to protect yourself from the sun and insects. If you’re planning to go on a road trip, comfortable clothes and shoes are recommended.


Comfortable and durable footwear is essential, especially if you’re planning to go hiking. Make sure you bring shoes that are designed for the type of terrain you’ll be walking on. It’s also a good idea to bring extra socks to keep your feet dry.

Water Bottle

It’s essential to stay hydrated when hiking or on a road trip, so bring a reusable water bottle to refill at water sources along the way. It’s also eco-friendly!


You’ll need fuel for your adventure, so bring some energy-rich snacks like trail mix, energy bars, fruits, or sandwiches.

Sun Protection

The sun can be intense in General Santos City, so bring a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen with a high SPF to protect your skin.

Insect Repellent

Mosquitoes and other insects can be a nuisance, so bring insect repellent to keep them away.

First Aid Kit

Accidents can happen, so it’s always a good idea to bring a basic first aid kit with bandages, antiseptic wipes, and pain relievers.

Mobile Phone and Charger

Keep your mobile phone with you, charged and ready in case of emergency.


General Santos City has beautiful landscapes, and you’ll want to capture your memories. Bring a camera or your phone with a good camera to take pictures and videos.

Personal Identification and Cash

Finally, don’t forget to bring your personal identification, such as your passport or driver’s license, and some cash for emergencies or to buy local products.

Top 15 Tourist Spots in General Santos City

Sarangani Highlands Garden

This garden is located in Purok Wal, Tambler, General Santos City. It offers a panoramic view of the Sarangani Bay and the city. Visitors can dine at the garden’s restaurant while enjoying the scenic view. To get there, you can take a tricycle or taxi from the city center.

Plaza Heneral Santos

This plaza is located in the heart of the city, at the intersection of Pioneer Avenue and J. Catolico Street. It is a popular spot for locals to hang out and relax. Visitors can take photos with the statue of General Paulino Santos, the founder of the city. To get there, you can take a jeepney or tricycle from anywhere in the city.

Tuna Auction Market

The Tuna Auction Market is located at the Fishport Complex in Tambler, General Santos City. It is a unique experience to watch the auction of freshly caught tuna, which is the city’s main industry. Visitors can also buy fresh seafood from the market. To get there, you can take a tricycle or taxi from the city center.

Kalaja Karst Eco – Tourism Park

This ecopark is located in Barangay Conel, General Santos City. It features limestone formations, caves, and a waterfall. Visitors can hike and explore the park’s natural beauty. To get there, you can take a tricycle or habal-habal (motorbike taxi) from the city center.

Brigada Waterfalls

A hidden gem located in Prk. B’lakayo, Brgy. Olympog, General Santos City. It is a serene and peaceful destination, perfect for those who want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. The waterfall offers a refreshing swimming area and a picturesque view of nature. To get there, visitors can trek through the lush forest and experience the beauty of the journey. Overall, Brigada Waterfalls is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers.

Queen Tuna Park

Located in Barangay Dadiangas West, Queen Tuna Park is a public park that celebrates the city’s tuna industry. It features a statue of a tuna fish, a playground for children, and a jogging path. To get there, you can ride a jeepney or a tricycle.

Pacman Wildcard Gym

This is a boxing gym owned by the famous boxer Manny Pacquiao. Visitors can watch training sessions, take pictures with Pacquiao’s memorabilia, and buy souvenirs. Pacman Wildcard Gym is located in Acharon Blvd, General Santos City, which is a short ride from the city center. You can take a tricycle or a jeepney from the city terminal to the gym.

General Santos Fish Port Complex

This is the largest fish port in the Philippines and one of the busiest in Southeast Asia. Visitors can watch the unloading of fresh tuna and other seafood, as well as buy them at affordable prices. General Santos Fish Port Complex is located in Tambler, General Santos City, which is a short ride from the city center. You can take a tricycle or a jeepney from the city terminal to the port.

General Paulino Santos Museum

Located in Notre Dame of Dadiangas University, the General Paulino Santos Museum is a small museum that showcases the history and culture of the city. Visitors can see artifacts and exhibits related to the city’s indigenous people, its early settlers, and its modern-day industries. To get there, you can take a jeepney or tricycle from the city center.

Hill VI

A recreational spot located in Leyson Park, Nopol Hill Barangay Mabuhay, General Santos City. It is situated at the back of the National Grid Corporation and offers both a campground and an events place for visitors. Whether you are looking for a peaceful camping experience or an exciting event venue, Hill VI has something to offer. With its scenic location and diverse amenities, it is the perfect destination for anyone looking to enjoy the outdoors in General Santos City.

Anechka’s Peak

Anechka’s Peak is a popular tourist destination located in Tambler, General Santos City. It is known for its stunning views and breathtaking scenery, making it a perfect spot for vlogging and sightseeing. Entrance fee is 75 pesos, which is consumable, and inquiries can be made at Rachel’s Grill located within the peak.

Sunrise View

This is a serene mountain retreat nestled in the Balakayo Mountains of Brgy. Olympog, often referred to as “The Little Tagaytay of the South”. With its stunning views of the surrounding landscape, guests are invited to enjoy, relax and unwind in this peaceful getaway. Whether you’re seeking a romantic weekend escape or a family vacation, Sunrise View is the perfect destination to rejuvenate and recharge your batteries.

Malyango Peak

The viewpoint is located in Barangay Upper Labay. This peak stands at 1,300 meters above sea level and is part of the Malyango Range. The hike to the summit offers scenic views of the surrounding landscape, including forests, rivers, and nearby mountains.

Sanchez Peak – Balakayo Mountains

The viewpoint is located in Barangay Conel, this peak offers a challenging hike with steep ascents and rocky terrain. The trail passes through forests and grasslands, and hikers will be treated to panoramic views of the surrounding area from the summit.

Barikot View Deck

is positioned high up in the mountainous terrains of the city. Currently, it cannot be reached by any other means except motorcycles and bicycles but other people like to challenge themselves and hike the uneven roads to the top.is a popular tourist attraction located in General Santos City. It is a scenic viewpoint that offers a panoramic view of the city and its surroundings, making it a must-visit destination for tourists and locals alike.

Hiking in General Santos City’s mountains offers a unique experience for visitors, allowing them to explore the city’s natural beauty and diverse landscapes. Hikers can expect to see lush forests, waterfalls, and panoramic views of the city, Sarangani Bay, and nearby mountains. Visitors should also expect to encounter friendly locals and learn about the city’s rich culture and traditions. It’s recommended to bring proper hiking gear, plenty of water, and food for the hike, and to follow safety precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.


General Santos City and its surrounding areas offer a wealth of unique and exciting tourist spots for visitors to explore. From its vibrant city center to its natural wonders, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Visitors can learn about the city’s rich history and culture, enjoy its delicious food, and immerse themselves in the stunning landscapes and outdoor activities.

Whether you’re a nature lover, a history buff, or simply looking for a relaxing getaway, General Santos City and its surrounding areas are definitely worth a visit. With so many unique and diverse tourist spots to explore, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience that will leave you wanting more.

So why not plan your next trip to General Santos City today? With its friendly locals, delicious food, and endless attractions, it’s a destination that is sure to capture your heart and leave you with memories to last a lifetime.


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