Hidden beach in Matinloc Island, Philippines.

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Matinloc Island

Bacuit Archipelago

Like the back of a half-submerged stegosaurus, Matinloc Island snakes some 8km along the western edge of the Bacuit Archipelago. Along with neighbouring Tapiutan Island, it forms narrow Tapiutan Strait, the walls of which offer some of the best snorkelling in the archipelago. Likewise, there is some excellent snorkelling plus some good beaches on the eastern side of Matinloc.

The adventurous will surely want to check out tiny Secret Beach, which can only be entered by swimming through a keyhole slot in the western wall of Matinloc (generally can't be accessed in August and September during the southwest monsoon, aka habagat). But be warned: the entrance is lined with extremely jagged rocks and coral – do not even think of swimming through if there are any waves around as an accident could well be fatal.

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