El Nido Marine Reserve Park is another good place to visit in the beautiful province of Palawan. Located in Bacuit Bay, it will take approximately 1 hour travel time from the El Nido City. El Nido Marine Reserve Park covering an area of 96,000 hectares of land and 54, 00 hectares of water. This popular nature spots blessed with extraordinary ecosystem such as white sand beaches, rain forest, mangroves, coral reefs and limestone cliff. Like Honday bay, it is also known as one of the premiere destination not just in Palawan but in the whole of the Philippines.
El Nido becomes a haven of various form of wildlife such as Manta rays, sea turtles, dolphins, shark and sea cow also known as “dugong”. Large species of reef fishes are also found her such as butterfly fishes, parrot fishes, wrasses, tiger fishes, angel fishes, rabbit fishes and snappers. It is also home of some bird species that are rare like Peacock Pheasant the Palawan Hornbill and Palawan Scops Owl. El Nido Marine Reserve Park host various islets, coves and breathtaking white sandy beaches that impress most local and foreign tourist. It provides a huge selection of wildlife like Philippine cockatoos and giant clams.
In addition, El Nido Marine Reserve Park owns one of the most thrilling and exciting diving spots featuring a sunken warship which where use by Japanese during the World War II. The Best time to visit this park is from the month of December to May, when the sea is calm and underwater visibility is good.
How to get there
El Nido is located in the north western area of Palawan. From El Nido, you can take a pump boat trip going to Bacuit Bay; this is where the resorts situated. IT will take about 45 minutes by pump boat to reach the resort area.
Another one of the Philippines premiere tourist destination is the Honda Bay in Palawan. It is also known as the “Last Frontier”. It hosts some of the country’s exclusive resort and beaches. The island is also a haven for some species of birds that rest and converge before sunset. Honda bay boast its natural white sand, absolutely untouched beach fringes and amazing shore featuring royal blue sea.
The bay consists of several islets with shallow reefs and fabulous beaches. Each Island has its own beauty, charm and character that thrills every local and foreign visitor. IT becomes the favourite place for swimming, snorkelling and diving.
The Islets are the Cannon Island, Bat Island, Lu-Li Island, Meara Marina, Starfish Island, Snake Island, Pandan Island and Senorita Island. The best recognized Island of Honda Bay is Bat Island; it features a large fruit Bat coming out of their holes for their food.
Another tourist attraction is the Snake Island that shaped like a snake Tounge. It also famous for its crystal clear water and white sand beach noted for large and lovely shells. Other Interesting Islands are Canon, Pandan, Starfish and Lu-li Island, Lu-Li derive from the word “lulubog-lilitaw” a floating and sinking Island and visible only during low tide.
Honday bay is the Ideal place for swimmers, sun seekers, and snorkelers with its beautiful coral reefs, crystal clear water and fine white sand beaches. For first timers especially divers, the best month to visit this place is from December to May when the weather is fine.
Tubbataha Reef Marine Park
Tubbataha Reef Marine Park is a haven to some of the most beautiful coral reefs in the World. The island consists of two islets with lots of corals and small caves rising from the volcanic depths of the Sulu Sea. The North Islet serves a nesting site for large species of birds and marine turtles. It covers 322 Km. including the North and South Reefs.
The word “Tubbataha” comes from a Samal word “long reef expose at low tide”, Samal are group of people from the Sulu Sea. Tubbataha Reef Marine Park lies in middle of the Sulu Sea, it is located approximately 130 Km to the north. The site is about 150 Km southeast of Puerto Princesa.
Tubbataha Reef Marine Park is reputed as the country’s best diving site and one of the world’s best places for diving. It is considered as the Philippines first national marine park and Worlds Heritage Site by UNESCO. It protects high quality marine habitats containing 3 atolls and a large area of deep sea. The park is home to whales, dolphins, sharks, sea turtles, seahorses and Napoleon wrasse. It preserves over 350 species of corals and reef fish. Besides from being a marine sanctuary, this is also a bird sanctuary. Some of the seabirds can be found such as red footed Bobbies, tern and frigate birds.
There are about 8 Diving sites around the park; visitors mostly visit this place for diving. For security purpose, there are 10 diving operators who assist divers. Visitors can also enjoy snorkelling and observe some of the water creatures like hawksbill sea turtles, manta rays, giant jacks, sharks, barracudas, ells and other species of fish.
The best time to explore the natural beauty of Tubbataha Park is from the month of March to June. This is the time when tourist flocks this destination. It is also the time where the water promises excellent diving condition. Live-aboard boats, which is the only means of accommodation, is the only way to reach the site. If the weather is bad it’s impossible to moor around the Tubbataha reefs.
How to get there
The Tubbataha Park is located in the middle of Sulu Sea. It is only accessible by boat from Puerto Princesa City. The journey will take approximately 12 hours by boat. Booking early is the best option when planning to visit this place