No trip to the Philippines is supposedly complete without a visit to one of its hotspots, El Nido. Infamous as THE place to be for island hopping tours, it’s no surprise that El Nido has become a hub for tourists. But what if we told you that there was a secret hideaway a mere 15km away? A place to escape the noise with an idyllic and peaceful setting away from the crowds. Would you go?

Well, we did and it was one of our favourite places in the Philippines. If you’re planning on heading to El Nido, we recommend spending 1 or 2 nights there and then heading straight to Nacpan Beach. 

Your guide to Nacpan Beach - why you need to go, where to stay and how to get there (with awesome pics to convince you).
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Where is Nacpan Beach?

Nacpan Beach is 20 km north of El Nido town and only takes 30 minutes by scooter. We paid a trike taxi 600 pesos ($15AUD / $12USD) to take us since we didn’t know how long we’d spend here. This means you can easily get back to El Nido town if you need access to an ATM or some shops –  but trust us, you won’t want to leave Nacpan.

Tip: there are no ATMs in Nacpan so make sure you bring sufficient cash with you!

Why Visit Nacpan Beach

1. You get a long stretch of beach all to yourself

If you’re someone who hates the idea of crowds and having to share a beach with a million other people (yeah, no thanks), Nacpan is the perfect spot. Stretch for miles, you will always find a spot to yourself given that Nacpan just doesn’t get busy like El Nido.

Nacpan Beach

2. Nacpan Beach is what Boracay was 20 years ago

Before Boracay became the hottest island destination, it was also a peaceful beach without the crowds, resorts and infrastructure it boasts today. Locals tell us that Nacpan Beach today is what Boracay was back then – no nearby airport, no flocks of tourists and no resorts. We’re all for sharing tourism so coming to a place like Nacpan is much better for the community, for your own enjoyment and for sustainable tourism.

Boracay is now closed off to visitors due to the impact and we’re glad to hear that Boracay’s beautiful beaches will hopefully receive some much-needed restoration.

Read more:
Kawasan Falls: Complete Guide to Getting There Without the Crowds

3. Witness some of the most epic sunsets at Nacpan

Pretty. Damn. Impressive.

4. Island hopping tours from Nacpan Beach

Island hopping tours aren’t anything new and yes, they’re pretty tried and tested in the Philippines. Every traveller coming to El Nido is going on a tour and it’s for good reason, the islands are pretty epic. You can book the same island tours from Nacpan Beach but ask the guide to start in a different direction so that you are on a different timetable to the tourists coming from El Nido beach.

Big Lagoon Philippines

5. The restaurants in Nacpan are cheap

You won’t have the variety that El Nido offers (especially if you’re looking for new food to try in the Philippines) but there’s enough to keep you satisfied for a few days. There are a couple of different restaurants along the beach (our favourite was Ruby’s) that have a mixed menu and serve beers and fruit shakes.

Ps. Here’s an El Nido travel guide if you’re planning on stopping by on the way to Nacpan.

Where to stay at Nacpan Beach

Since Nacpan Beach isn’t a tourist hotspot, it’s not overrun with hotels and hostels (which we love) so you don’t have too many options. However, what limited options you have happen to be fantastic.

1. Hammock Homestay: a fun hostel making a positive impact in the community

We had such a great time at Hammock Homestay and highly recommend it. It’s few minutes walk from the beach and the owners, a local Filipino, Greg and Frenchman, Thomas, are passionate about positive contributions to the community in Nacpan. They’ve started a few projects such as growing a veggie patch which they hope will go towards improving the consumption of fresh vegetables in Nacpan.

Also realising that littering was a huge problem, HH put out drums around the area and along the beach so that people could dispose of their rubbish properly. The government noticed the initiative and now sends a garbage truck to come and collect the rubbish every fortnight! Talk about change!

If you have a couple of hours to spare, HH arrange a rubbish pick up along the beach every Saturday morning.

They also have volunteer opportunities for teaching English at the local school or helping with their veggie patch so if you’re looking to chill somewhere and contribute to a community, this is the place. Thomas and Greg’s passion for their community is contagious and the homestay has a great vibe. Almost every person we met staying there inevitably extended their stay (yep, we did too).

Get in contact with Hammock Homestay on Facebook to book or for more info.

2. Where 2 Next: an eco-hostel working towards reducing plastic waste

Where 2 Next also supports Hammock Homestay in waste management and we love that this hostel is working towards being much more sustainable. The hostel runs on solar power and asks that guests bring a reusable drink bottle to fill up to reduce plastic waste.

