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 ten-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.


Isla Reta is easily accessible via a ferry


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 the bustle of city life


How can one go wrong with this magnificent sight


The Island is very popular among the locals
and is frequented by domestic and foreign tourists


It may look shallow at a 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 quite 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.