Category Archives: EXPEDITIONS

3D2N Port Barton Escapade

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Extravagant beaches
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Extra-special Tours
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3D2N PALAWAN

 

 
 
 

Ahh, Palawan. Home to the Philippines’ finest shores and spectacular sights (both on land and underwater). It’s an adventurer’s paradise that has everything exciting you can ask for: caves, beaches, coral reefs, gigantic limestone formations, exotic wildlife, local delicacies, hiking trails, and heritage sites. 

Regardless if it’s your first or nth visit in this island province, there’s always plenty of fresh and exciting things to see, do, and experience! Don’t believe us? Here’s a list of things to do in Palawan — whichever town you’re headed.

Puerto Princesa

A good thing about the capital of the Palawan archipelago? It provides both the comforts of city life and beach life. While most tourists make a beeline northwards to El Nido or Coron, a visit to Puerto Princesa is a must-add in your things to do in Palawan, especially if it’s your first time!  

Also read: Puerto Princesa, Palawan: An Urban Day Tour Guide for First Timers

1. Go on an underground cruise and see a World Wonder

Image credit: Mike Gonzales

The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is definitely a must-see for first-time visitors! It boasts of a limestone karst landscape, an eight-kilometre underground river, and a UNESCO World Heritage title. While it’s just half an hour drive and boat ride away from the city, it’s best to book a tour in advance as schedules are almost always full. 

Hop aboard a paddle boat that will take you inside the Puerto Princesa Underground River. Marvel at the stalactites and stalagmites and learn about these formations from your guide as you go along. Watch out for the bats and swiftlets around the cave, and don’t worry about the smell — it’s not as bad as they say it is. 

Tip: If the short standard tour left you wanting more, you can actually proceed 4.3km further! Just be sure to secure a permit at least two days in advance from the Subterranean National Park Office.

Outside, the rainforest is teeming with wildlife from the monitor lizard (known among locals as bayawak) to the crab-eating monkey, and the endemic species like the Palawan porcupine and the Palawan bearded pig. If you’re into bird-watching, keep your eyes open for over a hundred different bird species of different sizes and colours. 

2. Zoom across crystal clear waters in Sabang Beach

The Sabang X Zipline takes you on a scenic ride at 150 feet above sea level. And since the zipline is at a relatively low speed, you can take in the aerial views of the sea and mountains. This is definitely a plus for those who aren’t heavily into adrenaline-packed activities!

3. See the sweeping hillside views, then have some baked goodies too!

Image credit: Mats Sjödin

Enjoy views of the city and the sea from the hillside Mitra’s Ranch. Though the property is privately owned, most of it is open to the public — including the viewing deck and the sprawling grounds where you can have a picnic! Other activities include horseback riding and a hanging bridge.

Image credit: Marcy Miniano

Just down the street is Baker’s Hill, where you can find all sorts of freshly baked goodies that you can pack for the road or even take home. It also has a small park of sorts, with life-size Disney statues, a playground, a garden that is lit up at night, and peacocks. It’s like the grandparents’ house you wished you had as a kid, if your grandparents also baked best-selling hopia every day! 

4. Taste authentic Vietnamese dishes, with a history lesson on the side

Image credit: Marcy Miniano

The Vietnamese cuisine in Viet Ville Restaurant is as authentic as it gets. Located in a village that used to be home to refugees of the Vietnam War, this establishment is a former joint cooperative between Vietnamese immigrants and Palawan locals. Though the rest of the village is now somewhat a ghost town, many tourists flock to this decades-old eatery for its mouthwatering banh mi, spring rolls, and pho

5. Witness a firefly light show

As you cruise along the Iwahig River, you’ll find a captivating display of fireflies glowing around the mangroves on the riverbank. If you enjoyed that scene in Rapunzel where they go to the Rivers of Light, then you’ll have a magical time here. Apart from firefly-watching, you can also stargaze at constellations in the night sky. (If you’re lucky, your local guide might even help you identify a constellation or two!)

6. Enjoy a good ol’ food trip downtown

Image credit: Marcy Miniano

Fresh seafood is always a must for things to do in Palawan. Good thing the streets of downtown Puerto Princesa are filled with homegrown restaurants offering local cuisine, some standing out from the rest. One of these is KaLui, a native-style restaurant decorated with showcased Palawan artworks. Prepare to leave your shoes at the door for a barefoot dining experience, and then dig into their seafood and veggie specialities (their menu’s pescatarian!). Their housemade fruit shakes are also a bestseller. 

