El Nido, Philippines is famous for it’s 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 day trip adventure from El Nido Proper.
A moped costs 350 Pesos or $7 USD. Split that between two people and you have your transport sorted for the day for a few dollars.
A good bunch of us from the hostel set out for our adventure at 8am and slowly made our way out of El Nido proper. Within 5 minutes there was not a tourist in site 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
We arrived at Nacpan before many other tourists had arrived so we enjoyed a the entire length of the coastline to ourselves for a brief period. The waves were big enough to body surf 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 get the shrimp.
The road to Nacpan Beach is incredibly rough but huge pot holes and puddles everywhere. One of the girls in our crew got a flat 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.
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.