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December 21, 2015 Comments (0) Attractions, Beaches & Marine, Featured, Marine, Outdoor Spots

El Nido Palawan’s Tour C: The Lure of a Hidden Paradise

In retrospect, of all “tours” in El Nido,  I particularly liked Tour C, despite it, the hardest tour to make. Here’s why:

Despite the challenges we had for tour C, it is still my fave tour for El Nido. Those hidden paradise along Matinloc Island and channel are all worth the adventure!

Well, bad weather almost made our Tour “C “, Tour Nada. A storm warning prompted coast guard to issue a “hold order” on all tours around El Nido. I saw a coast guard boat patrol Bacuit Bay so no hardheaded tour operator slip through the safety net. El Nido’s tourism is one of the best because the local government strictly enforces storm warnings and people there actually follow warnings. As we’ve learned later,  Tour C necessitate a boat ride thru open seas and about 3-4 meters of waves, normally.   I’m not inclined to know how bad that could go on weather like this. The weather surprisingly turned better after just an hour of waiting.  We still waited for coast guard clearance before departing.

When an ok signal was radioed for tours to commence, out boat immediately headed to Helicopter Island. Also known as Dilumacan Island, the whole island looks like a helicopter from above. Helicopter Island has a terrific snorkelling site. But Since we started the tour late, we skipped the snorkelling part. What’s better for me of course, is the long stretch of white sand beach and the clear blue waters in its coast. Look:

HELICOPTER

The long white sand beach and blue waters of Helicopter Island is just terrific

Our Tour C got a little bit rough than expected. We’re supposed to go to Hidden Beach first but the waves got my tour mates scared and called off the attempt. The hole entrance (crevasse) is submerged, the waves are so strong our boat couldn’t go near the entrance without being smashed into the rocks. So no Hidden Beach for us.

Access to the Secret Beach seem better, but not any safer for me. The strong incoming waves forced our boatman to drop anchor at a distance from the rocky limestone edge of the beach entrance. And reaching the entrance meant swimming through strong waves for 20 meters or so. Our guides used ropes to assist us. But some of my tourmates opted not to go. If not for the promise of a hidden paradise, i would not dare also given the bad weather that slowly coming in our way.

The risk was no less very much worth this paradise:
SECRETBEACH

This picture of the Secret Beach appeared dark because bad weather is again threatening our tour C. It even rained briefly when we were there, which made everyone very anxious to leave. We savored every moment we have at Hidden Beach- the 180 view, fine powdery sand, calm clear waters and the tranquil atmosphere the Hidden Beach project. No wonder this beach inspired the writer of the movie “The Beach”.

Next stop was Star Beach. Here we had our lunch. At 2pm. That’s how late this tour was.

STARBEACHFRONT

The long white fine sand beach with a karst limestone backdrop is strikingly unique.
STARBEACHSIDE

The narrow beach front is lined by columns of karst limestone.

Then we went straight to Matinloc Shrine. This abandoned building on a resort still attracts visitors because of the religious shrine there, and an astounding view of the Matinloc Channel. This is the Shrine’s bay docking area:
MATINLOCENTRA

This is the port built probably for bigger boats and yachts? as the resort once had.
MATINLOC PORT

The best part of course, is this view of Matinloc Channel.
MATIONLOC CHANNEL

Then the last part of our Tour C is snorkelling near Tapiutan Island. Most of us are just too tired to even dip in these waters. I did managed snorkelling just below our boat and took photos of people taking photos of Nemo. 🙂
snorkelling
That pretty ended our Tour C.
Despite the challenges we had for tour C, it is still my fave tour for El Nido. Those hidden paradise along Matinloc Island and channel are all worth the adventure!

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