5D4N Davao to Samal Island Itinerary: Tourist Spots & Island Hopping

5D4N Davao to Samal Island Itinerary: Tourist Spots & Island Hopping

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Eden Nature Park and Samal IslandPhoto (left) by Eden Nature Park

Davao City, the most populous city in Mindanao, is one of the best tourist destinations in the Philippines. The city has a perfect blend of natural and man-made Davao tourist spots, which includes nature parks, endangered animal conservation facilities, outdoor experiences, beaches and water activities in Samal Island, top-notch Davao hotels, restaurants, and the famed Kadayawan Festival, a colorful thanksgiving for the city and highlighting its 11 tribes. 

Since Mindanao is home to the majority of the Filipino Muslim population in the Philippines, Davao is one of the best halal destinations in the Philippines. Another reason why Davao tour packages are popular is because of their diverse attractions — one can go sightseeing in Davao City with an island-hopping side trip on Samal Island on the same trip.

Because Davao has its own Philippine airport, the Francis Bangoy Airport (Davao Airport), it has become accessible from the main cities in the Philippines and countries including Hongkong, Singapore, Indonesia, and Taiwan. Before taking a trip to Davao City, it's best to have a handy itinerary for a convenient and hassle-free vacation in the Philippines.

If you want to know the best places to go in Davao City and Samal Island after fulfilling the Philippine travel requirements, Take note of the Davao tourist spots in this itinerary to learn about the best activities and sights included in a 5D4N tour that you should not miss.

Day 1: Flight to Davao City & Sightseeing Tour

Philippine Airlines aircraftPhoto by Philippine Airlines

From Manila, you will need to board a plane to Davao International Airport and then ride a transfer to hotels in Davao City. For this day, you can explore some Davao tourist spots you can book on a travel booking website like Guide to the Philippines, dine at restaurants, or enjoy your hotel’s amenities. 

Some of the tourist attractions you can visit include:

  • San Pedro Cathedral

San Pedro Cathedral, Davao City's oldest cathedral, is one of the most important historical sites in the city. It was named after Davao's patron saint, San Pedro. It is bordered on the front by San Pedro Street, the city's oldest street.

  • Museo Dabawenyo

Museo DabawenyoPhoto by Museo Dabawenyo

The Museo Dabawenyo houses a collection of Davao-related artifacts, artworks, antiques, and more preserved items. It also has a comprehensive gallery of Moro People artifacts like armors, chairs, crowns, and lamps, as well as traditional Filipino apparel, money, musical notes, and clothing.

  • People’s Park

Davao People's Park is one of the country's most pristine and green parks. One of its main features is the Durian Dome, which is also one of Davao's most photographed monuments. Table picnics are available for children at the People's Park, but most people eat on the fields or in the ponds with large sculptures.

  • Lon Wah Temple

The Lon Wah Buddhist Temple is notable for its marble and golden wood sculptures of Buddha on its walls. As of the moment, it is Mindanao's largest Buddhist temple and promotes religious and cultural tourism in the Philippines.

  • Davao Crocodile Park

Davao Crocodile ParkDavao Crocodile Park is an exotic animal conservation area containing live crocodiles, eagles, tigers, iguanas, orangutans, ostriches, snakes, raptors, and bearcats in a zoo with outdoor habitats. While here, you can watch them put on exciting displays or you can listen to zookeepers provide lessons about animal conservation.

  • Roxas Night Market

The Roxas Avenue Night Market lets visitors sample the many cuisines available in Davao City. Grilled fresh fish, vegetables, meat, and other foods are sold at the many vendors at this well-known night market. Take note that the clothing and accessory shops open after the food booths close.

Day 2: Davao Malagos Garden, Philippine Eagle & Eden Nature Park Tour

Kalesa ride in Malagos Garden Resort Kalesa ride in Malagos Garden Resort. Photo by the Department of Tourism

The next part of your Davao itinerary is a nature park tour. You can visit the following beautiful places in Davao City:

  • Malagos Garden Resort

Chocolate making in the Malagos Chocolate MuseumPhoto by Malagos Chocolate

The 12-hectare Malagos Garden Resort is a farm resort with accommodations. restaurants, swimming pools, and other resort attractions. Two of its main highlights are the Chocolate Museum, which gives a detailed look into the production process for the renowned tree to bar chocolates in the Philippines, and the Butterfly Farm, where a variety of butterflies can be observed.

While at Malagos Garden Resort, you can appreciate gorgeous orchids like waling-waling, check out bee breeding, go horseback riding, try a kalesa (horse-drawn carriage) ride, and play billiards, table tennis, badminton, and volleyball. 

