Asia Philippines

INLAND EL NIDO: Motorcycle ride and secluded beaches

On our fourth day in El Nido we decided to hire a motorcycle and explore further north of El Nido, just a change from the island hopping tours the day before (the tours we did were Tour A and Tour C) For Php700 (US$16) we can have a semi-automatic clutch motorcycle for the day. El Nido town has shops with motorcycles for hire, the third one we inquired still had some left. This was about 9 o’clock in the morning. It’s a good thing my husband knows how to handle a motorbike. His skills were tested navigating through the country roads north of El Nido.
We stopped by the Municipal Tourism Office to ask for a map, I was given a nice colored map and the lovely lady gave us some instructions where to go. She also indicated other points of interest.

The motorcycle rider and the road literally less traveled as not many venture to this area because of the road conditions.

After a few kilometers away from town the national road north of El Nido drastically changes from paved smooth concrete to pebbled dirt road. Credits to my husband’s driving skills, he did very well 🙂 . We enjoyed the ride whizzing past green fields and feeling the breeze on our faces at an average speed of 60 kms/hr. We could at times go over 80 kms/hr on straight sections as not many motorists on the road. The other travelers that we encountered were an occasional farmer with a buffalo-drawn carriage or a motorcycle plodding along with 3-4 passengers. It was not as dusty as I anticipated as it rained the day before. Along the way we passed a tricycle with a couple inside as passengers.
A tricycle is another option if you want to explore inland El Nido but don’t want to drive a motorbike. It’s about Php1,500 to hire a tricycle. It does shield you from direct sunlight but it can be a bumpier ride compared to a motorbike.
A typical tricycle in EL Nido

NACPAN AND CALITANG TWIN BEACHES
We probably traveled about 23 or so kilometers when we saw a sign nailed to a tree that says “3 kms Nacpan Beach”. The soil in the off beaten track was brownish clay. Did I mention that it rained the day before? So the road is narrow and slippery and had lots of potholes. But, it was worth it when we got there.
This is the sight we enjoyed as we sipped coconut juice.

There was a hammock tied between two coconut trees, ready to welcome visitors tired from the bumpy ride. A couple of little shops along the beach sell coconuts and lunch. We saw few local guys playing volleyball on the beach.
Towards the right section of Nacpan Beach

Towards the left section of Nacpan Beach

We climbed a hill to see the twin beaches, Nacpan and Calitang. I think Nacpan beach is the better of the two beaches. Nacpan is the longer beach and is not crowded with houses like Calitang. Looking from this hill, the sight of twin beach is really grand. Nacpan is the one on the left, Calitang is on the right.
Nacpan and Calitang twin beaches

The person who sold us some buko (young coconut) told us that there is even a much nicer beach than Nacpan. That perked our interest, to find out if that is true we hopped on to our bike and head out to Duli Beach about 10 kilometers further north.
Nacpan was an off-the-beaten track, but the track to Duli beach was more of a dirt footpath (not even wide enough for a car). About a meter clearing that narrows down to half a meter once we get closer to the beach. The motorbike was having trouble getting over some humps on the path created by the roots of some big trees.
Duli Beach

Duli Beach is beautiful but isolated. We were the only ones there. The coast has plenty of big waves eagerly waiting for some surfer to ride. Maybe in 5-10 years, when the roads are more readily accessible, we can probably see a lot more tourists coming this way. But for now, the locals in the area and the occasional foreigner living nearby can take pleasure frolicking here.
You can check other El Nido posts here:
Are we there yet? – Bus trip from Puerto Prinsesa to El Nido
EL NIDO Island hopping tours
EL NIDO ISLAND HOPPING: TOUR A – Lagoons and Beaches
EL NIDO ISLAND HOPPING: TOUR C – Hidden Beaches and Shrines
INLAND EL NIDO: Motorcycle ride and secluded beachesyou are here
EL NIDO – Where we stayed
EL NIDO – helpful things to know
EL NIDO TO SABANG
Text & Photos by Alicia Davis

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