Paradise beaches near El Nido - Nacpan and Duli

Nacpan beach

Nacpan beach is a long stretch of white sandy beach, lined with palm trees, crystal clear blue water and even if it is a bit touristy, it is not that much as to feel crowded. The best beach close to El Nido, if not on all of Palawan. One can relax under the sun, go for a swim in the warm water or even some snorkelling on the west side of the beach.

Located about 20 km from El Nido there are different ways to get there. Many agencies in El Nido will offer round-trip transport with set prices - you can choose an air-conditioned van, private car or the cheaper option - trike. Of course, any trike driver will get you to the beach without a need to book - just make sure you negotiate and agree on the price (for the round-trip and number of people). Motorbike is another good option that gives you more flexibility, and for the physically fit - a bicycle.

Road to Nacpan beach
Beautiful scenery on the way to the beach

We rented a motorbike and visited both Nacpan and Duli beaches on the same day. The 20-something km to Nacpan beach took us around 50 minutes and for the most part, the road was sealed and in good condition, with very little traffic and driving through the jungle was a pleasure. The last several kilometers were a little rough, with the last section before Nacpan being a dirt road. It was still easy to navigate, but it can get muddy and challenging after (or during) rain.

The road ends at the beach entrance, where the bike can be parked for a small fee.

The beach is big and wide, there isn't too much shade, except at the edge, under the palm trees. Several small restaurants sell refreshments and light food.

Nacpan beach
Nothing like cold beer and fresh coconut water under the palm trees...

The water was crystal clear and nice for swimming, but the sand can get really hot under the sun, even in the morning and there were coral and shell pieces at the edge of the water - if you have water shoes, it is a good idea to bring them with you.

Near the south end of the beach, it connects with another smaller one looking in the opposite direction - Twin beach. It is a nice walk, Twin beach is in a small bay full of local fishing boats. Also at the south end and about 50 m in the sea off of Nacpan beach, there is a small snorkelling spot - we did not try it ourselves but saw other people there.

Nacpan beach

After a few lazy hours at Nacpan beach, we decided to explore some more of the island and marked our next destination - Duli Beach. We had to go all the way back to the "main" road and continue north. The road was mostly sealed and in good condition up until the quiet fishing village of Barangay Bucana. After that, the last 1-2 km before getting to the beach were quite rough - going up and down a hill on a road that was deep sand with dirt, we were very careful but regardless, our bike slipped and sunk several times. The road ends at Duli beach, with a small parking area.

The beach itself was beautiful and vast - the sand was not as white as the Nacpan's, but the almost complete lack of people made up for it. The water was crystal clear and nice to take a dip in and we were practically alone there.

Duli beach
Duli beach

There are two other beaches close by if you go further north - Mariposa beach and Dagmay beach, but the dirt roads to reach them are even worse and probably it is a good idea to rent a proper off-road bike to get there.

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