I really don’t enjoy flying. It doesn’t make me scared or nervous, it’s just that at this point in my life, it’s more of a necessary evil than something to be excited about. Flights can be long, uncomfortable and more than anything – they can be boring. However, there have been a few plane journeys in my life that have been exceptions to this general dislike. Flying over icebergs in Greenland was glorious, jumping out of a light aircraft in South Africa was amazing, and now I can add the flight from Manila to El Nido in the Philippines to this rather short list.
After a 3.30am rise, I caught a ride to the ITI private hanger. ITI stands for Island Transvoyager Inc. and is a privately owned company exclusively running flights out of El Nido Airport to both Manila and Cebu. Also known as Air Swift, this airline is by far the easiest way to get to El Nido from the Filipino capital.
Once I arrived at the private hanger, I was immediately treated to a complementary breakfast and selection of fresh juices, decent coffee (a rarity in the Philippines) and delicious arroz caldo – a sort of savoury rice porridge.
I checked in, and in doing so, obtained (however briefly) the coolest boarding pass I have ever seen!
The flight departed on time, and shortly after getting off the ground we were treated to a pretty fantastic view of Manila.
The small 50 seater aircraft is comfortable, and the 55 minute journey is short and sweet. Before too long, the concrete jungle that is Manila was a distant memory and had been replaced with amazing views of El Nido.
Once the plane had landed, it was time for a quick airport shuttle bus ride to the main area of the airport. This wasn’t your everyday kinda shuttle bus though!
The company that owns the Air Swift airline is also the owner of the incredibly stunning El Nido Resorts. With four eco-resorts on four separate islands on El Nido, these resorts are the definition of luxury, and I was lucky enough to score a few nights in one!
The four islands are Pangulasian, Apulit, Lagen and Miniloc. I was headed to the latter, Miniloc.
To get to Miniloc, one must take another shuttle bus to the coast (5 minutes) then take a boat ride (30 minutes) from Lio (El Nido) airport to the resort.
As soon as I jumped on the shuttle bus, excitement set in.
Then it was time to grab my gear and get on the boat!
The 30 minute boat ride to Miniloc was nothing short of absolutely glorious. The incredible rocks, limestone formations and the sheer amount of islands in this small area was like nothing I’d ever seen.
Before long, the incredible sight of Miniloc Island Resort came into view, and jaw-droppingly beautiful doesn’t even begin to cover it. I could not wait to get off the boat, explore my beautiful overwater villa and dive headfirst into exploring the region. Stay tuned!
T H E L O W D O W N
Getting There: From Manila, book a direct flight with Air Swift
El Nido Resorts: Click here to read more about this incredible collection of eco-resorts
Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M1 with 12-40mm M.Zuiko Pro Lens
Threads: I am wearing a gorgeous maxi by Aussie label Tigerlily
Remember: Bathers and factor 50 sunscreen!