El Nido, Philippines is one of the most stunning places I have ever been to. If you read my previous post about Island hopping on Tour C, you know that there are four popular tours around El Nido, ordered by the letters A, B, C and D. All the tours are worth taking, but due to a time limitation, we decided to take Tour A & Tour C.
We got onto Tour A despite a weather forecast that was not encouraging at all. But a 50/50 chance of rain did not discourage us. Here’s my take on this wonderful tour. I hope it adds to the reasons for you to visit El Nido – Palawan, Philippines. Enjoy!
Seven Commando Beach
The first island we docked at, was Seven Commando Beach. What a captivating place! The rock formations were out of this world, I couldn’t stop taking pictures of these unusual rock shapes. I was torn between the desire to go snorkeling or capturing these limestone formations. So I figured I could go snorkeling later on.
Well, I started taking pictures…until I saw Jonah, far away from the boat. He was waving away frantically, all excited and trying to get my attention. I have to point out here that he is not a very expressive man, so I figured that whatever he was trying to tell me has got to be very serious.
So I left my big camera, jumped into the water and swam like crazy to where he was…And guess what? He had found Nemo! There they were, about 20 clownfish, putting on a show. I hadn’t seen so many of them together on any of our scuba diving trips around El Nido. This made my day! I could have stayed at Seven Commando Beach all day, but we had to stick to the agenda and move on….
Delightful and tempting as it sounded, Secret Lagoon wasn’t as secret as we expected it to be. By the time we got there it was inundated with tourists. I decided to check out the surroundings while Jonah made a quick stop into the lagoon. Next time I visit El Nido (because I’m coming back!), I’ll make sure I get there as early as possible to beat the crowd. I’ll keep you posted..
Honestly, Shimizu Island is the highlight of Tour A for some great snorkeling and free diving. If you’re wondering about the Japanese sounding name of this island, it happens that it takes its name from a Japanese diver who died here. This is by far the best place to see a vast variety of marine life and the most unusually shaped corals I’ve ever seen. The rain that was threatening to come down as we started the tour, did descend on us here. But somehow added to the excitement of our snorkeling! I wish I could have hung out here much longer.
The rain followed us to Big Lagoon. I have to say the lagoon is beautiful, scenic and an awesomely stunning place to be. A slow boat ride through this lagoon (not really a place to swim), takes you alongside large rock formations rising out of the emerald green water creating the perfect backdrop for photography. And yes, you guessed it, tourists were going crazy taking selfies!
Finally…and sadly, our last stop on Tour A was Small Lagoon. Despite the continuing rain we were able to swim and check out the limestone formations. We did have the option of kayaking, but truth to tell, it was warmer being in the water than getting wet in the kayak! It was beautiful to see big heavy drops of rain hitting the surface of the water – thrilling, in fact.
Would I recommend Island Hopping in El Nido, Tour A?
Absolutely! It was a great way to see a lot in a day. Oh, and the weather, I guess I could have opted out of a rainy tour. But I am so glad I didn’t, it was an amazing experience to swim in the rain. I would do it again and again regardless of the weather.
We took two tours with Caera Travel Tours. I was extremely happy with the way the owners handled everything. Please keep in mind that they offer group and private tours. I would highly recommend that you join their private tours, as they give you more flexibility. To read their reviews or book a tour with them visit their official website.
Disclaimer: Island Hopping Tour A was sponsored by Caera Travel Tours. However all opinions are my own.
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