Babu Santa Beach in Talikud Island, Samal by Habal-habal

A pleasant afternoon greeted my arrival at the laid-back Santa Cruz Wharf in Talicud Island, Samal. My reception was exactly as I had hoped. At the wharf was a small village surrounded by all the elements of a tropical paradise: inviting waters, palm fringed white-sand beaches, perfect sunny weather, and no sight of large-scale developments. … just your typical low-key island ready to welcome any weary traveler.

After stepping off the boat, I got on the back of a habal-habal (single motorcycle) and was on my way to Babu Santa Beach located at the western coast of Talikud Island

Babu Santa Beach - Talikud Island - Samal City 10-10 (671)
Talicud Island in the Island Garden City of Samal (IGACOS), Davao del Norte, Philippines

The habal-habal driver warned me that there were no developed roads going to Babu Santa Beach. We agreed on P150 rate for a round trip ride. I admitted later on that I had taken his warning lightly. The path was not the flat road I expected. The 15-minute ride had far too many bumps for comfort.

When I caught first glance of Babu Santa Beach, I was, in that instant, just relieved that my ordeal was about to end. It would’ve been a better choice to walk/hire a boat than take a habal-habal ride on “dirt” roads overlaid by rough limestone.

Babu Santa Beach

Babu Santa Beach is one of the more popular beach destinations in Talikud Island. Mainland Samal together with Talikud and many other smaller islands comprise the “Island Garden City of Samal” or IGACOS for short. Yep, that is the formal name of the city … and yep, this place is politically classified as a city :|

The beachfront faces Davao City. One could even see the skyline of the city and the towering Mt. Apo on a clear day.

Babu Santa Beach - Talikud Island - Samal City 10-10 (674)
The raw side of Babu Santa Beach

Babu Santa Beach - Talikud Island - Samal City 10-10 (632)

Babu Santa Beach - Talikud Island - Samal City 10-10 (634)
Davao City Skyline seen from Babu Santa Beach in Talikud Island

There were a handful other people when I arrived at the beach. I really liked the peaceful and relaxing vibe of this place.

Babu Santa Beach - Talikud Island - Samal City 10-10 (639)

Babu Santa Beach - Talikud Island - Samal City 10-10 (637)

Babu Santa Beach - Talikud Island - Samal City 10-10 (645)

Babu Santa Beach - Talikud Island - Samal City 10-10 (654)

Babu Santa Beach - Talikud Island - Samal City 10-10 (664)

Babu Santa Beach - Talikud Island - Samal City 10-10 (650)

Also loved the ruined pier structure at the beach. Very picturesque :)

Babu Santa Beach - Talikud Island - Samal City 10-10 (651)

Babu Santa Beach - Talikud Island - Samal City 10-10 (642)

Babu Santa Beach - Talikud Island - Samal City 10-10 (659)

Babu Santa Beach - Talikud Island - Samal City 10-10 (657)

Shortly after, a huge tourist flock, on-board two large pumpboats, filled up the middle part of the beach and occupied most of the picnic tables and cottages. Got me thinking that Babu Santa Beach mostly serves as a popular stop-over on island hopping tours around Samal (IGACOS). Most tourists arrive in Babu Santa, eat lunch, and then move on to another beach.

Babu Santa Beach - Talikud Island - Samal City 10-10 (663)
The armada of tourists arriving at Babu Santa Beach in Talikud Island

Babu Santa Beach - Talikud Island - Samal City 10-10 (648)

Babu Santa Beach - Talikud Island - Samal City 10-10 (638)

Babu Santa Beach - Talikud Island - Samal City 10-10 (653)

Wanting to enjoy the same peaceful atmosphere, I walked to the southern end of the beach and discovered a few overnight cottages. Babu Santa is an excellent destination in itself … not just a mere stop-over. I would love to spend the night here and witness amazing sunset views. I can’t remember the exact rate but, I think, an overnight cottage costs around P500.

Babu Santa Beach - Talikud Island - Samal City 10-10 (667)

Babu Santa Beach - Talikud Island - Samal City 10-10 (669)

Babu Santa Beach - Talikud Island - Samal City 10-10 (670)
Overnight cottage in Babu Santa Beach

On the way back, the habal-habal driver offered to take me through another route promising an overlooking view of Samal Island. I agreed knowing I haven’t seen any photos of this view of Talikud and Samal. We rode on what was basically an uphill foot path, which was sprinkled generously by irregular limestone rocks and guarded by wild foliage. If only he had warned me that the ride was 10x worse, I wouldn’t have gone through with it. We were on our way anyways … might as well enjoy the view.

Talikud Island - Samal City 10-10 (633)

Talikud Island - Samal City 10-10 (634)
Tamer part of the path

Talikud Island - Samal City 10-10 (640)
View overlooking mainland Samal

Talikud Island - Samal City 10-10 (636)
View of Talicud’s smaller piers

Talikud Island - Samal City 10-10 (639)
View of Perl Farm Davao Resort in mainland Samal