General Santos International Airport is located on the southern end of the island of Mindanao in the Philippines. Known as GenSan, it replaced the older and smaller Buayan airport in 1996. It's a provincial airport with one terminal and one runway. The terminal hosts duty-free shops and a few food vendors.
Rental Cars at General Santos Airport
Avis and Eurocar are the main options for car rentals near General Santos Airport. Eurocar advertises a car rental counter inside the airport. Avis offers meet-and-greet service at the airport provided by its rental office at the East Asia Royale Hotel.
Avis also provides a 24-hour car return at the airport. This a good option for drivers who are comfortable leaving keys in a drop box.
Renters should reserve cars several months in advance since choices and inventory are quite limited. At times only cars with manual transmissions are available. Drivers should check transmission details listed on the screen before completing an online reservation.
Drivers can secure an International Driving Permit before their trip to make the rental process easier. Renters must show their driver's license and a credit card at the time of pick-up.
There are few gas stations in General Santos City. Prior to returning their car, drivers can fill the tank at the Petron station off Digas-Makos Road.
Driving Conditions near General Santos International Airport
Roads are paved, and traffic is manageable between General Santos Airport and General Santos City, located about 18 kilometres away. From the airport, drivers can take local roads to connect to Pan-Philippine Highway AH26, the main artery leading into the city.
Inside the city, tricycle cabs clog the streets and cause traffic jams. Rental car drivers should watch for these cabs as well as pedestrians. Drivers should look for traffic signs since there are many one-way streets too.
Sightseeing in General Santos City
GenSan is known for an abundant supply of fresh yellowfin tuna. Early risers can see the action at the Santos City Fish Port Market, just 12 kilometres from the airport. Visitors can watch giant marlin and tuna deliveries from local fishing boats.
Visitors should prepare for the sights and smells of a working fish market. Market goers must wear rubber boots to get into the market. Tourists can rent boots at the safety office if needed.
Travellers can share the customs and culture of an indigenous Philippine tribe at the T'Bouli Settlement on Lake Sebu. This two-hour trip is about 105 kilometres from the airport. Visitors are welcome to explore the crafts and colorful costumes of the local people here.
The city is also the hometown of champion boxer Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao. Sightseers can take a tour with highlights including the neighbourhood where the fighter grew up, his gym, and church. Fans may want to stay at Roadhaus Economy Hotel, which is owned by Pacquiao.
There's plenty to see and do near General Santos International Airport. A rental car makes it easy for visitors to see all the tourist hotspots throughout the city.