Sunday, July 31, 2011

El Nido, I Shall Return

I found myself in one of the most enchanting spots in the Philippines, El Nido. This is the last of 6 parts.

There are tourist spots where one visit is enough. El Nido is not one of those places.

With the scenic landscape of El Nido already a given, what makes me want to go back to El Nido is the exceptional service that I can expect to experience at El Nido Resorts.

A holiday at El Nido is truly stress free with the friendly and helpful staff of El Nido Resorts always making sure that every guest is treated like royalty. I had everything I needed with nothing to worry about during my 3 days at El Nido thanks to the staff.

Service is also personalized with simple gestures like these going a long way:

Origami with a Twist

Candied Pili for a Good Night

Sweet Dreams Indeed

But what impressed me most with El Nido Resorts is the fact that they are willing to go out of their way to keep each guest satisfied. Truth be told, we were unable to visit the Big Lagoon during our day tour due to unfavorable water conditions. When I expressed my disappointment about this missed opportunity, the activity coordinator of El Nido Resorts offered and arranged a private tour of the Big Lagoon for me the following day! It didn't matter that the Big Lagoon was 30 minutes away and they had a shortage of boats during that weekend as they truly wanted to see me leave El Nido happy. It goes without saying that the solo tour at the Big Lagoon after dawn was one of the highlights of my trip.

My Private Tour

Aside from the exceptional service, the earthy and rugged feel of Miniloc Island Resort makes me want to go back to El Nido for a different experience altogether. With Lagen Island Resort going for comfort and luxury, Miniloc Island Resort used local and indigenous materials to add warmth and familiarity to the place. 

Lusher Greens at Miniloc

More Breathtaking Views

Crystal Clear Waters

Seaview Rooms

To Die For


The Localized Cottages

Other plus points for Miniloc Island Resort are as follows:
  • It is not as secluded as Lagen Island Resort making it nearer the popular tourist attractions. Case in point is the possibility of reaching the Big Lagoon using only a kayak from Miniloc Island Resort
  • One need not go far to see the marine life as the waters fronting Miniloc Island Resort is rich with tropical fish.
  • Compared to Lagen Island Resorts, rates are also less expensive at Miniloc Island Resort by as much as 40%

With the attractive packages of Miniloc Island Resort and the exceptional service at any El Nido Resorts property, it is almost guaranteed that I shall be back at El Nido in the future.

Miniloc Island Resort is located at El Nido, Palawan. Rates start at 6,500php per person per night. For more information, click here.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

What to Do In El Nido

I found myself in one of the most enchanting spots in the Philippines, El Nido. This is the 5th of 6 parts.

Aside from island hopping and relaxing at Lagen Island Resorts, there are still a lot of things that can be done in El Nido. Here are some recommended activities:

1. EAT
Of course, no vacation is complete without overindulging in food. Admittedly, food at Lagen Island Resort is not remarkable so just go with the seafood selection as one can’t go wrong with fresh produce.




Second Helpings

With the rich marine life of El Nido, it's a crime not to spend a few hours snorkeling. Play with the schools of fish, appreciate the vast coral reefs, and don't forget to take pictures underwater.

Sharks They Are Not

Exploring the islands using a kayak is a different experience altogether. I felt much closer with nature in my kayak as I was on my own, removed from any distraction.

Coordination is Key

A 400,000php boat, the hobie cat uses wind power to travel in water. It's an environment friendly way to explore the islands.

Thanks for the Wind

Windsurfing is only recommended for those who are sporty and are good with balancing. The instructions were a bit overwhelming so I didn't dare try.


It has to be said that the El Nido sunset is not as spectacular as Boracay's. It's still worth catching though during a slow day in paradise.

Spend quality time with the one that you love!

Use of non-motorized equipment is free of charge when staying at either Miniloc or Lagen Island Resorts.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Wonders of El Nido

I found myself in one of the most enchanting spots in the Philippines, El Nido. This is the 4th of 6 parts.

El Nido is located in the northwestern tip of Palawan and is considered to be the showcase of Palawan's diverse marine and wildlife.

But more than the chirping birds, schools of fish, and exotic animals, I was captivated most by the magnificent limestone cliffs, clear blue waters, and lush greenery that surround El Nido.

It's such a picturesque region that there's no bad view to be had here. I'm just afraid that my pictures and words are not enough to give this place justice.

We had a whole day to explore the islands and went to the top attractions.

Pinasil Island has a cathedral like cavern which is unsurprisingly called Cathedral Cave. With little imagination, the formation does look like a cathedral.

The local government has banned the use of motorized boats to access the cave as it disturbs the birds who build their nests inside. Unfortunately, we didn't have kayaks with us so we were only able to appreciate the beauty of this island from the outside.

Cathedral Cave

Bring Kayaks to Enter the Cave

We had to crawl inside a small hole to enter Cadugnon Cave. Once inside, an unpleasant smell is noticeable but it was not that bad. Cadugnon Cave was the burial site of early natives making the experience inside the cave more exciting. It's a small cave though and one can finish the exploration in less than 10 minutes.

Where to Enter

Small but Manageable

Natural Light

The Dibuluan Island Beach Club is exclusive to visitors staying at either Lagen or Miniloc Island Resort. Water sports activities are usually conducted here. Unfortunately, there are a lot of jellyfish in Dibuluan making the island not ideal for swimming. Those who aren't sporty can skip this area. 

Getting Off Dibuluan


Uh Oh: Giant Jellyfish and Lots of It!

Another exclusive property of the El Nido resorts, Entalula Island Beach Club is known for its pristine beach with bent coconut trees. It's also one of the most romantic spots in El Nido making it a popular spot for couples. Unfortunately, it was already dark when we stepped foot on Entalula so I wasn't able to fully embrace its beauty.

Beautiful from Afar


The main selling point of Vigan Island is its unique S-shaped sand bar. Because of this natural phenomenon, Vigan Island is popularly known as Snake Island. Admittedly, I've seen better sand bars but this place is still worth visiting as it also offers good views after a short hike. 

Sandbar from Afar

Off to Hike!

Clear Water

Hi Ho Hi Ho

After 5 minutes...

Why It's Called Snake Island

Finally, a trip to El Nido is not complete without visiting the famous lagoons...

The fact that only a small crack between rocks enables visitors to access the Small Lagoon certainly adds to the legend and charm of this attraction.

Kayaks are used to enter the Small Lagoon and all the paddling is worth it once you see for yourself how enchanting the place is. Time stood still for me and I was so lost in appreciating the exquisiteness of this hidden spot. 

The Small Lagoon is enclosed by towering marble walls with still waters making it the perfect place to spend a few hours relaxing and having fun under the sun. The aquamarine shade of the water was also so inviting that I wanted to jump in. The only thing that stopped me was my not so waterproof camera. 

Too Big to Enter

 Kayaking is the Way to Go

The Crack

100% Beautiful

Still Waters Perfect for Relaxing

High Marble Walls


The Big Lagoon is a different experience all together with its larger than life rock formations. I was perfectly content to just sit back and admire the beautiful landscape and tranquil emerald waters of the Big Lagoon as it was so calming. 

The Big Lagoon is a popular snorkeling spot because sea turtles frequent the area. My tour guide also shared that they just recently arranged an intimate wedding ceremony at the Big Lagoon. Hmm... this gives me an idea... lol

Entering the Big Lagoon

Deep Emerald Waters

No Bad Angle Here

Deeper Part of the Lagoon

Lost in Paradise

With El Nido's countless wonders, it's impossible to not get overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of this nature paradise. It's a feast on the eyes and I am recommending everyone to take a trip to this magical island at least once in this lifetime.
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