Saturday, November 15, 2014

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Most beaches - if not all - around the city centre of Puerto Princesa are shallow for an enjoyable swim, and seaweeds clings to your legs if you're lucky to get to a deeper-than-your-knee waters.  I’ve been to the long sandy beaches of BM and Hartman and it's fun for kids, will pass for a local family picnic during weekends but won't satisfy a good swim.  Soaking your feet would be fine, sun-bathing perhaps.

I wander around every now and then to discover the beauty of the city in a forest, and perhaps discover some hidden beaches, coves and hideaways not far from the city centre.  One of those is the Nagtabon Beach.

Confined to what's popular on the internet search or the dictates of tour operators who offer packages, most tourists comes to Puerto Princesa contented with couple of beaches like the ones in Honda Bay which in my opinion, though a major tourist attraction and still a beauty but that is exactly the setback, it's very touristy that it has lost its bliss.

But for some travelers who shun away from the customary route, this gorgeous cove a little more than an hour from the city center is a stunning alternative.

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.

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".

The roads to there - in my recent visit (November 2015) - are mostly concrete already making it convenient, except for the last kilometer or less going down the beach area which is still a bit rough and bumpy.  

The waves can get bigger, but that's the fun part.

But before you take the bumpy road to the beach, try going up pass it on your right, for few meters just to marvel at the breath-taking view of the beach cove below from the top of the mountain edge (see pic below).  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.  It’s unspoilt, not at all touristy so chances are, you’ll be sharing the resort with only few people, mostly foreign tourists who love places like this.

If you plan to stay overnight, there are some thatch-roofed huts, simply furnished with bed, a bathroom and a small veranda facing the beach, set among lush garden under coconut trees and fine bermuda grass lawn where you can just sit and relax.  

An alternative, and if you have one, bring a camping tent, you can set it up on the sands.  You may opt to pay P200 for the open hut where you can dine within the private resort area and put up your tent in the neater grassy lawn, the resort will allow you to do that, just ask permission from "Aling Yolanda" (the kind  caretaker).  That entitles you also to use their bathroom, and fresh water to rinse yourself after a swim, you'd be needing that if you're staying overnight.  You can also set up a bonfire at the designated area for that.

Grill some fish, clams or meat.
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.

How to get there:

You have to have your own vehicle to get there, either rent a van or a multicab or motorcycle your way to the beach.  Drive through the highway of Puerto Princesa North from the city centre and turn left on the Bacungan Elementary School, passing by local villages who for sure will stare at a passing vehicle somehow thinking – another tourists who got lost.  But you’re on the right track, don’t worry.  Roads here are already concrete, convenient pass, a little river here and there, don’t hesitate to ask the local villagers, they’re friendly.  When you reach the forked road up, you have to take the left road going down, you'll find a "small" sign that says "Nagtabon Beach", that's the last part which isn't concrete, the road is narrow and a bit dangerous ravine on your left so be careful driving, in less than a kilometer you'll reach the beach. 

Entry Fee: P200 to rent a picnic cottage, P800 for a room/hut for max. of 3 persons.


  1. Hi, do you have a phone number or an e-mail address for this resort on the beach?
    Thank you, Nicoleta

    1. No they don't have a conact number, the beach is open for all, just go there.

  2. wow really it's looking like paradise