Hotelier's off duty adventure: Samal-Talikud Island Hopping
January 1, 1970
by The Late Bloomer
Hoteliers are known to be soldiers in the hospitality industry. The demand of work makes us almost impossible to enjoy our social lives. Fellow employees became our family, and when time allows us to take a break, we pack our bags and go straight to the beach!
We usually enjoy the day swimming in the clear waters of Samal beaches. Men cook some barbecue and pair it with ice cold beer. This time, our off-duty outing takes us to a whole new level: Island Hopping. It is the first time that the team organized this kind of activity and it is best if we get out of our comfort zones for a while.
A new adventure awaits
Island Hopping around Samal is one of the adventures that Dabawenyos enjoy. Since the island is accessible to the city, locals and tourists would visit to enjoy the white sand beaches. A tour around the islands usually takes a whole day leaving early in the morning and arriving the city late in the afternoon.
The Island Garden City of Samal (IGACOS) has a lot to offer : quiet, tranquil white sand beaches and resorts and also boasts it’s nature’s beauty most specifically the Hagimit Falls. Tourists however, seldom know the wondrous adventure given by the neighboring islands most especially the Talikud Island.
Island Hopping is one of the adventures that Dabawenyos enjoy. Samal Island is just a boat away from Davao City, Philippines with two ports available: The Sasa Wharf which takes you to Babak and the Sta. Ana Wharf which takes you to Kaputian. The Sta. Ana wharf is where most of the Island hopping tours dock their boats.
The itinerary we chose has 14 destinations with 5 stops: Coral Garden, Babusanta beach, Angel’s Cove, De La Paz island and Wishing Island. Each destination has a significant impact to the economy as well as amenities to the guests as this place is one of the most popular destinations in Mindanao.
During the first minutes of travel, you can’t help but be impatient to see Talikud, but once the paradise appear, you can’t help but be amazed of its beauty and at the same time get ecstatic.
The Talikud Island
The Talikud Island is situated after Samal Island overseeing the Davao Gulf. This is where most of the diving sites are situated like one of our stops: the Coral Garden and Angel’s Cove. The place has some beaches where you can enjoy the sea and sun.
The Coral Garden.
Jumping into the clear sea is surely refreshing and fun. The guides also have swimming gears for rent since most stops are best enjoyed when diving. Samal and Talikud Islands are rich in marine life and ecosystems, you could even see blue starfishes, unique colorful fishes and huge corals during your tour!
Babusanta and Dayang Beach
We stopped over at Babusanta Beach to have our lunch, you could also swim and enjoy the blue ombre sea!
Locals love to eat barbecue, kinilaw (a salad with raw fish mixed with vegetables and seasoning) and fresh fruits during their beach outings. Beside Babusanta is the Dayang Beach which locals and tourists stay and are awed by the laid back paradise of itself. It is also one of my favorite places during the tour because of the picturesque view!
Tourists and guides chose Angel’s Cove as one of their favorite stop of the tour. The place is best enjoyed when you dive to see the beautiful marine life of Talikud Island. Even just floating and using your googles, you could see tiny fishes and corals underneath. If the waves are small you could easily sit on the rocks or big corals. Just remember to wear protective foot gear or slippers with straps.
And also, keep your things strapped! It’s hard to retrieve them since you’ll be swimming in deep waters!
Islands around Samal
There are small islands surrounding Samal that you could discover and enjoy. Majority of these islands are situated near Talikud or past the famous beaches fronting Davao City. Known to majority of the locals are the Vanishing island, Malipano Island and Wishing Island. In our itinerary we will visit the De La Paz, Malipano and Wishing Islands.
De La Paz and Malipano Islands
The second to the last stop and my favorite part of the tour is at the De La Paz Island. The island is private owned, so tourists can only stay at shallow waters or roam around the shore.
Behind the small island is the Malipano Island which is part of the Pearl Farm Beach Resort. If you’re thinking of Maldives and Bahamas, that scene will greet you after going around the island while avoiding to step on sea urchins.
This small island wouldn’t take up much of your time as you go around and see the Malipano Island. At that time, two of us bravely roam around the shoreline! Unfortunately I wasn’t able to bring my camera because going to the island can be tricky. The sea water is up to my waist and I have to go through a maze of huge corals of approximately three feet! Plus you have to be mindful of sea urchins and adorable starfishes along the way. But I tell you, it’s all worth it!
The Wishing Island
Last but not the least, is the Wishing Island. Legend says that when you walk up the island, say your wish and jump into the sea, it will come true.
The Wishing island may be tiny but don’t let that disappoint you because it also boasts the beautiful scenery of the sea. If you’re brave enough, you could climb on rocks to see the view or take a picture like you’re located at the highest peak. This stop in our tour is one of the longest, since they let you enjoy swimming in the sea and adore blue starfishes.
Depending on which travel agency you plan your tour, they have a wide range of activities and tour packages to choose from. You could enjoy scuba diving or just simply ride on a boat and enjoy visiting different islands around Samal. Island hopping is best enjoyed during the summer when the waves are low and the sea tranquil. It is an adventure that can be enjoyed with family and friends, even with your workmates!