Samal Island Philippines: The Ultimate Guide You'll Ever Need!


Samal Island Philippines
Samal Island Philippines

Samal Island Philippines 
is located just about a couple of kilometers from Davao City and is easily accessible by ferry. Because of this close proximity, Samal Island is one of the most popular destinations among travelers visiting Mindanao. It is blessed with pristine beaches and amazing snorkeling and diving sites, from luxury resorts to budget resorts that make the best tropical getaways. 

Samal Island is immensely popular yet it is not overcrowded, this is the biggest plus point about this fascinating tourist destination. For those planning to visit the Philippines as soon as the lockdown restrictions are eased, this post will be highly useful for the water babies! 

In this comprehensive post, I'm gonna cover the following:

  • When to Visit Samal Island
  • Things to do and see in Samal Island 
  • How To Reach Samal Island Philippines
  • Getting Around In Samal Island
  • Where to Stay on Samal Island Philippines
  • FAQs Regarding Visa Requirements
  • FAQs Regarding Travel/Visitor's Insurance
  • FAQs Regarding Missed Flight Compensation
  • FAQs Regarding International SIM Card For High-speed Internet Connectivity

So, it's gonna be one of the most power-packed and comprehensive posts on Samal Island Philippines. Keep reading till the last!

Without further ado, let's get started!

Relevant Post:
14 Most Beautiful Places In The Philippines

When To Visit Samal Island Philippines

Samal Island is blessed with fine weather almost every day from December to May. During the monsoon season from June to November, there will be some showers, so be sure to check the weather updates first before planning your activity.

Samal Island is also known as the "Festival Island" because it celebrates several occasions, including Hugyaw Madayaw in August each year, a week-long fiesta - Kabasan Festival, in May, and the Caracoles Festival in April.

Participating in these festivals is a great opportunity to witness the colorful culture of the island on display at street parades and other fun events.

Things to do and see in Samal Island Philippines

1. Go, Island Hopping

Samal Island Philippines
Starfish on a beach in Samal Island Philippines

Like other popular destinations in the Philippines,
island hopping is a popular activity in Samal. To explore the island, you can rent a boat, probably the best option! 

Coral Garden, Isla Reta, and Starfish Island are some of the islands you should definitely visit whilst at Samal Island. Beach lovers will definitely enjoy Samal Island hopping as the sand is clear and white and the water is clear. 

2. Drench Under Hagimit Falls

Samal Island Philippines
Hagimit Falls in Samal Island Philippines

Hagimit Falls has to be there in everyone's Samal Island itinerary! It has multiple falls and pools ranging from 3 to 7 feet deep, a depth that once expects in our neighborhood pools. There is nothing quite like taking shower in the pristine falls. It's gonna be a memorable time here with the family or friends. Hagimit Falls is also circled by a luxuriant forest cover, which gives you the option to enjoy nature to the fullest. 

Samal Island Philippines hotels are offering some amazing deals, check them out right here on TRIVAGO!

3. See Monfort Bat Cave Sanctuary

Samal Island Philippines
One of the Montfort Bat Caves in Samal Island

At Monfort Bat Cave, you will get the opportunity to see thousands of fruit-eating bats in their natural habitat closely. Not to worry,  since you will be visiting during the daytime, you will find them hanging from the cave walls in deep slumber. If you're traveling with family and kids, you've got to keep Monfort Bat Cave sanctuary on your bucket list!

4. Spend a Day in Pearl Farm Beach Resort

Samal Island Philippines
Pearl Beach Resort in Samal Island

Pearl Farm Beach Resort is one of the most expensive Samal beach resorts. But don't worry, even if you're traveling on a budget, you can visit the pearl farm on a day tour. Relax on the nice white sand beach and try water activities like jet skiing, banana boating, diving, and kayaking.

> Samal Island Philippines has some of the most exotic accommodation options. Check the BIG discounts on the hotels right here on TRIVAGO

5. Travel Talikud Island

Samal Island Philippines
Talikund Island in Samal Island

Another Samal Island Davao attraction not to be missed in Talikud Island. It features long stretches of powdery white sand and clear blue waters full of abundant marine life. You can go snorkeling, scuba diving, or do the much-needed tanning. No wonder Talikud Island is one of the best Samal beaches. 

