Note: this is an article that I wrote on a sister site, but I never got that site going. Maybe I’ll get to that again in the future.

The Samal Island resorts are located on the Island Garden City of Samal, a 4th class city in Davao del Norte, Mindanao, Philippines. The nearest city is Davao City, the largest city in the Philippines, when calculated by area.

If you are coming to the Philippines from out of the country, the likelihood is that you will be flying in. You’ll need to fly into Davao in order to get to Samal, unless you plan on taking a long trip from somewhere else in the Philippines. While it is possible to fly directly into Davao (I believe there are flights on some days from Singapore), most of us will have to travel through Manila and catch a connecting flight to Davao. Cebu Pacific and Philippine Air are the most popular of the airlines serving Manila to Davao. Everyone seems to swear by (or swear at) one or the other. It would also be possible to come in from another city, such as Cebu, if you were traveling there first.

One has several options to get to the island from Davao, but they all involve going by sea, as there is no bridge connecting Samal Island with the mainland of Mindanao and Davao. Most of the time one would be approaching Samal from the east, going to the west coast of the island. It is possible to travel to the other side of the island, but the majority of the resorts are on the west side.

Unless you are taking one of the resorts’ private boats, the most common way to get to Samal is the RORO ferry. This leaves Sasa Wharf in Davao and arrives at the Babak wharf. You can either ride the bus or travel with your vehicle of choice.

Here are some samples of the fares to Samal Island (courtesy of

Sta. Ana wharf to Kaputian P 50.00
Km. 11 Sasa wharf to Babak (motorboat) P 13.00
Km. 11 Sasa wharf Ferryboat (bus) to any point in Babak District P 10.00
Davao Bus Terminal to any point in Babak P 30.00
Davao Bus Terminal to any point in Peñaplata P 40.00
10 wheeler cargo truck (empty/loaded) P 1,500.00
10 wheeler dump truck (empty/loaded) P 900.00
6 wheeler cargo truck (empty/loaded) P 1,100.00
6 wheeler dump truck (empty/loaded) P 750.00
Light cargo truck (elf/canter) P 600.00
Mini dump truck P 500.00
Light vehicles (jeep/pick-ups/van/cars) P 270.00
Tricycle P 125.00
Motorcycles/Bicycles P 60.00

As you can see, it’s not going to set you back too much to get to the Samal Island resorts and back. Unless you plan on bringing a large cargo truck a few times! I’d hope you wouldn’t need one of those to visit the resorts

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