Maybe it was because it was the last few days of our Philippines adventure and we had shot everything we needed for my articles and social posts, but it wasn’t until we reached Las Cabanas Beach that I truly felt relaxed.
Las Cabanas Beach is a 10-minute tricycle ride north from El Nido Town on Palawan Island. We’d been staying out on the islands at an incredible five-star eco-resort in an over-water bungalow, so the whole way to Las Cabanas Beach I had been preparing myself for reality. Our trip to the Philippines was a personal non-blog-related trip, and while I’d organised our luxury accommodation out on the islands, I’d left the rest to Jason (my boyfriend). He had prepared me for the fact that our accommodation on Las Cabanas Beach was way more basic than our previous accommodation – but other than that, I had no idea where we were going or where we were staying.
Our tricycle driver dropped us off on a main road and pointed us in the direction of a bunch of locals dozing in the shade. We headed over – Jason with his super streamlined small backpack and me with my massive suitcase and 10kg camera bag. It tuned out that we needed to get our luggage down to the beach via a massive flight of concrete stairs, followed by a 15-minute walk up the beach. Jason negotiated a price with one of the guys, but as soon as they picked up my suitcase they freaked out at how heavy it was and tried to back out. Jason offered them extra pesos – they still weren’t happy, but they agreed to carry it. I’m guessing they get heavy suitcases all the time – but being the end of the day, they were already over it. All three of us trudged down the staircase to the beach, and as soon as we hit the sand I knew Jason had done good.
Las Cabanas Beach was one of the most beautiful chilled out picturesque beaches I’ve ever visited. Tiny bars, restaurants and bungalows lined the beachfront, with palm trees overhanging the ocean where local kids were splashing in the warm tropical waters alongside the tourists.
It was about 35 degrees Celsius and we were trudging up the sand past peeps that were 110% deep in relaxation mode. Jason casually mentioned that Las Cabanas Beach was famous for its sunset but all I could think about was our poor guy struggling to carry my 20kg suitcase across the soft sand and questioning every piece of unnecessary clothing I packed.
We got to our accommodation at Las Cabanas Beach Resort. It was super basic – but right on the end of the beach at the point and just metres from the salty Indian Ocean. We dumped our luggage, grabbed a bottle of wine that we’d picked up from the local bottle shop in town and walked up to the tables and chairs that our resort had on the sand for the best show in town. I took the cameras just in case there was a sunset. And holy moly was there a sunset. The sky lit up with the most incredible kaleidoscope of orange, pink and purple (that sunset is one of my top five sunsets of all time). While we had so many incredible moments throughout our trip to the Philippines, this was by far my favourite. We spent the night drinking wine, having life chats and swimming in the sunset-sparkled sea.
At AUD$175 per night for two, Las Cabanas Beach Resort isn’t exactly budget, but with no hot water, air-con or room wi-fi and limited electricity, it does have that vibe. Our beachfront cottage may not have had any mod cons, but it did have front row seats to the best sunsets in El Nido and the ocean right on our doorstep. There’s nothing better than falling asleep and waking up to the sound of waves gently lapping the beach.
There was also the cutest beach bungalow a few doors up that I was obsessed with – as you can see from this article I took a million photos it. I haven’t been able to find it on Trip Advisor or Airbnb, but stay tuned as I am fully on the case.
How to get there:
Getting to Las Cabanas Beach from El Nido town is super easy. Every afternoon tricycle drivers in El Nido town spruik their services offering transportation to Las Cabanas Beach in time for the famed sunset. Expect to pay around 150 pesos which is about AUD$4 – the trip will take you around 10-15 minutes. Otherwise, hire a scooter and make your own way there – just take the road that follows the coastline north from El Nido town.
- Cameras: Canon EOS 5D Mark III (on loan from Canon Australia), Canon EOS 70D (my personal camera) and the GoPro HERO4 Silver Edition (on loan from GoPro Australia).
- Lenses: Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM (on loan from Canon Australia) and Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM.