Sibaltan: El Nido’s Best Kept Secret

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El Nido is known as the most beautiful place in the Philippines but few head to its East Coast where Sibaltan has one of best secret beaches.

I spent 2 weeks in El Nido’s main town known as Town Proper. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Philippines. And no one had mentioned visiting the east coast of El Nido.

Not surprisingly, most people are too busy with El Nido island hopping tours and renting motorbikes to explore the beautiful west coast.

In a serendipitous turn of events our El Nido hotel was booked for a weekend and so we decided to explore. As it was high season most of Nacpan was booked so I looked east.

Sibaltan is less than an hour from Buena Suerta aka Town Proper and there’s not much current information about how to get there.

I was expecting no electricity and dirt roads. But a lot has changed in Sibaltan in the last few years.

While not many international tourists, aside from kitesurfers, visit the east coast of Palawan, that’s exactly the reason to go.

El Nido’s east coast is beautiful but also packed with travelers. It’s far from what Instagram promises with empty beaches and quiet moments.

But Sibaltan has all of this!

This village is a small community with sandy roads, a few small shops, school, covered basketball court for the kids and a handful of accommodation along 2km of white sand beach.

It is the Philippines I remember when I lived here in 1999.


Like all of Palawan there is no bad time to visit. Amihan season is from November to April when Sibaltan experiences strong winds.

It’s perfect for kitesurfing and is one of the most popular times. I visited in February and found it made the hot weather more bearable.

But it can be the most dangerous time as the coconut trees sway and you need to be careful not to have one drop on your head.

But at night the air is cooler and there’s no need for a fan let alone air conditioning.

I was able to fly my drone so the wind wasn’t too fierce but we decided against kayaking to Bubong Island. It makes for strong waves and we didn’t feel confident we could get there.

Welcome to Sibaltan Beach sign with history of region


Although I wasn’t sure where we would stay or what to do in Sibaltan I was attracted by its history.

Sibaltan is among the oldest of El Nido’s 18 barangays. Most of the people are Cuyonan, or from Cuyo Island. In the 800s, they sought new lands for rice cultivation as their home island could no longer sustain them.

In the 1800s, locals buried their valuables a few feet below them. Once discovered it attracted treasure hunters and the village became known as an archeological site.

Its name means “battle” in Tagalog and it has seen its fair share. In WW1 there was fighting between local Muslims and Spaniards. Later on US soldiers trained here to fight the Japanese.

Today the is a museum compound that shares the history, including bowls and other finds from the Ming Dynasty.

Filipino Food

Known for their skills with bamboo and coconut structure, locals maintain this traditional today.

Women are known for their handicraft skills and formed the  Sibaltan Women Weaver’s Association in 1999 to create local opportunities.

Local resorts all over El Nido sell their buri purses and other products made from this palm leaf. As well, a foundation exports their products and sells them online.

God Gave Me You truck in the Philippines on the beach


Rent a Motorbike

Rentals in El Nido are 500 PHP a day and it’s less than an hour to Sibaltan on paved roads, most often with double lanes.

By Public Transit

You can catch a bus from the El Nido Transport Terminal. They run every few hours and cost PHP 150 – although the price can change as fuel costs continue to increase.

There are also jeepneys that should cost about half the price but take much longer. Ask in advance what time one is available.

There are also some private shuttles with varying prices.

Take a Tour

El Nido tour companies offer day trips to Sibaltan but I think it’s worth staying a couple nights to truly enjoy it.

Sibaltan homes and boats view from beach


  • The beach does not have electricity. Individual accommodations either have solar power or generators.
  • Some spots do not have power through the evening, which means no fan or working AC.
  • There is no cell service on the beach, but walk 10 minutes to the main paved road and you should have it.
  • Not everyone has wifi.
  • Most spots do not have AC, but in Amihan season we didn’t even need a fan.
  • There is no ATM in town so bring extra cash.
  • Bug spray may be needed. We were lucky and somehow there are no mosquitos at night.
  • Most of the town is dark after 6pm with few lights on the road and not many places to eat. Plan ahead.
florecitas Sibaltan


We visited during high season and just decided to look at a room before committing online. Fortunately we ran into a local who gave us the pros and cons of each place along with pricing.

Although online prices for accommodation in the Philippines is generally better than booking direct we were able to get a better price in person.

Although you’re in a small village do not expect cheap really accommodation.

But remember that these places with internet, generators and solar power are expensive to run. And when you stay here you’re supporting the community.

