Pocket-friendly Davao-Samal Itinerary Part 1

You don’t have to splurge cash just to have the perfect vacation. All you need is patience, planning, a street-smart attitude, and saying YES to the holiday you so desperately deserve.

The day before 2015 said goodbye, Cebu Pacific had the ultimate Piso Fare Promo. I was able to buy Davao City round trip tickets for only Php600.00. The catch, I have to wait for six months to get there (June 18-20). After having the trip, all I can say is that, it was definitely worth the wait.

Here’s our travel guide for you readers, so that you may know what to expect, and an estimate on how much to bring with you.

Davao International Airport

There is not much to explore at the airport, so it’s best to start the day, after all, we arrived at Davao at 07:45 AM.There are some food stalls, if you are feeling hungry, but we highly recommend eating elsewhere as airport food are very pricey. If you’re going straight to Samal, make sure to withdraw as much as Php4000.00 before going there as there is only one ATM in the island, located in City Hall.

Samal Island

Hop on to a taxi straight to Sasa Wharf (Php 75.00). Wait and board for an Island Bus and get off at Penaplata  Warehouse(Php50.00). From there, board a Habal going to your pre-booked accommodation. We booked ours through AirBnB.com, La Vida Orchard. We got a nice room for Php1200.00 (good for 2 pax). They also have mixed-dormitory available at Travelbook for Php420 per pax.

There really isn’t much to see at inland Samal. Go to Hagimit Falls and Batcave, but no more. The so-called Japanese cave is nothing more than a small hole that really isn’t worth seeing.

Make sure to ask and confirm rates before riding a Habal .I highly recommend not to hire one for a whole day as it’s too costly. Hagimit and Batcave tour shouldn’t cost you more than Php200.00, to and from Penaplata.


Hagimit Falls has a Php30.00 entrance fee. There are resort management inside which requires you to pay Php100-300 per cottage. We just rented a table to place our things (Php50.00 ) which also gives us bathroom privileges).

Batcave is a place to visit should you wish to see hundreds of bats in one place. Entrance fee is at Php100 (day time) and Php 150-200 (nighttime). That’s it for the day.

Island Hopping


If you’re travelling as a group, you can save a lot on boat rental cost. One boat can charge you Php 2500 – 3000.00 for the whole journey. Get a habal from the hotel, but once you’ve got the boat, tell your habal to go home, and that you’ll just text him after the trip, or board another. Ours went with us for the whole trip and charged us Php1000.00. From the resort to Kaputian Drop-off, it’s Php 100.00 per pax. So you’d be able to save Php 800 if you just board another habal after. There are loads on the island,so don’t worry.

NOTE: Make sure you have food with you before you go on your adventure as there are nowhere to purchase food.

You island hopping escapade would be at Taklobo, Starfish, Isla Reta and back to Kaputian.

This alone would consume your day.

The alternative to renting a boat is to have your habal drop you at Kaputian Beach resort where you can board a large boat going to Kaputian (Php20.00). It can be a long wait though but then again Isla Reta is the best beach there is and there are loads of tourist in the island.

From Isla Reta you can board a boat again back to Kaputian (Php 50.00) or straight back to Davao (Php 70.00).


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