Mother Nature is simply full of surprise and mystery. We haven’t even discovered much of the Earth’s wonders. Thankfully I got to explore some of its beauty in El Nido. So sit back and let me share to you our awe-inspiring trip.

Boat Ride El Nido Palawan Island Hopping

Let’s pump up the adventure!

It was our second day in El Nido after our awesome Tour A island hopping experience. If you haven’t read it, you can check it out first so you know where we left off. This time we will be exploring some of the secrets of nature for the Tour C. It was summertime in the Philippines (month of May) so there were a lot of tourists visiting El Nido too.

Boat Shoot El Nido Palawan Island Hopping

Capturing the spectacular landscapes of El Nido.

Helicopter Island

Our first stop of the day was in an island with a shape of an aircraft. It’s called the Helicopter Island that has 2 mountain cliffs on both ends and a wide stretch of white sand beach in the middle. It also has a good snorkeling site.

Helicopter Island El Nido Palawan Island Hopping

An island with a shape of a helicopter.

There were already a lot of tourists snorkeling on the island but the first thing we noticed upon reaching the shore was a jellyfish like a size of a basketball. At first we just ignored it but eventually we were feeling a little itchy on our legs.

Too bad there were a few jellyfish scattered around so we only stayed for about 15 minutes and some of us didn’t even bother to step out of the boat. I only got to snorkel for a few minutes but still enjoyed the view.

Helicopter Island Beach El Nido Palawan Island Hopping

The beach line of Helicopter island.

Hidden Beach

Okay, now we really need to pick the excitement for our next stop, the Hidden Beach. The name itself gives an impression that we are about to discover something new. From afar, we saw several boats docked in front of a limestone wall when the boatman said “We’re here!”. But where’s the beach?

Hidden Beach Parking El Nido Palawan Island Hopping

Boats docked in front of limestone walls.

The beach is actually hidden behind those limestone walls. So after docking our boat, we have to swim and walk through a shallow channel to get around.

Channel Hidden Beach El Nido Palawan Island Hopping

Shallow channel towards Hidden beach.

And tadaaaaah! Presenting the Hidden beach. It’s amazingly surrounded with towering rock formations and the water is so clear for everyone to enjoy. .

Hidden Beach Middle El Nido Palawan Island Hopping

View of the Hidden beach from the waters.

Hidden Beach Inside El Nido Palawan Island Hopping

View of Hidden beach towards the sea.

Of course, this place deserves a wacky jumpshot. We took some time to chill and have fun in the sun. Who would have thought that a white sand beach is sitting behind these razor-sharp limestone formations.

Hidden Beach Jumpshot El Nido Palawan Island Hopping

The never-ending group jumpshot.

After more than 30 minutes, it was time to explore another beach so we headed back to our boat. We were told that we will be visiting another beach more hidden than this.

Secret Beach

Again upon arriving the place, there were boats docked in front of a limestone wall. This time we know that a beach is hidden secretly somewhere behind.

Secret Beach Outside El Nido Palawan Island Hopping

Boats parked outside the Secret beach.

The Secret beach is more challenging to explore as the water outside is deep and we really have to swim. Wearing of life jacket is very recommended. After swimming for a few meters, we saw a small hole just enough to go through.

Secret Beach Entrance El Nido Palawan Island Hopping

Small entrance hole to the Secret beach.

And tadaaaaaah for the second time, I reveal to you the Secret beach. This one is truly fantastic in the sense that this small place is enclosed with high walls of nature crafted stones.

Secret Beach Enter El Nido Palawan Island Hopping

Inside view upon entering the Secret beach.

The water and air inside is perfect for a chill in the midst of a sunny day. The area was like a scene from a waterpark with lots of people having fun in a big swimming pool. I could only imagine how wonderful it would be to experience with just a few people.

Secret Beach View El Nido Palawan Island Hopping

The Secret beach looking like a big swimming pool.

Secret Beach Couple El Nido Palawan Island Hopping

Signature pose with Jane. 🙂

It was a little struggle getting inside the secret beach so we took the chance to take a rest. The high walls gave enough shade on some parts of the white sand that is just perfect for a chill.

Secret Beach Parokya El Nido Palawan Island Hopping

Does this photo look familiar to you? 🙂

Star Beach

It was noon time already so we headed to our next destination for our lunch in a small area called Star beach. I forgot to ask how the name was derived but I just love the island paradise vibe. Our boatmen immediately prepared our lunch as we wandered around the place.

