Exploring Bacuit Archipelago

El Nido Travel Blog

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going out to explore the islands

It was a beautiful day. I woke up at 7AM to the sound of the gentle waves and the caress of the early-morning breeze...

Heh, who am I kidding? I set up the alarm the previous night, of course; otherwise. I wouldn't be able to wake up early. El Nido is such a sleepy town. Our guesthouse has a spacious balcony facing the beach, and from there, I could see the towering limestone cliffs and numerous islands and islets scattered across the water. The beach in the town itself wasn't really something that you'd like to swim in, but you'd still see local children (and some tourists) swimming, snorkeling, or just having fun.

We went back to the Art Cafe to meet with the rest of the group for breakfast.
look at the color...
Tessa and Jen had already moved to another guesthouse because they didn't like their room and the caretaker 'annoys the hell out of' them. Well, we're okay with ours, so we stayed. At 9AM, we went downstairs and boarded our banca to start island-hopping around Bacuit Archipelago. We chose the most expensive set, called Tour C, which goes to the the westernmost (and biggest) islands. The trip to the first island in the tour took around 20 minutes, but we barely noticed since we're busy drooling over the sights greeting us.

Our first stop was Matinloc Island (eastern side). It was big and its mountain-like features are both imposing and awe-inspiring. Our banca stopped a bit far from the shore to avoid damaging the corals, so I, not knowing how to swim, had to walk-wade my way towards what the locals call the 'hidden beach' since it's hidden from outside by some big boulders jutting from the sea.
one of the many beaches we passed
The beach was small but perfect, and I took the opportunity to wade through the shallow waters while Jen sunbathed and the rest went snorkeling.

I can't describe in words how amazing the place was. The water's just impossibly clear, and even in the shallow and sandy part, you can see colorful fishes and corals. I even saw a few sea anemones complete with several Nemo's swimming among the 'tentacles'. It was crazy! Made me wish I still had my waterproof camera with me (sobs). Aside from the fishes and corals, there were lots of sea urchins and small crabs. The nice part was, I didn't even have to dip my head underwater to see them. The water was just so clear that everything's visible from the surface. I can only imagine what the others were seeing, given that they're in the deeper part of the sea.
Secret Beach


After 30 minutes, our guides called us back to the boat. Of course, my friends (except Jen) all had a great time snorkeling. But it was only the beginning for them. In a few minutes, we arrived at our next stop, Tapiutan Island. Unlike in Matinloc, our banca stopped further from the shore, so the guys had to jump in the water from the boat. Jen and I opted out (but of course). Again, it was a great experience for the guys, even better than the first one. More technicolor fishes and corals greeted them. Some even saw a turtle or two. Cool, wish I could join in the fun. Such bitterness.

By then, we're all pretty hungry, so we went to another beach (I think it's called Star Beach) to have lunch. It was just a small pocket beach, but a perfect spot to chill and catch our breath.
our boat
A couple of tourists were just about to leave when we arrived, so for the next hour, we had it all to ourselves. After a satisfying meal, I lay down on the sand with my back facing the sun, and dozed off. Shortly after, we were called back to the boat. Our next stop was the Secret Beach on the western side of Matinloc Island. The name is pretty much self-explanatory. You have to go through a small crevice on the limestone walls to get to it.

During low tide, you could easily wade through it. However, when we got there, it was high tide, and the waves were dangerously strong, big, and persistent. Jen, Lina, and I chose to stay on the boat while the guys and Tessa braved the waters. We were anchored to the bottom of the water, but the ceaseless pounding of the waves started to make us feel seasick.
leaving Star Beach
But before the 3 of us even resort to collectively puking our lunch out into the beautifully turquoise water, the daredevils emerged from the hole. They're alive!

