Sunday, October 9, 2016

Reasons Why Nacpan Beach is One of the Best Beaches in the World

by Regin Reyno

Nacpan Beach in El Nido, Palawan, Philippines made it to the top 10 on CNN’s Travelers’ Choice Award for the World’s Best Beaches. That’s pretty impressive especially considering the number of beaches in this world.

It was also named by travel blogger, LeBlanc, the World’s Most Beautiful Beach. 

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so they say. So what may be beautiful for Christian LeBlanc may not be so beautiful for some. That title is highly subjective. Nevertheless, it got my attention. So the next thing I know, we were arranging a trip going to Nacpan Beach in Palawan.

To be honest, when I watched that video, I wasn’t really impressed by the beach. It was shot during an overcast day, so its real beauty wasn’t captured. I also searched photos from the internet, and they all looked like a normal beach. So I don’t really understand why it was named World’s Most Beautiful. 

That’s one of the reasons why I decided to go there. To experience it for myself. To see, why it is the most beautiful in the world and one of the best.

Just last week, I had the opportunity to fully experienced it. Not just see, but to actually experience it with my five senses. Not just a day trip, but stayed there, as well.

And here’s my verdict: Nacpan Beach in El Nido, Palawan is one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve been and as of the moment, my best beach ever!

Here are the reasons why:

1. It is long and wide

The beach is 4 km. long. and it is very wide. You have lots of space to play games, sunbathe, build sand castle, or just roll. The length of a beach is one huge factor, at least for me, to be considered a beautiful beach. There are many beautiful beaches out there, but they are just a small strip of land. This one is the real deal. Jogging in the morning barefooted? Sure, you can do that here. 

2. clear, clean, green, and blue waters

This beach is beast for swimming. With its super clean water, you don’t have to worry about infection or anything like that. I didn’t see a single trash when I was there. And, it’s super clear. You can see all the way to the bottom; the sand, and few huge rocks. Its blue waters is relaxing to the eyes and a beauty to behold. The waves are calm, too and it doesn’t go deep quickly. You’ll have a huge area for swimming and wading. 

3. fine sand 

I remembered going to Maya Bay in Koh Phi Phi, Thailand full of excitement as it was depicted as paradise in the movie, The Beach. It sure is very beautiful. But upon walking on its sand, it was so rough. I even hurt my feet because of the rocks and coral debris. That kinda was a negative impact on me regarding Maya Bay. Here, the sand is fine. You can go walking and swimming barefoot. It’s powdery soft. 

5. lush vegetation

Some beaches or islands in the Philippines are stripped of their original forest vegetation and planted with coconut trees for income. It is also because the then lousy oligarch-ruled government released them for sale to the general public. So these private sectors cut down the forest and planted coconut trees. That’s why it’s very rare to find beaches in the Philippines with lush forest. Most of them are full of coconut trees. Have you ever noticed that? Here at Nacpan, the beach has still lush forest vegetation and some coconuts, too. So it’s like a balance of forest and palm trees. Unlike Koh Samet, which has lush forest but none or few coconut trees; or Gumasa, Glan, Saranggani province-all coconuts (It’s like, what the…) Kudos to Palawan government for preserving your forests. 

6. locals are kind, friendly, and nice

Palawan people in general are nice, kind, peace-loving people. Here in Nacpan, locals are very nice. We had this experience when we were looking for a place to have dinner and most of the restaurants (well, there are 4) were already closed (at 7pm). So, there’s this one restaurant that was about to close. We asked if we can eat there. The owner said, “The cook already went home, but no worries, I’ll try my best and cook for you, guys. Just bear with my cooking, as I’m not the cook.” We ended up having one of the best dinners during our trip. Locals there are just glad to help you, always smiling, won’t rip you off, and we felt really safe during our overnight stay there, even though it was just the 5 of us, a Spanish couple, and a Filipino couple as the visitors that time. 

7. beautiful sunset

The beach is facing west. You know what that means? I know you know. Unlike, Maremegmeg beach, the famous sunset-watching beach in El Nido, this has no island from afar that will block the sun. So, on a not-so-cloudy day, you can see it sink below the horizon. Sunset here is the best. Long beach with a beautiful sunset, where else can you find that? 

8. hiking opportunities

If you’re not that kind of person who will just sit on a beach chair, read a book, watch the sunset and sip mango shake, fret not, for this beach has hiking opportunities. If the 4 km. sandy walk is not hiking for you, you can go mountain climbing (more like hill climbing). There’s a hill at the end of the beach on the left side and it’s a good opportunity to burn those extra calories acquired from eating too much rice and adobo. The view on top is awesome. You can have a 360 view of the sea, and of course, the Coco Chanel Beaches, Nacpan and Calitang. 

And if you want river trekking and swim in a waterfalls, Nagkalit-kalit waterfalls is just a 25 min. tricycle ride away. 

9. cultural experience opportunities

This beach has a small fishing village located at the end. Like what I’ve mentioned, locals there are kind. So, this is an opportunity for you to get to mingle with them. Get know them; to witness rural life in the Philippines. Talk to them. Don't be scared. Most of them can understand English. This place is not commercialised, so they aren’t there to sell you helmet diving shit, massages, banana boat ride, beach chairs, beach umbrellas, henna, or hair-braiding. It’s just pure, authentic island living. If lucky, maybe they can take you fishing, too.  

There’s also a “resort” called Jack’s Place that has nipa huts/bungalows called bahay kubo where you can spend the night and experience a Filipino traditional house. 

10. It is untouched

And finally, the main reason why this beach is the best. No huge infrastructures, no crazy bars, few tourists, no hidden fees, no annoying touts, no loud music. It is pristine. You can even have the whole stretch by yourself-like what we’ve experienced. Even the houses are few. In the area where we stayed, there were no houses. Most of them are in that small fishing village at the end of the beach. 

You can be in touch with nature, have moments of silence and meditation. 

After hiking, we swam and it was literally just us, swimming in that clear, blue green water by the hill. After our swim, we went to a nearby makeshift stall to have coconut juice fresh from the tree. This is the kind of life we had experienced when we were there.  At night, we just went strolling, star gazing, and storytelling. 

It’s hard nowadays, to find a long, beautiful beach that is untouched. Usually if it is long and beautiful, it is touristy and commercialised. Or if it not touristy, It is not beautiful. But Nacpan, is a long, beautiful, fine-sand beach with clear, clean, waters-and it is untouched. That gave her the edge over other beautiful beaches out there.

So, yeah, I agree with LeBlanc and other travelers who voted via Tripadvisor and CNN, that Nacpan Beach is indeed, one of the world’s most beautiful. 

Photos and videos can’t capture a beach experience. So visit Nacpan Beach, and experience for yourself this paradise. 

I feel happy and fulfilled to be able to visit this beach in its pristine state. Hopefully it will stay like this for a long time.

I recommend this agency for tours in Palawan, Philippines

Recommended accommodation: Jack’s Place

A day trip is not enough to experience this paradise. I highly recommend to stay at least overnight. So you can maximize your experience.  

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