Floresitas Beach Resort

The days of cheap cabanas are over but this is better as it has much needed amenities like 24 hour electricity in the room, a fan and an adjoining bathroom.

There seems to be rooms with AC but in February we didn’t actually need the fan because of the ocean breeze. Our cabin is the photo above.

I was surprised to see internet through Starlink, which was surprisingly fast and good enough to stream TV…although I did not. But internet was great as I did not have data on the beach.

Filipino breakfast is included for 500, but I’d recommend going elsewhere as that’s a bit pricey for a basic breakfast. I did not eat at the restaurant but heard the fish curry was great.

There is a water cooler and instant coffee available all day.

But what I loved about this place was all of the seating areas and hammocks in the shade looking out onto the water. I would definitely go back.

Check current prices on Klook and Agoda.

Filipino Kinilaw Recipe

Bayog Beach Campsite

Google says this spot is closed but I saw signs for it while there. Here is the number: +63 9264912326/ +639278545870

Carmelitas Homestay sign

Carmelita’s Homestay

One of the original accommodations, it’s no frills great hospitality.

We were going to stay here but heard they only run electricity until 10pm and were worried we’d need the fan all night as it was so hot that day. Turns out we didn’t need the fan at all.

Since visiting this Sibaltan homestay is now available to reserve online for around 1750 PHP.

Check current prices on Booking.

Filipino Drinks

Erlittop Garden Eco Lodge

A bit farther out of town there are basic bamboo cabins and tents available at this eco lodge.

It gets rave reviews for its hospitality and restaurant.

You can book with tents around 500 PHP and cabins twice the price.

Check current prices on Agoda and Booking.

kattala el nido exterior


One of the more upscale accommodations in Sibaltan, rooms are around PHP 3000 for a double room with terrace, breakfast included.

Kattala is not on the beach but in the small village with a road in betwee the hotel and the beach.

Check prices on Booking.

Exterior of Sitio Bed and Breakfast Sibaltan El Nido Palawan Philippines

Sitio Bed and Breakfast aka Sitio Tourist Inn

When you drive down to the beach this spot is directly on your right.

There is a lot going on here. But it seems to be the busiest with kiteboarders. And actually walking by it seems to have a fun but chill environment.

You can also rent stand up paddle boards and they offer cultural tours, cooking classes, and a restaurant.

There are also new to reserve online on Booking.

tay delings place el nido exterior

Tay Deling’s Place

A bit down the beach but not too far this place is definitely one of the most relaxed.

With a bar, restaurant, garden, private bathrooms it’s a good place to unwind. Prices are around 1250 PHP

Check current prices on Agoda and Booking.

Tapik Beach Park Guesthouse

If you’re looking to stay somewhere traditional Tapik Beach Park Guesthouse offers bahay kubo. Some of them have a private bathroom for an additional price.

They can arrange transportation to get you there and have access to kayaks and local tours.

Check current prices on Agoda.

Ursula Beach Club Exterior at night

Ursula Beach Club

For a long time it was only Carmelitas and Ursula Beach Club on Sibaltan beach and Ursula Beach Club continues to be one of the best spots on the beach.

Room begins at 3465 PHP and while I didn’t stay here I did come for dinner. The service is fantastic and you begin with a fresh towel to wipe your hands and face, if needed.

The food begins at 400 PHP and is great value for what you have. Cocktails are a bit pricier than what you’ll find at other restaurants or bars in the area.

It’s a beautiful spot and worth stopping in if you aren’t staying here.

Check current prices on Agoda and Booking.

Fishing boat on beach in Sibaltan El Nido Palawan Philippines


Sibaltan Beach

Sibaltan Beach is a 2km stretch of beach, known for its pristine beauty.

If the hectic pace in El Nido’s main town is too much this is the best place to reset.

Here, you can enjoy clear waters and gentle waves, perfect for a relaxing swim. The local community is warm and welcoming, adding to the charm of Sibaltan Beach. It’s a place where time slows down, allowing you to savor every moment.


Kitesurfing in Sibaltan is an exhilarating experience, harnessing the strong Amihan winds.

The wide beach and steady breeze provide ideal conditions for both beginners and pros. It’s a thrilling way to ride the waves and enjoy Sibaltan’s scenic coastline.

Bubog Island

A public island, you can hire a local to take you there for 500 and pick you up later on. Or if it’s not windy kayak rentals are 300 for the day.

Great snorkeling here. But obviously no facilities so be sure to bring snacks and lots of water as there is no shade.

