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Island Hopping In El Nido – A Complete Guide

El Nido island hopping is one of the most popular things to do in the Philippines. So here’s a breakdown of all the options and the info you need.

How To Get To El Nido

El Nido is one of the most popular destinations in the Philippines right now. Located at the top of Palawan Island in the East of the Philippines, there are only a couple of ways to get there.

Bus

The most common way to get to El Nido, is by taking a plane to Puerto Princesa, and then taking a Transfer between Puerto Princesa and El Nido.

It will take you a full day of travel, but it’s the cheapest way to go.

Direct Flight

Another good option is to take a direct flight from Manila to El Nido.

Flights generally tend to be more expensive if you’re flying straight into El Nido, but if you want to avoid the 5 hour mini bus ride, it’s the option for you.

Tour

For those short on time, or that prefer everything to be organised for them, there are some awesome tours on Get Your Guide available to book in advance.

How To Get Around El Nido

Once you arrive in El Nido, the small town is easy enough to walk around.

To be honest, this is one place in the Philippines where you don’t see that many tourists on scooters.

This is more of a laid back, take your time kind and chill kind of spot.

If you do need to get anywhere of distance, there are tuk-tuks hanging around most corners. They’ll drop you around most places in town for less than 100 PHP.

El Nido Tour Package El Nido Tour A & C El Nido
Lauren taking in the scenery around El Nido

Best Time To Visit El Nido

It’s best to visit El Nido during the dry season, between November and April. So if you’re visiting during that time make sure it’s on your Philippines Itinerary.

At this time the surrounding islands are fully accessible, including many of the more remote areas.

Plus the El Nido beaches are some of the best in the country.

Temperatures are at a high during March and April, so it’s best to travel during the cooler months of December to February.

For your island hopping tour our recommendation is to get a group together (minimum 4 people) and negotiate a deal with one of the operators in town for your own private boat.

We ended up paying 1,700 PHP per person to do both tours A & C in one day, plus had a huge vegetarian lunch thrown in.

This way it beats sharing a boat with another 10 tourists all fighting for the same photos.

Take plenty of snacks as there’s not a lot available on the islands.

Also remember to pack plenty of water, sunscreen and your cameras.

What To Pack

Photography Camera

Tripod

Day Bag

Power Bank

Reusable Water Bottle

Sunscreen

Lightweight Rain Jacket

Quick Dry Towel

GoPro

Lifeproof Phone Case

Dry Bag

Las Cabanas Beach El Nido Beaches In El Nido Things To In El Nido Sunset

El Nido Island Hopping Tour Prices

Prices vary from 1,200 – 1,400 PHP per person

How To Book Your El Nido Island Hopping Tour

You can book your El Nido Island Hopping Tours in advance online or wait until you get there and barter with the locals.

As soon as you arrive in town nearly every accommodation, restaurants or pop up shop will be jumping to sell you an El Nido tour package.

The majority of them will have signs up on the wall with fixed prices and because of the high demand they’re known not to budge.

Although if there is a large group of you, as with anything in the Philippines, the price is always negotiable.

Falafel Food El Nido El Nido Tour Packages In El Nido & Things To Do In El Nido
Grabbing a falafel on the street after booking our tour.

Which El Nido Island Hopping Tour To Take?

Firstly you need to know that there are four types of El Nido island hopping tours, A, B, C & D.

Each are similar in trip length and inclusions, but they visit different locations. Here’s exactly what each tour consists of:

Tour A

  • Small Lagoon
  • Big Lagoon
  • Simizu Island
  • Secret Lagoon
  • 7 Commando Beach

El Nido Island Hopping Tour A: Lagoons and Beaches

Tour B

  • Snake Island
  • Cudugnon Cave
  • Pinagbuyutan Island
  • Cathedral Cave
  • Entalula Island

El Nido Island Hopping Tour B: Cudognong Cave & More

Tour C

  • Matinloc Shrine
  • Secret Beach
  • Hidden Beach
  • Star Beach
  • Helicopter Island

El Nido Island Hopping Tour C: Hidden Beaches & Shrine

Tour D

  • Cadlao Lagoon
  • Paradise Beach
  • Pasandigan Beach
  • Nat Nat Beach
  • Bukal Beach

El Nido Island Hopping Tour D: Hidden Beaches and Lagoons

7 Commando Beach El Nido Tour Package El Nido Tour A & C El Nido
Touchdown at 7 Commando Beach on Tour A
El Nido Tour Package El Nido Tour A & C El Nido
Still the most beautiful place we’ve ever visited!

What To Expect When El Nido Island Hopping

We took tours A & C and were not disappointed!

We got up a little earlier than the usual departure time because we were mixing two tours into one day.

It worked out in our favour though as we arrived at all the tourists spots first before anybody laid foot on the islands.

Every place we visited was insanely beautiful and by far the highlight of our whole month in the Philippines. Definitely up there as one of the best things to do in the Philippines.

We’re sure that all the El Nido island hopping tours are simply amazing, but we definitely recommend tours A & C.

El Nido Tour A & C El Nido Tour Packages In El Nido Things To Do In El Nido
Lauren soaking up the sun in the Philippines

Where To Stay In El Nido

Luxury

Lagùn Hotel

Lagùn Hotel features an outdoor swimming pool and a terrace. Located around 5 miles from Big Lagoon, the hotel is also 5 miles away from Small Lagoon.

Guests can enjoy a drink at the bar or a meal in the restaurant. The rooms come with a flat-screen TV with cable channels, fridge, a kettle, a shower, free toiletries and a desk.

Featuring a private bathroom, certain units at Lagùn Hotel also feature a balcony.

Breakfast is available daily, and includes continental and buffet options.

Mid-Budget

Ipil Suites

Set amidst lush greenery, Ipil Suites features a restaurant and comfortable rooms with free Wi-Fi access.

It has a common lounge area with a TV, while parking space is provided on site at no charge.

The property is conveniently located within a 15-minute drive from El Nido Airport.

Fitted with tiled flooring, rooms come with air conditioning, a personal safe, clothes rack and freshly-laundered bedding. The en suite bathroom includes hot/cold shower facility, towels and free toiletries.

Budget

Elternative Hostel

Featuring a rooftop sun terrace and views of the surrounding mountains, Elternative Hostel offers solar-powered accommodations 6 minutes’ walk from Corong Corong Beach.

The local market is just 3 minutes’ walk away, while the bus/van terminal are 4 minutes’ walk away.

Every room has a private bathroom and mini garden. Several rooms have air conditioning and an attached mini-kitchen.

During good weather, guests can relax and enjoy a barbecue on the rooftop.

For more places to stay in El Nido, you can check the latest prices on Booking.com.

Planning Your Trip

Book Your Flight

Use Skyscanner to find a cheap flight.

They search websites and airlines around the globe to find you the best possible routes and prices.

Book Your Accommodation

Use Booking.com to find the best accommodation deals.

They consistently return the cheapest rates on everything from guesthouses to hotels for all of your budget needs.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

Use SafetyWing to find the best travel insurance for you.

They provide travel and medical incident insurance built specifically for digital nomads.

Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations.

Book Your Tours & Activities

Use GetYourGuide to book your activities in advance.

They sell the best tours, excursions and activities to attractions around the world.

Conveniently book, download and access your tickets on the move all from your mobile.

Book Your Rental Car

Use RentalCars.com to find the best deals on rental cars in the area.

They compare all major car rental companies and allow you to easily book the perfect vehicle for your trip.

Buy Those Last Minute Bits

Use Amazon to buy everything you need for your adventure.

They offer next day delivery and you can use my travel packing checklist to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything.


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Island Hopping In El Nido Guide