Bacuit Archipelago, Philippines: Jaw-Dropping Paradise

I know we’ve probably said this a few times in our travel blog, but I’ll say it again, we have found one of the most beautiful places on earth. Visiting the Bacuit Archipelago in northern Palawan of the the Philippines is an absolute jaw-dropping experience.  This place is a series islands surrounded by pristine turquoise water.  Much like Thailand, the islands consist of limestone cliffs and outcroppings, except the rock formations in Palawan are much more exaggerated with knife-like ridges. Boat trips in Palawan are about a fourth the cost of Thailand, so we took full advantage of exploring the water.  Most of the islands and water are protected as national reserves.  The islands have strict development policies as well as a requiring visitors to purchase park licenses.  This has resulted in a place with no pollution, no trash, unspoiled beaches and incredible sea life.

There’s many places to go to on the little local boats in the Bacuit Archipelago.  The most famous of the bunch are tough to photograph without a waterproof camera.  The famous spots are the Big Lagoon, Small Lagoon and the Secret Beach, all of which require you to swim from the boat to get to. Our favorite was the secret beach.  This is accessed through a keyhole in the limestone not much bigger than two people.  The opening you swim through is covered with the sharp limestone rocks mentioned above.  This requires you to time the waves and swim quickly through not to get pushed into the rocks.  It got our adrenaline going a bit because the day we went was pretty windy and rough.  We both made it through safely to find a perfect beach surrounded by a cathedral of limestone cliffs.  Since the only access point is that little hole in the cliff, the water was completely calm and bright aqua marine in color.  Are you sold on visiting?  Just a tip, if you want to go here, have a boat take you early in the morning and you will have the Secret Beach all to yourself. We visited several other beaches, rarely seeing anyone else.  All the beaches were equally amazing and all had names easily confused, like Hidden Beach, Lost Beach, etc.  The jagged limestone cliffs and the empty white sand beaches were incredible, only to be outdone by the water.Relaxing on the beach is always nice, but in the Bacuit Archipelago the water kept luring us in.  W
e snorkeled non-stop here.  The visibility in the water was one of the best we’ve ever encountered.  Below the water the limestone formations continue, and in some places the water depth plunges to a deep blue abyss.  The sea life was everywhere.  At one point, I was paddling away on the surface when I saw Meggan swimming below me with two sea turtles.  In fact, most places it would not be too enjoyable having jellyfish anywhere near.  These waters were full of jellyfish, some of which almost glowed.  None of these jellyfish sting, is this place for real?  It’s tough to go back to reality after a few days of this.

13 Responses to Bacuit Archipelago, Philippines: Jaw-Dropping Paradise

  1. Sandra Wynja says:

    I love the blue star fish

  2. hello i added your site to my favorites so i can check for any travel blogs you may have in the future, i am planning a trip to Palawan soon, i love the islands and I am from the island of Cebu i hope i can get your help in my future Palawan travels – great photos!

  3. We thought you might like that. You would love the shells and starfish in Palawan!

  4. Thanks Loren! We wish we had time to make it down to the Cebu area. Let us know if you have any questions.

  5. Completely captivating…putting it on my Someday list.

  6. Lovely photos of Palawan! I agree with you that Palawan is indeed a jaw-dropping paradise. I can’t get enough of its charm and beauty when I was there last 2008. I always dream of coming back. Hopefully soon =)

  7. The Philippines are really a ‘hidden’ treasure. Everyone else pays attention to the rest of Southeast Asia and forgets these islands are here. Well you guys seemingly have it all to yourselves. Great photos as always…

  8. Jen Laceda says:

    What a gorgeous place! I’m definitely going to Palawan next year!

  9. Great photos. Palawan is just amazing.
    I am heading back to the Philippines in June, will you guys still be around? Any plans to stop over in Thailand?

  10. Thanks! I wish we were still there. We actually just left Bangkok for Kathmandu.

  11. Thanks Brian- We completely agree, definitely a hidden treasure.

  12. sammy says:

    I’ve been moving quickly these last few weeks and just finally got to see some of these pictures, jaw dropping even through the binary lense. I cannot wait to see this in person.
    Keep up the amazing work.

  13. Hi! I live in the Philippines but I have not traveled all the wonderful destinations yet. seeing this blog post, the natural wonders this place has is truly captivating.Cagayan de Oro City has also something to show!