How to Do it Ideal


A complete guide to El Nido Tour A, an awesome island hopping tour around the beautiful islands in El Nido, Palawan, the Philippines. Check out the stops, which includes a secret lagoon, snorkeling spots, food options, and a list of things to bring with you. This is the only guide you will need, if you are joining Tour A!
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El Nido’s cluster of gum drop-shaped islands, well-known for their dramatic limestone cliffs and white sand beaches, definitely is as amazing in individual as it seems in pictures.

The greatest way to love El Nido is to hop about these islands, armed with a mask and snorkel, and sunscreen, of course!

Tours in El Nido are organized with set stops and labeled A via D. Tour A is the most well known in El Nido, thanks to the Significant and Little lagoons. Offered this, there are some items you should really know just before diving in (pun intended!). Written in 2019, this is the most up-to-date resource on the Web for El Nido island hopping tour A:

The Stops

The Significant and Little Lagoons

big lagoon el nido
floating in the Significant Lagoon

It employed to be that Tour A stopped at each the Significant and Little lagoons. On the other hand current legislation, in an work to curb the quantity of folks who check out every day, dictates that guests may well now only check out a single or the other in the span of a day.

You will want to make certain that your tour operator has a single of these permits obtainable for you just before booking. I got to encounter the Significant lagoon and believed it was ideal. I’ve been told that each are awesome, so I recommend going for whichever is obtainable.

It is complicated to get the lagoons to your self, but the massive lagoon is massive adequate that it does not really feel crowded, specifically the farther in you go.

tour a el nido
Closer to the entrance in the shallower water, therefore this lovely water colour!

Absolutely everyone I saw at the Significant lagoon rented a kayak for 250 pesos. But I really like to swim, so I opted to swim via the Significant lagoon as an alternative and it was the highlight of my complete El Nido encounter! If you really like to swim as substantially as I do, bring along a mask and snorkel and go for it. Just be further cautious to keep away from stone fish and sea urchins. I advise under no circumstances standing up previous the sandy entrance so only do this if you will not want common rests.

Maintain in thoughts that you have to put on a life jacket when in the Significant lagoon, regardless of whether you are swimming or kayaking. On the other hand there is no existing and zero waves, so I clipped the lifejacket to a buoy and had most of my Significant lagoon encounter with out a single. To me it is a silly rule and I entirely detest life jackets, but do hold in thoughts that the lagoon definitely is massive and if you consider you will get tired, you can bring it along as a sort of kickboard.

Hidden Lagoon

el nido tour A
All to myself

The Hidden Lagoon is not so hidden any longer, but this circular, virtually entirely sealed off lake is accessible via a tiny hole in the side of the lime stone and it is so cool!

el nido tour A
Cool rock formations nearby

I got fortunate and had a complete handful of minutes in the lagoon all to myself. There are frequently queues to get in, but you can normally hang out on the beach nearby or close to the rock formations a handful of yards out till it clears up.

Snorkeling Spot

el nido
Crystal clear water

There’s a lot of snorkeling involved on Tour A, which includes a spot devoted just to snorkeling. The corals are beautiful, and a highlight for me was the college of tiny glittering blue fish swimming about.

The advantage of snorkeling in El Nido is the super clear water. Possibilities are great that your tour will do the snorkeling portion earlier in the day just before there’s substantially wind and existing, so it tends to make for an straightforward, enjoyable encounter.

Shimizu Island

el nido island hopping tour a
Shimizu from the air

An impressive lime tone island with a little white sand beach, this is ordinarily the lunch spot for organized Tour A groups.

There is also some snorkeling about right here, but be cautious not to get swept down the channel involving Shimizu and its neighboring island. It is not a crazy sturdy existing, at least not when I was there, but items can transform with the seasons.

Seven Commandos Beach

el nido tour a
Not a undesirable searching beach!

In contrast to Shimizu island, this beach has a larger, longer stretch of white sand along with palm trees, a tiny basketball court in the sand, and beach huts.

This is exactly where most the tours finish up as it is the closest to El Nido town. You can also access this beach with a kayak later on if you really like it adequate to come back!

The Meals

Organized tours offer far more or much less the exact same spread of rice, grilled fish and chicken, fresh fruit, and salad. It is a fairly great providing but tends to price 1500 pieces further if you are performing the tour on your personal as a private tour. In this case, I’d advocate bringing your personal meals.

The Expenses

el nido tour a
One more angle of 7 Commandos

The charges for all group tours are fixed now in El Nido with Tour A priced at 1200 pesos per individual. I study on the net previously that the rates would differ based on good quality but this is no longer correct. The only spot I discovered the price tag a bit less expensive was via booking on Klook. The ratings are fairly great, so if I had accomplished a group tour I would most likely have accomplished that. Tour A also has a 200 pesos environmental charge per individual, which is great for any other tour for 10 days, and an extra 200 for either the Significant or Little lagoons. You will also want to bring some further money in case you want to acquire a coconut or rent a kayak.

