El Nido Tour A Island Hopping Guide: Most Popular Palawan Activity

El Nido Tour A Island Hopping Guide: Most Popular Palawan Activity

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Big Lagoon and Shimizu Island in El Nido Palawan island hopping tour A

El Nido, located on the northern tip of mainland Palawan Island, boasts stunning beaches, diverse marine life, and iconic limestone formations. With over 40 islands and islets, there’s no shortage of places to explore and things to do in El Nido. It's one of the top tourist destinations in the Philippines, offering fun activities like island hopping, diving, snorkeling, and lounging on beaches.

Island hopping is one of the most popular El Nido tours. There are four main El Nido island hopping tours to choose from, each offering unique attractions and activities in El Nido, Palawan. El Nido Tour A takes you to beautiful lagoons and beaches, while El Nido Tour B explores underrated beaches and caves. El Nido Tour C showcases stunning rock formations and snorkeling spots, and El Nido Tour D lets you discover remote islands and beaches. 

If you’re unsure which tour to book for island hopping in El Nido, note that El Nido Tour A and Tour C are the most popular among travelers.

For this article, we’ll discuss El Nido Tour A so you can learn about all the must-see attractions and must-do activities that you shouldn’t miss in your Palawan vacation.

How to Book an El Nido Island Hopping Tour A

Seven Commandos Beach in El Nido Palawan

El Nido Island Hopping Tour A is one of the best tours to book in El Nido. To book an El Nido Island Hopping Tour A, you have several options. You can either book in advance through accredited tour operators or travel agencies like Guide to the Philippines that offer El Nido island hopping tour packages, book with your hotel, or head into town and book directly with vendors there. For a smoother vacation, it's best to book ahead to get the best deals on an all-inclusive El Nido day tour, including lunch and El Nido airport transfers.

There are two types of tours: private and shared/joiner tours. Private tours are more personalized, flexible and are ideal for groups. On the other hand, shared/joiner tours are best for solo travelers and are a budget-friendly option, great for meeting new people.

If you're looking for something extra special, Guide to the Philippines offers El Nido private luxury boat tours for a premium experience. These El Nido boat tours promise a luxurious adventure surrounded by breathtaking Palawan tourist spots.

El Nido Island Hopping Tour A Itinerary Attractions

Tourists kayaking in Big Lagoon

El Nido Island Hopping Tour A is one of the most popular tours in Palawan. Booking an El Nido island hopping tour will let you discover these pristine beaches in Palawan with crystal-clear waters and stunning lagoons with limestone rock formations. Lunch is usually included in an island hopping tour, with a change in serving style since 2023 from picnic or boodle fight to packed lunches. Here are the must-see attractions on an El Nido Tour A itinerary:

Big Lagoon

Big Lagoon in El NidoBig Lagoon, located on Miniloc Island in El Nido, is famous for its stunning rock formations and beautiful blue waters. As the name implies, it’s a massive lagoon surrounded by towering limestone cliffs. It has gained fame for its stunning natural beauty, which has been featured in movies and postcards. This makes it a major highlight of El Nido's island-hopping Tour A.

El Nido island-hopping boats used to go inside the Big Lagoon, but the local tourism office changed this. Now, the only way to go inside is by swimming or paddling a kayak through the narrow passageway. Once inside, enjoy swimming in its crystal-clear blue waters, with sunlight peering through the beautiful rock formations. 

Secret Lagoon

Secret Lagoon El Nido from aboveThe Secret Lagoon, also known as Hidden Lagoon, is a unique natural pool located on Miniloc Island in El Nido. This stunning lagoon got its name because it's tucked behind limestone cliffs. 

To reach the Secret Lagoon or Hidden Lagoon, your El Nido Tour A boat will dock near a small white sand beach in the southern part of Miniloc Island. You'll have to get off the boat and pass through a rocky cave-like opening, so watch your head, especially during high tide. If it's low tide, you can easily wade into the opening.

Inside, you'll find a small natural pool surrounded by tall limestone cliffs. You can take a refreshing dip in the cool water and enjoy the soft white sand. Unlike other lagoons, the water here stays cooler because of the cliffs that provide shade.

Payong Payong Beach

Boat docked at Payong-payong beach

Another stop on this tour is Payong Payong Beach, located in the southern part of Miniloc Island in El Nido. The beach has stunning cliffs, rocks, and shady trees, perfect for picnics. Snorkeling is popular here due to the clear waters filled with fish and coral, and the gentle waves are great for swimming. 

Keep in mind that there aren't any sports or activities available, so it's mainly a place to relax. Here, you can lounge on the sandy beach, swim, take photos, and enjoy the peaceful ambiance of this secluded spot.

Shimizu Island

Shimizu Island Aerial view

Shimizu Island, one of the islands in El Nido’s Bacuit Bay, is the ideal tropical escape with its serene white-sand beach and vibrant marine life. Once you make your stop here, you can relax on the pristine beach or snorkel to discover a plethora of fish species in various colors and sizes. 

Legend has it that the island got its name from a scuba diver named Shimizu, whose body was found on the island after he went missing exploring underwater tunnels in the area.

Shimizu Island is a popular lunch stopover for El Nido Tour A island-hopping. After enjoying a meal, you can continue swimming or rest under the shade of the limestone cliffs.

Seven Commandos Beach

Seven Commandos Beach

Seven Commandos Beach, another renowned beach in El Nido, stretches 320 meters and boasts pristine white sand, coconut trees, and towering limestone cliffs in the backdrop. Although technically connected to the mainland of El Nido in Palawan, it can only be reached by boat.

Legends surround the beach's name; some say it's named after stranded soldiers, while others claim it's linked to a fishing vessel or a carved stone found by locals. 

The beach offers ample space for activities like beach volleyball. Its gentle waves make it perfect for swimming and snorkeling, where you can discover its rich marine life.

El Nido Island Hopping Tips

Shimizu Island Tropical Vibes

One of the best ways to enjoy the stunning tourist spots of El Nido is through an island hopping tour. Here are some essential tips to make the most of your experience:

  • When you're heading out for El Nido island hopping, make sure you've got these essentials: sunscreen to protect your skin, a towel for drying off after swimming, drinking water to stay hydrated, and aqua shoes for comfortable walking on the beach and in the water.

  • Don't worry about bringing your own life vest; they're already provided in the boats. Just strap one on before you set out to explore the best beaches in El Nido.

  • If you want to go snorkeling, remember that snorkeling gear might not be included in your package. You can usually rent for an extra fee, or if you have your own gear, feel free to bring it along for the tour.

  • Kayaks are available as add-ons, giving you the chance to paddle around the crystal-clear waters and discover hidden coves and beaches at your own pace.

  • Each stop during your island-hopping tour usually lasts around an hour. Use this time wisely to enjoy the beauty of each location, whether it's lounging on the beach, snorkeling among colorful fishes, or snapping photos of the breathtaking scenery.

  • Keep in mind that the itinerary might change depending on the season or water conditions.

  • Your safety is important. Pay attention to any warnings from the Coast Guard, as tours might be canceled if conditions are deemed unsafe. When booking your tour, talk to your operator about refund policies in case of cancellations.

  • Help keep El Nido beautiful by not littering. Remember to take all your trash with you when you leave, leaving the islands pristine for future visitors to enjoy.

Experience the Best of El Nido with Island Hopping Tour A

Aerial view of Big Lagoon

From towering cliffs to hidden lagoons and pristine beaches, the El Nido Island Hopping Tour A takes you on a breathtaking trip through stunning attractions. Aside from booking a guided tour, it’s highly recommended to book an El Nido Palawan tour package that also includes transfers, hotels, and meals for a hassle-free vacation. 
When planning your next trip to the Philippines, you can also include other destinations in your Palawan itinerary, such as Puerto Princesa and Coron. For a fuss-free experience, you can check out other Palawan tour packages, such as El Nido to Puerto Princesa tour packages and El Nido to Coron tours.

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