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