Miniloc, El Nido: Adventurous Honeymoon in the Philippines

Continued on our honeymoon vacation, we kissed goodbye to the morning sunshine at Apulit and made our way back to the Taytay port. Our destination today was Miniloc Island, which is all the way on the opposite side of Palawan, in the Bacuit Bay.

Apulit Island, El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

apulit island, taytay, palawan

Apulit Island, El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

apulit island, taytay, palawan

Back at Taytay port, a private van was already standing by, getting ready to take us on a 2-hour road trip. We used that time to catch up on some sleep ?

taytay port to el nido port

taytay port to el nido port

Once we arrived on the northwest coast of Palawan, we worked our way through the El Nido Airport (also known as Lio Airport) and took a short break at the designated waiting area for El Nido Resorts.

El Nido Airport, Palawan, Philippines

el nido resorts waiting area

Similar to the one at Taytay port, the waiting area at El Nido Airport had light refreshments prepared for the resort guests. The outdoor land was covered in greenery. A sign was erected on one side, outlining the Ten El Nidos by which every single visitor should abide, just like the Ten Commandments for Christians. Fundamentally, it reminds us of being environmentally friendly – “take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints, bring nothing but memories, kill nothing but time”.

El Nido Airport, Palawan, Philippines

el nido airport

When time was up, we hopped onto a bus heading towards the port. This time round, it only took us 20 mins to reach Miniloc Island! Woohoo~

El Nido Port, Palawan, Philippines

el nido port

Miniloc Island Resort

Miniloc Island, El Nido, Palawan, Phlippines

miniloc island

Situated at the heart of Bacuit Bay, Miniloc Island is an ideal location for family and friends to relax and unwind. Featuring a total of 50 garden, cliff and water cottages, the island offers a variety of nature-based activities, including kayaking around the island, snorkeling at the house reef, swimming with the silver jacks, or scuba diving at 20+ diving sites, all easily accessible from Miniloc Island!

Stepping onto the wooden docking area, we were immediately standing in awe with a wonderful view of the fascinating house reefs, enchanting white sandy beach, and the impressive limestone cliffs.

Miniloc Island, El Nido, Palawan, Phlippines

docking area

Miniloc Island, El Nido, Palawan, Phlippines

crystal clear water with school of fish at house reefs

Miniloc Island, El Nido, Palawan, Phlippines

seaview cottages

Miniloc Island, El Nido, Palawan, Phlippines

water cottages

At the reception area, the staff warmly welcomed us with a song sung in local dialect, a glass of refreshing buko pandan juice (sweet coconut with gelatin cubes), and bamboo crafts.

Buko pandan juice at Miniloc Island, El Nido, Palawan, Phlippines

bamboo crafts and buko pandan juice

Before checking in to our room, the guest activity coordinator approached us and booked us some activities for the next day. Most of them are complimentary so might as well take advantage of it!

When everything was settled, the housekeeping staff led us to garden cottage, just few steps away from the beach. (Originally, I wanted a water cottage. Unfortunately, all 7 of them were booked up so we compromised to garden cottage ?).

Garden cottage at Miniloc Island, El Nido, Palawan, Phlippines

garden cottage

With a 3-person capacity, the room was extremely spacious for the 2 of us. We appreciated the extra single bed, which we ended up using it as a place to put our carryons.

Garden cottage at Miniloc Island, El Nido, Palawan, Phlippines Garden cottage at Miniloc Island, El Nido, Palawan, Phlippines

The bathroom was much larger than the one in water cottages- it even echoed! Garden cottage at Miniloc Island, El Nido, Palawan, Phlippines Garden cottage at Miniloc Island, El Nido, Palawan, Phlippines

We had not much complaints, except that the room was extremely noisy when our upstair neighbour had a kid who couldn’t stop stomping around. We had to call housekeeping several times to help resolve the issue. Also, you could tell the resort was much more older than Apulit that impending maintenance is much needed.

At the resort, several facilities are at your disposal: the bar, recreation center, beach, spa treatment room, restaurant, and….

Bar at Miniloc Island, El Nido, Palawan, Phlippines

bar

Recreation center at Miniloc Island, El Nido, Palawan, Phlippines

recreation center

Miniloc Island, El Nido, Palawan, Phlippines

beach

drinking water station! Fresh water is a valuable resource here, but thankfully we didn’t have to pay extra just to keep ourselves hydrated. Simply bring empty water bottles to refill here at any time!

