Category Archives: TIPS AND TRICKS

Secret spots away from the crowd

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Palawan Hidden Gems

Named as the World’s Best Island for years by international travel magazines, Palawan is, without a doubt, a slice of paradise. There are many jaw-dropping places that you can visit here, from Puerto Princesa and Coron to El Nido. These three are the top destinations that travelers go to. But there are more Palawan hidden gems that are yet to be discovered… by many, at least.

Behind the towering limestones in lagoons of Coron and pristine beaches of El Nido hides buried treasure. So if you’re game to take your Palawan trip to the next level, don’t miss these Palawan hidden gems!

1. Marimegmeg Beach

Nacpan Beach might be more popular than Marimegmeg Beach (also known locally as Las Cabanas), but the latter can be regarded as a Palawan hidden gem that will definitely take your breath away. Marimegmeg beach is a swimmer’s delight. Compared to Nacpan that has a bit of a rip current, making swimming quite challenging, Marimegmeg beach has calmer waters.

You can also enjoy an incredible view of the sunset at Marimegmeg beach. It’s also a brilliant place to go for a walk and see which islands you can go island hopping between.

2. Hidden Beach

Okay, so while this might not be a secret, but the name suggests, hence we’re tagging it as a Palawan hidden gem. The Hidden beach in El Nido hides behind tall natural stone walls, with only a tiny break from which to enter and exit. Who wouldn’t want to visit this concealed delight?

3. Onuk Island

Speaking of Palawan hidden gems, don’t forget to include Onuk Island to your itinerary. Despite its extremely remote location, the island can nevertheless give you a plethora of unforgettable memories and definitely IG-worthy snaps, thanks to its seemingly endless sandbars, red corals and glowing white sands. What’s even more surprising is that, the Onuk Island is surrounded by heaps of charming sea creatures, such as whale sharks, sea turtles and dolphins.

4. Boodle Fight Resto & Bar

Photo credits to Boodle Fight Resto & Bar

The Boodle Fight Resto & Bar is a real treat for anyone looking to give local Filipino cuisine a try. This unique restaurant offers a way of eating which many probably aren’t used to back home. Served on a huge banana leaf and eaten with your hands, the backdrop of islands and beaches makes it this El Nido hidden Gem a real treat for backpackers and holidaymakers alike.

5. Altrove Trattoria

Craving for pizza? Regardless as to what your preference towards the tomato and cheese covered bread snack, Altrove Trattoria is an absolute delight for pizza lovers. You might be expecting not to find a great pizza place in this (somewhat remote) locale, but lo and behold, there is. Most nights, in fact, you’ll find yourself joining the back of a long queue.

The pizzas here are stone-baked and many claimed that those they have eaten were cooked to perfection. If you’re a backpacker on a trail around the Philippines, or even the whole of Southeast Asia, grabbing a bite of familiar food to eat can feel like heaven. Altrove counts as one of the Palawan hidden gems because the pizza is just that good.

Make sure to book the best budget hotels in Palawan to enjoy a comfortable and hassle-free stay at a very affordable price! Check out for more details!

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Top 10 most underrated spots in Palawan

Extravagant beaches
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Extra-special Tours
All Palawan Expedition
Live and Enjoy the Beauty of Palawan
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Top 5 underrated spots of Palawan


Best bars to chill out in Port Barton

Extravagant beaches
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Extra-special Tours
All Palawan Expedition
Live and Enjoy the Beauty of Palawan
We have it all.
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Best places in Port Barton


  Recently some of our team went to check out Port Barton as many of our guests are either headed their after our expedition or have come from there and we’d heard such wonderful things we thought better go find out for ourselves!

  We’re super stoked to report we weren’t disappointed! Whilst there we tried a bit of everything, met some wonderful people and most of the business owners so please enjoy our Best Of’s Port Barton, if you find anything else please let us know.

1. Best Burger: Reef Cafe


  To be honest we probably could have said “Best Food” but their burgers need a special mention! Not only is the “American” the best burger we’d ever tasted, their VEGGIE burger is some sort of miracle food illusion. You won’t believe it’s not meat. Really, Albert (Reef Cafe Owner and super nice guy) said that it’s quite common for vegetarians to want to go to the kitchen to show that it’s really veggie – It’s so delicious!

For a drink there we recommend the Calamansi Lemonade.

2. Best Coffee: Margaritas Villa

  Located next to happy bar along the beachfront, this nice little family owned spot has such a homey vibe about it that makes you want to stay. And for me, half the thing with coffee is the vibe around me while i’m drinking it. It’s common to see the owner, Mel, just strumming on a guitar and kids running all around (peacefully though lol). And the coffee itself is serious!

