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by Marrissa Jack



Welcome to El Nido, a tropical paradise located in the province of Palawan in the Philippines. Known for its crystal-clear waters, pristine white sand beaches, and stunning limestone cliffs, El Nido is a dream destination for beach and island lovers.


El Nido is famous for its island hopping tours, which allow you to explore the surrounding islands, lagoons, caves, and beaches. These tours, labeled Tours A, B, C, and D, each offer a unique and unforgettable adventure.


Whether you’re seeking relaxation, snorkeling or diving opportunities, or simply want to marvel at the natural beauty of El Nido, the island hopping tours provide a fantastic way to experience the best that this paradise has to offer.


Each tour has its own distinct highlights and attractions. Tour A takes you to the iconic Big Lagoon, Small Lagoon, Secret Lagoon, and Seven Commandos Beach. Tour B showcases the beautiful Snake Island, Cudugnon Cave, Cathedral Cave, and Pinagbuyutan Island. Tour C explores Helicopter Island, Hidden Beach, and Matinloc Shrine. Lastly, Tour D reveals stunning destinations such as Cadlao Lagoon, Pasandigan Cove, Natnat Beach, and Bukal Island.


It’s essential to choose the right tour that suits your preferences and interests. Each tour offers something unique, whether it’s exploring hidden beaches, snorkeling in vibrant coral reefs, or navigating through majestic limestone formations.


During your El Nido island hopping experience, be prepared to be captivated by the breathtaking scenery around every corner. Immerse yourself in the turquoise waters, feel the powder-soft sand beneath your toes, and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere that El Nido has to offer.


In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into each island hopping tour, providing you with detailed information on what to expect, how to choose the right tour for you, and essential tips to ensure you have a memorable and enjoyable experience exploring the stunning beaches and islands of El Nido. So, grab your snorkel gear, put on some sunscreen, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in El Nido!


Tour A: The Big Lagoon and More

Tour A is one of the most popular island hopping tours in El Nido, and for good reason. It takes you to some of the most iconic and picturesque destinations in the area.


The tour begins with a visit to the Big Lagoon, a mesmerizing emerald-green lagoon surrounded by towering limestone cliffs. The calm and crystal-clear waters of the lagoon offer a perfect spot for snorkeling or simply soaking up the breathtaking scenery. Explore the lagoon on a kayak or stand-up paddleboard for a more immersive experience.


Next on the itinerary is the Small Lagoon, accessible through a small passageway. As you enter the lagoon, you’ll be greeted by sheer limestone walls covered in lush vegetation. Here, you can swim, snorkel, or kayak amidst the tranquility of the lagoon’s turquoise waters.


The Secret Lagoon is another highlight of Tour A. Hidden behind a small entrance, you’ll find a small beach surrounded by towering cliffs. This hidden gem offers a tranquil paradise where you can relax, swim, or explore the dramatic rock formations.


To cap off the tour, you’ll visit Seven Commandos Beach, a stunning stretch of white sand beach fringed by swaying palm trees. You can unwind, take a dip in the clear waters, or simply bask in the sun’s warmth. The beach also offers various activities such as beach volleyball and beachside huts where you can enjoy a delicious picnic lunch prepared by your tour guide.


Tour A is perfect for those who want to experience the beauty of El Nido’s lagoons and beaches. The tour usually lasts a full day, with stops for swimming, snorkeling, and exploring the natural wonders of each destination. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the stunning landscapes and create lasting memories.


Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, adventure seeker, or simply looking for a serene escape, Tour A is a must-do in El Nido. The combination of breathtaking lagoons, secret beaches, and a picturesque beachfront makes this tour a favorite among visitors.


Make sure to book your Tour A in advance, as it can get quite busy during peak travel seasons. With its awe-inspiring beauty, Tour A is sure to leave you in awe and create memories that will last a lifetime.


Tour B: The Secret Beaches and Caves

Get ready to unveil the hidden gems of El Nido on Tour B, as you explore the secret beaches and caves that will leave you in awe.


The tour begins with a visit to Snake Island, named for its unique shape that resembles a snake stretching out into the sea. Enjoy a short hike up to the viewpoint where you can take in panoramic views of the surrounding islands and the winding sandbar that connects the island. Afterward, bask in the sun or take a refreshing dip in the clear waters along the sandbar.


Next, prepare to be amazed as you enter the enchanting Cudugnon Cave. This fascinating limestone cave offers a glimpse into the rich history of the area, with ancient artifacts and pottery shards discovered inside. Explore the dark chambers and marvel at the impressive rock formations created by thousands of years of natural erosion.


