The Philippines is well-known for its attractive islands, but a few stand above the rest. The Samal Island is one these islands due to its unspoiled beauty that entices countless travelers every year.
Now if you are one of the thousands of people who are planning to visit the islands of Samal, here is your travel guide to get you started:
Why go – If sparkling waters, white sandy beaches, private islands and caves, and top-of-the-line beach resorts get you excited, then Samal may be the place for you. You can laze around all day, frolic in the sand, go island-hopping, or participate in the dozens of festivals and celebrations on the island!
Why not go – Samal Island is a 2nd class city which means that there are not too many shops and restaurants as there would be in a metropolis. If you thrive in city lights and the chaos of the urban environment, this may not be the place for you. However, if you long for a combination of the urban and seaside vacation, Samal will be perfect.
Best time to visit – This portion of Mindanao is blessed to have fewer typhoons throughout the year but it does have its share of rain in the wet season. The dry months are from December to May while the rains come in June to November. Get the most out of your trip during the summer season. With the dozens of festivals on the island, you can opt to visit during those times to partake in the celebrations.
Where to stay – The most famous resort in the island is the Pearl Farm Beach Resort. With great accommodations built on stilts that sit right above the waters, you can listen to waves at night with a fantastic seaside view. You can also choose from the dozens of other hotels located on the beach front.
Scuba Diving – The Samal Island is scuba diver heaven. There are dozens of wreck sites around the island that are decades old. Islets like Talikud and Liguid are blessed with beautiful coral reefs and abundant marine life as well.
Spelunking – Great caves such as the Balete, Baga and Magongawong Caves surround the island where spelunkers will have time of their life discovering things and following trails.
Mountain Climbing – Even if Mount Apo is quite far from Samal, climbers will find Mt. Puting Bato a great climb as well. The mountain is located right on the island, which provides a picturesque view of the land, sea and sky when you reach the top.
Island Tour – Take a cruise around the island and see over 20 beach front resorts along the 116-kilometer stretch of the white sandy beach.
How to get there – Davao city remains the island’s launch pad and is about 45 minutes away by motorboat. You can head to Sta. Ana Wharf and Km 11 Wharf in Davao where small boats are available to take you there. If you have accommodations in any of the big resorts, they will be providing separate motorboats exclusively for their guests. Since Davao has an international airport, you can get there from Macau, Singapore and Seoul.
Protected from commercialization to preserve ecotourism, Samal Island is the ultimate island paradise for city-weary travelers.