El Nido Private Boat Lagoon Tours

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El Nido tours kayaking

Go against the current of the crowd by visiting the famous El Nido lagoons in a private tour when the others are not present. Or we can organise group tours for you as well.

Where should I go in the Philippines? This question has been asked a million of times whenever someone for the first time is visiting Philippines and has no idea where to go. If you are the kind of person who visits google whenever you are planning your trip for the first time, Palawan is at the top. In Palawan, El Nido and Coron are the most visited places.

El Nido has been one of the most popular destinations for tourists visiting Palawan because of its beautiful lagoons and secret beaches. The El Nido lagoons are some of the nicest scenery in the Philippines, if not the world. But having been discovered long enough ago, they have become inundated with the usual swarms of tourists bobbing in their obnoxious coloured life preservers.

If you would like a slightly different approach, we offer an opposite route, so you have a better chance of enjoying an entire lagoon for your small crew alone and avoid the crowds. This is possible by booking a private boat tour with us.

book-tour-now in el nido
There are three famous tours in El Nido. You can choose between Tour A, Tour B, Tour C and Tour D. Prices depend on the tour and number of people.

Which is the best tour in El Nido?

If you have a limited number of days in El Nido, of course you want to choose the best tour. When I first went to El Nido a few years ago, I stayed for one week, during which time I accomplished Tours A, B and C. Following is my experience regarding these tours to help you choose which one best suits your tastes and time.

El Nido Private Boat Tour A

For first timers who want to experience the beauty of El Nido in one fell swoop, Tour A is PERFECT for you. If you only have time to take one tour, Tour A is the answer because it best showcases what El Nido is all about: snorkeling or swimming in peaceful blue clear waters while surrounded by a jaw-dropping view. (Prices at the bottom.)

Big Lagoon

This is an easy first stop since you can simply opt to marvel at the view that will serve to prepare you for the beauty that is Small Lagoon.

El Nido tours cliff formations

Small Lagoon

This is a gorgeous little corner of El Nido that can be accessed by kayaking or swimming through a gap between limestone formations. Pictures won’t suffice since you have to see it yourself to understand why Small Lagoon is a favorite pit stop among travelers to El Nido.

El Nido tours kayaking 2

Secret Lagoon

This is accessible via a hole through a rock. The water in the lagoon is a cool blue, which is a striking contrast for the usual emerald waters found throughout El Nido.

El Nido tours drone shot of beach

El Nido tours another drone shot of beach

Advin Dive site

This is one of the most popular dive sites in El Nido and known for hard corals, sea turtles, and barracuda. A must for big snorkeling fans!

Shimizu Island

If there’s one thing you have to do at Shimizu Island, it’s to snorkel! The waters are fairly shallow, but you’ll get to see schools of fishes while swimming through the emerald and turquoise waters. It’s also a good spot for picnic lunches or just lazing around.

underwater world in el nido

South Entalula

This is a dive and snorkeling site known for its beautiful soft corals, whip corals and sea fans.

Seven Commandos Beach

This is perfect for families who want a little bit of everything that the beach can offer. There’s a dedicated swimming area for swimmers, you can kayak and enjoy the peaceful waves, or you can lounge around with a drink or Halo-Halo (a Filipino delicacy of crushed ice with fruits and condensed milk) in hand. Papaya Beach is adjacent to Seven Commandos Beach and it’s a great beach if you want peace and quiet.

beach drone shot in el nido

Take note: Before, you can technically visit both the Small and Big Lagoon in the same tour, but because of an increasing number of tourists visiting these lagoons, the government decided to limit the number of tourists visiting each lagoon at any one time. Hence, you can only choose which one you would like to visit, the Small or Big Lagoon, in any single day.

El Nido Private Boat Tour B

For those who are more into caves and coves, Tour B is perfect for you. Be mesmerized by these amazing wonders of El Nido. (Prices at the bottom.)

Pinagbuyutan Island

  • Snake Island
  • Entalula Island
  • Cudugnon Cave
  • Cathedral Cave

Pinagbuyutan Island

This is home to one of the best beaches in the Philippines. Witness sparkling clear waters in varying shades of blue, enjoy the shade of coconut trees lining the sand, fresh coconut juice, and wonder at the towering cliffs that complete the view.

drone beach shot around el nido

Snake Island

This is so named because the sandbar, when viewed from above, resembles a snake. Do not be afraid, though, there aren’t any snakes aroundd here. It is better to come early when it is low tide so that you can see the long white sand bar. If you want to see mangroves, a quick walk to a different part of the island will reward you with a view of the gorgeous mangroves that dot the fine sand.

snake island near el nido

Entalula Island

This is an idyllic spot that’s perfect for families or beach lovers who want to enjoy clear waters and fine sand, which most people say are better than on Boracay Beach. A must-experience pit stop!

