On the next day, we waited for the driver to pick us up for the Tour A. We were able to book with Northern Hope Tours for an exclusive tour. We just paid the Php 1200 per head times 8 pax (Keizhsa is free).
Kuya Cris (our driver in Puerto Princesa) picked us almost 9AM and brought us to their office for the payment. After that, their staff guided us to the port where the tour guide and boat crew were waiting.
We were able to depart from the port at 9:50AM. It started with Kuya Elfer, our tour guide, introduced himself and the rest of their crew then informed us on the rules.
Ipil 2 Island
Our first stop is supposedly the Seven Commando Island. But, when we were close to the island, Kuya Elfer told us that the island is crowded. So instead he suggested that we will go to a nearby island that is still beautiful but less crowd. Actually, no one was there. It is the Ipil 2 Island. If I am not wrong, Seven Commando Island is the Ipil 3 Island. It is called Ipil because there are many Ipil-Ipil trees in the island.
The Helicopter Island can also be seen from here.
We spent about 30 minutes taking photos, snorkeling and swimming. Until Kuya Elfer called us to go back to the boat and proceed to our next destination.
Next is the Big Lagoon. It is about 10-15 minutes away. We toured inside the lagoon and took some photos. Until we went to our next stop.
Third stop is the Secret Lagoon. The last time I did Tour A, we were not able to go here. So I have no idea why it is called that.
Kuya Elfer told us that we went there first while his colleagues were preparing our lunch. We were required to wear a life vest. Just because the water from the boat to the entrance of the lagoon is deep.
We fell in line for a few minutes until it was our turn to get inside. The catch, you need to crawl on a small hole to get inside.
The lagoon’s water is a mixture of salt water and fresh water.
After that, we went back to our boat. We will supposedly be having our lunch in the nearby island but it was full. So, we just had it on the boat.
When we got our tummy full, we swam for a while then headed to our next destination.
Again, supposedly we will be going to Shimizu Island but it is crowded. Thus, they brought us to Miniloc Island. We had snorkeling far from the shore. We are not allowed to dock in the shore because it is a private property. It is Bayug Beach Resort.
But, we enjoyed seeing all those fishes and corals. The island is very rich.
Our last stop is the Small Lagoon. This is one of the highlights of Tour A, aside from Big Lagoon. Kuya Elfer told us that we can spend an hour here. We also have the option to either rent a kayak or just swim. We chose the first, of course. Who wants to swim for 500 meters from the boat to the entrance (just the entrance). Haha!
The lagoon’s deep is 12 feet.
We rented a kayak and went inside. Roamed around, took photos, and swam until Kuya the lifeguard told us that we need to head back to the boat.
That ended our tour. We did really have fun. And thanks God that it was sunny the whole time and the sea is calm.
We then rode a tricycle to the place we were staying. Just changed and ate another set of delicious seafood at Jarace Grill.
We then roamed around the town and bought some souvenirs.
- Follow the rules and the do’s & don’ts that the tour guide will inform you. It is their way of protecting the island.
- Do not forget to bring and apply your sun protection. The heat of the sun is really damaging.
- Enjoy every place that you will be visiting. Appreciate the beauty of nature. You travelled far so make the most of your trip.
- Respect your fellow tourists. Fall in line if needed to.
- Inform the tour coordinator ahead if you have allergies. Most of the foods they will serve have seafood, pork and chicken.
- Bring extra money for the rental of kayak and if you want to buy drinks in the island.
- Follow the instructions of your tour guide to avoid accidents.
- Wear the vest if necessary.
- Take as much photos as you can. It is totally instagrammable and picturesque.
- Remember, take nothing but pictures; leave nothing but footprints and kill nothing but time.
Visit El Nido now and experience the lovely nature in this side of the country. Plus their foods are delicious. 🙂