There is so much life and bustle in the city, especially for crowded places like the cities of Metro Manila, yet it is a little ironic to find the people living there like the zombies, most of the time, because the hectic schedule of each person does not allow for a time to breathe. Therefore, if you need some time off in order to provide your soul the solemnity it desperately needs, get out of the city and remember that the Philippines has 7107 islands, just waiting to be explored.
So, what are you waiting for? Head out to the Samal Island, which is located at the Gulf of Davao, and discover the still-untouched island that is boasting of gorgeous beaches, natural and wildlife attractions, and of course, amazing people.
Isla Reta Beach
Only 45 minutes by boat from Sta. Ana Wharf, near the Park of Magsaysay, Isla Reta is one of the best beach that is located in Talicud Island. The word Talicud also came from a Cebuano terminology, which translates into the English word, “back,” and the island is named in this manner to indicate its location in the [back] of Samal Island. Similar to other beach resorts and islets scattered around the island, Isla Reta Beach Resort is also an untouched wonder of nature, filled with natural corals and rich sea life, so walking along the seashore is going to fill tourist with amazement and a sense of peace. Tourist are allowed to grill in the resort and does not take corkage for the drinks that people would be bringing with them. The entrance fee is Php 100.00/person for the day tour and Php 200.00 if you are going to stay overnight. You can get more information about Isla Reta through their facebook page and website.
How to Get There: 45 minutes away from Sta Ana Wharf, you can get the boat which departs as early as 6AM and 9AM with 1PM as the last trip from Davao. The fare is only P80.00 for the one-way trip. Alternatively, if you are already in mainland Samal, take a bus or habal-habal to Kaputian District and ride a boat from there to Isla Reta. You can contact them at 09989916690.
You are going to drool at the wonderful shoreline view of Kaputian Beach and it would certainly be an experience of a lifetime to experience with your own feet and skin its fine, powdery, and pure white sand! According to tourist, it is still untouched and so the cleanliness of the place adds an additional aura to the enchanting beach. If you are at Isla Reta, you would see Kaputian Beach from your view. The good news is it is so affordable for only Php 10/person for the entrance fee for day tour and Php 75.00/person overnight!
How to Get There: From the city of Davao, go to Magsaysay Park and take an Island City Express bus going to Penaplata. From there, take the same bus to Kaputian District. Then once you reach the bus terminal, ride a habal-habal going to Kaputian Beach. You can contact them at 082 275 4793.
Nothing is as relaxing as going into a secluded place that is also full of comfort and warmth. Dayang Beach Resort is located in Talicud island as well, but it is more secluded than the others and it feels like having the white stretch of powdery shoreline all for yourself. The wifi and mobile signal are poor so you would be detoxified of the internet as well. Good thing is it only cost Php 50/person for the day tour and Php 100/person for the overnight stay.
How to get there: From the airport or anywhere in Davao City, ride a taxi and go to Sta. Ana Wharf. Take a boat to Dadatan Wharf. The boat which leave as early as 6AM and 9AM with 1PM as the last trip from Davao. From Dadatan wharf, charter a habal-habal going to Dayang Beach Resort. Fare is around P80 for one trip. You can contact them at 09994591318.
This has drawn more attention from tourist because of its charming beach ambience, high-class cottages and posh-designed furniture, but it has an amazing modern infinity pool that offers a breathtaking view of the scenic Samal Island and the picturesque view of the sunset. They also offer international cuisine in order to cater to everyone’s taste buds!
How to get there: From Babak, the trip may take 30-45 minutes since the roads are not yet totally concrete. Head to Baranggay San Isidro and just be guided by the signage’s on the road. You can contact them at 082 305 2774.
Costa Marina Beach
If you have a tight budget, then go to Costa Marina beach because it is one of the closest white sand beaches to the city proper of Davao, which means that you can cut-cost in transportation fees and of course, save some time. You can reach Costa Marina via 15-minute boat-trip but despite its nearness to the city, it still feels like a different world. It cost about Php 120/person for the day tour and Php 220 for the overnight stay.
