The amazing Island hopping tour El Nido
In this post I promise to share with you everything you need to know about the island hopping tour El Nido and the where to stay in El Nido. A boat tour that is definitely the best thing to do in El Nido. And the best way to see the stunning island that surround El Nido in the Philippines. Also, this El Nido tour is a snorkelling trip and you will get the chance to snorkel at some cool locations around El Nido.
The boat tour A in El Nido is a full day tourist trip around the neighbouring islands and beaches of this cool backpacker’s place in Palawan. You day will begin around 9am with pickup from your accommodation in El Nido and then finish around 4pm with drop off back at the beach.
If you’re thinking of travelling to Coron after El Nido, make sure you check out the Puerta Princessa to Coron guide!
Your island hopping tour El Nido will be on a traditional Philippines ‘spider’ boat. I call them that because they do look like a spider floating on the water. There was 12 of us on the El Nido boat tour. It’s a good chance to meet other travellers from around the world and discover any tips on their travels or share your own travel hacks and tips. We all love a good travel story.
In this post you will get everything you need to know about the island hopping tour El Nido and where to stay in El Nido. Let’s look what’s in this post about one of the best things to do in El Nido;
- Where do you visit on the island hopping tour El Nido
- Accommodation in El Nido
- Other things to do in El Nido
- Things to know about the island hopping tour El Nido
Where do you visit on the island hopping tour El Nido?
7 Commando Beach
This is the first stop on the island hopping tour El Nido, it wasn’t the best beach around El Nido. However, it was a cool place to just chill out for 40 minutes. Yes we only spent 40 minutes here and then it’s time to carry on with the boat tour.
What’s on the commando beach? There is a couple of bars selling cocktails, beers, snacks and cold drinks. If seekers more of a place to have a few beers than a tropical beach. There is a good atmosphere and as I mentioned this more the drinking vibe scene. It’s also an okay place to get a couple of Instagram photos, but I would save your camera for the rest of the boat tour. Time to sail for 25 minutes to the next island on the El Nido boat tour A.
El Nido’s small lagoon
This is the next destination on the island hopping tour El Nido. The small lagoon is a pretty sweet area of turquoise water, limestone rocks and mini caves. However, you will have to hire a kayak to get to here. They didn’t tell us this when decided to buy El Nido island hopping tour tickets. So I was quite p****d off about this, I hate when they rip you off! Anyway, kayak hire is 400 pesos per kayak. Then it’s a 5-minute row from the tour boat to the small lagoon entrance – which is a little hole in the limestone.
You should be aware that there will more than likely be lots of other tourists on the day, there were loads of people in the small lagoon. It’s not exactly what you want to see in a picturesque moment in the Philippines. Nevertheless, it’s was still a cool spot to visit and get a few sweet photos.
After visiting the small lagoon it’s time for dinner. You will dine on the El Nido tour boat at the small lagoon. This will be roughly around 12:30pm, so if you can’t wait till then I would take some snacks. There is kayaks circling the tour boats trying to sell snacks and cold drinks. What food is included on the island hopping El Nido;
El Nido’s secret lagoon
This was the next stop on the island hopping tour El Nido. Your tour boat will stop around 30 meters from the shore line and you will have to swim a little to get to the entrance of the secret lagoon. Which is just again a small hole in the limestone cliff. Don’t worry it’s not to small, or is it and are you going to get trapped 🙂 To be honest, I wasn’t all that impressed with the secret lagoon and I found the beach next to it more picturesque and cool. But everyone has preferences. You will get to spend about 30-minutes here, before moving on with the El Nido day trip boat tour.
Best snorkelling of the day, Shimizu island
The next stop on the island hopping tour El Nido is the part of the day in my eyes – The snorkelling. Here you will spend 30/40 minutes snorkelling in waters up to 12-ft deep and flourished with plenty of cool fish. This part of the sea near El Nido is crystal clear and it’s perfect to take some underwater photography. This was also where we see the least tourists, which was great to see to be honest. I’m not a big fan of screaming tourists all over the place. Nevertheless, this was my favourite part of the day and it’s definitely the most fun part of the El Nido boat tour A. Time for a 10-minute sail to the final destination of boat tour A.
