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 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.
Related Article: El Nido Ultimate Guide
El Nido Tour C Itinerary
- Hidden Beach
- Matinloc Shrine
- Tapuitan Island
- Secret Beach
- Helicopter Island
El Nido Tour C cost: $45 USD+ 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. Book online here in advance for the $45 price.
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).
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. It was our favorite beach in the Philippines and should be on your Philippines itinerary.
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 Beach
After the Matinloc Shrine, it was lunchtime 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. The tour was just as epic as our Kayangan Lake tour in Coron.
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.
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.
Related Article: El Nido Palawan Guide
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.
Related Article: El Nido Tour A
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