PALAWAN TRIP PART 3: EL NIDO ISLAND HOPPING “TOUR A”

EL NIDO ISLAND HOPPING tour a

This sight of El Nido is telling me to comeback…

PALAWAN TRIP PART 3: EL NIDO ISLAND HOPPING “TOUR A” (LAGOON AND BEACHES)

That was my third day in my Palawan Trip when I went on an Island hopping (El Nido Tour A – Lagoon and Beaches) . El Nido has numerous tour operators which are found at every corner of El Nido. Broadly speaking, all tour operators offer 4 Tour Packages and their prices are all the same. Just make sure to book a tour as soon as you arrive the place especially during peak season.

All tours are  inclusive of lunch, which, are prepared  by the tour guides in one of the stopovers during the trip.

EL NIDO ISLAND HOPPING tour a

Worshiping the sun while sailing

Here are Tour Packages offered at El Nido and their prices (Prices as of January 2015).

Tour A: PHP 1,200. Destinations:  Small, Big and Secret Lagoons, Shimizu and Entalula Beach and 7 Commando Beach.

Tour B: PHP 1,300. Destinations: Pangulasian, Pinagbuyutan and Snake Islands, Cathedral and Cudognon Caves and Ipil Beach.

Tour C: PHP 1,400. Destinations: Matinloc Shrine, Helicopter and Taiputan Islands, Secret and Hidden Beach and Cadlao Lagoon.

Tour D:PHP 1,200.Destinations: Balinaod, Pasandigan, Paradise and Natat Beach, Ubugon Cove and Bukal Island.

In cases of extreme weather conditions, some destinations are not allowed. But the tour guides would offer an alternative destination in lieu of the original plan.

Due to my limited time allotted for my El Nido Trip, I opted Tour A and C. These two were the most popular amongst the tourists. Each tour would last the whole day.

EL NIDO ISLAND HOPPING tour a

EL NIDO  ISLAND HOPPING, TOUR “A”

We were scheduled for a Tour A on that day. So we woke up early and had our breakfast to get ready for our most awaited adventure.

The tour normally starts off at 9 AM. We were picked up from our hotel by a motorbike. Picking up will make sure that you won’t get lost because there are lots of pump boats leaving every day  for the Island hopping and you might get confused to locate your assigned pump boat.At the pump boat, we found ourselves in a mix of several  nationalities. I suppose we were the only Filipinos in our group except of course the tour guides and the crew. While obviously, the tour guides don’t have fantastic English communication skills, they were good enough to communicate effectively with  everyone in the boat. Obviously, they were trained properly.

EL NIDO ISLAND HOPPING tour a

El Nido Island Hopping Tour A: The entrance of the Small Lagoon

Our first stop, The Small Lagoon.

Small Lagoon – Located on the cove on Miniloc Island. Our boat just anchored outside the small lagoon along with other boats, because the small lagoon can only be entered through a hole. The hole can be passed through a Kayak which you can rent right there at the small lagoon for PHP 250, or you can simply swim. You need not worry because it’s not that deep. Within the small lagoon, you will see the tranquil turquoise-green waters and the amazing limestone walls lined with orchids and other plants we even plant at home. According to our tour guide, some Scientists believe that these lagoons were actually caves which abound in these islands. It is said that the roofs of these caves must have collapsed, millions of years ago, and these lagoons have emerged in their stead.

EL NIDO ISLAND HOPPING tour a

El Nido Island Hopping Tour A: The Shimizu Island

Our next stopover, The Shimizu Island

Shimizu is an island with stunning limestone cliffs where “Balinsasayaw” (swiftlets)  nest and produces the much sought after bird’s nest soup, believed by Asians to have healing properties. The dried saliva of the Balinsasayaw is very costly that it is brought up to PHP 200,000 for every kilogram. That’s why, despite the danger, people would dare to climb the cliffs to find  this “saliva” of Balinsasayaw.

