The season of summer or dry season, which begins in March and ends in May, is the second most-awaited season of the year in the Philippines, next to the season of Christmas and New Year. Well, who doesn’t love summer?
For a country blessed with over 7,000 islands scattered all over the archipelago, locals and tourists alike never run out of slices of heaven naturally designed to enjoy the sun, the sea, and the sand, and everything in between.
El Nido in Palawan, 2016’s World’s Best Island according to Travel + Leisure Magazine, is one of the most touristed islands in the entire country not only during summer but almost every day of the year. It is for this reason that the local government of El Nido developed an island hopping tour plan to provide tourists the opportunity to explore the natural beauty of the islands have to offer while providing a steady industry for the local boatmen, resorts owner, and tour organizers at the same time.
So if you happen to schedule a trip to El Nido and decide to go island hopping, which is something that you must not miss, we recommend that you prioritize Tour C among the four standard tours that every resort or hotel owners normally offers its guests.
No matter what type of tour organizer you pick, tour prices are the same across the board. This can mean two things: on one hand, you can’t ask for a discount no matter how “close” you are with your tour organizer, and on the other hand, you can be sure that you won’t fall victim to overpricing. Fair enough.
Duration: All tours (A, B, C, and D) require an entire day to visit all the places included in the your. The tour normally starts at 9 in the morning and ends at 5 in the afternoon, depending on the prevailing weather over El Nido. The Philippine Coast Guard will not allow any sea vessel to leave the port of El Nido if it deems that it’s unsafe to go out the sea. Safety first, of course.
Inclusions: All the four standard tours have these included:
-Motorized boat transfer to the islands
-Buffet lunch and drinks
-Life vest and water safety equipment
-Licensed tour guide(s)
-Life guard and water guide
Cost and other expense: Standard rate for Tour C is 1,400.00 Php or about 28 USD (as of March 2017). Matinloc Shrine, one of the places to visit, has an entrance fee of 100.00 Php or 2 USD paid at the entrance of the shrine. Tip for the boatmen is left to your discretion.
Places to Visit: There are five areas that you will visit under Tour C. These are the Helicopter Island, Secret Beach, Matinloc Shrine, Hidden Beach, and Tapiutan Island. To read more of our adventures in these places, visit our post here.
Okay, so what’s so special about this Tour that you should prioritize it, you might be asking? Without a doubt, the other three tours are fantastic and remarkable. But, at least for us, the best thing about Tour C is the opportunity it provides to interact closely and relish upon the beauty of underwater creatures.
Imagine having a close encounter with a gazillion of fish, multi-shaped and multi-colored corals, different species of sea grass, starfish (can I say other shapes of starfish?), and all sorts of shells.
We just love snorkeling! Yes, that’s the main reason why we love Tour C. The best sites for us are: (1) close to the entrance of the Secret Beach and (2) the area close to Matinloc Shrine (it’s also where we had lunch and feed the fish).
We asked our tour guide if there are sharks nearby. They answered yes. But they’re not to be worried of because the sharks there are vegetarian. (ha ha)
Lastly, note that our preference for Tour C is purely subjective (because we just love snorkeling). Let us know what you think in the comment section below.