Last week I was superbly stressed that I wanted to let go of work, disconnect, take a rest and do something out of my daily routine. I decided to go to El Nido and do Tour B. (Perks of living in Mainland Palawan I could travel to El Nido in a whim.) Since it was a spur of the moment decision I availed the tour solo.
Why Tour B?
The best island hopping tours in El Nido are Tour A and Tour C, these tours are action packed since you needed to swim to get inside Small Lagoon, Hidden Beach or Secret Beach. I want something relaxing where I could enjoy the view, feel the splash and just get my mind off things. Tour B was perfect since I could do the whole tour without swimming and just enjoy the beach.
Before I could head to El Nido I called Northern Hope Tours and asked if they have a slot for Tour B the next day. They said there was, I booked and went to El Nido.
If you are wondering how much Tour B is, its 1,300 Pesos/person which includes the lunch with drinking water, boat, guide and mask & snorkel. Does not include the 200 Pesos/person Eco-Tourism Development Fee (ETDF).
Here was how my Tour B went.
9:00 AM The boat was ready, the guides were there yet we still could not head to the boat since there were others who were joining the tour who have not shown up.
9:20 AM After our guide’s constant follow up it turns out that the people just woke up and were no longer joining the tour. Maybe way too much fun last night. It was annoying really but I do not want this situation to ruin my mood so let us concentrate to what is important.
We carefully walked on the water to our boat since it was almost low tide and the boat could not go in any further inland.
After all the passengers got inside the boat captain started the engine and we slowly maneuvered to get out of the group of outrigger boats.
When we got out, the hum of the motor went down and our tour guide, Kuya Gilbert, started going briefing us one what to expect and what not to do.
He told us that since we had a fairly good weather on our route we would be able to do the standard Tour B which includes the following places.
- Entalula Beach
- Snake Island
- Cudugnon Cave
- Cathedral Cave
- Pinagbuyutan Island
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I was really excited since my one and only Tour B before this was 4 years ago and we did not do the standard Tour B since the wind was really strong that time and had to change a few places to visit.
After 30 minutes of riding the boat, we finally arrived at our first destination, Entalula Beach.
Before we go down the boat Kuya Gilbert told us that we have 30 minutes to enjoy the place.
And since I have no plans of swimming, I abandoned my plans and swam! Woohoo!
Eventually, most of us decided that time was up even if the guide had not told us so most of us went up the boat. The others we called on them to tell them that we were heading to our next destination. I do not really mind this since the place was really nice.
When every one was on board we went off to our next stop, Snake Island.
We passed by Pangulasian Island, which was formerly a snorkeling area of Tour B but since the resort opened they prohibit snorkeling and fishing in the area if you are not staying in the resort. If you look at it deeply, it became a sanctuary with very little human traffic.
Around 20 minutes from Entalula Beach we finally arrived at Snake Island. On the way I wondered if we could do some fishing to pass the time.
Kuya Gilbert told us that we had around 1 hour to enjoy Snake Island. This was also where we would be having our lunch, so while we go around they will be preparing our lunch. He also warned us to avoid the monkey in the area as it was aggressive.
There are two points of interest in Snake Island. The first one is the long sandbar which connect the island to mainland Palawan. The second one was the viewing deck at the top of the island. I decided to check out the sandbar first while there were as few people as possible.
Then I started my trek to the viewing point at the top of Snake Island.
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View of the other side of the island.
Going down. Lunch was calling.
When I arrived at the boat we waited for a while for other boatmates to arrive before we started to eat our lunch/feast.
After lunch it was a splashy ride to our next destination, Cudugnon Cave.
After about 10 minutes we arrived at the beach of Cudugnon Cave.
The beach was already full of boats, we needed to dock far from the beach. Luckily, Kuya Gilbert brought a kayak to service us to the shore. I swam since I found it more fun.
A bit of maneuver was needed to enter Cudugnon Cave.
After a short pictures taking inside the cave, we went out and went back to our boat.
Then it was around a 15 minute boat ride to Cathedral Cave.
I was excited to see Cathedral Cave. The first time I saw it the waves were really strong that I was afraid for our boat. Now that the waters were calm we were able to get really close.
I wanted to swim inside but Kuya Gilbert pointed us to yellow tentacles on the water which he said was a real stinger. We only had a time for picture taking.
After a short while we were on our way to our last destination, Pinagbuyutan Island.
After around 20 minutes we saw Pinagbuyutan Island.
I was not really expecting anything in Pinagbuyutan Island since I did not know how it looked like. My previous Tour B before this did not pass by here. I was really surprised that it was really majestic. I was looking intensely at it trying to understand how such a marvel would rise up in the middle of the sea.
I was excited to dock at Pinagbuyutan Island!
Before we got down, Kuya Gilbert told us that we could stay there for an hour! Woohoo! He warned us too that the water was seriously cold, which I did take note but this did not stop me from swimming. And it was cold!
The beach part of Pinagbuyutan Island was full of coconut trees.
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Men were collecting coconuts. I approached them to take a photo and they offered me to buy a coconut to drink and eat for 50 Pesos/piece. I politely declined since lunch was still well within me.
After more than an hour, one by one we were slowly going back to our boat. I did not want to leave Pinagbuyutan Island yet as I really felt at home but I know we have to go.
But I went for a swim first. If you noticed from afar that Pinagbuyutan Island is covered in deep blue water that is because the beach under the water quickly goes deep. Try swimming on the waters of Pinagbuyutan Island to know what I mean.
The water was still splashing even when I was at the back of the boat.
It was already 4:04 PM when we were on our way back to town.
At around 30-40 minutes from the time that we left Pinagbuyutan Island we arrived back at the town proper of El Nido.
After the tour I walked around the town of El Nido to look for a short snack before taking a quick shower and headed to Roxas, Palawan.
I was glad that I did Tour B. I was stressed when I rode the boat and I just wanted something relaxing and I got what I want with El Nido Island Hopping Tour B. In fact, it was like an appetizer as I wanted to stay in El Nido another day to do another island hopping tour or visit Nacpan Beach but I have to be responsible. Work was calling and it needed to be done.
Anyways, I’m still living here in Palawan and whenever I get the chance I could head back to El Nido in a whim.
By the way, here’s a video of my El Nido Island Hopping Tour B experience.
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