TRAVEL | PHILLIPPINES | EL NIDO
Nagkalit-Kalit Waterfall & Nacpan Beach Exploration
It all began with a nice simple sandwich breakfast by the El Nido Bay, just outside at the patio of El Gordo’s Adventures & Guesthouse. The weather had been quite unpredictable since we arrived in Palawan (even though it was supposed to be the best time to be here!). Gordo, the affable owner of the guesthouse, shared with us some ideas on how we could rent a scooter for the day to explore a nice waterfall not too far from where we were, and to explore Nacpan Beach. We were sold!
The looming dark clouds in the sky seemed to be warning us that it might not be the best time for a full day out, and true enough, it started to rain while we were walking to the bike rental shop in town, near the optical shop.
Nevertheless, we rented a bike for P500, and set off to the Nagkalit Kalit waterfall, about 40 mins bike ride away from El Nido town. It was a good thing that we brought our waterproof backpack, so that our cameras and handphones were protected. Knowing that we would be spending a lot of time in water, we brought along our aqua shoes as well! Prevention is always better than cure, after all.
Getting to the Nagkalit-Kalit Waterfalls
A few kilometers away from the main road heading north from El Nido, we came across a couple of signs with “Nagkalit-Kalit Waterfalls” written on them. We stopped to park our scooter, and went into a house where the local family had settled in to run their guide business. It is advisable to hire the local guide there to take you through the journey to the Waterfalls for about P400.
It was just what we needed – some form of workout after relaxing for the last few days! Our bodies were craving to do something more active than gulping down bottles of San Miguel. It was raining, but we didn’t let it stop us in our tracks! Jobert, our guide, walked effortlessly with his old flip-flops, through rivers and slippery rocky paths. We were so amazed by how easy he made it look!
Along the way, we came across water buffaloes cooling down in one of the rivers. Farm animals like chickens and cows roamed free on the fields too. We walked carefully, not to step into massive cow dungs that peppered the walkway through the field. It felt nice to be enjoying nature so upfront and close, a big contrast to how we live in the city.
About 45 minutes of trekking and crossing several shallow rivers, we could hear the sounds of water crashing down. We knew that we were close to finally reaching our destination!
After the sweaty trek up to the falls while braving the rain, the water felt so cool and refreshing. Some of the big rocks were quite slippery, so we had to be careful. We spent some time just soaking in the water and taking lots of photos, while Jobert waited for us patiently with the other guides who were taking other groups of tourists as well.
We were expecting a lot more, to be honest, but it was good to hike and experience the falls, an easy break from beaches and white floors of sand.
It took us another 45 minutes to get back to the beginning, and it was time for us to go forward to Nacpan Beach!
The Nacpan Beach
After 20 mins on the road enduring the rain and rocky road, we reached our destination – Nacpan Beach! There is an entrance fee of P50 per adult. Along the way, we saw that more concrete roads were being constructed to ensure a smoother journey. Hopefully we’ll get to enjoy it the next time we’re here!
After parking our scooter, we headed to a simple restaurant and bar by the beach. Quite a few tourists were having their lunch and refreshments while sitting out the rain. Some managed to grab the limited number of beach chairs available by the water. The beach felt so vast, and wide, with calm waves crashing to the shore. It felt like the whole beach belonged to us, when we walked by the water. Feeling hungry, we decided to settle for lunch first and wait for the rain to stop, before heading out to the water for a dip!
Lunch was freshly grilled-to-order chicken (P130), fries (P100), grilled pork (P150) and some beers at P50 each. We found the usual selection of San Miguel Pilsen, San Miguel Light and Red Horse available at the bar.
Once the rain stopped, we managed to find a couple of beach chairs where we would spend the whole day just relaxing, talking about nothing, and watching the local stray dogs play with each other by the water. One of them decided to be our guard dog too!
There was very few things to do there at the beach. No kayak for rent, no surfboard for rent too. Most people were just happy to beach bum, swim and play frisbee and beach volleyball by the water. Home felt so far away while we were on the beach with no Internet connection, to enjoy being in the moment with nature.
1) No credit card nor ATM can be found here, so bring enough cash to sustain for lunch, drinks and the entrance fee.
2) Bring a book or company along, as there is no Internet and cell phone connectivity, and very little to do aside from beach bumming, relaxing by the water and swimming.
3) Be careful when getting here with a rented bike. The road towards to the beach is rocky with potholes.
4) Don’t forget to take along insect repellent, sunscreen lotion, dry towel, and comfortable shoes with you to have the best beach experience.