  Mel’s wife, Mitch was a barista back in Australia so she takes her coffee seriously and brought a proper coffee machine so you can have a real cup rather than a 3 in 1 or brewed coffee. Go for the coffee and stay for the good vibes and live music every evening courtesy of the appropriately named, Lovely.

3. Best Restaurant: Gorgonzola’s

  We absolutely loved this place! Their pizzas are incredible and an absolute must try while in Port Barton, especially for veggies as they have so many options. While Reef Cafe Veggie Burger was really mind-blowing, the variety of options at Gorgonzola and the combination of their coffee and breakfast options just made it such a great place to hang. Beware! Their pizzas come in sharing size so be sure to go with friends. They also do fantastic coffee.

  A special shout out to the owner too! He saw one of us had left a lot of our Nutella Banana Focaccia and before we left, he very politely asked why explaining that he’d like to know so he could improve it. We’d actually left it because we had way over ordered and were so full but any business owner who is that humble and passionate about what they are doing – you can never go wrong!

4. Best Big Boat Tour: Tribal Xperience

  We like what these guys are doing down in Port Barton the most! They’re trying to create an experience rather than just Tour A B C D, and as you guys know, that’s what we’re all about! Whilst we didn’t actually go on their trip, we did see their big boat in the water (it has a slide so it’s pretty hard to miss!)

  We also met with them and during the meeting, they got a call that one of the batteries on the boat was dead! Now don’t panic, this is really common on boast in the Philippines (and on some tours you could be waiting indefinitely for a replacement) but Isaac and Danny went straight to the van, on to the speedboat, and went on their way to help the group. Now, that level of service is what you want!

  Unfortunately, we can’t recommend accommodation options because we stayed with friends whilst in town, but on our next trip, we’ll be sure to check some out.

  The great thing about Port Barton is, well, everything! The standard is high for food and drinks even though the vibe of the whole town is pretty chill. For us, it’s the best food we’ve had on land in the Philippines.

So if you’re planning to head to Port Barton either before or after our expedition, let us know about it! We’d love to hear your experience!



Festival Dates and events Palawan

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Palawan Festivals and Foundations

Puerto Princesa City Foundation Day and Balayong Festival


The founding anniversary of the “City in the Forest” Puerto Princesa City, is celebrated on the 14th day of March – the day when the cityhood of Puerto Princesa was declared. During this day, the city government funds various activities where teamwork, camaraderie, skills, and talents of the city’s constituents are being shown and furtherly explored. Activities such as sports competitions, parades, street dances, beauty pageants, and quiz bees are conducted.

This founding anniversary is being celebrated along the celebration of the Balayong Festival which highlights the Palawan Cherry that is quite similar to the Cherry Blossoms of Japan. The flowers of this tree only bloom during the month of February and March – approximately during the spring season for non-tropical countries.

These festivals have become one of the most awaited events in the city because of the beautiful costumes that are worn by those who participate, these costumes are – most of the time – Balayong inspired.

Some of the parade participants wear costumes with lots of artificial balayongs in their outfit while others would dress like forest maidens – goddesses or spirits who protect the forests and the resources that are found in it. Sometimes, there would be judges along the route of the parade who would rate the participants and then, later on, choose among the groups of participants as to who will win prizes that they have prepared beforehand.

Aside from these entertaining activities, trade fairs and job fairs are also available. Fisherfolks, merchants, and other businesses partake on the event. These fairs are popular with tourists and locals, others enjoying with the eye candies while most are looking for a job that would fit their skills and capabilities.

The Puerto Princesa City Foundation Day celebrates the declaration of the city of a Puerto Princesa as a highly urbanized city (HUC), which separates it from the province of Palawan, after it qualified in certain requirements by the local government code of the Philippines under Section 453 such as number of constituents and the amount of the city’s annual income – which, in Puerto Princesa’s case, came from tourism.

The Balayong Festival, on the other hand, was proposed by the City First Lady Ellen Hagedorn. Due to the fast-paced improvement of the city’s economy and infrastructures, the light pink blossoms of the Balayong was left in the sidelights. However, in Ellen’s concept, she has put the Balayong tree back into the limelight which she thought would further improve the image of the city. Cherry Blossoms in a tropical country? Indeed, something new!

Pista Y ang Kagueban


Pista Y ang Kagueban or Feast of the Forest, when translated into English, is one of the city government of Puerto Princesa’s means of conserving the nature and enriching its forests.

This activity is a way of preservation of the environment which is a priority of the government of Puerto Princesa who spearheads the tree planting every third week of the month of June.

