El Nido Tour C Review – Palawan Philippines

El Nido Tour C Day Trip featured image

El Nido Tour C Review – Palawan Philippines

In my opinion, Tour C is the best day trip in El Nido, and possibly the best tour in the entire world. In this review of El Nido Tour C we will take you around some of the best parts of this amazing archipelago. All tours depart out of El Nido Town but visit different clusters of islands. It seems just about everyone with a boat is runs a tour and there are four options, Tour A-Tour D. El Nido Tour A comes in as a close second with some pretty spectacular sights, but El Nido tour C has 3 jaw-dropping stops that helped secure the title of best tour in El Nido (for me, anyway). Definitely include El Nido Tour C on your list of things to do in El Nido.

El Nido Tour C - Day Trip Tour C Map

El Nido Tour C Itinerary

  • Hidden Beach
  • Matinloc Shrine
  • Tapuitan Island
  • Secret Beach
  • Helicopter Island

El Nido Tour C cost: 1400 PHP + 200 PHP Eco-Tour Fee (Govt) Most companies have upped the prices on this tour because it is by far the furthest distance, you may still find someone running it for 1200 PHP, but you might get what you pay for.

Duration: Full Day

Best tour operator for El Nido Tour C: The Day Trip island hopping best guides are The Alternative, and The Art Cafe according to popular consensus (we only used these two). Everyone with a boat, and a bunch of people without will offer tours, but both of these companies have been around a long time and run quality tours. We traveled with The Alternative for El Nido Tour A (Better Food), and we went with The Art Cafe for El Nido Tour C (Bigger/Better Boat).

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Hidden BeachEl Nido Tour C - Hidden Beach

After cruising for just under an hour, El Nido tour C starts off with a bang at Hidden Beach. Behind a curtain of jagged limestone lies a shallow bay that opens up into a cathedral of black stone walls filled with crystal clear water.

Matinloc ShrineEl Nido Tour C - Philippines - Day Trip C-25

Stuck between two islands and surrounded by pristine water is, randomly, a shrine. The main piece of the shrine is a dome-shaped structure with a few statues and some stained-glass work. For me, the best part of the stop was the lookout. The climb up the very dodgy stairs was worth it for the view.

Tapuitan Island – Talisay BeachEl Nido Tour C - Philippines - Day Trip C-31

After the Matinloc Shrine, it was lunch time on another pristine beach just down the channel from the shrine. Lunch on El Nido Tour C was cooked up fresh by our crew right on the beach. We had grilled fish, chicken, rice, salad, and fruits. I think I could eat lunch here every day of my life and be happy.

El Nido Tour C - Lunch

Secret BeachEl Nido Tour C - Secret Beach

The only way to get into secret beach is by swimming. The boat dropped us off at the mouth of a cavern. With snorkel gear, we swam through the stone entrance and into the shallow bay. Along the way to the beach, there were pockets of coral with colorful fish swimming. The bay gradually shallows and at the other end is a patch of white sand to lay out towels after the swim. The same dramatic, dark colored limestone lines the bay, giving it protection,  privacy, and a bit of secrecy. This is the stop on the El Nido Tour C I had seen in pictures and one of the main reasons I wanted to go on the tour.

El Nido Tour C - Secret Beach

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Helicopter IslandEl Nido Tour C - Philippines - Day Trip C-18

This island got its name, well, from looking like a helicopter. Actually, before the time of helicopters it had another name, Dilumacad Island. However, when the tide is right it looks so much like a helicopter the name stuck. We spent our last hour or so relaxing on the beach before making the voyage back to El Nido town.

Tips for a Good El Nido Tour C:

  • See if the operator would be willing to run the tour in reverse order. This will get you to most group’s last stop first, and miss the crowds at every stop.
  • Find a boat that is leaving earlier than the rest, another great way to have the stops to yourself.
  • Book with an established place to ensure you tour leaves as scheduled.
  • Ask what boat will be used, and make sure it’s a larger one because, after leaving secret beach ,you will sail for a period of time on rougher water and a larger boat will be more comfortable.
  • Rent or bring a water bag for camera and other gear (50 PHP rental).
  • Bring water shoes for tour C – It seems everywhere they take you on EL Nido tour C you are walking on sharp rocks. El Nido Tour A is manageable without, but tour C is much better with them.

