Discover Top Beaches in El Nido, Palawan (12 Beaches)
Some of the most stunning beaches in the world are found in the Philippines, including some in the province of Palawan. Perhaps you are already aware of the beautiful things El Nido, Palawan, has to offer, including the picturesque sunsets, impressive limestone formations, and powdery white beaches.
I'm sure you've already made a list of some beaches you'd like to visit, and if not, let me drop a list of the top beaches and how to get to them for your convenience. Surely, discovering the islands in El Nido should be at the top of things to see in El Nido.
The dry season is ideal for sailing and relaxing, but it also means that many tourists want to do the same. I recommend going to El Nido Palawan between November and May, when crowds are lower, to get the most out of your visit. During the rainy season, you can still visit and explore them from a different perspective.
You can drive or ride to many inland beaches in El Nido. Here are my top recommendations for El Nido inland beaches:
Las Cabanas Beach (Marimegmeg Beach)
Less than a 15-minute drive from El Nido town, Las Cabanas Beach is famed as a place to watch the sunset. Catch the sunset here at 5 p.m., an hour before sundown.
A slew of restaurants with options ranging from local to international cuisine, beach bars, and chic resorts are located in this area, such as the Maremegmeg Beach Club, Muatala Hotel, and Las Cabanas Beach Resort.
Swimming is possible; for added adventure, try the zipline connecting to Depeldet Islet. In addition, kayak, paddleboard, and snorkelling equipment can be rented.
If you want to avoid the crowds, you can continue your walk around the corner, past Las Cabanas Beach Resort, which will eventually take you to Dolarog Beach.
Dolarog Beach was unknown to many tourists and a bit remote. However, you can get there by kayaking, walking past Las Cabanas Beach, or riding a motorbike or tricycle.
Dolarog provides a view of Pinagbuyutan Island; there is a jetty port where you can sit idly and appreciate the view of the ocean.
Dolarog Beach Resort owns a large portion of the beach; it's nice that the resort accepts walk-ins at their restaurant.
If you have the entire afternoon, I'd recommend chilling here, enjoying the privacy and beach hammocks.
Lio Beach is part of the Lio Tourism Estate, which promotes environmentally responsible tourism. Lio is only a 15-minute drive from El Nido, where you can find the airport, several hotels, restaurants, and local shops.
The beach's location is quite convenient with its well-maintained facilities and nearby local stores. In addition, I appreciate that they have preserved the large trees on the beach; they provide ample shade and keep the temperature relatively cool even in the middle of the dry season.
There is a wide selection of restaurants offering various menu choices, and if you are interested in attending yoga classes, you can check out YOGATAYO.
Sports enthusiasts can rent equipment for frisbee, volleyball, and beach soccer. Swimming, kayaking, and paddleboarding are other water activities that can be done here.
You can walk along the beach's pier. Some locals may be fishing at the end of the jetty. The sunset is also striking as it sets behind Cadlao Island. Sunbeds are free, so just lay back and watch the Air Swift plane come and go. But don't forget your insect repellants!
Nacpan Beach is more than a half-hour drive to the north of town, accessible by motorbike, tricycle, and van. When you arrive, you will be greeted by a 4-kilometre stretch of fine beige sand and the scent of a warm sea breeze.
Its turquoise waters will entice you to swim, but be wary of the riptides. Other beach activities available include volleyball and ATV rides.
The beach is ideal for sunbathing; hundreds of lined coconuts provide a lovely backdrop. From small pop-up restaurants to stylish beach bars like Sunmai and Angkla Beach Club, you can easily order food and drinks here.
El Nido's off-the-beaten-path surfing hotspot is about a half-hour drive from Nacpan Beach. However, the drive to Duli Beach can be difficult due to the dirt and dusty road conditions.
This spot, however, is popular among local surfers and tourists looking to catch some waves, particularly during the best surfing season in November. Surfboards can be rented for 500 PHP per hour, and local instructors can guide beginners.
Even if the waves aren't suitable for surfing, you can still enjoy the beach without crowds, relax on a beach lounge, walk along the shoreline, and mingle with the friendly locals.
You might also catch a glimpse of a turtle hatchling activity organized by Duli Beach Resort.
El Nido has a set of Tours from A, B, C, and D to reach island-hopping beaches, so here are the top picks for each.
Seven Commandos Beach (Tour A)
The beach is famous for its powdery white sand and swimming activities as part of Tour A, but sometimes it can get crowded during the daytime as this is usually the tour's first stop.
Seven Commandos Beach is also the home of the luxurious Vellago Resort, and guests who dock here are welcome to visit the beachfront and their restaurant.
It is also possible to explore it by renting a kayak from Corong Corong for only 100 PHP per hour. Kayaking here will only take half an hour, which is even more fun, and there is no time limit on when you will hang around at the beach.
Papaya Beach (Tour B)
Adjacent to Seven Commando Beach, Papaya Beach is often devoid of crowds, especially in the afternoon. Therefore, I prefer kayaking to reach this beach and stay for an extended time.
