February 20, 2011

MY PHILIPPINES: How to Get to Samal Island

If you’re living in Davao consider yourself lucky because going to the beach doesn’t require full production planning compared to when you're residing at other metros (i.e. Manila). Beaching, as a friend puts it can be done with “isang kembot lang” effort (one booty shake).

You can hop on a car get and get on a roll on-roll off (RORO) ferry at kilometer 11 wharf in Sasa and in just 10 minutes you’re already in Kinawitnon wharf in the Island Garden City of Samal (IGACOS) well known for its pristine beaches and beautiful resorts. The fee is 270php, in excess of a driver and 1 passenger you pay 10php per head. The ferry leaves the port in a 15 minute interval.

If you don’t have a car, head on to Magsaysay Park or the IGACOS Ferry Terminal in JP Laurel Street. From there board the “Island City Express,” a non aircon bus going to Samal and probably the only public transportation you can take. The bus can take you to as far as Kaputian via Babak and Penaplata or you can get off the bus at Kinawitnon Wharf and just take a habal-habal (motorcycle). After exiting the wharf, you can turn either left or right and several resorts are already lined up dotting the area.

NOTE: Samal is not like Boracay, the shoreline isn't shared which means you can't hop from one resort to the other.
If you don’t want to get on in a bus, I’ve been told that there’s also a passenger boat terminal along JP Laurel St., just little farther from the Ferry Terminal. Be sure to tell the driver BOAT Terminal, but I am yet to confirm this

You can also get to Samal through Sta. Ana Wharf and boats will take you straight to Kaputian Wharf, the ride takes nearly an hour.

Some resorts have their own boats, so for more convenient transfers for minimal fees (P15/head is the usual rate for a minimum number of passengers), you can just head to the resorts marina. Call ahead to be sure.

Here is a LIST of some of Samal’s resorts.

written by kim & mj

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