If you haven’t heard about El Nido in Palawan, Philippines, then you truly have been living under a rock! This incredible destination has swept the travel world with constant waves and glimpses of Philippines hidden treasures. To break it down simply, ALL tour operators in El Nido offer 4 island hopping tours: Tour A, Tour B, Tour C and Tour D. This is a review of Tour A, which we did in El Nido on our very second day.
Just after our morning beach stop at Seven Commandos Beach and our fantabulous lunch at Shimizu Island, our guide greeted us with the words: “Are you ready for some adventure now?” As you probably already guessed, the answer was a unanimous “YES!” from everyone on the boat. We were then informed about our next itinerary stop – the infamous Small Lagoon!
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! 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.
As soon as I caught my first glimpse of this beautiful beach, I knew that my time in the Philippines was going to be magical. That first glimpse of cute beach resting huts and swaying coconut trees spoke volumes. I simply couldn’t wait to get to shore and explore.
We had encountered choppy waves at the Small Lagoon, but it started getting a little bad by the time we reached the entrance of the Big Lagoon. Once we got there, our guide once again gave us two options: kayak or swim. However, this time, even the confident swimmers looked wary. One tour-mate even decided to just photograph it using his drone and not even bother venturing into the water. A few of us decided to brave it – with kayaks, but even that proved to be a bit of a challenge.
A short boat ride later, our Bangka set anchor at what looked like a tiny secluded beach. We looked back at our guide with surprised looks. What were we supposed to do? Where was the Secret Lagoon? He pointed to a rock on the left side of the boat, roughly 20 metres away. “Go. Swim.” That was all he said.