Island hopping in El Nido is undoubtedly the most popular activity when visiting Palawan. These stunning islands in the Philippines regularly rank as some of the world’s best islands, known for its dramatic limestone cliffs in the middle of aquamarine waters, beautiful lagoons, and exotic hidden beaches. 

Tour A is one of the four island hopping tours in El Nido where you can discover some of these stunning islands, lagoons, and beaches. Although the other island hopping tours like Tour B, Tour C, and Tour D also explore beautiful islands in El Nido, Tour A is arguably the most famous and most popular out of the four. 

In this article, we will explore the itinerary and what to expect for El Nido Tour A to help you plan your next trip!

What To Expect in El Nido Tour A

I remember visiting El Nido in 2013 when there were hardly any boats touring between the islands. There were moments where you cross paths with two or three other boats for the island hopping tour’s whole duration.

The lack of tourism back in 2013 is no longer true today, thanks to El Nido’s increasing popularity. Tourists should expect big crowds, especially for Tour A, with boats queuing up before entering lagoons.

Even if you don’t particularly care for crowds, I still encourage you to take the El Nido Tour A island hopping because of the islands’ sheer beauty. If you must, you can always hire a private boat and perhaps leave a bit earlier to avoid the crowds. 

Small Lagoon

small lagoon tour a el nido

The Small Lagoon is arguably one of the two most popular lagoons in El Nido and in the Philippines. 

This beautiful lagoon has emerald green waters and a thousand different shades, set between the towering limestone cliffs. Small Lagoon is typically the first stop on the itinerary, so the earlier you leave for your island hopping tour, the more privacy you can have exploring the lagoons.

The highlight is renting a kayak and exploring the hidden passages in and around the small Lagoon!

Big Lagoon

island hopping tour a in el nido big lagoon

The next destination on your island hopping tour in El Nido is the most popular stop in Tour A. 

The Big Lagoon is definitely as its name suggests – Big! The location is some of the most beautiful scenery the Philippines has to offer, so expect to spend time taking pictures! 

This is one of my favorite spots that I have visited in the Philippines. The photos you see online do no real justice for how amazing it looks in person. It’s a place where you have to come early to enjoy it and get photos and videos before it gets crowded.

Just like Small Lagoon, you can rent a kayak to explore the Big Lagoon. The price to rent a kayak is 250 pesos for a regular size, suitable for two passengers. Alternatively, a bigger kayak good for four people is also available for rent.

Secret Lagoon

secret lagoon island hopping tour a el nido

The El Nido Tour A has a secret destination, creatively named The Secret Lagoon.

The Secret Lagoon can be crowded in summertime, but tour guides in El Nido do a great job making sure it is not overcrowded. It’s a beautiful place and worth checking out. The Secret Lagoon is part of the tour A package and is worth the trip for the breathtaking views once you make your way through the tiny entrance. 

We recommend getting to the Secret Lagoon as early as possible to beat the crowd. It’s not much of a place to swim, but you can definitely capture some beautiful photos once you make it inside the Lagoon.

Shimizu Island 

shimizu island island hopping tour a

You may wonder why this Philippine island sounds more Japanese than Filipino? Well, according to our Tour A guide in El Nido, Shimizu island is named after the Japanese scuba diver diving near this place. 

The water in Shimizu Island is super clean and exceptional for snorkeling and swimming. We also had our lunch spot in our boat near this island, unlike our other island hopping tours in El Nido, where we stop on an island. 

After lunch, we stayed in the boat, and The view around is soo beautiful that you just want to sit and relax.

7 Commando Beach

7 commando beach el nido

Depending on your tour guide, Seven Commando is either the first or last stop of El Nido Tour A. 

It’s arguably one of the best beaches in El Nido, certainly one of the best beaches I’ve ever been to! It’s a great place to unwind after the whole day of island hopping. The beach has powdery white sand, crystal clear water, and blue sky – it’s definitely a paradise! There is also a fruit shake stand on the beach, and it was surprisingly good! 

How Much is El Nido Tour A

The typical price for tour A is around 1200 PHP per passenger, with each boat carrying 15 passengers at capacity.

Alternatively, you can opt for a private boat. The cost for a private rental can range from 7000 to 9000 PHP. 

How Long is Tour A

Tour A typically lasts for 8 hours, leaving Bacuit Bay at 9 am and returning around 4 pm.