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EL NIDO TOUR A: How To Do It Right


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Rhoda Melanson



Welcome to El Nido, a tropical paradise nestled in the archipelago of Palawan, Philippines. With its crystal-clear waters, powdery white beaches, and stunning limestone cliffs, El Nido has become a must-visit destination for travelers seeking an unforgettable beach getaway. Among the many attractions and activities El Nido has to offer, one tour stands out – El Nido Tour A.


El Nido Tour A takes you on a journey to some of the most breathtaking spots in the area. From exploring hidden lagoons to snorkeling in vibrant coral reefs, this tour promises unforgettable experiences and awe-inspiring sights. But to truly make the most of your El Nido adventure, it’s important to know how to do Tour A right.


Why is it important to do it right, you may ask? Well, El Nido Tour A is not only popular among tourists but also among locals. This means that the spots can get crowded, especially during peak tourist seasons. Doing the tour right will help you avoid the crowds and enjoy the beauty of these natural wonders at their best.


In this article, we will provide you with valuable tips and insights on how to do El Nido Tour A right. From booking and preparation to planning your itinerary and exploring each stop, we’ll guide you through the process, ensuring you have an incredible and hassle-free experience.


So, get ready to dive into the turquoise waters, admire the limestone cliffs, and soak up the sun as we embark on this enchanting journey through El Nido Tour A.


What is El Nido Tour A?

El Nido Tour A is one of the most popular and highly recommended island hopping tours in El Nido. It is a full-day tour that takes you to five stunning destinations: Small Lagoon, Big Lagoon, Secret Lagoon, Shimizu Island, and 7 Commandos Beach. Each stop offers a unique and mesmerizing experience, showcasing the natural beauty of El Nido.


The tour starts with a visit to the Small Lagoon, a hidden gem tucked behind towering limestone cliffs. To reach the lagoon, you can either swim or rent a kayak, allowing you to explore the calm and emerald-green waters. Snorkeling is a must here, as you’ll encounter colorful fish and vibrant coral reefs beneath the surface.


Next, you’ll make your way to the Big Lagoon, one of El Nido’s most iconic attractions. The turquoise waters of the lagoon are surrounded by towering limestone cliffs, creating a postcard-perfect setting. Kayaking is the best way to explore this majestic location, allowing you to glide through the calm waters and marvel at the breathtaking scenery.


The tour then takes you to the Secret Lagoon, a hidden paradise accessible only through a small opening in the limestone cliffs. Once inside, you’ll find yourself in a tranquil pool surrounded by lush greenery. This spot is perfect for taking a refreshing dip or simply basking in the natural beauty of your surroundings.


Afterward, you’ll visit Shimizu Island, named after a Japanese scuba diver who discovered the location’s potential for underwater beauty. Here, you can snorkel and dive to explore the vibrant marine life that inhabits the surrounding coral reefs. Witnessing the colorful fish, sea turtles, and diverse marine ecosystem is truly an unforgettable experience.


The final stop on El Nido Tour A is 7 Commandos Beach, a pristine stretch of powdery sand framed by towering coconut trees. This picturesque beach offers the perfect place to relax, sunbathe, and enjoy a delicious seafood lunch. You can also try various water activities such as paddleboarding or beach volleyball.


El Nido Tour A encapsulates the natural wonders of El Nido, showcasing its stunning lagoons, breathtaking cliffs, and vibrant marine life. With its diverse attractions and captivating landscapes, it’s no wonder why this tour is considered a must-do for any visitor to El Nido.


Why is it important to do it right?

Doing El Nido Tour A right is crucial to ensuring a memorable and enjoyable experience. Here are a few reasons why it’s important to plan and execute the tour correctly:

  1. Optimize your time: El Nido Tour A is a full-day tour, and to make the most of it, you need to manage your time efficiently. By planning your itinerary and knowing the order in which you’ll visit each destination, you can maximize your time at each spot and avoid any unnecessary delays.
  2. Avoid the crowds: El Nido is a popular tourist destination, and certain spots can get crowded, especially during peak seasons. Doing the tour right allows you to visit the locations at the optimal time, either early in the morning or late in the afternoon when there are fewer tourists. This way, you can fully immerse yourself in the beauty of the surroundings without feeling overwhelmed by crowds.
  3. Experience the best conditions: El Nido’s beauty is enhanced by the weather and ocean conditions. By doing the tour right, you can choose the best time to visit each spot for optimal visibility and calm waters. This way, you’ll have better chances of spotting marine life while snorkeling or enjoying clear views of the limestone cliffs and the breathtaking turquoise waters.
  4. Ensure safety: Safety should always be a top priority, especially when participating in water activities like snorkeling and kayaking. Doing the tour right means following safety guidelines, using proper equipment, and being aware of any potential hazards. This will help keep you and your fellow travelers safe throughout the tour.
  5. Create unforgettable memories: El Nido is known for its incredible natural beauty, and El Nido Tour A showcases some of the most iconic spots in the area. By doing the tour right, you’ll have the opportunity to fully immerse yourself in the experience and create unforgettable memories. From snorkeling in vibrant coral reefs to kayaking through hidden lagoons, every moment will be a highlight of your trip.

