If you can only visit one place in El Nido, Palawan this will have to be the one. Miniloc Island, located in the center of the Bacuit archipelago off El Nido town, is a towering karst landscape filled with attractive white sand beaches and hidden lagoons and surrounded by crystal-clear waters teeming with diverse marine life. To see this island and its lagoons in particular, we got on a Tour A package boat along with 17 other passengers.
Our boat made it to Miniloc in just about 20 minutes. First stop on our itinerary for the day was the Small Lagoon, a karst-enclosed lagoon reachable only through a narrow opening in the surrounding limestone walls. Visitors can only get inside either through swimming or by kayaking; the narrow passageway is also just big enough for one kayak. Kayaks are available for rent at stations near the opening.
As our boat anchored a distance away from the opening we could more or less see what was in store for us. The water was a rich turquoise green in color with the now-familiar limestone outcrops rising from the sea like sentinels guarding the lagoon. Lush vegetation peppered the karst formations – a small miracle with the El Nino phenomenon prevailing over much of the country this year.
The view once you get inside the Small Lagoon is somewhat similar to the Secret Beach of Matinloc with striking karst formations surrounding the lagoon, and even shielding parts of it from the sun. The difference is the much deeper turquoise waters of the lagoon that enabled several kayakers to leave their craft and take a dip. We explored it briefly; there is a part that is as deep as 30 meters and a tiny recess at the end of the lagoon that turned out to be a small cave. Our only frustration with the Small Lagoon is not being able to bring a DSLR inside to take pictures. It is not easy to describe the allure of places like this if one is limited to words.
Made by: shoestringdiary, El Nido: The Lagoons of Miniloc, April 29, 2016