The best beaches in El Nido described below are the prime reasons why this northern tip of Palawan Island has become one of the most sought-after holiday destinations in the Philippines. It is true that many El Nido beaches are the perfect representation of a tropical cliché: they feature white powdery sand, turquoise waters, and coconut trees – in short, the ultimate tourist magnet.
The most popular El Nido beaches listed below are all a short distance from El Nido Town proper. Some of them can be visited by boat while some others can be reached on a motorbike. Check them out, and get ready for a bit of beach hunting once you get in El Nido.
Nacpan and Calitang – El Nido’s Twin Beaches
These two adjacent strips of white sand are located about 20 km north of El Nido Town proper, beyond El Nido Airport. Known as El Nido’s Twin Beaches, Nacpan and Calitang are often part of inland day trips. You can also get there by renting a motorbike or by hiring a tricycle (but that usually works out more expensive). Separated by a small cape that features a viewpoint, Nacpan and Calitang are respectively 500 metres and 3 kilometres long. A few bars and restaurants, as well as some accommodation options are available along the beaches which offer a splendid place far from the crowds for a relaxing day.
- Location: Toward the northern end of El Nido Bay, some 20 km north of El Nido Town proper
Marimegmeg Beach offers you a picturesque seaside location located 5 km south of El Nido Town proper. Famed for being one of the most stunning sundowner spots in El Nido, you can spend the day lazing here under the cooling shade provided by the coconut trees, or at one of the quaint bars settled all along the beach. At night, you can party and dance on the beach which turns into an outdoor disco, with tunes provided by live DJs. Marimegmeg is a swimmable beach, and sea kayaks as well as snorkelling equipment can be rented on site.
- Location: 5 km south of El Nido Town proper. There’s a rather steep staircase to get to the beach from the road.
Las Cabanas Beach
Named after Las Cabanas Beach Resort which occupies its southern end, Las Cabanas Beach is in fact the continuity of Marimegmeg Beach, and the two beaches share many of the same activities, cool beach venues to dine and drink, shaded spots, and obviously, the superb sunsets that appear behind the many islands and islets that lie off the shore. Right opposite the southern end of Las Cabanas Beach, you'll find Depeldet Island which has a marine sanctuary. There’s only one hundred metres that separate the island from the beach, and you can get there on foot at low tide or by kayak at high tide.
- Location: In the continuity of Marimegmeg Beach
Seven Commandos Beach
Also known as Halo Halo Beach, and located just west of Papaya Beach, Seven Commandos Beach is a 320 metres long strip of sand that houses all the facilities required to comfortably spend a great day with your toes in the sand. You even can stay overnight at the Vellago Resort, a cool beachfront hotel situated toward the western end of the bay. No one can clearly explain where the name Seven Commando Beach comes from. The only thing that could be said about this name, is that it originates during WWII; but were these commandos Japanese or American or else, remains a mystery.
- Location: Right next to Papaya Beach from which it is separated by a rocky outcrop. Seven Commandos Beach is only accessible by boat.
Geographically located only one kilometre southeast of El Nido Town proper, Papaya Beach can only be reached by boat or kayak. It is a private 250 metres long beach to which the access is granted for free. Papaya Beach is famed for its soft white sand, serene atmosphere, and above all for the great snorkelling spot it offers. The reef lies a very short distance from the shore, making it suitable even for young children. You’ll find here a beach bar selling fresh drinks and snacks, including the Halo Halo – ice mixed with various ingredients such as coconut, mango, red bean, fruit flavoured jelly, and more – that gives the beach its second name.
- Location: Between Corong-Corong and Seven Commandos Beaches, just south of El Nido Town proper