Overall, doing El Nido Tour A right allows you to optimize your time, avoid crowds, experience the best conditions, ensure safety, and create unforgettable memories. By taking the time to plan and prepare for the tour, you’ll be able to enjoy the stunning beauty of El Nido to its fullest.


Booking and Preparation

Before embarking on your El Nido Tour A adventure, it’s essential to make the necessary bookings and preparations. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Choose a reputable tour operator: El Nido offers a multitude of tour operators that provide Tour A. Take the time to research and read reviews to choose a reputable and reliable operator. Look for companies that prioritize safety, have experienced guides, and offer good customer service.
  2. Book in advance: El Nido is a popular tourist destination, and Tour A can fill up quickly, especially during peak seasons. To secure your spot, it’s recommended to book your tour in advance. This will ensure that you don’t miss out on the opportunity to visit these incredible sites.
  3. Check the weather: El Nido’s weather can be unpredictable, so it’s important to check the weather forecast before your tour. Rain and strong winds can affect the tour’s schedule and visibility. If the weather conditions are unfavorable, it’s best to reschedule your tour for a better day.
  4. Bring cash: Most tour operators and establishments in El Nido may not accept credit cards or other forms of electronic payment. Make sure to bring enough cash for the tour itself, any additional fees, and purchases you may make along the way.
  5. Wear appropriate clothing: El Nido Tour A involves water activities, so it’s important to wear appropriate clothing. Opt for lightweight and quick-drying clothes, a swimsuit, and sandals or water shoes. Don’t forget a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun.
  6. Pack essential items: In addition to your clothing, there are a few essential items you should bring. These include a towel, a waterproof bag for your valuables, a refillable water bottle, snacks, and any personal medication you may need. It’s also a good idea to bring a camera or waterproof case to capture the unforgettable moments along the tour.

By making your bookings in advance, checking the weather, bringing enough cash, wearing appropriate clothing, and packing essential items, you’ll be well-prepared for your El Nido Tour A. This will allow you to embark on your adventure with peace of mind and fully immerse yourself in the beauty of El Nido.


Planning your Itinerary

Planning your itinerary for El Nido Tour A will ensure that you make the most of your time and experience the highlights of each destination. Here are some tips to help you plan your itinerary:

  1. Start early: El Nido Tour A can be quite popular, and certain spots can get crowded as the day goes on. To avoid larger crowds and have a more serene experience, it’s best to start your tour early in the morning. This not only allows you to enjoy each destination with fewer people around but also provides better lighting for photography.
  2. Schedule your stops wisely: The tour operator will have a pre-determined order for the stops on Tour A. However, if given the opportunity to choose, it’s recommended to start with the Small Lagoon and Big Lagoon as these spots tend to be less crowded earlier in the day. Save the Secret Lagoon for a mid-day stop and the beach activities at 7 Commandos Beach for the end of the tour when you can relax and unwind.
  3. Allocate enough time at each spot: Each destination on El Nido Tour A offers unique experiences. It’s important to allocate enough time to explore and fully appreciate each spot. Consider spending more time snorkeling in the vibrant coral reefs of Small Lagoon and Shimizu Island or indulging in the scenic beauty of Big Lagoon by kayaking. Plan your schedule accordingly to make the most of each stop.
  4. Take weather and tides into consideration: The weather and ocean tides can impact your experience at each destination. For example, during low tide, some areas of the lagoons may be inaccessible or have shallow waters. Check the tide charts and coordinate with your tour operator to ensure you visit the spots at the ideal time for optimal conditions.
  5. Be flexible: While having a well-planned itinerary is important, it’s also essential to be flexible. Weather conditions, unexpected delays, or other factors can impact the schedule. Be ready to adapt and make the most of any changes that may arise. Remember, the goal is to enjoy the beauty of El Nido and have a memorable experience.

By starting early, scheduling your stops wisely, allocating enough time, considering weather and tides, and being flexible, you can plan an itinerary that allows you to fully immerse yourself in the beauty of El Nido Tour A. Remember to enjoy each moment and soak in the awe-inspiring sights as you embark on this unforgettable adventure.


