Best El Nido Island Hopping Guide and Packages for First Time Visitors

Island hopping in El Nido is an activity that might as well be a requirement for anyone visiting El Nido Philippines. The beauty of this popular town is in its surrounding islands, the turquoise blue waters and the towering cliffs. In order to view these, you have to venture out into the seas.

When choosing where to go El Nido island hopping, it is best to plot what type of activities you would like to do and which highlights are you not willing to miss. Answer these and you are one step away from experiencing your best vacation yet. 

Read More: Top Attractions and Things to Do in El Nido Palawan (Philippines)

Inclusions of El Nido Palawan Island Hopping Tour

El Nido Island Hopping Guide and Tour Costs

No matter which tour company you book your activities with, all of them have basic inclusions to their packages. This includes a licensed guide, a roundtrip boat transport, a sumptuous lunch buffet and clean drinking water. Life vests are provided and must be worn every time you are in transit. Masks and snorkels are free for everybody to use.

The lunch is a highlight of its own. Imagine eating freshly grilled fish and seafood on the beach. Seasoned meats and vegetables are kept warm by the steaming bed of rice. Seasonal fruits are on one side, ready to be devoured. In many guests’ comments, the food on an El Nido tour is one of the most commendable aspects of the trip.

Read more: Impacts of Ecotourism Development in El Nido, Palawan (Academic Study)

Things to consider and how to book an El Nido Island Hopping Tour

Island hopping in El Nido tour A

Check the weather report. The authorities will not let your island hopping push through if, on their radar, there is bad weather coming. All tour guides and companies know how the local entities are strict about this. Never insist on going and looking for a private boat to take you despite the warnings because your safety should be a top priority. Anyway – no one would dare take you out during this premise.

Read More: Local’s Guide on the Best Time to Visit the Philippines

Book with a trusted tour company. While there are many tour operators online, the island also has tons of shops offering you El Nido Island Hopping Tours – sometimes even at a lower price. Hunting for the cheapest Palawan tour packages can be quite a hard task.

It is wise to ask people who have gone there and have experience with specific suppliers. It is also good to get recommendations from locals themselves. It isn’t only your money that’s at stake – it’s your whole vacation. Better make it worthy. We personally used the trusted Sealand Venture.

El Nido tours packages in the Big Lagoon part of Island Hopping

Pack necessary gears. Bring with you a dry bag, a gadget case, sunblock with high SPF, a sturdy hat, waterproof cameras, protective sunglasses and comfortable swimming gear. You may bring your own snorkelling masks if you do not want to use the ones provided by the tour company. A vest is made available every time you’re in the waters.

Regarding your chunky high-end cameras, a bit of advice: if you have no means to keep them waterproof, consider leaving them at the hotel where it is safe from harm. Otherwise, when nature and tide call it might just end up as a sad casualty of what’s supposed to be an enjoyable activity. The risk may be well worth it, but in this day and age where safeguarding is both doable and necessary, just take the extra mile. 

Bring some money. These will be go-to tips and purchases made on the islands where you can rent kayaks, eat halo-halo or drink fresh coconut juice. 

List of Island Hopping Tours in El Nido, Palawan

There are four El Nido island hopping tours, from A to D. All of these tours start from 9 in the morning. Every boat ride commences at the El Nido Port Harbor.

At about 4 in the afternoon, you must be back in town. El Nido boat tours take your whole day, so it is best to consider this when planning your vacation. No tour is allowed to be done at night.

El Nido Island Hopping Tour A

El Nido Beaches in Palawan

What is included in El Nido Tour A: Big and Small Lagoon, Hidden Lagoon, Shimizu Island, Seven Commando Beach

What are the activities in El Nido Tour A: You can go swimming, snorkelling, paddling and kayaking on this tour. Sea turtles frolic in this area, making it a nice mission to spot one or two swimming. At Seven Commando Beach, Filipino desserts are waiting for you to arrive. Don’t miss out on the goodness of eating halo-halo by the beach.

What is the best thing about El Nido Tour A: The Big and Small Lagoons are, by any chance, the featured place among many El Nido photographs and postcards. There is no asking why. Rent a stand-up paddle and brave the waters – it’s one of the best ways to explore the lagoons. With the unassuming beauty of the cliffs alongside the clear turquoise blue waters, Tour A is definitely an itinerary made in heaven.

