After traveling around the Philippines for one month, I can honestly say that one of the highlights of my trip was El Nido. Although El Nido is a bit busy for my taste, the islands and the beaches here are absolutely incredible.
If you’re planning to visit it, you’re most probably thinking about taking an island hopping tour. These tours will take you to some of the most beautiful places inside the famous Bacuit Bay. The most popular tour in El Nido is tour A and it includes a stop at the breathtaking Shimizu Island.
In this guide, I will share with you everything you need to know about Shimizu Island so let’s get to it!
1. About Shimizu Island
Let’s talk about how this island got its name. The legend says that decades ago, a group of divers were exploring the beautiful marine life in El Nido but unfortunately one of the divers wasn’t able to make his way back to the surface.
After searching for a few days, the locals have finally found him on an island in the Bacuit Bay. They decided to name the island after the diver’s name – Shimizu.
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2. Things you need to know
Shimizu Island in El Nido is one of the most beautiful destinations in the area. The tall, black limestone mountains are guarded by beautiful palm trees and a stretch of white sand. The water is crystal clear and perfect for swimming and snorkeling.
In fact, snorkeling at Shimizu Island is very popular. The island is considered to be one of the best snorkeling areas in El Nido and many tourists come here to explore the diverse marine life. Expect to see colorful fish and spectacular corals.
Shimizu Island will be the place where you’ll have lunch. Eating delicious fish and fresh fruits while admiring the view from this beach is a truly unique experience.
I absolutely loved this island and walked around it as much as I could. I discovered a few beautiful beaches, hidden between the tall stone walls and some pretty amazing views.
Once you get to Shimizu Island, my advice is to eat as fast as you can and go snorkeling or start exploring everything this island has to offer. You will be surprised by its beauty!
Before planning your trip, there are a few things that you should keep in mind. I will list them below:
- Buy a good dry bag – accidents can happen (Dan fell into the water with his camera on Siargao Island, Philippines). Buy a good dry bag to keep all your electronics and valuables safe.
- Rent or bring your protective water shoes – there are many sharp stones and corals on the bottom of the water. Wearing protective shoes will make your life so much easier.
- There are no toilets on the island – while it’s important to hydrate, remember that there are no toilets on any of the El Nido islands.
- Check if the snorkeling gear is included in tour’s price – when booking an island hopping tour in El Nido, make sure that the snorkeling gear is included in the price.
- Keep the place clean – don’t leave any traces and take the garbage with you.
3. Shimizu Island entrance fee & other fees
As I have already said, Shimizu Island is part of the island hopping tour A. The tours are heavily regulated by the government and the prices are the same at any tour agency. The tour A costs 1200 PHP and it starts at 9 am. Usually, the tour ends around 4 pm.
On top of the tour price, you will have to pay an environmental fee of 200 PHP per person. This fee is valid for 10 days. If you plan on taking another island hopping tour, make sure to keep the receipt to avoid paying the fee again.
3. How to get to Shimizu Island, El Nido
The only way you can get to Shimizu Island is by booking an island hopping tour. There are two options for booking tours in El Nido and I will share all the details you need to know about each of these options.
Remember, only the island hopping tour A includes a stop to the Shimizu Island.
Book your tour in El Nido Town
There are many tour agencies in El Nido town to choose from. The only thing that you have to keep in mind is that there are a limited number of passes for island hopping per day. If you are traveling during high season, I recommend booking your tour online just to make sure that you will catch a free spot.
Book your tour online
To book your tour online, at the best price, click here. I recommend booking your tour at least one day in advance.
4. Other things to do in El Nido
Shimizu Island is just one of the incredible places that you can visit in El Nido. There are many other beautiful places which are worth visiting. My favorite beach was Las Cabana Beach. With some of the most spectacular views towards the limestone mountains, this beach is a true hidden gem.
-> To check out the best El Nido sunset locations, click here.
Another beach, perfect for watching the sunset is Corong Corong Beach. Situated at a short walk away from El Nido town, this beach is perfect for a relaxing walk on the seashore.
If you want to go to a more remote beach, where you can enjoy the nature without being disturbed by hordes of tourists, I recommend visiting the Twin Beach. This incredible strip of sand is a little corner of paradise.
5. Where to stay in El Nido
Finding good accommodation in El Nido is pretty difficult because there aren’t too many options to choose from. However, I’ve been searching for the best accommodation for every budget and here are my recommendations:
- Budget – Carandang Inn – close to the city center, clean rooms, friendly owners
- Mid Budget – La Colonial – good location, beautiful pool, clean & spacious rooms, friendly staff
- Luxury – Frangipani – modern & clean rooms, beautiful design & view, breakfast included, good location
I hope that this guide helped you plan your Shimizu Island trip. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to let me know in the comments section below.
May the travel bug bite you!