El Nido, Palawan – Why are Tour A and Tour C Recommended?

El Nido, Palawan – Why are Tour A and Tour C Recommended?

Tours A and C are always recommended in El Nido. Are they really worth it? Read on to find out.

Contributed by Everywhere with Ferna

El Nido island tour packages have four main tours named as Tour A, Tour B, Tour C and Tour D. All set to do one day for each tour. Lately, they have added a combination tour named as Combo A and C, which means both tours are taken in one day.

During my island hopping with Tour D, the experience was different as it was raining heavily and the weather was so bad. If you don’t know yet, Tour A and Tour C are the famous ones, which are highly recommended by operators and locals, too. Though my Tour D experience was in a bad weather, our tour for A and C was sunny and clear skies.

Also read: 10 Things You Need to Know About El Nido, Palawan

Why do locals recommend Tour A and C?

You will find out at the end of this article, and which Tour I like the most. One of the reasons the locals say is that both tours have extravagant sea colour and breathtaking views of the lagoons. I obviously nodded to do these tours, for, I was sold. I didn’t choose the combo tour as I want to see all places on a slow pace.  Just a note, though, that Tour C is the farthest location among the four and the area usually has strong waves, so there’s a possibility of unexpected last-minute cancellation of the trip.

Let’s talk about Tour A first. The places included on this tour are Small Lagoon, Big Lagoon, Shimizu Island, Secret Lagoon and 7 Commandos Beach.

Northern Hope Tours arranged our tour really well. We were 6 on the boat, all women. I took the group tour as it is the cheapest. This means that I will be with other tourists. During our orientation, the main tour guide informed us that there might be a possibility that the secret lagoon will not be pushed through. They will know when we will be in the area if it’s passable or not. Secret Lagoon is at the open sea already, so our safety was their main concern.

Also read: El Nido Travel Guide: What You Need to Know Before Your Island Getaway

We were supposed to stop first in Small Lagoon. Unfortunately, when we arrived, it was full and there’s no place to dock in. I think the majority of the tours do the same sequence, that’s why our tour guide decided quickly to visit Big Lagoon to avoid the crowd.

el nido palawan

el nido palawan

Fortunately, there were few boat and people in Big Lagoon. Since we were only six, we have plenty of time to take photos in the area. We had one tour guide, the captain of the boat and 2 assistants. We were lucky to be treated really well. They volunteered to give us a good photo shoot and we were like models taking our time to have the shot we want.

Right after our tour inside the Big Lagoon, on the way out, we noticed the massive boats coming in, hence, our boat had difficulty getting out that it took us a little bit of time to wait.

Since it was already lunch time on our way out from the Big Lagoon, we moved to Shimizu island. Sadly, the beach was already crowded that we opted to check another beach. By chance, Payong-Payong beach was widely open, so we settled in.

el nido palawan

It is on this beach that we waited for the team to prepare for our lunch. While waiting, we took our time to snorkel around the sanctuary, which by the way is beautiful, and stroll to the other side of the beach. Later on, more boats were coming to the place to have their lunch, too. Then, it became a bit crowded but still okay as we all have a space of our own at the beach. We also saw a monitor lizard and two monkeys during our lunch.

After which, we went to the Small Lagoon where we decided to kayak. There’s a kayak rental fee of ₱300 for 2 people. We kayaked instead of swimming as the water was really clear and it’s faster to get inside the lagoon. Me and one of the other guests chose to be in the same kayak.

Lito, our tour guide was kind enough to go with us to the lagoon to see to it that we were safe and to make sure we have photos, too! He has his own kayak.

We then headed to our last stop, the 7 Commandos, about 20-30 minutes from the Small Lagoon. The beach is long, with party music, too. It took us a while waiting for some boats to leave from the beach, thus, the team decided to go to the Papaya Beach, which is beside 7 Commandos. Papa Beach is smaller but relaxing for me. There is nothing to do here unless you like to play volleyball and basketball. There are few stores selling coconut juice and some chips. For me, this beach is relaxing and not crowded, just enough to rest from the long day.

I could say my photos don’t justify the real beauty of Tour A. You be the judge. Yay!

Now, are you ready for Tour C? Here’s what I experienced.

