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El Nido Tour C Review – Palawan Philippines

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 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 three jaw-dropping stops that helped secure the title of the 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 - 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: $27USD+ 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 1,400 PHP, but you might get what you pay for. Book online here in advance for the cheapest 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).

Related Article: Complete Guide El Nido to Coron Ferry

*When looking for the best price and the biggest selection of hotels in El Nido check prices on, we’ve found they are the best option and have a great cancelation policy.*

Recommended Hotel in El Nido – Cuna Hotel

Hidden Beach

El 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. It is one of our favorite sights in the Palawan.

It was our favorite beach in the Philippines and should be on your Philippines itinerary.

Related Post: Visiting El Nido’s Snake Island

Matinloc Shrine

El 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.

Related Article: El Nido to Coron Ferry

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

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.

Related Post: Visiting Nacpan Beach

El Nido Tour C - Lunch

Secret Beach

El 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.

Book El Nido Tour C Online

El Nido Tour C - Secret Beach

Helicopter Island

El 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.

Related Article: El Nido Palawan Guide

Tips for a Good El Nido Tour C:

  • Book Online for the cheapest prices
  • See if the operator would be willing to run the tour in reverse order. This will get you to most groups’ 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 your 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 the 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 them, but Tour C is much better with them.

Related Article: El Nido Tour A

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Lina Manalo

Friday 25th of January 2019

We plan to go to El Nido this February , is this month advisable to go on weather situation? From Manila,- which airport do I need to take if I want to visit both El Nido and Puerto Princesa. Manila- El Nido or Manila -Puerto Princesa


Monday 4th of February 2019

The weather in El Nido in Feburary should be generally good. We just returned from El Nido in January and had great weather, a little windy but lots of sun. If you want to visit both PP (Puerto Princessa) and El Nido I would fly into PP from Manila and then take a van to El Nido from PP. You can also fly from PP to El Nido, but it is more costly than ground transport. You can also fly back to Manila from El Nido or use ground transport back to PP to fly to Manila. I would use Skyscanner to see all of your options.


Sunday 30th of December 2018

FYI, as of December 1, 2018 Secret Beach has been removed from Tour C. I did this tour two years ago but the way in looked too intimidating and my entire boat refused to go since the waves were completely submerging the entrance. :\

Reggie Lim

Tuesday 1st of May 2018

Thanks for writing this wonderful guide. Now I know what to expect so we can truly prepare for the exciting trip! Can’t wait to schedule a trip to El Nido!


Wednesday 27th of December 2017

Hi, I'm planning a trip to El Nido in March! Just wondering how long the tours stop at each place? Did you feel it was ample time given or everything a bit rushed? Many thanks,


Monday 1st of January 2018

Hi Juno,

It really depends on the tour operator, but they all follow the same route. Overall I would say there is enough time for most people, but some of these places are so amazing I could spend the whole day, but that's just me. There are a few stops on all the tours that are less impressive just so they can say they go to x amount of places. If your budget allows we really recommend a private tour, then you can pick how much time to spend where, and it also gets you off the same schedule as everybody else. What seems to happen is all of the boats end up at the same place at nearly the same time. Enjoy El Nido it is magical!

Leonardi TD

Friday 3rd of March 2017

thanks for great review. i am definitely going here. plan to go in Apr 17....maybe the tour A too

Hannah Lukaszewicz

Tuesday 7th of March 2017

Def spend as much time as you can in El Nido it's amazing. El Nido Tour C and El Nido Tour A are epic try and do them both if you can. Safe travels.