I know right? It’s summer and everybody seems to look forward going on a vaca… Where else but the beach. Well, let me bring you the beautiful beaches of the Islands of the Philippines!
Let’s head over to Palawan…
It is about 420 kilometres (260 mi) south-west of Manila, and about 238 kilometres (148 mi) north-east of Puerto Princesa, Palawan’s capital. A managed resource protected area, it is known for its white-sand beaches, coral reefs, limestone cliffs and as the gateway to the Bacuit archipelago.
El Nido is currently ranked #4 in Condé Nast Traveler‘s list of “20 Most Beautiful Beaches in the World.” CNNGo has called it the Best Beach and Island destination in the Philippines for its “extraordinary natural splendor and ecosystem.
El Nido, being one of the most diverse ecosystem in the country, is protected for its unique flora and fauna, and pristine geologic formations. These include:
- limestone cliffs, the home of the swiftlets
- 50 white sand beaches
- 5 types of forest (the lowland evergreen rainforests found in the mainland and islands such as Miniloc, Lagen and Pangulasian; semi-deciduous forests; forests over limestone; beach forests; and, the mangrove forests found mostly around major rivers and creeks in the mainland)
- 3 major marine habitats
- 16 endemic and 10 threatened species of birds (including the Palawan hornbill, the Palawan shama, the Palawan tit, Palawan scops owl, and the Palawan peacock pheasant)
- 6 species of marine mammals endemic to Palawan (including dolphins and its native dugong)
- the Palawan tree shrew, the Palawan stink badger, the Palawan spiny rat, the Palawan anteater, and the northern Palawan tree squirrel
- 4 species of endangered marine turtles (hawksbill, olive ridley, leatherbackand green sea turtles)
- 100 species of corals, 45 of which belongs to the genera of hard corals
- 813 species of fish
From the towering marble cliffs and enchanting lagoons to its 100 white sandy beaches, lush jungle and mangrove forest, prehistoric caves and waterfalls, El Nido is one of the top tourist destinations in Palawan, which is often referred to as the “Philippines’ Last Frontier”. In the November–December 2007 issue of the National Geographic Traveler‘s magazine, Palawan was chosen as one of the best travel destinations in the world, and particularly, it recommended El Nido and the Calamianes Islands. In 2012, CNNGo, the travel news website of the international news agency Cable News Network, declared El Nido as the Philippines’ Best Beach and Island destination.
Seven Commandos Beach
An isolated beach that is located on the mainland, but only accessible by water, due to the mountainous terrain.
Unlike most remote destinations in Bacuit Bay, there is a multi-story, high end resort here in addition to cottages and tent camping sites right on the beach. There are quite a number of small permanent structures throughout Seven Commandos. It is also a popular stop on island hopping tours.
A small island surrounded by clear waters of El Nido, rock formations and a scene of towering mountains. A good place as a lunch area for Island Tour A.
Bacuit Bay is dotted with islands and islets, most of which are inhabited. Its clear blue waters are teeming with marine life. It is home to dugongs, turtles, manta rays, species of fishes, coral reefs, and the occasional whale sharks. There are over 30 dive sites ranging in depth from six to more than thirty meters.
Cadlao is the largest island in El Nido, occupying a land area of 10.06 square kilometers. Among all islands, it is the closest to town proper and has the highest peak that towers up to 640 meters above sea level. It is known for its white sand beaches, gradually sloping sea floor, hidden lagoons, and nature trails through its lush forest cover. One of these nature trails leads to the charming saltwater Makaamo Lagoon. Surrounded by mangroves, the lagoon is best enjoyed in silence at sunrise or sunset when the birds feed.
There are a number of beaches on Cadlao, including that at Bocal Point, Natnat, and Paradise Beach on the southern side of the island. Sabang Beach in the north-east offers good snorkeling opportunities, though some visitors may recognize it as one of the settings for the Scandinavian TV show Robinson Expedisjonen, the predecessor to Survivor.
Dilumacad Island has a beautiful white sand beach stretching to some 300 meters that is ideal for picnic lunches during island-hopping trips. There is an underwater tunnel at its northern side and a fringing reef on its southern end. The island is also called Helicopter Island because its limestone cliffs resemble the shape of a helicopter when it is viewed from a considerable distance. The island itself is small by land mass, but is rich in vegetation and has a thick, dense rainforest, along with some bare rock, that seems to rise directly out of the deep blue sea.
