Islands and pristine beaches are the images that come to mind when I think of El Nido. It has been on my bucket list for sometime but the opportunity to go there didn’t present itself until the summer of 2018.
Along with blogger friends, I travelled to Palawan to spend four 4 days in El Nido and three 3 days in Puerto Princesa for a much needed respite after completing a hectic capability project that brought us to key cities in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.
Too tired to plan the trip, we booked Northern Hope Tours to arrange the vacation. And I’m glad we did that because the moment we landed in Puerto Princesa, Northern Hope tours took care of everything.
We flew to Puerto Princesa via Airasia and arrived late afternoon. From the airport, a van from Northern Hope Tours was already waiting for us. Six hours later we arrived in El Nido and checked in at the Northern Hope Inn Extension. The place is located at the livelier part of the town and within walking distance to the port.
We settled for the night looking forward to the exciting trips that were prepared for us the following day. Nacpan beach and at least two (2) island hopping tours were part of the package .
The long stretch of light golden brown sand, four (4) kilometers to be exact, is a beach lover’s dream come true – plenty of sun, clean shoreline peppered with a few beach loungers, a tempting azure sea and the absence of a maddening crowd. These are the perfect ingredients of an idyllic day at the beach.
Please read my post NACPAN BEACH | AN IDYLLIC HIDEAWAY IN EL NIDO for a more detailed narrative of my experience.
The four island hopping tours are the core activities of the El Nido experience. These day tours will take you to a specific set of islands, sandbars, lagoons, beaches and caves.
Tour A: Lagoon Tour – Big Lagoon, Small Lagoon, Simizu Island, Secret Lagoon and 7 Commandos Beach. Rate is Php 1,200/person inclusive of lunch.
Tour B: Cave Tour – Entalula Island, Pinagbuyutan Island, Snake Island, Cudugnon Cave and Cathedral Cave. Rate is Php 1,300/person inclusive of lunch.
Tour C: Shrine Tour – Hidden Beach, Helicopter Island, Secret Beach, Matinloc Shrine and Star Beach. Rate is Php 1,400/person inclusive of lunch.
Tour D: Beach Tour – Bukal Island, Ipil Beach, Nat-Nat Beach, Cadlao Lagoon and Paradise Beach. Rate is Php 1,200/person inclusive of lunch.
I was surprised at the number of islands waiting to be explored. There are so many and so little time. Fortunately, Northern Hope Tours arranged two combination tours for us highlighting popular destinations in tour C&D and A&B .
Combination Tour C & D
1. Helicopter Island
2. Cadlao Lagoon
3. Secret Beach
4. Matinloc Shrine
5. Hidden Beach
6. Bukal Island