6. Visit Vanishing Island

Samal Island Philippines
Vanishing Island in Samal Island 

Vanishing Island should be on your priority list when visiting Samal Islands Philippines. Vanishing Island is located off the coast of Tambo in Babak in Samal. It is better to visit the island when the sea level is low, so you can walk on the island's fine white sand and swim in the surrounding crystal waters.

The island has several floating houses for visitors to stay at night. Other activities include snorkeling for clear views of colorful coral reefs, seaweed, and other underwater marine life. Don't leave without buying fresh sea urchins from local fishermen.

> Check out the Red-Hot Offers on budget accommodations on TRIVAGO now!

7. Go Cliff Diving

Samal Island Philippines
Don't Miss The Diving Experience in Samal Island

Another popular adrenaline-packed activity on Samal Island is cliff diving. Visitors overcome their fear of jumping by going to the Sabang Cliff in Kaputian. This location offers 3 cliff diving altitudes from 14 feet up to 40 feet.

After a thrilling jump, you can explore the nearby Giant Clam Exploration site, which is also a snorkeling and diving spot with over 3,000 different types of shellfish.

8. Discover Astonishing Underwater World Through Scuba Diving

Samal Island Philippines
Scuba Diving is a Must in Samal Island

Samal is not just about pristine white beaches, but it has a stunningly beautiful underwater life that no one should miss! And what better way to discover the great underwater world than scuba diving

Don't worry, you will have detailed training by the locally licensed scuba diving operators. Once you are good to go after the brief training, you will see a new mesmerizing world! From colorful coral reefs and fish to sunken ships dating back to World War II, Samal Island has it all! 

Many package tours include Scuba diving in their packages, you also have an option to opt for one of the amazing package tours. 

9. Go Hiking

Samal Island Philippines
Hiking in Samal Island

If you're someone who has been missing hiking from your Samal Island itinerary, Mt. Puting Bato is the place you should explore. Standing at 1,755 feet, this mountain offers beginner's friendly hiking opportunities. 

Once atop Mt. Puting Bato, you'll be able to have a panoramic view of the stunningly beautiful Samal Island.

> Many budget Hotels/Hostels in Samal Island are offering Amazing deals, check them out right here!

10. Spend a Day at Kaputian Beach

Samal Island Philippines
Visit Kaputian Beach in Samal Islalnd

Tranquil surroundings, white sand shore, and cool blue waters sum up Kaputian Beach. Grab your favorite book, find a shade or shack for yourself and spend a day by the splendid Kaputian Beach. 

How To Reach Samal Island 


Davao City is the nearest airport to reach Samal island. Let's find ways to reach the island via Davao City.

Davao International Airport is well connected to other cities of the Philippines as well as all the major cities across the world. Check the best deals on air tickets here now!


Once you reach Davao City, you will need to take a ferry to Sasa Wharf or Santa Ana Wharf. From here, you will need another ferry to reach Samal Island. Covid19 has affected all businesses, you can check the availability of ferries right here.


Island City Express is the only bus route that operates routes between Davao City and Samal Island. The bus fare is already included in the ferry fare.

The bus will take you from Agdao in Davao City to Sasa Wharf. The bus is then loaded onto the ferry as a RORO (Roll-on, Roll-off) transport to Samal Island. Check the bus availability right here.

Getting Around In Samal Island

As with other small island destinations in the Philippines, the main modes of transport are tricycles and motorcycles. Private or shared van transfers can also be arranged for hassle-free exploring Samal Island.

Motrobike (Habal Habal)

Habal-Habal (motorcycle or motorbike), the most prominent mode of transport in most provinces of the Philippines, is the most common mode of transport around Samal Island as well. It is easy to find Habal Habal drivers on the island.

The island's rugged roads are also easily navigated, allowing you to get to your destination faster through the island's many tangled shortcuts. You can directly browse and book habal-habal here.


Tricycles are the most common mode of transportation when traveling in small towns in the Philippines. You can find it in the market or in a small terminal near the town plaza. Most tricycles can seat up to 4 passengers.


You can also rent boats from the island's main ports and will take you to other beaches and towns on the island. There are ferries departing Sta Ana Wharf to Kaputian and Talikud several times daily.

