Methods 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 images.
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 D. Tour A is the preferred in El Nido, because of the Huge and Small lagoons. Given this, there are some issues you must know earlier than diving in (pun supposed!). Written in 2019, that is probably 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 that Tour A stopped at each the Huge and Small lagoons. Nevertheless 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 wish to be sure that your tour operator has one among these permits accessible for you earlier than reserving. I bought to expertise the Huge lagoon and thought it was excellent. I’ve been informed that each are wonderful, so I counsel going for whichever is on the market.
It’s tough to get the lagoons to your self, however the huge lagoon is large enough that it doesn’t really feel crowded, notably the farther in you go.
Nearer to the doorway within the shallower water, therefore this stunning water shade!Everybody I noticed on the Huge lagoon rented a kayak for 250 pesos. However I like to swim, so I opted to swim by the Huge lagoon as an alternative and it was the spotlight of my entire El Nido expertise! In the event you like to swim as a lot as I do, deliver alongside a masks and snorkel and go for it. Simply be further 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 when you gained’t want common rests.
Remember the fact that you could put on a life jacket when within the Huge lagoon, whether or not you’re swimming or kayaking. Nevertheless there is no such thing as a present and 0 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 take into account that the lagoon really is huge and when you suppose you’ll get drained, you possibly can deliver it alongside as a form 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 a tiny gap within the facet of the lime stone and it’s so cool!
Cool rock formations nearbyI bought fortunate and had a full couple of minutes within the lagoon all to myself. There are sometimes queues to get in, however you possibly can all the time hang around on the seaside close by or close to the rock formations just a few yards out till it clears up.
Snorkeling Spot
Crystal clear waterThere’s a variety of 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 good thing about snorkeling in El Nido is the tremendous clear water. Likelihood is 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 seaside, 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 robust present, a minimum of not after I was there, however issues can change with the seasons.
Seven Commandos Seaside
Not a nasty trying seaside!In contrast to Shimizu island, this seaside has a much bigger, longer stretch of white sand together with palm bushes, a bit of basketball court docket within the sand, and seaside huts.
That is the place most the excursions end up because it’s the closest to El Nido city. It’s also possible to entry this seaside with a kayak afterward when you find it irresistible sufficient to return again!
The Meals
Organized excursions present roughly the identical unfold of rice, grilled fish and rooster, contemporary fruit, and salad. It’s a fairly good providing however tends to price 1500 items further when you’re doing the tour by yourself as a non-public tour. On this case, I’d advocate 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 value a bit cheaper was by reserving on Klook. The rankings are fairly good, so if I had performed a bunch tour I’d in all probability have performed that. Tour A additionally has a 200 pesos environmental payment per particular person, which is nice for some other tour for 10 days, and an extra 200 for both the Huge or Small lagoons. You’ll additionally wish to deliver some further money in case you wish to purchase a coconut or hire a kayak.
As for the personal excursions, you possibly can 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 completely different locations about their pricing and the most cost effective ended up being at my lodge, 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 the identical businesses and books random boats, I don’t know that high quality management varies when 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. In the event you minimize out meals from the journey, it can save you 1500 pesos. It’s extremely unlikely that you’d spend greater than that when you get meals by yourself, so I’d counsel doing what I did and getting further 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 Non-public or Group Tour A Higher?
Loving taking my time within the Huge LagoonIs it higher to do Tour A with a bunch so as to minimize 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 value that it’s nowadays. I discovered just a few corporations on-line that had too-low-to-be-true costs, and after I contacted them to confirm they informed me that they’d really doubled. So when you’re doing a non-public tour in El Nido you possibly can 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 is determined by how a lot flexibility and freedom you wish to change up sure objects 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 favored doing the excursions as personal excursions as a result of it meant no ready round within the morning, which typically takes a few hours for the group excursions, and having the ability to take pleasure in every place for so long as I wished. I used to be typically 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 lodge or company, chances are high good the proper hand isn’t actually speaking to the left. I used to be fairly disillusioned 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 superb fee off of the included lunch and had been mad we’d gone the cheaper route, or they only figured we didn’t know which stops needs 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 when you’re on a non-public tour, it’s a bit simpler for a cease to get minimize off or missed and also you’re in all probability 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 exhibiting 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 nowadays, however simply because I didn’t handle to do it doesn’t imply it’s unimaginable. In the event you do handle to do that, please let me know within the feedback beneath!
Total, I’d nonetheless decide to do personal excursions as a result of that’s simply my choice, even when it prices extra. Nevertheless if it’s not in your finances, the group excursions take you to all the identical locations and on a tour as fashionable as Tour A, you’ll be sharing it with others it doesn’t matter what anyway. 
What to Convey
Most group excursions will embody lunch and water, although it’s possible you’ll wish to double test that they’ll 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 supplies water.
You’ll additionally wish to deliver alongside snorkeling gear, which you’ll hire for 150 pesos for a masks and snorkel and 150 for a set of fins. I introduced my very own masks from residence and would counsel you do the identical. You may be extra certain of the standard and gained’t need to pay the equal of three US each single day that you simply go island hopping. I didn’t use fins throughout my El Nido expertise and didn’t actually really feel it they had been obligatory, however I’d base your choice on that on how robust of a swimmer you’re with out them. There are many locations on the town the place you possibly can hire, or many of the tour operators can have gear as nicely.
It can be a good suggestion to deliver alongside a dry bag (I exploit this one) if you’d like to have the ability to take images, particularly if kayaking within the lagoons. All of those images had been shot with a GoPro Hero 7 Black, and my DJI Mavic Professional 2. You’ll be able to learn extra about my digicam gear right here.
Additionally you should definitely deliver alongside sunscreen, as you’ll have your again to the solar typically on this journey. It’s additionally useful to deliver alongside your personal seaside towel.
Total, El Nido Tour A provides you a glimpse into some really stunning and distinctive seashores, snorkeling spots, and rock formations that you may’t see anyplace else on the earth. It’s fashionable, so plan on sharing it with others. Nevertheless regardless of that, the Huge lagoon was nonetheless the spotlight of my time in El Nido. So deliver some further persistence, undoubtedly deliver your digicam, and benefit from the experience!
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