They say that you’ll never been to El Nido if you haven’t tried the island hoping. This phrase convinced Kate to pursue our island hopping plan after how many times she keep on changing her decisions. Didn’t I mention that I was in charge to do all the planning for our entire trip in Palawan while Kate is disrupting our original plans? But, who’s complaining? 🙂
Anyway, our goal is to make our island hopping experience memorable. And because I want you to make your trip memorable too, I’m sharing you my personal tips.
1. Book your tour from recommended travel agencies.
Recommendations from friends and anyone you know are important most especially that it’s the travel agency will arrange your tours. You’ll be with their staff the entire trip. We booked our island hopping tour through Northern Hope Tours as most of the travel bloggers that I knew recommends this travel agency. True to what I’ve found online, indeed they offer a better service. In fact, Red Maleta confesses that her standards for island hopping have leveled up because of the service she experienced with Northern Hope Tours.
Most of the time, island hopping are shared tours – that means you’ll be sharing it with another people. Our group composed of both locals and foreign tourists. Our boatman initiated the introduction as we start our island hopping which lead to small talks to finally sharing travel experience.
At the end of the trip, Kate and I met new friends – Kay and Rye (local tourists from Manila). Bonus: They let us use their shower room for FREE which we were able to freshen up before going to our next itinerary for that day.
Establish rapport with your tour guides and boatman. They are locals so they know more about the place. Ask questions. You’ll never know you’ll share the same interest and they can give you better recommendation on places to visit or where to dine apart from those recommendations you’ve found online.
I remember our new – found friend Rye commented when we were kinda hesitant to do our yoga post in one of the limestone cliffs coz he was looking at us. He said “Go lang te, wag kang mahiya. Minsan lang tayo pumunta didto. Push mo yan!” That made sense. So, consider it a trip in search for perfect Facebook profile pic. You’ll never know when you’ll be able to go back to the place.
Don’t let your simple expectations ruin your day. There are times (on rare occasion though) that plans might change like what happened to us. Though we’ve booked for Tour A but we were not able to visit 7 Commandos Beach instead went to Papaya Island.
The good side was, there’s a coffee vendor in Papaya Island, tables and chairs, and hammock where you can relax to cap off the day.
There you go! I hope these tips are helpful for your future trips in El Nido. Enjoy! 🙂