This amazing place, is said to have been the source of inspiration for British author Alex Garland, as he is said to have lived in El Nido in the 90’s while he wrote his novel “The Beach” The book was then turned into a 2003 movie, set in Thailand with Leoardo DeCaprio playing the lead.
well that’s what they say…
This destination does not disappoint but, you are going to have to work for it!
When you’re cruising along in the tour boat, it looks just like any other coastline in El Nido: Endless blue sky on the starboard side almost completely obscuring the horizon; and on the port side, a 5 story tall wall of jagged rocks that jut directly out of the sea.
Getting to the beach does require a water transit, via swim, in about 8 meters of water.
You need to swim to a one-person-wide opening in the massive rock, then fight the little push-pull current to get through it. Once through, its very rocky but the water shallows out quick, to a soft, sandy beach that is surrounded in 360 degrees by craggy rock.
I have been here twice before.
The first visit was on a stormy day. Bacuit bay was choppy and the currents had a strong pull. It was not ideal conditions for making this dangerous transit from the boat to the beach.
I stayed behind, reluctantly, along with about half of the tour boat. Of the brave folks that did attempt the swim, only two German tourists made it to the beach. The rest were thrown a rope and helped back into the boat. I think I made the right choice that day.
On the second visit, I was blessed with a clear sunny day. The waters were calm and clear. While standing on the bow, I could see the rocky and sandy bottom through about 24 ft of water. I threw on a mask and I jumped right in.
Because of the weather, it was also very crowded. There was actually a line to get through the hole in the rocks. It was funny to see a group of 6-10 tourists, holding on to each other’s life vests, being pulled by just one swimming tour guide. That’s a dedicated employee and one strong swimmer!
This is a not to miss destination in El Nido if the weather allows. Its great to see even if it is crowded, but that certainly takes away from the serenity of the place.
On the day that I arrived and finally made the swim to the beach, I realize that I had arrived with a dead battery in my camera. Oops. That’s why this post has a lack of shots from the actual inside of Secret Beach. Next visit!