El Nido's True Secret Beach

October 06, 2014

Nacpan Beach[Slideshow] Lush greens, white sand and the blue sea. I can live here forever. (OK, maybe a month because I'll miss the internet!)

Spoiler: It's not in Bacuit Bay.

There have been many lists circulating that enumerate top beaches in the country, but surprisingly I have never seen this beach named as one of them. I also don't see it featured prominently, not until I saw the German travel blogger, Phil, post this some time ago. It's called Nacpan Beach, located in Nacpan, El Nido Palawan.

Note: All the photos from here on out are only screencaps from the Palawan travel video I've been making, which may not even see the light of day. :))

Saying it's beautiful would be an understatement. It was such a breathtaking place. From the serene white sand beach to the top view of the twin beach, where you would see both beaches, Nacpan and Calitang Beach, facing each other, separated by a strip of land. It was magical. It had this idyllic vibe, where you could just drop all your cares and just be in that moment. Deservingly so, it became another *screensaver moment for me.

The area surrounding the beach itself doesn't have electricity but all you really need are the quaint restaurant shacks, the nipa huts, the coconut-lined shore and good company...and okay, Monopoly Deal. We even lucked out that there was a fresh catch of live crabs that day. We bought all these for Php150 and had them steamed at the local restaurant for free.

The appeal of this beach is that even though there are other guests, it seemed like we had the beach all for ourselves. Not a lot of tourists go here, yes. In fact, during our stay, all the other tourists went back to their merry way after having lunch, while our group stayed until after the sun set. We learned later on that people are also free to pitch their tents overnight with no additional charge. (That, I promised myself I'd do some time.) 

The sunset was really amazing, rivaling even Boracay sunsets, but be reminded that there's no electricity. After all that daylight has disappeared from the horizon, you'll have to make your way back to the main road without lights. Bring a flashlight or turn that cellphone flash into a flashlight.

So if you ever get the chance to visit El Nido, stay for more than a day. After that exhausting island hopping where you tried to fit in at least two Bacuit Bay tours (like what we did), going to this unspoiled beach will remind you best to take a break, feel the moment, and breath in the scenery.

Trivia: These photos were all taken when Typhoon Glenda struck the Philippines. Nacpan Beach became our safe haven from the storm. At that time, we could not bear to post photos online seeing how devastated Metro Manila was by the heavy rains and floods.

How To Get There

From El Nido town proper, you can either:
  • Rent a van for Php4000. This is ideal for those in big groups. This is what I'd recommend since the road to Nacpan is very bumpy. The ride will take about 45 minutes to an hour, depending on road traffic. (There are single vehicle capacity roads along the way which cannot accommodate traffic going to opposite directions.)
  • Rent a tricycle for Php1500. If you're in a group of 2-3 people, and want to save, you can opt for this. But be reminded that the road to Nacpan isn't paved. It will take a lot longer than an hour for sure.
These services and rates are pretty standard amongst the local providers as of July 2014. You can either go to a tour agency of your choosing or you can opt to seek the friendly tricycle drivers' help for their connections, whether for a van or tricycle hire. Do remember that dealing directly with the drivers removes the middle man, meaning you can haggle more.

(Note to self: Post van and tricycle contact numbers here)

P.S. You may not want to put this off. Do it as soon as you can as the islet right in front of this beach was just bought by Manny Pacquiao and Chavit Singson. Beach development may be imminent. 

*Screensaver moment - What I call the moments that leave me speechless in awe. I have a short list, and I should probably write about it too.

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