Continuing the adventure, you’ll visit the Cathedral Cave, located on the western tip of Miniloc Island. Named for its cathedral-like entrance, you’ll be mesmerized by the grandeur of this cave as you navigate through its narrow passages on a small boat. The cavernous interior is adorned with stunning stalactites and stalagmites, creating a mystical ambiance.


The tour also includes a stop at Pinagbuyutan Island, a hidden paradise with powdery white sand and clear turquoise waters. Take a leisurely stroll along the beach, swim in the inviting ocean, or simply relax and soak up the tranquility of this pristine island. It’s the perfect spot to unwind and appreciate the natural beauty of El Nido.


Throughout Tour B, your knowledgeable tour guide will provide interesting insights into the history, geology, and wildlife of the area. They will also ensure your safety and comfort during the tour, making sure you have an unforgettable experience.


Remember to bring your snorkeling gear as there will be opportunities to explore the vibrant underwater world teeming with colorful marine life. Keep an eye out for schools of fish, vibrant coral formations, and maybe even sea turtles as you snorkel in the crystal-clear waters.


Tour B is a great choice for those who want to venture off the beaten path and discover the hidden treasures of El Nido. From the unique sandbar of Snake Island to the mysterious caves and stunning secluded beaches, this tour offers a perfect blend of adventure and relaxation.


Be sure to reserve your spot on Tour B and get ready for an extraordinary day of exploring the secret beaches and caves that make El Nido a truly magical destination.


Tour C: Hidden Beaches and Shrines

Embark on a journey to discover the hidden beaches and serene shrines of El Nido with Tour C. This island hopping tour is perfect for those seeking tranquility and a deeper connection with nature.


The tour kicks off with a visit to Helicopter Island, named for its unique shape resembling a helicopter from a distance. As you approach the island, you’ll be greeted by its stunning limestone cliffs, lush greenery, and pristine shores. Take a leisurely swim in the crystal-clear waters or relax on the powdery white sand beach, surrounded by breathtaking scenery.


Next, prepare to be amazed as you explore the Hidden Beach. This secluded paradise can only be accessed through a small crevice in the cliffs, giving it an air of exclusivity. As you enter the beach, you’ll be greeted by a peaceful and unspoiled paradise. Take a moment to marvel at the towering limestone walls, turquoise waters, and the feeling of being completely immersed in nature.


Tour C also includes a stop at the Matinloc Shrine, a significant cultural and historical site. The shrine is perched atop a cliff and offers panoramic views of the surrounding islands. Explore the shrine, which features religious statues and artifacts, and take in the breathtaking vistas. The serene ambiance of the shrine provides the perfect setting for reflection and appreciation of the natural beauty of El Nido.


The tour will also take you to other hidden beaches and coves, such as Talisay Beach and Secret Beach, where you can relax, swim, and snorkel in the crystal-clear waters. Dive into the vibrant underwater world and witness the diverse marine life that calls El Nido home.


Tour C offers a more serene and tranquil experience compared to the other island hopping tours. It is perfect for those who appreciate the beauty of untouched nature and want to escape the crowds. Immerse yourself in the peace and serenity of the hidden beaches, marvel at the fascinating limestone formations, and reflect in the spiritual ambiance of the Matinloc Shrine.


Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the stunning landscapes, and be sure to pack essentials such as sunscreen, a hat, and plenty of water to stay hydrated throughout the tour.


Experience the hidden gems of El Nido on Tour C and immerse yourself in the natural beauty and tranquility that this corner of the world has to offer.


Tour D: The Islands and Coves

Embark on an unforgettable journey to explore the captivating islands and picturesque coves of El Nido with Tour D. This island hopping tour showcases the diverse beauty of the area, offering a mix of stunning landscapes, pristine beaches, and hidden gems.


The tour begins with a visit to Cadlao Lagoon, located on the largest island in El Nido. Marvel at the towering limestone cliffs that surround the lagoon as you glide through the calm turquoise waters. Take in the tranquility of this hidden oasis and immerse yourself in the serenity of nature.


Next on the itinerary is Pasandigan Cove, a secluded beach with powdery white sand and crystal-clear waters. Kick back and relax as you soak up the sun or take a refreshing swim in the inviting ocean. The serene ambiance of this cove is perfect for unwinding and enjoying the peaceful surroundings.


