It was just amazing how our we felt the wonders of our dear mother nature and we were lucky enough to experience it in our home country, the Philippines. After our thrilling motorcycle ride and swimming in the paradise of Nacpan Beach, it is time to start the island hopping adventure in this beautiful archipelago of El Nido, Palawan.
On our 2nd day, we woke up around 7AM as the island hopping adventure usually starts at 9AM. We were already at the Alexzus Travel and Tours Office at around 08:30AM to register and get the necessary gears that we need for the tour. There are 4 available tours to choose from: Tour A, B, C, & D. Since our time in El Nido is only limited, we acquired two of El Nido’s most popular tours, Tour A and Tour C. We requested to have Tour C first while the weather is still good as some of the islands included in this tour are unavailable if it’s raining heavily.
It was time to board on our assigned boat and each one of us were very excited to start our island hopping adventure. Before the trip, our guide, Andrew, explained all the safety precautions and the places we were about to visit. So without further ado, Tour C’s itinerary is as follows:
1. Helicopter Island
Originally, this is called Dimalucad Island but as time goes by, the island was more popular as Helicopter Island since it’s shape looks like a helicopter without a propeller. From the moment we got off the boat, we were mesmerized by the fine white sands with clear blue waters. The island is also good for snorkeling with its beautiful underwater landscape as well as different kind of fishes. The island is our first stop as it is just around 10-15 minutes away from the main island of Palawan.
On the other side, you can be able to see a massive cliff that serves as shade for some tourists and of course, a perfect background for your photoshoots!
2. Matinloc Shrine
If you find the featured image of this article stunning, then this is the place you should be aware of. The Matinloc Shrine is formally known as the Shrine of our Lady of Matinloc that was built in 1982 that is full of unsolved mystery. According to Andrew, it was originally owned by a prominent family but later on, abandoned it due to some government issues. The place really looks creepy with all the broken woods everywhere.
Even though this place is already neglected, the view that it offers to its tourists is truly exceptional especially when you climbed up to the man-made stairs which provides you a superb aerial view of the sea. The stairs are steep but the climb is all worth it!
3. Secret Beach
As its name suggests, it is a secret beach that lies behind the big cliffs and the only way to get into the secret paradise is through swimming into a door size opening through a narrow crevice in a rock wall. Before reaching the small opening, you can be able to enjoy the corals underwater along the way. Some boatmen will assist you as you go through it since you need to control yourself because of the big waves and strong current. We were also lucky enough that the weather’s fine since the Secret beach is only accessible if the weather is good for safety purposes.
If you want to take good photos of the secret beach, be sure to bring along your waterproof cameras as it might be impossible to keep your phones or cameras dry while swimming through the secret beach.
4. Star Beach
The beach was named after the abundance of starfish in the area. This is one of the best areas to do not only swimming, but snorkeling as well. There were many live corals, fishes of different colors, sea urchins and of course, star fish that are just so close to the island.
Usually, the beach is crowded during lunch since this is considered as a perfect spot to take lunch. Fortunately, we went here in the late afternoon so we have the whole place for ourselves. There are also small boats “bancas” in the area that are selling fresh buko juice, softdrinks, and ice cream that will let you experience more of the island life.
5. Hidden Beach
Our last stop was the Hidden Beach and as what its name suggests, it is a hidden beach that you won’t be able to notice its alluring white sands when passing by. The crystal clear waters surrounded by limestone rock formations was just so perfect.
Similar with the Secret Beach, you need to swim through in order for you to witness the beauty of the Hidden Beach. This is definitely the best place to relax and just enjoy the calmness of the water. Be careful to swim through the area since the corals and rocks might scratch you.
The tour ended at around 06:00PM and we were still at awe on how beautiful El Nido is, how God created this beautiful archipelago with stunning sceneries and amazing people. Even though it was tiring due to endless swimming, we had a blast that day. When we went back to our place in El Nido, we had our quick dinner at Jarace Grill Restaurant located just by the sea side. The location is so perfect to just enjoy the sound of the waves while you’re eating.
Below is a quick video of all the locations we’ve been to during the whole Tour C island hopping adventure. Enjoy!