Tours Around El Nido

That's me waiting for the others to come back from the Hidden Beach.

"Skip tour B...", suggested by a friend when I asked which tours to take a for 4D3N stay in El Nido. As a first timer, I don't usually google or research the places I'm about to visit. I prefer feeling and seeing things with my own eyes and not because of other's judgement. Yung feeling of excitement kapag on the way ka na.. iba! :)

There are 3 different island tours offered in El Nido, we signed up for Tour A on our first day which costs ₱1,200 per pax inclusive of lunch. The boat is shared with other tourists and guides will take you to the Big Lagoon, Small Lagoon, Shimizu Island, Secret Lagoon and Seven Commandos Island.

First stop was the Big Lagoon where we only had less than 20 minutes to stay and take photos.

Next stop was the Shimizu Island where we had almost an hour and a half for swimming and lunch.

Be careful when swimming, there were sea urchins hidden beneath rocks and my sister's friend Kim accidentally stepped on one. Good thing the other boats had white vinegar in stock so that's what we used as first aid instead of peeing on her foot! LOL. Sea urchin spikes dissolve anyway so it takes a few hours before the pain goes away.

We had a very heavy lunch of chicken and pork barbecue with grilled seafood like fish and squid.

After a very heavy lunch, it was time to exercise in the Small Lagoon. We had an hour to swim or go kayaking. Rental fee per use is ₱300 per kayak, good for 1-2 pax.

Last stop for Tour A was the beautiful Seven Commandos Island that reminded me so much of Boracay. The sand may not be as white but it felt powdery. I wouldn't mind just hanging out here all day.

To those looking for Secret Lagoon pics, just visit this blog. I did not bother bringing my camera since it wasn't waterproof plus we were required to walk/swim to get to the lagoon itself. Sadly, it was very crowded when we visited so I did not appreciate it that much. Para ka lang naglakad sa binahang bahay. LOL. Let's move on to Tour C, shall we? The rate for Tour C is ₱1,400 per pax inclusive of lunch. :)

First stop was Helicopter Island. I think the name of the island is self-explanatory already but then I think they should rename it to Drumstick Island. Puwede 'no? Haha.

We only had a brief stopover in Helicopter Island. I think we were given 30 mins there for snorkeling.

Next stop was Hidden Beach where we had to swim/walk a few meters from the boat to see the hidden beach hiding behind the limestones. The 100-meter beach strip is also known as Kulasa Beach.

After visiting the Hidden Beach, we had lunch on Star Beach which was across Matinloc Shrine. Matinloc Shrine used to be a part of Tour C but then it was recently acquired by a private company meaning you need to pay an extra entrance of ₱100-150 per pax. The group decided to skip this part of the tour and went ahead to our next stop which was the Secret Beach located also in Matinloc Island.

Note: From this moment on, photos posted were grabbed from other travel blogs since my camera died on this part of the tour. I'd like to thank in advance Deb Fong and Yoshke Dimen for their photos. Please feel free to visit their awesome blogs as well. :)

Getting to the Secret Beach has got to be the most exhilarating part of Tour C. This part of the island is facing open waters of the West Philippine Sea so expect a bumpy, jumpy, rough ride when coming here, especially later in the afternoon. Photo Credit:

To get to the beach you need to swim at least 50 meters from the boat to that tiny hole as seen in the photo. The struggle was real! One of us almost drowned because of panic after she realized that waters were too deep for her. Good thing she was wearing a life vest.
Photo Credit:

Here's another photo of what to expect when swimming on your way to the Secret Beach.
Photo Credit:

Anyway, Mama (who doesn't know how to swim) was getting too paranoid of our situation (we were basically left floating in rough waters for approximately 45 mins) so as I expected I became too chickenshit to try and swim to get to the Secret Beach even if I had my life vest on. I ended up floating beside our boat to lessen that feeling of nausea.

Mini souvenir from El Nido

One last thing before I end this blog post. Make sure you're wearing the proper swim attire when swimming in El Nido. I came home with a few spots of rashes all over my body. At first, I assumed these were bed bug bites from Ipil Suites. But according to Dr. Google, I think I got stung by sea lice or other types of algae floating in the sea near Secret Beach. :( They're almost healed now, I used Bactroban ointment which you can buy over the counter at any pharmacy.