Samal is a sun-soaked island fringed by white-sand beaches and swaying palms. Also known as the “Island Garden City of Samal”, it’s one of the biggest resort destinations in the Philippines. You’ll find accommodation for every budget, from family-run guesthouses to luxury resorts with tropical gardens, private beaches and overwater bungalows.
Things to do in Island Garden City of Samal
Spend the day sunbathing on Kaputian Beach. Popular with locals, the low-key beach features a long strip of shimmering sand fringed by aquamarine water. Head to Pearl Farm Beach Resort for a livelier scene. Day passes unlock access to the iconic resort, where you can bask on pristine beaches, swim in the lagoon-style pool and make a splash with water sports like kayaking, snorkelling, jet skiing and banana boat rides.
Visit a colony of more than two million Rousette fruit bats at the Monfort Bat Cave. The leather-winged bats hang from the ceiling of the 75-metre-long cave and thrive in the warm, tropical climate. Visit at dusk to see the bats swarm out of the cave and head to the highlands to feast on fruits like durian.
Cool off in the crystalline natural pool beneath Hagimit Falls. The falls cascade down a rocky ravine and provide a scenic backdrop to swim, sunbathe and picnic. Lush forests surround the falls and provide plenty of shade.
Enjoy spectacular views from the summit of Mt. Puting Bato. It’s the tallest peak on Samal Island and can be climbed in just a few hours. If you’re feeling adventurous, join a spelunking tour and explore subterranean cave systems like Baga, Balete and Magongawong.
Getting around Island Garden City of Samal
Tricycle taxis are a fast and affordable way to get around Samal. Other options include private taxis and “habal-habal” motorcycle taxis. Ferries run between Davao City and Samal in 40 minutes. Davao International Airport is a 15-minute drive from the ferry terminal.