Welcome…to Jurassic Park. I half-expected to hear those words from the pilot as we navigated our way 20,000ft above the collection of prehistoric rocks below. Perched on the northernmost tip of Palawan, El Nido really is a jewel in the South China Sea. Shards of unspoiled geology rise from the deep blue oceans, which glitter in the constant glow of the sun. From first impressions at least, this part of the Philippines is fully deserving of it’s nickname, “Heaven on Earth”.
Hopping from our 50-seater aircraft through the El Nido Airport terminal, constructed primarily of bamboo, we boarded a private boat to our final destination; El Nido Resorts Miniloc Island. Billed as an eco-discovery resort, this slice of paradise is tucked away on a private island far from the hustle and bustle of nearby El Nido Town. The island itself is incredibly impressive; a man-made reef rivals even those found in Australia and creates the perfect environment for snorkelling. Kayaks, paddle boards and a beachfront basketball court provided entertainment to break up lazy days in the sun. The buffet food served at the waterfront restaurant is exceptional and, perhaps more importantly, unlimited. Sipping on cocktails after a day on the water, life here is almost too easy.
Our accommodation for the stay was a Water Cottage perched over the ocean. Secluded and tranquil, it is a few minutes’ walk from the rest of the resort and there is something incredibly soothing about falling asleep to the sound of waves lapping the sand beneath your pillow. Each cottage blends modern amenities with local engineering and is the perfect place to retreat to after a long day in the sun.
Our four-day stay showcased the Philippines truly at it’s best and yet we still felt there was so much more to discover. El Nido Resorts Miniloc Island may be thousands of miles from UK, but I have never felt more at home.