Arcenas and Theresa are a husband and wife team who run a homestay on a small rural island east of El Nido.
They collect the daily catch from locals and ship it off on ice every day to Manila, so you can expect plenty of delicious seafood when on a tour with them.
They have two boats at your disposal:
Here’s the other one:
Here’s the view from their homestay:
A picture of their homestay, second building closer to the beach.
Picture of village life:
You can join or book one of our private custom Palawan boat tours between El Nido and Coron. Tons of paradise beach islands to see along the way, excellent snorkeling in crystal clear waters, caves to explore, Spanish fortress and much more. Completely off the beaten path!
Back to our boat sizes and list of boat operators.
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We’ve spent great days during the “expedition”. The guys were friendly and easy going, food was excellent and the islands we visited were amazing. Really nice!
I would only “change” 2 things for it to be perfect:
1-In every spot we stopped...there was a fee. I read carefully the info in your website and apart from the tipical “Banana, Malcapuya and Bulog”(which we did not visit in the end) in Culion and all the spots around Coron...it said nothing about other fees in other places/islands...even in each place we stop to sleep...there was a fee (not the last CYC)... All this fees were not expected! Just saying that it would be great if you updated this info in the web...or at least...that the guys in the boat...should tell you (because obviously they know it and wait until the last minute before leaving the place to tell you and ask for the fee) before taking you to one place or another...just for you to dicide...or ask for a place without fee to put the tent.
2-I know they are locals and have not resources, but the mattres they gave us for the tent...was as thin as a sheet🤣 Not a real problem, we knew that were going to sleep 3 nights on a tent in the beach...but actually, we saw a lot of other private boats/tourists/tents with a much better mattres. Of course it is a question of confort, but it is something not expensive and easyly improvable!
I do not want you take this in bad sense,ok? Just trying to inform you about little things that can be easly changed and will make the expedition perfect! Anyway it was a great experience and yes...Linapacan Islands are the real paradise.
Good luck in live!! And enjoy this amazing place!
The entry fees have been slowly increasing every year, but now I have updated the website to correctly reflect the new prices.
Theresa has been investing less than the others into her mattresses, but I have informed her of this and she promised to make the necessary improvements.
Everything was amazing, our guide Alberto, the staff and Theresa were all great. Thank you so much for your support, we will definitely book with you again if we go back to the Philippines and we'll spread the word about your website, we really had the best time!
I also just left a review and saw the great work you've done on improving the website! 🙂
Just a couple of remarks that might be helpful for your next trips: i) we really loved the Linapacan Tourist Camp on our second night so maybe you could add that to the list of recommended accommodations, ii) we didn't enjoy our stay at Araw beach as much instead, however our guide told us there were no other alternatives so maybe it would be good to offer one more option in that area and finally iii) on our last day in Coron our guide wasn't aware that some sites closed at 3 or 4pm so we didn't manage to see Kayangan Lake although we had tickets. This wasn't a huge issue for us but still good to keep that in mind in the future!
Thank you again for everything!
Thank you for the tip and I have added the Tourist Camp to our page of recommended accommodations. It is a new place.
The trip was fantastic. We had a great time and were extremely happy with the captain and the other guys. Very friendly and happy to take us wherever. Our night in the guide's hometown was really special and we had fun meeting the local kids and the guide's daughter. Unfortunately we woke up sick the next morning and had to cut our trip short, but even then they were really nice and accommodating. All in all we had a blast and wish we could have made it through the whole thing!
everything is fine!!
We enjoy all the time!
It was AMAZING!!
The boat crew were the cutest, most helpful kids in the world. We love them, love the boat, the tour, the beaches.
Thanks so so much!!
We had a lovely trip.
It was excellent!! Couldn’t believe that it could be storming so bad for 10 hrs in El Nido and be blue skies in Sibaltan. We had one half day with very rough water and rain and did have skip a couple stops but it was so worth it and the captain was great with the waves. Food was also excellent! Soooo glad we ended up going!
yah, was a bit of a struggle to convince you to go, but I lived in the area for three years and have lots of experience with typhoons passing through. They die down quickly, if they even make it this far to the western part of the country, and as explained on our weather forecast page, it can often rain heavily on the larger islands, as the rain clouds are pushed up the higher mountains, while they just pass over the countless small islands, which experience bright sunshine.
We had an amazing time. Our boatman, Dado, and his crew were top notch. Some of the best food we had in the Philippines and we loved being some of the only ones around on the islands. Honestly, we were a little scared when we booked because we had no idea what to expect, but it ended up one of our best experiences. Thank you so much!
All the trip was really very nice.
The crew was top too.
The boat trip was fantastic. The weather not so much. Definitely would come back again on a more calmer season.
Yah, the waves can get a bit high around February, hard to predict, but glad you had a great time!
The expedition went very well, thank you.
The crew was fantastic, a big thank you to Captain Armando, Rudi, Milken and Lolong.
We would highly recommend this crew!!
It was such a great trip! Thanks so much for sorting everything. The boat didn’t have a ladder which was tricky for my partner and I at times, but apart from that everything else was good.
Yah, we're expanding quickly and it takes a little time to stock up all the boats with some the amenities, but I have forwarded your concern. In such cases the crew is happy to help you get out of and into the water.
- The trip itself was awesome! The beaches were amazing and having our own boat gave us the freedom to move on faster or slower and go at our own pace. We saw 3 or 4 other boats completing similar itineraries though it wasn't an issue having them around.
- The boatmen were lovely - we had 3 but they were super friendly and hospitable.
- The food was delicious and excellent value. Exceeded expectations for sure!
