Davao: Davao City, Samal Island and Talicud Island for Php7K ALL-IN

December 30, 2017

Dubbed as one of the safest cities in the world, the durian capital of the Philippines and where our current President resides. Last November 23, 2017, I got the chance to explore Davao City, Samal Island and Talicud Island. If you’re planning to visit Davao City this year, here’s a travel guide that could help you wander around the city or the nearby islands even if you’re all by yourself.

How to get there

  • Fly to Davao City (Francisco Bangoy International Airport)

If you’re coming from Manila, there are lots of airlines that fly more than 5x to Davao City. You may get a round-trip promo are at P 1,800+ while regular RT fare at P 7,000+, or you could take a bus coming from Butuan City, Cagayan De Oro, Cotabato and Surigao.

  • Going around Davao City 

Since Davao City has been deemed as one of the safest cities so going around the city is a piece of cake. There are different mode of transportation that you could utilize such as multi-cab, tricycle and taxis. You may also hire motorcycle for your Davao City tour, if you haven’t book a packaged tour.

  • Boat / Barge / Bus to Samal Island

There are three ports going to Samal Island such as Sta. Ana wharf going to Kaputian Beach wharf, Sasa wharf also known as Km 11 wharf  that will take you to Babak wharf or the non-aircon Samal Island Bus under Island City Express at Magsaysay Park that will take you to IGACOS Ferry Terminal, the bus will ride a ferry going to Kinawitnon Wharf in Samal Island until it reaches Peñaplata (Samal District). Boat schedule starts at 9AM till 4PM, fare at Php60 going to Sta. Cruz wharf and Kaputian Wharf while Php80 to Isla Reta.

On our way back to Davao City, we missed the first trip for the boat ride, instead of waiting for the next one, our habal-habal driver took us to Peñaplata bus station that would take a barge to Sasa Wharf.
  • Going around Samal Island and Talicud Island

The cheapest way to explore Samal island and Talicud island is through habal-habal especially of you are on a solo trip. Sharing with you contacts of our habal-habal drivers, rates go around Php500+ depending on the sites that you wanted to visit.

  1. Abloy – 0935 087 0035 (Kaputian District)
  2. Paul – 0906 890 3556 (Kaputian District)
  3. Jeramil – 0955 693 3481 (Babak District)
Jeramil – 0955 693 3481 (Babak District)

Places to Visit

The pinned places are just a few of what you could explore around Davao City, Samal Island and Talicud Island that could fit the sample budget below for a 3D&2N trip.

  • Yellows are for Davao City Tour
  • Pinks are for Samal Island sites
  • Greens are for Talicud Island beaches
  • Blues are for the Ports
  • Purples are for recommended hotels


Waterfalls /Beaches (Samal Island & Talicud Island):
  • Kaputian Beach Park
    Samal Island
Environmental fee – Php 15

  • Dayang Beach
    Talicud Island
This used to be a port that was destroyed by strong wind and current.
Roads going to Dayang Beach are steep and unpaved. It’ll definitely hurt your butt. If you opt an easy ride, you may go to Isla Reta which is a touristy spot. There’s an environmental fee of Php 50.
  • Long Beach
    Talicud Island
Not included in our itinerary but are habal-habal driver took us here since he has to pick up something from his relative who’s living in the area.

  • Sinipaan Marine Park (Vanishing Island)
    Babak, Samal Island
To get here, hire a boat for Php300 and and pay the environmental fee of Php25.
  • Hagimit Falls
    Samal Island
Environmental fee – Php 40.

  • Mangongawong (Tagbaobo) Falls
    Tagbaobo, Samal Island

Other sites to visit in Samal Island:
  • Monfort Bat Sanctuary
    Circumferencial Rd, Babak, Island Garden City of Samal
Credits to MonfortBatSanctuary.org
  • Blue Bird View Deck

  • Balete Trees

Read: Bohol: Island Hopping, Chasing Waterfalls + Cave Pools | Travel Guide

City tour around Davao City:

Though I have missed the museums due to time-constraint I have included them on the list. Some photos are not mine, credits to the owners.

  • Davao Museum of History and Ethnography
    Zonta Building, 113 Agusan Circle, Insular Village 1, Lanang, Davao City
Photo taken from TripAdvisor
  • Long Hua Temple
    Cabaguio Ave, Agdao, Davao City
Credits to Mga Lakwacherang Doktora
  • Museo Dabawenyo
    Andres Bonifacio Rotunda, Poblacion District, Davao City,
Photo from DavaoTourism.com
  • D’ Bone Collector Museum
    San Pedro St, Poblacion District, Davao City
Credits to WillFlyForFood,net
  • People’s Park
    Uy Building, 49 Palma Gil St, Poblacion District, Davao City
  • Philippine Eagle
    Davao City, Davao del Sur

For packaged tours, you may book via Travelbook.ph

  • Malagos Garden Resort
    Calinan-Baguio-Cadalian Road, Malagos, Baguio District, Davao City

Where to Stay

Island Garden Resort in Pangubatan
Bgy. Pangubatan, Kaputian, Igacos, Davao City
0906 563 0057

Tinhat Boutique Hotel and Restaurant
Artiaga St, Poblacion District, Davao City
(082) 222 2645

Venus Resort Samal
Circumferencial Rd, Sunset beach park, Babak District – Samal Island

Chema’s by the Sea
Limao, Babak District – Samal Island
(082) 286 1352

Punta Del Sol
Purok 4, Brgy., Catagman, Penaplata, Samal, Babak District – Samal Island

Where to Eat

  • New Davao Famous Restaurant
    401 Ramon Magsaysay Ave, Poblacion District, Davao City
    (082) 227 2633

Sample Itinerary

I haven’t visited all the places I listed on my original itinerary due to time-constraint since I didn’t calculate the travel time for each location but here’s a simple itinerary that you could use to start your own itinerary. As always, pick the earliest flight going to Davao and the latest flight going back to the Manila.

Activity Fare Entrance/Environmental Fee
Day 1 Arrival in Davao City + Samal Island
Kaputian Beach Park 60 15
Blue Bird View Deck 500 10
Vanishing Island 25 + 300 boat fare
Monfort Bat Sanctuary 40
Hagimit Falls 40
Mangongawong (Tagbaobo) Falls 10
Day 2 Talicud Island 100 or less depending on the no. of boat passenger
Dayang Beach 120 50
Isla Reta Beach Resort 100
Day 3 City Tour + Back to Manila
Davao Museum of History and Ethnography 100
Long Hua Temple
Museo Dabawenyo
D’ Bone Collector Museum 80
People’s Park
Philippine Eagle 50+ 150
Malagos Garden Resort 200

Read: Bohol: Island Hopping, Chasing Waterfalls + Cave Pools | Travel Guide

Sample Budget

Here’s my total expenses on my 3D/2N trip in Davao, I spent less on food since I met another solo traveler whom I split the food bill with and some the tours too. I booked a bed on a dorm-room for 2 nights at Island Garden Resort in Pangubatan.

Expenses Amount
Airfare (Promo) P 1,859.80
Accommodation P 864.26
Transportation P 1,197.00
Food P 1,244.00
Island Hopping / Tour P 1,050.00
Entrance Fee & Guide Fee P 555.00
Souvenirs / Pasalubong P 515.00
Total Expenses P 7,035.06

I hope this help you plan your Davao adventure. For questions, comments or suggestions, don’t hesitate to type them below!

Have fun and safe travels!