It's Springtime in colder countries, but here in the ever-sunny, tropical Philippines, it is officially summer! And during summertime when kids are off from school and everyone begs to get soaked in the water to cool down, we folks head to the beach! For that, my top recommendation will always be El Nido in the province of Palawan, central Philippines!
But before you get intimidated by the thought of an El Nido getaway, please keep in mind: El Nido is not expensive. My trip to El Nido only cost me P10,000, which already included my air fare that only cost about P2,500 round trip (got it from a travel fair), my five-day accommodations (cost of the first four days was split into four as I had companions at that time), two island hopping tours, food, land transfers, and other expenses.
Aside from being not too expensive, I like El Nido for being one of the most beautiful places on earth that I have ever seen. Talk about turquoise waters, jagged limestone cliffs, beautiful underwater coral garden, fine white sand beaches, delicious food (as opposed to what a European I've met in one of the tours said that food here sucks), what more can you ask for?
One of the first places that we have explored when we went here with my friends is the Nacpan and Calitang Twin Beaches.
Twin beaches! How could that be?
It's like a thin strip of land appeared between a big and a small island, and both sides of the strip is lined with fine, white sand.
|See the thin strip of land in between? That makes it two beaches for you! To the right is Calintang, and to the left is Nacpan. The presence of fishermen's boats make it all the more charming. This photo was taken while on top of the hill.|
Going to the Nacpan and Calitang Twin Beaches is an adventure in itself. From the town centre of El Nido, we hailed a tricycle and asked to take us to Nacpan.
The round trip fare is P1,000, pretty much a good deal considering that I've also been reading rates that could go as high as P1,500. Try to haggle, though, and better ask the locals first how much is the REAL cost of going to Nacpan before hailing a tricycle. Agree first with the driver on the fare before hopping inside.
The tricycle can fit in five passengers, but I would not suggest that you fill the trike to the brim. Nacpan is an hour-long trip, and you will pass through dirt roads and puddles that, on several occasions, we had to push the tricycle just for our journey to continue. There were two of us in the tricycle, so the cost was split into two.
But Nacpan is worth this hassle (if one may consider that a hassle; I don't, really). We were met by a long stretch of beach with fine, white sand and roaring waves. And best of all, because the place is secluded, there were only a few of us when we went there!
We walked by the Nacpan beach, checked its twin called Calitang, and went up the cliff to take a lot of photos and have a bird's eye view of this beautiful place.
Ask your manong tricycle driver to be your photographer and guide to take you to the hill. It's not too high, but a guide will be required upon entry.
Trust me, it is really beautiful!
Why do I love El Nido so much? Because this is just day one and I still have a lot of islands to explore!
We rushed to Corong-Corong after our trip to Nacpan for us to catch a glimpse of the beautiful sunset.
- Tricycle fares might have already changed by the time you've read this article. The rate as of this writing is P1,000, round trip. Ask the locals for the real fare as some tricycle drivers might take advantage of the fact that you are a tourist. On another trip to Corong-Corong -- a 10 to 15-minute tricycle ride from the town centre -- I paid P50 only to be told that I should have paid only P15.
- Drinks are available at the stores by the beach of Nacpan. They are damn expensive. I suggest that you buy your food and drinks from the grocery stores at the town centre and just bring it to Nacpan.
- Because this is a far-flung place, don't expect a nice place for shower. You may even be charged P10 for using spartan facilities. But heck. The place is so beautiful, you'd want it to be as raw as it is.