While on  Shimizu Island, our guides  prepared  a sumptuous meal while we were  snorkeling  in the nearby coral reef and enjoying the beach.

EL NIDO ISLAND HOPPING tour a

El Nido Island Hopping Tour A : The entrance of the Big Lagoon

Our third stop, The Big Lagoon

That was already low tide when we reach the big lagoon so our boat cannot get inside anymore. So we went  inside the lagoon while snorkeling and walking at one time.   The big lagoon is a breeding ground for fishes and crustaceans.

After exploring the big lagoon, we were poised to proceed to our next stop. However, the weather during our tour was not so good, the waves and current were strong, so we’re not allowed to visit the Secret Lagoon. So went straight to our final destination.

EL NIDO ISLAND HOPPING tour a

El Nido Island Hopping Tour A: The Seven Commandos Beach

Our last stop, The Seven Commandos Beach

The Seven Commandos Beach was our  final destination after a long day  touring. Seven Commandos were named after the 7 remaining Japanese commandos who lived on the island as stragglers after World War II. The island has a long white sandy beach lined with palm trees.

Of all the destinations in “ El Nido Tour A”. Only at the Seven Commandos Beach has a small canteen which offers beverages. Perfect timing because we were already craving for some cold drinks at that time. We stayed a bit longer at the beach, some of our companions played volleyball. I was a bit tired already at that time, so I just sat down under a tree while enjoying a Halo-halo which I got for PHP 100.00.

https://flic.kr/p/qESPy5

Just enjoying our El Nido Island Hopping …

REMINDERS FOR ALL TOURISTS:

  1. Don’t forget to rent a snorkel (PHP 100.00) before the tour, though some operators include this in their package.
  2. Bring extra clothes or some cover ups should you feel cold after the tour; swim attire.
  3. If you are diabetic like me, don’t forget to bring some sweets. Oftentimes the lunch is delayed especially that it is cooked fresh in one of the stopovers.
  4. Waters are provided during lunch, so bringing an extra bottle would be great. Just don’t forget to bring your empty bottle on your way back.
  5. If you are vegetarian, bring your own food or advise the tour operator ahead of time. It’s up to you to negotiate.
  6. Always wear a life vest. A life vest protects you by keeping you afloat so that you will not step on the corals. I was so sad seeing some tourist not following this, so I won’t be surprised that a few years from now, El Nido’s sea life will no longer as beautiful.
  7. Be careful not to step on the coral. Dangerous organisms sometimes live on the coral and it is unsafe for you to step on it. Touching or stepping on the corals also damages the coral polyps.

Getting There

El Nido is a first class municipality and managed resource protected area in the province of Palawan in the Philippines. It is about 420 kilometers (260 mi) southwest of Manila, and about 238 kilometers (148 mi) northeast of Puerto Princesa, Palawan’s capital. According to CNNGo, it is the Best Beach and Island destination in the Philippines  for its “extraordinary natural splendor and ecosystem.”

I have not tried flying direct to El Nido, but there  several flights from Manila, Iloilo, Cebu to Puerto Princesa . The most popular way to reach El Nido is by land travel from Puerto Princesa. From Puerto Princesa, you still have to cover about 220 kilometers of the highway to get to El Nido so it better to get a flight which will arrive Puerto Princesa morning to so that you still have the daytime when reaching El Nido.

