While Most People Were Riding In Air Conditioned Tourist Vans To El Nido…
…I was enjoying the nearly-deserted Nagtabon & Tagcawayan Beaches outside Puerto Princesa.
Alternative To Palawan’s Popular El Nido & Coron Beaches
The tourist vans to El Nido conveniently picks people up from the arrivals terminal of the teeny-tiny Palawan Airport, but instead of hopping onboard I casually exited the airport on foot (this is weirdly not the first time I have exited an Asian airport on foot…), stood on the side of the road and flagged down some random Jeepneys. While the dozens of other foreign backpackers were making friends in said fancy air conditioned van, I was approaching the Jeepneys, asking if they went to the New Market bus station, then realizing the destinations were listed in large letters on the side of the vehicle. In English. Once I made it to the bus station I realized there was not in fact an ATM there, and I could not in fact afford to buy my ticket. I boarded a Jeepney back the way to Robinson Place (the best place for ATMs in Puerto Princesa; they are sparse). Eventually I reached my destination – the incredibly pristine and incredibly empty Nagtaban Beach.
I stayed at the only hostel nearby, sharing the place with just 1 other traveler. The hostel was within walking distance of the beach, as long as you don’t mind trekking 20 minutes up/downhill each way. The beach is amazing, very pristine and not very crowded. There are a few local stalls by the entrance selling foods and drinks.
There are several other similar beaches nearby, including the even more pristine Tagcawayan Beach. It requires a quick tuk-tuk ride with insane views of the pristine coastline. alone along the coast with few other vehicles in sight, often glimpsing vies of the amazing blue water. As you can see in the photo the beach was more or less empty, a world away from what I hear El Nido is like these days.