There are so many tour to choose from for El Nido and for slight moment I wish I had reserve more time to stay at this small town. However, the itinerary is fix with accommodation and tour booked for next stop in Puerto Princessa, hence decision had to be make, on which tour we gonna choose. At last, instead of going for public tour this round, team decided to go for private day tour to try cover best of El Nido in a single day.
At around 8AM in the morning, two tricycle awaiting us outside of our hotel to fetch us over to the boarding beach, which was just in front of Last Frontier hotel. The tour counter was just a small wooden hut, and I believe it is a small business run by our tour guide and his family.
The narrow road that we walk through to reach the beach.
Our tour operator counter, tiny one by the beach.
Banca for the day, Christian Day.
We have to walk over to board the banca.
Carol and An get to use the kayak to board the banca instead.
Just about 10 minutes we reach out 1st destination for the day, the Seven Commandos Beach. It seem to be name after seven soldiers that once live on this beach, but nothing more details about them, which make it mysterious. This beach is naturally good for swimming due to the calm wave and clean water, but nothing to see if you opt for snorkeling. We spend around 30 minutes before moving on.
Limestone rock formation.
First destination of the day, the Seven Commando beach.
Closer look on Christian Day.
Crystal blue sea along the beach.
View along the beach.
Having fun with the iconic photo session here.
From the banca I can see our next destination at the far front, Dilumacad Island a.k.a Helicopter Island. The reason it got its nick name is easy to guess as the shape of the island definitely look like a helicopter! We stop by the beach with our snorkeling gear, and head over for the hunt of underwater world. Unfortunately, while I enjoying the moment here, I spot there a quite a lot of tiny jelly fish scattered all over the water, and I start to felt itchy all over my body hence back to the beach for some break. However, I can't resist not to keep exploring, hence I went in water again but with more caution this time, to keep distance with those small jelly fish. It is rewarding for me to see some beautiful coral reef and also lot of fishes from my 2nd try.
Shape like helicopter right?
The tail of the island look like sperm whale for me!
Ready to do the snorkeling.
Colorful fish swimming around.
Anyone know what is the name of this fish?
This fish keep attacking my GoPro!
Beautiful underwater world!
Many different type of coral reef surround the area.
Great time snorkeling here although being attack by jelly fish!
Next destination was name Hidden beach, in which the beach itself are hidden among few limestone rock formation and due to shallow water on the beach, banca are not able to access directly to the beach. Hence you can either take kayak over there, or simply jump in to the crystal clean water and just swim yourself there. This was truly one amazing and unique beach, a must to check out when exploring El Nido!
Many banca park around near the bay, you have to swim or kayak to reach the Hidden Beach.
Selfie after done the swim.
Hidden Beach is around the corner at the front.
Here we are, the Hidden Beach hiding in between several limestone rock formation.
An posing for a picture.
Carol also have one for her self.
Blur picture taken from the GoPro from the Hidden Beach.
Did not manage to get the perfect timing for all to jump at once!
Finally it is time for lunch, all of us are very hungry after so much of swimming and snorkeling around but we really enjoy it very much! The crew had already start to prepare the food for our lunch while we enjoy our time in Hidden beach on the rear of the banca. We suppose to drop by at Matinloc Shrine to have our lunch but due to some reason the place is close down due to some filming on going, curious if this is local Philippines movie or some major Hollywood shooting here, but we don't have much interest anyhow as all of us just want to stop by to have our meal instead.
Heading over to Matinloc Shrine, but too bad we are not allow to land there.
Food is ready but we need a spot to have our lunch.
Our starving look.
Finally, we stop our banca at an alternative spot called Talisay beach, surprisingly become one of my favorite spot throughout today day tour! While waiting for the food to be ready, we are free to explore the water here, as usual I am the first one to jump in to explore. From the beach the water are shallow but just after around 15 meters away from the beach, it was like an underwater cliff which directly having some depth between 15-20 meters deep, and it is deep blue in color! It was just beautiful just to stay at this cliff area as there are a lot of fishes wandering around this area. Basically, I spend more time in the water then having my lunch even though I am really hungry, I really love this place! But still, this was the best meal I have throughout my life, on a beach, both the food and the surrounding.
Very clean water here at Talisay Beach!
From crystal blue water to deep blue sea.
Shining color fish.
