It is hard for me to write about this beach because of the many memories it brings to mind. I also find it hard because I don’t want to be sharing this beach to others. I wanted to keep this a secret but the past months I saw an influx of tourists coming in and even full moon parties being organized here.
I’m writing about this so as to remind the visitors to take extra love and concern to this beach because this has really been close to my heart.
Nagtabon beach is about 45 minutes away from Puerto Princesa City. Until last year when the road got concrete, this beach has enjoyed its silence. But since more and more tourists come, more and more look for the off-the-beaten locations near the city, hence you can see other tourists as well. Since it faces the West Philippine sea, the waves can get gnarly especially the months from November-February.
A mile of white sand beach and clear water make Nagtabon beach another great destination while in Puerto Princesa. I also heard that when Underground river tours are cancelled, people go here instead. Since this is part of mainland, European tourists find this better than Honda Bay.
What I love about Nagtabon beach is the quietness it offers. Waves, sunsets and locals are just the best. I have become friends with Christian (the half German and half Filipino who owns a big portion of the beach on the left side) and Kuya Dodoy who rents small cottages and has become the go-to person when I visit the beach. He is like family and I call him insan (cousin) whenever I’m there. He always offers the small beach cottage when I sleep there. I even eat with their family.
If you go on weekends, you would definitely see some locals doing beach picnics, your best bet to enjoy its serenity is on weekdays.
Activities in Nagtabon beach:
1. Skimboarding, flat skimboarding
2. Surfing (October-February)
3. Snorkeling (March-September when sea is flat)
4. Spearfishing. Ask the locals
5. Island/Cove hopping. Ask the locals
6. Frisbee. Since the shore is huge enough to play. Bring your own frisbee
7. Beach Volleyball. There is a net just bring your volleyball
8. Football. Bring your own football
9. . Beach bumming and beach camping. Of course!
10. Sunset watching. My fave!
How to get to Nagtabon Beach:
1. By motorbike. The easiest and most convenient way is to rent a motorbike in town. There are lots of motorbikes for rent that ranges Php500-700 for 24 hours. Take the North Road (same road going to Sabang and El Nido), turn left at Bacungan (Km. 22 before Total Gasoline station), go straight for about 5 kilometers (8-10 minutes) until you reach an uphill road, there is a small sign that says “Nagtabon Beach” on the left side of the road. Then the rough tough road downhill starts. The beach is at the end of a descent. Be cautious when driving here as the rocks become tricky and slippery even during summer. I always turn off my motorbike in neutral mode and just use the breaks.
2. 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 3o minutes travel time). From Bacungan, you can take tricycles to main road going down to Nagtabon Beach. Fare would be around Php30 for the bus and Php60 for whole the tricycle.
3. 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.
4. Rent a van. You can also rent a private van that can take you to Nagtabon Beach. Last time I check they are Php2,500 for the whole day trip.
Special note on food:
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.
Warning on Drowning:
Please take extra precaution too during the Amihan months late October to Early March when the waves are big and the current strong. A lot of people have died here already because of drowning. Listen to the locals and don’t swim alone. There is a thin line between being adventurous and foolishness.
Some things we can do to take care of this beach:
1. Throw cigarette butts on the designated glass bottles
2. Bring your trash with you to the city
3. Avoid using disposable plastic and styrofoams.
4. Instead of collecting shells or stones, collect trash.
5. Bonfires are okay but not on the sand.
Let’s take care of this beach and all the beach we visit. This is for us and the generation after us. I hope they enjoy sunsets on the beach like this one: