To break it down simply, ALL tour operators in El Nido, Palawan (Philippines) offer 4 island hopping tours: Tour A, Tour B, Tour C and Tour D. We visited Shimizu Island as our second destination on our Tour A.
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The second stop on our itinerary was Shimizu Island, where we stopped again for exploration and our very own lunch on the beach. It was roughly a 40 minute boat ride away from our first stop, the gorgeous Seven Commandos Beach. My first impression of this island was that of a hidden cove – but I soon realized that there was a resort nearby as we spotted quite a few over-the-water bungalows in the distance.
Shimizu Island itself is famous for the rare sightings of birds’ nests found and seen nested between various nooks and crannies within the surrounding limestone cliffs. Our guide quickly pointed out some of the snorkeling spots and a couple of our tour mates jumped in with their gear, but the rest of us preferred to simply sit back and take in the gorgeous scenery.
Because I’m not kidding, it truly was gorgeous. Everywhere I looked, the colors shone bright, the sun continued beating down and the sound of waves lapping against the sand could easily transport me into the entire deserted island vibe. Our guide pointed out a few of the picturesque spots to us and then he swam back to the boat to prepare lunch with the crew.
Roughly 20 minutes later, our fantastic crew gave us another surprise – they were going to swim to the beach with our lunch! Trust me, I didn’t believe it either until I saw it myself! Lunch was pretty decent and amazing, but I have to admit that we enjoyed better lunches during our Lunch Spot at Tour B and our Lunch Spot at Tour C. After the table was set up and plates were distributed, everyone dug in buffet style. Some of us opted to stand and eat, others found tree trunks to use as chairs; I preferred to sit on the sand close to the water.
Our guides were ready to pack up and leave immediately after lunch, but we all asked for a few minutes extra, because that’s how peaceful and content this place was making us feel. However, as with everything else in life, all good things must come to an end and we soon found ourselves swimming back to our Bangka. I threw back a glance as we were leaving (my customary “last look”) every time we leave a place, and found myself feeling grateful to have made it here.
The next stop on our itinerary was the famous Small Lagoon, where we saw our first swimming sea turtle just at the entrance!
Did I love Shimizu Island? Yes!
Do I recommend it? ABSO-defi-LUTELY!
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