Sunday, January 22, 2017


After 34 years and it's been like forever waiting for this time to finally arrived, gradually, I am no tourist anymore in my own backyard. El Nido dubbed as one of the best beaches in the world is down from the checklist. Quick history guys, "Bacuit" is the former name of El Nido since the 1890's branded by the Spaniards during the colonization and in 1954 it was officially changed to El Nido which is the spanish word for "The Nest". Why The Nest? because it became famous for the edible nests of swiftlets found in the limestone cliffs. These nests are the main ingredient for the gourmet nido soup which are being sold for an approximately whopping price of Php145,000 (US$ 3000) per kilogram. You will probably hear these backgrounds from your lively and fun tour guide. I think they were trained to crack some routine jokes to give the tour some added delights. Most of the tourists from different boats had only good words about them.

Back to the main subject, Tour A consist of these 5 island destinations - (1) Shimizu Island, (2) 7 Commando Beach, (3) Small Lagoon, (4) Big Lagoon, (5) Secret Lagoon and Ilok Lagum (sorry, pun intended for the last one- not in the list). The tour package is priced at Php1200.00 (25 US$) as of this writing and is inclusive of lunch buffet and free use of life jacket, mask and snorkel. Assembly time to get on board in the boat is 9:00 - 9:30am and the tour covers about 8 hours of duration. So, probably by 5pm you'll be back at the docking point.

Tour A and Tour C are the best recommendations in the islands even in blogs and the likes in social media. Unfortunately, Tour C is unavailable during our whole stay because of strong winds and waves condition. During the day of tour, the Coast Guards will confirm if a particular tour is being restricted. Usually, Tour C is delicate to these conditions and oftentimes being cancelled for prohibitions. See also El Nido Tour B Package blog.

Docking Area.

Here's how much time you get to El Nido. Bus fare rates from Php 380.00 ~ 480.00 and Van fare rates from Php 500.00 ~ 700.00.

Be here in this spot around 6am to 7am and you'll enjoy some photobomber-free picture!

Here's the time I say - I told you so!

Your view from Habibi Restaurant. We had our breakfast here and it's the perfect time to get a capture of the docked boats, calm waters and rocks all in one perfect time of the day. 


It is best to rent for a kayak (Php300 for 2-seater and Php500 for 3-seater) to cover all the areas to lay eyes on. 

i-collage na yan bes! pa-ulit-ulit ang view!


Here is where you need the kayak more because there are no shallow waters to dip on.


Here is where the free lunch being held and served.


Just because it is enclosed with rock formations it is considered to be a secret.
Dimples out! Smile!

Anlusog bes!


This is the last stop of the tour and the place where you can chill with the view, food and refreshments , all with your heart's content. Also, this has the best location among the islands to view the rock formations from afar.


Take 2! Stomach in!

Spare some for the Profile Pic!

Haaaymm.. gonna swing from the Chande-li-hiiir!

Competitive mode...ayaw patalo!


1. In Hotel/Accomodation Booking - Try to use the "Book Now, Pay Later" scheme to reserve your spot during peak season. Try to book as many as you can and narrow it down to your best choices when you have well weighed in your research which is the best hotel for you. Try not to overlook the cut-off dates in your advance booking to avoid being charged. Visit Agoda and Travelbook for bookings. If it's not peak season or summer (April & May) you'll probably have no problem to get an accomodation through walk-ins.

2. ATM machines are less than the number of your girlfriends/boyfriends. As far as I know there are only 2 of them (no, not my girlfriends but the ATMs). One located in the Municipal Hall in Real Street (most of the time it's out of order) and one BPI branch located 300m further from it still in Real Street adjacent to Blueazul Restaurant and you'll pass by Ipil Suites from the opposite side of the road. To be more sure, bring already Philippine bills with you or withdraw money when you are yet at Puerto Princesa.

3. Try to book your tour package before the day to avoid missing the desired tour. Package tour ranges from Php1200 (Tour A, B & D) to Php1300 Tour C.

Package Tour A - Small Lagoon, Big Lagoon, Secret Lagoon, Shimizu Island and & Commando Beach.
Package Tour B - Snake Island, Pinagbuyutan Island, Entalula Beach, Cudugnon Cave & Snorkeling Site.
Package Tour C - Helicopter Island, Matinloc Shrine, Secret Beach, Star Beach & Hidden Beach.
Package Tour D - Ipil Beach, Cadlao Lagoon, Paradise Beach, Pasandigan Beach, Natnat Beach & Bukal Beach.

Combo Tours: Combo Tour A & B, Combo Tour A & C, Combo Tour C&D. (These are good for visitors who have a very limited time in the island but desperately wanting to see more of the islands. They simply combine two tours into one with shorter stops.) 

4. Gears too good to be missed. 
These are my unconventional things not to miss bringing in El Nido Island Hopping. AQUA/WATER SHOES- I so regret I did not buy one because there are a lot of pointed rocks and spiky things in the ground waters. DRY BAG-It was very convenient to protect your things from the water and at the same time you can use this as a floater while swimming. ACTION CAMERA- for underwater and water moments documentation! UNDERWATER MOBILE CASE-for instant captures you want to directly share in to your social media accounts.

5. Bring with you an extra money while on tour to pay for kayak rentals (Php300~500), ice cream and beverage purchases.

6. Make sure not to starve yourself for lunch/dinner before going to restaurants/eateries because the service is quite slow than normal. Unoccupied tables and seats are the signs of it, avoid from those.

7. Avoid eating greasy foods and stomach full when traveling from Puerto Princesa to El Nido to prevent yourselves from motion sickness. Avoid seating at the back most of the van or bus, it is where the motion is very rough and you'll endure it for 5 to 7 hours. Imagine that!

8. Try to bring your own Pocket Wifi. Hotel and restaurant Wifi Connections are bad. I already read about these through several blogs and it really transpire into reality when we were there. Mobile internet service provider are more reliable and efficient to connect to.

We only had 5 days for this El Nido trip and two days of these are consumed by travelling to and fro. Needless to say, we had not enough time to indulge what's there to explore. Maybe, you only need at least 9 days to traverse all the islands - 4 days to cover all the island hopping tour packages and 3 days for the famous beaches in the likes of Nacpan and the remaining 2 days are dedicated solely for the transport going here and back. 


  1. I really like your take on the issue. I now have a clear idea on what this matter is all about..
    travel to iran

  2. Any options for non swimmers. I am scared of oceans and seas and water .



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