Private and Shared Tours

Private or shared tours from Samal Island offer the most hassle-free transportation on the island. There is also a Samal Island excursion package that includes transfers to and from Samal Island and the entire island. Check out some of the best package tours right here.

Where to Stay on Samal Island Philippines

Samal Island Philippines
One of the luxury hotels in Samal Island

Over the last few years, Samal Island has become a popular tourist destination near Davao City. As the largest resort city in the Philippines, Samal Island has a wide range of accommodation options, from the luxurious to mid-range and even those for the budget traveler.

Despite these developments, the island remains true to its original charm, with the owners of these facilities strictly complying with all environmental laws and regulations on the island.

Accommodation For All

On Samal Island, you can find a variety of accommodations, from luxury resorts to mid-range and budget inns to villa rentals. To better plan your travel budget, it is important to choose your accommodation before your upcoming Samal Island trip.

Luxury Hotels and Resorts

Samal Island has quite a few luxury hotels and resorts for the elite. Most of these have private beaches and are at par with some of the best hotels and resorts in the world. Let's have a glimpse of some of these resorts:

1. Pearl Farm Resort

Samal Island Philippines
Pearl Farm Resort in Samal Island

This 14-hectare ultra-luxurious property comes to mind as soon as someone is asked to jot down the top-notch resorts in Samal Island Philippines. In fact, it is one of the finest resorts in the Philippines. Stay in a room built on pillars above the azure sea and enjoy fantastic sea views.

Also known for its sumptuous food, travelers to the island often take day trips to enjoy the amenities here. However, if you can show off your budget, I recommend staying here for a full experience that has amazed many guests from all over the world. Check the best ongoing deals on Trivago right here!

2. Chema's by the Sea

Samal Island Philippines
Chema's by the Sea in Samal Island

This charming seaside resort features scattered rustic cottages and cabanas designed with a Balinese touch.

Most cottages have balconies overlooking the sea and al fresco dining with garden views. The outdoor tropical restaurant serves healthy meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Find the best deals on Chema's by the Sea on Trivago, right here!

3. Indo Bali House

Samal Island Philippines
Indo Bali House in Samal Island

This Bali-inspired vacation home is set in a vast building just minutes from Babak Harbor and surrounded by lush tropical gardens.

Full of Instagrammable corners, the main building can accommodate up to 10 guests and has 3 bedrooms, outdoor massage, dining and living areas, and a small treehouse.

As night falls, Indo Bali House prepares al fresco dining for guests to feast under the stars! See if this privileged stay option is available on your preferred dates. 

4. Punta Del Sol Beach Resort

Samal Island Philippines
Punta Del Sol Beach Resort

Another beach resort full of island vibes, Punta Del Sol Beach Resort has its own restaurant and spacious grounds dotted with towering coconut trees.

It's a pretty resort that offers an ideal escape for value for money and relaxation. Now, it's time for the most frequently asked questions.

Travel Related Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

About VISA Requirements

How Do I know when I need a Visa?

You can use this tool to search if you need a travel visa. You just need to mention where you are from and where you are going. Based on this information, the tool will tell you all the relevant details like if the Visa and/or other documents are required along with the costs instantly. Check if you need a Visa here.

What is an eVisa?

An e-Visa is an official document permitting entry into and travel within a certain country. The e-Visa is an alternative to visas issued at the ports of entry or visiting an embassy/consulate to obtain traditional paper visas. e-Visas are linked electronically to the traveler's passport. 

How long does it take to receive the Visa after applying?

It depends on the country issuing the visa. For many countries such as Australia ETA and Turkey e-Visa, the process can be done in 15 minutes through the rush service offered by iVisa. For other countries such as the India tourist Visa, the process usually takes 24 hours. 

The exact time can be found on each application form. iVisa guarantees that your application will be the fastest way to apply anywhere.

Where can I apply for Visa online?

We strongly suggest iVisa as their process is one of the easiest ways possible. Through easy-to-use online application forms and world-class 24/7 customer service, they make the whole visa process quick and simple! They also use best practices when it comes to protecting your data and credit card. 

