El Nido Tour A Islands: The Beauty, Worth The Return

I don’t like repeating things; I don’t reread books, I don’t re-watch films, and I don’t travel to the same place, at least not if I can help it. My reasoning is I got more books waiting to be read, I already know how a movie is going to end, and I will not live forever to waste time revisiting places when there’s so much more to explore in this world. But some things in this life are worth repeating, especially if it’s something beautiful. That’s why I didn’t mind taking Tour A in El Nido despite doing it in 2014.  

Admittedly, I had another reason; I wanted better memory. The first time I took this tour, my phone got water damaged, and I didn’t have photos of the Big Lagoon, the Secret Lagoon, and 7 Commandos. That’s 3 islands out of 4; I know, right? It sucks. I’d been presented with a chance to do over, I could only be grateful.

You might like: What to expect on Tour A in El Nido Palawan

It is easy to find the best deals for El Nido tour package because El Nido is a popular tourist destination. In our case, we went with Sealand Venture. We found its little kiosk in front of Ocean Vista Inn. We the woman manning the kiosk and introduced ourselves. She asked us to write down our names on their log book.

The day was overcast, it had been raining a little on the first day of our island-hopping tour. We prayed for nice weather; cruises tend to be canceled when the rain is too strong. The heavens seemed to have heard our prayers because even when the sun was hiding behind the clouds for the better part of the day, the rain was kept at bay.

We were kept entertained by one of the boat crew, a dark-skinned skinny guy who kept on shooting pick-up lines to the women on our boat. For example, when we went to the Big Lagoon and I said, “Wow, this is really beautiful.”

I heard him say, “Beautiful, but not as beautiful as you.”

At other times he told me, “Ma’am your smile is brighter than the sun,” and his favorite line, “Your smile is enough to make my day.”

At first, I didn’t know what to make of his random compliments, but as I said, he’d been using the same lines to other women on the boat (save for those who came with their partners), so I decided to just laugh it off and play along. I don’t think he was being malicious; maybe he was just trying to keep everyone in a good mood.


Big Lagoon

The Big Lagoon is the first island of the day and is one if not the most picturesque island in El Nido. The first time I went there in 2014, I stared longingly at the other tourists who were having a grand time doing their mini photo shoot by the nose of the boat, with the two looming limestone cliffs and the bluest of water as their background. Back then, my phone died on me when it got soaked in seawater.

So during this trip, I made up for the lost opportunity and took as many photos as possible. I think I have more photos than anyone else on that boat. See that smile on my face? That’s the smile of success, lol.

Secret Lagoon

In 2014, I was on my period (sorry if that’s TMI) hence, I skipped the foray to the Secret Lagoon and stayed on the boat. As the name implies, the lagoon is hidden, and one must pass through a narrow opening in the rocks to see it. It is a small body of water secluded by towering rock formations.

We didn’t go far beyond the opening and proceeded into picture-taking. Interestingly, the water doesn’t go above chest level. Inside, it felt like we were in a different world; our excited voices were the only sound that I could hear. That’s about giving some places a second chance; you get to discover marvelous things that you might have missed in the past.

Shimizu Island

Our boatmen prepared our lunch meal on Shimizu island. This is my first time on this island because, for reasons unknown, it was not included on my island-hopping trip in 2014.

Shimizu (sometimes spelled as “Simizu”) was named after a Japanese diver who died on this island.

The food was great, or maybe I was just too hungry that everything tasted perfect. But my favorite moment of being on this island was doing a photo shoot. While my friends were busy snorkeling, I was running back and forth to this one spot on the shore, taking photos, thanks to my friend’s tripod, lol.


Next was Payong-Payong. Having been to this island before, I took the time to relax a little bit.

Small Lagoon

We then continued our tour to the Small Lagoon, where we rented a kayak to explore the place. Lara was our captain, but I tried my hand at it after a while and realized I had the potential. There was a moment when I steered the kayak for like 15 minutes. Pretty soon, my arms were burning from the effort, but I welcomed the physical strain to compensate for my missed workout routine.

Seven Commandos

The remaining hours of the tour were spent on Seven Commandos beach. My friends and I enjoyed a chat by the beach with our halo-halo and shake. I saw a few locals playing with a long rope tied to a tree. I wanted to try it, but I wasn’t too eager to make a fool of myself (pretty sure I’d fall flat on my face), so I passed.

There is a saying love is sweeter the second time around, and it couldn’t be more true with El Nido. The memory is more vivid, and the experience more luscious and meaningful. I don’t like to repeat things, but for El Nido, I’d be willing to do it all over again.     

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  1. Are there any other sports on this island apart from kayaking? Is it cheap? Is there a place to exchange foreign currency? Does it have a lot of foreign tourists?

  2. I wouldn’t mind going to a place twice especially if that place is El Nido! Took the same tour back in April and fell in love with El Nidoooo. ❤ as always, love your photos.

  3. Overall it’s a great come back. It is evident on your pictures that you really enjoyed this time. Hope I can visit El Nido by next year and see its stunning beauty. I really want to experience going through those lagoons and submerge in nature’s finest.

  4. I have never been to El Nido nor Coron and I can’t wait to see the beauty of these two amazing place in Palawan. Can’t wait for December!!! How much should be my budget for 4 days?

  5. I too avoid travelling to the same places again but still, there are some places which keep calling me back. The El Nido island is really beautiful and you too, that guy was right. I would love to visit this place someday for sure. Loved your pictures.

  6. I like the way you have crafted your blog. You have made me a part of the experience through your tone and style of writing. Payong looks like a nice place to relax. Amongst the many things you mentioned, “Your smile is as bright as the sun” was really hilarious!” I am sure that guy was trying to keep your mood light but I am sure he was vying for your attention too! I think he’d feel good that you mentioned his antics in the blog!

  7. as much as possible i dont want to go back to a place i have already visited but i couldnt help it.. in the past 5 years i have visited most countries i’ve been to at least twice 😀 some places are worth returning to.. and i actually am writing an article like this but specifically why i decided to return to seven commando beach hehe i fell in love with the swing!

  8. I do re-read books, especially the classics, not movies though. But some places are such that they draw you again and again and you have no option but to go. Probably that is what El Nido did to you as well. Understandable looking to the beauty of the place that leaps across in vivid colour in your pictures.

  9. Firstl of all I’m like you and don’t re-do things a lot however saing that I want to re-visit Vietnam as I didn’t have the best of times there due to a number of circumstances but am willing to give it another go. The El nido Islands are something I didn’t know about before however after reading this I think I might have to look into it in more detail 😀 Thanks for this post 😀

  10. I can’t get enough of your posts 🙂 The images looks amazing and you make me want to be there. That food looks perfect, I think that it’s not you being hungry, but the food was indeed amazing 🙂

  11. Wow this looks like a gorgeous place! Definitely one to do twice ? the food really looks delish, but yes hunger is always the best chef!

  12. I am like you that I don’t want to repeat on my travel. Just because there are so many more places to visit in the world that a lifetime is not enough. Loved the el nido islands..yet to visit there

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