A Guide to El Nido Island Hopping Tours

Experience the Best of Bacuit Bay with Tour Island Hopping Tours

El Nido Island Hopping Tours offer a unique and unforgettable experience to explore the stunning landscapes, crystal-clear waters, and hidden gems of the islands of Bacuit Bay, Palawan. Tour A, B, C, and D are the most popular island hopping tours in Bacuit Bay, Palawan. Tour A takes you to the lagoons and beaches of Miniloc Island, Tour B to the caves and beautiful beaches, Tour C to the hidden coves and beaches of Matinloc Island, and Tour D to the lesser known lesser known beaches of Cadlao Island. Let's explore the different individual tours and determine which one best suits your needs.

Come to Palawan!

Discover our range of tour packages and experience the breathtaking natural wonders of Palawan, home to stunning islands, beaches, and scenic landscapes.
Plan your dream Palawan vacation today

El Nido Island Hopping Tours

El Nido Tour A

Big Lagoon

Swimming at Big Lagoon El Nido, Palawan

El Nido’s Big Lagoon is a stunning natural wonder surrounded by towering limestone cliffs, making it the most photographed attraction in Bacuit Bay. If you’re planning a trip to El Nido, the Big Lagoon is a must-visit destination that should not be missed.

Access to the Big Lagoon is via a shallow but large channel, which can accommodate several outrigger boats at the same time. During low tide, visitors can walk or kayak through the channel. Once inside the lagoon, visitors can enjoy a natural swimming hole with emerald green waters, surrounded by massive and towering karst walls.

It’s important to note that access to the Big Lagoon is limited to a certain number of visitors per day. To secure your slot to the Big Lagoon, it’s recommended to Book Tour A in advance.

Secret Lagoon

Aerial view of Secret Lagoon in El Nido, Miniloc Island, Philippines

The Secret Lagoon of Miniloc Island may not be a secret anymore, but it remains one of the most popular attractions in El Nido. Concealed behind karst limestone cliffs, the Secret Lagoon offers a hidden world waiting to be explored.

To access the Secret Lagoon, visitors must scramble or swim through a tiny crevice on the rock’s face, depending on the tide. Once inside, visitors are treated to stunning views of emerald shallow waters and unique rock formations that make for perfect photo opportunities.

Shimizu Island

Shimizu Island, El Nido Bacuit bay, Palawan, Philippines

Shimizu Island is renowned for being one of the top snorkeling spots in El Nido, thanks to the diverse range of corals and marine life that can be found here. With its towering limestone rock walls and pristine white sandy beach, Shimizu Island is the perfect place to stop for a picnic lunch during your island-hopping adventure.

Named after a Japanese diver who lost his life while exploring an underwater cave here, Shimizu Island has become a popular stopover for boats doing the Tour A circuit around Miniloc Island.

7 Commandos Beach

Scenic view of 7 Commandos Beach

Seven Commandos Beach is the ultimate beach paradise in El Nido, with its high cliffs sheltering the whitest sand and crystal-clear water that you can imagine. The sunsets here are breathtaking and are not to be missed.

Although this isolated beach is located on the mainland, it can only be accessed by boat due to the mountainous terrain. It has become a popular stop on island hopping Tour A, and is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to El Nido.

Named after a stranded fishing vessel, Seven Commandos Beach has a fascinating history. When the vessel was repaired and left the beach, locals discovered a huge stone engraved with the words “7 Commandos,” which they believed was the name of the vessel

Map of El Nido Tour A Island Hopping

El Nido Tour B

Snake Island

Panoramic view of Snake Island from the view point

Snake Island, also known as Vigan Island, is one of the must-visit destinations on El Nido’s Island Hopping Tour B. The island gets its name from its S-shaped sandbar, which connects it to the mainland.

The unique shape of the sandbar allows visitors to walk through it during low tide, making for a memorable experience. You can also splash around in the shallow waters on both sides of the sandbar.

For those who love a good hike, Snake Island also offers a trek to a stunning viewing point at the top. From here, you can enjoy panoramic views of the white sand stretching out like a long tongue, winding its way along the island.

Cudugnon Cave

Beach at Cudugnon Cave El Nido, Palawan

Cudugnon Cave is another popular attraction on Island Hopping Tour B in El Nido. This cave is believed to have been a burial site during the Neolithic period, and artifacts and human bones have been discovered inside.

To enter the cave, you’ll need to squeeze through a small rocky hole, but once inside, you’ll be captivated by the breathtaking rock formations and high ceilings. The cave roof’s crevices are home to swiftlets (known as Balinsasayaw) and bats.

Just a few steps away from the cave’s entrance, you’ll find a secluded white sand beach where you can relax in a peaceful environment after exploring the cave.

Cathedral Cave

Aerial View of Cathedral Cave, El Nido

El Nido is not just famous for its stunning beaches and lagoons but also boasts some amazing caves that are often overlooked by tourists. One of the most awe-inspiring caves is the Cathedral Cave, located on Pinasil Island, just a boat ride away from Cudugnon Cave.

Although it may not look impressive from afar, as you get closer, you’ll be amazed by the huge cavern with an opening even higher than the Underground River. The cave is navigable by boat and has spectacular rock formations and a high ceiling that resembles a cathedral.

The cave is also an important nesting site for the Cave Swallow, whose nests made of dried saliva are the main ingredient in the exotic bird’s nest soup.

While the crystal-clear emerald water inside the cave looks inviting, it’s too risky for swimming since it’s the habitat of venomous sea snakes.

Entalula Island

Beautiful beach in Entalula Island, El Nido bacuit Bay, Philippines

Entalula Island is a pristine and beautiful spot that offers visitors a serene and private island experience. The island’s crystal-clear waters and colorful coral reefs make it an ideal place to snorkel and discover the vibrant marine life beneath the surface.
The island’s lush vegetation and rocky cliffs provide a beautiful backdrop for its pristine beaches.

Popolkan Island

Popolkan Island is a fantastic snorkeling spot that offers an excellent experience for underwater enthusiasts.

Map of El Nido Tour B Island Hopping

Welcome to

El Nido Tour C

Helicopter Island

A deserted beach in El Nido's Helicoter Island

Helicopter Island, also known as Dilumacad Island, is a stunning destination in Bacuit Bay. Its towering limestone cliffs covered in lush vegetation and pristine beaches are typical of the area’s stunning islands.

Helicopter Island gets its name from its cliffs’ resemblance to a helicopter’s shape when viewed from a distance, although some visitors may find it challenging to see the similarity.

The island boasts excellent snorkeling spots and underwater tunnels that advanced divers will appreciate. Besides water sports, Helicopter Island is also an ideal spot for relaxation and rejuvenation. Its 300 meters of beach is perfect for picnicking during island hopping trips or basking in the sun.

Secret Beach

Aerial View Secret Beach Bacuit bay, El Nido. Palawan,

The Secret Beach is a must-see attraction. Situated on the edge of Matinloc Island, Secret Beach is a pocket of fine white sand encircled by towering rock walls. Accessing the Secret Beach can be a challenge as visitors must swim through a narrow crevice in a rock wall. During rough seas, even experienced swimmers may find it difficult to enter. However, the reward for reaching this secluded location is a pristine beach with crystal-clear waters.

Local lore suggests that Alex Garland, author of the novel-turned-film The Beach, lived and wrote his bestseller in El Nido, likely inspired by the Secret Beach’s beauty. Take a visit to the Secret Beach and experience the allure that captivated Garland and countless others.

Hidden Beach

Aerial view of Hidden Beach, Bacuit bay, El Nido, Palawan

Tucked away in the nooks and crannies of the islands, the Hidden Beach is a small paradisiac cove concealed by limestone rock and impossible to see from the open sea. The beauty of this beach is created by towering limestone cliffs and mystical rock formations.

Part of El Nido’s Tour C, the Hidden Beach is a popular stop and a must-visit destination. With its white sands and crystal clear water, this beach is perfect to visit during high tide when the water is calm, making it an ideal spot to take perfect photos. To access Hidden Beach, visitors have to swim to get there, which may be challenging due to the current.

The Hidden Beach is also a great spot for snorkeling, where you can easily see various species of corals and fishes. Its secluded location provides a tranquil atmosphere, making it an excellent place to relax and unwind.

Matinloc Shrine

Aerial view of Matinloc Shrine, Bacuit Bay, Palawan, El Nido, Philippines

Matinloc Shrine, formally known as the Shrine of Our Lady of Matinloc, is a hidden abandoned site located at the foot of towering karst cliffs on the western coast of Matinloc Island in El Nido. This shrine was built in 1982 but has since been neglected and run down. Nevertheless, visitors are still permitted to visit the area and explore the ruins.

