Situated within the coast of the Davao Gulf, take your pick from nearly 70 resorts around the island, with accommodations ranging from modest to extravagant. All offer easy access to white sand beaches and clear aquamarine waters.
The most famous is the Pearl Farm Beach Resort — a name nearly synonymous with Davao itself. Formerly an actual pearl farm, this world-class resort is known for its striking architectural design, which was inspired by local culture and carried out by renowned Filipino architect Bobby Mañosa. Its luxurious guest rooms, cottages and villas sit above the gulf, giving you gorgeous panoramic views. The resort also houses a Mandaya Weaving Center, where Mandaya women weave products adorned with colourful and intricate patterns.
Other resorts boast their own gimmicks. Maxima Aqua Fun and Canopy Tours feature a 40-meter waterslide that takes you on a breath-taking six-second plunge before hitting the water, as well as high canopy bridges that give you a unique trail experience.
Bluejaz Beach Resort and Waterpark is another favorite for its waterslides, including one especially for kids. Paradise Beach Resort is one the island’s most popular and is known for its water sports and Filipino cuisine.
Step out of your resort, however, and you’ll see that Samal has more tourist spots of its own.
The Hagimit Falls are shallow multi-tiered waterfalls that cascade into a natural swimming hole.
The Monfort Bat Cave is a Guinness World Record-holder for having the largest colony of fruit bats in the world — almost two million!
Samal’s rich marine life affords many places to snorkel and scuba dive, including Mansud Wall and Talikud Island. Talikud Island has more pristine beaches and has best sites for muck diving and macro photography. Big Ligid Island and Little Ligid Island also have beaches and dive spots that are worth a quick visit. And, with a perfectly-timed trip, you just might be able to catch the Vanishing Island, which emerges only during low tide.