As for the private tours, you can count on fairly a massive variety. Quite substantially everybody in town can sell you a single, from tour operators to hotels to even the tricycle drivers. I asked about 15 diverse areas about their pricing and the least expensive ended up getting at my hotel, El Nido Overlooking. Their tour is priced at 6000 pesos, which is 1000 reduce than anyplace else I checked. Once again, because virtually everybody just goes via the exact same agencies and books random boats, I do not know that good quality handle varies if you spend far more.

It is also achievable that the boats will quote a larger price tag. That occurred to me with Tour A but not with Tour B. So I ended up needing to spend 6000, but with out meals. If you reduce out meals from the trip, you can save 1500 pesos. It is hugely unlikely that you would invest far more than that if you get meals on your personal, so I’d recommend performing what I did and acquiring further meals the evening just before and storing it in your area fridge (El Nido overlooking has them in their rooms) I brought along the Mexican beans and rice bowl from Taste El Nido and it was ideal.

Is a Private or Group Tour A Far better?

el nido tour a
Loving taking my time in the Significant Lagoon

Is it superior to do Tour A with a group in order to reduce down on charges, or is it superior to do a private tour? Year more than year, the price of a private tour in El Nido has been compounding. Even just two years ago, it was about half the price tag that it is these days. I discovered a handful of providers on the net that had also-low-to-be-correct rates, and when I contacted them to confirm they told me that they had in fact doubled. So if you are performing a private tour in El Nido you can count on to be quoted anyplace from 7000 pesos on the low-finish to 9000 on the larger finish – virtually $175 USD!

Is it worth it to do a private tour? This completely depends on how substantially flexibility and freedom you want to transform up specific things in the itinerary or even attempt to leave earlier or do some of it in the reverse, AND how a lot of folks you are sharing the boat with. On a single hand I liked performing the tours as private tours mainly because it meant no waiting about in the morning, which at times requires a couple of hours for the group tours, and getting in a position to love every spot for as extended as I wanted. I was at times in a position to get items to myself this way, like the Hidden lagoon.

The downside is whoever you book this with, regardless of whether it is a hotel or agency, possibilities are great the ideal hand is not truly speaking to the left. I was fairly disappointed that the guide on my boat attempted to reduce out two of the stops on my Tour A, rationalizing it by saying that Shimizu island was the “lunch stop” but because we had brought our personal lunch, he attempted to reduce that quit off. I also did a private tour B, which I was in a position to customize a bit far more, but general my encounter with each guides in El Nido was not that good, in particular when compared to Coron and Romblon. Possibly it is mainly because the guys make a great commission off of the incorporated lunch and had been mad we’d gone the less expensive route, or they just figured we didn’t know which stops should really be incorporated, but this was a bit frustrating and disappointing, specifically because this is the most costly island hopping in El Nido that I’m conscious of. I only mention this mainly because if you are on a private tour, it is a bit a lot easier for a quit to get reduce off or missed and you are most likely not acquiring the greatest crew and boats, so just make certain that you are acquiring what you paid for and asked for.

I’m not conscious of a possibility of just displaying up at the boat docks like a single can do in Coron. It appears in El Nido locating a boat that is not hired out by an individual is tougher to do these days, but just mainly because I didn’t handle to do it does not imply it is not possible. If you do handle to do this, please let me know in the comments beneath!

All round, I’d nevertheless opt to do private tours mainly because that is just my preference, even when it charges far more. On the other hand if it is not in your spending budget, the group tours take you to all the exact same areas and on a tour as well known as Tour A, you will be sharing it with other individuals no matter what anyway. 

What to Bring

Most group tours will consist of lunch and water, even though you may well want to double verify that they will have water for you to refill your bottles with. In theory El Nido is attempting to reduce down on single use plastic, but not each tour supplies water.

You will also want to bring along snorkeling gear, which you can rent for 150 pesos for a mask and snorkel and 150 for a set of fins. I brought my personal mask from dwelling and would recommend you do the exact same. You can be far more certain of the good quality and will not have to spend the equivalent of three US dollars each single day that you go island hopping. I didn’t use fins in the course of my El Nido encounter and didn’t truly really feel it they had been essential, but I would base your selection on that on how sturdy of a swimmer you are with out them. There are a lot of areas in town exactly where you can rent, or most of the tour operators will have gear as nicely.

It can also be a great notion to bring along a dry bag (I use this a single) if you want to be in a position to take pictures, in particular if kayaking in the lagoons. All of these pictures had been shot with a GoPro Hero 7 Black, and my DJI Mavic Pro two. You can study far more about my camera gear right here.

Also be certain to bring along sunscreen, as you will have your back to the sun frequently on this trip. It is also useful to bring along your personal beach towel.

All round, El Nido Tour A offers you a glimpse into some definitely lovely and distinctive beaches, snorkeling spots, and rock formations that you can not see anyplace else in the planet. It is well known, so program on sharing it with other individuals. On the other hand in spite of that, the Significant lagoon was nevertheless the highlight of my time in El Nido. So bring some further patience, absolutely bring your camera, and love the ride!

Traveling to El Nido, Palawan, the Philippines? You might be considering the El Nido island hopping Tour A. Here's a complete guide to the island hopping tour, and an honest breakdown on the stops, snorkeling spots, food options, and a comparison between a group tour and a private tour to prepare you for the tour #ElNido
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