Star Beach Arrival El Nido Palawan Island Hopping

Time to prepare for lunch.

Star Beach Stand El Nido Palawan Island Hopping

“The sole survivor” peg

It was time for lunch and we were all excited to taste yet another seafood island feast. I gotta say that this is one to look forward to on every island hopping adventure in El Nido. You will surely feel fully recharged after this sumptuous dishes and would want to just lay down on the fine white sands while enjoying your food.

Star Beach Lunch El Nido Palawan Island Hopping

Delicious seafood lunch feast on a beautiful island.

Lunch Rocks El Nido Palawan Island Hopping

Seafood + fine white sand = paradise vibes

I can still remember clearly the magnificent view of the sea and the mountains that fine day. It was a sight to behold. After taking some rest for a few minutes, we were told that there is a “kantil” or underwater cliff just a few meters. That darker blue part of the sea behind our boat is the “kantil” part where the seabed drops down like a cliff into the deep blue. So we dare checked it out. 😀

Star Beach Panorama El Nido Palawan Island Hopping

Star beach panoramic view

The view of the marine ecosystem was totally mesmerizing as I saw the diversity of the corals and fishes while snorkeling my way until I reached the edge. It was really scary to look at the bottom and I felt like a monster sea creature would suddenly appear. Or something will suck and drag me down. 😀

Star Beach Cliffie El Nido Palawan Island Hopping

The Underwater Cliffie: a selfie on a cliff 🙂

But all these crazy imagination just makes me more pumped up as an adrenaline junkie. As the famous quote from Helen Keller says:

Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing!

I just couldn’t miss to explore this kind of adventure. If only I have practiced myself to hold my breath longer, I could have dived deeper. Still, I am very satisfied with the underwater landscape that was laid before my eyes. 😉

Star Beach Cliff El Nido Palawan Island Hopping

Face your fears, live your dreams.

Matinloc Shrine

And our last stop of the day was the Matinloc Shrine where you can have a little historical lesson with a bit of mystery. Matinloc is derived from the Cuyonin (one of El Nido’s local language) word ‘Matinlo’ which means beautiful (‘maganda’ in Filipino). Unfortunately the place is already abandoned but it is still one of the most sought-after destination for the Tour C package.

Matinloc Shrine Panorama El Nido Palawan Island Hopping

Matinloc Shrine paramic view

Stories say that the island was owned by an El Nido resident who married a German national. One day, the owner was told in a dream to build a dome-shaped structure with columns in a circular altar where the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary will be enshrined.

Matinloc Shrine Lady El Nido Palawan Island Hopping

Our Lady of Matinloc

Notice the heart-shaped stone below the shrine? That is actually the shape of the Matinloc island from an aerial point of view. There is no exact date as to when and why this place was abandoned. They say that the couple got separated and became the reason the place was given up.

Matinloc Shrine Building El Nido Palawan Island Hopping

Abandoned building that could have served as a convent/nunnery.

On the right side of the shrine is a limestone cliff which visitors can climb through the carved stairs. Once you reach the top, you will see a bird’s eye view of the island. If there’s one thing you must do here, that is to take a selfie on top of this viewing area.

But given it was a peak season, there were a lot of tourists taking photos on a limited space. So I improvised and found a great vantage point. 😀

Matinloc Top El Nido Palawan Island Hopping

The view of the Shrine grounds from the top.

Please do remember that you will be climbing on a limestone outcroppings with sharp edges. You need to be extra careful as accidents can happen anytime so climb at your own risk. You don’t wanna spoil your trip with a cut, a bruise or even worse.
Caution: I am standing on a restricted area. Don’t dare try this. 🙂

Matinloc Chanel Top El Nido Palawan Island Hopping

Breath-taking! One of the trademark shots in El Nido. 🙂

It was great day to explore the hidden beauty of Mother Nature. All we can say is we loved everything about the trip and hoped we could stay much longer in every island. Well what we could just bring are photos that preserved the moments.

Star Beach Love El Nido Palawan Island Hopping

We love El Nido! <3

What do you think of the wonders we have explored in Tour C package? Let me know in the comments below and spread good vibes! 😀

Palawan Diaries:
 – Awesome El Nido: Island Hopping To The Next Level | Tour A
 – Awesome El Nido: Exploring Secrets of Nature | Tour C
Inside Puerto Princesa Underground River | New7Wonders of Nature