The groove to go Island Hopping is back on our fourth day in El Nido. We’re going again with Islanen Outdoors Tours since they have a very good slightly customized package and price (of P650) on Tour C which includes several sites in Matinloc Island and few stops on our way back. We had to wait a few minutes before they got everything ready. We had a smaller white boat this time highlighted by MMDA colors of pink and blue but it seems real solid and capable to handle the seas.
Matinloc is the farther island north east of Bacuit Bay making it a longer ride passing by the huge island of Cadlao. The front hull of the boat was low making it the boat ride easily splashy. And from the boat I could still see a lot of small sea weed particles and on occasions, large red jellyfishes popping in sight. I thought I wouldn’t want to fall at sea at that time.
We were making a turn right of the island and when we got into the channel between Taiputan and Matinloc Islands, the scene opened up to an awesome view of jagged peaks on both sides and a line of white sand beach on Taiputan Island side. We cruised through the calm waters for a few minutes again and finally stopped on a cliff-side where another boat was docked.
Our guide Charlie pointed to a small crack above the water on a limestone face wall. It seems we have to swim through that. I grab hold of my fins, donned my snorkel gears and jumped into the water. It was around 15-20 feet deep from where we were. The water was lucid and there were nice corals and lots of fishes in the area. I make my way into the crack taking videos as I go along.
As we surfaced we found a nice stretch of white sand beach. It was amusing. It does earn its name of a Secret Beach. I wouldn’t have known it unless I see it through the crack. We made our way to the beach walking on a bed of soft corals slowly and carefully as not to slip. There’s an open area behind the rocks otherwise there’s nothing much there.
Check HD Video here
We spent a few minutes lying on the beach like a group of sea lions under the sun while observing the other tourists which are a mix of local and foreigners. A kayak suddenly passed through the crack and it was our former boatman Felix guiding another group.
Contented and amused to find this Secret Beach, we started our way back as a couple of the group who stayed on the boat were waiting. I dived back and as I exit through the crack a large school of fishes was upon me. I gladly swam through them as I approach our boat. It was another great sight and the day is just starting.
Join our next Backpack Photography series, Batanes Outdoor and Travel for on June 24-27, 2010. Take advantage of Seair’s Lean Season Promo on flights to Batanes until May 15. Check details here.
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.