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Samal Island

The Philippines is one of the best tourist destinations in the world with its beautiful beaches and wonderful people. The majority of foreign travellers have been to CamSur, Puerto Princesa, Boracay, and other famous tourist hotspots that have been greatly promoted through various forms of media. However, if you think you have seen them all, think again. There are so much more that the Philippines has to offer and one of those is by taking you to the incredible shores of Samal Island.


Samal Island is part of a group of islands in the south of the Philippines. It is surrounded by the Davao Gulf and lies roughly 900 meters east off the coast of Davao City and around 10 kilometers away from Compostela Valley. In the early days, the island was inhabited by a mixture of indigenous people who later on created a single tribal group known as Sama. This is where the island got its name. This group of islands recently became a city in 1998 through Republic Act No. 8471 and are now officially known as the Island Garden City of Samal (IGaCoS). It boasts of 116 kilometers of uninterrupted coastline, enough to allow both local and foreign tourists to frolic in the sand while enjoying the crystal clear water of the Davao Gulf. Although the city does not have distinct wet and dry seasons, you need not fret when making plans because this island paradise is typhoon free!

How To Get There

Samal Island is accessible through water and air. Foreign tourists may fly in to Manila and take a domestic flight to Davao City from there. There are also several direct international flights going to Davao City which can save you time. Check with your travel agency if there are direct flights to Davao City from your home country. From Davao City, travellers only need to take a motorboat or ferry for a very reasonable price to reach Samal Island. This boat ride lasts for about 10 to 15 minutes.

Where To Stay

As Samal Island’s main attraction is the calming sea, there are a lot of beach resorts that offer travellers a comfortable place to stay while touring the dazzling garden city. These resorts range from first-class accommodations to affordable lodgings which are perfect for tourists who are on a budget.

Things To Do

IGaCoS offers a diverse selection of great things to do when you want to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. IGaCoS is mainly known for its magical dive spots where a gamut of marine life can be explored. Experiencing the sun, sea and sand in these islands truly lets you have a piece of heaven. However, water activities are just a fraction of the many to-dos that you may include on your list. Thrill-seekers may also go mountain climbing, hiking and even spelunking in this exquisite place. The island has about 70 caves that tourists would definitely want to explore —- not to mention the island’s botanical garden and nature park.

Even though the island is considered as a city, it does not have the usual parties and night life that you might expect from other seaside destinations. Nevertheless, there are several festivals that are being celebrated throughout the year which gives tourists the opportunity to mingle with the locals in their fun activities.

Samal Island is all about pure relaxation and being one with nature. It puts stress and worries out of your mind and just be. Come to Samal Island and prove to the world that it truly is more fun in the Philippines!