The most beautiful beaches on the mainland in El Nido Palawan
El Nido is indeed well known for the beautiful islands that dot the bay of Bacuit, but if you don’t want to have a boat tour, you can spend a relaxing day on one of the several beaches on the mainland. Most beaches are easily reachable by scooter or tuk-tuk, and only a few of them must be reached by boat because there is no road.
1. Nacpan beach
It is our favourite beach and by far the most beautiful in the whole area of El Nido. The beach is almost 3 kilometre-long with white sand lined by palm trees, but the best thing is that there are very few tourists. It is located 45/50 minutes from Buena Suerte, entirely in the middle of nature. There are some accommodations and some restaurants/cafes. You can reach the beach by tuk-tuk, scooter, or catching the shuttle van service offered by some local operators. At the southernmost point of Nacpan beach, you’ll find another curving stretch of white sand called Calitag beach. Nacpan and Calitag beach form the so-called “Twin beaches”.
- Click here to read about Nacpan beach.
Duli beach: not far from Nacpan beach, really close to the small Bucana barangay is Duli beach, another long and beautiful beach lined by palm trees where you won’t find anyone. We didn’t visit it because it is very far from El Nido town, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. If you like the place, there are some accommodations like the Duli beach Resort, Bucana beachfront Guesthouse and Zhaya’s beach and Cottages. Close to Duli beach, you’ll also find Mariposa beach and Dagmay beach.
2. Lio Beach
It’s a long beach lined by palm trees and bathed by a clear sea, a relaxing gateway where you can spend a day away from the crowd. Lio Beach offers a variety of outdoor activities like kayaking, paddle boarding, surfing and beach volley. The beach is located next to the airport, only 15 minutes by scooter or tuk-tuk from El Nido town. Here, you’ll find some resorts, bars, restaurants, a couple of tour agencies, a drugstore, some boutiques and a Spa (Mayana Spa).
3. Marimegmeg beach/Las Cabanas beach
Marimegmeg beach is the most tourist beach in El Nido town. Located only a few minutes from Corong Corong barangay, Merimegmeg is a long stretch of fine white sand and shady coconut palm trees. The first part of the beach is totally free, whereas you’ll find beach bars with deckchairs and sunbeds in the south part. You have to walk through a pedestrian area with boutiques, restaurants and bars (there is a McDonald too) to access the beach. At the southern end of the beach, you’ll notice a rocky outcrop (Depeldet Islet) accessible on foot during the low tide. Another adventurous way to reach the Depeldet islet is by the zip line installed right in the middle of Merimegmeg beach. If you don’t like the crowd, always at the southern end of Merimegmeg beach is Las Cabanas beach, another beautiful wild beach fringed by palm trees where you can relax alone. These two beaches are a perfect spot to enjoy the fantastic sunset on Bacuit bay. Merimegmeg beach area is also well-developed with a line of resorts located right along the beach, including the famous Las Cabanas Resort.
4. Caalan beach
Caalan Beach is located only 3 km away from El Nido town, and it’s an excellent place to get your accommodation to escape the crowd. The beach itself is nothing special, only a short stretch of sand mainly surrounded by rocks where it’s difficult to swim, especially with low tide. The “best” place where to rest and swim in Caalan is in front of the cemetery where you’ll find a good area for swimming. Unless you decide to book your accommodation in Caalan, we don’t recommend this beach.
5. Buena Suerte beach
It’s the beach of El Nido town, a long stretch of sand facing the buildings of Buena Suerte barangay. The beach is quite dirty, and the sea plenty of boats as it’s the boat tour’s starting point. If you decide to spend your time here anyway, go on the north side of the beach, far away from the port, the pier and its crowded area (pic below).
6. Corong Corong beach
Corong Corong Beach is just south of the town proper and stretches more than 3 kilometres, starting at a point just below the town market before turning towards Marimegmeg Beach. During the day, the low tide turns the beach into something like a mudflat, and it isn’t very easy to swim. We didn’t find the beach that clean as well, so we don’t recommend it. Despite all, Corong Corong Beach is a great spot to enjoy the beautiful sunset on Bacuit bay.
Beaches on the mainland reachable by boat only
A few beaches on the mainland are only reachable by boat as there is no road to get there. You can enjoy these beaches by renting a boat in Corong Corong port or Buena Suerte port. You can also rent a kayak in Corong Corong beach but take in mind that it could be a bit tiring since a strong wind blows almost every day. A couple of them (Seven Commandos beach and Papaya beach) are also included in the boat tours.
7. Ipil Ipil beach 1 and 2
Ipil Ipil beach 1 and 2 are the first beaches you meet departing from El Nido town port. Both beaches are wild and boast white-sand fringed by coconut palm trees and a clear sea. Ipil Ipil 1 is private, and you can access it if you sleep on the beach at the Ipil Waterfront resort.
8. Seven Commandos beach
Seven Commandos Beach is impressive, a long stretch of white sand with imposing coconut trees that stood in front of the crystal clear sea. It‘s said the beach owes its name from a story that 7 soldiers got stranded here during WW II. The beach is well equipped with kiosks selling fresh coconut and drinks, huts with benches and tables where to eat, and a beach volley pitch. Anyway, the beach is always crowded because it is included in the boat tour A. On its north side is the exclusive Vellago Resort, a perfect place if you want to relax and enjoy this beautiful place.
9. Papaya beach
Papaya beach is right next to Seven Commandos beach, separated by a high rocky outcrop. Even this wild beach is fantastic and will take your breath away with its soft white sand and emerald water. It’s always crowded, especially at the end of the day because it is often included in boat tour A. On the beach is a small kiosk in the palm trees’ shade selling fresh coconut and drinks.
10. Lapus Lapus beach
This small wild beach is pristine with crystal clear emerald water, a perfect place where to relax without the annoying crowd you’ll find on the most visited Seven Commandos and Papaya Beach. Lapus Lapus Beach is the closest beach to Corong Corong Beach, and it’s easy reachable even by renting a kayak in only 15 minutes.
- El Nido Palawan travel guide;
- What to see and do in El Nido;
- El Nido tour A;
- Visiting Nacpan beach;
- Philippines itinerary.
Have you visited El Nido and its beaches? Did you like them, and you want to share your experience or suggest more tips? Leave us a comment below!
Those beaches are really beautiful and Nacpan seems to be the best!
Hi Jody! Yeah, Nacpan is stunning! Its long beach left us speechless! It’s really worth spending a whole day there.