We took a chartered plane (seats around 20 pax)to get there. The pilots were well experienced (on our way back home we experienced a lot of turbulence and clouds due to slightly bad weather and they did the best they could to keep us all from throwing up after a long night of drinking - but that's another story..) In the plane, there were maps indicating landmarks (such as Taal volcano) that we passed along the way - great aerial view - which you can follow so you can guage how near or far you are from Palawan.
Upon arrival in Palawan, a small group of natives (dressed in traditional Filipino attire, with a guitarist and a cart pulled by a carabao) greeted us with a song. We were ushered into a waiting area where we had some free drinks and snacks (filipino treats like suman - sweet sticky rice). After a few minutes, we boarded a speedboat (seats around 15 pax) which took us to a bigger boat (seats around 30 pax) that took us directly to Miniloc Island.
We stayed in the new cottages (ask for the new cottages!) where the beds were comfortable, the aircon was cold and the overall layout of the room still had that "island feeling" to it but with the comforts of a 4* hotel room. There was a woven bag in the room that we used to put our beach stuff in and we were given woven slippers too.
Every night we would find a sheet of paper containing stories or myths experienced by people who lived in the el nido islands - I looked forward to them each time as they were either ghost stories or legends.
Food was pretty good and plentiful - buffet style for every meal.
I'm not into diving but my friends and I still tried the intro dive (which is for free) - make sure you ask for Chris (there were 2 guys who helped us with our intro dive, Chris and another guy - Chris took better care of my other friends - the ones who were afraid were able to go around 4 or 5ft and they moved around. I was held by the other guy - since I was petrified, I just stayed like 1 or 2ft underwater..lame, I know..but he didn't ease my fears and he just held me down and sat on a coral - he wasn't even looking at me when I was signaling that I wanted to go up - I had to splash around to be noticed.
Swimming at Miniloc is really great. The water was calm and refreshing. So many parrot fish and other varieties! At first we were afraid of them but on the last day, a friend and I decided to swim at 6am - fantastic! The jetty was covered with water as it was high tide so we floated on the jetty while hundreds of parrot fish swam around us - we took awesome photos!
Compared to Lagen Island (el nido has 2 islands), Miniloc is more island-like while Lagen is more of a hotel-resort type. The water in Lagen is rougher than Miniloc and it's farther from the big and small lagoons and other island-hopping spots.
Speaking of the big and small lagoons - amazing! We loved the scenery, the water..did I mention that the speedboats were freely at our disposal? We went island hopping whenever, wherever we wanted.
In short, yes, I would go back but I'd make sure I was with my friends - no tv, bars, just peace and quiet - which we sometimes need anyway, but 3 nights of that is a bit boring.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Miniloc Island is a rustic and charming hideaway reminiscent of a coastal village. Miniloc Island is located in El Nido, in northwestern Palawan. It takes a 75-minute direct flight from Manila to get to El Nido or a 6-hour travel by land from Puerto Princesa City (Palawan's Capital City).Miniloc Island Resort is tucked within a beautiful cove surrounded by towering limestone cliffs and a vibrant coral reef. It is a gateway to popular activity sites in a breath-taking location known for its high biodiversity. The resort has 50 cottages and rooms built in traditional Filipino design over the water, beside the beach, or surrounded by garden and limestone cliffs. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- El Nido Resort Miniloc Island Hotel El Nido
- Hotel El Nido
- Resort El Nido
- El Nido Resorts Miniloc Island Palawan Island