What I love about traveling is that it pushes us to explore the world beyond what we see in magazines and on the internet. It keeps us inspired, and hopeful that there are still things and places in this world that have yet to be discovered. It takes away the bad notion that the world is an evil place.
On our second day in El Nido, we woke up at around 6 in the morning to prepare our things, and eat breakfast. Island hopping usually starts at 9 am, but I contacted Bryan of Pawikan Hostel to arrange a private island hopping tour, visiting islands of Tour A and B.
The boatmen met us at the drop-off point in Bacuit Bay by 8:00 am. The most popular tours in El Nido are Tours A and C, so our tour guide advised us to visit the islands in Tour B first for us to appreciate the islands with few people around.
FUN FACT: Islands visited in Tour A to D are all located on the western part of El Nido. Basically, there are still parts of El Nido yet to be explored!
Our first stop was Pinagbuyutan Island. This is one of highlights of the tour. The island is rich with coconut trees, and the water is so clear! When we arrived, there were some travellers around, but it certainly didn’t spoil the place. It’s perfect for beach bumming as the sand is white and fine. Other activity you can do around is snorkel on the other side of the island.
The next place we visited was Cudugnon Cave a few minutes across Pinagbuyutan Island.
The entrance and exit of the cave is a small opening, so it can be quite difficult if you’re not flexible. The cave is dome-shaped on the inside. Look out for the hidden mickey inside.
It was around 11:00 am when we arrived at our last stop for Tour B. Snake Island is also one of the must-see destinations when in El Nido. The name was given to the island as it has a long stretch of sandbar during low tide, resembling the shape of a snake.
We decided to spend lunch time on Snake Island. Make sure to climb the hill to get a better view of the island. It’s certainly an easy trail. Watch out for the monkeys around. You may take pictures, but do not try feeding them as it would disturb their natural habitat.
Other islands to visit in Tour B: Entalula Island, Pangalusian Island, and Cathedral Cave
- Travel responsibly. Refrain from taking shells or sands as souvenirs.
- The downside of combing tours is that you get to visit few islands in the tour. But hey, that just means you can go back, and check out the islands you weren’t able to visit last time.
- Make sure to watch out for your valuables in Snake Island. Our tour guide told us the monkeys often steal them, leaving the group no choice but to cancel the rest of their activity, and by the time they found the items they were looking for, they were all crushed / broken.
- The waters in Snake Island may feel itchy due to what the locals call niknik. I’m not sure if it’s a swimmer’s itch, but these are caused by insects that can be found in beaches. It heals naturally, but you may also use Calamite to ease off the itch.
- Pawikan Hostel: Where to Stay in El Nido?
- Tour A (Lagoons)
- Tour C (Hidden Beaches)
- Inland Tour
- Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park
- 5D/4N in El Nido, Palawan + PPS Subterranean River Itinerary and Expenses