NEED ideas on where to head next without booking a plane ticket (‘coz out of budget)? You are reading the perfect article. Cheers to that!
There is no other perfect time to hit the beach than summer. Though many are planning their summer frolics to somewhere plane-distant, may it be Visayas, Luzon or overseas, still it is but wise of you to rather explore vehicle-and-boat-distant beaches that are just equally-fascinating.
To those living in the south, this list will take you to your #dreamsummer without having to leave Davao Region. Here are the destinations where you can swag your swim suits and board shorts this summer:
Through its inviting powerful waves and alluring deep blue sea, this surfing and skim-boarding hub that is home of Bayogyog (an international watersports sensation) is one of the emerging beach destinations in the country.
Situated in Mati City, Davao Oriental, Dahican is a seven-kilometer stretch facing the Pacific Ocean. It is surrounded with tall coconut trees, fine sand and numerous resorts catering to those backpackers, middle class to high-end market (Menzi Beach Resort, Dahican Surf Resort, Kalapyahan, Destino, Botona, etc.)
The crescent-shaped coastline is also a sanctuary for sea turtles. Beach goers usually flocked in Dahican during “SummerFrolic” Party. This year’s party is set on April 21-22.
How to get to Dahican
From Davao City, board a bus to Mati at the highway outside Davao City International Airport or at the Ecoland Transport Terminal (P250 per head, four to five hours of travel). One can also ride a van at Gaisano Mall or Victoria Plaza (P200 per head, 2.5-3 hours away). When in Mati City Bus Terminal, hire a habal-habal (motorbike) or tricycle and ask the driver to take you to paradise that is Dahican (P40 to P50 fare per head, 15 to 20 minutes away).
The Island Buenavista
If you are looking for a luxury resort where you can get the "feels" of owning an island, well, the Island Buenavista must be reserved for you.
Exclusivity is the word. This four-hectare island in Island Garden City of Samal, Davao del Norte, is an exclusive paradise of lush tropical greenery, white sand beach, sapphire waters of Davao gulf and a sanctuary for giant clams and other marine species.
The island, indeed, is a refreshing destination to detox from the toxic city buzz while reveling in the activities offered by the resort like beach kayaking, snorkeling, beach volleyball, table tennis and more.
This summer, the resort is offering discounted deals for day tour visitors. Those who want to avail the 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. trip, a package of buffet lunch, round trip boat transfers from Sta. Ana Wharf to Island Buenavista, welcome drinks and complimentary use of sports and leisure activities will be given, all at only P2,800 per head.
How to get to Island Buenavista
Those availing the package will only have to go to Sta. Ana Wharf and wait for the boat transfer. To those who are not, guests may take a ferry from the Davao City wharf to Babak, Igacos. From there, guests will then travel to Ana Marina Resort in Balet, Igacos. A local outrigger will ferry guests from the wharf to the resort.
Want to do away from heavily-populated beach resorts but on a tight budget? Dayang is the answer.
Those who are for a rustic, less-crowded setting, Dayang Beach Resort in Talikud Island in Igacos will be a perfect reflection turf. It has a 150-meter long beach front. The place is made even appealing with a view of Mt. Apo just across the beach, a picture-perfect representation of the region’s “islands to highlands” slogan.
One or a group can stay overnight in its bamboo cottages which can be rented starting from only P500 and up. There, you can also find the broken columns of an abandoned pier submerged in the waters like remnants of an ancient city.
Just a heads-up, mobile and internet signal there are quite weak including power supply especially at night and this remains a challenge in the area. But, I bet, that’s what you came for, to be secluded and disconnected, to be away from the city, at least for a while.
How to get to Dayang
There’s a lot of options, but I opted to take the trip via the Sta. Ana Wharf to Isla Reta route through a ferryboat. It costs some P50 per head and the last trip is scheduled usually around 2:00 p.m. You can then hire a habal-habal driver and asked him to take you to Dayang once the ferry docked in the island.
Its crystalline infinity pool and culture-inspired themed garden villas can give guests a tranquil and serene summer experience, completing one’s summer getaway.
The Bali Bali Beach Resort in Catagman Village in Igacos, a semi-private resort, is a hidden gem tucked away from Samal Island. It has a one-hectare beachfront and is surrounded by the natural grandeur of nature.
How to get to Bali Bali
Since the resort practices pre-booked, pre-arranged accommodations, guests can enjoy a boat transfer from Davao Boat Club Marina in Lanang to Bali Bali.
La Isla Bonita
La Isla Bonita Beach Resort is a 160-meter of white sand beach and clear turquoise waters.
This piece of heaven located at Talikud Island, Samal, can be a real escapade from the hustle and bustle of the city with its picturesque and panoramic view that will surely give a calming and soothing kind of feeling to anyone.
One can entirely disconnect from the busy city since the resort has a limited access to signal waves.
How to get to La Isla Bonita
From Sta. Ana Wharf in Davao City, ride a boat bound to Sta. Cruz port in Talicud Island, Samal. At Sta. Cruz port, a motorbike (habal-habal) will take you to the resort. Habal-habal ride costs P70 per person, one way.
Now that you have checked this guide, it’s time for packing and head to some of these destinations that will surely satisfy your wanderlust.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on March 16, 2017.
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