With its pristine beaches, marine diversity, towering limestone formations, and many islands, El Nido has become one of the top tourist destinations in the Philippines. And the most popular activity? Island hopping, of course!
But what about during the rainy season when the tours sometimes get canceled? Fret not because you can take El Nido’s Inland Tour. And even during the summer, mainland El Nido’s natural attractions are also worth the trip.
Here are the reasons why El Nido’s Inland Tour is worth checking out!
1. Nacpan Beach
El Nido, Palawan
Part of Tour E (Inland Tour), Nacpan Beach used to be El Nido’s hidden gem but has now become very popular. In fact, it was recently voted as the 10th best beach in the world in TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Awards.
The road may be rough and dusty going here but don’t worry, it is all worth it! With its four kilometers of cream-colored sand, coconut trees, strong waves and hills in the background, it truly is a sight to behold. Not very many tourists venture to this side so it’s perfect if you want to relax by the beach and be off the grid.
Walk barefoot along the fine sand of the seemingly endless beach and pass by a small fishing village to get to the adjoined Calitang beach and the grassy hill. If you’re staying for the sunset, make sure to bring insect repellant with you since mosquitoes and sand mites are notorious here.
Intrepid travelers may choose to stay overnight at the beachfront accommodations. But do take note that there is no electricity and mobile signal is spotty at best. There are a few eateries along the beachfront where you can order drinks, snacks, and even rice meals. After exploring the twin beach we ended up at Kyla’s Cocina. We ordered shakes priced from ₱80 – ₱100 and rice meals from ₱150 – ₱200.
2. Calitang Beach/Twin Beach
El Nido, Palawan
Nacpan Beach may look endless but on the other side is a hill that visitors can climb for a picturesque view. There you will also understand why they call it the Twin Beach. The short and steep climb offers a panoramic view of Nacpan Beach, Calitang Beach, and El Nido Bay. Calitang Beach is not really for swimming as fishermen and local boats often dock here.
3. Nagkalit-kalit Falls
Pasadena, El Nido, Palawan
This waterfall is another stop included in Tour E (Inland Tour). Stopping in front a marker, the path leads you to rice fields, private property, rivers and the jungle before getting to the waterfall itself.
Be prepared with waterproof or aqua shoes because you’ll be crossing 7 rivers and streams between the lush jungle path. Depending on your speed, you can get to the waterfall in 20 to 45 minutes.
A guide is needed and there’s a gate pass of ₱10 per head.
4. Marimegmeg Beach
El Nido, Palawan
Around 3 kilometers from El Nido town is a beach famous for its amazing sunsets overlooking Bacuit Bay and some of El Nido’s islands. The clear turquoise water and fine sand are also good incentives for swimming.
There used to have more coconut trees along the beach which is now filled with establishments, some due to open in the coming years. It gets rocky the further you walk along the beach towards Las Cabanas Resort, the reason why this beach is also known as Las Cabanas Beach.
You can even walk all the way to Depeldet Islet via a sandbar if it’s low tide. If you want to add more adrenaline rush to your trip, you can take the zipline to Depeldet Islet. Just be prepared to shell out ₱900 for a two-way ride in the sitting position (₱500 one way). Superman position is more expensive at ₱700-₱1,100 while getting both sitting and superman positions can be availed for ₱1,000. The zipline is open from 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM.
Other points of interest:
Bulalacao Falls is less accessible compared to the more popular Nagkalit-kalit Waterfall. Located in Sitio Bulalacao about 15 km from El Nido town proper, Bulalacao is a series of waterfalls. A walk through the forest and river crossings will take you around 30 minutes to get to the small falls from the jump off point. And another 90 minutes to get to the big falls.
Corong-Corong Beach is located south of El Nido town proper and can be reached on foot or by taking a tricycle. Facing Bacuit Bay and a little north of Marimegmeg Beach, Corong-Corong Beach is another good spot for sunset-watching.
Like Corong-Corong, you can also view the sunset from Caalan Beach. It is around 20 minutes on foot from El Nido town and directly facing Cadlao Island.
You can stop by Makinit Hot Spring on the way to Nacpan Beach and Nagkalit-kalit Falls. But do take note that you can’t swim in it because of the high water temperature. Trekking can also be tricky without a guide.
The secluded Duli Beach in Brgy. Bucana can be reached by renting a van, tricycle, or motorbike. It is around 25 kilometers from El Nido town and boasts of a 2-kilometer stretch of a pristine beach. Like Nacpan and Caalan, Duli is also a surfing paradise from October to January because of its waves.
Those willing to go even further can go up north to Mariposa Beach and Dagmay (Verde Safari) Beach. Like Duli, the area is remote and the way to the beaches can be challenging especially during the rainy season.
History enthusiasts can add Ille Cave to their inland tour and witness the remnants of El Nido’s prehistoric inhabitants.
How to get to El Nido:
Take a domestic flight to Puerto Princesa (PPS) and you can either take the van (₱550 – ₱600) or bus (₱380 – ₱480) to El Nido. Travel time from Puerto Princesa to El Nido is approximately 6 hours. A fee of ₱200 per person for the El Nido Eco-Tourism Fee is required for all visitors.
Do make sure that you practice the Leave No Trace Principles and that you respect the community as well as the marine diversity. Don’t step on the corals and do not touch any marine life. Let’s all be responsible travelers!