The municipality of El Nido is credited to many things, one of them as being an inspiration to a novel titled as “The Beach” as written by Alex Garland, who, at that time had an abode in the same place.
The fame El Nido had garnered, however, is no mere accident but rather is a result of its ever growing popularity to tourists because of its many stunning places to visit – its hulking cliffs, captivating lagoons, fine white sands, and lavish jungles. As one testament to its popularity as a tourist destination, El Nido was, at some point, a nominee as one of the world’s best travel destinations as published by the National Geographic Traveler magazine.
Said to have a semblance of a helicopter at a certain angle and distance from the place, Dilumacad, also known as the Helicopter Island is a tourist spot around El Nido not just for its shape, but also for its quality as a place of visit overall. The island’s 300m stretch of white sand beach along with its underwater tunnels and fringing reefs make it an ideal place to visit for island-hoppers.
Matinloc Island is not popular in El Nido for nothing. Despite setting a record of being the slimmest island in all of Palawan, it also contains a secret only locals may know more of – the island enshrouds a beach in it only accessible from its own crevice from underwater, literally named as the Hidden Beach. To add more to the charm of Matinloc Island is the Kulasa Beach, which is known for its fine white sands and snorkeling spots.
Knowing what “matinloc” meant among the natives of El Nido, you know for sure that any place attributed with the term is to be as beautiful as what the term meant, literally “beautiful” itself. Giving tribute to one of Catholic’s important figure, the Virgin Mary, the Matinloc Shrine is also what is known by name of Shrine of Our Lady of Matinloc and Shrine of the Blessed Virgin which was built around 1982 as a sacred monument. Being in close proximity to Kulasa Beach, the beach makes one of the two best snorkeling areas around Matinloc Shrine in addition to Kalmung Point.
Surrounded with limestone’s formation is the Hidden Beach. This beach is located at Matinloc Island and cannot be seen from the outside. During high tide, boat can go inside but if it’s low tide you can enjoy the shallow water with rich marine life.
If you are into snorkeling and scuba diving, Tapiutan Island’s rich marine life as well as its location in the globe make it an ideal place to visit for the mentioned seawater activities.
This side of the island offers pristine beach line. Though short, the beach gives a feeling of exclusivity. Each boatmen and its tourist have different itinerary on a daily basis so there is a great chance that your group will be the only ones enjoying Talisay beach.
Guidelines to Heed for Participants
The tour does not include the provision of wearable’s to its clients, with the exception of snorkeling gears. It is therefore advised that clients who are to go through the tour should bring their own such as a change of clothes and swimming attire. In cases where bringing snorkeling gears is not possible, the tour provider can rent out snorkeling gears to their clients before departure.
For safety and security, always verify whether your tour provider is licensed or not. Licensing ensures that the tour provider is fit to operate and could follow on set guidelines. This includes minimizing the potential damage to the environment as a result of the tour, rendering first aid to anyone in the tour as needed, as well as the teaching element involved. The tour guide must know all of the highlights of El Nido, including its history before and after it became a tourist destination in the country.
Throughout the tour, it is suggested that every client should wear his/her vest at all times. The vest, while used in snorkeling, acts as your protection as well as to the corals from harm. Concerning the health of the existing reeves, it is suggested that clients maintain a safe 3-meter distance from the nearby coral reef whenever possible. This prevents any form of accident involving any person and the corals.
When snorkeling, be very careful not to step on the corals as it puts you in harm’s way resulting from the potentially harmful organisms living in them. You not only just save yourself from harm doing so, you also get to preserve the corals, which are basically a home to many marine animals. Even an innocent gesture such as touching of the corals are also prohibited as it potentially harms the coral polyps.
Be wary of your wastes – biodegradables and non-biodegradables alike — whenever in the tour. As part of maintaining the status of El Nido as a clean and green tourist destination in Palawan, clients are advised not to litter by applying mindful practice of the segregation of wastes and its proper disposal. It is not just the reputation of El Nido that is at stake by making it clean, even marine animals are a concern when it comes to wastes, especially the non-biodegradables.
Taxes and Charges: Every person going through the tour are quoted in Philippine Peso (PHP) and is subject to a 5% service charge, including 12% value added tax.
El Nido Eco-Tourism Development Funds: Established sometime around 2008, the El Nido Eco-Tourism Development Funds (ETDF) is intended to provide the means on the expenses of in maintaining a sound environment and its needed protection. More than just for funding, the EDTF also serves as the head when developing environmental protection projects which should limit the impact of tourism on areas of concern. A fee amounting to 200 pesos per individual is assessed to everyone going through the tour upon arrival.