21 Dec 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. It seems just about everyone with a boat is running a tour out to the islands listed as tours A-D. All tours depart out of El Nido Town, but visit different clusters of islands. El Nido Tour A is a close second with some pretty spectacular sights as well, but El Nido tour C has 3 jaw-dropping stops that help secure the title of best tour in El Nido (for me anyways). Definitely include El Nido tour C on your things to do in El Nido list.
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 drive, 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 who don’t, 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 El Nido Tour C with The Art Cafe (Bigger/Better Boat).
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 made of black stone walls filled with crystal clear water.
Stuck between two islands and surrounded by pristine water randomly is a shrine. The main piece of the shire 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 Beach
After the shrine, it was lunch time on yet again 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.
The only way into secret beach is to swim. The boat dumped us off at the mouth of a cavern, with snorkel gear on we swan through 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 our towels after a swim. The same dramatic dark colored limestone line the bay giving it protection and privacy which makes it a secret. 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.
This island got its name, well, from looking like a helicopter. Actually before the time of helicopters it had another name, its real name is 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.
- Or find a boat that is leaving earlier than the rest, again to have the places to yourself.
- Book with an established place to ensure you tour leaves as scheduled.
- Ask if what boat will be used, and make sure it’s a larger one because after leaving secret beach you sail for a period of time on rougher water and it 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.
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