The City of Mati in Davao Oriental has one of the longest and most stunning white coastlines in Mindanao. Verdant forests and crystal clear blue waters readily greet visitors along the 8-kilometer well-paved winding roads that snake up and down a cliff overlooking the sea leading to this quiet coastal Province. While en route to Mati, visitors and travelers are greeted with a beautiful view of an island that resembles a plesiosaur-shaped dinosaur sleeping on its belly in Badas Point, Barangay Dawan. It is called the Sleeping Dinosaur Island. This natural attraction has a total land area of approximately 579 hectares. lt is cited as one of the key major tourism development areas of Davao Oriental's Tourism Master Plan.
|The City of Mati as viewed from Badas Point|
|Well-paved road leading to the City of Mati|
|Scenic road to Mati|
|Stopover of travelers to view the scenic sight along the road to Mati|
A plesiosaur is a prehistoric aquatic dinosaur that thrives in shallow or deep waters usually having a long neck with large, elongated head and a broad body with four paddle-shaped "flipper" limbs and a short tail. Considered as one of the largest marine predators of all time, with the smallest about 2 meters or 6.5 feet long, and the largest up to 15 meters long, a plesiosaur belongs in the order of Mesozoic marine reptiles that first appeared in the Early Jurassic and possibly Rhaetian, latest Triassic Period, thriving until the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction at the end of the Cretaceous Period. An example of this creature is the famed "Loch Ness Monster" of Scotland, affectionately referred to by the nickname "Nessie" which caught the world's attention in 1933. There is actually no evidence of its existence, and the creature is considered a modern-day myth. A plesiosaur somewhat looks like this:
There is a viewing deck situated beside the highway in Badas Point for travelers to have a clearer view of this uniquely-shaped island, however, buses do not usually stop at the viewing area.
How to get to the Sleeping Dinosaur Island
The Island is situated in Barangay Dawan in Mati, Davao Oriental and can be viewed along the paved winding road in Badas Point that leads to the city. It can easily be reached by motorboat within 25 minutes. The easiest way to get to the Province is through the Madaum diversion road which is shorter than the Davao-Tagum highway via private transportation or overland bus ride bound for Mati City - approximately 165 kilometers, or about 4 hours drive from the Davao Ecoland Bus Transport Terminal in Davao City.