Years back, Pista Y ang Kagueban has been conducted at Sitio Magarwak in Bacungan – northern part of the city proper but was later on transferred to a forest near the Irawan Watershed to help the river rejuvenate due to its water providing the function in the city.

Pista Y ang Kagueban is a tree planting activity that is being participated by not only the citizens of Puerto Princesa but even by tourists, government officials, celebrities, beauty queens and other environmental advocates.

One does not have to worry about the seedlings to be planted because it would already be provided by the staff of the event. You will only have to get to the site, get some seedlings and find a good spot to plant it. Be reminded, however, that the road to the planting site will be muddy and slippery since the event usually takes place during the rainy season.

You will also have to cross streams occasionally to get to the planting site, but all the hardships of getting to the site will be paid off once you get to accomplish your goal of planting that seedling that would definitely be a great help to the environment. As what the previous mayor once said, “Environment preservation starts with one seedling and one person who cares”.

Love Affair with Nature


Doesn’t it sound great to start your Valentine’s Day by doing a good deed that would be for the greater good? Every 14th of February, the citizens of Puerto Princesa expresses love in an extraordinary way to an extraordinary someone; Mother Nature – unique isn’t it?

During early mornings of Valentine’s day, constituents of Puerto Princesa gathers in a beach in Barangay San Jose to plant mangroves along the shore to preserve the marine ecosystem, probably the marine counterpart of the Pista Y ang Kagueban – of course, it is not only the forests that we should preserve but the marine biodiversity as well. Similar to Pista Yang Kagueban, this event is also attended by locals and tourists and even prominent personalities in the country.

But it’s not only the mangrove planting activity that is being marked on this day but the mass wedding as well; yes, mass wedding. For many Filipinos, mass wedding is probably common since it is being done in some other provinces and cities as well, but Puerto Princesa’s mass wedding is a wedding with a purpose I should say. Not only will you get married but you will be able to contribute something good to the environment.

Making Valentine’s Day more than just intimate dates, fancy restaurants, flowers, chocolates, teddy bears, and the butterflies fluttering in your bellies. Something more meaningful.

Light a Tree


Christmas! Who would forget about Christmas? Definitely not the people of Puerto Princesa – this could be seen by just looking at the gigantic Christmas tree that they light up annually at the Puerto Princesa City Baywalk along with their beautiful Pyro Musical. This event is one of the most awaited events for every Puerto Princesans during the first day of December.

Years back, the light a tree is conducted at the Mendoza Park but was later on moved to the Puerto Princesa Baywalk to be able to accommodate more spectators who wish to witness the lighting of the giant tree. While waiting for the lighting of the tree, spectators are entertained by choirs from various schools composed of both elementary, high school, and college schools and universities.

There are also speeches from the officials of the local government, especially of the mayor.
Along with the lighting of the Christmas Tree is the opening of the fair and mini-carnival in the area where there are few carnivals rides such as the Ferris wheel and what locals call “Centipede” which is quite similar to the roller coaster but is lower and smaller. There are also carousels occasionally. Most of the visitors in the are, however, prefer the betting games where they get the chance to let their money grow as the game goes on.

The fairs and mini-carnivals last throughout the month of December along with performances and various programs every night until the year ends.

Paskuhan Sa Kapitolyo

Paskuhan sa Kapitolyo is the provincial government of Palawan’s counterpart to the Light a Tree Program of the city government. In this, the activities are held at the Provincial Capitol which is located in the city of Puerto Princesa. Like in the Baywalk, there are programs held in the capitol complex every evening where most is an exhibition of the constituents of Palawan of their talents in various fields mostly in music.

Some of the highlights of this event are the lighting of the Christmas tree at the Capitol Park Square and the New Year Countdown with a magnificent fireworks display looming over the capitol grounds which caps the month-long Christmas celebration.

Baragatan Sa Palawan


Baragatan sa Palawan is a week-long celebration of the founding anniversary of the civil government of the province of Palawan, thus, showcasing its rich history, culture, and the life of the people who have long inhabited the area. During the

Baragatan sa Palawan, locals from all over Palawan gather at the City of Puerto Princesa where the Provincial Capitol is and celebrates the anniversary of the world’s best island.
For some, Baragatan is an opportunity for thanksgiving while many find it a good chance to exhibit what Palawan has, especially from those who came from far municipalities who brought their products along with them.

Baragatan sa Palawan which is celebrated every third week of June is probably one of the most significant events for the constituents of Palawan. This week-long event commonly opens with a Eucharistic celebration, a ribbon-cutting ceremony, and a grand parade where colorful floats, perfectly choreographed street dances, and angelic voices usher the guests and tourists to a festive week that is ahead of them.

