Situated in spectacular Bacuit Bay, many travelers have identified this corner of Palawan as the most beautiful place on earth. It is a popular nature spot blessed with extraordinary natural sceneries and ecosystems such as rainforests, mangroves, white sand beaches, coral reefs, and limestone cliffs. You can dive with exotic marine animals, including the rare aquatic mammal, the Dugong. It is accessible by air from Puerto Princesa or Manila. Looking at the small fishing village nested at the foothill of black limestone cliffs, the visitor understands why El Nido Marine Reserve, the nest, was given such name. In 1991, the Government of the Philippines proclaimed Bacuit Bay as a marine reserve. Due to its marvelous landscape, its crystal-clear waters and the establishment of tourist and air transport facilities, El Nido became a prime tourist destination.
|El Nido Marine Reserve|
In 1998, the protected area was expanded to include terrestrial ecosystems and portions of the municipality of Taytay. It is now known as El Nido Marine Reserve Managed Resource Protected Area. Located in the northwestern part of Palawan, it covers over 36,000 hectares of land and 54,000 hectares of marine waters. It boasts towering limestone cliffs, beautiful beaches, mangroves, clear waters, unique forests over limestone and neat farmlands.
It is home to five (5) species of mammals, including the Malayan Pangolin and 16 bird species endemic to Palawan including the threatened Palawan Peacock Pheasant, the Palawan Hornbill and Palawan Scops Owl. Bacuit bay is also home to the dugong, dolphins and marine turtles, many of which are threatened species. Colorful coral reef fishes are found here. Some of these are the: butterflyfishes, parrotfishes, wrasses, triggerfishes, angelfishes, surgeonfishes, damselfishes, emperors, snappers, groupers and rabbitfishes.
|El Nido Marine Reserve|
The population within the Protected Area is close to 17,000. Most of the residents are engaged in farming and fishing. Some derive their income from tourism. Major cash crops are rice, cashew, mango, coconut and banana. Marine products include grouper, sweetlip, lobster, mud crab and squid. A seasonal activity is the gathering of edible swifts nests commanding high market prices.
The Ten Knots Development Corporation has been the first commercial entity to tap El Nidos potential as a tourist paradise. It established exclusive resorts on Miniloc, Pangulasian and Langen Islands. Other developers, either residents in the area or tourism entrepreneurs, have followed suit.
Protected Area and Tourism Offices
The Protected Area Office [0919-4226974] located in El Nido Poblacion takes charge of administration, law enforcement, training of community rangers, information campaigns and resource management of the protected area. The local tourism office shares the same premises. Visitors are advised to register at the Office upon arrival and have a comprehensive view of the Protected Area as exhibited by the three-dimensional relief model displayed in the Office.