Day-trip to Nagtabon Beach
Rico and I have been in Puerto Princesa for a week now and decided some beach time was in order. So Thursday, Sept 8 2015 we planned to spend our day at Nagbaton Beach about 1 hour north of Puerto Princessa.
Early Thursday morning with day packs we headed out from our home-stay flagged down a tricycle to go the north bus terminal in San Jose. This bus terminal is in the north of Puerto Princesa city from which, buses or jeepneys and minivans start going to all destinations of Palawan especially El Nido. We boarded our minivan and took the same route we took several days before to the Underground River.
This time we got off at Brgy. Bacungan, went to the sari sari store for some snack and water for the day as there is no food available at Bagtabon Beach. From Bacungan, we hired a tricycle to take us to the main road going down to Nagtabon Beach. The road from Bacungan to the beach road drop off is now concrete so there will be more tourists in the future. Tricylces don’t go all the way down the hill to the beach maybe because of the climb back up. The kilometer long road to the beach is a wide gravel road and a pleasant walk down. More tiring for a senior citizen coming back up.
As we proceeded down the road we would get peaks and views of the beach below. I was excited. It was going to be wonderful.
Researching for this post I read we should have gone one a few meters before the turn off to the beach for some breath-taking views of the beach cove below from the top of the mountain edge (see borrowed pic above with map). Spend a couple of minutes, soak in the serenity of the spectacular view. It might just take your breath away, literally speaking. Then back down again and head to the beach.
Setting up Day Camp
Every now and then you come acrosss some hidden beaches, coves and hideaways not far from the city center. One of those is the Nagtabon Beach.
Nagtabon Beach is a tranquil piece of paradise. It’s unspoiled, not at all touristy so chances are, you’ll be sharing the resort with only few people, mostly foreign tourists like me who love places like this. This day there were only about four other people on the beach.
Rico and I went out own ways exploring Nagtabon Beach. First I headed south some to observe the coconut plantations and the beach vegetation. I found a wonderful old tree down the beach with great gnarled horizontal branches. I just couldn’t resist a photo sessions. Here are some of the pictures.
Activity at Nagtabon Beach
As the place is not yet exploited by mass tourism, you will not find restaurants in the area, so do not forget to bring food and drinks, perhaps some fresh fish or meat to grill, the place lacks restaurants or food shacks, you may find a small store, perhaps for some drinks, biscuits and some provisions.
Tucked away in an idyllic setting amongst some stunning green mountain ranges, away from the tourist crowd, serene and unexploited, this piece of paradise is worth the one hour or so trip from the city centre.
Southern End of Nagtabon Beach
At the southern end of the beach a small stream empties into the ocean. A couple fishermen families live here and I saw them land with their sea canoe.
Footsteps and Sand Writing
I had some fun doing some beach writing for my blog and websites. To show and remind people back home in the USA where I am. Just dragging your feet on the sand is fun also.
Northern End of Beach and Carolines Secret Resort
At the north end of the beach was a deserted Carolines Secret Resort. We didn’t see any caretaker around so we respected the rope across the entrance. They did have an assortment of friendly pets that came to greet us. A dog, cat, goat and a bunny I saw on the hillside. We did a photo shoot with the pets and the resort. Would be nice to come back and spend a couple very relaxing days.
Building a Canoe
I came across a carpenter working on a new small sea canoe. I watch him work for a few minutes cutting and fitting the luan plywood sheeting together.
Tips on visiting Nagtabon Beach, Puerto Princesa
Nagtabon Beach is an off-the-beaten path, a bit away from the usual tourist trail but the more adventurous really takes their time and effort finding this place. It is located on the south of the city in a baranggay (or district) called “Bacungan”.
Nagtabon Beach is more a sanctuary than a tourist attraction. There are no lines and you can barely consider it commercialized. Not particularly interesting for some, but absolutely perfect for others.
- …are looking for a place with few tourists (almost none the day we were there).
- …want to swim without having to worry about sea urchins, sharp corals.
- …don’t like highly commercialized tourist spots.
- …fancy a little surfing.
- …like to have control of your time.
That isn’t taking anything away from Nagtabon. It is a treasure, for sure, and is perfect for people searching for a place that’s true to Palawan’s charm. Is Nagtabon Beach for you?
By Public Transportation. Take any bus that goes Sabang or Roxas or El Nido. Tell the driver, assistant to the driver that you will get off at Bacungan (less than 30 minutes travel time). From Bacungan, you can take tricycles to main road going down to Nagtabon Beach. You will have to walk the last kilometer to the beach. Tricycles don’t go done to the beach. Arrange for a roundtrip and have your tricycle driver pick you up later in the day. Fare would be around Php30 for the bus and Php60 for whole the tricycle. Upon meeting our tricycle driver we renegotiated for return trip to Puerto Princesa. It end up being about the same as the minivan would have been.
By rented tricycle (Philippines tuktuk) from Puerto Princesa. Since this is becoming known already, you can already rent tricycles from the city. They would charge at least Php500 back and forth but they will just bring you on the main road since it is hard for the tricycle to get down to the beach.
Remember there is no food available in Nagtabon beach. Please bring your own food. There are grilling station though where you can grill some fish. and cook your rice. Sometimes the locals prepare halo-halo and sell some chips and alcoholic drinks.