Skip El Nido And Go To Nacpan Beach Instead

Skip El Nido And Go To Nacpan Beach Instead

No trip to the Philippines is supposedly complete without a visit to one of its hotspots, El Nido. Infamous as THE place to be for island hopping tours, it’s no surprise that El Nido has become a hub for tourists. But what if we told you that there was a secret hideaway a mere 15km away? A place to escape the noise with an idyllic and peaceful setting away from the crowds. Would you go?

Well, we did and it was one of our favourite places in the Philippines. If you’re planning on heading to El Nido, we say skip the main town and go straight to Nacpan Beach instead.

Nacpan is a looooong stretch of beach unlike El Nido Town’s Main Beach

El Nido town is great for restaurants and bars but unfortunately, there isn’t a nice big beach to cater to the crowds. On the other hand, Nacpan Beach has two sides so you can always find a large area to relax without being disturbed by anyone else.

Nacpan Beach is a secret hideaway near El Nido. Here's why you should skip out on the crowds & settle in at this peaceful beach instead (with awesome pics).

Nacpan Beach

Nacpan Beach is what Boracay was 20 years ago

Before Boracay became the hottest island destination, it was also a peaceful beach without the crowds, resorts and infrastructure it boasts today. Locals tell us that Nacpan Beach today is what Boracay was back then – no nearby airport, no flocks of tourists and no resorts. I’m hoping that Nacpan Beach never turns into Boracay but just in case it does, you’re better off enjoying it now!

Read:  Kawasan Falls Without the Crowds and On A Budget

Witness some of the most epic sunsets

Pretty. Damn. Impressive.

Yep, super posed and not candid at all. We used to HATE taking couple pics. If you look back on the first 10 months of travelling, we didn't take many at all outside of selfies. But we've forced ourselves to get a bit more comfortable and now we secretly love taking these pics because they really are beautiful and this sunset was killer. And even though it was a bit of a "forced" moment, we don't mind staring at each other for a little while. • • • • #travelgram #huffpostgram #igshots #instatravel #earthpics #headedelsewhere #nakedplanet #ourplanetdaily #weareexplorers #vibetravel #livetravelchannel #theglobalwanderer #travelawesome #wanderlust #creatorclass #createexploretakeover #ig_shotz #gotouring #thepeoplestraveller #underwaterworld #travelcouple #femaletravebloggers #travelbloggers #southeastasia #paradise🌴#fatalframes #adventurer #lifeofadventure #canon_photos

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It’s only 30 minutes from El Nido

Nacpan Beach is 20 km north of El Nido town and only takes 30 minutes by scooter. We paid a tricycle 600 pesos ($15AUD / $12USD) to take us since we didn’t know how long we’d spend here. This means you can easily get back to El Nido town if you need access to an ATM or some shops –  but trust us, you won’t want to leave Nacpan.

You can still do island hopping tours from Nacpan Beach

The same tours are available and you can ask the guide to start off in a different direction so that the stops aren’t packed with other boats when you arrive.

Nacpan Beach is a secret hideaway near El Nido. Here's why you should skip out on the crowds & settle in at this peaceful beach instead (with awesome pics).

Beautiful island hopping tours from Nacpan Beach

Stay at a fun hostel that’s making a positive impact in the community

We had such a great time at Hammock Homestay and highly recommend it. It’s few minutes walk from the beach and the owners, a local Filipino, Greg and Frenchman, Thomas, are passionate about positive contributions to the community in Nacpan.

Nacpan Beach is a secret hideaway near El Nido. Here's why you should skip out on the crowds & settle in at this peaceful beach instead (with awesome pics).

Growing a veggie patch for communal use

They’ve started a few projects such as growing a veggie patch which they hope will go towards improving the consumption of fresh vegetables in Nacpan.

Nacpan Beach is a secret hideaway near El Nido. Here's why you should skip out on the crowds & settle in at this peaceful beach instead (with awesome pics).

Also realising that littering was a huge problem, HH put out drums around the area and along the beach so that people could dispose of their rubbish properly. The government noticed the initiative and now sends a garbage truck to come and collect the rubbish every fortnight! Talk about change!

If you have a couple of hours to spare, HH arrange a rubbish pick up along the beach every Saturday morning.

Nacpan Beach is a secret hideaway near El Nido. Here's why you should skip out on the crowds & settle in at this peaceful beach instead (with awesome pics).

Rubbish collection every Saturday morning with Hammock Homestay

They also have volunteer opportunities for teaching English at the local school or helping with their veggie patch so if you’re looking to chill somewhere and contribute to a community, this is the place. Thomas and Greg’s passion for their community is contagious and the homestay has a great vibe. Almost every person we met staying there inevitably extended their stay (yep, we did too).

Get in contact with Hammock Homestay on Facebook to book or for more info.

Staying at HH also means free kayaks and body boards

Yes, FREE. We had a great time on the body boards. Just look at the joy!!

Nacpan Beach is a secret hideaway near El Nido. Here's why you should skip out on the crowds & settle in at this peaceful beach instead (with awesome pics).

