BACUIT ARCHIPIELAGO IN EL NIDO, TOUR “A”: SMALL, BIG AND SECRET LAGOONS, SHIMIZU ISLAND AND SEVEN COMMANDO BEACH

ESPAÑOL

This is the most popular and well-known tour in El Nido, and probably the photographs of the entrance to the Big Lagoon are the ones that have put the focus of world tourist attention on the Philippines. The beaches are fine white sand; the rugged karstic peaks high and green, and the waters of intense turquoise color. These three combined elements confer a sensational beauty that only presents one drawback: more and more people know it.

HOW TO GET THERE

It can only be accessed by sea. We have two options:

  • An organized tour. It is the most frequent and simplest. As in Coron, they are standardized, and with minimal differences, any agency will offer the same routes, and of course none changes the “A” route. They cost approximately 1200 PHP including lunch and last 7 hours.
  • Hire a boat in the port privately. It has the great advantage that we can ask the crew to take us where we want when we want and avoid the bulk of the tourists, and the disadvantages that they do not include lunch and that the price depends on our negotiation skills. To be profitable it is very possible that we need to be at least 4 people in the bangka, since the prices are usually around 4000 PHP per boat per day, although we met people who got it by 2500.

Boats depart from the port of El Nido, at the western end of the town. Seven Commando Beach will be the first or last stop. Then we will go to Miniloc Island, which is several kilometers to the west. In its northern part are the Big and the Small Lagoon next to each other; Secret Lagoon is in the southern part, near the tiny Shimizu Island.

Mapa Tour A El Nido
Google Maps showing the places to visit

On Miniloc Island there is a hotel: El Nido Resorts Miniloc Island; rooms cost around € 500 a night in high season.

SEVEN COMMANDO BEACH

Located on the peninsula, west of El Nido Town, but can not be accessed by road, the only way to get there is by boat. An excellent beach, with its scarce 300 meters is the largest we will visit in today’s excursion. Sadly, being very close to El Nido is usually the first or last point to visit for organized excursions, and while at noon there are hardly any people, at first and last hour it is easy to gather more than 10 boats at a time with between 14 and 20 tourists each, to who we must add the people who spend the night in the only resort on the beach, the Vellago; for those who are interested, it also costs nothing less than around € 500 a night.

EL NIDO TOUR A Seven Commando Beach, Palawan, Filipinas
Seven Commando Beach

SECRET LAGOON

The one that should be renamed “not so secret” is a little lagoon only 40 or 50 meters in diameter accessed through a small natural tunnel in the rock. It would be very charming if you did not have to wait for a queue to enter and exit. It is so small that with so many people entering, you can not even take a quiet bath. I would say it’s just worth it to go on our own.

EL NIDO TOUR A Secret Lagoon, Palawan, Filipinas
The beach before getting to Secret Lagoon is almost more interesting than the lagoon itself
el nido peligros inconvenientes 1. dangers annoyances, turistas entrando a hidden beach, tourist entering entrance palawan filipinas, philippines
Because, how can anyone relax in a tiny lagoon where you have to queue to get in and to get out?

We should not confuse it with Secret Beach, a beach on Matinloc Island that is visited on tour “C”.

SHIMIZU ISLAND

It is usually visited in the middle of the day because it is the place where tourist have lunch, since there is no beach to stop in the lagoons and the Seven Commando is visited first or last. It is a small beach, which can be narrow to accommodate too many tourists having lunch, but it is certainly spectacular, with sharp rocky pinnacles that reach the water and great views.

EL NIDO TOUR A Isla Shimizu, Palawan, Filipinas
Landing in Shimizu Island, marvelous
EL NIDO TOUR A Isla Shimizu, Palawan, Filipinas (2)
Bangkas tied up in Shimizu Island
EL NIDO TOUR A Isla Shimizu, Palawan, Filipinas (3)
View from Shimizu Island
EL NIDO TOUR A Isla Shimizu, Palawan, Filipinas Pili
Pili in Shimizu Island

SMALL LAGOON

Despite its name, it is not an isolated lagoon, it is connected to the sea and its shape is similar to that of a fjord. The boats wait at the entrance, since there is a part too narrow to pass, where there are two rocks, one on each side, that seem to touch, while the tourists go swimming or kayaking. It is the area with more vertical cliffs and reminds quite the Twin Lagoons in Coron.

EL NIDO TOUR A Small Lagoon, Palawan, Filipinas
The rocks at the entrance of Small Lagoon
EL NIDO TOUR A Small Lagoon, Palawan, Filipinas (2)
View of Small Lagoon while swimming; in the lower part of the picture some kayaks can be seen

BIG LAGOON

The star of the excursion and one of the most famous spots of El Nido is this second fjord. Larger than the previous one, there is no problem for the bangkas to enter and leave. Its shape is similar to a kind of letter “L”, with its straight lines the shallowest area (you can walk, the water barely reach the knee) and being the vertex the most rounded and deep, what would be the original lagoon that currently connects with the sea, leaving a large karstic peak in the foreground where the lagoon makes an elbow. This point is the most scenic, since the water looks more turquoise than in the rest because there is less depth. On a sunny day, its beauty is unparalleled. The only bad thing is not being able to enjoy all the time in the world here.

EL NIDO TOUR A Big Lagoon, Palawan, Filipinas
Big Lagoon
EL NIDO TOUR A Big Lagoon, Palawan, Filipinas Alwashere
Ready to jump into the water
EL NIDO TOUR A Big Lagoon, Palawan, Filipinas (3)
Leaving Big Lagoon. On the right you can see people walking the way back
MORE ON EL NIDO:
<MARIMEGMEG (LAS CABANAS) AND NACPAN BEACHES
TOUR B: SNAKE AND PINABUYUTAN ISLANDS, ENTALULA BEACH, CUDUGNON AND CATHEDRAL CAVES>

∇ Destinations / ∇ Philippines / ∇ Palawan / ∇ El Nido

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5 thoughts on “BACUIT ARCHIPIELAGO IN EL NIDO, TOUR “A”: SMALL, BIG AND SECRET LAGOONS, SHIMIZU ISLAND AND SEVEN COMMANDO BEACH

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  3. Pingback: SAFETY IN EL NIDO: DANGERS, ANNOYANCES AND PROBLEMS – Al Was Here

  4. Pingback: EL NIDO – Al Was Here

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