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Local Philippines: Speechless in Samal

The astonishing attractions in Island Garden City of Samal in southern Philippines always leave tourists speechless.

A group of islands in southern Philippines is considered a playground for pleasure. It is frequented by tourists who want to escape the hectic life in the metro. Travelers in this heavenly destination are overwhelmed with the richness of its natural resources and biodiversity. Pristine beaches harboring abundant marine life, unspoiled caves serving as a sanctuary for a colony of bats, and world-class resorts offering comfortable accommodations are too much to ignore even for the most demanding and meticulous travelers. The place is known as the Island Garden City of Samal.

Once isolated from the outside world, Samal is now within reach, thanks to improvements in the public transport system. Davao City is the jump-off point to this paradise. It is accessible by air, land, and water travel from other major cities across the country. There are daily flights to Davao from Manila while established entry points to the island are always in full operations, so getting to Samal is not a problem.

Here is a travel guide to help you prepare for you ultimate vacation in Samal. The following are some of the astonishing attractions in this heaven on earth.

Bat Sanctuary
Get up close and personal with one of the world’s most hated and misunderstood creatures at the Bat Sanctuary in Barangay Tambo. Monfort Cave was recently cited by the Guinness World Records as the world’s largest sanctuary for Rousetteus amplexicaudatus, or Geoffrey's Rousette Fruit Bat. The Texas-based Bat Conservation estimated that there are some 1.8 million bats living in the cave. The recognition has driven local and international efforts to protect this amazing natural wonder.

Igacos Mangrovetum
Another interesting attraction in Samal is the Igacos Mangrovetum, the first of its kind in Mindanao. Accessible via a ten-minute boat ride from Davao City, the ten-hectare sanctuary serves as a laboratory for various studies on the Philippine mangrove ecosystem. The mangrovetum, which also serves as a conservation site for birds, was established in 1991 thru the initiative of the Mama Earth Foundation.

Aundanao Fish Sanctuary
For water recreation enthusiasts, diving at the Aundanao Fish Sanctuary is a must. The site, which can be visited any time of the year, allows divers to experience a close underwater encounter with Samal’s rich marine resources such as the pelagic fish, turtles, sweet lips, and groupers. The magnificent coral reefs also make diving at the Aundanao Fish Sanctuary a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Sanipaan Shoal
Now you see it, now you don’t. This aptly describes Sanipaan Shoal, one of the premier dive sites in Samal. The sandbar is also called the Vanishing Island as it disappears during high tide, creating a visual illusion that often leaves visitors in awe. There elevated cottages that are for rent in several parts of this 80-hectare shoal.

Caracoles Festival
There’s more to Samal other than beaches and caverns. The island is also home to a number of colorful festivals, including the Caracoles Festival. This annual festival is held on the 28th and 29th day of April as a thanksgiving celebration for the island’s abundant marine resources. The highlight of the festival is a parade participated by people dressed in bright costumes depicting various sea creatures living in Samal.

With these wonderful attractions, it is no wonder, then, that tourists in Samal always end up speechless.

Local Philippines is your travel buddy. We have information about the destinations, how to get there, what to do while in the area and more! Destinations in the beaches or in the mountains, destinations under water, destinations right at the middle of the urban hubComputer Technology Articles, name it and Local Philippines will most likely feature it.

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Allan Leandro Merin has been writing for a living since 2008. After leaving a career at a daily electronic crew newspaper, he joined a web development outsourcing company and linked up with Local Philippines, the most comprehensive online directory of Philippine destinations, events, and attractions.

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