Nacpan Beach is known as one of the most beautiful beaches around the Philippines & even the world. Once you’re done island hopping and partying in El Nido you might be looking for somewhere to relax and chill out for a couple days, but where? Nacpan Beach is the perfect spot to recover before moving on to your next destination.
Why Visit Nacpan Beach?
So why should you bother visiting Nacpan Beach? Well, I could tell you that this little slice of heaven was named as one of the worlds top 10 beaches. Or simply tell your about its 5 kilometers of fine golden sand and crystal blue waters. They say a photo is worth a thousand words and honestly, letting the photos do the talking in this case seems appropriate.
Nacpan Beach’s desolate, shifting, golden sands stretch away almost 5km in all. Here the combination of the world-class sand, pristine windswept beaches, palm lined shores & happy people make for a destination worth visiting when you’re in the Philippines.
Prior to the viral publicity of being named one of the worlds best, this surreal stretch of white sand was a relatively unknown paradise. So naturally, I was worried as I planned my visit. Afraid it would be another of the long list of over-hyped places I’d visited that had succumbed the the Instagram-Effect.
Today, Nacpan beach is more developed than ever, but thats not to say that it’s been ruined. Really, in this sense Nacpan beach now has 4 or 6 places to stay vs 2-3 of five years ago. The bars & restaurants, of which there are only a handful, are clustered together on the middle of the beach and easy to leave behind if you’re seeking a more desolate experience.
Nacpan Beach Accommodations
If you’re looking to make Nacpan Beach more than just a day trip from your home base in El Nido there are a few places worth putting your feet up.
The Mad Monkey Hostel is a favorite among travellers in the area. The hostel, set in an airy palm grove, exudes a chill, relaxing atmosphere. That is, until one of its epic parties kicks off. Great food and copious amounts of alcohol flow as the hostel proudly boasts “No Wifi, Make Some New Friends” signs.
If you’re over the party scene another popular choice is the Seaside Hue Resort seemingly inspired by the buffalo soldier himself, Bob Marley. The resort, painted in all pastels, is colorful and so too are the staff. Well versed in key song lyrics such as “dont worry, be happy!” and “one love” the friendly faces at the resort make an easy impression.
For the true tropical experience there’s nothing better than the warm breeze through your ‘tent’ at Nacpan Beach Glamping though. These ‘tents’ rival many boutique hotel rooms. They’re spacious, airy, and private while the grounds around them are landscaped perfectly. It’s Instagram heaven!
Nacpan Beach Bars
For food and drink on Nacpan beach you’re again limited to only a few options.
One of my favorite spots to get a bite on the beach was the Sunmai Sunset Restaurant. Don’t expect authentic Filipino food though, this joint caters to tourists and as such you’ll find a lot of ‘western’ food. In the end the beer is cold and the drinks are good and the food, delicious. Pull up a beach chair and spend an afternoon sipping in the sun. Or maybe let it slip into the evening where you’ll be perfectly poised to enjoy a stunning sunset!
The small bamboo beach bar known as the Ruby Restaurant, on Nacpan Beach’s north end, serves up a delicious assortment of Filipino favorites. Inexpensive food, cold drinks and free smiles are the order of the day at the Ruby.
The Mad Monkey Hostel serves a combination of local Filipino food & western classics for when you’re craving that cheeseburger or pizza and always has a good selection of cold drinks ready to go!
While wandering the beach dont forget to try a fresh coconut with local rum(costs about 200PHP) and the freshly made coconut ice cream from any of the small vendors along the shore!
How to Get To Nacpan Beach
While there are tours that go to the Twin Beaches (Nacpan & Calitang ) I’d recommend going on your own. The idea of a clock ticking away my time in paradise never sits well with me and getting to Nacpan beach can be an adventure in and of itself.
There are a few good options for getting yourself to Nacpan Beach without breaking the bank, these include:
Getting to Nacpan Beach
- Take a Tricycle. The default means of transportation around much of the Philippines, the old reliable tricycle can get you to Nacpan Beach without much fuss. Expect to pay a tricycleman around PHP1000 for the almost 1-Hour ride. Be aware that getting back to El Nido from Nacpan Beach can sometimes be spendy with tricycle operators asking for more than the standard rate. Be ready to pay up or walk away if negotiations aren’t working for you.
