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Need quick help El Rio Y Mar Resort or Lagen Island

Manila
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Need quick help El Rio Y Mar Resort or Lagen Island

Going to go on a honeymoon trip to Palawan this coming april.

Lagen is pretty expensive but people say its great. I havent heard anything about El Rio though....its a sister resort of CLub Paradise and it used to be called Maricaban.

Price difference is big more than twice. The question is, Is the price difference justified?

We would do some water sport activities and some diving.

Is El Rio breathtaking enough that i can just book here without feeling cheated or cheap and end up wishing i had just gone to Lagen?

Thanks for the advise.

Baltimore, Maryland
5 posts
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1. Re: Need quick help El Rio Y Mar Resort or Lagen Island

I stayed at el rio y mar...if you are looking for some alone time with your mate, this is a nice place. However very small. I would suggest club paradise, its huge and on an island by itself. The buffet is awesome and there are many tourists that are guests there. They have a better beach and excellent snorkling and diving areas, numerous activities. I did not enjoy my time at el rio, they were not able to provide activities upon my request and I didnt feel safe there. Club paradise is worth the money. Let us know how it went, good luck!

Manila, Philippines
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732 posts
21 reviews
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2. Re: Need quick help El Rio Y Mar Resort or Lagen Island

If you are going on a honeymoon, go to Lagen! No competition.

I visited El Rio (when it was still Maricaban) when we stayed at Club Paradise and I don't know if they've added new facilities since then, but its definitely in a different league from Lagen - definitely. You'll get what you pay for. I agree that Club Paradise would be a better choice, location and area wise. You'll see Maricaban on your boat trip to Club Paradise.

BUT... go to El Nido Lagen or Miniloc if your budget permits. Miniloc is slightly lower in terms of cost compared to Lagen, though Lagen's a lot more romantic (Miniloc is best for families). The cost for Lagen (or Miniloc) already includes fullboard meals (except drinks), regular daily activities (boat trips, kayaking in the lagoon, picnic lunches in other beaches, bottom fishing, windsurfing, kayak and use of other non motorized equipment, etc). Diving was okay, though after one dive I chose to do more snorkelling than dive since marine life is rich even in shallow waters. Snorkelling around the pier area was really goodd, though nothing beats taking a dip at Miniloc's welcoming area! Wow! For non divers, the last time I was there they offered free intro dives to non divers. As well as free windsurfing lessons. Dinner time is a different experience every night. They usually have different venues around the resort (and one time, on another island! - transporting guest from the resort by dingy). And during dinner time their guest activities coordinator will do the rounds and help you plan your next day.

El Nido Lagen and Miniloc is far from Maricaban and Club Paradise. Two different airports service these different resorts.

I also enjoyed our stay at Club Paradise. Also went diving there (just the house reef with an impressive population of jacks and a couple of pawikans) and also visited the nearby Calauit island safari. Did a lot of snorkelling too but no site of the dugongs that is often used in their brochures (also the name of the resort's bar).

But then again, I never went back to Club Paradise. We tried the other Palawan resorts - Club Noah (good too! been there twice), and Dos Palmas (yup - in 2004, just a few years after the Burnham kidnapping, and I wouldn't mind going back).

I've been to the El Nido resorts four times - two times of which we stayed in Lagen. And when I get married in the future, Lagen will definitely be in my shortlist.

Manila, Philippines
Level Contributor
732 posts
21 reviews
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3. Re: Need quick help El Rio Y Mar Resort or Lagen Island

Oh! And I forgot...

If you decide to go to Lagen or Miniloc, about 5 to 10 minutes into your boat ride to the resort, once you see the view, you'll be singing "the beauty of the Philippines, shining through!"

If this is your first trip to Palawan, make it El Nido. Breathtaking indeed.