Cudugnon Cave

To enter Cudugnon Cave you need to go through a hole that barely fits an adult. Inside you’ll find multi-color walls and bats. A stint at Cudugnon Cave definitely makes for a thrilling experience.

cudugnon cave near el nido

Cathedral Cave

This is a massive structure in varying shades of black, white and gray. You can enter the cave by swimming or you can do so without disembarking from your boat. It’s an awesome pit stop in that you can really see nature at work here. The interior of the cave does resemble a cathedral and it’s a solemn place that will instill you with a renewed sense of wonder for all that Nature has to offer.

cathedral cave on one of our boat tours

El Nido Private Boat Tour C (Hidden beaches and Shrines)

Trust me, it’s paradise. This is where the hungry come to feed. For mine is the generation that travels the globe and searches for something we haven’t tried before.”
-Alex Garland, The Beach

If you have an appetite for discovery, Tour C is for you. Like a good story, we’ll begin with an eye opening scene: Cadlao Lagoon. Next you’ll get hooked in by Talisay Beach, feel a rush of excitement at Secret Beach, and end on a tranquil note at Seven Commandos. Incidentally, the novel The Beach by Alex Garland was said to be partly inspired by Secret Beach, the fifth stop in our itinerary. (Prices at the bottom.)

Cadlao Lagoon

It‘s emerald waters and towering limestones make this place picturesque and amazing.

Helicopter Island

Looks exactly like that from a distance – a helicopter except without the propeller. Helicopter Island is home to excellent diving spots and it’s easy to lose track of time just gazing at the emerald waters. Depending on the weather conditions, our tour guides will tell you when the waves are too rough and could prove to be unsafe for snorkelers.

Helicopter island boat tour

Talisay Beach

This is our usual lunch stop and only a few minutes away from Matinloc Shrine. It is also a great destination for snorkeling and diving.

talisay beach el nido

Secret Beach

Massive limestone formations will hide the beach from view, hence the nickname Secret Beach. There are two ways to visit the island: via boat or via a small crevice. If you can swim and would love to feel a rush of excitement upon discovering a secluded beach, then swimming is the way to go.

Seven Commandos Beach

A perfect for families who want a little bit of everything the beach can offer. There’s a dedicated swimming area for swimmers, you can kayak and enjoy the peaceful waves, or you can lounge around with a drink or Halo-Halo (a Filipino delicacy of crushed ice with fruits and condensed milk) in hand. Papaya Beach is adjacent to Seven Commandos Beach and it’s a great beach if you want peace and quiet.

paddling around el nido

El Nido Private Tour D

Not as popular a choice but here it is nevertheless:

1 . Small lagoon
2. Cadlao lagoon
3. Pasandigan beach
4. Nat Nat beach
5. Paradise beach

More details here and prices listed below.

El Nido A&C Combo tour

1 . Small lagoon
2. Secret lagoon
3. Hidden beach/secret beach
4. Talisay beach
5. Helicopter island

More details here.

Custom day tour

Not a problem to whip up something different, such as picking you up and dropping you off at your resort island, or any other option which suits your fancy. Just send us a note and we’ll figure something out!

So which choice?

After doing tours A, B and C, I liked Boat Tour A the most. The best part for me was the lagoon. In the Small Lagoon I rented a kayak and shared it with a friend. You will be cruising on clear waters until you make yourself fit in a small hole in order to enter the other side of the lagoon. You may skip the kayak and just snorkel if you so choose, but be careful of the jellyfish which might appear sometimes.

sun bar on el nido beach

El Nido is a nice place to stay if you want some adventures and night life. There are plenty of bars along the beach in town. Our favorite bar is Pukka bar as they play live music every evening, most especially reggae music. If you are tired from island hopping, you can chill and work on your sun tan and beach bumming in Las Cabanas beach. If you are looking for some adventures, you can do zip lining there as well. Las Cabanas beach for me is the perfect place to have a beer while watching the sun set.

