A 15-minute ferry ride from Davao’s pier, Samal Island is packed every day with people looking to see its waterfalls, bat caves and surrounding beaches.
The slice of sand you choose to lounge on is likely associated with the resort it connects to. Outstanding ones include Pearl Farm Beach Resort, with its waterside villas lining the coast. If you aren’t staying at a resort, Canibad and Kaputian are public beaches with spots for picnics and swimming.
Both SECDEA Resort and Samalan Camp Resort are great places for water sports like kayaking. Families will love Maxima Aqua Fun for its water slides, water blob (which is like a giant inflated pillow), tree-top canopy adventure course and snorkelling.
Nearby islands offer greater privacy and seclusion. The posh and privately owned Buenavista Island provides your own private valet, cook and housekeeper during your stay. Talikud Island has a wide range of activities from cave exploration to diving; here you’ll find idyllic resorts such as Isla Bonita and Leticia by the Sea.
Low tide offers the chance to visit Vanishing Island, a sand bar surrounded by young mangroves, for a quick selfie and a dip. But do it quickly, before it disappears at high tide.