Year of 2017

View of Bacuit Bay from El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

Just across this stretch of Bacuit Bay in the Philippines, beautiful Matinloc Island holds a secret. Beyond the island’s steep rock walls and through a small underwater crevice is the entrance to an isolated beach. Intrepid adventurers who brave the swim are treated to a small, pristine piece of paradise. It’s said to be the same beach that inspired Alex Garland to write his 1996 novel, ‘The Beach,’ a cult classic which was adapted into a film starring Leonardo DiCaprio. But if getting there sounds a little too adventurous, don’t worry—just about any beach here in El Nido is going to be worth the trip. White sand, coral reefs, and gorgeous sunsets abound.

Palawan, officially the Province of Palawan is an archipelagic province of the Philippines that is located in the region of MIMAROPA. It is the largest province in the country in terms of total area of jurisdiction. Its capital is the city of Puerto Princesa, but the city is governed independently from the province as a highly urbanized city.
Founded: 1818
Population: 849,469 (2015)
Area: 5,656 sq miles (14,650 km²)
Colleges and universities: Palawan State University · Holy Trinity University · Seminario de San Jose · Western Philippines University · Loyola College of Culion · STI Puerto Princesa
Governor: Jose C. Alvarez