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 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 - 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: $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).

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

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.

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.

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 For Only $45

El Nido Tour C - Secret Beach

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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:

  • 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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26 thoughts on “El Nido Tour C Review – Palawan Philippines

  1. 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!

  2. 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,

    • 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!

  3. Hi Hannah and Adam,

    Oh Tour C is also my favorite especially the hidden and secret beaches. It was a tough swim buy it was all worth it.

    I’m just happy that you enjoyed your stay in El Nido, and in the Philippines! I was also in El Nido last November and I am now planning to come back haha still have a lot of amazing places to explore.

    Regards,
    Jon from the Philippines

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

  5. 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 😀

  6. 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?

  7. 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!

    • 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.

  8. 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…

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