On the way to our last stop, Dilumacad Island, we decided that we're all very tired and wouldn't mind skipping the island, since it'll just be another beach, and the sky looked like it's gonna burst. However, our boatmen either intentionally ignored our request or just needed some ear-cleaning, because minutes later, we found ourselves heading towards the island. The hell with it, then. I got off the boat and walked the steep but rather nice beach of Dilumacad, also called Helicopter Island from the way its limestone cliffs are shaped when seen from a distance. We stayed there for 15 minutes or so, walking the length of the beach, before going back to the boat.
the beach at Helicopter Island


By the time we're on our way back to El Nido, it started raining. And not just rain, but strong winds, too. That, in turn, produced powerful waves that sprayed water on us and made our boat lurch from all directions. I've never been so scared for my life, not even when I was tubing in Laos. I felt like we're in a roller coaster ride, it was sooo effin crazy! I seriously thought we're gonna capsize any moment, and I secretly cursed the last beach that we went to, The girls, however, were the front liners in a possibly-capsizing boat, so they cursed the beach out loud (couldn't really blame them). The German couple at the back, surprisingly, were busy chatting like they're having dinner at a nice restaurant. Wow, oblivious much?

Miraculously, the moment we entered the small bay towards El Nido, the water suddenly went calm like nothing happened.
Team JeAr!!!
That, in turn, calmed our nerves. We made it! The rain stopped, too, and we even saw an eagle soaring above us, which makes for a nice closing to a happy-scary day. We then made the decision to not do another island-hopping/snorkeling tour the next day because 1) it's stressful, and 2) Jen doesn't like fishes, while I can't swim. After getting back to dry land, we went our separate ways but agreed to meet for dinner.

Seb and I had dinner at the Art Cafe again, then met up with Tessa and Jen later for some drinks. We went to this place that had live music and tried to enjoy El Nido's nonexistent night life. It wasn't bad; who wants loud music and noise, anyway? We just had a few drinks, had a good chat, and listened to the sweet voice of the singer. A little past midnight, we went back to our respective guesthouses, slightly tipsy but feeling good. I was particularly psyched for the following day's plan, as I was sure I'd enjoy it a lot more than this day.

JeAr says:
badet! now ko lang nabasa comment mo, i rarely log in. na-miss ko tuloy magsulat hahaha! :D
Posted on: Apr 12, 2013
jen_proudlypinay says:
natutuwa talaga ako sa pagsusulat mo badet... I miss you... going to Coron/El Nido in nov
Posted on: Oct 21, 2012
JeAr says:
korek! nadali mo! :P
Posted on: Feb 10, 2009
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going out to explore the islands
going out to explore the islands
look at the color...
look at the color...
one of the many beaches we passed
one of the many beaches we passed
Secret Beach
Secret Beach
our boat
our boat
leaving Star Beach
leaving Star Beach
the beach at Helicopter Island
the beach at Helicopter Island
Team JeAr!!!
Team JeAr!!!
the scenery
the scenery
the scenery
the scenery
the scenery
the scenery
the scenery
the scenery
the scenery
the scenery
the scenery
the scenery
the scenery
the scenery
the scenery
the scenery
the scenery
the scenery
the scenery
the scenery
the scenery
the scenery
the scenery
the scenery
Star Beach
Star Beach
Star Beach
Star Beach
Star Beach
Star Beach
Star Beach
Star Beach
Star Beach
Star Beach
they look better after cooking, pr…
they look better after cooking, p…
preparing our lunch...
preparing our lunch...
smoking fish
smoking fish
...while were chillaxin
...while we're chillaxin'
beach bums
beach bums
Jen
Jen
Tessa
Tessa
Lina and Timo
Lina and Timo
feeding time
feeding time
uhm, limestone?
uhm, limestone?
never leave trash behind
never leave trash behind
leaving Star Beach
leaving Star Beach
leaving Star Beach
leaving Star Beach
leaving Star Beach
leaving Star Beach
leaving Star Beach
leaving Star Beach
leaving Star Beach
leaving Star Beach
on the way to the next island
on the way to the next island
on the way to the next island
on the way to the next island
Secret Beach
Secret Beach
Secret Beach
Secret Beach
loner
loner
at Helicopter Island
at Helicopter Island
at Helicopter Island
at Helicopter Island
at Helicopter Island
at Helicopter Island
at Helicopter Island
at Helicopter Island
at Helicopter Island
at Helicopter Island
at Helicopter Island
at Helicopter Island
at Helicopter Island
at Helicopter Island
at Helicopter Island
at Helicopter Island
at Helicopter Island
at Helicopter Island
El Nido Sights & Attractions review
So Many Islands, So Little Time
Aside from diving, island-hopping/beach-bumming are the most preferred activities in El Nido. And there are no shortage of islands to explore nor pe… read entire review
El Nido
photo by: tj1777