El Nido Tour A is one of the best things to do in Palawan and this particular tour is the most popular among the other El Nido boat tours such as B, C, and D.
Island-hopping in El Nido has been on my bucket list for years and I’m stoked to have finally ticked it off. That being said, I guarantee you will enjoy El Nido Tour A just as much as I did.
I have put together this complete guide of Tour A El Nido including where to book, how much it costs, and what to expect on the tour.
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WHERE TO BOOK EL NIDO TOUR A
There are countless tour agencies in the town offering El Nido Island Hopping Tours and it can be very overwhelming trying to find the right company at the right price.
I personally booked Tour A El Nido online in advance with Klook and it couldn’t have been easier!
This is the most top-rated El Nido Island Hopping Tour with great reviews and thousands of bookings.
The tour includes a full day of island hopping on an outrigger boat to Seven Commandos Beach, Big Lagoon/Small Lagoon, Secret Lagoon, Shimizu Island, and a BBQ lunch on the boat. All this for just $18 USD.
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The beautiful El Nido
WHAT TO EXPECT ON TOUR A EL NIDO
El Nido Tour A begins at the meeting point on the beach in El Nido Bay to sign in to the registrar and meet the other travelers joining in on the adventure. The tour starts at around 9 am and returns between 4 pm – 5 pm.
Do note that there is an additional environmental fee of 200 pesos which is valid for 10 days, so hang on to the ticket if you are planning on doing other El Nido boat tours. You will also have to pay 200 pesos fee to enter the big and small lagoon.
Before jumping on the boat, there are many beach vendors selling waterproof phone cases, dry bags, reef booties, and all other sorts of products that you may be interested in purchasing. Prices vary so put your bartering skills to the test.
Once you’re all geared up, head to the boat to begin the El Nido island-hopping adventure!
SEVEN COMMANDOS BEACH
The first stop on the tour is Seven Commandos Beach and what a place to begin. As our boat was pulling into the cove, I couldn’t believe the epic landscape in front of my eyes.
Azure waters, glistening white sands, coconut palm trees, and a few beachside shacks lining the shores. This is what the Philippines is all about and Seven Commandos Beach is hands-down one of the best beaches in El Nido!
We spent around 45 minutes on 7 Commando Beach, soaking up the sun and taking several dips in the ocean to cool off.
You can also purchase a fresh coconut from one of the beach hut vendors for as little as 50 pesos. Hold off on the plastic straws and help to reduce the use of single-use plastic.
There are some fun-fuelled activities to be had on Seven Commandos Beach such as playing a game of beach volleyball with your mates or flying out over the water’s edge on the tree swing.
If you want to get an Instagram-worthy photo, head to the cluster of palm trees at the eastern end of 7 Commando Beach and work some angles before continuing on to the next location.
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Seven Commandos Beach
Seven Commandos Beach El Nido
7 Commando Beach
Coconut palms on Seven Commandos Beach
The tree swing
An aerial perspective
BIG LAGOON EL NIDO
The next stop of Tour A El Nido is the famous Big Lagoon at Miniloc Island. When we arrived on the boat I could finally see why Big Lagoon was at the top of everyone’s list of things to do in El Nido!
The towering limestone cliffs of Miniloc Island are other-worldly and the deep blue-colored waters inside Big Lagoon are too inviting not to go for a swim!
One of the best activities to do at Big Lagoon El Nido is to rent a kayak and paddle your way through the opening of the lagoon and explore the deep blue waters inside. The cost to rent a kayak is an additional 250 pesos which is worth every cent.
If you opt not to go kayaking in Big Lagoon, it’s possible to swim from the boat into the opening of the lagoon where the water is quite shallow. From here you can walk around beneath the curving limestone cliffs and take a moment to let the phenomenality of this place soak in.
I decided to fly my DJI Mavic Drone to capture the beauty of it all from a birds-eye perspective. Safe to say these were my favorite photos I took on the El Nido island hopping tour!
Big Lagoon El Nido
Some nearby islands
SECRET LAGOON EL NIDO
Secret Lagoon El Nido is around the corner from Big Lagoon which is the next stop on the tour. The name isn’t quite fitting for this location as it’s one of the more popular spots for most El Nido boat tours. Despite its popularity, Secret Lagoon is something you just have to see with your own eyes!