Snorkeling in Small Lagoon

One of the highlights of El Nido Tour A is snorkeling in the mesmerizing Small Lagoon. Nestled behind towering limestone cliffs, this hidden gem offers a serene and breathtaking snorkeling experience. Here are some tips to make the most of your snorkeling adventure in the Small Lagoon:

  1. Bring your snorkeling gear: While some tour operators provide snorkeling gear, it’s always recommended to bring your own if possible. This way, you can ensure a proper fit and comfortable experience. Snorkeling gear typically consists of a mask, snorkel, and fins, allowing you to observe the vibrant marine life beneath the surface.
  2. Practice proper snorkeling techniques: If you’re new to snorkeling, take a few moments to practice in shallow waters before venturing into the Small Lagoon. Familiarize yourself with breathing through the snorkel and clearing any water that may enter the tube. Relax and float on the surface, using your fins to propel yourself forward in the water.
  3. Explore the coral reefs: The Small Lagoon boasts vibrant coral reefs teeming with marine life. Take your time to explore these underwater ecosystems and witness the colorful fish, fascinating corals, and other unique sea creatures. Keep a safe distance from the coral to avoid any unintentional damage.
  4. Be mindful of the currents: While snorkeling, pay attention to the currents in the Small Lagoon. Although it is usually calm, there can be slight currents depending on the tide and weather conditions. Swim with the currents rather than against them to conserve energy and ensure a smoother snorkeling experience.
  5. Respect the environment: It is important to practice responsible snorkeling by respecting the marine environment. Avoid touching or damaging corals and aquatic life, as they are delicate and essential to the ecosystem. Take any trash or waste with you and dispose of it properly on land.

Snorkeling in the Small Lagoon offers an incredible opportunity to witness the underwater beauty of El Nido. By bringing your own snorkeling gear, practicing proper techniques, exploring the coral reefs, being mindful of currents, and respecting the environment, you can have an unforgettable snorkeling experience in this hidden paradise.


Exploring Big Lagoon

Prepare to be mesmerized by the stunning beauty of Big Lagoon, one of the highlights of El Nido Tour A. Surrounded by towering limestone cliffs and crystal-clear waters, Big Lagoon offers a tranquil and picturesque setting. Here are some tips to make the most of your exploration of Big Lagoon:

  1. Choose the right mode of transportation: To explore Big Lagoon, you have the option to either swim or rent a kayak. If you’re a strong swimmer and prefer a more immersive experience, swimming is a great option. However, if you want to cover a larger area and navigate around the lagoon more easily, renting a kayak is recommended.
  2. Take your time: Big Lagoon is a place where you’ll want to savor every moment. Take your time to paddle or swim through the calm, turquoise waters and immerse yourself in the serenity of the surroundings. You’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the limestone cliffs, clear waters, and the vibrant marine life beneath.
  3. Explore hidden corners: While navigating through Big Lagoon, don’t be afraid to explore the smaller channels and hidden corners. These areas often offer more solitude and a chance to observe the natural beauty up close. Paddle or swim into these narrower passages and be amazed by the tranquil ambiance and untouched scenery.
  4. Bring waterproof protection for valuables: As you’ll be spending time in the water, it’s wise to bring waterproof protection for your valuables. Consider bringing a waterproof bag or a dry bag to keep your phone, camera, and other electronic devices safe from water damage. This will allow you to capture and preserve the memories of your exploration.
  5. Respect the marine life: While exploring Big Lagoon, be mindful of the marine life that inhabits the area. Admire from a distance and avoid disturbing or touching any marine creatures or corals. By respecting the delicate ecosystem, you contribute to the preservation of this natural wonder for future generations.

Exploring Big Lagoon is a truly awe-inspiring experience. Whether swimming or kayaking, take your time to soak in the mesmerizing surroundings and discover hidden corners. By choosing the right transportation, navigating at your own pace, exploring the hidden corners, protecting your valuables, and respecting the marine life, you’ll create unforgettable memories in this breathtaking destination.


Kayaking in Secret Lagoon

Prepare for a thrilling adventure as you explore the hidden paradise of Secret Lagoon during your El Nido Tour A. Accessible only through a small opening in the limestone cliffs, Secret Lagoon offers a magical experience that can be enhanced by kayaking. Here are some tips to make the most of your kayaking adventure in Secret Lagoon:

  1. Rent a kayak: Before entering Secret Lagoon, you’ll have the opportunity to rent a kayak from the tour operator. Renting a kayak allows you to navigate through the narrow entrance and explore the lagoon at your own pace. It’s a unique and exciting way to fully immerse yourself in the beauty of the hidden gem.
  2. Practice basic kayaking techniques: If you’re new to kayaking, take a few moments to familiarize yourself with the basic techniques. Learn how to properly position yourself in the kayak, how to paddle efficiently, and how to steer. This will help you feel more confident and comfortable during your kayaking adventure.
  3. Be aware of the tides: Secret Lagoon’s entrance can be affected by the tides, making it either easier or more challenging to navigate. Before entering, consult with your tour guide or operator to ensure the tide is suitable for kayaking. It’s best to enter during high tide when there is more water and the entrance is more accessible.
  4. Explore the lagoon: Once inside Secret Lagoon, take your time to explore the tranquil waters and the lush surroundings. Paddle around the lagoon, marvel at the towering cliffs that encircle you, and embrace the serenity of this hidden paradise. Allow yourself to get lost in the beauty and charm of the Secret Lagoon.
  5. Respect the environment: Just like with snorkeling and exploring other natural attractions, it’s important to respect the environment while kayaking in Secret Lagoon. Avoid touching or damaging the limestone cliffs and be mindful of any wildlife or marine creatures you might encounter. Leave no trace behind and ensure that you take any trash or waste with you.

