Set your sights on the Samal Islands – an off-shore oasis located mere moments from Davao. Only a 10-minute ferry ride from the mainland, this small collection of islets offers a blissful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city, whether you want to brave the towering heights of Mount Puting Bato or discover life below sea level at the Mansud Wall.
Trek to the Top of Mount Puting Bato
Standing guard over the Samal Islands at a staggering 410 metres above sea level, this impressive summit is a popular attraction for hiking enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. Test yourself on the Guilon Trail – a challenging two-hour trek through dense tropical forest – or opt for the leisurely Tayapok Trail – a 30-minute stroll through scenic grasslands. No matter which route you choose, you’re guaranteed to be rewarded with uninterrupted views of Davao Gulf, Davao City, Compostela Valley and beyond.
Snorkel and Scuba Dive the Mansud Wall
If a bird’s-eye view of the ocean doesn’t satisfy your desire for a seaside adventure, plan a day of snorkelling or scuba diving at the Mansud Wall. Dropping off to a depth of 45 metres, this kaleidoscopic coral reef has more than enough sea life to fill an afternoon, including anemones, eels, groupers and more.
Meet the Resident Critters at the Monfort Bat Sanctuary
Holding the Guinness World Record for the largest colony of its kind in the world, this fascinating cave sees more than 200 million fruit bats call its walls home. And while visitors may not be able to enter the cave itself, its five viewing areas shed more than enough light on the incredible natural phenomenon within. Have time to stick around until sunset? Make an appointment for an after-dark visit and be amazed as a swarm of fruit bats takes flight.
Take to the Treetops on a Canopy Tour
Can’t decide between land and sea? Enjoy the best of both worlds at Maxima Aqua Fun. Complete with a nerve-testing Canopy Walk suspended far above the forest floor, this adrenaline-pumping adventure park also features an abundance of water-based activities, including a 40-metre waterslide that plunges straight into the ocean.
Have a dip at Hagamit Falls
If heart-stopping waterslides and treetop walks are too intense for your liking, plan a day of picnicking and swimming at the spectacular Hagamit Falls. Cascading down the rock face into a freshwater swimming hole, this tropical oasis provides visitors with a more laid-back way to enjoy the Samal Islands, with everything from picnic tables to a general store available on-site.
Ready to spend a day on a Samal Island tour? Plan a stay at Park Inn by Radisson Davao and enjoy a taste of the island life on your own schedule.