Many beautiful sea creatures around the cliff area.
School of fish swim in a group.
Really enjoy wandering along the cliff.
Finally, we are ready to consume our lunch!
Due to time constraint, continue my watermelon in the water while continue snorkeling.
Another black color and yellow strip fish along the cliff.
Truly many fishes around, glad that we are here.
At first the deep blue sea area looks scary, but after a while love exploring there!
Briseis time to explore after the meal.
Carol enjoy her self in the deeper area.
Bottom part of our banca can be seen from the underwater.
Do you see it? There is a lizard trying to invading our lunch table and we scare it back to the wood.
We suppose to drop by another interesting beach called Secret beach, which you need to swim in to the beach through a small hole in the middle of limestone rock formation. As the beach are facing directly on the open sea, the wave here are extremely huge, hence we decided to skip this place for safety purposes. Since we have extra time, hence captain lead us to an alternative spot called Secret Lagoon, for some snorkeling and swimming. This was an open area with calm sea which is very suitable for snorkeling, with the depth of around 3-4 meters. Again the tiny jellyfish appearing again here, but this time, I just ignore them and enjoy my time snorkeling around for those beautiful sea-life.
Briseis explore for brief 5 minutes and went back to banca due to jelly fish attack.
Red color coral reef.
Huge gold color coral reef.
Many different type of fishes here!
Beautiful underwater world.
Captain guiding An to snorkeling around the area.
An underwater hole that seem to be shelter for many fishes.
A small colorful fish swim across large field of coral reef.
Distance of the surface and the coral reef can be clearly see here.
Another underwater hole along the coral reef.
Gathering of different type of fishes for meal~
Carol playing around with school of fish while captain spreading some bread to attract them.
Having great fun playing around with these fishes!
Easiest to have close encounter with them, is getting some food to attract them.
Just around 5-10 minutes away from Secret Lagoon, we started to see lots of banca scattered around like queuing to enter a narrow path. From the captain explanation, we are heading over to Big Lagoon for sight seeing. The crew slowly sail our banca through this narrow path to minimize the impact when hitting other banca that come opposite way. Due to the crowd, we just loop a round on our banca as it was too crowded here, but you can still see a lot of tourists enjoying them self here swimming and kayaking around.
Glad the weather is getting better and better!
Lion stretching at the entrance to Big Lagoon.
Crowded banca that either queuing to go in and exit from Big Lagoon.
Entering to Big Lagoon now.
Shallow but extremely clean water.
Enjoying kayak and swimming inside the Big Lagoon.
The limestone rock formation, do you see something special here?
This rock here, which look like a statue of Saint Maria according to the local.
The water here is deep, hence it is dark in color.
One of our crew, resting on the kayak.
Another end of Big Lagoon.
Off from Big Lagoon, we heading over to next destination which is the Small Lagoon. It was like a total down size of Big Lagoon in actual, but with the differences we visit Big Lagoon with our banca, but kayak for Small Lagoon. It was still crowded as well here in Small Lagoon when most of the tourist also doing kayak here, and few of them swimming around. The environment was so cozy and calm, we just spend some quality time kayaking around magnificent limestone rock formation while relax our self to the fullness.
Lion and Carol kayaking over to Small Lagoon.
An and Briseis passing through a entrance to Small Lagoon.
This two failed to control the kayak well~
Entering to the Small Lagoon.
Very calm feeling kayak around Small Lagoon.
The water is tranquil tortoise green in color.
Surrounded by limestone cliff.
And also green attached to those limestone rocks.
Selfie time with the kiddo on our kayak.
Every view from different perspective in the lagoon is amazing.
Have to be extra careful not to hit others kayak when around here.
Laugh happily and enjoying kayak in the Small Lagoon.
Last peek on the lagoon before leaving.
Leaving the Small Lagoon.
This conclude our wonderful day touring with Christian Day around El Nido, we really enjoy it! Quick dinner at Mezzanine Italian restaurant and we call it a day.
Geographical spot for each of the location we visit with Christian Day.
Carol and An with Carol's signature post.
Having a photo together with Carol while waiting for our food.
The roof of the restaurant.
Spaghetti and cheese.
Salad, with some seafood.
Our main for the night, fire wood pizza, but i forget what is the flavor that we chosen.
Time to get back to hotel for a good rest!
El Nido Private Tour - Philippines