Directions To The Bito Depression Samal Island.

Having heard rumours of the Great Bito Depression at Barangay Guilon on Samal Island for some time I decided to make the trip on my mountain bike and see it for myself. The Bito Depression is often described as a great round hole in the earth with very steep cliff like sides, a sink hole perhaps? But when you look at it on Google Earth you will see that this is in fact the round open end point of a deep canyon with a river running through it which extends for some distance back from this point.

This round end point is said to be half a kilometre wide and 500 feet deep, it is much more impressive when you see it in person compared to the photo I took. The locals will tell you that it is the result of fallen meteor and while I am no expert I would have thought it was more likely a natural geological feature formed in the primordial upheaval which made Samal Island what it is today.

After a preliminary investigation we enlisted the help of a local man who took us for a short walk around the edge and pointed to a steep path the local kids use to descend to the bottom, this path is on the right behind the school. I did give it a try clinging on roots on the way and got a third of the way down but it then turned out to be too steep and insecure for me, so discretion became the better part of valour. A younger fitter man than I might manage it though.

The same local man was able to tell us a bit more about the site, apparently at the bottom is a small river running through a cave and this cave is home to a great many bats. They should thrive there is such an inaccessible place.

It is good walk round the circumference of the depression and take in the views, but take care at the edge, there is a very steep drop and a crumbly edge.

It is not clearly marked on Google Maps so here are some directions :

1. Leave the roll on roll off ferry terminal and turn left towards Babak.
2. At the first roundabout take the first exit marked Pena Plata, climb the hill and then go straight until you pick up the T- junction at the main road, proceed towards Pena Plata.

3. At Pena Plata look for the sign on your left for The Town Hall, take that and climb the hilly section.

4. After the hill climb at the top of the hill the road forks, take the right fork and proceed for a couple of miles until you see a sign which says " Welcome Guilon Elementary School " turn left at this point and you have arrived. There is a green area lined by trees and shrubs immediately on your left where you can park your bike and the depression is visible through this vegetation.

Update : This place stuck in my memory and imagination so I resolved to return one day and make the descent into the depths of this interesting natural feature. I did so, what lies below? Find out here : Explore The Great Bito Depression, Samal Island.