Breathtaking. I don’t think there’s any other perfect description for Canibad. In fact, I don’t think I knew what it really meant until I visited this place a year ago. Situated on the Island Garden City of Samal, a part of the Metropolitan Davao area which is also home to Pearl Farm Resorts, Bali-bali Resorts, and Monfort Bat Sanctuary, among others, Canibad is the perfect destination for any sort of relaxing or reflective getaway, whether alone or with the people you love.

Dubbed as “The Hidden Paradise of East Samal,” Canibad boasts natural scenery, stunning views, and landscapes that can rival any other destination in the country.

There are so many things to do and so many sights to visit in Canibad. Allow me to share the highlights of my trip in this Car Rental Davao blog entry.

But first, you need to know how to get to Canibad.


Getting to Canibad

Getting to Canibad is now easier than ever since the city government of Samal finally finished the road leading to different places on the island. There are two available options for you: you can either take the official public transportation or rent a private vehicle.

If you prefer the former, your only choice is to take the ferry from Davao-Samal Ferry Wharf in Sasa in Davao City to Babak Port, Samal. Once you’re there, you will have to take a motorcycle or habal-habal ride. The fare here is P300 per head.

For practical reasons, renting a car is more advisable and more convenient. Not only will you cut the travel time from 2 hours to 1 hour, but you will also skip the hassle of transferring from one mode of public transportation to another.

By doing so, you can have a more comfortable trip and you can drive all the way to Canibad. Why make this trip complicated when you can just sit back and relax, right?

We here at Car Rental have all the units you need for your Canibad trip, from sedans to SUVs to vans — all high-quality but cheap rental cars. If you’re a tourist, we can have your chosen vehicle delivered at Davao airport upon your arrival. If you’re already in Davao, we can deliver it to any destination of your choice.

If you intend to stay on Samal Island for a long time, we can also offer special car rental deals for you. Contact us directly and we will make the arrangement for you.

Photo: Canibad Secret Paradise Resort

Things to do and try in Canibad

Firstly, you will need a place to stay while in Canibad. It is important to make a room reservation at a resort of your choice ahead of the trip. If, in any case, you forgot to secure any prior reservation, you can bring a camping tent with you. That will be enough, especially if you plan to stay overnight.

In our case, my friends and I chose to stay at Canibad Secret Paradise Resort. It became our home base for two days, and I must say it was worth all the muscle pain. It is located below the cliff so we had to descend 300 steps, just imagine that! Still, it was so worth it as it offers the most stunning overlooking view of the Canibad beach.

If you’re a beach bum like me, I’m sure you will rush to swim in its crystal clear seawater. That’s what I did. Words can’t explain how amazed I was seeing it, as well as the powdery white sand. They are comparable to those of Boracay’s. The only difference is Canibad’s is much cleaner and less crowded. Fingers crossed it won’t be commercialized in the years to come.

Now, what is an island getaway without exploring what’s beneath it? If you know how to swim, then snorkeling should be easy for you. Be captivated by the beauty of seagrasses, coral reefs, and fishes underneath. The good news is, it is free. Just make sure you have high-quality snorkeling equipment with you and that you alert the staff of the resort so that a lifeguard can keep an eye on you.

Photo: Lakwatsa PH & WORLD

Other activities to try while in Canibad are rock climbing and cliff jumping. Rock climbing is something I love doing, and I’ve done it several times already. Cliff jumping, on the other hand, is something I couldn’t and will never do — you guessed it right, I politely begged off.

Luckily for our group, we had a friend who took the challenge of jumping from the 20-foot-high cliff. (The water here is approximately 10 feet deep.) He said he loved the experience and would try it again, but admitted it was really scary knowing how dangerous it can be.

I remember him telling us, “Ang sarap sa pakiramdam na na-overcome ko ang takot ko. Hindi ko akalain na kaya ko pala gawin ‘yun, akala ko hindi.” (“It feels great to overcome your fears. I never thought I could do it, but I did.”)

Since most of us opted not to cliff jump, we decided to go boating instead. The rate varies, but there are many locals around the area offering this service so you have plenty to choose from.

We paid P200 for an hour-long run offshore, and luckily for us, the very kind boatman gave us an extra hour for free. The generosity and kindness of these people really stood out during this entire trip. It’s the Filipino spirit. Those luxurious parties could not equate to having a reflective chit-chat with Manong boatman while we passed by the stunning sights in Canibad. We were so lucky we got to experience it.

Photo: Kalinawan Adventure Camp

On Day 2 of our trip, we decided to head straight to Kalinawan Adventure Camp, about 20 minutes from our resort. A haven for sports enthusiasts, the Kalinawan Adventure Camp offers extreme outdoor adventures ranging from zip-lining to rappelling to trekking. We had limited time as we had to check out by 12 noon, so we opted for kayaking.

Once everything is back to normal, we’ll definitely book our trip here and try the rest of their offerings.

No island trip, of course, is complete without food, and Canibad offers plenty of options. Any seafood you desire, like crabs, shrimps, and salmon, are available here and they are freshly caught and cooked. I happen to be a seafood lover, so I devoured an entire plate of my favorite alimasag (crabs) and relyenong bangus before heading back to Davao.

At Canibad Secret Paradise Resort, we were also allowed to prepare our own food. During our first night, we grilled some bangus and stuffed it with tomatoes and onions. It was a different kind of bonding experience from when we are in Davao, but we thoroughly enjoyed the collaborative process of cooking.

Just a heads up: You are allowed to cook, but you have to pay a fee for using their grilling place. Everything you need can also be bought from their in-house sari-sari store, so there’s really no need to go out of the resort.

Photo: Mama Guides Recipes

Where to stay in Canibad

Canibad Secret Paradise Resort
Purok 4 Barangay Aundanao, Samal, Island Garden City of Samal, Davao del Norte
Budget: Entrance fee of P60 for day tour and P100 for overnight stay. Room rates start at P1,000, good for 2 persons.
Contact No: 09461813218, 09283589232, 09489924638, 09350859591, 09063077878
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CanibadSecretParadiseResort/
Email: samalcanibadsecretparadise@gmail.com

Canibad Point Resort
Purok 4 Barangay Aundanao, Samal, Island Garden City of Samal, Davao del Norte
Budget: Room rates start at P2400 good for 8 people.
Contact No: +1 916-390-7241
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ILovecanibadpointresort/

Canibad Madyaw Beach Resort
Purok 4 Barangay Aundanao, Samal, Island Garden City of Samal, Davao del Norte
Budget: Entrance fee of P50 and air-conditioned room rates start at P1300 good for 2 persons
Contact Nos: Mobile: 09177199303, 09392436432, 09305185375
Telephone: (082) 224-4664, (082) 284-3516
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Canibad-Madyaw-BEACH-Resort-2292300887510996/

Canibad Adventures Beach Resort
Purok 4 Barangay Aundanao, Samal, Island Garden City of Samal, Davao del Norte
Budget: Entrance fee of P50 day tour and P70 overnight stay.
Contact No: 09351402284
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CanibadAdventuresBeachResort/

Coshean Beach Resort
Brgy. Aundanao 8119 Samal, Davao, Philippines
Budget: An entrance fee of P40 for day tour and P80 for overnight
Room rates range from P3000 and above per overnight stay
Contact No: 09162888578

Kalinawan Adventure Camp
Brgy. Aundanao 8119 Samal, Davao, Philippines
Budget: Room rates start at P9500, good for 10 people
Contact No: 09171264358
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Beach-Resort/Kalinawan-Adventure-Camp-71419351496/
Email Address: kalinawan@yahoo.com