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Big Lagoon

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

583C+M9V, El Nido, Bay, Philippines

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

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expert
Joe
Local tour guide
"When visiting Big Lagoon in El Nido, come early in the morning when the water is most tranquil and the crowds are thinner, giving you a more serene experience. Also, be sure to bring water shoes as the areas near the docking spot can be rocky and sharp underfoot."

What is Big Lagoon?

Big Lagoon is a majestic and mesmerizing natural attraction nestled in the heart of El Nido, Palawan, Philippines. Known for its tranquil turquoise waters surrounded by towering limestone cliffs, it's a place that looks as though it's been plucked from a dream. This lagoon is accessible only by boat, and it's enraptured visitors not only with its beauty but with the sense of wonder that washes over you as you enter through its narrow opening—one that seems to serve as a gateway to another world.

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As someone who has glided through these serene waters countless times, I've witnessed how the morning sun casts a warm glow on the cliffs, creating a mosaic of shadows and light that dances on the ripples. When the lagoon is calm, you might catch a glimpse of the sky and the cliffs reflected perfectly in the water, doubling the enchantment of the scenery. If you're fortunate, you might even spot marine life such as tropical fish or sea turtles, thriving in these protected waters.

History of Big Lagoon

Big Lagoon's history is as layered as the limestone formations surrounding it, shaped by time and the elements over millions of years. The geological formations you marvel at today started as coral reefs eons ago, which were gradually lifted from the sea bed through the process of tectonic uplift. Over time, the relentless forces of water, rain, and wind sculpted the corals into the grandiose cliffs and karst landscapes El Nido is known for.

The indigenous people of the area—the Tagbanuas—have regarded El Nido and its surrounding lagoons, including Big Lagoon, as sacred. They have a deep spiritual connection to the land and waters, with beliefs that ancestral spirits dwell in these places. In more contemporary history, Big Lagoon and El Nido's other natural wonders have been increasingly recognized for their ecological importance and extraordinary beauty, leading to the area's status as a protected marine reserve.

Today, conservation efforts are in place to ensure Big Lagoon remains pristine. Regulations limit the number of visitors and activities within the lagoon, aimed at preserving both its natural beauty and significance for future generations. These measures underscore the importance of sustainable tourism, showing that while we enjoy the Earth's treasures, we also have a responsibility to protect them.

Why is Big Lagoon Important?

Big Lagoon is important for several reasons, starting with its ecological significance. It serves as a sanctuary for various species of fish and marine life, which rely on the lagoon's sheltered waters for breeding and as a hatchery. The lagoon's ecosystem is a delicate balance, with the surrounding mangroves playing a crucial role in maintaining water quality and providing a habitat for juvenile aquatic creatures.

On a broader scale, Big Lagoon holds an important place in Philippine eco-tourism, showcasing the country's commitment to preserving its natural wonders in the face of rising tourist numbers. It's a symbol of environmental stewardship, where nature and humanity coexist in a carefully managed equilibrium. But the importance of Big Lagoon isn't only ecological—it's educational, too. It serves as a living classroom for visitors from all walks of life, teaching the importance of conservation and respect for nature.

Culturally, Big Lagoon and places like it are integral to the fabric of local identity. The traditions and lives of the Tagbanuas, and indeed all Filipinos, are interwoven with the sea and land. For the spirits believed by the Tagbanua to reside here, for the locals whose lives are connected with these waters, and for the legions of travelers that seek its tranquil embrace, Big Lagoon is a source of pride, wonder, and sustenance in more ways than one.

Things to Do & See at Big Lagoon

Upon setting foot—or rather, paddle—in Big Lagoon, there is a myriad of things to do and see. Most visitors partake in kayaking, gently steering through the still waters, which is often considered the best way to explore the lagoon up close. The sheer cliffs make for outstanding photo opportunities, with hidden corners and nooks that are home to various marine species, beckoning the curious to discover them.

Snorkeling is another popular pursuit. Donning a mask and fins, you can witness the underwater tapestry of corals and sea life that bring color to the lagoon's liquid landscape. There's a peacefulness in floating above the reefs, in the midst of darting fish and under the watchful sun. For those who prefer to stay dry, sightseeing boat tours around the lagoon provide a broader view of the area and reveal its grandeur from a different perspective.

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For the more adventurous souls, cliff jumping might be on the agenda. There are spots around the lagoon where the bold-at-heart can leap into the deep blue. And, while swimming or wading in certain areas, you might encounter the interesting phenomenon of thermoclines, where warm and cold water meet, creating an unusual sensation on the skin—one of many magical experiences that Big Lagoon delivers with a generous hand.

Frequently asked questions

What is Big Lagoon in El Nido?

Big Lagoon is a natural lagoon surrounded by limestone cliffs located in the Miniloc Island of El Nido, Palawan, Philippines. It's known for its clear turquoise waters, thriving marine ecosystem, and breathtaking scenery.

How do I get to Big Lagoon in El Nido?

Big Lagoon can be accessed by boat as part of the island hopping tours offered in El Nido. Tour A is the popular option that includes Big Lagoon as a key stop. Boats typically depart from the main beach in El Nido town.

Do I need to book a tour in advance to visit Big Lagoon?

While it is possible to book a tour upon arrival in El Nido, it is recommended to book in advance during peak seasons to ensure availability, as visitor numbers to Big Lagoon may be regulated to protect the environment.

Are there any fees to enter Big Lagoon in El Nido?

Yes, there is an environmental fee required for all tourists visiting El Nido, which covers entry to attractions like Big Lagoon. Additionally, tours may have separate costs that include entrance fees.

What activities can I do at Big Lagoon in El Nido?

Visitors can enjoy kayaking, snorkeling, swimming, and paddleboarding in the lagoon's clear waters. It's also possible to simply relax on the boat and take in the stunning views of the surrounding limestone cliffs and lush vegetation.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

583C+M9V, El Nido, Bay, Philippines

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps