It’s true that when you work hard to achieve something, the sense of fulfillment is beyond what you can imagine. The world seems to become a better place after the worst of storms have passed. It is very evident that nowadays the strongest of people are those who have overcome far too many adversities. And despite the hardship, a smile so precious is forever marred on the faces of people who have battled the most epic of wars as they have given themselves hope and vigor to accept brand new challenges and aim to achieve higher goals. Call it overly exaggerated but this is how I would describe our ride to one of El Nido’s most priced treasures, Nacpan Beach.
Nacpan Beach is a stretch of fine creamy white sands that goes up to 4km long. It’s pristine waters is a clear blue that reflects that of the sky. It is perfectly situated some 23km away from the crowded town of El Nido. I consider this as the right place for people who seek solitude, a “paradise of peace and quiet” as there’s not too many tourists who venture in this part of town… And, only a few adventurous soul might have the patience to ride to it the hardest way possible – through a trail bike.
If you have not made any reservations with your hotel or travel agency for a private tour ridden in a car with the AC and stereo in full blast, you have 3 other options to go to Nacpan Beach – Tricycle for a price of P750 – P800. Motorbike/Scooter for P500 – P700. Trail/Mountain Bike for P400-P500. I wouldn’t say that one is more comfortable than the other since no matter what you choose to ride to get to this beach would require you to pass through a 5km unpaved road up and down a hilly path. They’ll probably just vary on the time you spend to get to the beach and the amount of energy exerted along the way. How I managed to survive biking to Nacpan Beach is rather a mystery I yet to provide answers with.
We started our ride late at 10:30AM so by the time it was 12NN we weren’t even half way through our destination and I seemed as if I was about to pass out from too much heat. Worse, there was no air to at least provide us comfort from the scorching sun. We had too many stopovers, evidence of the sun being unbearable. I’m no pro-biker but I have been biking since the day I learned to walk, stopped after I graduated college (7 years ago) but one thing I know for sure – no one can beat the sun when it decided to get cruel and nasty on you. There were series of unpaved roads (that made my butt sore). The real test began when we reached that left turn of what seemed like 3-5 km of purely unpaved, unshaven dirt road. Dust and dirt was all over me, it almost triggered my allergies. My butt hurt even more as I bike through stones after stones, hill after another hill. Despite the hell I was being through, I was in no way giving up thinking about the delight of sunshine that awaits me. A little past over 1PM, I was already in awe staring at that vast blue shimmering like thousand crystal under the blue sunlit sky.
I marveled at the beauty that was in front of me. My thoughts flew from the hardship of me getting there. From me having to pull my bike whenever I mistakenly didn’t bank speed which made me unable to pedal through that uphill road to every argument I and my partner/travel buddy had blaming each other of every lost opportunities and unfortunate situations during our journey. I felt so happy and content of that days adventure and I found myself looking forward to more challenging ones.
- Starting Point to Barotuan Area near the bridge – This ride was never easy as it immediately started with a powerful pedal up a lengthy uphill road where even cars and motorbikes had struggled with given how their engines roared while climbing their way through. If you have not prepared the necessary speed to pedal up and your knees aren’t strong enough to compensate for that then I’m pretty sure you will end up dragging your bike until that point where you can ride it down again. This up-and-downhill ride will continue for the next 10-12km. There would be a short dirty road in between situated near the bridge which at that time was under construction.
- First turn left from the bridge to waiting shed – The next 8-10 km is a flat surface road giving you time to rest your shaky knees. However, almost half of it is consist of unpaved road where the most challenging part of the ride began.
- Waiting Shed to the beach – Resting at the entrance road to Nacpan Beach is a covered shed where you can take a break and breathe. When you resume, a wooden bridge would greet you few meters away. From the bridge to the beach is a long ride down-and-up the hilly, dirt road that stretches to 3-5km.
Wondering if the whole lot of trouble biking is worth it? Let the photos speak for it. And Oh! Have I already mentioned how refreshing it was to bathe in the beach while the sky drizzled?
If Nacpan Beach fell short of your expectations, try climbing a hill at the far end of the beach to gaze at it’s equally stunning twin, Calitang Beach. If their breathtaking allure isn’t enough to leave you speechless, then something’s wrong with you. 😀
1. Do you recommend biking to Nacpan Beach to inexperience bikers?
- No. The trail would be so difficult for inexperience bikers. If you haven’t been biking before or you have not biked covering at least 10km on flat surface non-stop then you would not appreciate the ride.
2. What time is best to start biking to Nacpan Beach?
- I suggest you start early as 5 or 6AM so the sun wouldn’t be an issue since given that you go at the appropriate speed, you’ll reach the beach within 2 1/2 – 3 hours. Plus this gives you more time to savour the beauty of the beach before heading back to town.
3. What do I need to bring?
-Bring extra clothes and lots of drinking water. If you plan to stay overnight, you may bring camping tents to save up yourself spending for your accommodation. Make sure that you notify person/agency from whom you rented the bike so they can provide you further instructions. Also this gives you the opportunity to haggle for good price.
4. Are there accommodations/hotel in Nacpan Beach?
-Yes. Room rates range from P500-P1000.
5. Are there any restaurants or a place where one can dine in Nacpan Beach?
-Yes, there’s a couple of them at the beachfront but they close early at 6PM.
6. How much is the bike rental?
-The usual is P500 but there is an agency near the municipal hall (can’t recall the exact address) that offers P400.
7. What happens when the bike broke?
-You are provided with tools necessary for minor damages such as flat tires but if the damage is beyond you then they provide a mobile number that you can call for emergency.
8. Do I need to pay for the damages?
-That depends. Before you go on your biking tour, you will be asked to sign a waiver where all the terms and conditions are stated so make sure to read through.
9. Do I need to present an ID to rent a bike?
10. Are there any other trail destinations other than Nacpan Beach?
-Yes. In fact there’s plenty of them. You will be provided with a map anyway so you can just choose where to go.
11. Do they provide head gear?
-Yes. It is mandatory for safety.
12. What’s the best time to head back to town after a day’s tour?
-If you will be coming all the way from Nacpan Beach, I suggest you headback at 4PM. Bikes don’t have headlights and there are no street lights in roads away from the town proper.
Wow. Took me awhile to get this post done.. I hope it’s worth it. Don’t forget to share my adventures. 🙂