Up for some exotic delicacies? Head over to the über-laid back Kinabuch’s Grill & Bar and order their best-selling crocodile sisig and tamilok (a type of mollusk living inside mangrove trees). Meanwhile, Palaweño Brewery offers craft beer infused with homegrown ingredients like Palawan mangoes, tangguli (local palm candy), and wild Palawan honey. Aside from being the only craft beer place in Palawan, it’s also the first female-run craft brewery in the Philippines! 

Image credit: Marcy Miniano

Enjoy some fresh catch of the day at Badjao Seafront, a floating restaurant situated in a mangrove forest. Take in the calming view of the ocean while having hefty servings of grilled seafood, best paired with lato (a type of seaweed that looks like grapes). The restaurant often becomes packed right before sunset, so if you’d rather skip the queues, we recommend coming here for lunch instead. 

7. Get to know the local crocs

Image credit: Ceratocentron

The Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center is home to some endangered or abandoned animals in the Philippines, most notably local crocodiles. It’s best known for its Crocodile Farm, where they raise several young crocs until adulthood. Here, you’ll find two species of crocodiles: the Philippine crocodile and the saltwater crocodile, the former being endangered. If you’re lucky, you can watch as the massive adult ones are fed. But if not, there are baby crocodiles that you can see up close and even pet (with handler supervision, of course). 

8. Go spelunking in Tagabinet

The Hundred Caves of Tagabinet earned its name for its countless interconnected and multi-storied passages that thrill cave explorers and adventurers. As you walk and climb your way through, your guide will share interesting details about the rock and mineral formations — many of which date back to millenia ago. 

Also read: These 7 Enigmatic Caves in the Philippines Will Leave You in Awe

El Nido

To say that El Nido is a tropical paradise is an understatement. After all, it’s hard to find a place quite like it anywhere else! A six-hour drive from the capital, it houses some of the most breathtaking tropical locations. Though tourists from all over the globe often flock here to go island-hopping, you’ll be surprised to know that El Nido has a few other tricks up its sleeve.

9. Discover the islands of the Bacuit Archipelago

Island hopping is often on the top of a globetrotter’s list of things to do in Palawan. Arguably the main attraction amongst all Palawan tourist spots, the protected Bacuit Archipelago hosts 45 limestone islands and countless white-sand beaches, lagoons, and coves. There are four standardised tours and the popular must-sees are scattered throughout these four, so it’s highly recommended you allot a day per tour. But if time is of the essence, then might as well charter your own boat (around US$85) and visit the best spots of your choosing.  

Upon docking in Miniloc Island, the best way to explore its idyllic Big Lagoon and Small Lagoon is to kayak around them. It also has a Secret Lagoon, which you can enter through a hole in the cliff, and it’s like entering another world in the movies. There’s also the Secret Beach of Matinloc Island, where you have to swim a bit through the opening to get inside. According to popular belief, this is also the inspiration of British author Alex Garland for his novel-turned-movie The Beach

Also read: 15 Secret Beaches in the Philippines You Probably Didn’t Know About

Tip: Rent a clear kayak if you can, as to fully appreciate what’s beneath those crystalline waters.

Shimizu Island is often packed at noon, since it’s the scheduled lunch spot in some of the tours. It’s an ideal snorkelling spot with the abundance of coral reefs and colourful fishes off its coast. Another crowd favourite for snorkelling? Cadlao Island, which is close enough to the El Nido town proper that you can simply take a kayak to get there (if the weather permits it).  

If you’re the type who prefers to simply chill by the shores and bask in the sun, then the Seven Commando Beach is your best bet. It’s usually the last stop in most of the tours, so if you arrive here separately, you can have a quiet time for most of the day. There are also stalls and bars if you’re looking for some food and refreshments — from fresh coconut juice to halo-halo and ice cold beers. 

Note: Taking plastic bottles on the El Nido island hopping tours is strictly prohibited.

10. Stay in a cottage over the ocean

After all, why settle for a beachfront hotel when you can opt for an overwater villa? After a long day of exploring the stunning isles, it’s best to unwind in some of the dreamy island resorts of El Nido. There’s Cauayan Island Resort, which is one of the more popular ones for its close proximity to the El Nido main bay. If you’re looking for eco-luxury with some outdoor adventure on the side, then Lagen Island Resort is a perfect choice. If you’re up for some hiking, take the Mountain Trail and get to see some of the wildlife. 

11. Trek to the highest point of El Nido

Image credit: David Stanley

Speaking of hiking, if you’re up for something a bit intense, then Taraw Cliff is the way to go! Climb through sharp rocks and steep boulders, and you’ll be rewarded with a sweeping view of the islands nearby. Best to take the hike at dawn, so you can catch the sunrise by the time you get to the top. 

Tip

Itching to see the view but not sure if you’re cut out for bouldering? The Ferrata Canopy Walk offers an easier (but still exciting) climb. It features suspension bridges, forest staircases, and even a giant makeshift spiderweb for your adventure posts on Instagram!

