Let’s get wanderlusted in El Nido! The best thing to do in El Nido is obviously island hopping because the beauty of El Nido lays far from the town itself. There are a lot of travel agents that offer you similar island hopping tour packages so you can choose whichever you prefer. I will show you all the available El Nido tour packages including the prices but this blog post is focusing more on the A & C combined tour as the title says.
Available Tour Packages
They have A, B, C, and D island hopping tour packages but the most popular ones are A and C tour packages. The regular tour package goes to 4-6 spots depending on where you get them. These are some of the island hopping catalogs in El Nido downtown area.
Some travel agents also offer the combined tour which is a perfect package for you that has limited time and try to lower the budget. It usually goes to 5-7 spots depending on where you get them. These are the combined tour catalogs from the travel agents in the hostel I stayed in.
All the prices are excluding tax of 200 pesos per person (US$5). Each boat tour package includes lunch and snorkeling gear but excludes the kayak and aqua shoes rental prices. Usually, the tour will depart from El Nido downtown beach (somewhere around here) at 8 or 9 in the morning and it will finish at 4around pm. The tour is usually a join tour so you will be on the board with around 20 people.
Travel Agent I Personally Recommend
I found this Jun Kaskasero travel agent that I had been looking for, the owner’s name is Dores ((+63) 0955 930 3826). I don’t have any affiliation with her travel agent, I’m just trying to help her business since I’m so satisfied with her hospitality, price, and service. The easiest way to go here is from Midtown Bakery, cross the street and then turn right, go straight about a minute and you will find a small office of hers on the left side. You shall see several scooters in front of her office. This is my photo with Dores and her family.
Why Am I Satisfied?
She always gives you a discount, unlike any other travel agent. The price for the A & C combined tour for 1500 pesos (US$ 30) excluding the 200 pesos tax but she actually discounted the tax for me. So, instead of paying 1700 pesos (US$ 35) in total, she only asked me to only pay 1500 pesos including the tax so I actually was saving money. I also got the pick-up service from my accommodation that as located in Coron-Corong because it’s quite far from the trip departure area. Her son is usually the one who will do the pickup service. Her travel agent also provides other things such as scooter rental and boat tickets to go to Coron.
My A & C Combined Tour Experience
During this island hopping tour, I got to visit 7 spots in the El Nido area. I also got lucky that I was on board with only 4 other people (1 friend and 3 others that I just met on the board) so we were only 5 enjoying that tour with a big boat. The reason why it happened actually because there were around 5 people who booked the tour but canceled all sudden so they had to pay the cancellation fee. Also, not a lot of people book the combined tour, people usually just book regular ones. If you’re interested to see more, you can watch my Instagram Stories here.
These are the places I visited:
1. Seven Commandos Beach
I love the white soft sands with palm trees and crystal blue water here. I enjoyed my time a lot here by just chilling sipping on a coconut. There is a small shop selling drinks and snacks there. This is the exact location of Seven Commandos Beach.
2. Helicopter Island
Helicopter Island is actually a well-known snorkeling spot. Unfortunately, we didn’t go to the island itself, just did snorkeling around the main beach, the Helicopter Beach. It is called Helicopter Island because it is the landing spot for the helicopters, as they boatmen said. Click me for the location of Helicopter Beach where the snorkeling is mostly happening here.
3. Hidden Beach
Hidden Beach is also a well-known place for snorkeling. It is Hidden beach because we need to swim in between the rocks to get to the beach. You can see the exact location of Hidden Beach by clicking me.
4. Tapiutan Island
We only stopped without touching the land in Tapiutan Island. We actually had lunch here, such a nice place to have lunch. If you want to do cliff jumping, this is the right place to do. I would love to do it but the problem is I was wearing contact lenses and if I jump in with the goggles on, I was afraid to lose them since I lost mine before during bridge jumping. See a guy doing cliff jumping in my Instagram Stories here.
5. Small Lagoon
Small Lagoon is my favorite place out of all the spots. You can enjoy kayaking in this beautiful spot with turquoise water with the cliffs surrounding you. The kayak rental was 400 pesos (US$ 8) per kayak. The view is so beautiful and relaxing. I can’t get over how blue the water is! Access the location of Small Lagoon by clicking here.
6. Twin Rocks
Twin Rocks is also the snorkeling spot with the beautiful shallow crystal clear water and you can swim to the nearest small beach there. There are 2 islands that are mostly just rocks that look alike and that is why the name of this place is Twin Rocks. Google Maps might not yet add this location to their map but I assume that the exact location might be here since it’s not far from both Small Lagoon and Big Lagoon.
7. Big Lagoon
In the Big Lagoon, we only stopped nearby the entrance and then continued by kayaking and swimming to get in the Big Lagoon. The reason for that was because of the low tide. During the high tide, the boats can get in the Big Lagoon. You can also do cliff jumping here as well. Click me to see Big Lagoon location.
We finished at around 4 pm and Dores offered my friend and me to use one of her scooters to go to Las Cabañas Beach to watch the sunset. Too bad, we were quite tired so we asked if she can just drive us back to our hostel. She paid us a tricycle to bring us back since her son was away at that time.
The pictures above are edited without altering any color, everything is in the exact color as seen in real life. All I did was enhancing the contrast and brightness.
About getting to El Nido itself, people usually transit through Puerto Princesa then continue with 5 hours van ride to El Nido. If you want to cut off the time, you can book the flight directly to El Nido, just a warning that it’s pretty expensive. I’ve provided the links below in case you want to book your transportation hassle-free with free cancellation.
CLICK ME | Flight from Manila to El Nido
CLICK ME | Flight from Cebu to El Nido
CLICK ME | Overnight ferry from Manila to Puerto Princesa (Friday only)
CLICK ME | Transfer from Puerto Princesa to El Nido
Thank you for reading this blog post, I hope you will be able to get the best island hopping tour you desire. Please keep in mind that the fees mentioned might change.