Pin This Article For Later!

El Nido Tour A pinterest inforgraphic image

More on El Nido:

El Nido Tour C - Complete Travel guide Thumb El Nido Tour C - Day Trip Tour A

Things to do in El Nido - Cover Image

20 Comments
  • Samantha
    Posted at 12:49h, 22 December Reply

    Ahhhh I am so jealous! We were going to do Tour C but the days we were in El Nido, all boat tours were cancelled due to Typhoon Hagupit 🙁 It looks AMAZING!!

    • Adam
      Posted at 22:34h, 22 December Reply

      Oh no!!!! Glad you are safe and sound though. The tours in El Nido are amazing, are you planning on going back anytime soon?

  • Shikha (whywasteannualleave)
    Posted at 13:08h, 22 December Reply

    So jeslous! Heard a lot about snorkeling around El Nido – the waters look so clear and shallow – sounds amazing 😉

    • Adam
      Posted at 22:35h, 22 December Reply

      Shikha El Nido is picture perfect. Are you heading to the Philippines? If so make sure El Nido is on your list.

  • Katie
    Posted at 09:06h, 23 December Reply

    Great tips! I head there in 3 days, so excited! Will be taking your advice for sure!

    • Hannah
      Posted at 19:50h, 25 December Reply

      So jealous! Your going to love it, let us know if much has changed since being names the most beautiful beach in the world!

  • Sab
    Posted at 09:57h, 26 December Reply

    Wow your images look amazing, its seems you had a great day weather wise. I never get tired of seeing those images from Palawan. It’s really a magical place. Went there twice and will surely go a third time…

    • Hannah
      Posted at 04:55h, 27 December Reply

      Thanks Sabrina! You can never get sick of gawking over the beauty of El Nido! We should start planning our return….would be fun!

  • mariem
    Posted at 18:06h, 27 December Reply

    hey 🙂
    amazing blog, very inspiring :)!
    we are planning to go to el nido on Feb 2015, all the info on your blog has been really helpful so far, Thanks :)!
    About the hotels, I was wondering which website you use to book them?
    Cheers!

    • Hannah
      Posted at 23:20h, 27 December Reply

      Mariem- Glad we have inspired you! So jealous you are going to El Nido in February, we hope to get there this year as well. We book with Agoda for most of Asia. would book in advance as opposed to walking up, El Nido is becoming more and more popular. Safe travels.

  • Carlotta
    Posted at 18:32h, 25 February Reply

    I’m going to the Philippine next week, and this post got me over excited!!

    • Adam
      Posted at 03:31h, 26 February Reply

      So jealous, your going to have an amazing time!

  • katherine
    Posted at 23:54h, 26 March Reply

    Love your blog. very informative. I’ve been there once and im coming back in a week. im super excited to explore the places there that i havent been yet. just curious,, what camera are you using? Its very vivid. Thought you are using dslr with waterproof casing?

  • Micamyx|Senyorita
    Posted at 18:59h, 04 April Reply

    I missed the Tour C when I went there way back in 2012 due to the weather. I’m planning to go back this year 😀

    • Hannah
      Posted at 01:01h, 25 September Reply

      You will love tour C, so jealous you are going back! You will have a blast.

  • Gerard ~ GQ trippin
    Posted at 01:08h, 23 September Reply

    So were you able to get your tours to run in reverse yourself?

  • Hannah
    Posted at 01:03h, 25 September Reply

    One place was willing to do, if you ask and your whole group agrees shouldn’t be a problem.

  • Shiela Acenas
    Posted at 22:03h, 09 March Reply

    I did the tour A&B, but looks like tour C&D is awesome. I would love to go back to El Nido again!

  • Marta
    Posted at 09:13h, 06 April Reply

    Is this really right? 1600 pesos < $35 USD??!! Just checking before I book a flight from Malaysia while I'm there in June.

    • Adam
      Posted at 11:33h, 11 April Reply

      Yes this is correct. The current exchange rate would make it about $35.

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