5 Things to Do on Samal Island

This island getaway in Davao is a paradise waiting to be explored.

By Mathew S. Chan
March 02, 2015


Samal Island is a beach getaway just 10 minutes away from Davao City by boat. It is a beautiful island seemingly untouched by modernity, so if you’re looking for a destination that's off the beaten path, Samal might just be for you. Heading to Samal but don’t know what to do while you’re there? Check out this list of fun activities.

Check hotels in Samal Island here.

1.    Visit Vanishing Island.
The white sand beaches that make up Vanishing Island only appear during low tide. It is a serene sight with Davao City as a backdrop. There are several houses on stilts on the beach that allow tourists to stay longer as soon as the high tide kicks in. Some activities you can do while on the island are diving and snorkeling because of the rich marine life surrounding the place.  

2.    See giant clams.
The Giant Clam Sanctuary is located on a small sand islet near Barangay Adecor. It is under the protection of the Davao del Norte State College, which uses a minimal entrance fee of PHP 75 to help maintain the sanctuary. You can snorkel and see giant clams (called taklobo locally) of different shapes and sizes. If you go during low tide, you can see them even more clearly.

3.    Stare at a waterfall.

Penaplata, an area within Samal, is home to the stunning Hagimit Falls. It is around 5 minutes away from Penaplata proper if you take a car or jeep. Once you get there, you will be mesmerized by the falls’ exquisite beauty. Here you can have a go at diving or even camping.

4.    Go diving.
Samal has some of the most diverse marine life in the Philippines. With its clear blue waters, it is no wonder Samal is a favorite spot for diving and snorkeling. If you truly want to explore the underwater life of Samal, head to the 150-hectare Coral Garden and Marine Park on nearby Talicud Island.

5.    Relax on the beach.
Your Samal experience won’t be complete if you don’t go to a beach. A local favorite is Kaputian Beach, a white sand beach perfect for relaxation located south of the island.  The entrance fee is at PHP 10 per adult. They have tents, huts, and cottages for rent if you are interested.