Saturday, September 18, 2010

Part6: The Davao Experience - The Guide to Samal Island

When you're in Davao, a place that one should not miss is the Samal Island. Also known as IGACOS or Island Garden City of Samal, it is famous for their pristine beaches, falls, and beautiful resorts.

How to reach or get to Samal Island from Davao City?

There are numerous ways to reach the Samal Island.

Go to the Magsaysay Park and take a ferry to Sta. Ana. Wharf. It will take you to Kaputian Beach Wharf and the travel time is merely about an hour. You can either walk or ride a motorbike from there to reach Kaputian Beach.

Take the non-aircon Samal Island Bus known as the "Island City Express" from Magsaysay Park that will take you to IGACOS Ferry Terminal, the bus will ride a ferry going to Kinawitnon Wharf in Samal Island until it reaches PeƱaplata(Samal District).

If you're far from Magsaysay Park, you may go straight ahead to the terminal to minimize time. Take a cab and then ask the driver to bring you to IGACOS Ferry Terminal. It's along J.P. Laurel Avenue, right after the Davao International Seaport and just before Flying V Gas Station. There are jeepneys that may take you there, check signboard 'SASA' and ask if they can bring you to this port. Once you're here, wait until the Island City Express Bus arrives and ride it, no fees to be collected for waiting passengers. From the terminal, travel time to reach Samal Island via the Kinawitnon Wharf  is about 15 minutes.

Our expenses:
Taxi Fee from downtown - around Php 100 (other option: take a jeepney)
Island City Express Bus from the terminal - less Php 50.00 for the two of us

It is said to be the cheapest transportation to reach the Island so mostly locals here visit the island the roro way.

TIP: Be very quick in riding a bus, it does not usually stay long in the terminal

Here on terminal, there are no passenger boats for you to hop in. This port is only for RORO (roll-on roll-off ships), mostly those with vehicles like cars, buses and motorbikes. So if you like to bring your own vehicle and tour the whole Samal Island, this is the right track for you.

Sasa passenger boat is still along JP Laurel Avenue. It's located along SASA Km 11 just go straight ahead farther than the Igacos Ferry Terminal .  If you're riding a cab or a jeepney, tell the driver that you wanted to reach Samal Island by riding a passenger boat and not by a bus or roro. Taxi driver mistakenly took us to Igacos Terminal instead of the Sasa Samal Passenger Boat Terminal.

They say that rates here are more or less 100 pesos per head.

Some resorts here in Samal Island usually have private boats that offers transportation from Davao to the resort.

Transportation in Samal Island

Aside from the RORO Bus called "Samal Island City Express Bus" that starts from Kinawitnon Ferry Terminal then reaches PeƱaplata, most public transportation here is known as the Habal-Habal or riding motorbikes.  They are everywhere so if you're an adventurous type like what we did, take a Habal-Habal and negotiate with them for your tour.  Just that you need to apply lot of sunblock because of a hot and sunny weather.

Planning Samal Tour

Places to visit here is very very far from each other, so I may suggest to plan your trip wisely and pick those only that you really want to see if you do not have enough time.  I must say that one day is not enough to tour the whole island.  Habal-habal drivers knew mostly all places here so just tell them where you want to go.

What to see in Samal Island?

Some places to see:

Beautiful beaches and resorts - Kaputian Beach, Pearl Farm, Canibad Beach, Vanishing Island
Falls Hopping - Hagimit Falls, Tagbaobo Falls
Caving - Ligid Cave, Kimoko Cave, Simbahang Dako Cave, Mangongawong Cave, Malipano Island Cave
Diving site - Small Ligid Island, Big Ligid Island, Mushroom Rock, Punk Rock, Pinnacle Point, Sarangani Island
Mountain Trekking - Mount Puting Bato

Next Blog: The start of our one day Samal Island Trip!

You may want to check these too!
Davao: List of Hotels and Inns in Davao City
Part1: The Davao Experience - What to Expect?
Part2: The Davao Experience - Zip City at Night and Dencio's Hilltop
Part3: The Davao Experience: Jack's Ridge Resort and Restaurant
Part4: The Davao Experience - Outland Adventure Extreme Zipline!
Part5: The Davao Experience: Sites to See in Davao
Part7: The Davao Experience: Monfort Bat Cave in Samal Island
Part8: The Davao Experience - Canibad Beach Cove in Samal Island


Anonymous said...

Hi! thanks for sharing. Looks great!

We are planning to travel to Samal, but would you happen to know what the time table is for the last ferry from Samal to Davao? Or better yet, where can I find this info? Can't seem to find the ferry operator info on the internet that lists this time table info.

Thanks again for sharing!


adventurousfeet said...

I'll see what I can do, I'll try to search it for you

Anonymous said...

Hi im from davao!.. You can still take the ferry @ 10 pm- last trip.. there are 2 barge operating, so interval wud be like about 10-20 minutes.. :)

adventurousfeet said...

thanks for your input!!!

Anonymous said...

Hello, I would like to know if we can hire a means of transportation in Samal Island to bring us from point A to B? I am going there this coming July.


adventurousfeet said...

you mean the spots in Samal Island? I guess you need to hire your transportation from Davao City. From there you could go to Samal Island via roro then just visit one after another. We hired motorcycle/habal-habal in Samal because we're just 2.

Nicole said...

thanks dito! :D

adventurousfeet said...

you're welcome :)

Anonymous said...

Hello! Just want to ask if theres a beaches from davao terminal that dont need to take a boat? Tnx

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