Samal Island, Davao


Because of the countless inquiries regarding my trip to Samal Island, Davao, I decided to come up with this “Samal Island Davao Travel Guide.”

This post aimed at helping any traveler who would want to visit or stay in Samal Island, Davao.

maxima aqua fun

giant slide at Maxima Aqua Fun, Samal Island, Davao

The official name of Samal Island is the Island Garden City of Samal. Samal is a city in the province of Davao del Norte, Davao Region, Philippines. Samal Island is made up of Samal Island and the smaller Talikud Island in the Davao Gulf, making it a part of Mindanao Island group.

Samal  Island, Davao is just two kilometers away, which is just around 10 to 15 minutes sea ride from Davao City. This is also one of the major reasons why each time I visit Davao City, I would normally take a side trip to this lovely Island.

The Island Garden City of Samal is the largest resort city in the Philippines. It has lovely beaches dotting the island’s shores, hills are dominating the middle portions of the island. Talikud Island is located southwest of the main island. Samal Island is one of the most tourist destination in the country with many beach resorts ready to serve any willing tourist. Samal Island, Davao has also plenty marine reefs, tempting waters and tourist attractions that would be of interest to any tourists.

Samal Island, Davao

at view of Samal Island ,Davao from the ferry boat

Getting Around Samal Island, Davao

The modes of transportation on the island are tricycles or trikes and for those staying in big resorts, they have bus and private car services. For backpackers and budget travelers, Habal-habal is the most convenient one. One motorbike or Habal-habal (motorcycle) can take 2 passengers. It would be great to agree first on the rate before engaging on any trip to Samal Island.

Vanishing Island in Barangay Tambo, Samal Island , Davao

What to Do in Samal Island, Davao

Samal Island offers a wide array of activities which will surely excite any tourist.  In a nutshell, you can think of the following things before the visiting Samal Island, Davao:

  1. Try the gigantic slides which are 130 meters long and consist of two serpentine flume rides that drop 30 meters from tip to underside of the Bluejaz Beach Resort and Water Park.
  2. Experience an adrenaline rush with the giant tarpaulin slide of Maxima Resort Aqua Fun which will bring you down into the sea.
  3. Laze around all day at the luxurious Pearl Farm Beach Resort.
  4. Enjoy the challenges of windsurfing, water polo, jet-skiing, water-skiing, banana boat rides, scuba diving, sea kayaking, Hobie Cat, surfing, and even underwater photography offered by some big resort like Pearl Farm beach Resort.
  5. Take hold of a free fall in the natural swimming pools of Hagimit Falls.
  6. Go spelunking at Balete , Mangongawong or Baga caves.
  7. Go mountain climbing at Mt. Puting Bato with an elevation of approximately 1,362 feet above sea level.
  8. Rent an ATV at the Hagimit Falls.
  9. Take a dip at the Vanishing Island in Barangay Tambo before it disappears when the tide gets high.
  10. See for yourself the more than two million bats living inside the Monfort Bats Conservation Park.
  11. Get to experience a piece of Philippine history in the  Japanese Cave House.
  12. Dive at the 150 hectares of Coral Garden and Marine Reservation Park on the island.

These are just a few of the numerous things that you can do in Samal Island, Davao.

ATV for rent at Hagimit Falls

Travel Tips for People Visiting Samal Island

  • If you are visiting just for a day trip, make sure to pack light. Habal habal is the best way to navigate the Island.So give yourself a favor by bringing only the essentials.
  • Most destinations offer food and drinks, no need to bring those bulky canisters.
  • Don’t forget to bring enough sunscreen.
  • Samal has beautiful beaches, don;t forget to bring your favorite swimwear.
  • Your camera with extra memory card will be your best gadget while exploring this beautiful Island.
  • Do bring your medicines.
  • Make yourself reachable when navigating the island with your mobile phone.

Where to Stay in Samal Island, Davao

The Island of Samal offers a wide array of resort selection to choose from. You can choose amongst these resorts depending on your budget.Click here for the List of Resorts in Samal.


Pearl Farm Beach Resort, Island of Samal

How to get to Samal Island, Davao

For Foreign Visitors, you can fly directly to Davao City International Airport. Or if you’re entering the Philippines via its capital city of Manila or other major cities in the country, just take a domestic flight to Davao City. The domestic flight to Davao City from Manila is by major airlines with a combined frequency of fourteen (14) flights daily.

