Exploring Santelmo Cove on Hamilo Coast
A bright and promising morning greeted us when we stayed at the Pico Sands Hotel (hotel info). This might seem like a typical day to most, but for us, it was a big surprise as the sky was gloomy, and the occasional rainfall kept us indoors during our first day at Hamilo Coast.
After a good breakfast, we proceeded to the beach club to prepare for our next activity — the exploration of the private coves along Hamilo Coast. The beauty of Santelmo Cove can only be seen as soon as you step foot on its beach. They have the most immaculate beach within Hamilo Coast and probably in Southern Luzon. The crystal-clear water and the powdery white sands are just some of the few things you can enjoy in this paradise, Santelmo Cove.
When we arrived in Santelmo Cove, we saw fences surrounding the sea turtle nests and acting as protection against nature’s predators. Due to the passing of the MPA ordinance, Santelmo Cove is now a marine sanctuary and a no-take zone. This means that any fishing activity is prohibited and punishable by law.
Aside from its gorgeous sands and water, it’s a nesting ground for endangered sea turtles or pawikans, specifically the Olive Ridley Turtles. These creatures are one of the smallest in the world! Taklobos, or giant clams, are also bred in this area and act as natural filters.
There are many other environmental programs on Hamilo Coast. They conduct clam seeding and have already seeded over 175 giant clams at Santelmo Cove and Pico de Loro. The latter also organizes an annual Coastal Clean-Up, so the community is involved in a mangrove reforestation effort.
There is a sense of exclusivity in the cove as not everyone can go to the cove at will. Booking is required; you must rent their boat with an official tour guide. When you avail of their tour package, you can borrow cushions and tables to be placed under the beautiful palm trees. The package also includes drinks and lunch.
How to get to Santelmo Cove
The cove is exclusive to Pico Sands Hotel guests and Hamilo coast residents only. The cove tour is also included in a tour package offered by Pico Sands Hotel called the “Break Free Package.” During our stay, we were given two options, to take the boat or to experience a 20-minute guided trek.
The ideal mix of natural attractions and the comfort of a modern resort makes Hamilo Coast the perfect destination for an escape from the busy city life. The best thing is that it’s within arm’s reach.
For more information on Pico de Loro, visit http://www.picodelorocove.com/.
Pico Sands Hotel (Online Reservation)
Address: Pico de Loro Cove, Hamilo Coast, Barangay Papaya
Phone:(02) 214 7800
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