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EL NIDO ISLAND HOPPING: TOUR A – Lagoons and Beaches

Tour A basically involves Miniloc Island where all the lagoons are located. Places to see in the tour are the Small Lagoon, Big Lagoon, Secret Lagoon, Shimizu Island and Seven Commando Beach. If you came across this page because you are interested about El Nido, you may want to check out the prices for the tours in my previous post.

The entrance to the Small Lagoon

I sat in the boat brimming with excitement as I recalled the places outlined in the poster I saw at the little shop that we signed up for the tour. I have no idea what a lagoon looks like. What comes to mind when I think of the word ‘lagoon’ is a movie called Blue Lagoon, I vaguely remember something about a boy and a girl and lots of water.
When our boat arrived at a certain area and one of the crew said this is our stop: the Small Lagoon. We looked around and said “–a-h-h-h, ok”, nothing out of the ordinary, just some water and rocks. Then he further said, this is where we stop to anchor and then we go through that opening. That got our attention and we all turned to examine what looks like a small opening from where we were. “You mean we have to swim through that tiny gap?” Someone from the group piped in. I am not a strong swimmer so I put on my life vest and cautiously looked at the gap he was pointing at. When we swam near the opening, upon closer inspection, what we thought was a tiny gap was not that small. It was actually wide enough to allow two swimmers through at a time, but extra care was needed as sharp rocks on the sides concealed by the water can possibly graze some limbs.
As I was about to pass through the opening of the small lagoon I took this shot

I was expecting a small area because it is called ‘small’ lagoon, but I was wrong. I reckon one can build a stadium inside the lagoon and still have some room left.
Inside the Small Lagoon, some groups brought kayaks which is useful because it is such a big area to explore.

Towering limestone cliff surrounds the lagoon.

I was happily swimming in the cold water when suddenly I felt warm water around me. I turned to check if someone just peed in the waters. 🙂 Nope, no one close enough to do that. I was later told that the temperature of the water inside the lagoon is a mixture of warm and cold.
The big lagoon is huge. Boats can go through between the gaps at the entrance. As our boat was approaching the grand entrance of the big lagoon we saw other tourists standing on surfboards calmly paddling their way in.
Entrance to the Big Lagoon

The entrance is shallow and the boatmen had to slow the engine right down to a murmur and told the passengers to move to the front of the boat to even the weight distribution, despite those strategies the bottom of the boat still scraped against the rocks on the shallow portion at the entrance to the lagoon.
Our boat circled around the lagoon and we headed out again, off to our next stop.
The entrance to the secret lagoon is a small triangular-shaped opening as shown in the photo below.
We go through the opening to see the Small Lagoon

To go in we have to sit on the rock, bring our legs over to the other side to avoid hitting our heads on the rock above

Once inside, the secret lagoon isn’t a secret anymore. The water inside the lagoon is mostly rainwater & only up to the knees.

A crocodile-shaped rock formation is waiting for visitors

We had a chance to snorkel while the boat crew prepared our lunch.

Snorkeling is okay in Shimizu beach but not fantastic. We managed to find some corals with marine life sparsely spread around the area.
Sea urchin with very long spines

I was bobbing back and forth just about a foot above these sharp long spines. I quickly took a photo and swam away.
Giant clams embedded in a coral

Did you know that the average lifespan of a giant clam living in the wild can be 100 years or more? These clams if left alone can outlive us all 🙂
Lunch that the crew prepared was delicious and more than enough for the group.

After lunch, we travelled northwest to Seven Commando Beach for drinks and more swimming for some, while the others just relaxed in the beach until it was time to head back to El Nido.
Seven Commando Beach – last stop for the day

You can check other El Nido posts here:
Are we there yet? – Bus trip from Puerto Prinsesa to El Nido
EL NIDO Island hopping tours
EL NIDO ISLAND HOPPING: TOUR A – Lagoons and Beachesyou are here
EL NIDO ISLAND HOPPING: TOUR C – Hidden Beaches and Shrines
INLAND EL NIDO: Motorcycle ride and secluded beaches
EL NIDO – Where we stayed
EL NIDO – helpful things to know
Text & Photos by Alicia Davis

2 thoughts on “EL NIDO ISLAND HOPPING: TOUR A – Lagoons and Beaches”

  1. Pingback: EL NIDO ISLAND HOPPING: TOUR C – Hidden Beaches and Shrines » Steps on Air
  2. Pingback: INLAND EL NIDO: Motorcycle ride and secluded beaches | Steps on Air

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