As the tour continues, you’ll visit Natnat Beach, a secluded stretch of coastline that embodies the untouched beauty of El Nido. Here, you can stroll along the soft sand, swim in the pristine waters, or simply lounge under the shade of a palm tree. Natnat Beach offers a serene and private setting, allowing you to enjoy the beauty of nature undisturbed.


The final stop on Tour D is Bukal Island, a secluded paradise surrounded by crystal-clear waters teeming with marine life. Snorkel in the vibrant coral reefs and encounter an array of colorful fish and other marine species. The underwater world of Bukal Island is a marvel to explore, making it a highlight of the tour.


Throughout Tour D, you’ll be accompanied by knowledgeable tour guides who will provide fascinating insights into the local ecology, history, and culture. They will ensure your safety and comfort, making the experience both educational and enjoyable.


Tour D offers a fantastic mix of exploration, relaxation, and discovery. Whether you’re seeking solitude on pristine beaches, want to immerse yourself in the vibrant underwater world, or simply want to marvel at the stunning landscapes, this tour has it all.


Remember to bring your snorkeling gear, as there will be ample opportunities to explore the rich marine life. Also, don’t forget to bring a camera to capture the breathtaking scenery and create lasting memories of your El Nido adventure.


Experience the beauty and tranquility of El Nido’s islands and coves on Tour D, and let the natural wonders of this paradise captivate your senses.


How to Choose the Right Tour

With a variety of island hopping tours to choose from in El Nido, it’s important to consider a few factors to ensure you select the right tour that aligns with your preferences and interests. Here are some tips to help you make the best choice:

  1. Research the Itineraries: Take the time to study the itineraries of each tour. Look for the specific destinations and attractions included in each tour and determine which ones appeal to you the most. Consider whether you prefer lagoons, beaches, caves, or a combination of all three.
  2. Consider Activity Level: Each tour offers different levels of physical activity. If you prefer a more relaxed and leisurely experience, opt for tours that include beach visits and shorter hikes. On the other hand, if you’re an adventure seeker and enjoy activities like kayaking or snorkeling, choose a tour with more active components.
  3. Duration: Take into account the duration of each tour. Some tours are half-day, while others are full-day excursions. Consider how much time you have available and your endurance level when deciding which tour length is most suitable for you.
  4. Crowd Levels: Be aware that some tours may be more popular and crowded than others, especially during peak travel seasons. If you prefer a more intimate and serene experience, consider opting for tours that are typically less crowded or go for an early morning departure.
  5. Professional Tour Operators: Choose a reputable and reliable tour operator to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Look for companies with positive reviews, experienced guides, and good safety records.
  6. Personal Interests: Consider your personal interests and what you hope to gain from the island hopping experience. If you’re a photography enthusiast, choose tours that offer breathtaking landscapes and photo opportunities. If you’re interested in history or culture, select tours that visit shrines, caves, or other historical sites.

By considering these factors, you can make an informed decision and choose the tour that best matches your preferences, allowing you to have an unforgettable experience exploring the beauty of El Nido.


What to Expect on an El Nido Island Hopping Tour

Embarking on an El Nido island hopping tour is an adventure like no other. Here’s what you can expect during your island hopping experience in El Nido:


Breathtaking Landscapes: Prepare to be amazed by the stunning natural landscapes that El Nido has to offer. From towering limestone cliffs to pristine white sand beaches, every stop on the tour will present you with breathtaking views that will leave you in awe.


Crystal-Clear Waters: The waters surrounding El Nido are known for their clarity and vibrancy. You can expect to swim, snorkel, or simply bask in the crystal-clear waters, immersing yourself in the beauty of the underwater world.


Exploration of Caves and Lagoons: El Nido is famous for its hidden caves and lagoons, and your island hopping tour will provide opportunities to explore these unique natural wonders. Navigate through cave systems, marvel at the stalactites and stalagmites, and discover hidden beaches and lagoons that are tucked away in the cliffs.


Marine Wildlife Encounters: El Nido boasts rich marine biodiversity, and you can expect encounters with colorful fish, vibrant coral reefs, and even sea turtles and other marine creatures. Snorkeling or diving during the tour gives you a chance to explore the underwater world and witness the diverse marine life that calls El Nido home.


Fun-Filled Activities: Island hopping tours in El Nido offer a range of activities to keep you entertained. From kayaking and paddleboarding to beach volleyball and beachside picnics, there’s something for everyone. Enjoy games and water activities with your fellow tour-goers or simply relax on the beach and soak up the sun.


