Paradise Island, Samal – a cool escape from busy Davao, Philippines

Written and Published May 12, 2015


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Review Hanauma Bay, Hawaii (near Honolulu, Oahu)

Hyatt Place Waikiki, Honolulu Hotel Review

American Express Centurion Lounge SFO Review

Sheraton Laguna Guam Resort Review

United Business Class Review Dreamliner 787 – San Francisco (SFO) – Osaka (KIX) UA35

Top 11 Things to do Honolulu (Waikiki and South Shore)

Top 10 things to do Guam and what to expect

Photo Review Intramuros, Manila, Philippines – and the best place for a Manila sunset

Philippine Airlines Review – Domestic and International Economy Class

Marco Polo Davao Hotel Review



Paradise Island is a perfect getaway option from Davao City, Mindanao, for a day in the sun.

While there are much prettier options to experience Samal Island, they all involve much more time driving or spending much more money (e.g. the $70 day tour for the Pearl Farm Beach Resort).

Davao City is separated from Samal Island by just a small bay. I would have loved the chance to swim across the channel. There are some really big boats around, though, so you would need a boat tailing you to do that.

The easiest way to get to Paradise Island (which is not actually an island - it's a place on Samal Island!) is to use the Paradise Island wharf and pay 15 pesos (40 cents) for the quick ferry ride. I found the boats to be very safe and they even tooksafety almost too seriously. There was a strict system to avoid overloading and almost all passengers put on huge life vests the moment the boat departed.
Paradise Island, Samal – a cool escape from busy Davao, Philippines

Paradise Island, Samal – a cool escape from busy Davao, Philippines

Paradise Island, Samal – a cool escape from busy Davao, Philippines

Paradise Island, Samal – a cool escape from busy Davao, Philippines

Paradise Island, Samal – a cool escape from busy Davao, Philippines

The beach is an artificial one, but has a good amount of living coral left. I went on a public holiday and while there were literally hundreds of people in the shaded picnic area of the resort, I was the only person swimming in the 'restaurant' section of the beach. It's the area where you pay for food (there's a delicious and cheap barbecue there).
Paradise Island, Samal – a cool escape from busy Davao, Philippines

Paradise Island, Samal – a cool escape from busy Davao, Philippines

Paradise Island, Samal – a cool escape from busy Davao, Philippines

Paradise Island, Samal – a cool escape from busy Davao, Philippines

Paradise Island, Samal – a cool escape from busy Davao, Philippines

Paradise Island, Samal – a cool escape from busy Davao, Philippines

Paradise Island, Samal – a cool escape from busy Davao, Philippines

Paradise Island, Samal – a cool escape from busy Davao, Philippines

Paradise Island, Samal – a cool escape from busy Davao, Philippines

Paradise Island, Samal – a cool escape from busy Davao, Philippines

Paradise Island, Samal – a cool escape from busy Davao, Philippines

Paradise Island, Samal – a cool escape from busy Davao, Philippines

Paradise Island, Samal – a cool escape from busy Davao, Philippines

Paradise Island, Samal – a cool escape from busy Davao, Philippines

Paradise Island, Samal – a cool escape from busy Davao, Philippines

Paradise Island, Samal – a cool escape from busy Davao, Philippines

Paradise Island, Samal – a cool escape from busy Davao, Philippines

Paradise Island, Samal – a cool escape from busy Davao, Philippines

It would have felt a bit like a private beach, if it had not been for the blaring smooth jazz.

Lunch, transportation (incl. taxis) and park entrance fee came out to $11 - superb value!

If you want to splurge a bit, book the trip to Pearl Farm Beach Resort ahead of timeby callingthe resort sales outlets. For my stay dates, all trips were booked in advance. The resort allows only 50 guests at any time incl. day trippers.

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