Monday, February 14, 2011

White Sand Paradise in the South

The countdown for the red letter day is still ticking, but I have to say, I'll save my Valentine thoughts for later. Right now, I'm heading straight to sunny Philippines since its almost summer there now in this part of the world. Well, I think it's almost summer despite the frequent rains that sprinkles the city. Summer in the Philippines starts on March right after classes close out. So vacation plans are in order. This is where the picture of white sand beaches of Davao comes in.

Summer vacation always equal to white sand beaches, and Philippines has lots of white sand beaches to choose from. Top in the list is the infamous Boracay. But, for some who wants to unwind on the beach without the wild nightlife, but simply the natural feel of the beach, they go somewhere else, like Davao.

Davao is famous for its white sand beaches too, although not as white as Boracay's still its white sand. Okay, not really white, just dirty white? Brownish white? Oh well.

Pearl Farm Beach Resort: This is the ultimate beach paradise in Davao. This must-visit resort in the South, is frequented by local and foreign tourists. A 45 minute boat ride from the wharf, the resort is set on an island where you will experience a world class accommodation of pampering and eating. For those who prefer to stay in the city, a day tour package is also available. Buffet lunch is served with the package, however, if your reservation falls on a day where only a few guests are listed, food is usually plated instead of the buffet type. Better booked your getaway on a weekend to ensure those seafood buffet.

Chemas: This resort is famous for its infinite pool. It gained popularity like 4 or 5 years ago. Tourists frequent this place because it has the perfect for family outing, wedding or simply a romantic overnight stay.

Paradise Island Park and Beach Resort: This is one of the first white beaches that opened in Samal which has a great facility to all beach goers and continues to improve. The beach is just 10-15 minutes boat ride from Davao. Its port is near the old Airport site. The boat ride costs Php 15 each but you have to wait until there are 10 passengers before the boat leaves. However, if you think you can't wait that long, you can pay extra Php 50 pesos so the boat will leave even if there are just two passengers. The entrance fee is Php 145 or more for adults and Php 85 for kids. Free amenities include a lounge chair and some tables and chairs. Other activity equipment will have to rent from their office within the resort. Overnight stay accommodations are also available.

Costa Marina: When Paradise Island became a hit to the beach lover public, it was already too stuffy for my anti-social family (I know the harsh description, to put it simply, we just don't like big crowds). So we shifted to the adjacent resort, Costa Marina. We usually go here to have a peaceful breakfast on a holiday. The boat ride starts at 6:00 a.m. same port with Paradise Island and same cost. Charter boat as I've known is already Php 100. You can order from their listed menu for breakfast and lunch.

Isla Reta: If you like more white sand beaches Isla Reta is another resort but quite far. The boat ride would take almost an hour to get there. The boat is at the Sta. Ana wharf. When you enter the Sta. Ana wharf, you turn left, rows and rows of bangka or small boats that will charter passengers to any resort or municipality of Samal. The resort's boat can be found with a big name of the resort painted on it. The last time I went there, the boat ride fee was Php 60 per head. Also, when you are just staying at the resort for the day, the boat that goes back to the city leaves at 4 p.m. no more no less. Otherwise, you take a really, really small boat to take you to Samal island, and from Samal you take the habal-habal or a motorcycle that carries 3-4 passengers where you will be taken to the public port for baots going to the city. Since this is a public port, the fee is just Php 5.00 That is adventure I might say.

Bali Bali: I haven't been here but my cousin did. He has no good word for the resort because, as he said, they were not accommodated very well by the staff. Although they went there for a day tour only, those who have overnight reservations were given more attention. I guess, its up to you guys to be the judge of this resort.

Hof Gorei: This resort is a 45 minute boat ride from Sta. Ana wharf. The same wharf going to Isla Reta. The resort is a small hideaway tucked at the back of the Samal island. Enjoy late lunch with a superb line up of international cuisine. Meal rates ranges from Php 150 to Php 200. At night enjoy the barbecue buffet at Php 400 per head. Downside though, the resort don't have its own boat dock way back in 2008.

Bluejaz: My niece and nephew love to frequent this resort. Aside from the beach and the pool, the resort has slides where they can play around till they are overly tanned. The entrance fee cost Php 90 per head. inclusive of use of the slides and the open cottages. The resort is 15 minutes boat ride from the city. It's wharf is located at Beachside resort in Lanang. A Jolibee restaurant serves as a landmark.

Cannibad Resort: This resort is often one of the stops if you are planning to have a island hopping package. This resort is semi-developed. A few cottages are put up for guests who will be staying overnight. Warning though, no electricity is available in the area. This is because it is located farther back of the Samal Island. The cottage costs around Php 200. Camping would be good too. If you are planning to go here, better be prepare for a camping trip. You have to cook your own food too. Going here is quite a challenge. You have to have your own car or you rent a "multicab" to charter you there. From Samal poblacion the trip would take almost an hour or so.

So if you like to have your adventure plus a very good tan, jump into the next ferry going to Samal, it is full of white sand beach resorts and you'll have plenty of stories to tell after a day or two.

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