With so many islands on its territory, it would be illegal not to go island-hopping, in which to explore at least the most beautiful among them. Each has something special, a more fine sand, more palm trees on square kilometer, a more crystal clear water or a more spectacular landscape, in which the black cliffs stand out. Because I know how hard it can be to choose when you have more options of tours available, while your time and budget don’t allow you to adventure in each one of them, I will tell you in this article about my experience regarding tour A, which is one of the most appreciated. I can definitely confirm that 🙂
Why choosing tour A?
In El Nido, you will be faced with a difficult choice, if, as mentioned earlier, you don’t have the time and budget needed to go on more tours. A, B, C, D or different combinations between the four will be your options, and you will have to decide. If you don’t trust the recommendations found on the internet, you should think about what you want most to visit. If you prefer beaches, then D is for you, if you want to discover caves, go with confidence in tour B. If you want a combination of beaches and islands, tour C is waiting for you, and if you want to explore the most beautiful lagoons, but also a beautiful beach and an island with a landscape that seems surreal, Tour A is the answer. Now everything seems a bit clearer, isn’t it? 🙂
Where do you make your reservation?
El Nido is flooded by tour agencies from which you can book a tour, so you don’t have to worry that you will not find a place on a boat. However, I recommend you to inform yourself in advance about the size of the boat on which you will navigate the turquoise waters of Bacuit Bay. I suggest, especially if you are not a good swimmer or you are not swimming at all, to choose a small boat that will be able to get close to the shore, so you will not have difficulty getting to the beach. I booked the tour from the hotel I stayed in the first night, Milangrace Inn.
How much Tour A costs, and what you get for the price?
Although the cost of a tour may vary, depending on the agency you are purchasing it from, but also on what you will be offered, you should not pay more than 1,400 Php (≈ $28) with the environmental tax included. We paid 1200 PHP (≈ $24), (without snorkeling equipment and kayak rental) and we had tricycle transportation from the hotel to the port, boat transfers to the islands, life jacket, tour guide, but also a very rich lunch (Grilled fish, white rice, salad and exotic fruits) included in the price.
As I specified, the snorkeling equipment is not included, but you can rent it for 300 Php (≈ $6) for the entire tour. The same for kayaking, if you want to explore in detail, and on your own all the places where the boat will stop, then you can rent a kayak for 600 PHP (≈ $12).
What is the tour schedule?
- If you are staying away from El Nido Pier Harbor, you will be taken with a tricycle around 8:30 in the morning
- You will end up on the beach, where you will meet your boat mates, but also the guide that will accompany you
- It may be necessary to go swimming to the boat if it is too large to “park” on the beach. Therefore, a waterproof bag to keep your valuables is absolutely necessary
- You will be taken, to all the tourist attractions included in the tour, one at a time
- Each stop will take between 30 minutes and one hour
- You will have lunch on the boat or on the island, at around 12 o’clock
- The tour will end at around 4 pm
What you will visit:
You will visit 3 lagoons: a small one, a big one, and a secret one, all located on the Miniloc Island in Bacuit Bay. Small Lagoon is perfect for snorkeling and renting a kayak, especially because it will be rather crowded or difficult to sneak through the other boats. Secret Lagoon is a not exactly a secret lagoon, but it is a little more secluded than the others, a place where you will find a mini beach decorated with a few palm trees. It is very difficult to get to the beach, especially if you are not properly equipped. Big Lagoon was my favorite one. As the name calls it, it is a big lagoon with turquoise and crystalline waters, surrounded by jagged black rocks that make a very interesting contrast to the harsh green shrubs. In Big Lagoon, I would have liked to stay longer because it is hard to leave those beautiful places behind.
Probably the most photogenic place you’ll get to visit on Tour A, Shimizu Island will conquer you even from a distance. After a few minutes of rocking on the colorful waters of the bay, you’ll see 2 impressive cliffs, set one in front of the other, creating a beautiful landscape as if you’re looking at a National Geographic image. This was the place where we had our lunch on the boat. We enjoyed a rich and tasty menu with fish, rice, salad, and exotic fruits, including a yellowish watermelon that I didn’t even know it exists until that time.
7 Commandos Beach
The last destination on our list was 7 Commandos Beach, a place where we could relax for an hour, at the end of a beautiful but tiring day. Besides its beauty, the beach has an interesting story for its mysterious name. It is said that seven Japanese soldiers retired and lived here after World War II. Finally, we went back to the harbor, where another tricycle took us back to the hotel.
- Don’t forget to take your bathing suit, money, camera, a waterproof bag, sunglasses, and sunscreen
- Besides the food offered on the tour, you should also take a few snacks in case you are hungry
- If you are not sure of your skills as a swimmer, use the life jacket
- Make sure the boat is sized to be able to land at the shore, especially if you are afraid to get there by yourself or if you don’t have the right footwear
- Don’t forget to ask the guide the time you have for each stop
- It may sound funny, but don’t forget the faces of your boat mates to know exactly to which boat to go