What kind of Visas does iVisa process?

iVisa offers two types of Visa: Electronic visas (e-Visas) and traditional paper visas, based on your destination. In addition, they also offer the following services/documents that are required by certain countries: 
  • ETA (electronic travel authorization)
  • Tourist Cards
  • Visa on Arrival pre-registration/approval form
  • Tourist Invitation Letters
  • Embassy Registration service. 

For full details, please check out the iVisa homepage here.

How do I apply?

The process of Visa application is very simple and straightforward on iVisa

  • Select the country to which you are requesting the visa
  • Select the type of visa and read the instructions carefully.
  • Select Apply Now
  • Fill in the application form
  • Pay using a Visa Card, Mastercard, or other debit cards.
  • Await approval via email, then download and print the e-Visa from your account.
  • Present your printed e-Visa to the immigration officer at the port of entry. 

I need more information, where can I get it from?

Please visit the website of iVisa for all the details and more FAQs. Remember, iVisa is the world leader and highly acclaimed Visa services for all countries, from all countries!

FAQs Regarding Missed Flight Compensation

My flight was delayed, can I get compensation?

Air travel is not always the smooth-sailing experience we’d like. Unfortunately, flight delays happen. If you’ve been on a delayed flight, you may be able to claim up to £510 (€600) flight delay compensation under a European law called EC 261. Find out more check your compensation here.

My flight was canceled, can I receive compensation?

You might be eligible to claim up to £510 (€600) cash compensation. 

Info for coronavirus cancellations:
Cancellations caused by coronavirus don’t qualify for compensation. However, you can check if previous flights from the past 3 years qualify for up to £510 compensation by clicking here.

I missed my connecting flight, am I eligible for the compensation?

Some journeys require connecting flights to reach a final destination. For this type of travel, a passenger needs to board more than one flight to get to the end of their flight journey.

For instance, you can travel from Liverpool to London, then from London to Los Angeles.

However, without warning, flights can be canceled. In other circumstances, a passenger can miss a connecting flight due to the first leg of their journey being delayed or due to denied boarding. 

If you qualify under EC 261, an airline is obligated to pay you missed connection flight compensation of up to £510 (€600). Click here to see if you are eligible to receive the compensation.

FAQs Regarding Travel Insurance

Can I buy a Travel Insurance Policy online?

Yes, you can buy most travel policies online. In fact, you get your policy documented in your mil box instantly! Get your instant travel policy at the cheapest rates right here.

But I am located in my home country, which is outside of the USA. Can I still buy the travel policy? 

No worries, you can be anywhere in the world to buy the best-in-class Travel Policies through VisitorsCoverage by clicking here.

I am immigrating to a new country, can I buy the Medical policy? 

Yes, you can buy all kinds of policies via VisitorsCoverage (one of the biggest American companies in insurance) within a few minutes. Check the best quotes for your preferred policy by clicking here.

For more details and all other queries about Travel and other insurance, please hop on to the official VisitorsCoverage website.

FAQs Regarding International SIM Card For High-speed Internet

Is it possible to buy an International SIM Card online?

Yes, you can easily buy an International SIM for all your high-speed internet requirements. You will love it as it is guaranteed to deliver high-speed internet at the most affordable rates! Check out here.

What about the rates of calls, SMS, and the internet?

As mentioned above, you're gonna love it as the rates will match that of your home country. Find more details here.

Can I order from my home country before I travel?

Yes, of course, you can order your International SIM well before you start your journey. In fact, you should order your SIM delivered in advance. Drimsim delivers almost anywhere in the world, in around 190 countries to be precise! Order now!

But I don't want the physical SIM card, I need a virtual SIM card. Is that possible?

Absolutely, you can get your virtual SIM card delivered instantly as soon as you make payment! Order your eSIM now!

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, if you are a water baby, love sun and sand, there is no need to think twice as the Samal Island Philippines is one of the stunningly beautiful tourist destinations in the world. I am sure, this guide about Samal Island Philippines will help you finalize your travel plans to this exotic location whenever travel restrictions are lifted.

If you have any questions regarding the Samal Island Philippines, do comment below and I will be happy to answer your queries.

If you have been to the Samal Island Philippines before, do share your experiences by commenting below, I would love to hear back! 

Happy traveling!

Till then, stay safe!👋

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