When you talk about El Nido, you’d equate it to beautiful islands, lagoons and limestone cliffs. Little did we know that there are other beaches around that are exquisitely beautiful on their own, and comparison is pretty much a taboo. Just like the other islands in the prominent Tours A, B, C and D, the two beaches we discovered have a rightful claim to be placed on the pedestal for their unique charm and undisputed allure.
On our third day in El Nido, we decided to drop our snorkeling gears and dry bags to have a serene and much more laid back day at the beach. The first two days were packed with water adventures such as swimming, snorkeling, entering lagoons, kayaking that we wanted to devote our last day spoiling ourselves in the stretches of creamy sand – just gazing at the waves and lying under the blazing sun.
Hold your breaths as I bring you to Nacpan Beach and Las Cabañas, two of the underrated yet splendidly scenic beaches in El Nido.
Nacpan beach used to be one of El Nido’s best kept secrets until slowly its beauty has been revealed to tourists, making it a famous part of the itinerary in El Nido. It’s also known as half of its twin beach – Calitang beach. Approximately 17 kilometers north of El Nido town, this unspoiled beach lures tourists with the long stretch of creamy white sand dotted with coconut trees.
The beach is bare and unexploited by commercialization. Waves are unpredictably violent when we came but all the more it adds extraordinaire beauty to the sea. Surrounding the beach are few inns, eateries, vendors peddling jewelry and some stray dogs.
The road going to Nacpan is not yet developed. It’s muddy and rugged. Tourists need to be prepared getting stuck in the mud from time to time especially if the weather is bad. We rode a tricycle and had to go down because we got stuck in the thick mud. But the rough journey was all worth it when we saw the picturesque view in the end.
The entrance fee at the registration is 50 pesos per head.
How to get to Nacpan Beach:
- Take tour E which is primarily a tour around inland beaches and waterfalls for 700-800 pesos per head
- Rent a tricycle for 4 people for Php 1000 for a whole day trip at Nacpan and Las Cabanas
- Rent a motorcycle for 600 to 700 pesos (good for 8 hours)
- Rent a van good for 10-12 pax with a whole day tour at Nacpan and sidetrip at Nakalit-kalit falls for 2000 to 2500 pesos
What to Bring:
- Dry bag in case it rains
- Beach mat or sarong
Where to Eat:
Small eateries can be found in Nacpan beach. A meal costs Php 100-200 and they serve mostly Filipino dishes and seafood.
Las Cabañas Beach Resort
After spending the morning at Nacpan beach, we headed to Las Cabañas beach resort for another undisrupted moment of beach bumming. If you are staying at El Nido town proper, Las Cabañas is just one tricycle away. Fare is usually 100-150 pesos for 3-4 pax. It’s a private resort with no entrance fee, featuring panoramic view of outlying islands with beach front cottages.
You have to walk through the stairs to reach the main beach area from the drop-off point. Unlike El Nido town proper, the resort is not swamped with tourists. The shoreline has an array of restau-bars where you can hang-out and get some drinks or dine. Some parts of the beach are not maintained, with scattered seaweeds and dried leaves everywhere. Stray dogs following you are typically part of the scene.
On the far end are private resorts for your accommodation, but the rates are higher than the usual. A regular fan room starts at 7k while the AC room is 11k. Perhaps you are paying for the privacy of the resort and the panoramic view.
Strolling along the shoreline, we almost reached the end of Las Cabañas and were enthralled by the scenic view of the nearby islands. We were lost for words. It’s like a secret haven where peace, beauty and solitude meet hand in hand with nature. We weren’t able to see the sunset due to the weather, but it was traded for a captivating view no words can describe.
If you are visiting El Nido and want to see another dimension of our country’s world-class beauty aside from the island tours, you ought not to miss Nacpan and Las Cabañas.