- The only negative was that our boat changed last minute and we'd already spoken with the previous boatmen. This also means that our boat was 'downsized' from what we were sent originally - our first boat had 6 seats at the front, and the 2nd had no seats (we had to sit above the engine) - it was ok for the 2 of us but overly not very comfortable.
Yes, this is one issue we are trying to resolve. Our boatmen manage several boats and crews and it is difficult to know exactly how they allocate things, as sometimes larger groups book at the last minute and need to be allocated the larger boats. We are working on a system to show pictures and info/sizes of each boat, with names, in case some guests want to specifically choose larger boats because they are afraid of the waves, for example. But for this they will need to pay extra, probably 5,000p, more info at https://www.islandhoppinginthephilippines.com/palawan/v/sizes-of-boats/
Everything went fine. We liked it a lot especially sleeping and visiting places with very few tourists.
We spent some wonderful days in paradise, we really liked the trip and Theresa and the boatsmen were very kind and helpful.
It was amazing! Albert team is really nice and we really enjoyed our stay with them! I Will more than probably do it again for more than 3 days these time 😉
Thanks, it went great! We met Theresa on Pical. She was very nice and helpful. Our crew was spectacular. We actually left a day early because there was no wind for my boyfriend to kite, but we made it very clear to Theresa that we were happy to pay full amount and it had nothing to do with the boat or crew. It was an awesome trip. We were here in the Philippines for over 3 weeks and it was definitely one of the highlights for us.
Maybe someday a traveling kiter will make a list of what islands to hit for each wind direction. My boyfriend only got in a couple days of kiting because either the wind didn't cooperate or we we're on the wrong beach considering the wind direction.
We saw Tao and another group El Nido and we're very grateful not to be on one of those boats with 25-35 people crammed on there.
Positive items :
- the staff was very nice, they listened and filled our expectations in terms of food and route.
- we had a couple a special request for the meals and the tour guide did great.
- we could stop on some specific spots we requested.
- snorkeling and island hopping were as good and amazing as expected.
- camping gears were great and the comfort was good.
Items to improve :
- 5 crew for the cruise for just my girilfriend and I, this is a lot of people. Only one was speaking english
- for the organization of this cruise, we had to discuss with you and Theresa, but in the end we never get to see either of you 2. Theresa is not very talkative on messegner and the answers to our questions prior to the cruise were very laconic and not always very clear. It would be better to discuss with the people in charge on the boat.
- It would be good if the boatman / or anyone from the 5 crew on board had join us and guide us during the snorkeling sessions, which is quite the only activity of the trip. Some guidances and company during the snorkeling would be welcome.
We had a great time and we will recommend it.
Glad you enjoyed Julien. Usually the crew is 4-5 people because the captain needs help anchoring and when approaching shore, especially if the weather gets a bit rough.
As mentioned on this page, Theresa manages several boats and crews, as well as her hotel, so usually she does not join the tours. I am the internet middleman and almost never join any of the tours, although I have many times in the past, to familiarise myself with everything.
Thank you for the feedback and, as always, I have passed it on.
My trip was absolutely fantastic. Genuinely one of the best experiences I have ever had, cannot explain how much of a good time we had. We met Theresa v easily, but ended up going with her good friend Dadz (I think as she was not well), and Dadz took us around the amazing islands near Pical, and then on to Linapacan. Dadz and his crew were wonderful hosts, and cooked some truly magnificent food. Cannot commend the trip highly enough.
The tour was very good. We have visited some other spots not mentioned on your list and I made some videos with my drone.
The boat tour went very well and was pleasant. The sea and winds were a bit rough but the Crew went out of their way for our comfort. Some suggestions to make the boat tour even more fun: add a small canoe that can be easily used. Add some variaty to the food. But as I said, we enjoyed the tour very much.
Just bought a couple of windsurf boards and two spearguns, trying to spice things up. Inflatable canoe crossed my mind but afraid it would be a hassle and could get punctured. In any case thank you for the suggestion and will ponder. Food-wise, Filipinos are meat gougers and hard to convince them to put much veggies in their cooking. Guests are always told they can put in special requests for food, but I have passed on your remarks and hopefully they will get it. 🙂
It was absolutely incredible, thank you! We had the most amazing time and by far it has been the highlight of our trip! The crew were brilliant and really created an unforgettable trip for us! I couldn’t recommend them and the trip enough!
We had an amazing time on the boat tour, the most beautiful places we’ve ever been and the boat crew did such a great job. Unfortunately, we were fed inaccurate information and because of this we missed our flight.
Sorry to hear that Sarah and the person in question has been reprimanded.
It was a pretty good trip. Theresa's nephew, Kim took the trip - he was a nice enough young guy.
Some minor issues..tent couldn't stand up to the windy conditions.
Snagged the anchor, had to call the "Anchor Man". Also wrapped the rope in the propeller and had to bring the boat back early to the village one afternoon, to repair the drive shaft. Crossings were pretty rough on occasions, uncomfortable in near 2 metre swell, but never really felt unsafe. Most of this, though part of the adventure.
Good to get very remote, but surprised by mobile coverage in some remote areas. Some reefs were in great condition, but large fish weren't in abundance - probably overfished.
Food on the whole was surprisingly good at times, though most meals lacked any vegetables.
In the whole though, it was a quite an adventure and a pretty good trip.
Have to say though could only recommend this to the very adventurous traveller.
Yah Mark, hard to predict the weather. Most of the time it is calm. Thanks for your feedback and we'll continue to improve our services.
Knows the great sites, does a professional job.