Talikud Island is another of Davao's getaway options in the Philippine Mindanao region. It is quieter, cleaner and much more remote than its neighbor, Samal Island.
Talikud Island actually sits off the southwest coast of Samal Island but lacks the dedicated routes connecting it to the mainland. This means you have to charter a boat to Talikud, a fact that keeps crowds to a minimum despite its close proximity to the mainland.
Most charters are groups of divers and snorkelers as the island hosts a range of hard and soft coral gardens. Divers regularly encounter sea horses, eels, parrotfish and even tuna, barracuda and jacks. The luckiest divers may catch sight of a whale shark.
The best coral gardens are west of the island, while a journey to the north side reveals Mansud Wall. This feature hosts whip corals, sea sponges, soft coral, sea snakes, turtles and other larger marine animals.
Independent travelers and small groups will have the most luck finding transport to the island during the weekend, when charter boat companies organize boatloads of people and ship them back and forth. Boats can typically accommodate between 15 and 30 people.
The launching point for Talikud Island is Santa Ana Wharf in Davao. Boats are keen to leave during the early morning hours and take at least 30 minutes to connect. Davao is well-connected to the rest of the archipelago, with frequent flights to Manila (1 hour, 50 minutes) and Cebu City (55 minutes).