Home to 45 islands and islets, El Nido has dramatic and mighty rock formations and is surrounded by turquoise waters. What used to be a sleepy little town has now developed into a popular tourist destination. There are already a number of hotels, restaurants, and cafes sprouting within the place. But even with the ongoing infrastructure projects, one thing hasn’t change: the breathtaking beauty of the island.
Get to know why this out of this world paradise never fails to impress both local and foreign tourists.
Big, Small, and Secret Lagoons in Miniloc Island
The lagoons of Miniloc Island are blessed with crystal clear waters teeming with a rich marine life. The Big and Small Lagoons are aptly named because of their sizes. Both are stunning lagoons and worth visiting. But if you want something more exciting, explore the Secret Lagoon. You need to ride a kayak and paddle your way through a small hole in the karst formation so you can see the beauty inside.
Named after the Japanese explorer who discovered the island, Shimizu Island has a gorgeous beach and beautiful limestone cliffs which can be a great backdrop for your photos. It also has long been considered home to a rich marine life. There’s a wide variety of fish which can make snorkeling a lot more fun. With its white sand beach, Shimizu Island provides a perfect picnic spot and to top it off, there’s no entrance fee.
Seven Commandos Beach
Another popular beach in El Nido, the Seven Commandos is an ideal place to relax whether you’re alone or with friends and family. The name Seven Commandos is believed to have come from the story of the seven Japanese soldiers who took shelter in the island during World War II. This place has a vast sandy shore which is fantastic for sunbathing, playing sports or just lazing around.
Dilumacad Island, commonly known as Helicopter Island, is uniquely shaped like a helicopter when you see it from a distance. Once you get closer, the soft cream-colored sand and turquoise waters will entice you and keep you mesmerized. It is a great place to sit back, relax, swim or just enjoy the view.
Formerly known as the Shrine of Our Lady of Matinloc, Matinloc Shrine was built in 1982 and has now been completely neglected but tourists are still allowed to explore the place. A sculpture of Jesus Christ in a concrete gazebo will greet you the moment you set foot inside. You will then be invited to climb a limestone cliff standing enormously by the beach.
The top of the cliff provides a picturesque view of the nearby islands and beaches. From the top, you can see the waves rolling and crashing to the white shores while boats sail away. While some may consider Matinloc Shrine as a spiritual sanctuary, others drop by for the breathtaking view.
Another beach where you can see towering limestone formations is the Hidden Beach. On low tides, boats cannot dock on the beach so you have to walk to reach the innermost part. Rocks beautifully adorn the area and inside is indeed a haven — a long stretch of white sand! On off-peak season, you can savor the turquoise waters and have the place all to yourself. Don’t forget to bring your waterproof camera so you won’t miss out on the jaw-dropping sight!
One of the most stunning stretches of sand in the Philippines, Nacpan Beach is an inland beach which is 4 kilometers long and is fringed with coconut palm trees. On sunny days, the waves are calmer, the waters are clearer, and the sand is a bit lighter. Since the beach is situated in a fishing village, you can’t find any fancy restaurants or cafes nearby but there are local eateries serving fresh seafood and other cuisines.
Still another inland beach that has been impressing a lot of vacationers lately is the Marimegmeg Beach. Located about 5 kilometers south of El Nido town proper, this beach has creamy white sand and is dotted with coconut palms. Contrary to Nacpan, it has a well-developed area with plenty of beach resorts. Despite the growing commercialization of the place, Marimegmeg is clean and provides terrific sunset views.
Obscured by the cliffs and accessible via a narrow crevice, the Secret Beach is a place of pure bliss. The area is almost like a lagoon which is completely enclosed by high karst cliffs. Boats cannot enter the Secret Beach so you have to swim to get inside a tiny hole in one of the cliffs. You need to take extra caution since the waves are moderately strong and could scrape you against the rocky opening.
Through the years, El Nido has charmed vacationers due to the magnificent scenery within the island and in the surrounding areas. With pristine beaches, cerulean waters, majestic snorkeling sites, and a laid-back atmosphere, there’s no doubt El Nido will continue to win the hearts of many.