Adventures and Sports

Exploring the Beautiful Palawan Through Island Hopping


Enrico Dee | Feb 18, 2016

To join any island hopping activity in El Nido, you need to pay a PhP 200 mandatory environmental fee. This entitles you up to a 10-day island hopping, while tour fees are paid separately.

Get a hold of your environmental fee ticket during your entire stay as you no longer have to pay entrance fees when you go on a tour of the islands like in Coron. 

We had a quick briefing just before we boarded the large motorized banca. We were given details on where to go, which islands to drop by, what to do, and what to expect.

Finally, the banca slowly made its way towards the sea. The water is a bit cold! Not a good time to swim (I think.) I would just enjoy the priceless sight of seeing the towering limestone karsts locally known as “taraw” popping out in the middle of the sea.

Small Lagoon

First stop was at the small lagoon. It is still beautiful as I remembered it when I first went here in 2009. It was a Thursday morning yet the lagoon is already crowded with banca waiting for other tourists swimming inside the lagoon. 

One must swim towards a small opening to fully enjoy the small lagoon. You can also take a kayak and paddle your way to enter the lagoon.

I opted to just swim towards the lagoon. It’s a nonstop photo op when we got at the middle of the lagoon. The place is spectacular. Beautiful is an understatement.

Big Lagoon

Our second stop was at the big lagoon. We opted not to go down since the waves were big at that time. We just proceeded to our next destination.

Snake Island

This is my first to visit the island. I love the place! Beside the serpent shaped sandbar is a hill were one can hike to get a bird’s eye view of the Bacuit Bay and its nearby islands. The hike is all worth every sweat and effort. Truly amazing! 

Dibuluan Island

Our next stop was at the Dibuluan Island where we had our buffet lunch.

The place is packed with tourists mostly foreigners. It was scorching hot and they obvious enjoy the sun while the rest of us hid under the tree.

Activities like volleyball and badminton can be done while at the island. You can also kayak or sail to the nearby island via a Hobie cat.

Pinagbuyutan Island

After a while we left the island for our next island destination: Pinagbuyutan. Not much locals or tourist in this place except for an occasional ice cream vendor if you get a chance to catch him.

The island looks very interesting and it has very fine sand. The sand’s color is not pure white but polvoron-ish in color and in texture!

Walking along the beach barefoot seems to be a good idea.

Ipil Beach

We sailed back to Ipil Beach for our afternoon refreshments and to catch the sunset. The beach is blessed with a stunning view of the fiery El Nido sunset.

I got to play table tennis, it was fun, but I guess I’d stick to badminton. Haha!

Our visit to Ipil Beach was our last stop for our whole day island hopping tour. This is my second time to be in El Nido but I’m still amazed of its beauty.

The little surprises that we got to see while sailing from one island to another like seeing sea turtles swimming on the turquoise waters of Bacuit Bay is an experience itself. The water’s clean and devoid of any trash or signs of any human abuse.

We ended our tour just after sunset.

READ more Byahilo articles on Choose Philippines!

(These travel essay and photos were previously published on For more features about Philippine travel destinations, food, delicacies, festivals and products, as well as hotels, resorts and restaurants, LIKE Byahilo: Ito ang Trip ko! FB Page.)

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