The beaches of Davao

It's summer!!!

Davao has plenty of beautiful beaches one can go for a summer getaway and beat the scorching heat. Here are some of the many beach destinations around Region-XI.

La Isla Bonita

Located in Barangay Cogon, Talikud Island. La Isla Bonita is a resort owned by the Punta del Sol Group of Companies which has developed several tourism sites in the island.

La Isla has a 160-meter long white sand beach which because of its relative remoteness is still unspoilt and idyllic.

There are cabanas and cottages available at Las Isla Bonita though you have to navigate a very rough road towards the resort, hoping they can fix that up soon.

From Talikud's Sta. Cruz pier, there are accredited habal-habal motorcycles which would take you to Isla Bonita.

Samalan/ San Remigio

Located in the barangay of San Remigio in Kaputian District, the Island Garden City of Samal. Samalan or Matanos (as locals call the beach) has a 700-meter stretch of white sand beach sandwiched between two forested coves where megapodes (Tabon Bird) and monkeys live.

Samalan is also considered as remote as it is a 30-minute ride from Kaputian proper, one of the reasons you do not find huge beach crowds here.

Samalan Camp and Sea has cottage accommodations and a camp ground if you would want to go camping or glamping in perhaps one of Samal Island's best stretch of natural white sand beach.

Samalan Camp and Sea

Aerial view of San Remigio

Isla Cristina

A small strip of beach cove located in Sitio Cogon, Talikud Island. It used to be part of the sprawling Reta Estate until it was put under agrarian reform. The beach is now managed by agrarian reform beneficiaries and is known formally as Isla Costafba (Cogon Sta Cruz Farmer Beneficiaries Association).

The shore's terrain is a little bit rough with boulders and rocks but the pristine beach waters is carpeted by sea grasses and fine white sand,  a very friendly place to swim.

There are huts and cottages maintained by the farmer beneficiaries, the beach is a popular pit-stop for island hoppers where one can have a picnic and dip in its waters though it's not as crowded as the beach in Babu Santa.

At the edge of the beach is a cave which can fit 20-30 people. it is a popular attraction for swimmers.

Isla Cristina

The cave

San Victor Island

Located in the town of Baganga in Davao Oriental, San Victor Island is a small islet owned by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Mati City.

The island is surrounded by white sand beach which is still relatively unspoilt, the surrounding waters are pristine and teeming with marine life, perfect for snorkeling. There are accommodation facilities in the island.

You can reach San Victor via a 5-minute pumpboat ride from the nearest mainland barangay, it is 20-minutes from Baganga town proper. The town is about a 5-hour land trip from Davao City. Within Baganga and the nearby town of Cateel are several tourist attractions. San Victor Island can be one of the side visits to your trip in this part of Davao Oriental.

San Victor

Dahican Beach

A visit to Mati City is not complete if you haven't been to Dahican Beach. It's a 7-kilometer stretch of white sand paradise facing the Pacific which has become a playground for locals and visitors alike.

You can swim, surf or skim in the waters. in the sandy beach there's beach volleyball and frisbee tournaments being held. During afternoons you can stroll or people watch just like one can do in Boracay. The beach also plays host to electronic dance music rave parties and concerts.

Along the coast you can find many resorts that caters to varying types of clients. There are luxurious airconditioned rooms or there are resorts which have huts or campground spaces where you can pitch a tent.

For famed skim boarder Bayogyog, Dahican is his playground

View of Dahican

Waniban Island

In the middle of Pujada Bay in Mati City you can find two beautiful islands. One of these islands is Waniban.

The half of the 4-hectare islet is surrounded by a picturesque white sand beach, the waters so cool and inviting. if there's a beach you would want to frolic forever that would be Waniban. There are huts for visitors maintained by a friendly family who are caretakers of the island.

From Mati City you can proceed to Pujada Bay resorts like Blue Bless or Cinco Masao where you can arrange boat trips to the island.

Waniban Island

Mati City Mayor Carlo Rabat in Waniban

Pujada Island

Waniban and Pujada islands are the jewels of Pujada Bay.

Pujada is a 156-hectare island owned by the Angliongto family which once operated a fleet of ferry barges linking Davao City to the other coastal towns long before the advent of the national highway that now connects the provinces.

There is a stretch of white sand beach in Pujada Island which I would consider as one of the best beaches I've been to; fine talc-like sand, rock-free shores, clear pristine waters and a beach forest surrounding it.

I've been wanting to return to that spot many years after I've been invited by then Davao Oriental Governor Corazon Malanyaon to visit the place along with several colleagues from the Davao media.

The beach is comparable if not, better than Boracay's fabled White Beach minus the crowds and development. The island's location which is a rough 45-minute boat ride prevents it from being rushed upon by the beach-going crowd. Hope its pristine environment would stay that way.

The best beach there is comparable if not superior to Boracay's white beach (photo by Albert Egot)

(photo by Albert Egot)

 Cleanergy Park, Punta Dumalag

This small strip of beach in Davao City may not be ideal for swimming and frolicking as it serves another purpose. The Cleanergy Park is perhaps one of the remaining beach forests in Davao City and is the nesting site of the Hawksbill sea turtle or Pawikan.

A property of the Davao Light and Power Company and once called as the Pawikan Sanctuary, Davao Light's mother company, Aboitiz Equity Ventures transformed it into a eco-park, they secured the perimeter of the property, built a tree nursery, a mangrove boardwalk and a small knowledge center. It has become a learning center for environmental conservation.

It is located at the tip of Punta Dumalag in Matina Aplaya, near Seagull Beach Resort. Though open to the public you must first seek the permission of the community relations office of the Davao Light and Power Company who oversees the park. The white sand beach though is closed to visitors during turtle nesting season.

The park is also a well-known destination for landscape photographers. Some of the places in the parks are also used for photoshoots.

A beach forest in the City

A Pawikan hatchling


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