Our boat anchored just off the shore from Secret Lagoon and the boat crew started to prepare lunch while we were off exploring. We had around 45 minutes to check out the small caves and sandy coves that surround the lagoon.
The limestone cliffs that envelop Secret Lagoon are some of the most impressive ones that you’ll come across when Island Hopping in El Nido. You could marvel at these classic El Nido cliffs for hours and ponder how they came to be.
Buffet Lunch is served on the boat and what a spread it is! A mix of BBQ prawns, fish, chicken, pork and fresh salads, noodles, rice, and fruits.
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Azure waters at Secret Lagoon
Limestone cliffs in El Nido
Exploring the Secret Lagoon
Drone shot of Secret Lagoon
Buffet lunch on the boat
Last but not least on Tour A El Nido is Shimizu Island. Yet another natural beauty that lies in the archipelago of islands in the north of Palawan!
We were one of just three other boats at Shimizu Island so it was far less crowded than some of the other spots on the El Nido Island hopping tour.
There’s quite a bit of exploring to be had on the island to its number of secluded beaches, small caves, and snorkeling around the colorful coral reefs.
The turquoise waters surrounding the island are more vibrant than the other islands we visited that day and it seriously looked good enough to drink! The sun was already starting to set which cast some pretty cool shadows of the cliffs on the top of the ocean.
After an epic day on the water, it was time to make the return journey back to El Nido which takes approximately 1-hour.
Salty, sun-kissed, and exhausted, I think a beer is in order at one of the beachside bars to conclude your El Nido Tour A!
Drone shot of Shimizu Island
Snorkeling the reefs
Turquoise waters on Shimizu Island
WHERE TO STAY IN EL NIDO
El Nido has hundreds of accommodation options to choose from, so I have narrowed it down to a few of the best places to stay to fit the needs of budget backpackers, luxury travelers, and everyone in between.
See the list of accommodations below that I personally recommend:
Luxury: Lagùn Hotel
Lagùn Hotel is one of the best and most modern hotels in El Nido featuring an outdoor swimming pool, terrace, restaurant, bar, and free wifi throughout the property. The rooms are fitted with a flat-screen tv, wardrobe, work desk, fridge, kettle, private bathroom and some with a balcony. A buffet breakfast is also included for all guests. Recommended for couples, families, and friends.
Mid Range: Sea Cocoon Hotel
I personally stayed at Sea Cocoon Hotel and can’t recommend this place enough! Located right in the heart of El Nido and just minutes walk to the beach. Sea Cocoon Hotel features an outdoor swimming pool, terrace, restaurant, bar, and a shared lounge. The rooms are spacious and modern with air-conditioning, large comfy beds, wardrobe, balcony, and private bathroom. A buffet breakfast is also included for all guests. Affordable place to stay for couples, families, and friends!
Budget: One Hostel El Nido
One Hostel is one of the best budget accommodations in El Nido with great reviews! Centrally located and within walking distance to the bus terminal, shops, cafes, bars, restaurants, and beaches. There are dorm rooms, double rooms, and quadruple rooms available with air-conditioning. The Hostel also has free wifi and a shared lounge area for guests to hang out. Perfect place to stay in El Nido for solo travelers, couples, and friends!
FOR ALL OTHER PLACES TO STAY IN EL NIDO, SEARCH ON AGODA OR SEARCH ON BOOKING.COM
BEST EL NIDO TOURS
AIRBNB EL NIDO
Another option for accommodation in El Nido is to stay at an Airbnb, which generally has some great deals.
Use the search box below to find all available Airbnb’s in El Nido.
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LONELY PLANET PHILIPPINES
One of the best books to take on your trip is the Lonely Planet Philippines Guide!
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MORE PHILIPPINES TRAVEL GUIDES
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- Dumaguete: Best Dumaguete Tourist Spots
- Sumilon Island: Sumilon Island Itinerary
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I hope you enjoyed reading this article and if you have any questions at all about El Nido Tour A, please leave me a comment below this post and I will get back to you as soon as I can.