hammock on beach in el nido
hanging from a tree above beach in el nido

sunset on beach part of boat tour

If you want a more quiet place and longer beach, Nacpan beach is a nice place to visit. If you know how to ride a motorbike, it is cheaper to rent one for 350-400pesos, or charter a tricycle if there are more than two of you.

beach view around el nido

As what I have previously mentioned, Coron is also one of the famous spots tourists love to visit in Palawan. It is known for shipwrecks during the Japanese World War II and thus makes it great for diving. If you are not into diving, there are islands with  beautiful sand bars perfect for beach bumming, and sites plentiful of corals and fishes perfect for snorkeling.

One of the eight shipwrecks in Coron, Palawan
One of the eight shipwrecks in Coron, Palawan

Because there are so many things to do and see in Coron, crowds are increasing and can be a pain in the butt if you want to enjoy the beaches and lagoons just for yourselves. That’s why we have figured out a hack on how to avoid the crowds and enjoy the beaches just for yourselves. For customized private boat tours in Coron only, or multiday tours between Coron and El Nido, contact us here or through the photo below:

Enjoy your bobbing!

Back to itinerary travel suggestions for Palawan

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Prices and rates

Includes entrance fees, environmental fee, licensed tour guide, lunch and snorkel gear.

el nido boat tour prices

If you are interested in booking with us, or for more information, simply send us a note and we’ll be happy to oblige. We are continually expanding our services and have travelled extensively throughout the country, happy to help you plan your visit here, no matter where it is.

el nido coron boat tours expedition combination Experience the thrill of island hopping in the Philippines

Important links and related tours

Private and group multiday expedition tours between El Nido and Coron
Private boat tours around Coron
Combination El Nido and/or Coron boat tours with multiday expedition in between
Marriage proposal tours

