If you are vacationing in the Philippines, island-hopping in El Nido on the island of Palawan is definitely something you should do
Prior to our trip, we knew that our time would be short on Palawan island; therefore, we wanted to make the most of our time and decided that one of the things we wanted to do was go island-hopping in El Nido. Although we flew into the airport at Puerto Princesa which is more central on the island, there is an airport in El Nido, if you decide that you desire to spend most of your time at the northern tip of the island and if you are going to also travel even more north to the island of Coron. There are several island-hopping tours in El Nido from which to choose, as well as the choice of whether to be a part of a group tour or a private tour for island-hopping. We elected to take a private island-hopping tour. Again with our driver Dennis' assistance, he secured us a private boat which mean that the four of us (including Dennis) and a boat crew of 3 went on the water to explore the islands.
A private island-hopping tour allows you to dictate your activities, as well as your time. You aren't having to wait for others like in a group tour, or may stay longer at another island if you desire. Your time is yours.
Rainy Season Didn't Stop Us
The rainy season in the Philippines is from June to October, so rain could come and go or rain all day. You just never know. On the day we were out island-hopping, the morning began with showers; however, we got lucky and the showers broke to a great day before returning late in the afternoon once we had already completed our tour. Almost immediately after getting on the water, I could see the excitement in our son's eyes. He commented on how he loved the views and seeing how plants grew right out of rock. I commented how blue the waters were. We were enjoying the water and wind and wonders of nature. I think our photos will better show you what sights we enjoyed.
Rain Breaks For Sun
As we were approaching the first of several islands we visited, the rain broke for the sun to appear; however, it wasn't extremely hot. We really got lucky with the beautiful weather on the water. There were several islands to visit including Big Lagoon, Secret Lagoon, Small Lagoon, Shimizu Island, and Seven Commando Beach. Secret Lagoon was pretty cool where you feel the very distinct difference between the fresh water and salt water temperatures by wading from beach shores to inside the Secret Lagoon. There is a rock formation which resembles a crocodile, as well as a "sculpture" in the rock with oysters which resembles the artwork of "The Last Supper." At Seven Commando Beach, my husband and our teenage son went snorkeling with sea turtles. They both really enjoyed snorkeling together. Our son and I went kayaking together at Small Lagoon while my husband relaxed on the boat after his swim. I cannot stress enough how awesome it is to have a private tour boat to yourself, as your time is yours and for the most part, we were arriving and leaving the different islands before the other tour boats which had groups on them. With having a private tour boat, snorkeling, kayaking, exploring, etc. was as much or as little as we desired. Pretty cool way to start our vacation.
Catered Lunch on the Island
In the midst of our island-hopping excursion, we were treated with an amazing lunch on one of the island. Our boat crew cooked fresh fish while we were en route to a couple of the islands, had a table actually tied to the side of our boat, and while were exploring the island and lagoons, they were preparing our feast----and I mean FEAST----which included not only grilled fish, but pork, chicken, squid, steamed rice, fresh fruits and vegetables. The crew untied the table, set it up on the island shore, and it was amazing!
Returning to El Nido
Unfortunately island-hopping had to come to an end, as we returned to El Nido; however, what an amazing day in an on the water we had!