Also read: 10 Beginner-Friendly Hiking Trails in the Philippines

12. Experience a Filipino boodle fight

No, it’s not really a fight. In Filipino culture, a boodle fight (or locally referred to as kamayan) entails eating with your bare hands, with all the food laid out on banana leaves. It’s a good way to bond with the locals and get to know more about this communal tradition. Dine in at Boodle Fight Resto & Bar, and you’ll see why this local practice is worth trying — not that the delicious fresh seafood isn’t enough to convince you. 

Coron

Far and (sort of) beyond up north lies Coron, where even more magnificent beaches await you. Aside from beaches, it also has seven lakes, some of which are deemed one of the cleanest in the Philippines. But the main event in Coron is underwater, where history and sightseeing come alive.

13. Explore the Coron Bay Shipwrecks

Image credit: Dwi sumaiyyah makmur

You can find 13 diving sites right beneath the turquoise waters of Coron Bay. It’s no wonder this place is a must-visit for wreck divers everywhere! Back in September 1944 during World War II, the U.S. army bombarded the Japanese army’s supply fleet hidden on these islands. Decades later, the well-preserved machinery and equipment left scattered around the area make for a spectacular sight. You’ll find massive wreckages of gunboats, aircraft carriers, tanks, and ammo alongside coral reefs and other marine life. 

Whether you’re an experienced or beginner diver, you can explore some of the diving sites around the area. Some are as shallow as 10-20 feet, while some go as deep as 140 feet. Depending on your skill level, expert guides will help you see the most out of the many shipwrecks. Along the way, you might even run into some interesting creatures like the sea turtle, yellowfin tuna, and scorpionfish. 

14. Witness the beauty of Kayangan Lake

This crystal-clear semi-freshwater lake is nestled between limestone walls and is accessible by a 10-minute climb. Enjoy wading in its warm waters and taking photos of the pristine surroundings. It’s a popular spot that you can find on countless Instagram travel feeds, making it one of the more #millennial things to do in Palawan. 

You can also go diving or snorkelling and see the impressive scene underwater. On the left side, you’ll find the Awuyuk Cave, which you can enter by swimming through a narrow entrance under the lake. 

Tip

15. Unwind at the Maquinit Hot Springs

After a long day of exploring what Coron has to offer, head over to Maquinit Hot Springs, located about half an hour away from the town proper. It’s one of the very few saltwater hot springs in the world, and its water comes from an underground water volcano. Take a dip to soothe your tired muscles, and surround yourself by mangrove trees while breathing in warm air. 

16. See the hidden gems of Lusong Coral Garden

Dive into the cerulean waters and feast your eyes upon the wonders of this underwater garden. Actually, Lusong Coral Garden is more like an underwater forest with an abundance of densely packed corals teeming with different colours. The lush reef system seems to go about as far as the eye can see, and the sight of it rivals those over the surface. Definitely worth adding to your things to do in Palawan bucket list! 

17. Have a lobster feast

Image credit: Mary Love Siy

Dig into fresh lobsters (that you can even pick out yourself!) at Lobster King. True to its name, its must-try dish is the lobster, which they offer at an attractive price. You get to pick how the lobster is cooked, but we recommend having ‘em soaked in glorious golden butter garlic. 

Honourable Mention

Because yes, there’s still more places to see and things to do in Palawan beyond the three main areas! 

18. Discover the archipelago’s prehistoric beginnings

Image credit: Jimaggro

The Tabon Cave in the Lipuun Point Reservation is a fixture in Philippine history books as the Cradle of Philippine Civilisation. After all, it’s the site where the remains of the earliest life in the Philippines — the ‘Tabon Man’ — have been found. The Tabon Cave, combined with  214 other caves in the reservation, make up the Tabon Cave Complex. Though among those caves, only seven are open to the public. There have been countless archaeological artefacts discovered here, and some caves are believed to have been used as ritual sites or burial grounds before. 

19. Marvel at the beauty of the Tubbataha Reefs

Image credit: Philip Maise

Isolated and underwater, this Palawan UNESCO World Heritage Site contains world-class marine biodiversity. It’s home to approximately half the world’s coral species, as well as over 500 species of fish and countless other sea creatures. It’s no wonder this is on the bucket list of many scuba divers from around the globe. Diving season in the Tubbataha Reefs is from March to June, when the waters are quite calm and liveaboards are allowed within the marine park. 

Note: Yes, diving in the Tubbataha Reefs can only be done with the help of liveaboards.