3. Mad Monkey Nacpan Beach

The Mad Monkey chain is infamous through South East Asia and is very well known for its party vibes. If you’re looking for a good place to party in Nacpan, this is the spot. If you’re looking for chilled vibes and and a quiet place, don’t come to Mad Monkey.

Read more:
Discovering Alcoy in Cebu: A Slice Of Paradise the Philippines

Nacpan from above
Nacpan beach on a regular day

Extra reading material:
Need some help planning your trip? Here’s what you need to know before going to El Nido

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24 thoughts on “Nacpan Beach: El Nido’s Secret Paradise

  1. Marek says:

    Hello guys. Great post. I’m taking it as an inspiration for our trip in 2 weeks 🙂 we’ll be 4 nights in El Nido area and I was originally thinking of staying by Las Cabanas beach (North of El Nido) and do one day trip to Nacpan. But maybe Nacpan is the right place for all 4 nights. Did you say you can do Island Hopping tours A,B,C,D directly from Nacpan too? Thank you 🙂

    • LVV Travel says:

      I can’t remember which Tours we did but I think it was A & C. I can tell you that we went to Hidden Beach, Secret Beach, Talisay Beach, Big Lagoon, Small Lagoon and Carlao Island.

  2. Culture Trekking says:

    Thank you for this post! I have been trying to formulate a trip to the Phillippines in the next year or so. I am not much of a beach person because how crowded they seem to be all the time, but this just looks perfect for both me and my personality! Brava!

  3. Archana Singh says:

    I had spent considerable time in Nacpan as well as the rest of the beaches of El Nido. Correct me if I am wrong Nacpan is a part of El Nido and that’s what the official site says too. So you really can’t skip El Nido. I mean imagine you ask someone to skip Philippines and do Manila. That’s not possible. Also, El Nido has some really beautiful and less crowded beaches, so why would anyone skip El Nido at all? Sorry but I thought your post is a bit misleading.

    • LVV Travel says:

      Hi Archana, you are right in that Nacpan is part of the entire El Nido area but in our article, we were intending to refer to the main area/town which everyone flocks too. Since this hasn’t been communicated clearly enough, I have updated the post to refer to the main town. Furthermore, we spoke to many locals in Nacpan Beach and all refer to the main town as El Nido as refer to NB as Nacpan so even they distinguish it despite it being a part of the greater area. Sorry that you felt it was misleading as that’s obviously not our intention. As we said in the article, we are offering a different and quiet place outside of the main tourist area that people flock to for some peace and solitude. Happy travels.

  4. James says:

    I too prefer quiet beaches so Nacpan Beach would be preferable to El Nido. The fact that Nacpan is a long beach would be perfect for an early morning run, or even better, a midday run in the heat for a better workout! The sunset photo you shared on Instagram is so beautiful, if I went I would love to see this sunset.

    • LVV Travel says:

      Absolutely James. Sounds like it’s the perfect place for you. We were sweating profusely towards the end of our rubbish pick up (around 9am) so I’m not sure I’d survive a midday run but more power to you!

  5. Lydia Smith says:

    I really want to go to Nacpan instead of El Nido . I don’t know if it’s your diction of the images, but the though of me on the beach excites me. I’d be going in my best traveling mode – sole traveling. Can’t wait for this.

  6. Janice says:

    My favorite place in the world! <3 I was raised and lived in the Philippines my whole life and whenever I travel, there's always something that amazes me in my country. Palawan is such a paradise 🙂

    • LVV Travel says:

      I really fell in love with the Philippines so I get where you’re coming from. There’s so much to see and explore, I’m not sure we’d ever have enough time.

  7. Mariella Molestina says:

    WOW! You’re pictures are amazing of Nacpan Beach. I’m glad you decided to write a blog post on a place that doesn’t attract as much tourists but still as beautiful or probably even more beautiful than El Nido. Also I love the fact that you guys used recycled plastic to turn into something so beautiful such as planting new plants. I’m glad you guys got to enjoy your trip, I sure did enjoy reading about it and also looking at the pictures you took.

  8. Jamie Joyner says:

    The photos are amazing – especially at sunset, wow! Napcan sounds wonderful and peaceful. I appreciate knowing about the program to help keep the beach clean.

  9. Yukti says:

    Nacpan beach is really so beautiful and stunning. It should be in the one of the most beautiful beach list. Island hopping tours are worth to do. Epic sunset is surreal. Lovely and informative post on offbeat destination.

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