Local Culture and History: Some tours include visits to shrines and caves that hold cultural and historical significance. Learn about the local culture and history as your tour guides provide insights into the importance of these sites and share fascinating stories about the area.


Stunning Sunsets: El Nido is famous for its breathtaking sunsets, and your island hopping tour provides an opportunity to witness this magical moment. As the day winds down, watch the sky turn into vibrant hues of orange, pink, and purple, casting a serene ambiance over the islands.


Throughout the tour, you’ll be accompanied by experienced guides who will ensure your safety, provide insightful information about the destinations, and assist you with any queries or concerns you may have.


So, get ready for an unforgettable experience as you explore the natural wonders, partake in exciting activities, and create lasting memories during your El Nido island hopping tour.


Tips for a Great Island Hopping Experience

Embarking on an island hopping adventure in El Nido is an exciting and memorable experience. To ensure you have the best possible time, here are some tips to help you make the most of your island hopping tour:

  1. Book in Advance: El Nido is a popular destination, so it’s advisable to book your island hopping tour in advance. This will secure your spot and ensure availability on your preferred date.
  2. Choose the Right Departure Time: Consider your preferences and the crowd levels when selecting your departure time. Early morning departures tend to be less crowded, while later departures allow you to enjoy the beautiful sunset.
  3. Protect Yourself from the Sun: El Nido’s tropical climate means strong sun exposure. Use sunscreen with a high SPF, wear a hat, sunglasses, and a rashguard or lightweight clothing to protect yourself from the sun’s rays.
  4. Stay Hydrated: Bring a reusable water bottle and stay hydrated throughout the day. It’s important to drink plenty of water, especially in the hot and humid weather of El Nido.
  5. Bring Snorkeling Gear: El Nido’s underwater world is teeming with marine life. Bring your own snorkeling gear if you have it, including a mask, snorkel, and fins. If you don’t have your own, most tour operators will provide equipment for rent.
  6. Cash and Small Bills: Bring enough cash for any additional expenses, such as renting equipment or purchasing souvenirs. It’s also a good idea to have small bills for tips or buying snacks along the way.
  7. Pack Snacks and Water: While some island hopping tours provide lunch or snacks, it’s advisable to bring some extra snacks and water to keep yourself fueled throughout the day.
  8. Respect the Environment: El Nido is a pristine paradise, so it’s crucial to be mindful of the environment. Do not litter, follow designated trails, and avoid touching or damaging any coral reefs or marine life.
  9. Capture Memories: El Nido offers picturesque landscapes and stunning moments. Don’t forget to bring your camera or smartphone to capture unforgettable memories. However, remember to be present and enjoy the experience without being overly focused on taking photos.
  10. Be Open-Minded and Flexible: Island hopping tours are subject to weather conditions and tides. Be open-minded and flexible if there are any changes to the itinerary. Embrace the unexpected and enjoy the journey.

By following these tips, you’ll be well-prepared for a fantastic island hopping experience in El Nido. So, pack your essentials, keep an open mind, and get ready to create unforgettable memories in this tropical paradise.



El Nido’s island hopping tours offer an incredible opportunity to explore the breathtaking beaches, lagoons, caves, and islands that make this destination a tropical paradise. Each tour, whether it’s Tour A, B, C, or D, brings its own unique experiences and highlights, ensuring that there is something for everyone.


During your island hopping adventure in El Nido, you can expect to be mesmerized by the stunning landscapes, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant marine life. From hidden beaches and secret lagoons to serene shrines and picturesque coves, every stop on the tours reveals a piece of El Nido’s natural beauty.


By choosing the right tour that aligns with your interests and preferences, you can make the most of your experience. Whether you prefer a more active and adventurous tour or a laid-back and tranquil excursion, El Nido has it all.


Remember to plan ahead, book your tour in advance, and consider the factors such as itinerary, activity level, and crowd levels when making your decision. Be prepared with essential items like sunscreen, snorkeling gear, and enough cash for additional expenses.


Respect and preserve the environment during your island hopping journey. El Nido’s pristine nature deserves our care and protection. Leave no trace, be mindful of coral reefs, and follow responsible travel practices.


Ultimately, an island hopping tour in El Nido offers a chance to immerse yourself in the wonders of nature, appreciate the beauty of the ocean, and create lasting memories. From exploring hidden gems to snorkeling in vibrant reefs, every moment will be filled with awe and wonder.


So, pack your bags, embrace the adventure, and get ready for an unforgettable island hopping experience in El Nido, where the beauty of the beaches and islands will captivate your heart and leave you longing to return.