Travel Destinations

The Philippines, El Nido Boat Tours

The Philippines El Nido Boat Tours
Written by Carl Hedinger

‘Some mate,’ Karl Framm said with contempt. ‘Hell, that little stern-wheeler we’re chasin’ don’t draw nothin’. After a good rain, she could steam halfway across the city of N’Orleans without ever noticin’ that she’d left the river.’ ― George R.R. Martin, Fevre Dream

El Nido Boat Tours

The night before, we’d shared drinks and hookah with some fabulous companions and the idea of taking a boat tour came up. I thought that maybe one round would be enough. Wouldn’t torrential downpours – and the boat breaking down during the first one – have been enough? After a couple of days snorkeling and riding around on the water, I want to share our El Nido boat tours experiences through these words and pictures.

Beautiful Colors, El Nido Boat Tours

I sometimes look back on El Nido and think about the people first. Those thoughts lift me up and bring me down at the same time, realizing that we’d met people who are really doing things and helping people in need. Island nights and boat tours enhance the ambience and make one think of those encounters as perfect though, don’t they?

Leaving El Nido for a Boat Tour

Moving on the water with the wind and waves makes me feel as close to real living as I can get. Spending this tour with our aforementioned friends became a day worth retelling. The stories these ladies had of tough times – in countries I could barely place on a map – could alone supply campfires and family gatherings with entertainment.

Rain during Tour C, El Nido

But sure enough, the day had more in store for us as the boat engine broke down and the rain reached monsoon levels. While the captain and our guide worked tirelessly to get the show back on the road, our friends perfectly fit such a situation. No complaining about the terrible weather and unfortunate circumstances because they’d seen worse. I learned new levels of appreciation after spending just an hour with these ladies. Perhaps the wonderful company from the first day made us sign up for another boat tour after a day at Nacpan Beach.

Rain ahead, El Nido

The second day had no weather or boat problems. It was a sunny and perfect day. Just like before, we lucked out and shared with just another couple. I felt bad for the boats full of people, with hardly enough room to stretch out those legs worn down from a day of snorkeling.

Swimming in the Lagoon, El Nido Boat Tour C

Aside from the space, these companions were nice but not full of stories like our fast friends. The weather was just right for a nice day on the water. After seeing gorgeous lagoons and corals, my final memory was from our stop at an island resort with a gorgeous beach. Christina and I walked around searching for places to photograph. I sat in the sand and while thinking, some rustling from a nearby tree stole my attention.

Lagoon seen during El Nido Boat Tour A

Nothing really important to see, I remember. It was just a guy climbing and safely lowering some coconuts down to meet demands from the snack bar. Children were playing in the water with their families while music softly played in the background.

Clam shell found while snorkeling in El Nido

I wondered what our friends from Samar were doing and how the day was treating them. Would we meet them again and be able to say “thank you” for the stories and inspiration? I noticed our companions at the boat with the captain and guide. El Nido Town was the next stop. This marvelous day and tour neared its end – time for another sunset from our balcony as the music started to pick up. It was time for another island night – another one in paradise.

Beach at the end of Tour A, El Nido


What do you think of our experiences with El Nido Boat Tours? I’d love to read your thoughts in the comments section below! 

Want to read more stories about the Philippines

The Philippines El Nido Boat Tours by Duke Stewart

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About the author

Carl Hedinger

I’m a writer and recovering American expat who shares my family’s travels through life. Follow our adventures here and on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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