Also read: 9 Best Diving Spots in the Philippines for Aquaventurers

20. Check out the underrated scenery of San Vicente

Image credit: Jimaggro

Between El Nido and Puerto Princesa sits this quiet town slowly making itself known as a rising tourist destination. It’s one of the more underrated things to do in Palawan, so make the most out of the rare tranquillity. The nearby fishing village of Port Barton is the low-key counterpart of El Nido and Coron. Here, you can go island hopping, snorkel amidst its thriving reefs, or simply enjoy a quiet time. 

Book a night or two at the Secret Paradise Resort & Turtle Sanctuary. Apart from the usual outdoor/beach activities you can do, communing with the pawikans (sea turtles) is definitely a must. You can find them while out snorkelling or wait for the hatching season between November to May. 

 

Don’t leave San Vicente without visiting Long Beach, the town’s crowning glory. Spanning over 14 kilometres, it’s the longest white-sand beachfront in the Philippines. Underneath its palm trees, you can definitely leave your worries. 

Excited to visit all these places in Palawan and see why it’s a favourite among globetrotters? Better book a trip soon and don’t forget to cross these items off your bucket list. We’d love to hear your fantastic stories afterwards!

5D4N Port Barton El Nido Package

REDISCOVER YOURSELF OWN THIS NOW
Extravagant beaches
Beautiful people
Extra-special Tours
All Palawan Expedition
GET CLOSER TO YOUR DREAMS BE LOST IN PALAWAN
ENOUGH FOR YOUR HUSTLE DREAM BIG REAL ESTATE
Live and Enjoy the Beauty of Palawan
We have it all.
OWN YOUR PIECE OF HEAVEN LIVE NOW IN PARADISE
GLORIOUS STYLE Treasure the memories
Lost In Palawan Wearables
Islanders Fashion
OWNING THESE MERCH
IS A STEAL
CULTURE BECOMES BUY ME 70% OFF

5D4N Trip to El nido

 

 

El Nido, Palawan

El Nido is a popular destination for locals during the long holidays of Holy Week but, until recently, has been relatively unfamiliar to foreign tourists. El Nido is a coastal settlement and primary tourist destination on the Philippines island of Palawan. El Nido comprises 45 islands and islets; limestone cliffs are also found here, which form a Karst backdrop similar to those found in Ha Long Bay, Krabi, and Guilin. Beaches, clear waters (away from the main town), jungle, steep limestone cliffs, and stunning inlets make for beautiful seascapes. El Nido Solo Travel Guide

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I’ve traveled to a lot of gorgeous tropical islands in South East Asia but nothing prepared me for the beauty of the Philippines. And nothing outfitted me for the effect that El Nido would hold on me.


Sharing my DIY 5 days & 4 nights experience in El Nido, Palawan as a SOLO BACKPACKER!
(Airfare not included)

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Booked a promo flight from Cebu Pacific – MNL – PPS – MNL for just P865 roundtrip!

Itinerary: El Nido Solo Travel Guide
Day 1: Manila to Puerto Princesa, Palawan & Puerto Princesa to El Nido

 

Day 1
1:40 PM – 3:10 PM Flight from MNL to PPS
4:00 PM – 9:00 PM Travel from PPS to El Nido
(5 hours drive with 1 stopover)
9:00 PM – Checked in Big Mike’s Hostel
10:00 PM – Free time

 

Check out Big Mike’s Hostel rates via AGODA | BOOKING

Day 2
Tour A
8:00 AM – Hostel Breakfast (Free)
9:00 AM – Pick up time for the tour (Island Hopping)
Island Hopping:
– Small Lagoon
– Big Lagoon
– Seven Commandos
– Lunch is included
(Secret Lagoon is not included on the day I did the tour because of the weather)
5:00 PM – End of the tour
6:00 PM – Back to the hostel
7:00 PM – Dinner
8:00 PM – Nightlife (Nightlife is perfect if you want AFAM) Haha!

 

[READ: PALAWAN | El Nido Itinerary 4D3N for only ₱9,200 | Budget Travel Guide]

 

Day 3
(I woke up late so I was not able to attend the Tour C)
10:00 AM – Hostel Breakfast (Free)
3:00 PM – Las Cabanas Beach Resort for the Sunset
5:00 PM – Back to the hostel
7:00 PM – Dinner
8:00 PM – Nightlife El Nido Solo Travel Guide

Day 4
10:00 AM – Hostel Breakfast (Free)
11:00 AM – Walking to the beach
6:00 PM – 11:00 PM – Travel from El Nido to PPS
(5 hours drive with 1 stopover)
11:00 PM – Checked in to the homestay

Day 5
10:00 AM – Breakfast
11:00 AM – Buying souvenirs and pasalubong
3:00 PM – Supposed to be my flight going back to Manila but the worst thing is, it was delayed for 6 hours.

