Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Island Hopping Tour A

The sun is struggling to shine but was trounced by the accumulating dark clouds, and yeah, rain did win again.  But today, I ain’t care, rain or shine, we decided to join Island Hopping Tour A, we waited for some other tourists to come along, the rain stopped and the boat called Islanen 2 was able to garner 9 of us, at last the day cleared, the rain stopped and we sailed at past 10:00am.  On the way to our first island stop, the weather did tricked us again and the rain came coupled with big waves that kept on splashing onto our faces.  My eyes were hurting from the sunblock dripping onto my eyelids.

We’ve reached the first island called Small Lagoon where we had to swim (me, with life vest provided by the boat) from our boat to – you’ve guessed it right – the small lagoon, the turquoise water is quite deep, probably 10 meters deep.

We stayed there for half an hour, jumped onboard our nice boat and headed to our second destination but because of the heavy waves, our guide and the boat captain – for our own safety - decided to dock at Entalula Island just beside the Miniloc Island Resort where we had our lunch.  The boat staff grilled for us I think 6 huge fish, some pork chops, barbecued shrimps, slice pineapple, bananas, cucumber salad,  and rice.  They brought plates and utensils and we had a nice picnic in the sands with the carved limestone mountain as our shades from the dripping water, I’ve mentioned it was raining, right?

After our delicious lunch, we sailed again to our third stop – Shimizu island where we snorkelled a bit to a deep water.  After half an hour, we proceeded to our fourth stop – the Big Lagoon.  I love this stop, the very light blue water is shallow, wait deep, in between a gorge-ish black limestone mountain laced up with natural plants and trees that looked like the hanging garden of Babylon – in my imagination.  It’s beautiful, believe me,  further when the sky blue water becomes a darker shade that’s deep.  There are fishes here that tickle your legs.

I wished that we could spend more than an hour here but we still have our last stop which is the 7 Commando Beach.  The waves here are big, it’s good for surfing and I saw one guy windsurfing.  We could only stay at the strip of fine sand beyond the barbed wire as the inner part of the island is privately owned.  They’re selling fresh coconut and further at the end of the strip is a nice bar.

Quite honestly, I like this tour better than the one we had the other day (Tour B), maybe because, we had a better boat, a caring and proper informative guide who spoke good English named “Von”, better grilled fish during our lunch, mostly it was the friendly Von.

I highly recommend “Islanen 2”, that’s the name of the boat, and if you come to El Nido and want this specific boat, youll find it docked on the beach front, most of the time in front of the Tandikan Beach Cottages.  But if you want to book a seat, inquire at their office cum ministore with the sign Islanen 2 on the front, look for either Von (our guide) or Joan - the cute smiling girl manning the store. The ministore is infront of the streetside gate of Tandikan Beach Cottages.

- Bring sunblock, swimwear, hat, snacks and lots of drinking water. 
- Rent a snorkeling gear if you don’t have one, but don’t lose it, otherwise, you’ll be paying PHP 1,500 which is the cost of a new one.

To sum it up, here's the itinerary of Tour A :
1.       Small Lagoon
2.       Big Lagoon
3.       Shimizu Island
4.       7 Commando
5.       Secret Lagoon (missed)

Group Tour – El Nido Island Hopping Tour A
Snorkeling gadget rental

*Update : As of October 2013, the rate of Island Hopping Tour A has changed from P700/head to P1,200/head.  You can still ask for a discount at your accommodation or any tour operators in El Nido town.

How to get there:
Book your Island Hopping Boat Tour (A) at any tour operators in El Nido town, I recommend Islanen Tour or better yet, at your accommodation, they offer standard rates.
Address: Barangay Buena Suerte, El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

Google Map Location: El Nido, Palawan



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