The Magical Island Hopping Tour in El Nido

El Nido is one of the Philippine’s most visited spots for many reasons. Besides the fact that it’s a true paradise, there are also a lot of different things for you to do there. One of the best ones is an island hopping tour. It’s a day full of fun, which you’ll probably not forget right away, especially since there are many places along the way that belong to the world’s most beautiful places ever.

Imagine this: You wake up in the morning at a place like Nacpan Beach, which is known to be a true hidden gem. The sun is slowly rising on the horizon. You can smell the delicious Filipino breakfast already getting made by the staff from the hostel you stay in/ And you know that you have an absolutely incredible day ahead.

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Paradise is in the Philippines – that’s for sure!

This is how I felt when I stayed in El Nido. I escaped the daily struggles back home for a couple weeks and went on a majestic boat tour. The Island hopping tour in El Nido is probably one of the most amazing things I have done during my travels so far, and I have already done quite a lot. Besides making my way through Australia and New Zealand, I have also been to many countries within Southeast Asia and Europe. I learn and see a lot during my travels, but something as spectacular as the island hopping in El Nido had never crossed my way before.

I’m guessing it jus might have the same effect on you!

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Landscape around El Nido

What to see, What to pack and What to Expect from El Nino

Expect the best! On the El Nido Island hopping tour, you will come across various awesome white sand beaches, magnificant lagoons with crystal clear water, and hidden bays that will take your breath away. You think I am lying? Check this out:

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One of many magnificent beaches

You will get picked up by a typical Filippino wooden dragon boat early in the morning, so make sure you eat something beforehand; you won’t get any food until midday. Every tour you can do includes a very good lunch, transportation, and a tour guide. My tour guide Joey was absolutely fantastic – such a great human being, just like most Filipinos. He had a couple brilliant stories to tell and always took good care of us. Expect nothing less from your tour guide since people from the Philippines are generally very polite and courteous.

You don’t really need to pack that much for this trip. Just take your board shorts or swimsuit, a bottle of water, a hat, flip flops, a camera, and a pair of sunglasses with you. Here you can see the ultimate packing list that I have, so that I never forget anything!

Generally, you can choose from four tour options: A, B, C and D. You can literally book them at any corner of the mainland near El Nido. The island hopping tour is without a doubt the main attraction, though. Some of the paradisaic sights you’ll see there have even been used as settings for famous TV series like Survivor.

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Lagoons from Survivor

There is no large difference between the tours, but I recommend tours A and C; they are supposedly slightly better than the other options. And the whistle blowers were right. The A and C combination was nothing but amazing!

We went to 5 different spots:

  • Small Lagoon
  • Secret Beach
  • Secret Lagoon
  • Snake Island
  • Hidden Beach

All of them are similar in a way, and yet still so different. To give you an example: if you want to get to the Secret Beach, you have to swim (almost dive) through a short and narrow cave, which also works as the entry.

However, Snake Island is completely different. This island is easily accessible, but it also has something very unique to it. If you look at it from above, you can see a pretty long sandbar during low tide, which looks like a snake. That’s obviously where the island got its name from.

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Snake Island from above

The list of uniqueness goes on, but I want to tell you that you definitely have something to look forward to 😉

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Views on the boat tour

At the end of the trip, you will probably be astonished. When the day comes to an end, you’ll witness a sunset like never before. The scenery looks absolutely phenomenal when the sun goes down behind the pictureque limestone mountain ranges. I almost felt like I was in a fairy tale 🙂

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Magical sunset at the end of the tour

When you go on an El Nido Island Hopping Tour, you should keep a few things in mind. These tips come from my own mistakes, so you can be sure they are all worth considering:

  1. Bring sunscreen; otherwise, you will get burned heavily.
  2. Bring a good camera. The pictures you take will be of postcard quality.
  3. Bring toilet paper. You won’t get any on the tour.
  4. Bring a t-shirt AND a sweater. It will get a bit cold on the way back.
  5. Bring aqua shoes. You might have to walk in shallow areas with sharp corals on the ground.
  6. Take medication for sea sickness. The sea can be rough on a day with bad weather.
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Swimming in lost lagoons

Have you been to El Nido before? Share your experience with us!