 

All expenses:
Tour A – P1,000 per person
Kayak (Small) – P300
Van transfer – P1100
4 Days 3 nights at Big Mikes – P500 per night El Nido Solo Travel Guide

PS: I would definitely recommend for you to stay in a hostel if you’re a solo backpacker or if you’re on a tight budget. You can also meet new friends around the world, I made new friends from different countries.
Also, I suggest PUKKA Bar if you love nightlife! You will meet a lot of friends there too! El Nido Solo Travel Guide

 

Check out other budget accommodation and book in advance
AGODA | BOOKING

Special thanks to Mr. Michael Yao for helping me with my accommodation. I would recommend him to all as he is nice and legit! El Nido Solo Travel Guide

WHAT TO READ NEXT

5 Palawan Experiences that All Foreign Travelers can Relate
Coron Town Tour with Coron Blue Lagoon Adventure Travel & Tours
Coron Soleil Express Hotel: Coron’s Best Value for Money Accommodation
7 Best Hotels and Resorts in El Nido

7D6N El nido coron Experience

REDISCOVER YOURSELF OWN THIS NOW
Extravagant beaches
Beautiful people
Extra-special Tours
All Palawan Expedition
GET CLOSER TO YOUR DREAMS BE LOST IN PALAWAN
ENOUGH FOR YOUR HUSTLE DREAM BIG REAL ESTATE
Live and Enjoy the Beauty of Palawan
We have it all.
OWN YOUR PIECE OF HEAVEN LIVE NOW IN PARADISE
GLORIOUS STYLE Treasure the memories
Lost In Palawan Wearables
Islanders Fashion
OWNING THESE MERCH
IS A STEAL
CULTURE BECOMES BUY ME 70% OFF

7D6N PPS+EL NIDO

PACKAGE INCLUSIONS
3-night accommodation in El Nido (Beach front)
3-night accommodation in PPS
Daily Breakfast
Round trip Airport transfers
Round land transfers (PPS-El Nido v.v)
El Nido Island Hopping Tour A (Big Lagoon, Secret Lagoon, Shimizu and Commando Beach) – w/ buffet lunch
El Nido Island Hopping Tour C (Helicopter Island, Mantiloc Shrine, Secret Beach, Star Beach and Hidden Beach) – w/ buffet lunch
Underground River Tour (UR) – w/ buffet lunch
Iwahig Firefly Watching – w/ buffet lunch
Half-day City Tour – w/ light snacks

Day 1: 

-Guest pickup (Arrival)
-Land travel to El Nido (4-5 hours; via SIC)
-Hotel check-in

Day 2

 Island-Hopping (Tour A)

Day 3

Island-Hopping (Tour C)

Day 4

-Hotel checkout
-Land travel to PPS (4-5 hours; via SIC)
-Hotel check-in

Day 5

Undergound River Tour (UR)

Day 6

Half-day City Tour (PM)
Iwahig Firefly Watching

Day 7

-Hotel checkout
-Guest drop-off (Departure)

Endless Activities

REDISCOVER YOURSELF OWN THIS NOW
Extravagant beaches
Beautiful people
Extra-special Tours
All Palawan Expedition
GET CLOSER TO YOUR DREAMS BE LOST IN PALAWAN
ENOUGH FOR YOUR HUSTLE DREAM BIG REAL ESTATE
Live and Enjoy the Beauty of Palawan
We have it all.
OWN YOUR PIECE OF HEAVEN LIVE NOW IN PARADISE
GLORIOUS STYLE Treasure the memories
Lost In Palawan Wearables
Islanders Fashion
OWNING THESE MERCH
IS A STEAL
CULTURE BECOMES BUY ME 70% OFF

15 Best things to do in El Nido

Island Hopping In El Nido

Okay, so this whole section will be the island hopping options in El nido in detail.

I’m going to go through each tour individually, what they include, how much they cost, why they’re good and then end the section with the best way to book your El Nido island hopping tour.

Tour A: Lagoons & Beaches

Tour A is one of the most popular island hopping tours in El Nido and it’s the tour Bradley and I did!

I think this is a great tour if you’ve only got limited time in El Nido and want to see some amazing sights. Our tour operator was awesome and our whole boat had so much fun together. We actually booked it through our hotel, so I’m not even sure what it’s called.

You can book El Nido Tour A online here (for a fantastic price- they all go to the same spots, so it doesn’t matter if you book online or in person)

Seven Commando Beach

This was actually our final stop on the tour and it’s bloody awesome! It’s a beautiful beach that has great snorkeling spots, places to relax, a volleyball net and of course stands selling beer and rum. Since it was our last spot we enjoyed a few rum and coke with our new friends we made on this awesome tour.

