My close friend, Agnes and her hubby, Jun booked a plane ticket for Davao City last March, and she asked me to come up with a three-day Samal itinerary. With my interest in travel management, I agreed provided that we:
- explore the island as backpackers
- spend enough time for every place we visit
- sleep in our tents
- make the trip as economical as possible
Since they happily agreed, I did some research, consulted a few people, and used Google maps for the geographical location of the best places in the island. Fortunately, the Samal itinerary below turned out to be just what we wanted. The weather was also on our side, so we could follow the schedule as planned.
Samal ItineraryI'm sharing our adventurous Samal itinerary with you (with minor edits). Hope you'll get an idea on how to spend your holidays in the island.
(as of March 2013)
|7:00 - 7:15 p.m.||Take the barge from Sasa Wharf, Sasa, Davao City to Babak District, Samal.||P10.00 / head|
|7:15 - 7:20 p.m.||Take the habal-habal from Babak Wharf to Marex Beach Resort.||P50.00 / head|
|7:20 onwards||Pitch tent, have dinner and explore the resort at night. (Note: if you want to order dinner at the resort, get there earlier).
||P60.00 / head for overnight entrance fee
P100.00 / tent
|5:30 - 6:30 a.m.||Dip in the water during moonset.
|6:30 - 7:45 a.m.||Have breakfast, wash up and pack up. (Note: if you want to order breakfast at the resort, do it the night before.)||-|
|7:45 - 8:00 a.m.||Walk to the Monfort Bat Colony, about 250 meters away from the resort.||-|
|8:00 - 9:00 a.m.||Observe more than 2 million bats in their natural habitat.||P100.00 / head|
|9:00 - 9:15 a.m.||Walk back to the resort and prepare for the trip to the vanishing island. (Note: it's much better to visit the vanishing island at low tide. Switch schedule with Monfort Bat Colony if necessary.)||-|
|9:15 - 9:30 a.m.||Take the ferry from Marex to the vanishing island.||P500.00 / boat (back and forth), max capacity is 10.|
|9:30 - 11:45 a.m.||Explore vanishing island; snorkel.
|11:45 - 12:00 noon||Take the ferry back to Marex.||-|
|12:00 - 1:00 p.m.||Have lunch.(Note: if you plan to eat your lunch at Marex, order first before you leave for the vanishing island.)||-|
|1:00 - 1:20 p.m.||Take the habal-habal from Marex to Hagimit Falls.||P70 to 100.00 / head|
|1:20 - 3:30 p.m.||Dip in the cool, invigorating water of Hagimit Falls
||P40.00 / head, excluding cottages|
|3:30 - 4:10 p.m.||Take the habal-habal from Hagimit Falls to the jump-off point of Tayapok trail for Mt Puting Bato. (Note: ask the driver to stop at Penaplata town in case you want to buy something for dinner.)||P70.00 to 100.00 / head|
|4:10 - 4:40 p.m.||Go trekking to Mt Puting Bato. (Note: you may also want to try the two-hour night trek via Guillon trail.)
||P100.00 for the guide|
|4:40 p.m. onwards||Pitch tent, have dinner, watch sunset and moonrise, and chill.||P20.00 for the entrance to the summit|
|5:30 to 6:00 a.m.||Watch sunrise and moonset.
|6:00 - 7:30 a.m.||Chill, pack up, have breakfast.||-|
|7:30 - 8:00 a.m.||Trek back to the jump-off point.
|8:00 - 8:30 a.m.||Take the habal-habal from the jump-off point to Madyaw Beach Resort in Canibad. (Note: most mountaineers would rather trek straight to the beach. It will take about two hours from the jump-off point.)||P80.00 / head|
|8:30 - 11:30 a.m.||Rest at Madyaw, snorkel and explore Canibad beach. (Note: you can choose other resorts, or you may just stay at the beach for free.)
||P40.00 / head for the entrance to Madyaw|
|11:30 - 12:00 noon||Take the habal-habal to Penaplata town for lunch. (Note: you can also have lunch at Madyaw Beach Resort.)||P120.00 / head|
|12:00 - 1:00 p.m.||Lunch||-|
|1:00 - 1:30 p.m.||Take the habal-habal to Kaputian ferry terminal.||P 50.00 to 70.00 / head|
|1:30 - 2:00 p.m.||Take the boat and cross the strait to Isla Reta Beach Resort in Talicud island.
||P 50.00 to 300.00 / head (depends on the number of passengers)|
|2:00 p.m. onwards||Snorkel, pitch tent, chill, watch moonrise, and explore Isla Reta Beach Resort.
||P150.00 / head for the overnight stay
P100.00 / tent
|5:30 - 7:00 a.m.||Watch sunrise and go for a morning swim.||-|
|7:00 - 8:00 a.m.||Pack up, have breakfast and order packed lunch.||-|
|8:00 - 9:00 a.m.||Take a privately hired boat to Coral Garden.||P3,500.00 / boat, max capacity is 8. This includes the ride to Taklobo Sanctuary to Adecor community.|
|9:00 - 12:00 nooon||Snorkel, snorkel and snorkel; eat lunch.
|12:00 - 1:00 p.m.||Proceed to Gian Clam Sanctuary, pass by Pearl Farm Resort.||-|
|1:00 - 2:00 noon||Observe colorful, cultured giant clams.
||P75.00 / head|
|2:00 - 2:30 p.m.||Dock at Adecor community and change clothes. (Note: No public toilets are available, so bring your malong.)
|2:30 - 3:00 p.m.||Take the habal-habal to Babak Wharf||P50.00|
|3:00 - 3:15 p.m.||Take the barge from Babak Wharf to Sasa, Davao City. (Note: you may also want to take the ferry from another terminal; it's just close to the wharf.)||P10.00|
|End of Adventure|
Other Things to Know
Things you must bring for this trip are the following:
- Swimming clothes
- Light trekking clothes
- Mask and snorkel (and fins if you have)
- Life vest (for those who can't swim)
- Outdoor sandals (or slippers if you're used to wearing that footwear for an easy climb)
- Shades and arm cover to protect you from the scorching heat of the sun during habal-habal rides
Please take note, though, that this Samal itinerary is not for people who are looking for convenience and comfort during their vacation. At the end of the trip, you may experience muscle pain all over your body, especially if you're not used to trekking and backpacking. However, I can assure you that at the end of the adventure, you'll be able to appreciate the island better.
For habal-habal drivers, please contact the names below. We were with them during this trip, but if they have changed their numbers, just find one on the island. As far as our experience is concerned, most drivers are tourist-friendly.
- 09282286279 - Titing
- 09483443330 - Warren
Let me know if you're using this Samal itinerary or if you have other suggestions to make this schedule better.