Across the sea from El Nido, Bacuit Bay's limestone islands loom in the horizon, just waiting to be rediscovered. There's honestly no point to El Nido if you don't go island-hopping.
You can go kayaking at Miniloc's Big and Small Lagoons, or enjoy finer white sand and clearer water at 7 Commandos Beach, or rediscover Matinloc's Secret Beach. (This article explains the merits of each destination, and might help you choose a package: Islands Off El Nido, Palawan, Philippines.)
If you want to visit the islands off El Nido, motorized outrigger boats may easily be hired from multiple providers around town.
Where to find them: Check with your El Nido hotel or resort; many resorts and pension houses have their own craft for hire, or will recommend a trusted outside provider.
If your hotel or resort doesn't offer boat hires, or if you're not happy with their packages, El Nido Boutique & Art Café offers an island hopping tour with several different packages (including a kayak tour of the islands): Island Hopping in El Nido, Palawan, Philippines.
How much they cost: Island tour packages and rates have been largely standardized by the El Nido Pumpboat Owners and Operators Association, although some price variations may occur based on the added services each provider offers.
Here are the latest packages and costs for island-hopping in El Nido:
- Package "A" - hops between Twin Rocks, Miniloc Island (Big and Small Lagoon), Entalula Island, Shimizu Beach and 7 Commandos Beach. Price: $33 (PHP 1,600).
- Package "B" - cruises to Snake Island, Codognon, Pinasil Islet, Inabuyutan, and Ipil Beach. Price: $37 (PHP 1,800).
- Package "C" - sails between Tapuitan Island and Matinloc (where Secret Beach and Cagbantang Beach can be found). Price: $46 (PHP 2,200).
- Package "D" - hops between Cadlao Island, Helicopter Island Beach, Sabang Beach, and Pansandigan. Price: $33 (PHP 1,600).
- Drop-off and pick-up to 7 Commandos Beach, Ipil Beach, Natnat, Cadlao Trail, Bukal or Paradise. Price: $15 (PHP 700).
- Drop-off and pick-up to Cadlao Lagoon, Helicopter Beach, Sabang Beach or Pansandigan. Price: $21 (PHP 1,000).
- Transfer to far-flung resorts - Lagen Island Resort $25 (PHP 1,200), or Dolarog Resort $16 (PHP 800).
- Fishing Trips - Bottom Hook and Line, PHP 1000; Trawling Hook and Line, $33 (PHP 1,600).
Important reminders: For each package, only a maximum of four people allowed per boat trip, and only a maximum of four sites can be covered a day, between the hours of 9am to 4pm.
The packages above usually exclude snorkels, masks, swimming fins, and food, although individual providers may include these for an additional fee.
Package rates are subject to change without further notice. For updated prices and services, contact El Nido Pumpboat Owners & Operators Association via the following:
Phone: +63 927 546 0691