Big Lagoon

The Big Lagoon was everything I wanted it to be…amazing. You can rent out kayaks for 200 or swim once you get there, but I recommend getting a kayak. As you head down the lagoon you’ll see how blue and clear the water is as you are submerged between beautiful limestone cliffs.

We threw the drone up and got some amazing sights of the lagoon! There is also a cave you can kayak to and you might spot some turtles.  

Shimizu Island

It’s either this island, or a similar that you will stop at for lunch. Lunch will always be a fresh BBQ consisting of fish, pork, chicken, rice, noodles, vegetables and fruit. It’s super delicious and you just dine on the beautiful beach.

The place we stopped had stunning water and great snorkelling spots around it, Brad seen nemo (clown) fish here.

Secret Lagoon

I believe the area next to the secret lagoon is nicer than the Secret Lagoon itself, BUT, if you’ve never been to a secret lagoon before, then you’ll find it cute.

You have to “queue” to get through the little rock into the secret lagoon. Be aware the water is filled with little stinging jellyfish. It just feels like little shocks and it’s not painful, just really annoying!

Don’t stand on the coral!

When you get into the lagoon, depending on the tide, the water will either be clear, or just murky. For us it was murky and it didn’t impress me! But next to the lagoon is a beautiful beach and blue waters to chill at.

PS, you used to visit both Big lagoon and small lagoon on tour A, but this is no longer the case. Due to the areas becoming over crowded, they limit the amount of people on each sight each day. Which is a good thing!

Cost: 1200 for the tour with lunch PLUS you have to pay 200 for an environmental fee that lasts 7 days in El Nido. You need it to do a tour, but you only pay once.

If you book online via Klook, it’s cheaper. We had every intention of booking online, but you need to book 2 days in advance, and I didn’t realise, so there was no spots left!

Check out my full guide on El Nido Tour A here.

Seven Commandos Beach, El Nido

Tour B: Caves And Beaches

Love beaches and unique caves? Then tour B is the tour for you! I’m not a big fan of caves, so this wouldn’t be for me. But snake island looks awesome and looks like a great drone opportunity!

Book tour B online here for a fantastic price.

Pinagbuyutan Island

This is a dome shaped island and is considered to be one of the most picturesque spots in all of El Nido…and the Philippines, so definitely worth a visit!

Snake Island

Snake island (also known as virgin island) is basically a sand bank that stretches in the water, but it looks pretty darn cool! You can get great views from above and you can walk on the sand during low tide.

Cudugnon Cave

You enter this cave through a narrow opening and inside you’ll be greeted with unique rock formations and bats! It’s quite a huge cave.

Entalula Or Papaya Beach

These are idyllic islands and beaches, perfect for a spot of lunch, the chance to swim, snorkel or simply relax on the beach. They are truly beautiful with amazing scenery surrounding them.

Cost: 1100, again it’s cheaper to book online via Klook!

Tour C: Hidden Beaches And Shrine

If you want a tour that takes you to unique spots with a lot less people than tour A, then this is the tour for you. This was actually the other tour Brad and I wanted to do, but simply ran out of time. It looks amazing and has some truly unique spots to see.

Book tour C online here for a great price.

Helicopter Island (Dilumacad Island)

Helicopter island is famous for its beauty and unique shape. It boasts towering limestone cliffs, great snorkelling, lush vegetation and amazing beaches.

Secret Beach

Secret beach can only be accessed via swimming through a keyhole, which makes it a true secret. It’s very small too, but ever so beautiful. The author of the famous “The Beach” movie wrote this book in El Nido, so it was probably inspired by this beach.

Matinloc Shrine

You reach this beautiful shrine by climbing the steps of an abandoned building. There is a chapel on top and you’ll be greeted with a stunning panoramic view.

Talisay Beach

This is a great spot for your on the beach lunch. It’s got beautiful white sand and blue waters perfect for swimming and snorkelling.

Cost: 1300, again, cheaper to book online.

Tour D: Islands And Beaches

If you want a tour that consists of beautiful beaches, unique islands and lots of chances to snorkel, then tour D is the one for you. This tour is quite popular due to its inclusion of the famous small lagoon, so it’s quite a popular choice.

Book a private tour D tour right here.

Small Lagoon

Small lagoon is literally the famous little sister/brother of the big lagoon. It’s very picturesque and beautiful and one of the most popular spots to see in El Nido. You need to swim via a hole to reach the small lagoon and you’ll be greeted with stunning clear waters surrounded by amazing limestone rocks as your backdrop.

You also have the option to rent a kayak.

Cadlao Island

This is the largest island in El Nido and a perfect place to escape the crowds and experience untouched beaches and beautiful waters.