Did you say free bodyboards?

The restaurants in Nacpan are cheap

You won’t have the variety that El Nido offers but there’s enough to keep you satisfied for a few days. There are a couple of different restaurants along the beach (our favourite was Ruby’s) that have a mixed menu and serve beers and fruit shakes.

So if that’s not enough to convince you, here are a couple of our favourite shots of Nacpan that will have you packing your bags ASAP.

Nacpan Beach is a secret hideaway near El Nido. Here's why you should skip out on the crowds & settle in at this peaceful beach instead (with awesome pics).

Nacpan Beach is a secret hideaway near El Nido. Here's why you should skip out on the crowds & settle in at this peaceful beach instead (with awesome pics).

Nacpan Beach is a secret hideaway near El Nido. Here's why you should skip out on the crowds & settle in at this peaceful beach instead (with awesome pics).

21 Comments

  1. Greg
    August 3, 2017 / 7:02 pm

    Amazing place and wonderful experience !!!!

    Iloveyou Nacpan ❤

  2. August 4, 2017 / 1:26 am

    Nacpan beach is really so beautiful and stunning. It should be in the one of the most beautiful beach list. Island hopping tours are worth to do. Epic sunset is surreal. Lovely and informative post on offbeat destination.

    • August 4, 2017 / 9:12 am

      Thanks so much Yukti. We really loved it too!

  3. August 4, 2017 / 11:01 am

    The photos are amazing – especially at sunset, wow! Napcan sounds wonderful and peaceful. I appreciate knowing about the program to help keep the beach clean.

    • August 9, 2017 / 5:37 pm

      Thanks, Jamie. It’s a very inspiring program they run.

  4. August 4, 2017 / 3:10 pm

    Wow the beach looks amazing. I think a less touristy option is always the best way to go. What a great place to go to.

  5. August 5, 2017 / 1:09 am

    WOW! You’re pictures are amazing of Nacpan Beach. I’m glad you decided to write a blog post on a place that doesn’t attract as much tourists but still as beautiful or probably even more beautiful than El Nido. Also I love the fact that you guys used recycled plastic to turn into something so beautiful such as planting new plants. I’m glad you guys got to enjoy your trip, I sure did enjoy reading about it and also looking at the pictures you took.

    • August 9, 2017 / 5:36 pm

      Thank you so much, Mariella. Yep, the guys at Hammock Homestay are fantastic. You must check them out if you head there.

  6. Janice
    August 5, 2017 / 5:04 pm

    My favorite place in the world! <3 I was raised and lived in the Philippines my whole life and whenever I travel, there's always something that amazes me in my country. Palawan is such a paradise 🙂

    • August 9, 2017 / 5:35 pm

      I really fell in love with the Philippines so I get where you’re coming from. There’s so much to see and explore, I’m not sure we’d ever have enough time.

  7. August 5, 2017 / 7:29 pm

    I really want to go to Nacpan instead of El Nido . I don’t know if it’s your diction of the images, but the though of me on the beach excites me. I’d be going in my best traveling mode – sole traveling. Can’t wait for this.

    • August 9, 2017 / 5:33 pm

      Absolutely. Definitely a place you should see, Lydia.

  8. James
    August 5, 2017 / 11:15 pm

    I too prefer quiet beaches so Nacpan Beach would be preferable to El Nido. The fact that Nacpan is a long beach would be perfect for an early morning run, or even better, a midday run in the heat for a better workout! The sunset photo you shared on Instagram is so beautiful, if I went I would love to see this sunset.

    • August 9, 2017 / 5:33 pm

      Absolutely James. Sounds like it’s the perfect place for you. We were sweating profusely towards the end of our rubbish pick up (around 9am) so I’m not sure I’d survive a midday run but more power to you!

  9. August 6, 2017 / 2:09 pm

    I had spent considerable time in Nacpan as well as the rest of the beaches of El Nido. Correct me if I am wrong Nacpan is a part of El Nido and that’s what the official site says too. So you really can’t skip El Nido. I mean imagine you ask someone to skip Philippines and do Manila. That’s not possible. Also, El Nido has some really beautiful and less crowded beaches, so why would anyone skip El Nido at all? Sorry but I thought your post is a bit misleading.

    • August 9, 2017 / 5:32 pm

      Hi Archana, you are right in that Nacpan is part of the entire El Nido area but in our article, we were intending to refer to the main area/town which everyone flocks too. Since this hasn’t been communicated clearly enough, I have updated the post to refer to the main town. Furthermore, we spoke to many locals in Nacpan Beach and all refer to the main town as El Nido as refer to NB as Nacpan so even they distinguish it despite it being a part of the greater area. Sorry that you felt it was misleading as that’s obviously not our intention. As we said in the article, we are offering a different and quiet place outside of the main tourist area that people flock to for some peace and solitude. Happy travels.

  10. August 14, 2017 / 5:48 am

    Thank you for this post! I have been trying to formulate a trip to the Phillippines in the next year or so. I am not much of a beach person because how crowded they seem to be all the time, but this just looks perfect for both me and my personality! Brava!

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