Private Island Hopping in El Nido

Trip Start Oct 24, 2011
Trip End Jan 17, 2013

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Where I stayed

Flag of Philippines  , Palawan,
Friday, May 18, 2012

COMBINED TOUR. We will be staying in El Nido for only two days, so we decided to do an island private tour. I met a tour operator and we dealt with P4,500 combined tour of A and C. Expensive but the happiness I am expected to feel from this tour is worthless.
TOUR A for a joining tour is P700 per head while TOUR C costs P900. To make the tours private and exclusive, the costumer should pay the amount equivalent to four person. In our case, we bargained the combined tour to the lowest price our budget can.

ISLAND HOPPING. We took our breakfast in the resort at 0730H and the boatman fetched us to our  waiting boat to start our island tour. Drinking water is not included so we bought first before leaving the bay.
Our first stop is the Hidden Beach. It was hidden because the boat will pass through a small way in between of cliffs. Our guide, brought us to a cave which the end is on the other side. We have to be careful with our feet because the rocks are really sharp. I really loved the place and enjoyed. This is only the first attraction and there are still more.
We left the beach and passed through helicopter island but we never dropped on it.We continued to our second stop which is the Matinloc Shrine. Our boat docked in a jetty yard of an abandoned mansion and a catholic shrine. We visited its underground museum which only the remaining are the old pictures of the owner and some activities held in the island. We climbed the cliff and touch the wooden cross. From there we saw the neighboring beach, the Star Beach. Our guide also toured us inside the mansion and scared us with his horror stories in this place. Why the owner abandoned and the government never developed it? Besides, it's part of the attraction in El Nido.
Our third stop is the Secret Beach. At first, we are wondering if what are the boats doing in that side of cliff and some tourists swimming in while the waves are big and strong. Our guide explained that inside that cave is the secret beach. So, we wore our life vests and swim towards the cave. Bigger camera are not advisable to bring. Our guide carried my small camera wrapped securely inside a plastic bag. We stayed for a few minutes inside the secret beach swimming and snorkeling.
It's already 1200H, so we have to look for a place for lunch which mostly happened in Simizu Beach but the boatman told that it is better to visit the Big Lagoon first while high tide. It's hard for a boat to enter the lagoon during low tide. So we headed to big lagoon passing the five star Miniloc Resort. The Big Lagoon location can be compared with hidden beach for we also entered a small path between cliffs.The water here is so blue and made me afraid to touch the water. During this time, only our group is in that place. Our guide noticed that we're afraid so he jumped first in the water to prove that its safe followed by my wife so there's no reason for me to be afraid. But we never stayed in the water for so long. We left the place and headed to Simizu Beach for lunch.
Our boatman spotted a private place, fronting Simizu Beach, for a perfect place for lunch. We docked and while we are enjoying the water, they are busy grilling the pork and fish for our lunch. Our table situated on the beach is so romantic.The grilled pork is very delicious.
After our lunch, we went to the Secret Lagoon. We explored first the place before entering the lagoon. The place once said the host of European show Survivor. Some evidence are still there like the posted lamp they used during the show. We headed inside the lagoon entering a small cave opening. It's really amazing that Palawan has plenty of attractions like this. The lagoon covered by cliffs and rocky mountains.
Our next stop is the Small Lagoon. Contrary to the big lagoon, I'm not afraid here because there are so many people swimming. In big lagoon, the boat can enter while in small lagoon, the boat stayed outside. We managed to swim to the cave within the lagoon. I noticed that its more tiring to paddle when we entered. Our guide said that we are opposing the current. We can swim fast during the exit. We stayed in small lagoon for half an hour and decided to leave the area for our last island tour.
The boat stopped in Seven Commandos Beach, where there's a long beach side. The heat is extremely hot so I just take a short bath and hide among the trees in the beach. After 30 minutes, we asked out boatman to bring us back to our resort. We finished our tour ahead of the normal tour schedule for we wanted to catch sunset in El Nido beach. That is the advantage of a private tour. We can control our time.
It's low tide so the boat stopped few meters away from the beach.

DINNER. At 0500H, we rode a tricycle to go in El Nido town. The beach side is busy for boats, tourists, and children who are playing. We walked from the market beach going to the last beach side of El Nido passing all the advertized beachfront hotels of El Nido. At the end of the beach is El Nido Corner Restaurant and Bar. We are still lucky that the place is very good for sighting the sunset in Bacuit Bay. One thing I noticed, that the place is with high humidity. The wind couldn't reached the community because of high mountains surrounded area. We've back in the hotel at 2000H.
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