After the grand opening, numerous activities are lined up to ensure that everyone in town will be able to participate and enjoy the festivity. Activities such as photo contests, sports competitions, concerts, quiz bees, and beauty pageants are already prepared by the staff of the provincial government.

There are also huts that are built within the capitol grounds which may be rented either by vendors or delegates from other municipalities who have brought the pride of their municipalities with them.
Baragatan serves as a big opportunity for those from far municipalities to show what products they have and what they can offer. Some of the products of other municipalities do not reach the city proper due to the distance and the time it takes to deliver them which is why traders from other municipalities grab the opportunity to exhibit their products.

Baragatan would be a very great time for tourists to look around and scan through the products Palawan could offer. Local products such as handcrafted accessories, bags, wallets, and baskets as well as woven items are the stars of the show. The Palawan cashews and other Palawan delicacies also serve as major head-turners during Baragatan.

Arawedan Festival

The Arawedan Festival is a celebration that is being held from January 23 to January 24 in Port Barton in the Municipality of  San Vicente.

During this festivity, the municipality showcases the numerous tourist attractions of the municipality which includes their beaches, marine reserves, and parks. Programs that highlight the cultural features of Palawan are also shown and exhibited during this festival.

Kulambo Festival

The Kulambo Festival is a celebration that is conducted every 15th up to the 18th day of March.

This event is hosted by the town of  El Nido – one of the most famous and unique islands in the province of Palawan.

The top attraction during this event is the eye-catching costumes of the participants of the street parade who utilized the use of kulambo, which is also known as mosquito nets, in their attire.

The town fiesta is marked by dancing, singing, and large gatherings and presentation of various types of delicacies in the area.

Pasinggatan Festival

Pasinggatan Festival is an event that is being celebrated in the Municipality of Taytay in Palawan which takes place from the first to the fourth day of the month of May.

In this festivity, the fondness of Filipinos when it comes to singing and dancing are being highlighted. Although it is done in Taytay, this fiesta is a celebration of the entire culture of the Philippines.

Aside from showcasing Filipino songs and folk dances, there are also programs that display the handicraft skills of Filipinos and the products that they produce.

Anihan Festival or Palay Festival


Anihan Festival which is now known as the Palay Festival is one of the most famous festivals in Narra, where the products of the municipality are being showcased.

Palay Festival takes place in the municipality of  Narra which is found in the southern part of Palawan. Narra is dubbed as the “Rice Granary of Palawan” and the Palay Festival is the people of Narra’s way of thanksgiving for the bountiful harvest.

Palay Festival is conducted around the last week of October where the “sights and sounds” of Narra are being presented to the public.

Feast of the Immaculate Conception

Puerto Princesa celebrates this festival during the eighth of December annually.

The feast of the Virgin Mary which is also observed in other parts of the Philippines continues until the New Year and is marked by series of nightly parades and processions of the Virgin Mary.

Pagdiwata Tribal Ritual


The Pagdiwata Tribal Ritual is one of the festivals that one must not miss when he or she is in Palawan. This event is a tribal ritual that is being practised by the locals in the municipality of Aborlan in Palawan.

In this ritual, the locals give thanks to God for the bounties which they continuously receive and requests for God to heal the ill who resides in the province of Palawan. Since this is a spiritual ritual, the people celebrate this on the month of December when the moon is bright and full.

After observing the ritual, one may opt to go to the beaches that surround Aborlan -a municipality that thrives with agriculture and has a very mountainous terrain. It is surrounded by the Sulu Sea and there are resorts that could be found in this municipality that day trippers would find relaxing. Marine sports may also be enjoyed in this municipality.

Tarek Festival

The Tarek Palawan Festival is annually conducted during the third week of the month of January by indigenous groups particularly those who belong to the Tagbanua tribe and the Batak tribe. The mean feature of this festival is ritual dances and is also celebrated in the municipality of Aborlan just like the Pagdiwata Tribe Ritual.

This festival is a ritual that is being commemorated by the traditional tribal dances being performed by the indigenous group Batak.  Like the Pgdiwata, Tarek is only celebrated under a full moon and is actually a follow-up celebration of the Pagdiwata.

Palawan Tarek Festival is a time when we see the Bataks live up to their beliefs from their woven clothing performing a war dance adorned with handmade accessories. The war dance is supposed to cast away evil spirits that threaten harm to the people and it is a ceremony asking for the continued support of the gods and prosperity.