El Nido Island Hopping Tour B

What is included in El Nido Tour B: Pangulasian Island, Cudognon Cave, Cathedral Cave, Pinagbuyutan Island, Snake Island

What are the activities in El Nido Tour B: Cave exploration sets this tour apart from the others. Aside from that, you can swim and snorkel on the islands here as well. Fancy walking on a sandbar? In this El Nido tour, you can do so.

What is the best thing about El Nido Tour B: Snake Island will intrigue you with its sandbar formation where you can walk in the middle of the ocean from one island to another. You also get to explore an important archaeological site, the Cudognon Cave. This is where they unearthed pottery dating back from the Sung Dynasty.

El Nido Island Hopping Tour C

What is included in El Nido Tour C: Helicopter Island, Matinloc Shrine, Secret Beach, Tapiutan Island, Hidden Beach

What are the activities in El Nido Tour C: This El Nido Palawan tour takes you swimming and snorkelling in some of the best sites. It will also bring you to Matinloc Shrine where you go to and fro an abandoned convent and school. The Helicopter Island, with its name derived from its peculiar shape, will leave you intrigued – does it really resemble a helicopter, or something else? 

What is the best thing about El Nido Tour C: When you go up to the Matinloc Shrine, the views are breathtaking. Adding to its beauty are the enchanting tales that surround the place. Local hearsays and historic claims all form a story about the mystery clouding the shrine. 

Aside from that, there’s this sense of adventure in having to pass by a “secret” passage in order to reach such a beautiful beach. You will get to experience this at Secret Beach and Hidden Beach.

El Nido Island Hopping Tour D

What is included in El Nido Tour D:  Ipil Beach, Cadlao Lagoon, Paradise Beach, Pasandigan Cove, Natnat Beach, Bukal Beach

What are the activities in El Nido Tour D: You will enjoy beach hopping and snorkelling on this tour. 

What is the best thing about El Nido Tour D: You get to explore different beaches in close proximity to each other. If you like to see what El Nido has to offer but would like to do away with the crowd that comes with being a popular destination, consider taking Tour D. 

Cadlao Lagoon is the largest island in the Bacuit archipelago. It is also one of the best spots in El Nido to go snorkelling because of its clear waters and teeming marine ecosystem just beneath your feet.

Read more: The 12 Best Beaches in the Philippines To Visit Now

El Nido Island Hopping Tour Combinations

El Nido Island Hopping Small and Big Lagoon of tour A

One of the best ways to score a deal with these island tours is by booking tour combos. Sometimes, special rates are given to two-day or three-day reservations. What’s even good about this: you get to choose which tours you like to partake in. Clueless which ones to choose? Let us help you.

If you only have one day to tour El Nido… Pick Tour A. When you find yourself back in your home after a trip to El Nido Philippines, the stunning cliffs in Tour A are what will remind you most of the place.  

If you only have two days to tour El Nido… Go for Tour A and Tour C. Most locals will tell you so, too.

If you only have three days to tour El Nido… Choose Tours A, C and B. If you get these three tours, you’ll have a bit of everything that these four packages have to offer. It’s not to say that Tour D is not special; the package has a quiet charm of its own.

What happens when it rains? There is nothing you can do by your powers in order to make your island hopping tours push through. However, you can ask your tour operator if they offer El Nido inland tours.

Read more: Nido Soup: Delicious Bird’s Nest Soup of Palawan, Philippines

You can rent a bike, explore the nearby towns and potentially have an ultimate El Nido food trip. Las Cabanas and Nacpan Waterfalls are one short ride away from the town proper. The Twin Beach has been a popular getaway too, over the years.

I hope that helps you in planning for the best island hopping tour around the Protected areas of El Nido, Palawan.  You will surely enjoy the beauty of nature. Just please make sure to do your part as a tourist in protecting the environment while you are on tour. 

Have you been to any of these El Nido island hopping tours?
Share your tour experiences in the comment box below.

best el nido island hopping tour packages and cost


Everything Zany Dual Citizen Travel Blog

Everything Zany

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