El Nido, Palawan Island Hopping Adventure – Tour A: Poetry of the Sea

El Nido Palawan Island Hopping Tour A

By now, we all know that Mother Nature has wonders that defy imagination. In many cases, the word “beautiful” does not even cut close to the actual adjective that describes her wonders. The best photos and the most eloquent poems often don’t do justice to the magnificence of such places.

However, Mother Nature does not wait for anyone. Silently and unobtrusively, she strides forward. And with each stride, her wonders disappear little by little through erosion, earthquakes, flooding, man-made causes, and others. In time, these wonders may disappear off the face of the Earth.

That’s why while we’re still alive, we strive to keep on her heels. If that’s a bit too metaphorical, let’s say this in a simple way: we grab every opportunity to travel so we can experience her wonders before they (or we) disappear! That’s one of the reasons we wanted to tick off El Nido in our bucketlist.

After descending Taraw Peak, we ate a heavy but quick breakfast, changed into our rashguards and swimsuits, and headed towards El Nido’s beach to wait for our boat. The water was so inviting that I immediately dove in!

The fine-sand shore not only serves as a picturesque beachfront for restaurants and accommodation establishments but also for numerous dive shops that offer scuba diving adventures around the marine-rich underwater world of Bacuit Bay.

El Nido Palawan Island Hopping Tour A

We boarded our boat 30 minutes past 8AM and headed to our first destination of Tour A. Unlike the morning before which was a bit cloudy, the weather this time was really sunny and nice! The colors of Bacuit Bay came to life.

El Nido Palawan Island Hopping Tour A

Small Lagoon

Our first destination for the day was a mysterious, beautiful place called Small Lagoon. On our way, we were mesmerized at the sight of many of the islands’ imposing sea cliffs. Just check how small the boat is in the photo below.

El Nido Palawan Island Hopping Tour A

After half an hour of cruising, we arrived and cast anchor in this extremely majestic lagoon surrounded by high, ragged limestone cliffs. Look at just how clear and clean the water is. It’s like liquid glass!

Is this Small Lagoon? No, it’s not. It’s simply the “parking area” for boats loaded with tourists who want to visit Small Lagoon.

El Nido Palawan Island Hopping Tour A

Behind those wall of razor-sharp rocks is the enchanting Small Lagoon, one of the highlights of El Nido. Again, check out the clear water; the pure white sand below gives the water its characteristic light green color.

El Nido Palawan Island Hopping Tour A

To get to the Small Lagoon, people need to swim through this small hole that Mother Nature carved in the rock wall.

El Nido Palawan Island Hopping Tour A

Unfortunately, our trusty Nikon AW100 waterproof camera started to develop problems. The lens fogged heavily, but unlike in the past in which the haze dissipated in a few minutes, the fog didn’t disappear this time.

To make matters worse, Sweetie and I were the only ones who brought a waterproof camera (a foggy one, that is) inside the Small Lagoon. Sadly, we don’t have a clear photo of the place. Below is the clearest foggy photo we have of Small Lagoon.

But you know? This might be a way of telling you that you should go there to witness its beauty yourself. After all, in all our adventures, no photo of ours can compare with the real thing, place, or adventure.

El Nido Palawan Island Hopping Tour A

Big Lagoon

Disappointed that our waterproof camera conked out on us (good thing though we brought a backup camera), we left Small Lagoon with heavy hearts. You have to understand how we felt; that camera, which was given by someone very dear and special to us, is the lifeblood of Adrenaline Romance.

However, the exquisiteness of Bacuit Bay caressed our spirits and soothed us as if Mother Nature said, “It’s going to be alright.”

El Nido Palawan Island Hopping Tour A

Our next stop was another amazing natural formation the locals call Big Lagoon. To get to Big Lagoon, we slowly cruised down this canyon of limestone walls. Just like in Small Lagoon, the seabed is made of pure, white sand.

El Nido Palawan Island Hopping Tour A

At the end of the canyon, the color of the water abruptly shifts from white-green to aquamarine to a deep hue of blue. We were now at the gate of Big Lagoon.

El Nido Palawan Island Hopping Tour A

Simply wow! Just look at this incredible wonder of nature! Protected and hidden by high, ragged limestone cliffs filled with razor-sharp rocks, the majestic and extremely deep Big Lagoon resembles a lake in the middle of a secluded lagoon.

El Nido Palawan Island Hopping Tour A

For the Duders, this was their first time to go on a true backpacking trip. And they were just delighted with the experience.

Lilian posed in front of the boat as we circled around the enchanting Big Lagoon. The lagoon is also dotted with cool rock outcroppings.

El Nido Palawan Island Hopping Tour A

That’s the beautiful sea canyon where we came from. Water from Bacuit Bay feeds through Big Lagoon through this canyon. It’s wide enough to accommodate around three boats side by side.

El Nido Palawan Island Hopping Tour A

Secret Lagoon

After exiting Big Lagoon, we cruised towards our next destination, another place of secrets. On the way, we saw luxurious, exclusive resorts like these in some of the islands. These prestigious, ultra high-class resorts are reserved for the super rich and super powerful.