While some may consider this place as a spiritual haven, many visitors come to Matinloc Shrine for the breathtaking panoramic view it offers. To reach the viewpoint, you need to climb a small limestone hill located close to the shrine. From there, you can enjoy an awe-inspiring view of Tapiutan Island, which lies opposite Matinloc.

Star Beach

Aerial view of Talisay Beach, El Nido Palawan, bacuit bay, Philippines

Located in Tapiutan Island, Star Beach is a must-visit destination that offers a breathtaking view of the neighboring Matinloc Island. This beautiful beach is known for its crystal-clear waters and white sand, making it perfect for swimming, snorkeling, sunbathing, and even enjoying lunch.

The beach is aptly named Star Beach as it is home to numerous harmless starfishes that can be found resting on the seabed. Whether you’re an experienced snorkeler or a first-time visitor, the underwater world of Star Beach is a sight to behold.

Map of El Nido Tour C Island Hopping

El Nido Tour D

Small Lagoon

Aerial view of El Nido's Small Lagoon

Small Lagoon, located on the picturesque Miniloc Island, is one of the most fascinating and popular destinations to explore in El Nido, Palawan. It is considered an iconic spot and is frequently photographed alongside the Big Lagoon.

To enter Small Lagoon, visitors can either swim through a small hole in a rock wall or paddle through in a kayak during low tide. Once inside, a hidden world awaits, waiting to be explored by kayaking or swimming. The crystal-clear waters of the lagoon are surrounded by dramatic limestone cliffs that provide a stunning and memorable view.

Cadlao Lagoon

Inside Cadlao Lagoon, El Nido Bacuit bay, Palawan, Philippines

Cadlao Island, the largest island in El Nido’s archipelago, is a picturesque paradise that resembles a “mini-Tahiti“. The island’s lush landscapes, including a conspicuous peak towering 640 meters above sea level, offer a breathtaking view to visitors.

One of the most spectacular natural wonders on Cadlao Island is the Cadlao Lagoon. Its emerald waters surrounded by towering limestone cliffs create a breathtaking view that will take your breath away. This lagoon also offers an excellent spot for snorkeling, where you can explore the shallow coral gardens just off the beach.

Kayaking in Cadlao Lagoon is an unforgettable experience that allows you to fully immerse yourself in the island’s natural beauty.

Pasandigan Cove

Pasandigan Beach, El Nido

Pasandigan Cove is a hidden gem located in the stunning Cadlao Island. With its inviting stretch of white sand and bright blue waters flanked by towering limestone cliffs, it’s a perfect spot to relax and enjoy the pristine nature.

Unlike other crowded beaches in El Nido, Pasandigan Cove is a well off-the-beaten-track destination, allowing travelers to discover a tropical paradise without the usual crowds. It’s a great place to unwind, sunbathe, and swim in the crystal-clear waters.

Nat Nat Beach

Nat Nat Beach is a hidden gem in Cadlao Island, offering visitors a secluded paradise away from the crowds. Its soft white sand and calm turquoise waters are sheltered by sheer limestone cliffs, adding to its raw and untouched beauty.

One of the best things about Nat Nat Beach is its lack of commercialization. It’s a peaceful and unspoiled destination that few tourists know about. This means that you can have the entire beach to yourself, allowing you to relax and enjoy the tranquil surroundings.

Paradise Beach

Day trip to El Nido's Paradise Beach

Paradise Beach on Cadlao Island is a true tropical gem and a must-see attraction on Tour D. This secluded beach boasts powdery white sand and emerald waters, living up to its name as a true paradise.

For a truly memorable experience, kayaking is the perfect way to explore the beach and surrounding area. Alternatively, you can simply unwind with a good book or capture stunning photos of the breathtaking scenery.

With no crowds to disrupt your peace, Paradise Beach is the perfect escape for those seeking a serene and tranquil retreat.

Bucal Island

Bucal Island is a hidden gem in El Nido, boasting a small but beautiful white sand beach perfect for a relaxing getaway. This peaceful oasis is an ideal spot for a quiet picnic or a refreshing swim in its crystal-clear waters.

The island’s shallow and transparent waters are also perfect for snorkeling, offering a chance to explore the vibrant marine life teeming with colorful fishes and corals.

Map of El Nido Tour D Island Hopping