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Big Lagoon El Nido – Everything You Need to Know Before You Go!

Big Lagoon El Nido – Everything You Need to Know Before You Go!

The Big Lagoon is truly one of the most breathtaking places to see in El Nido. The majestic deep blue and bright turquoise waters are surrounded by massive tree-covered limestone cliffs. It’s a slice of paradise, unlike any other place you’ll see in the Philippines – or even the world.

Whether you’re coming for a few hours or spending the entire day, you’ll want to immerse yourself in the pristine natural beauty of the Big Lagoon.

Distant view of Miniloc Island showing both Big and Small Lagoons of El Nido

How to get to Big Lagoon

The Big Lagoon is located on the eastern side of Miniloc Island, which is just a short 45-minute boat ride from El Nido Town. To reach the island, you’ll need to hire a boat or go on an island-hopping tour from El Nido.

Keep in mind that the boat will not take you directly inside the Big Lagoon. Instead, it will dock near the entrance, and you’ll need to either rent a kayak or swim to get inside. It’s highly recommended that you pay the few bucks for the kayak because the lagoon is massive. Even the most experienced swimmers will have a difficult time exploring everything they want to see in just a few short hours by swimming.

What tours go to Big Lagoon

One of the easiest ways to visit the Big Lagoon is with an island-hopping tour. There are different tours available, each one leaving El Nido town and taking you to the most exciting islands in the area.

Drone view of the tall walls that form the Big Lagoon

El Nido Island Hopping Tour A

If you want to visit the Big Lagoon with a tour, then book the island hopping Tour A. On this tour, you’ll have roughly 1 hour to explore the Big Lagoon before heading to your next destination.

After the Big Lagoon, your tour guide will take you to a few other picturesque destinations around Bacuit Bay. You’ll also visit the Small Lagoon or Secret Lagoon, which are both located on Miniloc Island (the same place where you’ll find the Big Lagoon).

Once you leave Miniloc, you’ll head to Shimizu Island for snorkeling, where you’ll discover an abundance of marine life, like lionfish, nudibranchs, and even sea turtles. A delicious beachside BBQ lunch on Shimizu Island is also included with your El Nido Tour A.

Finally, you’ll make your way to Commando Beach, where you can unwind with a drink on the beach. You can spend your final hours swimming, playing in the sand, or simply relaxing and soaking in the tropical atmosphere.

Things to do at Big Lagoon

The first thing you’ll want to do at the Big Lagoon is to admire the spectacular landscape. Even from afar, it’s one of the most beautiful things to see in Bacuit Bay. However, you can get a closer look by heading through the long passageway that leads straight to the giant body of water.

Straight down aerial view of a kayaker in the Big Lagoon 


A relaxing kayak trip through the Big Lagoon is one of the most popular activities for tourists. For only a few dollars, you can rent a kayak by the entrance for a few hours. Kayaking is a great option for people who aren’t great swimmers, or for those who want to see everything the Big Lagoon has to offer in just a short amount of time.

Most rented kayaks can hold two people, which makes the rental price even cheaper if you’re splitting the cost.

View from a Kayak inside a small passage of the Big Lagoon

Exploring the narrow canals and caves of Big Lagoon

Inside the expansive lagoon area, there are many small hidden gems. One of the best is a tiny little passage just wide enough in some spots to paddle a kayak down. You might need the help of a guide to find these little nooks and crannies of this magnificent lagoon. 

Shallow entrance of the Lagoon with boats parked outside


If you’re up for the challenge, swimming through the Big Lagoon is another option. The water is so warm and inviting that you can’t say no to a dip! Although you probably won’t get to see everything in the Big Lagoon, you’ll still be able to spend a few hours floating and relaxing.

Some parts of the lagoon can be very deep, so be careful if you’re venturing out on your own. It’s also advised to bring a life jacket, snorkel mask, and fins to help you swim and explore more of the Big Lagoon. 


*When looking for the best price and the biggest selection of hotels in El Nido check prices on, we’ve found they are the best option and have a great cancelation policy.*

Recommended Hotel in El Nido – Cuna Hotel

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Distant Aerial View of the Big Lagoon of El Nido - Pin