Nat Nat Beach

This is a long stretch of white sand beach perfect for relaxing and sunbathing. You can only access via boat and it’s sheltered by amazing limestone rocks.

Bukal Island

This a beautiful small island that is often the setting for lunch. You could relax all day here and take amazing photos.

Pasandigan Cove

Another beautiful beach with bright blue water perfect for swimming and relaxing! Great drone pictures.

Cost: 1250, it will be cheaper to book online.

Big Lagoon, El Nido

Private Island Hopping Tours In El Nido

If you want to create your own unique itinerary combining the options above and beat some of the tourists, then a private tour is the way to go.

We really wanted to do a private tour, but they are nowhere near as good value as the private tours in Coron!

You can check out these companies online, but expect to pay a lot of money!

So, Which Tour Should You Choose?

If you can only do one tour, I suggest tour A, and if you’ve got time to do two, I suggest tours A and C. Of course if your budget stretches and you have time, then absolutely do them all!

Or if money isn’t an issue and you have limited time, then create your own private tour with the best of the above so you can see everywhere you want in one day.

I believe you still can’t combine big and small lagoons on the same day due to environment constrictions.

You should check if your tour includes:

  • Kayak and snorkel rental (may be extra)
  • Environmental fee (200 PHP as of 2019)
  • Water (no plastic water bottles allowed)
  • Lunch

When it comes to price, the government has regulated the maximum amount that can be charged for the tours, so you’ll probably only find it ever so slightly cheaper online, as in person, they’re not really prepared to go lower than they have too.

This means if you book at one of the tour agencies or even through you’re hotel, then everyone is paying the same, if you book online via Klook, or even Get Your Guide, then you’ll get a couple of pounds off your tour.

The other benefit of booking online (in my opinion) is that you can read reviews of the tour and see what the experience is like. When you book with an on-the-street company, it’s a little hard to trust their reviews unless you know someone who has went with them before.

 

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Island Hopping In El Nido

Okay, so this whole section will be the island hopping options in El nido in detail.

I’m going to go through each tour individually, what they include, how much they cost, why they’re good and then end the section with the best way to book your El Nido island hopping tour.

Tour A: Lagoons & Beaches

Tour A is one of the most popular island hopping tours in El Nido and it’s the tour Bradley and I did!

I think this is a great tour if you’ve only got limited time in El Nido and want to see some amazing sights. Our tour operator was awesome and our whole boat had so much fun together. We actually booked it through our hotel, so I’m not even sure what it’s called.

You can book El Nido Tour A online here (for a fantastic price- they all go to the same spots, so it doesn’t matter if you book online or in person)

Seven Commando Beach

This was actually our final stop on the tour and it’s bloody awesome! It’s a beautiful beach that has great snorkeling spots, places to relax, a volleyball net and of course stands selling beer and rum. Since it was our last spot we enjoyed a few rum and coke with our new friends we made on this awesome tour.

Big Lagoon

The Big Lagoon was everything I wanted it to be…amazing. You can rent out kayaks for 200 or swim once you get there, but I recommend getting a kayak. As you head down the lagoon you’ll see how blue and clear the water is as you are submerged between beautiful limestone cliffs.

We threw the drone up and got some amazing sights of the lagoon! There is also a cave you can kayak to and you might spot some turtles.  

Shimizu Island

It’s either this island, or a similar that you will stop at for lunch. Lunch will always be a fresh BBQ consisting of fish, pork, chicken, rice, noodles, vegetables and fruit. It’s super delicious and you just dine on the beautiful beach.

The place we stopped had stunning water and great snorkelling spots around it, Brad seen nemo (clown) fish here.

Secret Lagoon

I believe the area next to the secret lagoon is nicer than the Secret Lagoon itself, BUT, if you’ve never been to a secret lagoon before, then you’ll find it cute.

You have to “queue” to get through the little rock into the secret lagoon. Be aware the water is filled with little stinging jellyfish. It just feels like little shocks and it’s not painful, just really annoying!

Don’t stand on the coral!

When you get into the lagoon, depending on the tide, the water will either be clear, or just murky. For us it was murky and it didn’t impress me! But next to the lagoon is a beautiful beach and blue waters to chill at.

PS, you used to visit both Big lagoon and small lagoon on tour A, but this is no longer the case. Due to the areas becoming over crowded, they limit the amount of people on each sight each day. Which is a good thing!

Cost: 1200 for the tour with lunch PLUS you have to pay 200 for an environmental fee that lasts 7 days in El Nido. You need it to do a tour, but you only pay once.

If you book online via Klook, it’s cheaper. We had every intention of booking online, but you need to book 2 days in advance, and I didn’t realise, so there was no spots left!

Check out my full guide on El Nido Tour A here.

