What to Day-tour in Samal Island?

Aside from Durian and Duterte, there's more in Davao to be interested with. As you may already knew, the Philippines was blessed with many natural wonders. Some of them I have written articles in the past. But going back to Davao, let's take a closer look in the Island Garden City of Samal. Here are four places you can go to if you want to spend a day in that island.

The Montfort Bat Sanctuary

Monfort Bat Cave in Samal
Monfort Cave with over two million bats.

This is a 245-ft cave that serves as home to about 2.3 Million fruit bats. When you go there during the day you can see them hanging in the walls and ceiling of the cave... and sleeping. But when you go there late in the afternoon or dusk, you may be treated with a beautiful sight: bats coming of the cave in tornado-like formation...2.3 Millions of them.

Oh by the way, entrance is to the Monfort Bat Sanctuary costs 100 Pesos per person. You will be greeted by a tour guide who has some knowledge about bats and the cave.

Pearl Farm Beach Resort

Malipano Island - Portion of this island is part of  the Pearl Farm Beach resort.
Formerly a pearl farm where pearls are grown, this resort offers access to the white sand beach along with their pools and other facilities. In a day-tour scenario, you may stay here for about three to four hours. Or if you decide to stay in the island for a night or two, you can make this your last stop of the tour since they offer very comfortable accommodations.

For information on their rates, go to their website:  www.pearlfarmresort.com

Kaputian Beach

Kaputian Beach offers natural white sand. Public beach but the water is pristine.

Now if you are in a strict day-tour and you wanted to be back in Davao City before evening, you may want to go to Kaputian Beach instead of the Pearl Farm Resort. Well, one reason is that it's a public beach. All you need to pay is a few pesos for the entrance and the cottage if you want to stay there for a few hours.

Kaputian Beach offers beautiful white sand shore. You can do some swimming and you can buy food in the nearby stores and have it eaten in one of the cottages.

But since it's a public beach, it's not well maintained. Still you can be delighted by it's simplicity and quietness.

Now as an option and if want to stay overnight in Samal, you can choose to camp here. Some visitors bring tents and set them up near the beach. There's a guard that provides a measure of security during the night.

Hagimit Falls

Cool waters of the Hamigit Falls attracts locals and outsiders during summer.

Hamigit Falls is composed of multiple layes of low-level falls. For day-tour, this is ideal as the last destination so you can rinse out if you came from the beach. The water is cold and the view is nice. Many locals are here enjoying the cool waters especially during the summer. 

Oh by the way, entrance fee is about 60 Pesos per person (not sure but it will not reach 100 pesos).

The Overall Experience

The view of Mount Apo as the Ro-ro is crossing the waters that separate Samal from the island of Mindanao.

Honestly (and I'm speaking of my own opinion here), Samal Island is not a "wow" experience. Coming from Cebu and having been to many other places in the Philippines, I can say that Samal is just a typical island. It doesn't have much unique to offer aside from the millions of bats. For tourism to flourish in this island, it needs to have more to offer the visitors just like what Bohol did. Bohol didn't stop with the Chocolate Hills and the Tarsiers but each year, they continue to add more reason why people should visit and stay: diving, floating restaurant, dolphin watching, zip lines etc.

But overall and since I am accompanied by my loved ones, I could remember my Samal day tour positively. It was a welcome break from the stressful routine of the city-life.

How much?

In my case, I was in a group of six adults. I rented a tour van that can accommodate ten. It cost me a total of 5000 pesos for the entire day tour from 9AM to 6PM including the van, entrance fees, Ro-ro fare, and simple food for lunch. If you want to contact the owner of the van we used, here's some information:

Rommel Lumiguid