Roughly 45 minutes from the mainland, my experience for Tour C was crazily beautiful. We surpassed the big waves the whole time. It was bumpy, shaky in the sense that the boat was fighting the waves moving left and right. Good thing we have a very reliable boat and the captain whom we named as “Jack Sparrow” was really skilled and smart. But, when we entered Matinloc view, it was amazing! I got stoked, I even asked myself “Am I in the Philippines?”. The so-called entrance as you enter Tour C is for me one of the best scenes I’ve encountered in El Nido. I loved it! Too bad I didn’t take a photo at that time for I was mesmerised by what I saw. That moment was stored in my memory bank.

Also read: These 20 Incredible Photos Prove El Nido is Truly a Heaven on Earth

Places to check in Tour C are Secret Beach, Matinloc Shrine, Star Beach, Hidden Beach and Helicopter Beach.

The Secret Beach was actually the inspiration for the movie “The Beach” of Leonardo Di Caprio. They said it was hard for them to do the movie there, hence, Maya beach in Thailand was chosen. What’s the Secret Beach? Is it really secret? Yes! I bet it is.

To get inside the Secret Beach, there’s a need to swim through a small hole. For me, it’s not that safe during monsoon season especially if the waves are strong. To swim inside needs some skills for you will encounter sharp stones on the hole as you enter. We were able to swim with the help of the guides and the locals guarding the hole. There are two ropes tied from the Secret Beach to the boats, that’s why there were people guiding near the hole. The secret beach is so unique and natural inside. The water is situated at the centre or a sinkhole that is encompassed with limestone karsts that made it really fantastic. Regardless of the experience coming inside, it was more than worth it to see the true beauty when in the Secret Beach. Again, I took no photo for I didn’t have GoPro with me.

After being stunned from the Secret Beach, our next destination was Matinloc shrine. This place is situated in the centre of Tapiutan Strait, facing Star Beach. This is known as the mysterious shrine. There was a dome inside to commemorate the Blessed Virgin Mary. Aside from the dome, it has a museum where an old newspaper was posted, citing the history of the island. Apart from all these, there was an abandoned mansion. Our tour guide mentioned that it was owned by a German with a Filipino wife. It was abandoned for two reasons that he said they have no idea which one is true, 1) the couple separated and all shares were given to the wife, 2) the government and other tax permits were not processed, thus, the government decided to kick them out. Whatever the reason is, I felt sad hearing it, for it was on a perfect site.

Later on, our very kind guide suggested for us to climb to the peak. Please be mindful when you do this as the stones were really sharp and the route was really steep. Nevertheless, I highly advise to do this as the view from the top is without a doubt, marvellous! The breathtaking view left me in awe.

So far, the two sites we visited had given me the impression, that indeed Tour A and C are the must-tours.

We went to Star beach, had our lunch there and snorkelled around the area. The Star beach is just near Matinloc Shrine. We snorkelled a bit and saw many schools of fish. We were told that this strait is also the best diving spot in El Nido. We had good lunch as usual.

This tour has many beaches to see. After Star Beach, we headed to Hidden beach. It is where the Survivor Sweden took their film. It was really a nice place to rest and just do nothing. The view was stunning. The sea is so calm and you can just take a walk within the water as it never gets high on that surface.

To end our tour, we stopped quickly at Helicopter Beach, where you will see a lot of pandan trees. I think it was the biggest beach we had on that day. It was called Helicopter Beach, as the island’s shaped like a helicopter.

Did Tour A and C prove to be the famous? A big YES from me!

I wish you could do these two tours when you visit El Nido. For me, Tour C is the best among the rest. It showed me the chill feeling and gave the best experience I had.

Also read: How We Travelled 5 Days in El Nido for Only PHP 6,730.66 (All-in)

About Author

Ferna Mae Fernandez
Ferna Mae Fernandez

Ferna is a Filipino who is independent in her own skin, enjoys travelling solo yet loves to travel with friends and family too. She first travelled her country, the Philippines, before she embarked to other countries. She believes that by travelling, her undying crave for learning excites her in a more profound way. Her flexibility had proven her that time is genuine. She supports Eco Tourism, thus, she believes her generosity to share her tour guiding and travel experiences will give value to aspiring travellers.


Related Posts