- Rent A Motorbike or Scooter. My preferred method of getting to Nacpan Beach. Scooter rentals can be found easily in El Nido. Most tour operators and even hotels/guest houses have access to scooters for rent. Expect to pay from PHP400-600 per day for a scooter rental in El-Nido and dont be afraid to haggle on price. The best part about renting a scooter is that you can explore further afield. Check out the likes of Duli or Mariposa Beach without any increase in cost!
- Take a Tour. Tour operators around El Nido have started offering a ‘Tour E’ (from PHP4,800) in addition to the Island Hopping Tours A-D. Tour E bills itself as an ‘Inland Beaches & Waterfalls Tour’ and visits locations such as Nacpan and Calitang beaches & Nagkalit-Kalit Waterfall, for a chill easy day.
It’s worth noting that the road to Nacpan beach after turning off the highway is poorly maintained and gravel. This is why the 20km of distance from El Nido town takes more than 50 minutes to cover. During rainy season you’ll need to be prepared for puddles and some mud!
While this wont be a concern if you’re taking part in a tour (by minibus) it’s something you should know and be prepared for if you’re driving yourself. Slow & steady wins the race!
Tips For Visiting Nacpan Beach
Nacpan Beach is a perfect place to get away from the crowds and relax for a while. While some might consider it a perfect paradise there are in fact a few things you should know before you go!
Tips For Visiting Nacpan Beach:
- Be Cautious of the Waves. The beach is alluring enough that some visitors ignore the size of the waves that can crash on the beach here. Be aware of the surf and also the semi-strong currents offshore. By all means swim and enjoy this sandy paradise but do so with common sense!
- Protect Your Valuables. I’d hate to call theft a problem at the beach, it isn’t. But occasionally beach goers have lost items to prowling predators. As with anywhere you’re visiting a little vigilance will go a long way… The center area of the beach where you’ll be dropped off is the most popular & most likely place you’d be a victim of theft. The further down the beach you go the less people you’ll need worry about. I use a Packsafe ‘portable safe’ to keep my camera’s and drone safe while playing in the surf!
- Bring Insect Repellent! When I visited Nacpan Beach there was nothing but white sand, blue sky’s and cold drinks. Talking to other travellers however, when the wind or conditions are right biting sand fleas and mosquitoes can become a nuisance. A light application of a good insect repellent is all you’ll need to continue enjoying your beach paradise.
- SUNSCREEN! How so many travellers manage to forget such an essential item I’ll never know! You’re in the Philippines! A high quality SPF60 or better sunscreen will keep you from going Lobster while you enjoy a day on the beach, its not a good color on you anyways!
- Cash is King. There are no ATM’s at or near Nacpan Beach. Neither too do any of the businesses here accept credit or debit cards. Bring cash with you, enough for your entire stay. PHP1500/day plus accommodation works if you’re not going hard on the drinks. Then keep an extra PHP1500 or so tucked away for your transportation back to El Nido!
Other Attractions Near Nacpan Beach
I love having the freedom to move around as I please. If you’ve taken my advice and have your own transport to visit Nacpan Beach then you’ll also have the option to visit other attractions in the area.
Duli Beach & Mariposa Beach
If the peace & quiet of Nacpan beach isn’t enough for you a short ride further north to the deserted stretches of Duli and Mariposa beaches should work. During my adventure to these spots I saw only 4 other vehicles, one yak and two local kids on bicycles. On the beaches I was ALONE, I swear I had the whole place to myself! These beaches are a little less sheltered than Nacpan but the sand and water was just as nice!
Nagkalit Kalit Waterfall
About halfway to Nacpan beach you’ll pass a few small huts on the side of the road. Probably, like me you’ll miss the small signs for Nagkalit Kalit Waterfall here. The waterfall makes for a great stop on your way back to El Nido. Costing ~PHP250/person for admission and a guide the 45 minute jungle walk rewards hikers with a beautiful waterfall and pool.
Takeaway & Conclusion
Palawan may be only one of the more than 7000 islands in the Philippines but if you ask me, Nacpan beach is another great reason to put it at the top of your list! If you’ve taken the time to get to El Nido then you should be making time to visit Nacpan Beach!
Have you been to Nacpan? Did we miss your favorite spot?? Drop a comment below or hit us up on social media! I’d love to hear from you!