  • Philippine Eagle Center

Philippine Eagle CenterThe Philippine Eagle Center is home to endangered Philippine Eagles, the national bird of the Philippines. Besides the eagles, you can see more bird species and reptile species. It is a wildlife training center of the Philippine Eagle Foundation and is considered one of the top geographical features of the Philippines.

  • Eden Nature Park

Skyswing in Eden Nature ParkPhoto by Eden Nature Park

Davao's Eden Nature Park and Resort provides a tranquil setting that is ideal for a retreat. Some of the fun recreational activities here include sky cycling and sky biking. It hosts an amphitheater, a popular location for special events. It also hosts a Tinubdan, a place built to show the home architectures, landscapes, and lifestyles of people of the past, particularly the livelihoods of the Lumads who are said to have lived in the area.

  • Jack’s Ridge

Outdoor swimming pool at Jack’s RidgePhoto by Jack's Ridge

Jack’s Ridge is the place to go if you want to see a stunning panoramic view of Davao. Aside from the breathtaking views, there are two restaurants here promoting Philippines food culture: Karlo's Gourmet, which provides coffee and a variety of baked goods, and Taklobo, which serves Filipino cuisine in an open-air eating area with a spectacular view of the city. It's the perfect last stop for your dinner after your Davao tour.

Afterward, you will travel back to your Davao City hotel. Rest up and wake up early the next day for your ferry trip to Samal Island. 

Day 3: Samal Island Hopping Tour

Villas of Pearl Farm Beach Resort on Samal IslandSamal Island, also known as the Island Garden City of Samal, is the largest resort city in the Philippines. This slice of paradise is one of the best places to go island hopping in the Philippines. Samal Island, which is one of the best islands in the Philippines, offers a broad range of sights, making for an interesting itinerary. 

From Davao City, you can travel to Samal Island by ferry and do a Samal Island tour often booked in a Philippine travel agency like Guide to the Philippines. 

  • How to go to Samal Island from Davao? 

The main jump-off point to Samal Island is Davao City. Once you arrive at Davao Airport, you can either ride 2 jeepneys bound to the ferry terminal at Sta. Ana Wharf, or ride a RORO transport going to Sasa Wharf.

  • How far is Samal Island from Davao City?

Samal Island is only 2KM away from Davao City via a ferry ride, which will take around 10 to 15 minutes of travel time.

  • Ferry schedule to Samal Island from Davao

Ferry boat rides bound to Samal Island run from 5 AM to 11 PM.

Once you arrive in Samal Island, you can visit some of the best beaches in the Philippines, snorkeling spots, and other attractions. 

  • Vanishing Island

The Vanishing Island is a short stretch of white sand a few meters away from the shore of Tambo, Babak in Samal. The island got its name due to it only being visible during low tide and may be seen from afar by the appearance of dwellings floating slightly above the ocean.

  • Talikud Island

Talikud IslandTalikud Island, or Talicud Island, is a small island concealed behind Samal with smooth, clear blue seas and immaculate white beaches, ideal for anyone seeking a relaxing photography day on the beach. The island is also known for its rich and diverse underwater environment, which includes protected reefs and fish sanctuaries like Coral Garden and Marine Reservation Park, making it as much of a paradise below as it is above. You can stay here for an extra day if you have more time.

  • Coral Garden Marine Park

Coral Garden Marine Park is a must-see for an unforgettable snorkeling excursion in Davao. Located in Talikud Island, this scuba diving-friendly marine park will leave you in awe of the underwater life, which is teeming with various corals, seagrasses, fish, and other marine beauties.

  • Wishing Island

Wishing IslandPhoto by CTPH Tour

Wishing Island in Samal is a stunning tourist spot with aquamarine waters. The island bordered by mangroves got its name from the fact that it is thought to be the home of magical beings by the locals.

  • Pearl Farm Beach Resort

Aerial view of Pearl Farm Beach ResortPhoto by Pearl Farm Beach Resort

Pearl Farm Beach Resort is a well-known Philippines beach resort and is one of the top farm resorts in the Philippines. If you want to get away from it all and enjoy some peace and quiet, this lovely resort provides a calm beach environment.

You will find yourself returning again and again for its luxury accommodations, swimming pool, healthy cuisine restaurant, bar, and other facilities. Take note that you can do a day tour if you’re not staying here.

  • Malipano Island

Aerial view of Malipano Island in SamalMalipano Island is located within Pearl Farm Beach. This gorgeous island with azure waters and creamy shore will provide you with both fun and tranquillity as there are several aquatic activities available here like scuba diving, snorkeling, jetski, banana boat, and flyboarding.

