Take a beach break: Talicud Island
Looking for a quick break in a fine white sand – clear waters – not crowded beach? Talicud Island is a smaller island part of Island Garden City of Samal (IGACOS), Davao del Norte which is situated at the ‘back portion’ of Samal.
How to get there:
Coming from Davao City, you can catch a trip by riding a “lancha” or ferry boat from Sta. Ana wharf in downtown. I haven’t tried going this way but I heard from Samal locals that it’s an hour-long ride and the fare is around Php 60 or above (not sure!). The trip goes straight from downtown to Sta. Cruz (main port in Talicud).
Coming from Samal, you can hire a habal-habal (main mode of transpo in Mindanao. Public utility motorcycle like the ones in Bangkok :p) and ask the driver to take you to Kaputian District. From there, you can ride a boat (Php 20 / person) going to Sta. Cruz port.
If you may chance upon an Island City Express Bus coming either from Davao City or Samal, you can also ride aboard it and just hop off in Kaputian District. From there, you can ride a boat going to Sta. Cruz port.
Where to stay:
There’s a nearby resort (Isla Reta) that is just walking distance from the Sta. Cruz wharf. No need to hire a habal-habal or hire a motorboat that will take you there!
Entrance fee is Php 40 / person. Tables under the talisay tree are for free.
For the campers:Pitching a tent for overnight fee is Php 100. You may bring/rent a tent in the area.
There’s a restroom/ shower room, a few huts, and a mini snack store. Do not expect the usual grand facilities you’ll find in other resorts! It will however give you the ambiance of peace and quiet break away from the city life. Plus, the front desk staff in Isla Reta were nice enough to let us pitch our tent for free 🙂
Powdery white sand beach and clear waters of Isla Reta:
What to eat:
There’s no decent resto inside the resort except for a mini snack bar so after hopping off the boat in Sta. Cruz port, you may snack on street foods like banana fritters, BBQs, and etc. sold in the area.
For lunch, you may shop in their wet market located beside the basketball court, a few steps away from the wharf then just sugba (“grill” in bisaya) it when you reach Isla Reta. There’s no corkage for bringing in food, don’t worry!
What I did:
Since I was staying in Samal (Babak area) the time I went there, I opted to hire a habal-habal to take us to Talicud Island. You can negotiate about the prices with the driver. (Of course, I chose a driver that I personally know) Anyway, he let me choose whether I pay him (A) Php 1,000 and fill his fuel tank up full or (B) I pay him the “package” Php 1,500. Whatever you choice you made, he will drive you to wherever you want to go for the whole day.
We first made a side trip to Monfort Bat Cave (Guinness World Record for the most number of bats) in Babak, Samal before heading out to Kaputian.
Entrance is Php 100 / person
Try striking up a conversation with your driver, they know where the nice places are!
When we arrived in Kaputian, we boarded the boat Php 20/person going to Talicud. We decided to let our motor drivers tag along with us so that we’ll have a guide once we reach the island. (don’t worry, drivers’ entrance in Isla Reta are for free) We brought adobo and rice with us for our packed lunch but since one of our habal-habal drivers is a muslim, we bought fresh-catch fishes from the market. The drivers grilled it for us.
Unless your staying overnight in the island, be sure to leave before 3 pm since it’ll be quite hard to find a motor boat leaving after that hour. Plus, the boat are punuan. They fill up the seating capacity of the boat so you’ll have to wait for other passengers unless you are willing to pay for the remaining seats 😛
Kids on their afternoon play