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World Class: Rare Refuge at the Philippines’ El Nido Marine Reserve

Miniloc Island Resort just might be the greenest lodge in the entire Coral Triangle, the richest ecosystem on Earth found between the Philippines, Indonesia, and the Solomon Islands. The buildings themselves hit all the right eco-notes, with recycled hardwood walls and roofs crafted from local thatch, but that's not the half of it. Since opening the 50-room hideaway on Palawan Island in 1982, Miniloc's owners have donated thousands of dollars to help protect the surrounding El Nido Marine Reserve. Here you'll find scores of limestone cliffs, some studded with climbing routes, rising from blue-green water. Snorkelers can dive through coral passages to emerge in sheer-walled grottoescompletely cut off from the world (from $150 per person, including meals; elnidoresorts.com). 

—Global Travel Editor Costas Christ, from his October 2009 World Class column.


Discover additional World Class Coral Triangle lodges in Malaysia and the Solomon Islands here >>