If by chance I’d be asked “What one word best describes your country, the Philippines?” I’d confidently say “blessed!“
Why so? Let me give you a hint! Boracay, Palawan, Bohol? Ring any bells?
If it does, you’re definitely thinking what I’m thinking! I’m only naming a few, but there are so many beautiful beaches here in The Philippines I’ve already lost count.
Last July 5-8, 2015, UrbanTribePh braved the temperamental waters of Davao Gulf, traveled south of Samal Island to a place unknown to many from Luzon and Visayas: the exquisite paradise of Davao Del Norte, Talicud Island.
HOW TO GET THERE
Samal Island, officially known as Island Garden City of Samal (IGaCoS), is best accessed via plane and then boat. There are daily flights from Manila to Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao City. From there, hail a taxi (probably the easiest option) and ask to be taken to Sta. Ana Wharf. Travel time is approximately 15 minutes and will cost you 140 Php.
Upon arrival at Sta. Ana Wharf, a 10 Php tariff will be collected at the main entrance. Pumpboats are then available to take you to Talicud Island. Fare is 60 Php, one-way and travel time is an hour.
Note: Pumpboats are scheduled with a specific time of arrival and departure. But will change without prior notice. With our experience, we waited at Sta. Ana Wharf for at least 2 hours! The policy was to make sure that they have the maximum number of passengers before departing. So better have your playlist ready or sit beside someone chatty, its going to be a long day.
WHERE TO STAY?
There are 3 famous resorts in Talicud Island; Isla Reta, Dayang Beach Resort and Babu Santa.
For those who’d like to travel a bit more, Dayang and Babu Santa can be reached via habal-habal, as these two are on the other side of the Island. While Isla Reta is a walk away from Talicud Island’s main port.
Isla Reta offers a variety of options for you to enjoy your stay. Ranging from concrete cottages, “bahay-kubo” inspired accommodations and for others who’d like to rough-it-up, they also have tents for rent.
But please don’t expect a luxurious 5-star stay. Isla Reta is a simple and laid back resort that has all your basic needs to make it through the night. Toiletries, beddings, food and water are available for a reasonable amount.
A fair warning to those who wish to spend a night. Talicud Island’s electricity is generator powered. Its schedule is from 3 PM to 6 AM everyday. Furthermore, fresh water for bathing is a rare commodity. Expect to wash yourself off using filtered salt water or you can opt to do it the old-school way. Fetch fresh water from the nearby well <wink>.
WHAT TO DO
Honestly there’s really nothing much to do in Talicud Island. To put it simply, it’s a haven for those who seek tranquility. It is a great place to escape, unwind and appreciate nature in its raw form.
There may be no banana boats or snorkeling activities available. However I can assure you that the beach is so breathtaking, it’ll leave your mouth open.
Sit, chat and grab a beer with your friends along the cove. Watch as the ocean transforms magnificently before your eyes. From milky white to light cerulean then royal blue.
Waters that are so clear you’d see the bottom of the ocean floor. While you dig your feet through fine white sand that feels like powder on skin.
How could a place be so beautiful and yet unknown to others?
It’s unlike any other beaches here in our country. Talicud Island, in my opinion, has personality!
Although I must admit, Isla Reta’s beach is not recommendable for swimming. Their shores are sprawled with washed-off seaweeds and there are huge corals by the bay which could lead to injuries.
Nonetheless, no island is perfect. Even the best ones have setbacks. What’s important is to always have an open-mind and learn to unlearn.
In summary, Talicud Island will forever be a favorite. Who would’ve thought that this small island could pack such beauty and make Boracay a run for her money.
Travel period: July 5-8, 2015
For further information about Isla Reta’s rates and pumpboat schedule. You can like and visit their Facebook page here, Isla Reta.
Stay tuned for more of our adventures in Davao.
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