El Nido is known for its beautiful and serene beaches which is famous all over the world. The Bacuit Bay, which El Nido is located, houses around 45 islands and islets. Recently, it is receiving various recognitions internationally as one of the top must visit beaches in the world, together with Boracay.
With the help of the local government, the islands of El Nido is very easy to explore. The government organizes the island tours around El Nido. This means that the local government and local businesses work together to make it organize to explore El Nido. They subdivided the tours in El Nido as follows: Tour A, Tour B, Tour C and combination tours.
El Nido Island Hopping Tours
The normal rate of Tour A outside is P700 and so if they charge you higher, tell them that it should be P700 only. Tour A is known as “Lagoon Tour” because you will be visiting several lagoons during the tour. Tour A lets you explore Small Lagoon, Big Lagoon, Secret Lagoon, Shimizu, and 7 Commandos Beach. To be able to enjoy more here, it is recommended to rent a kayak for a whole day rate of P500.
Small Lagoon is the first stop of the tour. In here, you can kayak your way inside or you can just swim. Activities in this stop is kayaking and snorkeling. The next stop of the tour is the Big Lagoon. You should prepare your cameras in this stop because the view is spectacular. You can enjoy best here by kayaking. When swimming in this area, you should be careful because there are a lot of sea urchins.
Third stop is the Shimizu or Simizu or Simezu Island. I am not sure what is the correct name is. According to our tour guide, the name of the island was from a diver who was found dead in this island. This is where we had our lunch. While waiting for the food to be cooked, you can snorkel and feed the fish here. There are a lot of fishes near the shore. After lunch, we then proceed to Secret Lagoon. While approaching the area, you will surely be awe with the spectacular view of the place. There is a small entrance going to the secret lagoon. Inside, there is a mini swimming place surrounded by a tall rock formations. Also in this area, there is a nipa hut where the caretaker of the island stays. The area is rich of Balinsasayaw’s nest which is very famous delicacy in Palawan.
The last stop of Tour A is the 7 Commandos Beach. This stop is for relaxation. In here, you can buy fresh buko or an iced cold beer for around P50. When we went here, there are a lot of constructions in the area. Locals in there said that the island was bought by Phinma Properties from the local residents. However, there are conflicts in the said purchase. This has caused a lot of tensions in the island which causes several deaths already according to our guide. Other activities in this island are beach volleyball, snorkeling, swimming, and sunbathing.
Tour B includes Cadugnon Cave, Pangalusian Island, Cathedral Cave, Pinagbuyutan Island, and Snake Island. The rate for Tour B is P800 per person. This already includes lunch. We were not able to try Tour B during our visit and so I don’t have any pictures on this tour. This tour focuses on different caves in different islands in El Nido.
Tour C is the more famous tour among the island hopping tours in El Nido. The island hopping normal rate is P900 per person and includes lunch. The tour lets you explore Helicopter Island, Hidden Beach, Secret Beach, Star Beach, and Matinloc Shrine. Generally, this tour is more of snorkeling and swimming.
The first stop is the Helicopter Island. The island got its name from its shape. If you look at it from the distance, it looks like a helicopter. In here, you can do snorkeling near the shore and for sure you will be amazed with the beautiful fishes and corals underwater. Just be wary of the jellyfishes that are present sometimes.
The second stop is the Hidden Beach. Prepare your camera when going in this stop because you will be amazed with the beautiful view in the area. Fishes are very abundant also in the area so prepare your snorkeling gear. The boat cannot go inside the area and so you need to swim a little to go the beach.
The third stop of Tour C is the Star Beach. This is where we had our lunch during the tour. You can enjoy the white sand and clear waters here while waiting for the food. You can also snorkel here.
After we had our lunch, we then proceed to the Secret Beach. You will need to swim towards a small entrance to go inside the beach. You will be amazed how a beautiful beach was made inside. However, I had a bad experience here while going back to our boat. During our stay, rains in the afternoon are usual in El Nido due to “habagat”. We were about to go back to our boat when the rain was coming and the waves became strong that it pushes me back when I try to swim. I just tried to protect my head from bumping the sharp rocks in the entrance. Good thing our tour guides are alert that one of them immediately swam towards me to pull me back to the boat. It was a scary experience but that is what adventures are!
The last stop of our island hopping is the Matinloc Shrine. This is an abandoned resthouse/church. There was a church in there and several miracles were believed to happen in there before. However, there are some stories also that the house was built to search for a Yamashita treasure. When they got the treasures already, they left the house and made it become a church as disguise.
- Charge your camera before the tour. Remember that the electricity in El Nido is from 2:00 PM to 6:00 AM only.
- There is an environmental fee when visiting El Nido which is P100 for Filipino and P120 for foreigners. This is valid for 10 days already.
- Always bring your snorkel. If you don’t have snorkel before the trip, tour guide will ask you to rent one for P100. Just tell to them that you thought it is part of the tour already.
- Prepare your sunblock lotion.
- Bring insect/mosquito repellent.
- Bring water.
- Have extra cash.
- In my previous post, I told that we stayed in Entalula Beach Resort. The hotel organized our island tours. Almost every hotel in El Nido offers island tours also. The reason why I chose to let the hotel organize our tours is that they offer cheaper rate. Their rate is P100 cheaper than the tours offered outside. So if you are staying the Entalula, better ask their help in organizing your tours.