Find out how to Do it Proper

Pin me!El Nido’s cluster of gum drop-shaped islands, well-known for his or her dramatic limestone cliffs and white sand seashores, really is as unbelievable in particular person because it seems in pictures.
One of the best ways to take pleasure in El Nido is to hop round these islands, armed with a masks and snorkel, and sunscreen, after all!
Excursions in El Nido are organized with set stops and labeled A by way of D. Tour A is the preferred in El Nido, because of the Huge and Small lagoons. Given this, there are some issues it’s best to know earlier than diving in (pun meant!). Written in 2019, that is essentially the most up-to-date useful resource on the Web for El Nido island hopping tour A:
The Stops
The Huge and Small Lagoons
floating within the Huge LagoonIt was once that Tour A stopped at each the Huge and Small lagoons. Nonetheless latest laws, in an effort to curb the quantity of people that go to every day, dictates that guests might now solely go to one or the opposite within the span of a day.
You’ll need to guarantee that your tour operator has one in all these permits obtainable for you earlier than reserving. I acquired to expertise the Huge lagoon and thought it was excellent. I’ve been informed that each are wonderful, so I recommend going for whichever is offered.
It’s troublesome to get the lagoons to your self, however the huge lagoon is sufficiently big that it doesn’t really feel crowded, notably the farther in you go.
Nearer to the doorway within the shallower water, therefore this lovely water colour!Everybody I noticed on the Huge lagoon rented a kayak for 250 pesos. However I like to swim, so I opted to swim by way of the Huge lagoon as an alternative and it was the spotlight of my entire El Nido expertise! For those who like to swim as a lot as I do, convey alongside a masks and snorkel and go for it. Simply be additional cautious to keep away from stone fish and sea urchins. I counsel by no means standing up previous the sandy entrance so solely do that should you gained’t want common rests.
Needless to say you could put on a life jacket when within the Huge lagoon, whether or not you’re swimming or kayaking. Nonetheless there isn’t any present and nil waves, so I clipped the lifejacket to a buoy and had most of my Huge lagoon expertise with out one. To me it’s a foolish rule and I utterly detest life jackets, however do remember the fact that the lagoon really is huge and should you assume you’ll get drained, you’ll be able to convey it alongside as a kind of kickboard.
Hidden Lagoon
All to myselfThe Hidden Lagoon isn’t so hidden anymore, however this round, virtually utterly sealed off lake is accessible by way of a tiny gap within the aspect of the lime stone and it’s so cool!
Cool rock formations nearbyI acquired fortunate and had a full couple of minutes within the lagoon all to myself. There are sometimes queues to get in, however you’ll be able to all the time hang around on the seashore close by or close to the rock formations just a few yards out till it clears up.
Snorkeling Spot
Crystal clear waterThere’s numerous snorkeling concerned on Tour A, together with a spot devoted simply to snorkeling. The corals are pretty, and a spotlight for me was the varsity of tiny glittering blue fish swimming round.
The advantage of snorkeling in El Nido is the tremendous clear water. Chances are high good that your tour will do the snorkeling portion earlier within the day earlier than there’s a lot wind and present, so it makes for a straightforward, pleasurable expertise.
Shimizu Island
Shimizu from the airAn spectacular lime tone island with a small white sand seashore, that is normally the lunch spot for organized Tour A teams.
There may be additionally some snorkeling round right here, however watch out to not get swept down the channel between Shimizu and its neighboring island. It’s not a loopy sturdy present, at the very least not after I was there, however issues can change with the seasons.
Seven Commandos Seaside
Not a nasty wanting seashore!In contrast to Shimizu island, this seashore has a much bigger, longer stretch of white sand together with palm bushes, a little bit basketball court docket within the sand, and seashore huts.
That is the place most the excursions end up because it’s the closest to El Nido city. You can too entry this seashore with a kayak afterward should you like it sufficient to come back again!
The Meals
Organized excursions present kind of the identical unfold of rice, grilled fish and hen, recent fruit, and salad. It’s a fairly good providing however tends to price 1500 items additional should you’re doing the tour by yourself as a non-public tour. On this case, I’d suggest bringing your personal meals.
The Prices
One other angle of seven CommandosThe prices for all group excursions are fastened now in El Nido with Tour A priced at 1200 pesos per particular person. I learn on-line beforehand that the costs would differ relying on high quality however that is now not true. The one place I discovered the worth a bit cheaper was by way of reserving on Klook. The scores are fairly good, so if I had performed a gaggle tour I’d most likely have performed that. Tour A additionally has a 200 pesos environmental payment per particular person, which is nice for every other tour for 10 days, and a further 200 for both the Huge or Small lagoons. You’ll additionally need to convey some additional money in case you need to purchase a coconut or lease a kayak.
As for the personal excursions, you’ll be able to count on fairly a wide array. Just about everybody on the town can promote you one, from tour operators to lodges to even the tricycle drivers. I requested about 15 totally different locations about their pricing and the most affordable ended up being at my resort, El Nido Overlooking. Their tour is priced at 6000 pesos, which is 1000 decrease than anyplace else I checked. Once more, since virtually everybody simply goes by way of the identical businesses and books random boats, I don’t know that high quality management varies should you pay extra.
