At the Beach: Isla Reta
Are you ready to go to the beach? The fascinating thing about Davao City , Philippines is its proximity to a small island paradise that is not tourist-y. Isla Reta is a beach resort with a good stretch of white sand beach with a great shade of trees situated in Talicud Island part of Samal Island. No need for beach umbrellas, feel free to lie down and sleep under the the canopy of lush greens. It's as tranquil as this even during weekends.
|Photo Credit: Zepy of Travel Explore Beyond|
At Sta. Ana Wharf, we took a wooden ferry boat marked Isla Reta that leaves the dock at 9AM to get to the island. There is a resort boat trip going straight to Isla Reta on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The boat fare is Php 80.00 (USD $ 7) per person one way. During weekdays, Pacific boats leave the wharf at 9:15AM. that will drop you at Sta. Cruz wharf in Talicud Island. Timings can be pretty unpredictable as departure times are decided by the owner of the boats. They could leave late or way early so to be safe, be there around 8AM. The trip is roughly around 50 minutes to an hour. You can take a habal-habal, a rough motorcycle ride behind a driver without helmet good for 2 passengers for Php 20.00 (50 cents). It's a unique experience. Otherwise, Isla Reta is walking distance from the main port of Sta. Cruz.
The entrance fee to the island is Php 75.00 (USD $6) per person for a day at the beach. In case you want to stay overnight with a beautiful view of the sunset, enjoying a barbecue dinner at the beach, the fee is Php 150.00 ( USD $12). There are open cottages on manicured grass under the shade of Talisay trees and these are free of charge. You can also pitch your own tent for a small fee and camp outdoors. In renting a closed cottage good for 4 persons, it's Php 2000 (USD $155). There's a tent available on the island for Php 1000 (USD $78) There's a small restaurant offering delicious local cuisine and drinks.
Enjoy the local fruits. We bought fruits at the Magsaysay Fruit Stand a block away from Sta. Ana Wharf and carried Durian with us in the boat (Glad no one complained). Durian fruit is the smelliest fruit in the world. As I mentioned earlier, they say, "It tastes like heaven, but it smells like hell." You can buy frozen ones that taste far better. Wait till you try the Durian ice cream and Durian candy of Apo ni Lola.
|Clockwise Top L: Durian & Rambutan / My first taste of Durian / Marang and Mangosteen, Bottom L- Durian Interior|
The sand is powdery white.
The water is clear and pristine, it felt like swimming in a pool.
We fell asleep under the trees.
The boat leaves the island at 3PM. You're most likely to reach the wharf after an hour and a great destination afterwards is to catch the Crocs show at the Crocodile Park followed by a really impressive Fire Dance Show. I'm currently traveling alone now. Zepy of Travel Explore Beyond had to get back to work.
What will you do during a day trip in a place like this?
ArniPhoto Credit: Zepy of Travel Explore Beyond