EL NIDO ISLAND HOPPING TOUR RATES
Northern Hope Tours
Calle Real, Barangay Buena Suerte, El Nido, Palawan
(+63) 939-902-2216 (Smart)
(+63) 927-735-3221 (Globe)
(+63) 942-375-2441 (Sun)
It was still rainy so they suggested we skip on the caves and go to other destinations instead. We started off with Cadlao Lagoon then to Helicopter Island, both not part of regular Tour B. I actually loved Cadlao Lagoon because it has a wide shallow section perfect for snorkeling. Forget Big Lagoon, there you will only go around by boat and wonder at the towering cliff around you but you don't get to do anything else but that. Pa -wow wow lang but you will not sense the place other than with your eyes. At Cadlao Lagoon, the boat coal anchor on the shallow reef so we were able to snorkel for more than 30 minutes at times during sporadic rain. It was fun and although the corals here still don't match that of Coron, I got to appreciate El Nido's underwater scene because of the Cadlao Lagoon experience.
Located in the Southern extreme of Bacuit Bay, Snake Island is a respite from the usual beach-next-to-towering-limestone-cliffs landscape that is El Nido. It is the only sandbar that I know of in El Nido. Even the main island where it is connected is more of the tree covered, the not so jagged island we know of in many areas of the Philippines. It might not be that dramatic, but as I said a welcome change of view. The place therefore gives El Nido island tour another perspective, another face. The smaller island of Vigan is small and not that high but hiking towards the highest peak of it gives a good view of the sandbar below
We didn't stay much for swimming but long enough to enjoy the climb up and ascend plus taking tons of pictures in between without feeling the rush.
As I said earlier, we skipped the caves because according to our guide they were just a waste of time. Small caves not to wow for but only to be looked out from the boat. If you've had tour a or c for example this will be an ordinary view. We then hopped directly to Pinagbuyutan Island, our final stop for Tour B,
Along the way, we noticed Lagen Island Resort in the same way that Pangulasian Resort is visible on the way to Snake Island. These are the two other of the three (3) high-end resorts owned and managed by El Nido Resorts recently acquired by the Ayala Group. If I can add, we were also told of Guintungan Island otherwise called Turtle Island, one of the few islands in Bacuit Bay off limits to tours because it is the breeding ground of sea turtles and therefore a protected area very important to researchers.
It is probably one of the most recognizable landmarks of El Nido if not the most popular because of its prominent shape. It resembles that of a camel's hump. Either near or from afar, its towering and pleasant.I hope they give it a more easy-to-remember nickname ,say "Camel's Back Island" or something because I too had difficulty pronouncing and recalling Pinagbuyutan. The first time I saw pictures of El Nido when I was younger, this rock was the one that remained in my mind. I was looking at it from helicopter island back in 2013 and I knew then that I will get to see it up close on my return. So the "dream-come-true" clique realized finally, a grand finale to our island hopping tours and it didn't disappoint.
And the weather was already cooperative that time of the day. Imagine it was raining when we started off with Cadlao Lagoon early in the day. Ipil beach at the Southern section of the island is love. The quitter, more peaceful side of El Nido and again, the place where you feel that El Nido is multi-faceted. Feel-good moments here I will remember for a long time. This was also where I had some of the nicest selfies during the entire trip. Indeed, what a Grand Finale for Tour B!
- HOW TO GET TO EL NIDO via Puerto Princesa @NorthernHopeTours
- EL NIDO vs CORON: Which is Better?