When in Davao, one of the best ways to spend your time is to have yourself experience diving in the beautiful island of Samal. The Island Garden City of Samal (IGaCoS) is only 15 minutes away from Davao City Wharf (Sasa Wharf). There are a lot of beaches you can choose from that are surely worth visiting more than any other beaches in Luzon when in the island.
Samal is a great place for island hopping and visiting Talikud Island should be part of the travel that one should look forward to. Talikud island is home to numerous sites for diving where you can see wonderful coral reef formations and hundreds of species of fish and different marine wild life.
Talicud Island is situated on the south-western part of Samal, farther from the mainland Davao, hence, called Talikud Island. Some locals, backed by online reviews, say Talikud Island boasts more beauty and wonders than Samal for its pure white sand beaches, clearer water, more diverse species of sea creatures, and much cheaper accommodation for tourists.
Diving and snorkeling fulfill your experience in Talikud Island. A day tour only takes less than a day and you will have all the time to enjoy exploring the sea. It is advisable to have a boat reserved ahead of time especially during peak season (November-May) to avoid long queues of boat renting at Sta. Ana Wharf in mainland Davao.
The tour usually starts in the morning to complete visiting the sites. Since Talikud Island is located on the southern part of Samal, it takes longer to reach the island than in mainland Samal. Most tour guides are divers and are knowledgeable about the place and its diverse marine culture making the tour an educational one.
There are numerous diving sites in Samal and Talikud Island but here are the key diving sites you should never miss when having a diving tour in Talikud Island.
Diving Sites in Talikud Island
Coral Garden is a 150-hectare stretch of coral reefs and Marine Park. Be blown away by its diverse marine life in full colors. It is home to 53 out of 73 genera of corals and 9 species out of 13 species of sea grasses found in the Philippines. You can even find about 250 species of aquarium fish in the area. If you opt to dive to better see a good picture of its rich marine creatures, diving fee is 800 pesos including all diving gears. You can include this when you book a boat for the tour.
Angel’s Cove has gentle and calm waters, almost angelic in nature which generally characterize this attractive dive site in Davao. The tame shallow waters make it fit for snorkeling tourists. Also, a lot of divers visit the place for its rich marine biodiversity where experienced divers will see huge pack of Jack fish, as well as tunas, and mackerels abound in the area at the depth of 40 to 50 meters.
This site is located to the north of Talikud Island and drops off to 45m. An excellent variety of corals can be found here and it is the home to a variety of species of smaller tropical fish. Whip corals, gorgonians, large sponges and soft corals can be seen at this site. Divers will also encounter lion fish, razor fish, juvenile sweet-lips, sea snakes, and colorful reef fishes. If you’re lucky, you will encounter turtles, whale sharks and even sighting of a dugong. Mansud Wall is suitable for night diving, and is recommended for snorkelers and experienced divers.
Dapia Reef’s pristine waters serve as a sanctuary to various tropical marine life such as morays eels, ox-eye scud, tube worms, sea stars, gorgons, barrel sponges, barracudas, fusiliers, hawks bill, turtles, sea urchins, sea horses, jack fish and tunas. Hard and soft coral formations cover the reefs. The site is relatively deeper than the other sites, and has sloping terrains with ridges. The maximum depth of the Dapia dive site is about 80 feet, or approximately 24 meters but the current is moderate. Although the waters are clear year round, it is best to visit the Dapia Reefs during the months of November to May
Isla Reta is located at the west coast of Talikud Island, and is inhabited by a good variety of fusiliers, sea horse, morays and sea urchins, garden eels, wrasse and parrot fish, among many others. Tourists also love the white sand beach making it hard for visitors to miss it during the tour.
To know more about the best places to visit when in Davao, visit www.bestofdavao.com.ph.