There are 4 island hopping tours being offered in El Nido known as Tour A, B, C and D. The package we booked with the travel agency only includes El Nido Island Hopping – Tour A, which I think is the most popular. At that time I’m not aware of the different island tours, didn’t bother checking online which is unusual for me for every trip. I let my friend take care of our itinerary as I was busy planning for my wedding.
Beautiful morning view of Bacuit Bay
I was mixed emotion regarding the tour as though my husband’s fever subsides he still can’t join the island tour. He still needs to rest and recuperate. I’m willing to stay and be with him but he insisted of me joining our friends in the tour. So I end up joining but I ask La Casa’s staff to check on him. I made sure also he’ll have his lunch prepared by them.
9:45 AM Left La Casa Teresa
10:00 AM – Arrived in Seven Commandos, our first stop. As per our guide the place was named after 7 warriors who hide here during World War 2. It is a long stretched of white sand beach. I also adore the crystal like blue water. How I wish I could wake up to this everyday.
11:30 AM – We’re in Simizu (or Shimizu) Island. It used to be Pinagdungawan Island (again as per our tour guide) but they changed it to Simizu after two Japanese divers ran out of gas while underwater and died.
Approaching Simizu Island
Simizu Island is famous for lunch stops. Boatmen/tour guides usually cook and prepare food here while guests explores and wade in the water. You can snorkel and feed the fishes (though I didn’t see any) while waiting for your lunch.
Obligatory pic while in the island
Basking in the sun, enjoying the water. Thank’s to Phen’s Go Pro.
1:55 PM – We’re in Secret Lagoon. It took only 3 mins to be here from Simizu Island. To get inside one must crawl to the small entrance into the secret lagoon. That’s why it is called secret lagoon, it is somehow hidden, it is enclosed on those huge limestone formation and cliffs.
Entrance to the secret lagoon
Inside the secret lagoon water is shallow and is not passable during high tide. Going here, one should wear an aqua shoes as corals/stones can be prickly. It’s painful when barefoot.
Goofing around. 😀
Panoramic shot of the island. Such a beauty.
And we’re off to Big and Small Lagoon. Our final stop to conclude the tour. I was as excited as everyone else. I’ve been anticipating this as this was featured in the movie Bourne Legacy in 2012 and yes the sight didn’t disappoint. Picturesque indeed!
2:50 PM – We’re in big lagoon. According to Bernard, our boatman, it is just less than 10 minutes boat ride from secret lagoon to big lagoon.
We came to a halt before finally entering the big lagoon. For what purpose? Photos of course! Haha
Us girls ❤
Totally fascinated by this piece of paradise.
We stop for a while to swim while the boys show off their diving skills. Lol. I enjoyed the water though I can’t go as far as the boys from the boat. I can swim but I’m not a swimmer. Those I believe are two different things. 😛
We can’t bring other cameras to the small lagoon so we left it to Bernard. We only brought Phen’s Go Pro with us. Our guide Cary though accompanied us to the small lagoon. Only kayaks can enter to the small lagoon as it only has small opening to pass through. You can rent a kayak if you want but we opt to swim, walk and crawl ourselves to the lagoon. Haha, okay I exaggerated it a bit. 😀
Kayaks for rent
Inside the small lagoon
View when you look up. 😛
5:00 PM – We’re back at the hotel. After the tour, some do their “work from home” duties. Sending out reports, hitting two birds in one stone. Work and pleasure.
Another sunset session in El Nido. Watching the sun sets, I get a feeling of tranquility. A certain calmness I can’t explain. It always encourage me to plan, think and ponder. At that moment I’m just thankful for everything. I can now ticked off El Nido from my bucket list. Though it’s only tour A that I’m able to experience I’m glad I had a taste of this paradise. Smitten by it’s beauty I will definitely be back. Indeed a small town that definitely has a lot to offer.
Bits of Info:
- Island tours usually starts at 9AM and ends at 4PM and includes lunch, boat and guide
- Island hopping tour rates are standardized
- There’s a 200/person Environmental Tax Development Fee (ETDF) which is valid for 10 days
- Effective November 2013 island tour combinations are no longer allowed by the municipality of El Nido
- There’s no ATM in El Nido so better bring enough money for your stay here
Itinerary and expenses for the whole trip is on a separate post. You may click here.