The El Nido Island Hopping Tour A is the most famous and the most availed tour package in El Nido. It is also known as the The Lagoon Tour as it comprised of expedition to 2 Lagoons of Miniloc Island — Small Lagoon and Big Lagoon. The Secret Lagoon, Shimizu Island, and 7 Commandos Beach are also part of this tour.
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The Small and Big Lagoons are both situated near Miniloc Island Resort. The Small Lagoon was our first stop in Island Hopping Tour A. Snorkeling was the main activity here. Going to the Small Lagoon was quite a challenge. We were advised to wear slippers or protective footwear as there were sharp dead corals underneath.
In addition to that, sharp-toothed fish were actively biting at the entrance of the lagoon as sort of defense mechanism. No wonder why people were screaming and shouting in vain. Even I got bitten many times and left small abrasions on my legs. The pain was tolerable; however, you would get scared and startled every time they bit you.
The Big Lagoon was the main highlight of Island Hopping Tour A. The shallow entrance of the Big Lagoon is frequented by sea snakes and sea turtles, and if sharp-toothed fish were a main concern in Small Lagoon, here, it’s the sea urchin.
Boats cannot access the Big Lagoon in low tide, which is why renting a kayak is recommended for tour A — it would serve as a backup plan B and would give you the ability to be the boss of your time. From there, you get to experience the Big Lagoon’s deep emerald water and gigantic limestone cliffs on your own and find serenity in exploring without the noises of the boat.
According to our tour guides, Shimizu Island was named after a Japanese scuba diver who died near the island. It was believed that Shimizu lead an underwater exploration around the island and discovered an incredible underwater cave. But due to a sudden underwater earthquake, the water started to become very cloudy. The water left the entire scuba diving group blind which made it difficult to find their way out. Few days later, rescuers found their bodies hanging on the walls of the underwater cave and surprisingly, only Shimizu’s body was found near the shore of the island.
Enough of the nightmare. Shimizu island was where we had lunch — my tummy’s favorite highlight. Our boatmen prepared squid, grilled pork, fresh tomatoes, watermelon, pineapples, cucumber, and many more. It was amazing.
Secret lagoon was my personal favorite in Tour A. The place was very relaxing, quite, and bounded by tall coconut trees and big limestone cliff — the real epitome of a paradise. The Secret Lagoon is one of the protected islands of El Nido from unauthorized or illegal collection of balinsasayaw’s nest (swift’s nest).
The entrance to the Secret Lagoon was surprisingly a tiny hole on the huge wall of limestone cliffs and used all my flexibility to reach the inside.
Seven Commandos Beach
This was the last destination in Tour A to relax. You could play volleyball with locals and other tourist in this beach. Refreshment stands were also available. They have fresh coconut juice, halo-halo, and even beer. It is recommended to stay in this island for about an hour to enjoy the view and relax before going back to the El Nido town proper.
El Nido Island Hopping Tour A Travel Guide
- Rent a kayak and snorkeling gears.
- Bring an underwater or waterproof camera, extra food and water, and footwear.
I availed Tour A twice during my stay in El Nido as Tour B wasn’t available. The second time was still awesome, and I will do it again when I travel back to El Nido. And by that time, I already have an underwater camera and a kayak.