TWHS: El Nido-Taytay Managed Resource Protected Area, Philippines

Next on our travels through the Philippines after Cebu and our daytrip to the Chocolate Hills was hopping a plane out west to Palawan Island, which is an absolute must for your Philippines itinerary! First stop was at the north end, and the

El Nido-Taytay Managed Resource Protected Area


The El Nido-Taytay Managed Resource Protected Area is located on the north-western tip of the mainland of Palawan. In 1991, the Government of the Philippines proclaimed Bacuit Bay as a 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-Taytay Managed Resource Protected Area, which covers over 36,000 hectares of land and 54,000 hectares of marine waters. It contains towering limestone cliffs, 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, damsel fishes, emperors,snappers, groupers and rabbit fishes.

In 1984, the then Ministry of Natural Resources issued a MNR Administrative Order No 518 establishing a 36, 000 hectare area in North-western Palawan as a Marine Turtle Sanctuary The El Nido Marine Reserve was expanded by virtue of DENR Administrative Order No. 14 Series of 1992, upon recommendations of the El Nido and Taytay Municipal Mayors to address livelihood opportunities for fishers. Proclamation No. 32 dated October 8, 1998 was passed to Congress for deliberation. Since 1989, several different government and non-government programs and projects have been introduced in the area…

The small beach town of El Nido is just packed with outriggers that’ll take you on day trips for sun, sand, and snorkeling, and that suited us just fine for a relaxing outing:

El Nido, Philippines


As the flocks of boats head out for the day, it resembles nothing so much as Ha Long Bay’s little brother — same kind of landscape of karst formations rising out of the sea in every direction,

El Nido, Philippines

except these are smaller scale. Small enough to result in frequent traffic jams, in fact:

El Nido, Philippines

and with far more beaches and lagoons and various carved scenery to enjoy an apparently endless pageant of —

El Nido, Philippines

— this was definitely one of the bigger surprises we’ve had recently, anyplace this beautiful is usually taken over by large scale resorts and overrunning commercialization, but El Nido has avoided that for the most part so far…


p dir=”ltr”>… if you’re looking for a tropical beach experience that’s still relatively below the radar, and a tentative World Heritage Site to boot, El Nido is definitely one of our worldwide top picks!

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