Pangulasian has 750-metre (2,460 ft) wide stretch of powdery white beaches in El Nido, which is very ideal for sun bathing, sunset viewing, and other beach activities. The waters fronting the beach are clusters of coral reefs that make this area a good snorkeling and diving site. A trail located in the middle of the island is a good place for birdwatching, especially during early mornings and late afternoons. The trail ends at the peak of the island and provides and an excellent 360-degree view of the Bacuit Bay and nearby islands.
Located near Pangulasian Island, Vigan is also referred to as “Snake Island,” because of the fine natural sandspit (s-shaped sandbar) that “snakes” off it shores. The sandspit is clearly visible only when the tide is low. On both sides of the sandspit are shallow swimming areas.
Cudugnon Point is an important anthropological site, where jewelry and pottery dating back to the Song dynasty (960-1279 CE) were yielded. The anthropologists believe that the cave dwellers were from Borneo, and travelled across the ancient land bridge that connected Palawan from Borneo. The crevices of its cave roof are inhabited by barn swallows and insectivorous bats.
Matinloc Island, the longest slim island in El Nido, has a secret beach, which is a pocket of white sand beach at the corner of a sinkhole, that is inaccessible by boat and surrounded by steep rock walls. To reach it, divers must swim underwater through a narrow crevice in a rock wall. At noon, the sun streams in through the opening, allowing a play of light and shadow against its limestone walls. The beach floor drops abruptly. According to local legend, this beach inspired Alex Garland‘s novel The Beach, which was written while the author was in El Nido.
Aside from the Secret Beach, the island is also famous for the Kulasa Beach, a 100-meter beach strip of fine white sand located at one of its coves. The sea floor surrounding the beach slopes gradually and the water deepens only after about 10 meters.
There are four dive sites around the island with the one at the south tip of Matinloc being the deepest at 39 meters.
Pinasil Island has a cathedral-like cavern accessible by dinghy and kayak. Its cool interior is lit at certain times of the day by sunlight coming through an opening at its peak. This one of important sites for the busyadors or the birds’ nest gatherers.
Aside from its several islands and beaches, tourists can also enjoy a mangrove tour along the Aberawan River where they can watch egrets roost among the mangrove trees at the mouth of the river.
12,000 years ago, El Nido was inhabited already by humans. Archaeologists found human and animal bones, potteries and even traces of 8,000-year-old cremation at Ille Cave. Ille is located at New Ibajay, a 45-minute drive from the town center, and is frequented by tourists.
Población (El Nido town proper)
Nestled around the towering marble and limestone cliffs and green hills, the town proper is a thriving tourist center where most cottages, bars, and souvenir shops can be found.
Marimegmeg as Las Cabanas beach
Just one kilometer south of Corong-Corong, Marimegmeg beach is home to one of El Nido’s very first resorts. Named Las Cabanas resort, tourists began incorrectly referring to Marimegmeg as Las Cabanas beach, and the name stuck. There is a zip-line between the coast and a nearby island that you can access via a footpath behind the beach.
A 90-year-old house turned into a bar along Calle Real where paintings and handicrafts of local artists are put on display. Every night, live music is performed there then. Originally owned by Sabas C. Robles, the grandfather of Judge Sabas Robles Acosta, father of Andrei Ustares Acosta – the Palawanologist.
A 4-kilometre (2.5 mi) stretch of powdery white sand and pristine azure waters which is 45 minutes to an hour away from downtown El Nido via tricycle. This rocky peninsula offers signature views of the twin beaches after a short vertical hike up the trail, but the land was purchased by a private developer in 2016. The developer has plans to build a luxury resort on the grounds. Protests to the sale and the building have come in the form of squatters attempting to reclaim the land. The battle between these two parties has resulted in the property being watched 24 hours by an armed security guard.
A surfing spot of El Nido. One of the mainland tour that become famous than nacpan beach one day.. Very safe for a surfer pure sands, good waves every september to march and no almost waves during the season of summer.. Almost the same in nacpan but Duli is not busy or crowded.
Still not convinced? Watch this… Have a fun-tastic SUMMERSCAPE EVERYONE!
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