Water station at Miniloc Island, El Nido, Palawan, Phlippines

drinking water station

Restaurant at Miniloc Island

This is where we took care of our breakfast, lunch, and dinner – all prepared in buffet style with both Asian and western dishes. Compared to Apulit Island, it was obvious that Miniloc was more crowded. It especially appeals to families with small children and elderly.

Restaurant at Miniloc Island, El Nido, Palawan, Phlippines

restaurant

Buffet at Miniloc Island, El Nido, Palawan, Phlippines

food made fresh at grilling station

Buffet at Miniloc Island, El Nido, Palawan, Phlippines

buffet

Spa Treatments at Miniloc

There was a variety of Asian, European and tropical face & body treatments from which we could choose. Normally, the treatments are offered in the Spa Treatment Room, but since I booked a 2.5 hrs body relieve package (P$3300) that required access to shower, we had the service at our room instead.

Spa treatment (Balinese foot wash) at Miniloc Island, El Nido, Palawan, Phlippines

balinese foot wash

Big & Small Lagoon

One of the most beautiful spots in El Nido must be the Big Lagoon for its deep emerald waters that is frequented by sea turtles. Located literally just around the corner, many visitors snorkeled at the mouth of the big lagoon to explore the rich and unspoiled coral reefs.

Big lagoon at Miniloc Island, El Nido, Palawan, Phlippines

snorkeling at the mouth of big lagoon

To enter the Big Lagoon, the guide took us on a boat ride, slowly cruising into the shallow body of water. On the way, we spotted some marine life like jellyfish and stingrays in the water!

Big lagoon at Miniloc Island, El Nido, Palawan, Phlippines

cruising into big lagoon

Big lagoon at Miniloc Island, El Nido, Palawan, Phlippines

big lagoon

To see the beauty of Small Lagoon, you need to be physically active (just a little). When we arrived at the amazing turquoise-green, shallow water bay, the boatman suddenly parked the boat and the guide hurried us to transport onto a kayak in groups of 2.

Small lagoon at Miniloc Island, El Nido, Palawan, Phlippines

at the mouth of small lagoon

Small lagoon at Miniloc Island, El Nido, Palawan, Phlippines

kayaking towards small lagoon

Kev and I paddled and found the small crack between the rocks that would bring us into the secluded sanctuary of Small Lagoon along with the tidal streams.

Small lagoon at Miniloc Island, El Nido, Palawan, Phlippines

looking for the entrance to the small lagoon

Ta-dah!! With the great help of Kev, we made our way through! The Small Lagoon is enclosed by towering marble walls. As we continued paddling to the innermost part of the lagoon, we found ourselves surrounded by MONKEYS! ???? Don’t fret- they don’t attack ?

Small lagoon at Miniloc Island, El Nido, Palawan, Phlippines

inside small lagoon

If you come prepared, you can snorkel and explore the water-filled cave at the back of the small lagoon. Since we left our snorkeling gears on the boat, we just enjoyed our relaxing kayak trip.

Cudugnon Cave & Snake Island

Another exciting attraction in El Nido is the Cudugnon Cave.

Cudugnon Cave in El Nido, Palawan, Phlippines

island where cudugnon cave is located

Cudugnon Cave in El Nido, Palawan, Phlippines

entry point of cudugnon cave

Cudugnon Cave in El Nido, Palawan, Phlippines

opening of the cudugnon cave

To get into the cave, we had to crawl through the slippery opening. Be careful of your head and feet, don’t injure ourselves. As a precaution, rubber closed-toe shoes are recommended.

Cudugnon Cave in El Nido, Palawan, Phlippines

inside cudugnon cave

The Cudugnon Cave is composed of eerily beautiful stalactites and stalagmites along with elevated cavernous ceilings. The crevices of the roof used to be inhabited by barn swallows and insectivorous bats. However, as the site became increasingly popular, the frequent visits by humans drove the animals away.

Another interesting fact about the cave is that – it is an important archeological site for evidences of Neolithic burials and believed to be burial sites before. Archaeologists have discovered bones and artifacts there before.

Vigan Island in El Nido, Palawan, Phlippines

vigan island (or snake island)

Not too far away is the Vigan Island (more commonly known as Snake Island). Famous for its natural sand spit, an s-shaped sand formation that is clearly visible at low tide. A short 5-min hike up to the top of the island leads to a view-deck, yielding a fabulous view of the entire bay!