It’s additionally potential that the boats will quote a better value. That occurred to me with Tour A however not with Tour B. So I ended up needing to pay 6000, however with out meals. For those who lower out meals from the journey, it can save you 1500 pesos. It’s extremely unlikely that you’d spend greater than that should you get meals by yourself, so I’d recommend doing what I did and getting additional meals the night time earlier than and storing it in your room fridge (El Nido overlooking has them of their rooms) I introduced alongside the Mexican beans and rice bowl from Style El Nido and it was excellent.
Is a Personal or Group Tour A Higher?
Loving taking my time within the Huge LagoonIs it higher to do Tour A with a gaggle so as to lower down on prices, or is it higher to do a non-public tour? 12 months over 12 months, the price of a non-public tour in El Nido has been compounding. Even simply two years in the past, it was about half the worth that it’s as of late. I discovered just a few firms on-line that had too-low-to-be-true costs, and after I contacted them to confirm they informed me that that they had truly doubled. So should you’re doing a non-public tour in El Nido you’ll be able to count on to be quoted anyplace from 7000 pesos on the low-end to 9000 on the upper finish – virtually $175 USD!
Is it price it to do a non-public tour? This completely relies on how a lot flexibility and freedom you need to change up sure gadgets within the itinerary and even attempt to go away earlier or do a few of it within the reverse, AND how many individuals you’re sharing the boat with. On one hand I appreciated doing the excursions as personal excursions as a result of it meant no ready round within the morning, which generally takes a few hours for the group excursions, and with the ability to take pleasure in every place for so long as I wished. I used to be generally capable of get issues to myself this manner, just like the Hidden lagoon.
The draw back is whoever you e book this with, whether or not it’s a resort or company, likelihood is good the correct hand isn’t actually speaking to the left. I used to be fairly dissatisfied that the information on my boat tried to chop out two of the stops on my Tour A, rationalizing it by saying that Shimizu island was the “lunch cease” however since we had introduced our personal lunch, he tried to chop that cease off. I additionally did a non-public tour B, which I used to be capable of customise a bit extra, however general my expertise with each guides in El Nido was not that optimistic, particularly when in comparison with Coron and Romblon. Possibly it’s as a result of the blokes make a great fee off of the included lunch and had been mad we’d gone the cheaper route, or they simply figured we didn’t know which stops ought to be included, however this was a bit irritating and disappointing, notably since that is the most costly island hopping in El Nido that I’m conscious of. I solely point out this as a result of should you’re on a non-public tour, it’s a bit simpler for a cease to get lower off or missed and also you’re most likely not getting the perfect crew and boats, so simply just remember to’re getting what you paid for and requested for.
I’m not conscious of a chance of simply displaying up on the boat docks like one can do in Coron. It appears in El Nido discovering a ship that isn’t employed out by somebody is more durable to do as of late, however simply because I didn’t handle to do it doesn’t imply it’s inconceivable. For those who do handle to do that, please let me know within the feedback under!
Total, I’d nonetheless decide to do personal excursions as a result of that’s simply my desire, even when it prices extra. Nonetheless if it’s not in your finances, the group excursions take you to all the identical locations and on a tour as well-liked as Tour A, you’ll be sharing it with others it doesn’t matter what anyway. 
What to Carry
Most group excursions will embrace lunch and water, although chances are you’ll need to double test that they are going to have water so that you can refill your bottles with. In concept El Nido is making an attempt to chop down on single use plastic, however not each tour gives water.
You’ll additionally need to convey alongside snorkeling gear, which you’ll be able to lease for 150 pesos for a masks and snorkel and 150 for a set of fins. I introduced my very own masks from dwelling and would recommend you do the identical. You might be extra positive of the standard and gained’t need to pay the equal of three US dollars each single day that you just go island hopping. I didn’t use fins throughout my El Nido expertise and didn’t actually really feel it they had been needed, however I’d base your resolution on that on how sturdy of a swimmer you might be with out them. There are many locations on the town the place you’ll be able to lease, or many of the tour operators could have gear as nicely.
It can be a good suggestion to convey alongside a dry bag (I exploit this one) in order for you to have the ability to take pictures, particularly if kayaking within the lagoons. All of those pictures had been shot with a GoPro Hero 7 Black, and my DJI Mavic Professional 2. You may learn extra about my digicam gear right here.
Additionally you’ll want to convey alongside sunscreen, as you’ll have your again to the solar usually on this journey. It’s additionally useful to convey alongside your personal seashore towel.
Total, El Nido Tour A provides you a glimpse into some really lovely and distinctive seashores, snorkeling spots, and rock formations that you could’t see anyplace else on this planet. It’s well-liked, so plan on sharing it with others. Nonetheless regardless of that, the Huge lagoon was nonetheless the spotlight of my time in El Nido. So convey some additional endurance, undoubtedly convey your digicam, and benefit from the journey!
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