Hop on a boat tour when you visit El Nido, Palawan

Hello travelers in and to the Philippines! If you are planning to visit El Nido, Palawan, you’ll definitely need to find a boat tour operator during your stay.

There are other activities in El Nido, Palawan but boat tours is one of the most popular reasons why travelers visit this paradise.

Boat tours are El Nido, Palawan’s bread and butter when it comes to its local economy. This is since the lovely white sandy shores and snorkeling spots in El Nido is made up of separate islands within the area of Bacuit Bay.

What to expect from an El Nido boat tour?

If it’s your first time in El Nido, availing a boat tour service is the way to go. It’s the top activity in Bacuit Bay, El Nido. It’s also the only way for guests to visit the islands around the area.

Usually, a boat is shared depending on the boat’s passenger capacity. Local operators will fill their boats with tourists before starting the tour.

Boat tour inclusions differ. It depends widely on the operators prerogative. Although not all, there’s a few operators who include buffet lunch, towels, drinking water, and snorkeling gears.

With other tourists during your trip, it’s a perfect way to meet new friends while visiting El Nido.

How much is an El Nido boat tour?

El Nido boat tours may seem quite expensive due to the international tourist demand visiting El Nido, Palawan. But you can ask for a discount if you tell them Clueless Commuter referred you to our partner boat tour operator in El Nido.

El Nido has created standardized boat tour packages. Their tour packages are determined as follows:

Tour A – ₱1200 (Around 23 USD)

Tour B – ₱1300 (Around 25 USD)

Tour C – ₱1400 (Around  27 USD)

Tour D – ₱1200 (Around  23 USD)

Exchange rate at time of writing: (1 USD = ₱52).

Possible additional fees during boat tours

Environmental Fee200 – The local government collects a separate environmental fee from guests. This is valid for 10 days and can be shown every time you are asked to pay environmental fees.

Kayak Rentals (Tour A) ₱200 – There are also fees such as kayak rentals especially for Tour A. The Small Lagoon and Big Lagoon offers kayak rentals for an additional ₱200 for 2 (two) people per site destinationYou can choose not to rent a kayak and swim your way inside the lagoons. This option may be tiring as the lagoons are quite big to swim on your own.

What is the difference between El Nido packaged tours?

These tour packages are determined by the proximity of the islands included in the tour.

Tour A is the most popular packaged tour and, at times crowded. Its proximity area is near to the town’s jump off point. This tour also includes El Nido’s iconic Small Lagoon experience.

Tour B is the next proximity of islands visited around Bacuit Bay. This tour is made memorable by its caves and snorkeling sites.

Tour C is the furthest group of islands toured in El Nido, Palawan. Its pristine white sandy shores, quiet beaches and rock formations make it a favorite among the guests.

Tour D isn’t a popular boat trip in El Nido, Palawan, except maybe for Privately rented boat tours. One of the reasons for this is it’s a tour easily reachable by renting a Kayak from the main town. It goes around Cadlao island. It’s the huge mountain island just in front of the town.

I was able to compile Tour A, Tour B, and Tour C videos here.

What about Private Boat Tours?

A more expensive option is available by hiring boats on a Private set-up. With this set-up you have privacy during the tour. You pay a premium to avail this. This works well when you visit as a group especially when you want to maximize your time on tours.

Through Private Boat Tours, you also have the option to only include the best destinations in your itinerary. This works well if you have tried all the boat tours in the past.

Kayak your way through Tour D

Kayak rentals available by the shore cost around ₱500/day for a whole day.

By paddling a kayak, you may already reach some spots in the Tour D itinerary. This is since, the shores of Cadlao Island in front of the main town is reachable by two people through a kayak. This is also the reason why boat tour services for Tour D are offered less.

The main attraction in Tour D is the Ubugnon Cove. It’s a view of limestone cliffs with white sandy beaches surrounding a rock formation.

Be wary though, paddle back  to town early because you don’t want to be battered by the strong current going back to the main town.

Cadlao Island is the iconic mountain just in front of El Nido’s main town. Tourists can reach this by renting a kayak.

What are Combination Tours

A few boat operators have opened an option where tourists get to visit the most popular destinations under Tour A and Tour C.

Some tourists are only visiting for the weekend, so, to maximize their stay, boat operators have started offering this combination tour.

Whatever tour you decide to pick, your first time to visit El Nido will not be the last time.

My boat tour experience in El Nido

I have been to El Nido twice. My first visit lasted for a week in September 2017. My next visit was last January 2018, which lasted for almost a month.

During my stay, El Nido’s Clydenike and Guenkean Travel & Tours helped me go around Bacuit Bay. I was able to visit Tour A, Tour B, and Tour C through their boat tour service.

For Tour D, we only rented a Kayak from the shore and paddled our way to the mountain island of Cadlao just across the main town.

You can contact Clydenike and Guenkean Travel & Tours through:

Adora Ermino
+63 927 162 2059

FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/clydenike/

Website: http://creativemnl.org/clydenike

Not all boat tours in El Nido are created equal

Not all boat tours offer these freebies.

I have tried other boat tour services during one of my trip, but memorable boat trips differentiate the experience I had during my stay in El Nido.

So if you’re thinking of visiting El Nido, Palawan soon, better get yourself geared for a boat tour. Check out the preview videos below of what to expect during your trip.



Clueless Commuter is a local food & travel website from the Philippines.