You want to know how exclusive? Well, these resorts actually choose their customers. Yes, they have the final say on who can book with them!

El Nido Palawan Island Hopping Tour A

After awhile, our boat slowed down as we approached a gigantic sea cliff. Yes, you guessed it: there must be something going on in there, considering there were several boats parked in front of the cliff.

El Nido Palawan Island Hopping Tour A

See that structure perched high up on the rock wall? That is a shelter for daredevil (licensed and authorized) locals who harvest the nests of swifts. These nests are then processed into the prized and super expensive bird’s nest soup.

It made us wonder: how do these daring locals manage to go up there?

El Nido Palawan Island Hopping Tour A

Look at how clear the water is! We could even see individual rocks! No one could resist jumping into that clean, clear, cool water!

El Nido Palawan Island Hopping Tour A

The sloping shoreline allowed our boat to dock near the beach. One by one, we disembarked from the boat and headed towards a small beach.

El Nido Palawan Island Hopping Tour A

Well, it’s not really small. Opposite the imposing rock cliff we saw earlier was this long, idyllic stretch of beach.

El Nido Palawan Island Hopping Tour A

“No, not that way. It’s this way,” Guide Gilbert called us. We thought the Secret Lagoon was somewhere beyond that long beach. Well, it wasn’t; it’s on the other side of that huge rock wall.

El Nido Palawan Island Hopping Tour A

To access the Secret Lagoon, we need to crawl through a small hole.

El Nido Palawan Island Hopping Tour A

Yes, that hole! It was fairly easy to crawl through there.

El Nido Palawan Island Hopping Tour A

That’s the picture-perfect Secret Lagoon, a small pool of water surrounded by very high cliffs. Just like in Secret Beach, the air here is pretty cool; the high cliff traps the air that is cooled by the water in the lagoon.

Wow, it’s like being in your private natural pool!

El Nido Palawan Island Hopping Tour A

Hey, where did the other boats go? Hehehe! Well, when we checked our watches, it was almost lunch time! Those boats must have left to take their passengers to the various lunch sites in Bacuit Bay.

We boarded the boat and prepared to head to our next destination where a sumptuous lunch will be served.

El Nido Palawan Island Hopping Tour A

Entatula Beach

Along the way, we passed by Entatula Island. Look at that pure white sand! Look at that gorgeous cliff! Look at those swaying palms! Now, that’s a perfect beach!

El Nido Palawan Island Hopping Tour A

Our stomachs started to rumble! It’s time to go to Mother Nature’s lunchroom, a blissful place with a surprisingly menacing name.


Silently, Mother Nature waits for us,
To listen to the sweet murmurs of her brooks,
To play with the denizens of her sea,
To contemplate our existence on her cloud-capped mountains,
She beckons us to find the answers
And that is why we must joyfully heed her call

About Gian and Sheila

Rock climbers. Mountaineers. Sweethearts on adventure. Adrenaline Romance is a photoblog that belongs to a loving couple who has an eternal lust for adventure. The blog contains experiences, tips, itineraries, and other useful information regarding adventuring in the Philippines and beyond.

14 comments on “El Nido, Palawan Island Hopping Adventure – Tour A: Poetry of the Sea

  1. So gorgeous! thanks for posting this!

  2. Hi! Did you book this tour via travel agency? Also we’re planning to take our kids (4 and 6 yrs. old) island hopping in El Nido but I’m not sure if this kind of tour is suited for kids, any advise?

    • Hi Jen,

      Thank you for visiting our blog. No, we didn’t book through a travel agency but through the owner of a bed-and-breakfast who can organize a tour for you.

      The name of our provider is Victoria Guest House and your contact is Mylene. Contact Details are in the Tips section of our El Nido, Palawan Island Hopping Adventure B post.

      We believe that the island hopping tours are suited for kids. In fact, we saw other groups and families bringing their children during our sojourn.

      You can ask Mylene for details pertaining your concern about your children.

      Hope this helps.

  3. There’s something about Palawan…that kills waterproof cameras hahaha Mine died in Coron. My friend’s camera died in El Nido. And yours too. Hehehe RIP (rust in peace) to our cameras.

  4. Hi! I’m a non-swimmer (insert super duwag sa tubig individual but i love beaches!)and we’ll be going to El Nido this March. We’ll go for Tour A and B. Do you think I can make it? Haha
    Nice entry btw. This made me more excited for our trip. 🙂

    • Hi EA,

      Thank you for visiting our blog. Yes, you don’t need to worry; Sheila is not a swimmer herself! Hehehe!

      The crew will provide you life jackets, and they will be there for you every minute. So there’s nothing to worry about. 🙂

  5. thats not shimuzu island,, thats cold entalula 🙂 hahah.. guide mistake telling the name of the island 😀

  6. Thats not shimizu,,, thats entalula island 😀

  7. correction to my first comment,, thats not shimizu beach,, Entalula bech club/ Entalula island,, Shimizu beach or Shimizu island is near to the East Miniloc,, 🙂 and Shimizu island have a small beach not like this 🙂

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