Raindrops always remind me of the most perfect places and times. Everyone has one but for me, it’s the special kind with a patch of sand stretching for miles and perfect blue water. Everywhere we walked in El Nido Town, tricycle drivers would mention Las Cabanas and its beautiful sunset views. That seemed like fun but something else was in mind: Nacpan Beach. I’ve never felt as relaxed since those days walking around our beachfront hotel in Paradise but we wanted to visit the beach everyone raved about. Nacpan was going to live up to expectations or else someone had to answer for them.
Nacpan Beach on Palawan Island
This Nacpan Beach travel guide is part of our series on Southeast Asia Travel. It was originally created on December 1, 2014. It has been maintained and updated (as of December 27, 2018) to reflect current viewpoints and travel trends.
The whole way up, the driver wants to take us elsewhere but even his best sales pitches can’t sway our focus from getting to Nacpan Beach. The 25km drive brings patches of green so bright I had to shed my sunglasses and see with just my eyes. The trees and mountains look computer-generated – they’re so clear! A mixture of paved and dirt roads make the ride interesting and after a stop to help another tricycle driver who’d broken down, we walk through some mud and grass to reach the beach. Grabbing a spot to sit for the day, I can’t help but just look around and question whether or not this place is real. The sun sparkles on the water and the sky is as clear as we’ve witnessed in the Philippines so far during this trip.
Just 24 hours prior, our boat tour had been partially interrupted by rain and engine troubles. Today is totally different though the excitement of sitting on a broken-down boat in a downpour with a bottle of rum is a story in itself. Today is all about warm water and that perfect plot of land, stretching 9km in a big crescent. Nothing can ruin this moment. Occasional dips in the water get interrupted by drinks and follow up with a lunch of marinated crab – messy but delicious. I’d give anything to set up shop on this beach and become a Palawan man after seeing this place. The dream receives some careful thought until I have to wake up, and realize it’s was time to go back to El Nido Town. Dark clouds are coming and are becoming a common sight during the rainy season here.
We walk back to the tricycle and pass a water buffalo that’s calmly waiting for its owner to come back from a shop nearby. The rain starts to pick up and we’re lucky to choose this time to leave. The downpours don’t dampen our spirits as the driver battles the worsening road conditions. Mud occasionally splashes up into the cab and he tries to improve things by moving our bags away from the rain. We don’t act too concerned and maybe he isn’t used to passengers not caring so much about such things. The rain immediately stops as we reached the paved road. Clear skies return and we witness that luscious green coming back to meet the sun. The town is close but the driver asks one last time, “Las Cabanas for the sunset?” I regret saying no but want to go back and see more of El Nido.
We get back and walk along the beach to find some food, only to see a beautiful rainbow towering over El Nido. The day is almost gone but will never leave our memories. A beautiful beach, an adventurous ride, and a spectacular rainbow put the afternoon into a perfect shell that will stay in our minds forever.
Palawan is paradise, even when it rains.
What do you think? Would you visit Nacpan Beach? Ever been? I’d love to read your thoughts in the comments section below!