Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Isla Reta

Isla Reta

Isla Reta is definitely one of my favorite island getaways in Davao. While this small island does not have the usual resort facilities and amenities you will find in other resorts nearby, it however offers a quiet retreat from the hustle and the bustle of daily life in the city. It is a modest  beach resort with only a few small huts and cottages, but the island's white powder sandy beaches and clear waters are enough to lure any beach lover like me to stay a few hours or even spend overnight in this very secluded and private island.

The only time I got to experience Isla Reta was when a Chinese businessman-client brought me to the island in 1999. After lunching at the Waterfront Hotel in Lanang, we engaged a private motorboat at the hotel and toured around Samal the rest of the afternoon. My client brought me first to the now defunct Samal Casino Hotel, where we had a few rounds of beer. Thereafter, while en route to Davao City, we made a short stop at Isla Reta. 

I came to like the place the moment I set foot on the island. The waters were very pristine and the beach was white sand and powdery. There were a few huts and a small store. We took a few more beers while lounging quietly, enjoying the magnificent view of the lush Talisay trees which surround the island, before we headed back to the mainland Davao City.

That trip in 1999 may be a short one, but the fond memory of Isla Reta remained vividly in my mind to this day which I am very sure will last a lifetime.

Map of Talikud Island where Isla Reta is located

An old sign board that welcomed us in the island

Lush Talisay Trees surround the island

The island is surrounded by white and powdery sand
along its coastline

The white sandy beach and pristine waters of Isla Reta island present a potent lure for sun bathers. Pitching a tent, or lazily do away the day in a hammock hanging between the Talisay trees with a beer on hand, snack or what have you, is surely a perfect setting for a relaxing afternoon siesta.

It only takes a 10-minute boat ride from Samal Island to reach Isla Reta

The Talisay trees give the beach a relaxed setting, where you can lay on the sand without being burnt by the sun. There are actually two beaches: Isla Reta 1 and 2, owned by the Reta Family of Davao City, thus, from where the island derived its name. There are also rocky formations in some portions of the island with soft and hard corals which can easily be seen because of the island's crystal clear waters. Marine life abounds in the area which makes the island an ideal site for snorkeling or diving, for beginners and advanced divers alike.

Children making sand castles is a usual sight in the island

Pristine waters of the island

The white powdery sand of the beach brilliantly contrasts
the lush greenery of the surrounding Talisay Trees and the aquamarine
color of the sea against a backdrop of a clear blue sky

Talisay Trees provide a perfect cover against the blistering
heat of the Sun

Rocky portion of the island sits on the white powdery
sand of the beach

Isla Reta is one of the few remaining islands that is left
untouched by commercialism

Isla Reta is near a pier where ferries from Davao dock,
but a wall divides it and transforms the island into a beach paradise

View from the other portion of the island

The island is a perfect getaway that offers a quiet retreat
from the hustle and bustle of city life

How can one go wrong with this magnificent sight

This island is very popular among the locals and is frequented
by domestic and foreign tourists

It may look shallow at first glance but this is actually deep.
The crystal clear waters of the island makes it possible to see
a clear view of the corals and the seabed

The manicured grass of the island makes it ideal for camping

View of the beach from one of the cottages

Isla Reta, serene and quiet at nightfall

Motorized boat ride to the island

How to get to Isla Reta

The Isla Reta is behind a small village. There are regular motorized ferry trips for tourists and guests that leave Sta. Ana Wharf in Davao City every 9 AM and 3 PM daily going to Talikud Island. The trip is about 30 to 45 minutes to Talikud Island, and less than a 10-minute boat ride to Isla Reta.


  1. wow,,, it's been a long time since you set foot on this island but you could still remember??? what a sharp mind...
    I have been in Isla Reta too. Nice for swimming coz the waters are so clean and clear. There are lots of sea urchin in this beach too...


  2. Thank you for following my blog regularly. It is my firm hope, and in fact, the very reason why I am blogging about Davao City, is that for people to take a closer look at the entire Davao Region and be amazed at its unique wonders. Davao has much, much to offer but, sadly, only a few knows about it. Warmest regards.


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