Kayaking in Secret Lagoon offers an exceptional opportunity to immerse yourself in its mystical beauty. By renting a kayak, practicing basic techniques, being aware of the tides, exploring the lagoon, and respecting the environment, you can create unforgettable memories in this enchanting location. Get ready to paddle through the narrow entrance and embark on an adventure you won’t soon forget!


Discovering Shimizu Island

Prepare to be captivated by the natural wonders of Shimizu Island during your El Nido Tour A. Named after a Japanese scuba diver who discovered its underwater beauty, Shimizu Island offers a remarkable opportunity to explore vibrant coral reefs and witness a diverse marine ecosystem. Here are some tips to make the most of your experience in discovering Shimizu Island:

  1. Embrace snorkeling and diving: Shimizu Island is renowned for its exceptional snorkeling and diving opportunities. Dive into the crystal-clear waters and immerse yourself in the underwater world teeming with vibrant coral reefs and a myriad of marine life. Grab your snorkeling gear or join a scuba diving excursion to witness the captivating beauty beneath the surface.
  2. Keep an eye out for marine creatures: As you snorkel or dive around Shimizu Island, keep your eyes peeled for various marine creatures that call the coral reefs their home. From colorful tropical fish to sea turtles, you may have the chance to encounter a diverse array of marine life. Be respectful and maintain a safe distance to observe these fascinating creatures in their natural habitat.
  3. Follow guide instructions: It’s essential to listen to any instructions provided by your tour guide or dive instructor before entering the water around Shimizu Island. They will guide you on the best areas to explore, safety guidelines, and any specific rules to follow. By adhering to their instructions, you can have a safe and enjoyable experience while protecting the marine environment.
  4. Capture the memories: Shimizu Island offers incredible opportunities for underwater photography. Make sure to bring a waterproof camera or a suitable underwater housing for your camera to capture the stunning landscapes and vibrant marine life. Just remember to be respectful and avoid touching or disturbing the coral reefs in your quest for the perfect shot.
  5. Appreciate the surroundings: While the underwater beauty of Shimizu Island is undoubtedly captivating, don’t forget to take in the beauty of the island itself. The island is often overlooked, but its white sandy beaches and picturesque scenery are worth taking a moment to appreciate. Take breaks from snorkeling or diving to relax on the beach and soak in the serenity of the island.

Discovering Shimizu Island is a truly remarkable experience that will leave you in awe of the beauty that lies beneath the surface. By embracing snorkeling and diving, keeping an eye out for marine creatures, following guide instructions, capturing the memories, and appreciating the surroundings, you will create unforgettable moments in this underwater paradise.



El Nido Tour A is a remarkable journey through the breathtaking beauty of El Nido’s natural wonders. From snorkeling in the Small Lagoon to exploring the Big Lagoon, kayaking in the Secret Lagoon, and discovering Shimizu Island, each stop offers a unique and awe-inspiring experience. By following the tips and recommendations in this guide, you can ensure that you make the most of your El Nido Tour A and create unforgettable memories.


Booking with a reputable tour operator, planning your itinerary wisely, and being mindful of the weather and tides will optimize your time and help you avoid unnecessary crowds. Bringing your snorkeling gear, respecting the environment, and practicing responsible tourism will help preserve the fragile marine ecosystems and ensure the longevity of El Nido’s natural beauty.


Remember to be prepared by bringing essential items, wearing appropriate clothing, and protecting your valuables. Start your tour early to enjoy the destinations at their best and allocate enough time at each spot to fully immerse yourself in the beauty that surrounds you. Be flexible and embrace any changes that may arise, as unexpected circumstances can sometimes enhance the experience.


El Nido Tour A is not just a journey through stunning landscapes but an opportunity to connect with nature, appreciate the wonders of the ocean, and create lifelong memories. So, embrace the turquoise waters, marvel at the towering limestone cliffs, and let the enchantment of El Nido captivate your soul.


With proper planning, preparation, and a sense of adventure, El Nido Tour A will undoubtedly be a highlight of your visit to this tropical paradise. So, get ready to embark on an unforgettable adventure and immerse yourself in the natural wonders that await you in El Nido!