Arguably one of the most underrated spots in El Nido, Palawan is the beauty that is the Nacpan and Calitang Beaches. It boasts unique twin beaches that come together as an incredibly unique sight compared to other popular beaches in the Philippines.
When I first heard about this place, I was so intrigued by it because it seemed like not many had bothered to come here despite its amazing allure. So I knew I had to definitely put this place on our itinerary and let me tell you, it surely did not disappoint!
Only about an hour drive away from El Nido proper, this hidden gem features kilometers of cream-colored powdery sand beach, zero crowds and hardly any tourists, with the most relaxing atmosphere. On one end of Nacpan Beach stood a small hill where people can climb up and get a glimpse of the twin beaches in all its glory.
We arrived at Nacpan after lunch, with plans of spending the entire afternoon there and then catching the sunset and the scenery on top of the hill. With almost no one else the area, we felt we had the entire beach to ourselves! We rented a small cottage for the day and dived right in. The girls set up a little picnic spot near the shore while the guys tested the waters. A sunny day spent in a beautiful secluded beach with your closest friends, some drinks, and good music — what else could anyone ask for?
Lovely conversations among friends, newfound canine companions, and some picturesque games of ultimate frisbee during the sunset — all made for an amazing afternoon to say the least!
Unfortunately, by the time we realized that the sun was setting, most of my friends were too tired to go climb the hill to see the view. I, on the other hand, wasn’t going to leave Nacpan Beach without seeing this beautiful landscape for myself! So I began to hike towards the hill on my own, trying to get there before it went completely dark. Gladly, a few of my friends caught up to me and we were able to catch the last light on top of the hill, soaking up all of the natural beauty.
For a huge group like ours (there were 12 of us), I recommend renting a van for the day so you can adjust your itinerary as necessary. You can check with your hotel on contacts for van rentals. Not sure about how else to spend the day in inland El Nido? Watch out for my 24-hour guide coming soon!
Alternatively, for smaller groups, you can join what local travel agencies call “Tour E” or the “Inland Tour” which is a whole day tour that includes the Nacpan and Calitang Twin Beaches, a hike and some waterfalls. I recommend this agency for El Nido tours!
For this excursion, the most expensive thing we probably spent on was our transportation. Our whole day van rental went up to P4000. It may seem a bit pricey at first but for a big group of 12, it was worth it. Though I’m pretty sure I could have found better deals (maybe P500 less), but since we only booked our van the day before, I didn’t get the chance to work out a lower price. So better scout for cheaper offers beforehand and don’t be scared to try negotiating a better deal!
We spent another P300 to rent a small cottage to leave our belongings in. Since we had already taken our lunch before arriving in Nacpan, we didn’t need to spend on food anymore. Though there is a small store on the beach, they only had some snacks and drinks available. So I’d recommend to eat your meals beforehand or better yet, take them with you and have a beach picnic!
Here’s a breakdown of our expenses for this excursion:
- Transportation (whole day van rental) – P4,000
- Cottage rental – P300
- Food and drinks (brought our own) – P0
Total expenses: P4,300
Nacpan Beach and its surrounding area is generally safe. There were a number of locals around who were friendly and accommodating. Though always better to be safe than sorry, so best not leave your important belongings lying around.
The one safety concern I’d like to highlight here is actually the sand on Nacpan Beach. It seems there are several sand mites living in this area, so I highly recommend bringing a blanket or sarong to place down before laying back on its soft surface. Now this was something we had to learn the hard way, as many of my friends discovered sand mite bites on their bodies the next day.
Needless to say, my friends and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves here in Nacpan! Stay tuned for some more posts about other highlights in El Nido, Palawan! Meanwhile, let me know in the comments below about crazy stories you might have with your friends on the beach! (Everyone has their own story because things always get crazy on the beach, I promise you) I’d love to hear from you 🙂
I visited the Nacpan and Calitang Beaches as part of our 3-day trip to El Nido, Palawan back in July 2016.