  • Maxima Aquafun Resort

Maxima AquaFun Resort is the ideal option for families and big groups wanting a water getaway in Samal Island. It has a 40-meter super slide that will take you from the top of a hill to the 120-foot sea. There's also the water blob, which functions similarly to a trampoline, and the canopy walk, which involves crossing a hanging bridge and rappelling down. They also provide traditional water sports such as banana boat rides, kayaking, snorkeling, jet-skiing, and diving.

You will stay for a night at a Samal Island resort and explore more tourist attractions for the next day. 

Day 4: Samal Island Kaputian Beach & Land Tour & Travel Back to Davao City

After breakfast, you will continue your Samal Island tour by visiting other prime tourist spots within the area. This includes the following attractions: 

  • Kaputian Beach 

Kaputian Beach, located in the southwest and facing the northern point of Talikud Island, is Samal's most popular beach. At its entrance gate lies the remnants of the beautifully preserved Dugong or manatee, to remind its guests how plentiful the waters of this island are. 

  • Sabang Cliff

Sabang Cliff is a must-visit for the adrenaline-chasing crowd. This 30-feet rocky-edged cliff beckons daring souls to dive into the blue waters of Davao Gulf. This is the place to go if you like marine life and thrills and is also an ideal place for those who want to go scuba diving and cliff jumping.

  • Bluebird View Deck

The Blue Bird Viewing Deck, which faces Davao City, provides a breezy and calm atmosphere to its guests. It is a great gathering spot for travelers as there are cottages where you may eat lunch while taking in the scenery. This observatory in Samal overlooks the Pearl Farm Beach Resort.

  • Giant Clam Sanctuary

Giant Clam SanctuaryPhoto by the Department of Tourism

The Giant Clam Sanctuary is a marine sanctuary with more than 3,000 enormous clams that stretches over the 14-hectare sea of Barangay Acedor in Samal. As of the moment, Davao del Norte State College is presently safeguarding the Giant Clam Sanctuary.

  • Hagimit Falls

Hagimit FallsHagimit Falls Nature Park has shallow streams of water that flow from various sloping rock heights throughout the area, gently falling into the turquoise pool. The cascading falls of Hagimit are surrounded by lush foliage and a refreshing riverbank, perfect for swimming and taking photos.

  • Monfort Bat Sanctuary

Monfort Bat SanctuaryMonfort Bat Cave is an eco-tourism location in Barangay Tambo that holds the Guinness World Record for the highest known population of Geoffrey's Rousette bats, a harmless fruit bat species. Non-migratory bats, the only animals capable of actual flight, can be observed hanging on the walls, asleep for most of the day.

  • Samal Mariculture Park

Samal Mariculture Park is a massive 244-hectare aquatic facility located past the Pearl Farm Resort and along Samal's shore. It includes floating fish cages where various fish species such as milkfish, grouper, kingfish, and others can thrive. This environmentally friendly park is praised throughout Asia for providing a source of income for island residents and educating visitors about the fishing industry.

If you have more time to explore Samal Island, some other tourist spots in Mindanao you can visit include:

  • Mt. Puting Bato

Mt. Puting Bato is one of the adventure-packed tourist destinations in Samal Island. This mountain with a height of 1,345 MASL is a great destination for hikers who want to experience what it's like to reach a mountain that is conveniently accessible, as its summit is reached by two types of trails.

  • Spelunking at Baga Cave

Baga Cave is a long and deep cave located on Talicud Island. The cave is a popular location for travelers visiting the island for its stalactites, stalagmites, and unique rock formation.

After your Samal Island tour, you can ride the ferry back to Davao and check-in at your hotel. 

Day 5: Departure

Talikud IslandAfter breakfast at your Davao hotel, you can take your time to buy souvenirs and gifts for your friends and family before you travel to Davao airport for your flight. 

 

Plan Your Davao City & Samal Island Trip Now!

Samal IslandAfter fulfilling the Davao travel requirements, go have fun and discover why Davao is one of the top reasons why you should visit the Philippines. Explore Samal Island's lovely tropical beaches and islands, rest at nature parks, go sightseeing in the city, eat local specialties like the famed durian fruit, and attend the Kadayawan Festival, one of the top festivals in the Philippines

Now is the best time to visit the Philippines. Find more information about Davao City and Samal Island by checking out our Davao travel guide. Make sure to prepare your accommodation by checking out either budget hotels or 5-star hotels in the Philippines, then arrange your tours by booking the best Philippine tour packages, family tour packages, all-inclusive family vacation packages, or vacation packages for couples, and finally, decide whether you’ll rent a car in Davao or find other modes of transportation.