Seven Commandos Beach, El Nido

Tour B: Caves And Beaches

Love beaches and unique caves? Then tour B is the tour for you! I’m not a big fan of caves, so this wouldn’t be for me. But snake island looks awesome and looks like a great drone opportunity!

Book tour B online here for a fantastic price.

Pinagbuyutan Island

This is a dome shaped island and is considered to be one of the most picturesque spots in all of El Nido…and the Philippines, so definitely worth a visit!

Snake Island

Snake island (also known as virgin island) is basically a sand bank that stretches in the water, but it looks pretty darn cool! You can get great views from above and you can walk on the sand during low tide.

Cudugnon Cave

You enter this cave through a narrow opening and inside you’ll be greeted with unique rock formations and bats! It’s quite a huge cave.

Entalula Or Papaya Beach

These are idyllic islands and beaches, perfect for a spot of lunch, the chance to swim, snorkel or simply relax on the beach. They are truly beautiful with amazing scenery surrounding them.

Cost: 1100, again it’s cheaper to book online via Klook!

Tour C: Hidden Beaches And Shrine

If you want a tour that takes you to unique spots with a lot less people than tour A, then this is the tour for you. This was actually the other tour Brad and I wanted to do, but simply ran out of time. It looks amazing and has some truly unique spots to see.

Book tour C online here for a great price.

Helicopter Island (Dilumacad Island)

Helicopter island is famous for its beauty and unique shape. It boasts towering limestone cliffs, great snorkelling, lush vegetation and amazing beaches.

Secret Beach

Secret beach can only be accessed via swimming through a keyhole, which makes it a true secret. It’s very small too, but ever so beautiful. The author of the famous “The Beach” movie wrote this book in El Nido, so it was probably inspired by this beach.

Matinloc Shrine

You reach this beautiful shrine by climbing the steps of an abandoned building. There is a chapel on top and you’ll be greeted with a stunning panoramic view.

Talisay Beach

This is a great spot for your on the beach lunch. It’s got beautiful white sand and blue waters perfect for swimming and snorkelling.

Cost: 1300, again, cheaper to book online.

Tour D: Islands And Beaches

If you want a tour that consists of beautiful beaches, unique islands and lots of chances to snorkel, then tour D is the one for you. This tour is quite popular due to its inclusion of the famous small lagoon, so it’s quite a popular choice.

Book a private tour D tour right here.

Small Lagoon

Small lagoon is literally the famous little sister/brother of the big lagoon. It’s very picturesque and beautiful and one of the most popular spots to see in El Nido. You need to swim via a hole to reach the small lagoon and you’ll be greeted with stunning clear waters surrounded by amazing limestone rocks as your backdrop.

You also have the option to rent a kayak.

Cadlao Island

This is the largest island in El Nido and a perfect place to escape the crowds and experience untouched beaches and beautiful waters.

Nat Nat Beach

This is a long stretch of white sand beach perfect for relaxing and sunbathing. You can only access via boat and it’s sheltered by amazing limestone rocks.

Bukal Island

This a beautiful small island that is often the setting for lunch. You could relax all day here and take amazing photos.

Pasandigan Cove

Another beautiful beach with bright blue water perfect for swimming and relaxing! Great drone pictures.

Cost: 1250, it will be cheaper to book online.

Big Lagoon, El Nido

Private Island Hopping Tours In El Nido

If you want to create your own unique itinerary combining the options above and beat some of the tourists, then a private tour is the way to go.

We really wanted to do a private tour, but they are nowhere near as good value as the private tours in Coron!

You can check out these companies online, but expect to pay a lot of money!

So, Which Tour Should You Choose?

If you can only do one tour, I suggest tour A, and if you’ve got time to do two, I suggest tours A and C. Of course if your budget stretches and you have time, then absolutely do them all!

Or if money isn’t an issue and you have limited time, then create your own private tour with the best of the above so you can see everywhere you want in one day.

I believe you still can’t combine big and small lagoons on the same day due to environment constrictions.

You should check if your tour includes:

  • Kayak and snorkel rental (may be extra)
  • Environmental fee (200 PHP as of 2019)
  • Water (no plastic water bottles allowed)
  • Lunch

When it comes to price, the government has regulated the maximum amount that can be charged for the tours, so you’ll probably only find it ever so slightly cheaper online, as in person, they’re not really prepared to go lower than they have too.

This means if you book at one of the tour agencies or even through you’re hotel, then everyone is paying the same, if you book online via Klook, or even Get Your Guide, then you’ll get a couple of pounds off your tour.

The other benefit of booking online (in my opinion) is that you can read reviews of the tour and see what the experience is like. When you book with an on-the-street company, it’s a little hard to trust their reviews unless you know someone who has went with them before.