As a part of the Tour B itinerary, Papaya Beach is an excellent spot for beach lazing and swimming in its crystal-clear waters. The scenic background of limestone formations adds to the overall beauty of the beach.
Snake Island Beach (Vigan Island) Tour B
Snake Island Beach, also known as Vigan Island, one of the must-see stops, has grown in popularity due to its distinctive S-shaped sandbar that appears during low tide.
Visitors can walk the entire length of the sandbar and enjoy swimming. A short hike up to the viewpoint on that island is recommended for an overlooking view.
At times, monkeys can be spotted in the area, running around.
Secret Beach (Tour C)
When your boat arrives, you will be greeted by a massive limestone wall, and you may wonder how to unveil the "Secret". However, the elusive Secret Beach lies beyond this natural barrier, accessible only through a small hole in the rock formation.
Depending on the tide, the hole may be visible or completely hidden, requiring a swim of less than a meter to pass through. Swimming through is the only way to access the opening and should be done with caution, especially if there are large waves, as kayaks cannot pass through.
Your tour guide will give you a life jacket and help you through the opening; thus, you don't need to worry if you are not an excellent swimmer.
You'll find yourself on a completely secluded beach when you get to the other side. Don't hesitate to ask your guide for a panoramic photo :)
Hidden Beach (Tour C)
Snuggled right behind the limestones of Matinloc Island, guests will be asked to hop off the boat, put on their aqua shoes, and start exploring the path that eventually reveals a cove-like-shaped Hidden Beach.
It's fine white sand, and the view is perfect for beach lounging. Hidden Beach is also suitable for snorkelling; you may spot plenty of clownfish around.
Helicopter Island Beach (Tour C)
Dilumacad Island, also known as "Helicopter Island," gets its name from its shape, which resembles a helicopter from a distance.
Prepare your snorkelling gear, as one of the island's main draws is its well-known excellent snorkelling opportunities on the island's left side.
In addition, the lush vegetation covers the limestone cliff, and the white sand and clear water make it an ideal location for swimming, beach picnics, and relaxing.
Paradise Beach (Tour D)
Cadlao Island's Paradise Beach provides a beautiful and serene setting for an intimate island getaway. You can reach this island by boat or kayak from El Nido town.
The stunning azure water, white sand, and coconut trees create a perfect picnic getaway. Enjoy swimming in clear water here while viewing El Nido Town.
On some group itineraries, this is where they enjoy a delicious lunch; for some, it's the perfect way to end the day by catching the sunset.
Which Island Hopping Tour?
Whether you want to explore, unwind, or wander and capture stunning pictures and videos of El Nido's beaches, the crowd, weather, and water conditions play a crucial part.
When booking your Island-hopping tour in El Nido, it is essential to discuss the following: tour inclusions, food, and refund policies in case of cancellations and weather conditions, as well as the cost of equipment rentals.
Pick-up at your accommodations, depending on arrangements, is between 8:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. The departure point is in El Nido Beach town. Usually, if it's a joiner tour, the capacity of the Bangka Outrigger boat can fit 15 to a maximum of 30 passengers.
If you are okay with meeting other travellers on tours, go for a shared tour; the price is regulated. However, if you want to maximize your time and have a well-pampered vacation, book a private tour, which is more expensive but definitely worth it.
El Nido's breathtaking beaches are nothing short of an "island paradise," with natural beauty that will leave you speechless. It is a must-do for anyone looking for a once-in-a-lifetime travel experience. While Tours A and C are the most popular tour itineraries, Tour D is a hidden gem just waiting to be discovered.
And if you are down to sail to an extra adventure with exemplary service, check out the Big Dream Boatman Expedition for a more diverse and personal experience while enjoying the "paradise" of Palawan.
El Nido to Coron Expedition by Big Dream Boatman
Our El Nido to Coron Boat Tour Expedition will always include unspoiled and tranquil beaches such as Cadlao Island and Nacpan Beach. And if those two beaches aren't enough to tick off your bucket list of visiting the world's most beautiful beaches, don't worry! Big Dream Boatman is the way to go.
We know all the hidden beaches between Coron and El Nido and will bring you to the best ones. So paddle around the beaches, take that moment to enwrap yourself with the scenery, watch those magical sunsets, and enjoy daily activities prepared for you.
Not to add more excitement, but be ready to savour delectable local dishes heartily cooked by their onboard chefs and quickly obtain drinks from their friendly bartender. You will undoubtedly enjoy this extraordinary trip with local guides, crew, and fellow travellers with whom you may become lifelong friends. If you have special requests, they are welcome and will be accommodated.
To make the most of your trip, start planning early and do additional research to ensure you get all the benefits.
Furthermore, once you arrive, please take advantage of the opportunity to interact with the locals and learn about their culture. Their gracious hospitality and friendliness will undoubtedly leave you with lasting memories.
Finally, the beaches of El Nido are a treasure trove of natural beauty and provide a unique experience you won't find anywhere else.
Whether you're looking for extreme adventure, relaxation, or a break from the daily monotony, El Nido has something for everyone.
So, start planning your trip today and find the best beaches to hang out at. Safe travels, and see you soon!