The Small Lagoon El Nido Palawan Ultimate Guide 2022

The Small Lagoon in El Nido is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Palawan. It boasts some of the island’s stunning limestone rock formations between crystal clear waters and lush tropical settings. 

Seeing pictures and videos of the Small Lagoon on social media really doesn’t do it justice. There’s no amount of filter or editing that can accurately describe the feeling of physically being there- kayaking in a stunning inlet and exploring little caves and cliff diving spots. 

Although its name suggests otherwise, the Small Lagoon is actually rather big. It’s smaller in scale than its neighboring lagoon, aptly named the Big Lagoon, there’s still plenty of room for people to wander around even if it’s in the middle of the peak season. 

Small lagoon entrance in el nido

Big or Small Lagoon El Nido

I remember visiting El Nido for the first time in 2013 when tourism wasn’t as big as it is today. Back then, the boats that leave for the island hopping tours are relatively empty. Today, there are more passengers and boats that leave for island hopping tours in El Nido – which you see them all line up at the entrance of both Big and Small Lagoons. 

Considering the number of tourists that visit the Big and Small Lagoon, the tourism department of El Nido decided to control the influx of daily traffic that enters the Big and Small Lagoon. Before, you could see both lagoons on island hopping Tour A. Now, your tour guide will give you a choice on either the Big Lagoon or Small Lagoon.

Personally, I find the Small Lagoon to be just as impressive as the Big Lagoon. Both provide stunning scenery and an experience like you’d never had before. The advantage of the Small Lagoon is that there are usually fewer tourists who go here, so you might find privacy in little nooks and places in the Small Lagoon where it’s just you and nature. 

limestone rocks in small lagoon

Where is Small Lagoon

The Small Lagoon is part of Miniloc Island, about a thirty-minute outrigger boat ride from the main town of El Nido.

This beautiful El Nido lagoon is adjacent right next to the stunning Big Lagoon.

You can get to the Small Lagoon by signing up on the El Nido Island Hopping Tour A. Apart from the Small Lagoon, other destinations on the itinerary include Small Lagoon, Secret Lagoon, Shimizu Island, and Seven Commando Beach. 

Alternatively, you can also rent a private boat where you can arrange a customized itinerary. 

How to Get to Small Lagoon Palawan

The Small Lagoon is only accessible through a private or group boat tours in El Nido. You may book Tour A, which directly takes you to the Small Lagoon, along with other stunning islands you will visit during the island hopping tour in El Nido. The whole tour takes about 5-6 hours, which includes a delicious grilled lunch on one of the remote islands of Tour A. You may book your tour right when you get to El Nido!

Small Lagoon Entrance Fee

When island hopping in El Nido, it is standard to pay the environmental fee of 200 Pesos. This fee includes access to all of the island hopping tours, including Tour A, Tour B, Tour C, and Tour D. 

You will pay the environmental fee upon signing up for an island hopping tour, with a receipt with your name on it.

Kayaking in Small Lagoon

kayaking in small lagoon el nido
small lagoon rocks and kayaking

One of the best experiences visiting the Small Lagoon is the chance to kayak in crystal clear waters in between towering limestone cliffs. 

You will get the opportunity to kayak the moment your boat arrives in Small Lagoon. There is a selection of kayaks upon your arrival, where you can choose between a single, double, or triple passenger kayak. It’s important to note that in some cases, most especially during peak season, kayaks may run out because of how crowded it can get at the Small Lagoon. 

But once you get a kayak, you can easily spend an hour or two just roaming around Small Lagoon. It is big enough for you to discover different hidden gems for that amount of time without getting bored. 

Truthfully, it’s hard to imagine getting bored for an hour or so kayaking around the area, given the amount of natural beauty that surrounds you. In between kayaking, expect to take some time getting off the kayak and swimming around the lagoon. It’s absolutely stunning. 


Apart from the Big Lagoon, El Nido has other stunning lagoons for you to check out. Let’s take a look below:

The Big Lagoon

If there’s a small lagoon, expect to have a Big Lagoon as well. This Lagoon boasts an impressive body of water in between limestone rocks in a lush tropical setting. 

small lagoon or big lagoon

Secret Lagoon

The Secret Lagoon in El Nido is a popular destination in Palawan, most especially during peak season (between February and June). It’s a beautiful lagoon and worth checking out, although it can get overcrowded at times. The Secret Lagoon Palawan is also part of the El Nido island hopping Tour A, which you will visit after the Small Lagoon.

secret lagoon el nido palawan