If you’re visiting Puerto Princesa, you’ve probably already planned to visit the Underground River or Honda Bay. However, if you are willing to be a bit adventurous and step off-the-beaten path, you’ll find one of the most beautiful and unspoiled beaches in Palawan – Nagtabon Beach.
This incredible hidden gem is easily accessible from Puerto Princesa city. Be prepared to find white sand, turquoise water and a bunch of tall palm trees that make the whole scenery unforgettable. But this is not all! The best part about Nagtabon Beach is that there are almost no tourists!
I don’t know about you, but I love having the entire beach for myself. I feel more relaxed and in total harmony with nature.
1. About Nagtabon Beach
If you like to be in charge of your own schedule and explore off-the-beaten path locations, Nagtabon Beach is perfect for you! This little corner of paradise is the perfect choice if you want to relax, swim and admire the views. Below are some things you have to take into consideration before visiting this beach.
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Although you won’t find that many people here (mostly locals visit this beach), there are a few shops right at the entrance where you’ll find snacks, water and refreshments.
There is a big restaurant right on the beach where you will find local dishes at affordable prices. For fried rice with chicken we paid $3. They also have seafood and vegetarian dishes. Right near the restaurant itself there are some wooden cabins which you can rent to hide from the harsh sun.
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Toilets & showers
The restaurant has free toilets & showers. This is actually a big plus because most of the beaches in the Philippines don’t have toilets or showers.
Entrance fee & parking fee
In April 2019 there was no entrance fee or parking fee to Nagtabon Beach.
Things to keep in mind
- no mobile signal – there is no mobile signal or internet at Nagtabon Beach. If you’re waiting for an important call, it’s best to avoid this beach.
- no snorkeling – although the water is very clear, there are no corals or fish. The only thing you’ll see if you want to snorkel at Nagtabon Beach is endless white sand
- no ATMs – there are no ATMs near the beach. Make sure to withdraw all the money you need from Puerto Princesa City
2. Things to do at Nagtabon Beach
Even though few people choose to visit this beautiful beach, there are plenty of activities around to keep you busy. These are the things you can’t miss when visiting the Nagtabon Beach, the best beach in Puerto Princesa:
Walk on the beach
The beach is about 1 kilometer-long which is more than enough for a relaxing walk. Walk towards the end of the beach and you’ll find yourself surrounded by tall palm trees and turquoise water. From time to time you’ll pass by the world-famous paraw boats waiting on the shore for their owners. Feel free to get close to the boats and snap some awesome photos!
Go for a swim
If there is one thing that you shouldn’t miss at Nagtabon Beach, that is swimming. Here you will find the finest sand, with no stones or corals. Also, don’t worry about sea urchins because there aren’t any!
Good to know: during the Amihan (monsoon) season – October to February – the waves are pretty strong. There have been a few accidents in the past so be extra-careful!
Get a massage
If lying on the beach at the shadow of palm trees is not relaxing enough for you, go for a massage! For only a few bucks you can enjoy a massage right on the beach! I can’t imagine anything better than listening to the waves while relaxing my muscles.
Go island hopping
Maybe island hopping is a bit of an overstatement, but for 1000 php per ride you can take a trip to the Chicken Island where you can snorkel and swim in the most incredible water. Just ask the locals or at the restaurant for tours and somebody will guide you in the right direction.
Play basketball with the locals
The Filipinos love basketball a lot. You’ll see basketball courts almost everywhere and there is one even at Nagtabon Beach. If you want to interact with the locals and practice your basketball skills, join the game and have some fun!
Admire the beach from above
From Nagtabon Beach take the road to Dangkalan Beach and on the way you will see a small shop on the left side of the road (click here for the exact location). Go inside and admire the beach from above. This is probably the best viewing point over Nagtabon and a must see when in the area.
Watch the sunset
Sunsets in the Philippines are absolutely incredible and there is no better place to watch the sun sinking in the sea than at the Nagtabon Beach. Watch the sky turn pink and orange while the sun’s reflection into water slowly disappears. It’s a breathtaking view!
Visit the nearby Talaudyong Beach
If you’re renting a motorbike, drive for about 15 minutes to Talaudyong Beach. Much bigger and with literally no tourists (only a few locals) this is yet another hidden gem in Puerto Princesa.
Visit the Underground River
If you have more time to spend in Puerto Princesa, don’t hesitate to also visit the Underground River which is listed as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature since 2012. Visiting the Underground River is the perfect opportunity to see what nature is capable of. You can book your tour from your hotel or from Puerto Princesa city.
3. How to get to Nagtabon Beach
Situated on the west coast of Palawan, Nagtabon Beach is 30 kilometers away from Puerto Princesa City. The best way to get to the beach is by following Google Maps. Depending on which transport option you choose, the trip to the beach might take 45 minutes-1 hour.
As of April 2019 there is no parking fee at Nagtabon Beach. There is a small parking area for cars and motorbikes right at the entrance of the beach.
See below which are the transport options to Nagtabon Beach:
Motorbike – recommended
The easiest way to get to Nagtabon is by motorbike. To rent one just ask at your hotels’ reception. Most of the hotels and hostels in Puerto Princesa offer such services. Expect to pay around 600 php per motorbike per day.
The advantage of renting a motorbike is that you can plan your own schedule and spend as much time as you want at Nagtabon Beach. Also, it’s easier to visit some other nearby beaches and viewing points by motorbike.
The second option is to rent a tricycle with a driver. If you are staying in Puerto Princesa just make your way to a main road and ask one of the tricycle drivers to take you to Nagtabon Beach. Make sure to ask beforehand the price and negotiate if necessary. The ride should cost around 600 php one way.
Renting a tricycle is tricky because the driver will have to wait for you at the beach since it’s hard to find transportation back to Puerto Princesa from Nagtabon. This means that you won’t be able to spend as much time as you want enjoying this hidden paradise.
Good to know: a tricycle can accommodate up to 4 people.
4. Where to stay near Nagtabon Beach
If you want to be close to convenience stores and restaurants, I recommend staying in Puerto Princesa city. You can easily reach the beach by motorbike or tricycle. However, if you want to be closer to nature and the beach itself, you can find accommodation options right near Nagtabon.
These are the best accommodation options in Puerto Princesa, for every budget:
- Budget – Villa Skanderbeg – good location, very clean, super-friendly owners
- Mid-budget – Ai World Resort – beautiful pool with a view, free airport shuttle, spacious and clean rooms, breakfast included
- Luxury – Balai Princesa – modern rooms, breakfast included, excellent service, jacuzzi & sauna on premise
If you want to stay right near the beach, here are the best hotels in the area:
- Villa Nagtabon – good location, close to Nagtabon Beach, very clean, friendly hosts
- Kalikasan Camp – beautiful tents in the middle of nature, 15 mins away from the beach by motorbike, very clean
I hope that you’ve found helpful my guide about Nagtabon Beach. This is definitely one of the most beautiful beaches in Palawan and you shouldn’t miss it if you’re visiting Puerto Princesa. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments section below.
May the travel bug bite you!