Cuyo Fiesta


The municipality of Cuyo in Palawan celebrates its fiesta during the month of August. Their celebration is somewhat similar to the Ati-Atihan Festival. Those who participate in this event blacken their skin and would usually dance in complete abandonment to the musical beat of the drums.

Cuyo is a small island town that is rich in cultural heritage which becomes more evident when the town celebrates its annual feast.

During the Cuyo Fiesta, guests will be able to feast their eyes with colorful parades, dance performances, musical shows, and re-enactment of San Agustin’s confrontation with the natives.

The highlights of the Cuyo Fiesta are the Ati Dances where the participants cover their faces with soot and painting their faces with anyel (indigo) and then wear a colorful headgear made of coconut fiber and chicken feathers, and costumes adorned with coconut leaves.

The men carry spears and bow and arrows; while the women, their necks adorned with native bead necklaces, carry baskets. This elaborate dance consists of the men lined on one side of the street and the women on the other; and both lines do a lively dance mix of hops, jumps, and sways while chanting.

Amidst all this merrymaking, there is a dancing clown who chases the women amidst their shrieks and laughter; and he only ceases the chase when coins are thrown at him.

Palaweño’s common Phrases (Talk like a local)

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Talk like a local

WelcomeMalipayeng Pag-abot!
Hello (General greeting)Hello
How are you?Kamosta?
Kamosta kaw?
Reply to ‘How are you?’Mayad da
Long time no seeAng ka boay den, ano!
Ang ka boay tang ara agkita!
What’s your name?Anono imong aran?
My name is …… ang akeng aran
Ang akeng aran ay…
Where are you from?Taga-sadin kaw?
Ikaw taga-sadin?
I’m from …Ako taga-…
Taga-… ako
Pleased to meet youAlilipay ako nga akilala ta kaw
Ako alilipay nga akilala ta kaw
Good morning
(Morning greeting)
Mayad nga tiprano
Good afternoon
(Afternoon greeting)
Mayad nga apon
Good evening
(Evening greeting)
Mayad nga gabi
Good nightMayad nga sirem (“Good dusk”)
(Parting phrases)
Amblig (be careful)
Good luck!Soirtin ka andan
Have a nice dayMayad nga adlaw kanimo!
Bon appetit /
Have a nice meal
Kaen ta ren
Kaen kita ren
Kaen ta
Bon voyage /
Have a good journey
Malipayeng Byahi
I understandAintindian ko
I don’t understandIndi ko maintindian
I don’t knowIlan
Please speak more slowlyLoayi imong pagrelemegen
Loay-loay lamang imong pagrelemegen
Please say that againIkon mo roman, patigayon
Koni ako roman, patigayon
Please write it downSolati re lamang
Solati ra
Do you speak English?Ako ara agalimeg i’ Inglis?
Do you speak Cuyonon?Agalimeg kaw i’ Cuyonon?
Yes, a little
(reply to ‘Do you speak …?’)
E’en, maite lamang
Speak to me in CuyononKaampangi ako sa Cuyonon
How do you say … in Cuyonon?Pasamoro konon ang … sa Cuyonon?
Excuse meIkskios anay
Maagi anay
Agi ako anay
How much is this?Tagpira dia?
Patawadi ako!
Thank youSalamat
Matamang Salamat
Reply to thank youAra anoman
Ara sapayan
Ara dato
Ara dan
Where’s the toilet / bathroom?Adin ang kasilias?
This gentleman/lady will pay for everythingTana ang mabayad i’ang tanang barayadan
Would you like to dance with me?Baili kita?
Baili ta?
Saot kita?
Saot ta?
I miss youIngiidlao ako kanimo
I love youInggegegma ta kaw
Inggegegma ta ka
Gegma ta kaw
Mal ta ka
Mal ta kaw
Get well soonMagpa-ayad kaw
Take care!Amblig!
Go away!Pagalin digi! (go away!)
Pagalin sakeng atobangan! (get out of my sight!)
Leave me alone!Bayai ako!
Call the police!Pagtawag i’ polis!
Christmas greetingsMalipayeng Paskoa!
New Year greetingsMaambeng nga Bagong Dagon!
Easter greetingsMalipayeng Adlao i’ Pagkabanaw i’ Kristo!
Birthday greetingsMalipayeng Adlao i’ pagkatao
Maambeng nga pagbati sa imong pagkatao
(Happy/Joyful/Merry Wishes on your Birthday)
Taoan kaw andan i’and Ginong Dios i’ marake pang birtdi
(May God bless you with many more birthdays to come)
One language is never enoughIndi sopisyinti ang saka bisara lamang

Common norms and culture of Palawan

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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.