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Island Hopping in El Nido
Island hopping in El Nido should be on the top of any travelers list when visiting the Philippines. El Nido has definitely received a ton of attention over the past few years which has resulted in a spike in tourism. While this has had many benefits on the area’s economy, it also means that many of the islands have become quite saturated with tourists!
Good news for you!
Good news for you! There is still a way to appreciate the islands of El Nido without all of the tourists. While I’m usually a big advocate for budget travel, I definitely recommend renting a PRIVATE BOAT in El Nido!
Island hopping in El Nido is so much fun, but of course there are many options to choose from! If you only have time for one tour then I recommend Tour C! When I visited I was hoping to combine tours A and C, however unfortunately I found that companies no longer offer this option.
Benefits of Island Hopping in El Nido with a Private Boat
Renting a private boat for your island hopping in El Nido experience is definitely the way to go! All of the group island hopping tours depart from the beach between 9 and 9:30am. Renting a private boat gives you the option of departing as early as 7am which means that you are TWO HOURS AHEAD of the other tours. This is a MAJOR perk as it means that you will beat the tourist rush at each stop. In fact, we had almost every island/beach completely to ourselves for the entire day! After having the entire beach on the incredible Helicopter Island for ourselves (and an adorable dog) it was quite shocking to drive past the island the following day and see it packed with almost one hundred neon life vest wearing tourists dotting the island.
Since we had a private boat we also had the option of switching around the island stops a bit. We were able to add in Cadlao Lagoon, which is typically included in Tour D, and it was an absolute dream destination!
Island Hopping in El Nido: The Tour Company
We booked our private tour with El Bacuit and couldn’t have been happier. The office is located right on the beach. I have included a map below with a pin dropped on the map.
Our boat rental cost 6,500 PHP (approximately $120 USD). This price included a full day island hopping tour from 7am to 3pm with a full boat crew and guide. This also included a boat large enough to accommodate up to 26 people, but at least it meant that we had plenty of space to spread out! We opted out of lunch to cut the costs a bit, however the deal was still fantastic! Most companies we spoke to were charging upwards of 10,000 PHP.
Island Hopping in El Nido: The Itinerary
- Helicopter Island
- Secret Beach
- Hidden Beach
- Snorkeling Spot off of Tapuitan Island
- Cadlao Lagoon
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