Fun Things to Do in Samal Island
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Are you looking for another island (or two) to help get you closer to crossing off your list of visiting all 7,507 islands in the Philippines?
Davao del Norte features a hidden gem, which has become more and more popular to both local and foreign tourists because of its unspoiled beauty. Check out all the fun things you can do at the Island Garden City of Samal, the largest resort city in the country.
Visit the Monfort Bat Cave
The four large holes found within the sanctuary act as the bats’ homes and are actually connected in a single tunnel. It takes a lot of courage and the use of special equipment to be able to get inside the caves due to the pungent smell and heat from the poop.
Take a dip at Vanishing Island
This protected marine reserve full of mangrove trees and can be seen during low tide. At high tide, you can walk around in ankle-deep waters and go snorkeling or diving.
Swim in Haguimit Falls
Take a cool and refreshing dip at Haguimit Falls, which has beautiful rock formations, numerous small cascades and natural swimming pools. You can even camp in any of the camping grounds within the area.
Ride the habal-habal or bike around the island
The habal-habal is the fastest and most common mode of transportation to get around the island although there are also buses coming from Davao City to the island. The island’s lowlands, mountains and hills are also very popular among biking enthusiasts.
Quench your adrenaline thirst at Maxima Aqua Fun
Maxima Aqua Fun is best known for its 40-meter super slide which brings you plunging into 120-feet of deep sea. Other water sports to enjoy is the water blob and the banana slide. If water activities isn’t your thing, you can always do the canopy walk or camp overnight.
The island of Samal is covered with more than seventy natural caves including the Balete and Mangongawong Caves, which are characterized by exciting trails, and the Baga Cave, which looks like an underwater tunnel.
Camp at the most popular public beach
Samal Island is a very friendly place for campers, backpackers and budget travelers. The best place to go camping in the island is at Kaputian Beach, named so after its white sands.
Conquer your fear of giant slides
Another recommended place for adrenaline junkies is Bluejaz Beach Resort and Water Park, which features two 130-meter-long rides that drop you to a 30-meter-deep pool.
Get a great view of the island at Mt. Puting Bato
At just 1,755 feet, Mt. Puting Bato is quite an easy trail even for beginner hikers. You do need to endure a rather long and bumpy ride in a habal-habal but the covered trails and the unobstructed view of the island is totally worth it.
Check out the island’s only rice granary
You might just be surprised to find out that you can see those pictureque rice fields similar to those in Ifugao and Bali right in the middle of the island, in Barangay Aumbay.
Spend a day at the world-famous Pearl Farm Beach Resort
Pearl Farm Beach Resort is one of the places in Samal Island where you can enjoy a luxurious stay. You can spend a lazy day in its white sands or walk under the trees — whatever you decide to do, you are guaranteed to have a great time.
Visit the nearby Talicud Island
If you have had enough of Samal Island (one day isn’t enough, definitely), head over to to its next-door neighbor, Talicud Island. The island was named so because it is located at the back of Samal Island. It is covered with numerous resorts that are great for camping, perfect for the adventurous traveler.
To get to Samal Island, take a plane to Davao City from Manila or Cebu. You can then take a 15-minute RoRo ride from Sasa Wharf or a 45-minute ride from Sta. Ana Wharf.