Previous Post in Palawan Trip Series:

Palawan Trip Part 1 – Itinerary and Budget

Palawan Trip Part 2 – Traveling to El Nido 

 

MORE PHOTOS FROM OUR EL NIDO ISLAND HOPPING tour a “TOUR A” 

THE HAPPY TRIP-188

THE HAPPY TRIP-257

OUR LUNCH:

THE HAPPY TRIP-181

THE HAPPY TRIP-182

THE HAPPY TRIP-179

THE HAPPY TRIP-184

 

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jojo vito

I am an entrepreneur, management consultant and artist who loves to travel and share my experiences with others. If you want your place to be featured, for partnerships and sponsorships, etc. - email me at jovito_intraspec@yahoo.com My Blogs: www.thehappytrip.com ;  www.toponmylist.com ; www.intraspectraining.wordpress.com www.jojovito.com 

Default Comments (27)

27 Comments:

  1. Keziah Sheloah Geriane

    El Nido Trip is in my bucket list! I would love to be a tourist in my own country. Philippines still have places to unearth, esp. beaches, lagoons, and islands, etc. It’s so good to be living in a country that’s full of places that’s tantalizing. I’m proud to be living in the Philippines!! 🙂 #Advertising

  2. I Nice one. Very helpful to tourists…Thank you…

  3. Cristy Bernados

    Hi, just wanna ask if Ok ba na may kasamang kids sa el Nido? Is it safe? Thanks.

    • if they are too small, maybe its not nice to bring the kids.The main activities there are Island hopping, though each one are given a life vest during the trip, little kids for me are not yet meant for the activity. Though I have seen some bringing their kids with them.

  4. You visited my hometown? Coolness. As someone who come from Palawan, I would like to tell everyone that the island particularly El Nido is second to none. That’s my claim and I don’t think I to back it up. Take that! LoL. Seriously, I hope you enjoyed your stay there.

  5. Palawan has lots to offer to guests talaga. Mark it, puppuntahan din kita.

  6. The fresh food and fruits also makes the trip really worth it.

  7. This is the place a I always wanted to see and visit. Great sand, great view and most of all, awesome foods!

  8. Great thing that they have tour packages to choose from and the islands are so beautiful! The bad thing though is the weather which can be unpredictable and the plan is suddenly shifted. Oh well, good thing you had fun! 😀

  9. nice blog, i dont have any plan yet to visit palawan, but i definitely follow your tips.

  10. So this is the [art 3 huh?! I think I followed your part 1 and 2 too. All those foods especially your lunch are mouth watering…miss ko na ang inihaw na idsa, pusit, pork na may taba pa. You hardly find meat here with fat on it. Inaalis nila ang taba dito. You can find them on Flea market lang.

  11. wow the last time i was in El Nido the tour packages was 700per pax..now it bloated to 1200? but i guess its worth it…. nice vacation 😀

  12. I’ll definitely put Palawan on my travel list. It’s so beautiful! The food and fruits looks tasty! What I really want is to see what’s beneath the ocean

  13. The tour prices are very reasonable and I think they are actually very inexpensive when compared to other countries charge tourists with their tourist destinations. It’s just right that the tour guide knows English well as it’s expected that many foreigners visit the island.

  14. I’ve always dreamed of being able to travel and visit El Nido with my hubby and baby. I always hear that El nido is an amazing place! 😀

  15. this is one place that i would really love to visit, someday , somehow i can.

  16. Island hopping is super fun! The water looks so clear and beautiful too.

  17. I’ve never tried tour A last year, maybe this year I’m gonna do a complete Palawan tour. Thank you for sharing.

  18. I’ve never got a chance to try tour A last year. next time 🙂

  19. I really want to visit Palawan one of these days. I’ll bookmark this post for my plans. thanks!

  20. to this day, i am still paranoid that i’ll get kidnapped in palawan =)))) but nevertheless, i’m excited to visit it!

  21. This experience will be definately awsome

  22. awesome adventure. such an awesome place to visit.

  23. Wow! What a paradise! I am excited to go to Palawan! I’ll be there in June.

  24. I really want to come back to Palawan and hopefully this time, El Nido. I am sure my wanderlust in the making kids will enjoy it there too!

  25. It’s really nice to do island hopping in El Nido because of the clear waters and the magnificent rock and limestone formations.

  26. very detailed post! ganito dapat ang mga travel posts 🙂 No plans yet on going to Palawan, but if we do, I’ll go back to this blog 🙂

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