Sunday, March 17, 2013

A Perfect Day for Beach Hopping

Four island hopping tours to choose from. Two days to explore. Tour A done. Tour C next. Tour C costs Php900 per person (inclusive of lunch) and will visit the Helicopter or Dilumacad Island, Matinloc Shrine, Talisay beach in Tapiutan island, and two beaches in different parts of Matinloc Island. These beaches are secret beach and hidden beach (very original names, yes? Hehe).

 Click to enlarge (Source)

The day we had planned to go beach hopping (tour C) was just perfect... perfectly rainy. It was pouring from start to finish and we were freezing most of the time. We were soaked but the rain did not weigh down our high spirits.

Secret Beach
Just like the secret lagoon, the only way to get to the secret beach is through a hole. You couldn't spot the hole from the outside, except if you look closely. If the tide's high I think the entranceway would be underwater. It might also be difficult to get into when the waves are strong... you wouldn't want to smash onto the limestone, would you? Not to worry, the boatmen will know if it's safe to go there or not.

Whether high tide or low tide, one has to swim through the hole, and once through, walk on slightly sharp seafloor. Aqua shoes will be your best friend.

When we were there the tide was out and the water was just up to our shins. A foot high water and slightly sharp seafloor is not conducive for swimming. Despite that, I still found secret beach awesome.

The only way in and out is through that hole

 Talisay Beach
Our boatmen took us to Talisay beach for lunch. I was hoping we'd have the beach to ourselves, but it's a long stretch of beach, and boat by boat, other people claimed their place on the beach. By this time the rain was more than a drizzle and so I only have one photo of the beach. We spent most of the time in the clear water to keep warm. We only got out of the water to chow on lunch of fish, squid, cucumber salad, and bananas. Our excellent boatmen managed to do some grilling under a rock outcrop. :-)

We claimed this spot: Under the Talisay tree with logs as our benches

Matinloc Shrine
We didn't spend much time in Matinloc Shrine, the rain was coming down hard and we were getting cold. Some friends opted to stay in the boat while the rest of us had a look-see. Our boatman-slash-guide led us to some steps up on the rocks for a view of the sea and surrounding island. No umbrella or anything to keep cameras from getting drenched, we just stored the view in our brains. Here's how it would have looked on a sunny day.

By the shrine is a new-ish looking building, but upon closer inspection, we found that it was abandoned. Broken glass windows. Bunk beds with no mattresses. It looked like a scene from a suspense movie. Gilbert, our boatman, told us that people only go to Matinloc Shrine once a year, during the fiesta. Rest of the year, it stands by its lonesome. In early years, a guard was always stationed in Matinloc Shrine, for some reason this stopped. Some ghostly reason perhaps? :-)

Hidden Beach
Our boat slowly approached karst walls and then dropped anchor. I surveyed the area and couldn't figure out where the beach was. All I could see were karst walls surrounded by water. 

The most excited ones got off the boat first and walked around a towering, almost black, karst rock in waist-deep water led by one of the boatmen. The slow ones, including me, were led towards a rock. It was only when we were a few meters from it did we see a hole big enough for a person to go through. We walked through, stooping low, and found this...

I didn't care if the camera got wet, I just had to take a picture

Helicopter Island
The last stop was Helicopter island aka Dilumacad island. Just as we arrived, one boat was leaving. And the entire time we were bumming in the island, no other boats came. Perfect.

The shore was long but not a long, uninterrupted, sandy one. There were portions with large rocks. My friend and I walked along the beach but didn't reach the other end. We were just lazy ;-)

Can you spot Helicopter island? Does it look like a helicopter to you?

Which spot was my favorite in this tour? I cannot make up my mind. I am torn between hidden beach and Helicopter island. Those two somehow made my pupils dilate.

PS My photos do not do justice to amazing El Nido.

Puerto Princesa and El Nido:
Puerto Princesa: Zzzzs, Wheels, Meals
Vietnam in Palawan
The Gypsy's Lair
Puerto Princesa Underground River
Welcome to El Nido
Telesfora Beach Cottage in Corong-corong
A Perfect Day for Lagoon Hopping
A Perfect Day for Beach Hopping (you're here!)
Palawan on the Pocket


  1. I did this tour week. I stupidily hit my head against the limestone and still paying the consecuences....Ouchhhhhhhh!

    I also explored the unattended building in Mantinloc Shrine and create a horror movie in my brain too!

    1. Ow! A nice souvenir from El Nido hehehehe
      Yeah!! I thought Matinloc Shrine was creepy too! Awoooo!!

  2. Mine's Hidden beach.
    My friends & I stayed there longer than other places we went to. heheheh.

    1. Yup! Nindot gyud didto! Specially if walay lain grupo hihihi

  3. oh my god... the hidden beach is insane! wow! :)

    1. Wait til you get there yourself :-) Wala ra nakatunga ang picture :)