Just a heads up a local told me to be careful on the rocky side as there are sea snakes. I’m not entirely sure if that is true.

Eat Traditional Filipino Food

As a village there aren’t many places to eat but enough to keep you filled with delicious Filipino food.

  • Carinderia by the Bay: We ate here the most. They have a few dishes out each day including non-pork and vegetarian. We also pre-ordered grilled fish and breakfast. They serve Filipino fruits and the largest coconuts you’ll ever see, when available. Really lovely people who speak English and serve quality food for half the price of town proper.
  • Z&D: As you’re driving to Sibaltan, just before you turn right down the road to the beach there are a few food shops. Although nothing is open at night in town for food this small shop owner has a flat top for burgers, which are surprisingly delicious. 50 PHP for a small patty, cheese, egg, tomato and lettuce.
  • Ursula Beach Club: I really thought food here would be expensive because the dining area is so nice. But actually meals here start at 400, come with rice and and are really delicious. I had the fish curry and it was delicious.
  • Floresitas Beach Resort: I only ate breakfast here once and felt the price was too much for the offering so we went outside for other meals. But later I heard from guests that lunch and dinner were delicious.

Island Hopping Tour

El Nido’s island hopping tours on the west coast can be quite hectic but here you’ll find the opposite.

Many of the nearby islands are completely vacant but have beautiful beaches and great snorkeling. Bring bug spray as some have sand flies.

Siwang-Wang Falls

Siwang-wang Falls in Sibaltan is a natural retreat, perfect for a refreshing dip.

Nestled in lush greenery, the cascading waters offer a serene backdrop. Visitors can unwind to the soothing sounds of the falls and enjoy a picnic in this tranquil spot.

Buluang Beach

Just a short drive from Sibaltan beach, Buluang Beach is a picturesque coastal paradise with powdery white sand.

It’s a quiet spot ideal for serene beach days. Visitors can soak up the sun or explore the clear, shallow waters. It’s a hidden slice of tranquility away from the crowds.

Exterior of Dive Sibaltan El Nido Palawan Philippines

Dive Sibaltan’s Marine Sanctuary

Dive into the aquatic marvels of Imorigue Bay and be amazed by its thriving marine life, such as majestic manta rays.

Here, you’ll also learn about the dedicated conservation work by the Large Marine Vertebrates Research Institute Philippines, especially their efforts in Northern Palawan to protect these gentle giants of the sea.

Dive Sibaltan

Well established dive shop with fun dives, learn to dive, island hopping private tours.

More about Dive Sibaltan on their website.

mobula divers el nido sign by the beach

Mobula Divers

This diving centre offers PADI accredited instructors and certification from first dives to advanced training.

More about Mobula Divers on their website.

Cruise Sibaltan to Coron

Set sail on a captivating cruise from Sibaltan to Coron, with the journey taking you across Palawan’s azure waters.

This 3 to 4-day voyage costs between USD $200 to $400, providing a range of onboard comforts and meals.

The cruise packages includes scenic island stops and all travel logistics, making for a hassle-free adventure.

Road View with sign Welcome to Devil Eco Mangrove Tour Sibaltan El Nido Palawan Philippines

Dewil Eco Mangrove Tour

Discover the serene beauty of nature with the Dewil Eco Mangrove Tour. Glide through tranquil waterways lined with lush mangroves.

You’ll learn about the importance of mangroves for coastal protection and habitat. Knowledgeable guides share insights into the area’s ecology and conservation efforts.

It’s not just educational, but also a peaceful way to spend your day.

The tour supports local communities and promotes environmental awareness. It’s a perfect blend of relaxation and learning for nature lovers and families alike.

Sibaltan Heritage Area

Step back in time at the Sibaltan Heritage Area, a cultural treasure in El Nido.

This site celebrates the rich history of the Cuyonon people. Explore traditional houses, antique artifacts, and learn about ancient customs.

The area features a museum showcasing local archaeological finds. It’s a window into the past, revealing the area’s pre-colonial roots.

Visitors can also see a traditional Cuyonon boat, offering insight into their seafaring heritage.

Guided tours are available, providing fascinating stories and cultural context.

The Sibaltan Heritage Area is a must-visit for history buffs and curious travelers alike. It’s an enriching experience that connects you with the Philippines’ ancestral past.

Wake Up For Sunrise

Sibaltan is famous for its burning fire sunrises. Most locals will ask if you’ve seen one yet and they are worth waking up early.

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