Want more things to see in the Philippines? Check out the Molave Cove cliff Dive
So here we are the last location of the island hopping tour El Nido. However, we’ve been stung again by a hack to get you hiring a kayak to see the big lagoon. Our guide stopped the boat at least half a mile away and said you can either kayak or swim. We chose to swim. It’s actually okay for snorkelling. Anyway, the big lagoon is a cool thing to see. But I just think the amount of tourists ruins the moment. Again there was people everywhere and more selfie sticks in the air than what’s being sold on Amazon.
Need some backpacking list ideas? Check out backpacking essential item list for Asia
Accommodation in El Nido
If you’re looking for a great place to stay in El Nido, then I would recommend El Nido bayview hotel. This hotel in El Nido is in the centre of Bacuit bay and offers stunning views of the El Nido forestry.
Rooms at this sweet hotel are good for a luxury place to stay in El Nido. The hotel offers quirky furnished rooms with air conditioning, tea/coffee-making facilities and an ensuite bathroom. Perfect.
The Bayview hotel in El Nido offers 24 service. Also, you can book all your tours here. Including this island hopping tour El Nido. The Marimegmeg beach is easily accessible by just a 5-minute walk and you can get a 5 minute tuk tuk ride to the town centre of El Nido.
Other things to do in El Nido
There isn’t loads of things to do in El Nido and I would recommend staying here for just 5 nights. This gives you enough time to cover all the best things to do in El Nido. The best things in El Nido is probably the puppies on the beaches 🙂
- Beaches: Best Beaches in El Nido – Corong Corong, Las Cabanas, Napcan, Marimegmeg.
- Best viewpoint: the canopy walk
- Kayaking: Kayaking rental El Nido
- Best Restaurant El Nido: Art Cafe
Things to Know about the island hopping tour El Nido
This is a cool tour to do, but I just want to go into a few things you should know regarding the island hopping tour El Nido to ensure you have a great day.
- What to take – obviously you a going on a boat tour, therefore there’s a few things you should take and certain clothing you should wear. You will want to wear waterproof shoes as some of the stops on the boat tour A have sharp coral. An action camera is a must for some cool photos, or a waterproof phone case. Take some snacks on board, it will save you some money. Finally, take a waterproof bag to keep your valuables dry. You stuff will more than likely get wet on the boat.
- Tour guides – we had 4 tour guides on our boat, 2 of them spoke good English. However, they was not very engaging and didn’t provide any banter or welcoming customer service. This leads me onto the next point.
- Where to book – Due to our boat guides not being to enthusiastic, I would highly recommend booking your island hopping tour El Nido at a reputable tour seller. Just to make sure you get a mega day out. Remember the El Nido boat tour A ticket cost is 1200 Pesso, I heard someone say they had been offered the tour A for 800 Pessos. This is to cheap and I can’t imagine that being much fun.
- Are you a swimmer – This is not imperative, but you should have a basic level of swimming ability. The boat doesn’t drive right into the beach at any of the locations on the boat tour A. So you should feel comfortable getting into the sea. And like I mentioned you will be doing some epic snorkelling, this won’t be much fun if you can’t swim! Don’t worry if your are not the strongest of swimmers, life jackets are included.
A YouTube video of the island hopping boat tour A
Make sure you either take part in El Nido’s boat tour A or C as they’re the best tours. I would avoid boat tour B and D. There is also, the other things to do in El Nido that I mentioned. You may need to hire a scooter to get to some of the beaches. Nevertheless, El Nido is worth a visit for just 4/5 days and then you should definitely make your way to Coron. If you’re make your way to Coron, check out this awesome guide on where to eat!
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