Nacpan Beach: To Go or Not To Go (and Spend P1500)

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I’ll be honest: if the tricycle driver hadn’t offered to take us to Nacpan Beach for P1000 — instead of the usual P1500 — I might never have gone.

Nacpan Beach has been described in superlatives ranging from “the best beach in El Nido” to “the most beautiful beach in the world.” Friends who’ve been there told me: absolutely, I should go. And yes, I’d seen that oft-shared overlooking image of the twin beaches, Nacpan and Calitang, separated by a stripe of palm-tree-lined blinding white sand. Nacpan is nice — no question about that.

But sometimes, the more a place is hyped up, the more I hesitate. I feel like if so many people I know have already been to a place and unanimously agreed that it’s great, then there’s not as much motivation for me to go and see it for myself because…what could I possibly add to the discussion? And superlatives are all very well but I have to admit I’m a bit cynical about them, especially here in the Philippines where a surefire way to go “viral” is to tell us Filipinos we are the best at something. Online poll results I take with a grain of salt, particularly ambiguous awards like “best” or “most beautiful” because, well, how do you define good or beautiful? It’s all subjective. For me, it’s less informative being told that Nacpan Beach is the best beach in El Nido (or the world!) than being told exactly what makes it good, what people love about it.

So…in the end I went to Nacpan Beach. And in case anyone out there is also wondering whether it’s worth the P1500 asking price, let me tell you what I liked about it so you can decide for yourself.

What you’ll love about Nacpan Beach
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It’s 4 km long, nearly an hour’s drive from central El Nido, and the ride there — whether by van or by tricycle — is a bit expensive. All that means Nacpan Beach is not likely to be crowded and you can have an entire stretch of sand all to yourself.
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The sand in Nacpan Beach has often been described as white, and it looks white in a lot of the pictures I’ve seen, but it isn’t really. It’s more…what’s a nice word for brown? ūüėÄ It’s golden, shall we say. But it’s nice sand: fine but not too soft, so it’s not difficult to walk on; wide, so you have plenty of space to spread a beach towel and sunbathe in; and it stretches far out into the water, so it’s a nice sandy bottom you’re stepping on while wading.
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The water is cool and clean and clear.
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And there’s this really cute island that’s like a nice smooth green mound with a single tall tree stubbornly sticking out of it.
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Aside from swimming and sunbathing, there are a lot of other things you can do at Nacpan Beach, like kayaking and stand up paddleboarding. Alternatively, you can just plonk yourself into a hammock and doze off.
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If you’re feeling more active, you can walk towards the leftmost part of Nacpan Beach and go up a small hill, where you can get a good view of the twin beaches — and no, I won’t post that same photo that everyone who’s been to Nacpan posts! ūüėĬ†If you go to Nacpan Beach and climb up that hill, you can see that view¬†for yourself, and then please turn around 180 degrees because there’s this¬†nice view at the back¬†too.
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How to get to Nacpan Beach

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Any tricycle driver in El Nido will be willing to drive you to Nacpan Beach. The standard rate is P1500 for the entire tricycle, which can seat up to 4 people, but if you show only faint interest, and it’s off-season, the driver might voluntarily lower the price to P1000. (You can probably haggle it down even more, but do note that Nacpan Beach is around 20 km away from the center of El Nido, and the driver will be waiting to take you back instead of plying his usual routes, so P1000 is not very unreasonable.)

A few more tips
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  • If you want to stay overnight in Nacpan, you can camp out at Jack’s Place. You can bring your own tent¬†and pay¬†only P150 per person per night. You can also rent a tent from them — P500 gets you a tent big enough for two, a mattress, pillows, and a blanket. (And if you still haven’t decided on a place to stay in El Nido, read: Where to Stay in El Nido: 15 Great Options. We stayed in¬†—¬†and I can personally¬†recommend¬†—¬†Spin Designer Hostel.)
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  • There are nikniks at Nacpan Beach. I’m not sure what they are, exactly, but they’ve also been referred to as sand mites and biting midges. (I’ve had midges swarming around me in Scotland, but these are different.) At Nacpan, we stayed in this small eatery that also had a beach hut and hammocks, and there weren’t any nikniks there. However, when we went up the hill I mentioned earlier, that’s when we encountered nikniks. They don’t feel like much while you’re being bitten but after a while the bite marks can grow big and red and really itchy — mine still aren’t fully healed, actually — so put on insect repellent!
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  • Go to Nacpan if you can, it really is a nice beach. ūüôā

El Nido Nacpan Beach 05

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10 thoughts on “Nacpan Beach: To Go or Not To Go (and Spend P1500)

    • Hi Tina! I didn’t stay overnight in Nacpan so I can’t answer your question from experience, but so far I haven’t heard of any untoward incidents happening there.

  1. Its ok to go there,, so safe,, actually that’s .my birthplace, so long time i never going hometown, i love to going home now,, to my family and relatives,,, imissyousomuch

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