Matinloc Island, El Nido, Palawan
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Secret Beach, which is said to be the inspiration of author Alex Garland for his novel, The Beach can only be accessed by braving the deep waters and the waves. Our boatmen ensured that if they find the waves to be too strong then they would abort the plan of leading us there. I was very curious to see the beach that inspired a novel so I hoped that the waves would just be alright. You’d think Alchris and I would be the ones who would hesitate about going since we’re not exactly stellar swimmers, but nope, it was Lou. I couldn’t blame her though, if the waves are bad we may run the risk of meeting an accident and nobody wants that. Fortunately for us, the waves were not as intense as we were expecting so off we went.
It doesn’t mean though that the journey was a walk in the park. Without a life vest there is no way I would do this; the water is deep and the waves a little strong that swimming is a bit challenging. To make my life easier, I did a backstroke. I floated on my back and started to flutter kick my way to the destination, notwithstanding the fact that I couldn’t see where I was going. Surprisingly, my pace was a lot faster than the other people that I felt so proud of myself. I went past my friends and the other tourists, then I turned my head back to see how much I’d been progressing and found one of the boatmen pulling me as he swam through the water.
Turns out I was proud for nothing. I was going fast not from my own effort but from somebody else’s. I had to laugh despite of myself for allowing myself to believe for one moment that I was doing it on my own hahaha…
We reached a small opening that leads to the Secret Beach. The waves in that area is stronger and the hole is so small we could only enter one at a time. The boatman pushed me into that hole like I weigh nothing and I would have minded if it weren’t for the fact that the view inside stole my breath away.
We walked over the slippery rocks that were submerged in the water. We encountered some tourists leaving the beach who provided some tips that we walk where the water is shallower and sure enough it was a lot easier to walk on. Out of all the hidden gems that we found in El Nido (Hidden Beach, Secret Beach, Secret Lagoon), the Secret Lagoon takes the cake for being the most beautiful. Imagine swimming inside a natural pool, concealed by the towering karsts. I’m telling you it was an experience like no other.
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Okay, so this is the secret beach. Pardon me for posting a wrong review regarding the "secret lagoon beach" because this is different. So yeah islands and rock formations there are very similar to each other. Lexi M this is the right place.
Entrance here here through a hole. The drop of point will be at least 200m away--could be more if there are a lot of boats. The waves were rough, you will have to swim against it until near the small opening where boatmen are there to assist. Just grab their hands when they're near. Be careful, i got lacerated by the jagged rocks as the boatman pulled me near the hole.
Entering the secret beach might be challenging (not for me!) you have to really flex-extend your legs to get through. Inside is a small beach. Going to the "shore" is difficult since there are a lot of jagged and uneven rocks. O
That photo was taken at shore area. Nothing much to see. It's just a buwis buhay going in that secret beach (if rough waves)
Encountering the same difficult scenario going out of the beach.
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Secret beach is called as such because it lies behind stark cliffs and can only be accessed via an open water swim then through a (very) small opening at the bottom of the cliffs.
This part of the tour depends on the tide and water conditions because if it's high tide, the opening will be underwater. If it's too choppy, it would be dangerous to swim through the opening cos you might (inadvertently) slam your head or back on the rocks.
Luckily, the conditions were just right on the day that we went. Armed with my life vest, I dove in for the swim. It's about a 500m swim only but with the waves it could get a bit tricky. But looking down you can already see the reef and fishes so that was nice.
When we reached the opening, the kuyas were helping people out first so you've to kinda hold on to the rocks and wait. A kuya will also help pull you through.
But what a sight to see inside! Again, better to wear Aqua shoes or sandals as the reef and rocks are quite sharp. Once you're inside, the noise of the ocean disappears and you really feel secluded. The water is clear and at the far end there is a smal beach with beautiful white sand.
You can snorkel here as well but you've to be careful with the time cos the tide can change anytime. Always have an eye out for your kuya/guide.
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