Island Garden City of Samal launch pad is in Davao city, approximately 45 minutes away by motorboat. You can go to Sta. Ana Wharf and Km 11 Wharf in Davao where there are small boats and even a ferry (if you are taking your automobile). If you will be staying in one of the big resorts such as Pearl Farm, they can bring a  separate motorboat for you.

For budget travelers, Davao City can also be reached by sea through Ferry from Manila or Cebu. Land trip to Davao from Manila is also available via Bicol, but it is going to be a very long journey.

Read here for our posts about Island Garden City of Samal, Davao:


Samal Island, Davao

at the Hagimit Falls

people enjoying the cool waters at Hagimit Falls

gigantic slides at Bluejaz Beach Resort and Water Park

Mt. Puting Bato, the highest peak in the Island of Samal

Samal Island, Davao

a closer look at the bats of Monfort Bat Sanctuary

thousand of fruits bats at Monfort Bat Sanctuary

The Giant Slide at Maxima Aqua Fun

The author resting at the water after experiencing the giant slide at Maxima Aqua Fun

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jojo vito

I am an entrepreneur, management consultant and artist who loves to travel and share my experiences with others. If you want your place to be featured, for partnerships and sponsorships, etc. - email me at jovito_intraspec@yahoo.com My Blogs: www.thehappytrip.com ;  www.toponmylist.com ; www.intraspectraining.wordpress.com www.jojovito.com 


  1. I’ll be in samal by saturday with my friend. Hope go enjoy our 1 day trip

  2. Do you know the boat schedules back to davao city? Very informative and detailed blog post by the way. Thanks

  3. Such a paradise!
    Renting motorbikes is nearly everywhere. Visit book2wheelcom now 🙂

  4. Ohh, I wanna visit this soon. SUch a fun place to visit and I can’t wait for my turn to go here hihi

    Thanks for sharing!

  5. Waaaa! I miss Davao, actually the slide in Maxima. I had a side trip to Samal after my tour in South Cotabato. I enjoyed that slide, plus the airbed thingy. Where you’re to jump and fly! The underwater world of samal is also awesome!

  6. I am from Davao and I approve of this. I wish you were able to experience cliff diving in Canibad too.

    • Hi! I am from
      Manila. It is possible to tour around samal if we arrived there around 9am but we’re going to leave our things first at oasis filinvest then go to where we can ride a boat going to samal? Can visit all of that mentioned above in a half day coz we’re going to davao city after? Thank you

  7. Samal looks to be like one of the most beautiful places to visit. I hope to go there with my family soon.

  8. that place looks amazing wish i can visit philippines soon. that falls! i wanna see all the waterfalls in philippines

  9. Wow this place looks amazing! I would definitely love to visit there one day, and there are so many fun things to do and explore!

  10. That slide looks like so much fun! And the water is beautiful!

  11. wow, what a beauty! I’ve been wanting to visit Davao for years. I’m looking forward to visit there when I come home. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Except for the bat sanctuary which would totally freak me out – this place looks awesome.

  13. What gorgeous place! Not sure I’d be brave enough to visit the bat sanctuary though! Yikes!!!

  14. This place looks amazing. And those water slides are calling my name.

  15. Those slides look amazing (and scary)! What a beautiful place!!!

  16. This looks like a super fun and full of adventures places! Would love to go for a whole week!

  17. Such a fun place to visit. I would love to go there and have some fun.

  18. I’ve visited Samal years ago and always love seeing the place because it’s just so clean and really beautiful.

  19. Such a fun and great place to go. I would love to take my family to Davao.

  20. Such a beautiful place. I want to go there with my family.

  21. Wonderful images! Thanks for sharing this guide. A must read for first time travelers! Awesome!

  22. I wish I can visit Davao this summer, it is one of my wishlist. I’m taking notes of the guide you listed here… very informative!

  23. There’s just so much to see and do there in Samal. The island is lovely and I think it’s great that most of the activities are also for kids. So it’s really perfect for a fun family trip!

  24. Everything looks taken out of a movie! im so jealous =) id love going there sometime…

  25. It looks like an amazing place to vacation! I would probably lounge around and go spalunking.

  26. I have never heard of samal island before, it definitely seems like my kind of place.

  27. This is a brand new place to me. I was happy to learn about it–never heard of it before.

  28. Wow such a beautiful place, I would love to go visit there one time, Your guide is so detailed to! Thank you for sharing

  29. These are wonderful places. I need to check these out as I want a beach vacation.

  30. Robin Rue (@massholemommy)

    That sounds like such a fun place to visit. I would love to go.

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