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By Anna Griffin, Editor in Chief

Known for some of the best beaches and diving in the world, The El Nido area of Northern Palawan in the Philippines is geologically and biologically diverse, prompting the Philippine government to elevate the status of the area to a turtle sanctuary, marine reserve, and Managed Protected Area in recognition of its importance.

Away from the madding crowds, hectic city life, El Nido Resorts is a group of four sustainable island resorts in the El Nido and Taytay region. A stay at one of their resorts offers travelers traditional Filipino hospitality amidst the stunning beauty of this pristine, natural destination, recently receiving TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence Award for 2016.

screen-shot-2016-09-20-at-4-06-44-pmLagen Resort, El Nido Resorts’ Eco-Sanctuary island resort, is intimately nestled between lush rainforest and a sparkling turquoise lagoon, serving as a wildlife sanctuary where time literally stands still. Guests can choose to stay in cottages overlooking the lush forest, on the beach, or in a dreamy water cottage sitting atop stilts above the water where the sunsets are magical. Each room incorporates recycled timber from old Filipino homes for floors and furnishings, while offering WiFi, iPod docks, and televisions, fusing the past with modern convenience.

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Whilst staying at Lagen, enjoy water sports such as paddle boarding, kayaking and wind surfing, hike one of the surrounding trails, or indulge in a spot of island hopping to one of the other resorts.

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Take a trip to the infamous Big and Small Lagoon in Miniloc Island and organize for a private boat, called a Bangka, to take you around. En route enjoy white sand beaches, limestone cliffs, coral, and sea life, including endangered turtles. The lagoons contain crystal clear water and jagged black limestone cliffs made from million year old fossils. It is in a word, paradise.

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El Nido’s Eco-Adventure Island, Apulit, offers exciting and enriching adventures in an idyllic tropical paradise setting, and exhilarating activities for the thrill-seeker. Climb and rappel down the 60-meter limestone cliff, with birds’ eye-view of the island; dive and discover sunken treasures with a Japanese ship wreck and a plethora of marine species, or roam the caves Apulit is famous for.

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On the other hand, relax on the beach, or take a leisurely swim in the calming pool.

photos_7094_744847When hunger strikes, Lagen Island offers sand bar dinners in the middle of the ocean and private beach experiences that include  sunrises and sunsets, sure to take your breath away.

096176133079203158005058176017027109199196152116El Nido Resorts embraces its leadership role in nature conservation, working closely with the community and local government  by assisting in  initiatives such as the prevention of illegal fishing, coral and reef fish assessments, coastal clean-ups, and environmental education campaigns. Each resort recycles, practices energy and water conservation, and champions the conservation of endangered sea turtles, with tag-and-release programs in cooperation with the Protected Area Office, and hatchling releases from nests safeguarded by resort staff.

lagenresortThough a long trek to get there involving at least two plane rides and one boat trip, as you arrive all thoughts and stresses of your long journey vanish, as you literally escape to paradise.