Vigan Island in El Nido, Palawan, Phlippines

clearest water I have ever seen (in vigan island or snake island)

Vigan Island in El Nido, Palawan, Phlippines

docking on the shore of vigan island (or snake island)

Vigan Island in El Nido, Palawan, Phlippines

sandbar seen upclose

Entalula Beach Club

To get away from the overcrowded beach at Miniloc, we took a trip to Entatula island, a private beach where many residents from Miniloc Island can reserve for a private lunch.

Fine white sand. Blue waters. Coconut trees. Rugged cliffs. Having the whole island all to yourselves? It should not be missed!

Entalula Island in El Nido, Palawan, Phlippines

entalula island

Entalula Island in El Nido, Palawan, Phlippines

entalula island

Entalula Island in El Nido, Palawan, Phlippines

entalula island

Enjoyed a El Nido style pinic lunch on the beach was an utterly wonderful experience.

Restaurant at Entalula Island in El Nido, Palawan, Phlippines

restaurant at entalula island

pinic lunch at entalula island

pinic lunch at entalula island

Pinic lunch at Entalula Island in El Nido, Palawan, Phlippines

pinic lunch at entalula island

Picnic lunch at Entalula Island in El Nido, Palawan, Phlippines

pinic lunch at entalula island

Bar at Entalula Island in El Nido, Palawan, Phlippines

bar at entalula island

The El Nido Resorts markets Miniloc as an eco-discovery island, I can see why. The greatest pleasure of our stay lied not in spending our entire time at resorts, but in exploring the gorgeous nature around in. Participate in the activities and get involved. You will be constantly amazed by what the mother nature has to show ?

About El Nido Resorts – Miniloc Island

Website: http://www.elnidoresorts.com/miniloc-island/
Social Media: Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Want to have an adventurous-filled honeymoon? Consider Miniloc Island in El Nido! It will leave you with unforgettable memories in the Philippines!

 

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17 Comments Leave a Comment »

  1. Your pictures are gorgeous! The lagoons, the beaches, the resort, all look fantastic. I really want to visit the Philippines.

  2. Sooooo beautiful! Love the water colour!

  3. Aah the water.. so pristine! You have captured the breathtaking clearness of the water so well.

  4. Such gorgeous scenery, resorts and food. Incredible.

  5. All of the gorgeous scenery, crystal blue water and beautiful skies are the perfect setting for a wonderful honeymoon! I’m so glad you’ve been enjoying this experience and I love getting to see it through your eyes.

  6. All I’m thinking as I look at your photos and read this post (and remembering your previous ones) is, this is how everyday life should be and, I want to go to the Philippines!!!

  7. It seems you have been seriously spoiled on Maniloc island. The room looked gorgeous, and so did the restaurant and the scenery that surrounded you.

    • It looks gorgeous, isn’t it?? Believe it or not – It is not yet the most beautiful place in El Nido! Stay tune to my post this week on the last place we stayed in El Nido. You’ll be amazed 🙂

  8. Pingback: Pangulasian, El Nido: Honeymoon in Philippines (Day 8~10) | For Two, Please

  9. Hello Cat,
    What an amazing honeymoon you had.
    Your commentary seemed half hearted and a little critical at times- I mean what resort are you not going to have noisy children here and there. Sure it must have been a little disturbing of the peace but gees surely they weren’t stomping around late at night or at the crack of dawn??
    You didn’t mention one passing comment about the locals either good or bad which gives the impression that they are soulless insignificant accessories to the journey….
    Perhaps this is your first travel blog or just a bit of fun, either way it is much appreciated and the photos say more than a thousand words!
    All the best,
    Jim

    • Hi Jim,

      Thank you for your comment. FYI, this is a luxury resort in El Nido that charges USD$1000 a night. For that price, the utmost comfort and privacy were expected. If it was just a little noisy during daytime, that would have been fine, but the noisy children were making constant noises ALL DAY until 11pm or almost mid-night. We found that unacceptable and the staff could have handled it better. Also, it is a one-island-one-resort concept, so besides the resort, there’s nothing else on the island. There were only guests and staff, no locals on the island, for your information.

      I pride myself in offering honest feedback for my audience. Is it critical – yes. But it is also useful for my audience who are luxury, adventurous travelers. Sorry if my commentary is not your style. Wish you all the best.

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