Home » Palawan » El Nido Private Boat Lagoon Tours

05:51 03 Apr 24
I give 5 stars because they actually helped me to arrange the tour to Balabac in last minute. However, because the money wired through the local bank in my country took time to be processed, so i missed the boat due to peak season as many people paid before my money was received by the tour guide.As most of people usually feel, once your money has been transferred out to someone you do not know, you probably frustrated that your money would not be able to be refunded.But not in my experience. I dont need to be worry, the owner refunded me the money he has received (minus the bank fees). He promised to refund me and he did it. It was around 18.700 Pesos.So, eventhough i didn't manage to go with the tour, but i am really satisfied with their legitimate and great business practice. Hopefully, people will try their services and not worry about their legit business!Thanks a lot!
Chloe BlanchardChloe Blanchard
13:38 27 Mar 24
The most wonderful experience from booking to beach! Karel and Mel were so fast and responsive to my very last minute trip over the holidays. We booked a private boat for two and could not have been happier with our four day trip! We didn’t think about anything other than snorkeling the entire time. Linda, our captain, cooked wonderful meals and took us to totally empty beautiful beaches. We loved staying the night in Pical especially! Wonderful to experience the Philippines this way! Will come back again and would recommend to anyone!
hotel luci del farohotel luci del faro
08:13 31 Jan 24
We booked the 3 day 2 night expedition, from Coron to Sibaltan.First of all the booking part was really simple. I organized this trip to the Philippines last minute for my family (my parents and my uncles) but Karel answered all my questions very quickly and really made everything easier for me. It was an incredible experience. Albert, our tour leader, is a wonderful guy, always smiling and ready to help us. They assisted us in everything and really took care of making everything go smoothly. The accommodation on the islands is as spartan as you expect but the location of each hut alone is worth the trip. The wonder of nature was then added to the goodness of cuisine. It's really difficult to argue how you can cook all that goodness on a boat.If you are looking for an authentic experience, in contact with nature, off the beaten track, this company's private expedition is certainly for you.
Kate BrownKate Brown
00:22 27 Oct 23
What an unforgettable experience! We did a two night (3 day) island hopping tour from Sibaltan to Coron. Everything was so well organized and the boat crew were amazing and really made sure we had a great time. The accommodation was rustic, but added to the authentic experience of the Philippines. Karel always responded to any queries we had promptly. Our boatman, Albert, was the most amazing chef and we enjoyed every meal. The crew taught the kids how to fish with a line which was their highlight of the trip. They took us to the most unbelievable snorkelling spots along the way. Would highly recommend this trip.
Ian PascualIan Pascual
02:43 10 Aug 23
One of the most amazing, unforgettable things you can do in your life
Lou PrataliLou Pratali
11:04 25 Jul 23
This is a must to do!!Super ultimate tour is the best with Kayangan and barracuda lake, twin lagoons (my favorite), coral garden (blue fabulous coral) were the best. It’s really worth it to pay for private tour (3500 to 4000 PHP). You will also have to pay for entrance fees (150 to 200PHP by location) and eventually shopping at the market - must do (count 300 for 2 for fish, pork, fruits and vegetables, water).
16:11 07 Feb 23
I was looking for a personalized excursion to the stunning Bacuit Gulf.Based on the comments, I contacted Mel.Very responsive, very efficient and perfect organization.The on-board staff were very friendly and very helpful.And I'm not even talking about the meal on board...a marvel.In all fairness, this excursion will remain an excellent memory and I cannot recommend Mel and his team highly enough.A big thank-you.
Alyse TarbottonAlyse Tarbotton
23:48 30 Aug 22
This tour went well above all our expectations! I couldn't recommend this enough! The boat crew, captain and tour guide were nothing but amazing, everyone was so kind, helpful and friendly. The crew knew the best spots to visit that weren't overcrowded with tourists, 3 times we were lucky enough to have whole islands to ourselves! It was my partner's birthday while away and everything went above and beyond, bonfire, cake, birthday card, singing and celebrating with us.If you love camping this is definitely a tout you should do, it has been the highlight of our trip!!
Danish KayaniDanish Kayani
10:24 31 Oct 19
Coron is the best place i have ever seen.. picturesque. Beautiful. Peaceful
We booked a 4 days/3 nights private boat trip from Coron to Sibaltan. The organization went very well from the beginning, the owner answered to all my questions, and we were able to choose which islands to visit and where to sleep. The first night we slept in a bungalow in Banana Island, the second we camped in Araw beach and the last we slept in a seafront bungalow builded on a tree in Pical on Iloc Island.The islands in that area are the most beautiful islands I have ever seen, with clear water, lots of coral reef and fishes to see, white sand and almost deserted. The crew was very friendly and polite and they organize every single meal and for camping they give you a tent which was just perfect! This was our highlight in our 2 weeks in the Philippines and I wish I had booked a longer trip. A private trip gives you the freedom to decide where and when to go.
Gérard Benoit
Gérard Benoit
I was looking for a personalized excursion to the beautiful bay of Bacuit. Seeing the comments, I contacted Mel. Very responsive, very efficient and perfect organization. The crew were very friendly and very helpful. And I'm not even talking about the meal on board...a marvel. In all fairness, this excursion will remain an excellent memory and I can recommend Mel and his team highly enough. A big thank-you.
André Mardoñal
André Mardoñal
