The Island Garden City of Samal or simply Samal is the famous beach destination in Davao Del Norte. If you’re looking for white sand beaches and fun water activities, Samal is one of best islands to be.
How to Get to Samal Island from Davao City
There are three ways to get to Samal Island as follows:
- Ride a ferry boat from Sta. Ana Wharf that stops at Kaputian and Talikud Island. The wharf is located at the downtown area near Magsaysay Park.
- Ride a ro-ro boat from Sasa Wharf going to Babak Wharf which is available 24 hours a day. Fare is only PHP10 with 10-minute travel time.
- Ride Island City Express Bus that will be transported via ro-ro boats at Sasa Wharf to Babak Wharf.
From the three options, we went to Samal via Sta. Ana Wharf. Located near the wharf is a small parking space where we left the car we brought and paid for an overnight parking fee of PHP 30.
Walking to the docking area, we found several boats waiting for passengers. We just asked one of the vendors which one is going to Talikud Island. Hopping in to the right boat, there were still lots of vacant seats. There were many vendors going in and out of the boat selling food and other stuffs.
We arrived at the wharf at 10AM and the boat just left at around 11:30AM. Yes, the boat will not leave until all seats are occupied. Better go to the wharf at an earlier time so you can arrive at Samal at an earlier time as well.
We paid PHP50 going to Kaputian Island. Someone will go around to collect fare once the boat leave the wharf. Kaputian Island is the first drop off point with almost 1 hour travel time.
Samal Island Hopping
We started our island hopping at around 7AM and finished at 11AM. We paid PHP 1950 for our island hopping through Red Parrot Inn near Kostal Resort where we stayed (recommended by our habal-habal driver). The islands we visited were only 20 – 30 minutes away from each other.
The first island that we were supposed to visit was Angel’s Cove. They say it’s a good diving and snorkeling spot. Unfortunately, our boatman told us we can’t dock and swim because of high tide and the water current was a bit strong. We just passed by the cove and proceeded to the next one.
We next stopped at Coral Garden. As its name implies, the place is a sanctuary of different coral formations making it a good spot for diving and snorkeling as well. There were quite a number of formations we saw but we were not able to explore it much since the water is not that calm during our visit. I believe there is more to that 4-kilometer stretch of rich marine sanctuary.
Though we were not able to see much at Angel’s Cove and Coral Garden, we had so much fun visiting the Starfish Island. We were much delighted with the really huge starfish lying beautifully at the seafloor. Clear, turquoise water in the area reveals that seabed made of fine, white sand. We enjoyed swimming here a lot while gazing at the starfish everywhere.
Isla Reta 2
The last island we visited was Isla Reta 2. We were welcomed by fine, white sand and lucid, blue waters. We paid a fee of PHP20. The island is not that developed yet and we found locals still constructing cottages in the area. Nevertheless, we took so much time swimming here as we spoiled ourselves with the very cold waters of the island which was more than refreshing. A small cave can also be found.