The Different El Nido Island Hopping Tours
Tour A, B, C & D
- Tour A: Lagoons & Beaches, this consists of Big Lagoon, Seven Commandos Beach, Miniloc Island (secret Lagoon) and Shimizu Island.
- Tour B: Caves & Islands, this consists of snake island, Pinagbuyutan Island, Cathedral and Cudugnon Cave, and Entalula Beach.
- Tour C: Hidden Beaches & Shrines, this consists of Matinloc Shrine, Helicopter Island, Secret Beach, Star Beach and Hidden Beach. (Popular snorkelling spots!)
- Tour D: Islands & Beaches, Cadlao island, Pasandigan beach, Small Lagoon, NatNat Beach
El Nido: Tour A island hopping itinerary
If you’re wondering what exactly your El nido tour A island hopping itinerary will look like then keep reading. Actually it’s only in recent years that they’ve slightly changed the itinerary due to environmental concerns and regulations. So, before you go see both big and small lagoon on the same trip on Tour A, but now it only includes one of them, and I suggest you opt for big lagoon, every time!
It’s important to note that regardless of whether you choose tour A or not, all the tours now include an additional 200 pesos environmental fee which should be paid additionally. This environmental fee lasts 10 days, so you only pay it once, even if you decide to do all the island hopping tours. Just remember to hold onto your receipt/certificate for proof that you’ve already paid.
This is truly one of the most beautiful and epic places in all of Palawan. When you arrive, they set your boat up right beside the lagoon entrance so you can choose to swim there (it’s not too far), or rent a kayak and use it through the lagoon too. This is pretty cool and it’s the option we chose. It’s 250 pesos for a double kayak, and the drone shot with all the yellow kayaks against the blue water makes for an awesome shot!
Miniloc Island (secret lagoon)
So for me, the secret lagoon is not that exciting, but when we did visit, the tide hadn’t “cleaned” the area yet. Anyway, that doesn’t matter because Miniloc island is absolutely stunning and worth visiting just for that. Just be aware of the little jellyfish that infest the water. You will get little stings, but they’re not painful, just like little nips!
This is the spot for lunch and it’s awesome. It’s a beautiful little island and it’s a brilliant spot for snorkeling. So whilst your delicious Filipino BBQ lunch is being prepared you can snorkel in the water and spot clown fish (nemo!) or sunbathe on the beach. Truly amazing. Then, it’s time for a delicious lunch.
Seven Commandos Beach
This is usually your last stop on the tour and it’s a good choice...not only is the beach beautiful but there are actually one or two makeshift bars there, so you can enjoy a rum and coke for less than $2, chill on the beach and chat, or play a game of volleyball. You can also explore the beach too, but you’ll probably just want to relax! :P
El Nido Tour A: Private or group tour?
When it comes to tours, we almost always try and go private when the price isn’t ridiculous. The problem with the island hopping tours in El Nido is that there is a bigggg price jump between group and private, so it doesn’t feel worth it.
We opted for a group tour and honestly, it was one of the best group tours I’ve ever done. We made friends with a bunch of people, two of whom we ended up having dinner with, then arranging to meet up on another island a couple of weeks later, so that was awesome.
So, based on my experience, and our awesome tour guide, I can say that a group tour was a great option, especially if you want to make new friends and have fun.
OR if you really want to go private, book this one. Problem is because tour A is a popular tour, it’s unlikely you’ll get beaches or lagoons to yourself. Your best bet is to visit “off season” for less crowds. I personally didn’t think the crowds were bad when we visited in May.
When is the best time to visit El Nido and do Tour A?
The best time to visit El Nido correlates with the best time to visit The Philippines in general. This is between November to May. We visited in May and the weather was perfect.
If you need help planning your El Nido itinerary, then don’t forget to check out my El Nido itinerary.
Should I book El Nido Tour A online or in person?
It doesn’t make too much difference if I’m honest with you. They are all similar prices, however you will save a little bit of money if you book online. Plus if you just like the convenience of having everything organised, then booking online helps with that too. Also, it is possible in the high season that tours book out, so again, if you book online you can help avoid disappointment.
I’ve listed the links to book your El Nido island hopping tours below…
- Book El Nido Tour A here
- Book El Nido Tour B here
- Book El Nido Tour C here
- Book El Nido Tour D here
More tips for your El Nido Island Hopping tour
- I suggest you invest in a pair of water shoes. They are super cheap and really useful for island hopping tours and all water based activities across The Philippines. When island hopping you’re walking on sand, stones, the boat, and snorkelling, your water shoes eliminate the need to switch shoes.
- You should also buy a water bag to place your important items. When you get off and on the boat, you wade through water, so the water bag will stop your items from getting wet. Again they’re cheap and you can buy them all over El Nido.
- Bring a Gopro: Brad and I misplaced our GoPro before we went to The Philippines, so I bought a last minute knock off version. What a nightmare, it was terrible quality and we missed out on some amazing snorkelling footage. We now have a GoPro again, so I’ll have to return to get more awesome snorkelling footage. Don’t make our mistake.
- Drone your heart out: The Philippines encourages the use of drones, so take full advantage because you’re going to get some EPIC shots.
So there you have it. My guide to all your need to know about El Nido Tour A. Hopefully after reading this you’ve got some insight into what the tour entails and the best time to book it. If you’ve got any questions or comments, then simply drop a comment below.
For help planning the rest of your trip in El Nido, check out our other guides ...