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ The island world of Linapacan between Coron and El Nido with the clearest waters in the world is truly a dream for itself! Without a boat you won't be able to see it! But what this boat trips makes so amazing is the crew! Once you come on board they might be shy in the beginning but will make you feel welcome and home from the first moment. Not only that they are looking that you sit comfortable all the time, they will prepare fresh and delicious food what the buy from local markets. They know the best spots and most beautiful islands and will bring you to places where you get this "Robinson Cruisoe feeling". Every day you visit 3 to 5 spots for snorkeling, enjoying a beach or exploring a little island. The accommodation we had was good and simple. We slept in bungalows and tents right at the beach. Sheets and towels were always provided and sometimes towels. After a while you feel like a family on board. We loved living the boat life didn't wanna leave! If you doubt take a longer than shorter trip! For any questions please message me.
Sarah Uhan
Sarah Uhan
All in all it was a really great experience. It's a once in a lifetime thing to do and you won't get more authentic and basic Philippino experiences anywhere else. We were not so lucky with the wind and waves so we couldn't do all the stops we wanted to unfortunately. So be aware that especially the months from January to May can be very rough on water. But we still saw some great places Benji took us. Benji and his family was very nice and they did everything they could. The food was amazing - always freshly made in authentic Philippino style and way too much for the 2 of us. Make sure to bring enough cash - many of the islands cost extra (entrance fee) and be aware that any kind of accommodation and food (200php per meal) is not included in the boat fee. Also the deposit and commission fee for the agency are a little over the top, especially since the crew does not get any of it. The costs all in all are rather high for phillipino circumstances especially given the basicness of it all. However if you think about that all 5 boat people (in our case) live off of the boat fee alone, you spent the money willingly. Be aware though that accommodation and sanataries are very basic if even existant. So you gotta have the right mindset. Bring tissue, sanatiszer and earplugs to get some better sleep. Another feedback I have concerning the size of the boat. I don't think it is sufficient for more than 4 people. If the weather is like it was these days, you always have to sit on top and it was already a little squeezy with us 2 and 5 boat people. So I guess 4 guests can be fine but more than that won't have the space. There is different boat sizes but make sure to talk about that with Karel in advance. Other than that it was really worth it and we got to see so many great beaches and reefs which we could have never been able to visit without the tour.
Eric Liu
Eric Liu
It was scary to book a 5 day trip with no places to stay confirmed or a strong itinerary. And in the Philippines, communication is difficult. But that is part of changing mindsets to a rural island mindset. In the end, everything worked out. We had some tough moments with bugs. But we also had some amazingly beautiful secluded beaches, the best snorkeling in the world, relaxing on the beach, and freshly made food on the boat while docked at beautiful places (better than being on land). Note, we went with Benji. Recommendations: - you must get a local SIM when you arrive to make sure pickup and everything works out - some islands have bugs - use bug spray! Pros: - a fraction of the cost - away from the crowds - can customize what you want - just ask! - a truly local experience - saw a REAL rural town Cons: - locals aren't really polished tour guides - if you don't ask for it, you won't get it, need to be pretty proactive - pretty simple "activities" - no frills like bathrooms or kayaks etc.
Ángela Deand
Ángela Deand
We can't be more grateful to have had the opportunity of experience the peace in Patoyo Kitesurfing Camping! Spending two weeks in Dimancal Island, gave us the chance to experiment the rural and traditional way of life, in touch with the nature and people. We have learnt how to cook with fire, how to open a coconut and how to survive in an environment where for a time we forget about unnecessary needs, just to focus on enjoy the small details and pleasures of life. Mentioning too the amazing snorkeling and beautiful islands around this place, which make it unique​ and special. It is a lovely option if you are running away from tourists and overcrowded places in the Philippines. You will find yourself in the middle of virgin beaches and nature, surrounding​ by charming people. We will definitely come back!
Caroline Danielle
Caroline Danielle
We haven't done a Tao tour, but I would suspect that this is a cheaper version of the same thing. Our boat operator (Benji) and the entire crew were were fun, friendly and made an effort to ensure we had a good time. If you get a large group of people together it can be a really inexpensive alternative to other Coron-El Nino and vice versa island hopping tours. The food was good, but more expensive than as advertised by Karl. The price quote we got was 100 php a meal, but the boat charged us 200. Since the food was good we didn't mind the extra expense, but it is important to keep in mind if you're on a budget. Definitely plan for some incidental spending. Our boat did have some mechanical issues and as a result we ended up being stuck in the same place for longer than we wanted to be. That being said, little could have been done about it and the trip was fun nonetheless.
Hauk Are Fjeld
Hauk Are Fjeld
If you believe that doing the touristic tours in El Nido and going to "The hidden beach" takes you off the beaten path, you are wrong. There are lots of beautiful places in Palawan, but few of these places are without any other tourists. If you want to spend some extra effort on getting away from the tourist places, and don't mind a little "primitive" living, Island Hopping in the Philippines is definitely something you should check out
Arnold Cabiguen
Arnold Cabiguen
The snorkeling in this area is phenomenal. Clearest waters in the world. I guess it's because there is relatively such lower tourist traffic through here, and the locals really protect the reefs!
Karel Kosman
Karel Kosman
Love it so much, just had to say it twice!
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Island Hopping in the Philippines
Average rating:  
 2 reviews
 by Gérard BENOIT
An excellent memory

I was looking for a personalized excursion to the beautiful Gulf of Bacuit.

Seeing the comments, I contacted Mel.

Very responsive, very efficient and perfect organization.

The flight attendants were very friendly and very helpful.

And I'm not even talking about the meal on board...a marvel.

In all fairness, this excursion will remain an excellent memory and I cannot recommend Mel and his team highly enough.

A big thank-you.

 by Karel
What an awesome area!

If you want exotic, this is a cool place to go!