El Nido, Philippines is famous for its beautiful islands, beaches, and lagoons but if you hire a moped there is much more to discover around El Nido. I visited three amazing beaches all during on motorbike day trip adventure from El Nido Proper. We first visited Nacpan Beach then Verde Safari Beach followed by sunset at Duli Beach.
EL NIDO MOTORBIKE TRIP TO NACPAN BEACH
A moped costs 350 Pesos or $7 USD. We split that between two people and you have your transport sorted for the day for a few dollars. Gasoline is usually only a couple of dollars. You will need to leave your passport with the rental person but that is fair, remember you have their bike!
A good bunch of us from the hostel set out for our adventure at 8 am and slowly made our way out of El Nido proper. Within 5 minutes there was not a tourist in sight as we passed by farms and small villages. One of my favorite ways to get a better understanding of a location is to hire a moped and cruise away from the tourist hot spots and take in the sights as I drive.
This day trip was going to be highlighted by two beaches. We were first going to visit Nacpan Beach then later in the day head Duli Beach. However, we also visited another beach, Verde Safari, when we accidentally missed Duli Beach.
NACPAN BEACH EL NIDO PALAWAN
I’ve visited Nacpan multiple times. First in 2016 and then again in 2018 and it still has a great vibe and while popular, there are still many quiet spots and it remains a great beach to relax at. Here is the recount of my first visit.
We arrived at Nacpan Beach on our motorbikes before many other tourists had arrived so we enjoyed the entire length of the coastline to ourselves for a brief period. The waves were big enough to body surf in and a storm brewed in the distance. It was a remarkable scene and it all looked very dramatic.
The storm passed without ever hitting us and with the sun came many other beachgoers. Nacpan Beach never got too crowded while we were there but we definitely weren’t alone.
Looking down the beach to the left there appeared to be a few small trails to the top of the hills. I took off to explore and came across a small fishing village along the way. A small girl helped her father carry items from his boat back to the house while other women tried to coerce us into their restaurant for a vegetable curry.
I continued on down the beach and weaved between the coconut trees on a small winding trail. A couple of cows grazed away on the hill overlooking two small bays and all of Nacpan Beach. It’s not often you get to see so many beaches from one vantage point.
Another trail led even higher up the hill towards a huge tree. A tree that looked great for climbing and had even better views back down Nacpan Beach.
I remember hearing that there was great shrimp at Nacpan Beach and I can testify that it is true. My lunch was beautiful and I topped it off with a mango smoothie for good measure. Sorry, I forgot to take a photo, but let’s be honest you can’t taste a photo. Just trust me to get the shrimp.
The road to Nacpan Beach is incredibly rough with huge potholes and puddles everywhere so be careful on your motorbike. One of the girls in our crew got a flat tire so we had to drive to another village, buy a new tire for a couple of dollars and then take it to a vulcanizer who repaired it all for $1. Everything is relatively quick to repair in the Philippines
On my second visit to Nacpan Beach in 2018, I brought my drone and explore a little from the air. It was a much nicer day overall this time so you can really see the clarity of the water and how beautiful this tropical beach is on a sunny day.
VERDE SAFARI BEACH
Our next stop was Duli Beach.. or so we thought. It was a 30 minute drive and after 40 minutes we thought we had finally arrived.
The beach looked amazing but our map told us we had actually arrived at Verde Safari Beach. It was a blessing in disguise as this was an amazing stretch of shoreline that was entirely empty. A few fishing boats were resting on the shore in front of rows of coconut palms.
While the beach was beautiful we still had our hearts set on visiting Duli Beach. We asked a few local kids where to go and they laughed at us and told us we need to go 10 minutes back where they came from.
With less than an hour before the sun would set we finally arrived at Duli Beach. A few small huts were scattered along the beach and only two local kids were trying to surf the whitewash. Jorden and I grabbed the GoPro and headed out deep into the thick of the action.
The locals thought we were drowning and were preparing a rescue before I came back and told them we were fine. Jorden headed in and I spent the entire sunset floating around in the impact zone. The waves were big but not barreling clean. This was one of my favorite nights from our one month trip in the Philippines.
Driving back took about an hour in beautifully calm weather. For the most part the roads are in decent shape but we were definitely cautious as there were a number of big holes in the road that could do some real damage.
DULI BEACH LOCATION
WHERE TO STAY IN EL NIDO
(Value) Spin Designer Hostel: Let’s go for Spin! This rad hostel is located at the bustling town of El Nido. This property is highly recommended by many travelers as the service is superb. Spin Designer Hostel also provides a shared kitchen with a barbecue facility. It is value for money and very close to shops and beach.
If you stay here you will make friends with like-minded strangers and be in the prime location for the nightlife, island hopping and hiking Taraw Peak. The beach literally steps away.
(Most Insta-worthy) Panorama Resort: Panorama Resort is an exotic boutique resort tucked between Corong-Corong Beach and Maremigmeg Beach, is a 3-star property that features a panoramic view of the mountains in El Nido. The resort is very insta-worthy and has a lot of amenities including a private beach, outdoor and indoor swimming pool, and free WiFi. It offers an amazing sunset view and chill vibe to guests.
(Luxury Resort) Las Cabanas Beach Resort: This incredible beach resort is situated perfectly on the shore of Las Cabanas beach in El Nido. It offers a peaceful sanctuary from the harsh realities of the outside world. The resort is picturesque and provides easy access to island hopping and other activities. It has rooms with sea and garden views, and the beachfront cottages are single standalone units.
ARE YOU KEEPING UP WITH MY EL NIDO SERIES?
You want to go island-hopping in El Nido but aren’t sure whether TOUR A,B,C or D will be better? Take a look at my El Nido Island Hopping Guide that compares all of the four tours to help you pick the best one for you.
Wondering what there is to do in El Nido? I’ve been twice and spent almost 30 days in El Nido so I’ve got some great recommendations for you in my Travel Guide to El Nido: 20 Awesome Things To Do
Which region will you choose for your accommodation in El Nido? I’ve broken each region down and given you suggestions for budget, value and luxury in El Nido Town, Lio Beach and Las Cabanas Beach in this guide: Where to stay in El Nido
My Review and photos of: Tour A
My Review and photos of: Tour B
My Review and photos of: Tour C
The most epic activity you can do in El Nido on the land is to hike up Taraw Peak and I share the photos and tell you how you can use the same local guide as me in this blog post: Hiking up Taraw Peak – What You Need to Know