It was July and the weather was unpredictable. It rained on most days in El Nido, Palawan. There was a brewing storm up northern Philippines, and that caused monsoon rains in the western part of central Philippines, where El Nido is located. All island-hopping trips were cancelled. It was frustrating.

Tourists, travellers, and visitors go to El Nido primarily to go island-hopping to experience the best nature has to offer — clear lagoons for snorkeling, rock formations, powdery white sand beaches, and communing with creatures of the sea. Those are protected, nurtured, and preserved by the people of El Nido. Those are the reasons why Palawan is consistently voted as the best island in the world.

I booked for three of the four island-hopping trips. Every morning, I woke up just to ask the tour operator if the trips were pushing through but those were cancelled. When the rain stopped and the sun teasingly danced above, I got excited for the trip but the Philippine Coast Guard didn’t allow any boat to sail as the sea was still rough. It was frustrating.

Nacpan Beach, a 4-kilometer stretch

But there was no reason to be sad and blue when in El Nido. The main island has lots more to offer.  The tour operator offered an alternative trip on the the first morning I was there. It was a trip to Nacpan beach, a 45-minute ride north of the town of El Nido.

Nacpan Beach

Nacpan is probably the best beach I have ever seen. I swear, I love it more than Boracay! And the yellowish to white sand is as baby-powdery as Boracay’s!  Nacpan’s four-kilometer stretch is literally empty of hotels, restaurants, and bars. I hope and pray that there will never be any commercial structures erected by Nacpan’s beach.

Nacpan Beach

The waves that day were high. Visitors were prevented from swimming but making tampisaw (wading) was allowed within a short distance from the beach. The clouds were dark and pockets of rain came for a visit. Lunch of grilled seafood and pork, pansit (stif-fried noodles), steamed rice, and fresh fruits, and snacks were served.

Nacpan-Calitang Twin Beaches

The afternoon was spent walking to the southern shore of Nacpan where it meets its twin, Calitang beach. Together they are known as the Twin Beaches.  It’s a natural wonder where two coast lines meet at their tangency, where one can literally be between two beaches.

Calitang Beach

A hilly cape sticks out to the West Philippines Sea at the end of the two beaches. It was a slippery and muddy climb, as it rained again before I, and other visitors, climbed the hill.  We held on to grasses and vines so as not to roll back. As soon as we were on the top, we followed an overused trail towards a rocky spot where one can see a 360-degree view of the ocean, the beaches, and the mountains.

The view from the top of the hill

I had to pull my jaw up as it started to touch the ground. I forgot about the cancelled island trip and inhaled as much fresh air as I could. I stretched out my arms, wider than Oblation’s, to let the wind penetrate every pore on my body.  That was heaven on earth. There is nothing that can spoil that El Nido experience — not even the craziest weather.

Waiting for the sun to set, Nacpan Beach

The day was capped with an easy climb down the hill and a leisurely walk by the beach that mimicked scenes in a feel-good romcom movie. It did not rain anymore and the sun was up cavorting with the clouds. It was a perfect moment for sunset viewing. The sunset was not a blast of color but it was pretty enough.

Saying goodbye to Nacpan beach was tough but we had to part. Someday, I will be back into Nacpan’s arms again.

[This is the second in a series of my write-up on my trip to El Nido, Palawan. Please find the first installment here and the third here.]

The smiles on their faces express their hospitality and gratefulness.

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