Samal, officially the Island Garden City of Samal, or sometimes called IGaCOS. It is a 4th class city in the province of Davao del Norte, Philippines. This place is the destination if you are looking for tranquility and great adventures. You can also do extreme challenges with nature in this island.
Samal is an island paradise located in Davao Gulf, just a stone throw away from Davao City. The very beautiful island is blessed with beautiful coast with white sand beaches. It has abundant marine life, magnificent rock formations, and flourishing flora and fauna. It is home to the famous Pearl Farm Beach Resort, which was once literally a pearl farm.
This place is a gem because it has so many treasures within it. These are their rivers, waterfalls, heritage houses, and the world renowned cave that hosts the world’s biggest colony of fruit bats. All these make this island a potential world-class eco-tourism destination in this part of the Philippines.
HOW TO GET TO SAMAL ISLAND
Davao City is the jump-off point for Samal Island.
Davao is accessible via air or land/water travel from major cities in the country and the South East Asia.
From Davao City, boats and ferries are available at Sta. Ana Wharf and Km. 11 Wharf in Sasa.
The travel time will take you less than 30 minutes from Davao City to Samal Island.
WHERE TO STAY IN SAMAL ISLAND
WHAT TO DO IN SAMAL ISLAND
You can do a day trip or an overnight trip at Samal Island.
Yet our group decided to have 2 consecutive day tours at Samal. We still decided to stay at Davao City during night.
The island has it all, choose from variety of activities that this island paradise offers.
Water sports: jetski, kayaking, banana boat ride
Snorkeling, scuba diving and free diving
Swimming and beach hopping
See the pawikan and dugong Santuaries
Visit Monfort Bat Cave in Babak District, home to 1.8 million Geoffrey’s Rousette fruit bat
Spelunking in Simbahan Dako Cave, Kimoko Cave, Mangongaong Cave and other caves in Talicud Island, Kaputian District and Babak District
Chase the island’s waterfalls – Hagimit Falls, Tambang Falls and Tagbaobo Falls
Island hopping – Samal Island, Talikud Island, Malipano Island and Ligid Island
SOME OF THE PLACES AND ACTIVITIES AT SAMAL ISLAND
Swimming and Photo Ops at Vanishing Island.
Discover the million number of bats at Monfort Bat Cave.
Take a 360 degrees look of the whole Samal Island at the Blue Bird View Deck.
Do a thrilling cliff jumping at Sabang Cliff.
Visit the largest Balete tree at the Island located at the Balete Park.
Swim and have fun at Hagimit Falls while enjoying a beautiful view.
Explore the beauty of Wishing Island. You can also stay there to cook and eat lunch.
Fun and amazing snorkeling experience with the corals and star fish.
Never miss out the Taclobo Tour and visit the largest clams Samal Island has to offer.
The fee for the ferry from Davao to Samal Island is 10PHP.
Out 2 days tour is around 1,990PHP each person. It includes the entrance fees, tricycle and habal-habal fee and also the boat fee.
TIPS AND RECOMMENDATION
Plan you trip ahead of time. I highly recommend Kuya Jonelvin Singson as the tour guide. He offers cheap and amazing Samal Island land tour and Island hopping. He is also very nice and accommodating. You can contact him at 09157134891 and 09079280732.
Samal is still the cheapest place to dive in the Philippines, rate starts at P750 per dive (gear and dive master included), Intro Dive is as low as P850 per dive while Open Water Certification starts at P12,5000
Mobile signal is available in the island
Best months to go is from April to August
Always bring water with you if you will be doing an Island Hopping.