How to get there: It can be reached by a 15 minute boat ride from the Sasa Dock Area (Paradise Island Dock). You may also bring your car to the resort via a ferry boat ride (which cost more). The first regular boat trip leaves the port at 5:00 am and last trip is at 5:00 pm. Special trips may be arranged with the Management but with a different price quotation. You can contact them at 028 233 1209.
BlueJaz Beach Resort
If you want more adventures for your trip, then try going to BlueJaz Resort, which has a lot of activities waiting just for you! There are water slides everywhere and one are even dedicated just for the kids, they have thunder rapids, pirate slide and shark slides for the brave ones out there, but it is the goofy atmosphere that draws the people to BlueJaz resort and of course, the amazing view of the white sand beach. You can get all of this for only Php 100/person for the day-tour!
How to Get There: Bluejaz is about fifteen minutes away from Davao International Airport. It has its own passenger boat that services Resort guests between The Beachside Resort, Maryknoll Road in Barangay Vicenta Hizon, on the mainland Davao City directly to the Resort. Average boat ride to the Resort is approximately 3 to 5 minutes. You can contact them at 082 284 2000.
Punta de Sol
Natural wonders are gifts that Philippines have never fully appreciated, but Punta de Sol would definitely make it clear to you just how blessed we are with natural resources, because you would be facing Davao Gulf itself with their location. It provides a wide array of water activities such as scuba diving, snorkeling and more. Day tour rate is about Php 70/person and overnight rate is at Php 140/person.
How to get there: Take a taxi going to Sta. Ana Wharf, from there charter a Punta del Sol boat to take you to the resort. The rate is 500 pesos for a one way trip. You can contact them at 082 221 2121.
Pearl Farm Beach
If you are already on your way for a trip of a lifetime, then go all-in and visit Pearl Farm Beach, which is one of the most expensive resorts in Samal Island. It is a 14-hectare property situated in the coastal area and boasts of its white sand beach, stylish accommodations, a distinctive bar and an infinity pool. The resort’s day tour rate is at 1,850 pesos on weekdays and 2,500 pesos on weekends. Accommodations for an overnight stay starts at around 7,000 pesos per room during off peak season.
How to get there: Visitors to the resort must proceed to the Pearl Farm Beach Resort’s Davao where they will take a 45 minutes to 1 hour boat ride to Samal Island. Boat transfer is already included in the rates. You can contact them at 082 235 1234.
Canibad Beach Cove
Canibad Beach Resort in Baranggay Aundanao Samal is still underdeveloped, but it is naturally breathtaking. Honestly, the laid-back and secluded atmosphere together with the rustic designs are the reasons why it is right for you. There are no posh restaurants around the area and no 1st-class accommodations, thus, you have to bring a tent and a food of your own.
How to get there: For your convenience, take your own car to Sasa barge. There are two ways to get to Canibad, either take the babak baranggay highway to Aundanao or take the route of Penaplata. Travel time may take around 2 hours from Davao City. However, if you couldn’t bring your own vehicle, you may still ride the barge then hire a multicab or motorcycle to take you to Canibad Beach. You can contact them at 09063077878.
If it is privacy that you really want, then look no further than going to Buenavista Island wherein for a time, you are an island-owner! The luxury island resort is only rented out as a whole for one group alone at a certain time, so you have to book the entire island for your trip. It is pricey, about Php 64,000/ten person for the day tour and Php 137,000/ten person for an overnight stay, but it’s so worth it. The entire white sand beach is for you and your companions, the pool and the bar and the cottage! Imagine all the fun!
How to get there: From Davao International Airport, the trip to the Island will take approximately an hour. A van will pick you up from the airport and take you to the Sasa Wharf, where a ferry or barge will take you to the Island Buenavista. (Transfers are included in the packages.) You can contact them at 082 299 2992.
(all images in this article are credited to their respected owner)