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Small Lagoon

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

584C+GHR Miniloc Island, El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

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expert
Wisnu
Local tour guide
"Make sure to visit Small Lagoon in El Nido during the early morning or later in the afternoon to avoid the crowds and experience the serene beauty of the turquoise waters without the buzz of tour boats. Also, don't forget to bring a waterproof bag for your belongings as you'll need to swim a short distance from your boat to enter the lagoon's opening."

What is Small Lagoon?

Small Lagoon is a mesmerizing pocket of turquoise water hemmed in by imposing limestone cliffs located in the Bacuit Archipelago, El Nido, Palawan, Philippines. It's accessed via a narrow crevice between two rock walls which many choose to swim through, although one can also canoe or kayak if the tide allows. Small Lagoon is a quintessential stop for those exploring the El Nido’s majestic islands with its hidden corners, beautiful rock formations, and its tranquil waters brimming with marine life.

Our Most Popular Tour:

All-Inclusive
El Nido Big Lagoon and Tropical Island Tour - Tour A

Embark on a journey to paradise with El Nido Big Lagoon and Tropical Island Tour - Tour A. Discover the exquisite beauty that has attracted travelers from all o...

US$139/pp Learn more

For those inquisitive about the underwater world, snorkeling here can reveal colorful coral gardens and myriad species of fish. Be ready: visiting Small Lagoon feels like entering a world away from the world, a secret slice of paradise that is as tranquil as it is beautiful.

The seclusion and natural architecture composed of the cliffs surrounding this natural wonder make it one of a kind. Imagine floating in the still waters, only the sounds of distant birds and the gentle splash of paddles breaking the silence—Small Lagoon is a place that imprints itself on the senses.

History of Small Lagoon

Small Lagoon’s history intertwines with the geological and cultural history of Palawan itself. The formation of Small Lagoon is due to the karst limestone landscape that is characteristic of the area, which was shaped over millions of years. The unique geology of El Nido crafted an ecosystem that includes hidden lagoons, such as the Small Lagoon, making them an integral part of the local natural heritage.

Historically, El Nido was known as the "Nest of Swiftlets" (‘Nido’ being Spanish for ‘nest’), referencing the collection of edible swiftlet nests found within the crevices of the limestone cliffs. These have been a valuable part of local trade for centuries. The area around Small Lagoon, like much of El Nido, was traditionally inhabited by various indigenous groups of Palawan, who revered the area for its bounty and beauty.

Nowadays, Small Lagoon is part of the El Nido-Taytay Managed Resource Protected Area, emphasizing conservation and sustainable tourism. It’s a testament not just to natural wonders but also to the stories and livelihoods that surround it.

Why is Small Lagoon Important?

Small Lagoon's importance lies not only in its breathtaking beauty but in its role in the balance of the local ecosystem. It's a sanctuary for various species of fish and other aquatic organisms which thrive among the lagoon's unique rock formations and verdant surroundings. Its untouched nature presents an excellent example of marine conservation in an age where many natural habitats are under threat.

The lagoon is also a key highlight in showcasing the richness of Palawan's karst landscapes, drawing nature enthusiasts, geologists, and photographers from around the globe to marvel at its natural architecture. Furthermore, it provides a sustainable livelihood to local communities through ecotourism; this helps in fostering a relationship between humans and nature based on respect and preservation rather than exploitation.

The importance extends to the cultural sphere. Small Lagoon is a symbol of the natural heritage of the Philippines, contributing to the national identity and pride. For visitors, it offers an immersive encounter with one of the world's best manifestations of sublime natural beauty—and that impact, that moment of being part of something larger, stays with them.

Things to Do & See at Small Lagoon

When you visit Small Lagoon, you'll want to take advantage of all its hidden treasures. Kayaking is highly recommended as it allows you to slip between crevices and explore areas inaccessible by larger boats. Quietly paddling through the still water, you’ll discover intimate nooks that make the lagoon all the more enchanting.

Snorkeling is another must-do activity. Don the mask and fins and plunge into the lagoon’s clear waters, swimming alongside schools of fish and spying on the rich coral life underneath the surface. Environmental preservation efforts mean that the marine life here is vibrant and diverse—a snorkeler’s dream!

For those looking for a more heart-pounding adventure, cliff jumping is available in certain areas around the lagoon. The limestone cliffs offer a thrilling platform for those willing to leap into the water below. Thrill-seekers, just remember to always prioritize safety and check with local guides on where it’s safe to jump.

Our Top Trending El Nido Tours:

  • All-Inclusive

    El Nido Big Lagoon and Tropical Island Tour - Tour A

    US$139/pp Learn more
  • All-Inclusive

    El Nido Islands and Cave Tour - Tour B

    US$139/pp Learn more
  • All-Inclusive

    El Nido Shrine and Beach Escapade Tour - Tour C

    US$139/pp Learn more

And let’s not overlook the simple joys: floating lazily in the lagoon, sunbathing on your boat, or finding a solitary spot to meditate and soak in the beauty. Photography enthusiasts will find themselves in a true haven, with the play of light and shadow on the limestone cliffs, the rich biodiversity, and the vibrant blues of the water composing every shot as a unique masterpiece.

Even with just these activities, the allure of Small Lagoon extends beyond water-based exploits. The surrounding vegetation and cliffs are home to intriguing flora and fauna, ensuring that even from the vantage point of your boat or kayak, you're constantly engaged by the surroundings. Each visit reveals another layer of its charm, encouraging you to look closer, dive deeper, and return to appreciate its wonders time and time again.

Frequently asked questions

What is the Small Lagoon in El Nido?

The Small Lagoon is a picturesque and tranquil natural attraction in El Nido, Palawan, known for its crystal-clear waters, stunning limestone cliffs, and serene environment. It is a popular spot for kayaking, swimming, and snorkeling.

How do I get to the Small Lagoon in El Nido?

The Small Lagoon can only be reached by water. Visitors typically get there by joining an island-hopping tour (Tour A) from El Nido town, which includes the Small Lagoon as one of its stops. You can also rent a kayak from the nearby Miniloc Island to paddle your way to the lagoon.

What is the best time to visit the Small Lagoon?

The best time to visit the Small Lagoon is during the dry season in El Nido, which is from November to May. During these months, the weather is generally sunny and the sea conditions are calmer, making it ideal for exploring the lagoon.

Is there an entrance fee for the Small Lagoon in El Nido?

Yes, visitors are required to pay an environmental fee as part of the island-hopping tours which include a stop at the Small Lagoon. The fee is used for the conservation and maintenance of the natural attractions in El Nido.

Are there any facilities at the Small Lagoon in El Nido?

The Small Lagoon is a natural attraction and does not have built-in facilities like shops or restrooms. Visitors are advised to bring their own food, water, and other essentials, and to take their trash back with them to help preserve the environment.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

584C+GHR Miniloc Island, El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps