Philippines/ Palawan / El Nido
Dilumacad does not mean helicopter in any language. The island was nicknamed for its shape from a certain vantage point and the validity of that nickname has been contested ever since…. but ‘Helicopter’ is what stuck.
Me? I think it looks like a sea creature with its top half sticking out of the water, perhaps even a dinosaur or a large fish I suppose that I can imagine it representing the shape of a big military transport helicopter, but the lack of propellers makes it a hard sell to me.
Regardless of the shape that you see while staring deeply into the horizon from a rocking boat on Bacuit Bay; Dilumacad has solidified itself as a popular stop on the El Nido Island Hopping “Tour C”. Being one of the first visible islands once you leave the sheltered harbor of El Nido town, and blessed with a 400m white sand beach, it is a natural first destination as the inviting, yellowish-white glow of Helicopter Beach is visible from quite the distance away.
Also, being surrounded by shallow water reefs makes a perfect stop to unload tourists and keep them busy with swimming and sunbathing. This beach is perhaps THE best spot on all of the El Nido tours to go snorkeling, so do not miss out. There is a larger variety of hard coral and marine life here than on any other stop in Bacuit Bay.
The island itself is small by land mass, but is rich in vegetation and has a thick, dense rainforest, along with some bare rock, that seems to rise directly out of the deep blue sea. It does NOT look like a helicopter from 99 out of 100 angles.