Where to Surf in El Nido, Palawan

Living in Washington has its perks, but surfing isn't one of them. Our coast is rocky and freezing, so when I visited the Philippines this summer, I had my heart set on catching my first few waves.

I had read a little bit about a secret spot near El Nido called Mike's Point, but when my friend Yuting and I asked around, no one seemed to know what we were talking about (that, or the locals just didn't want us to know). It was only by luck we ended up meeting a couple who had just returned from surfing at Duli Beach the day before.

Duli Beach / Mike's Point

Officially, the surf spot is called Duli Beach. This is the best name to give locals when you're asking for directions along the way, and there is even a sign at one point reading "Duli Beach," with an arrow.

However, a lot of blog posts I read beforehand labeled the spot as Mike's Point. This is because the man who rents out surf boards is named Mike. Few of the locals will refer to beach by this name though - only other travelers.

How to Get There

From El Nido, it's best to rent a scooter and head off in the direction of Nacpan Beach. Instead of turning left for Nacpan though, continue straight for another 15 to 20 minutes until you see a green sign for Bgy. Bucana. Turn left here and continue on this road.

My best friend Yuting covered in mud, but still smiling. Prepare to get just as dirty! (In the back there is the sign for Bgy. Bucana)

My best friend Yuting covered in mud, but still smiling. Prepare to get just as dirty! (In the back there is the sign for Bgy. Bucana)

You'll ride up and down a couple decent sized hills, and then eventually come across a "Duli Beach," sign pointing left down a much narrower dirt path. The ride gets a bit rough in this part, especially during the rainy season when the dirt roads become giant mud pits. Don't hesitate to get off and walk the bike or you'll end up tipped over in the mud like Yuting and I.

In this area right before the beach is a small home charging an entrance fee/property-crossing fee. It was 50 pesos per person, and is good for multiple visits if you decide to brave the roads again. After that, your almost there! Keep riding till you’re on the beach and then head down towards the white beach chairs on the far left side. There you'll find Duli Beach Resort and surfboard rentals.

If finding Duli Beach sounds like a crazy adventure, check out this list of 12 things everyone should experience in the Philippines.

Renting the Surfboards

The surf boards are rented out by a local Filipino man named Mike. When your're ready to hit the waves just let the resort managers know, and they'll find him for you. The place is pretty small so if he's not sitting at the resort already, he's probably surfing.

Mike has both long and short boards, and rents them out for 250 pesos an hour. Lessons are 600 pesos (Lucky for me, Yuting's an experienced surfer and offered free lessons haha).

Traveling on a budget? Check out the cost of backpacking the Philippines.

Food at the Beach

For lunch your stuck eating at the resort unless you pack food with you and bring it from El Nido. They don't serve the best or cheapest food in Duli, but it was hot and filling.

The menu was also pretty minimal, and consisted of 3 choices (200 pesos ea.) that rotate daily. If you have time, it might be worth it to pack a couple snacks or drinks in the seat compartment of your scooter. It will save you some money if you end up staying all day.

Also, if you're not ready to surf right away after lunch, the resort has a nice collection of games by the bar. I thought it would be fun to challenge Yuting to a quick game of Connect Four...10 games later I think I'd only won once.

Catching Some Waves!

On the day Yutng and I were there, the waves at Duli Beach were pretty quiet. The day before had apparently been pretty sweet (of course), but like any surf spot, the waves can be hit or miss. 

Sooo much fun! Just need to invest in a swimsuit that doesn't fly off in the waves. :o

Sooo much fun! Just need to invest in a swimsuit that doesn't fly off in the waves. :o

For a beginner like myself, the "small" waves were pretty intense still. I caught my first one and then flew off headfirst about every other try after that. But the mouths full of seawater were worth it - Duli's remoteness made for an overall relaxing day, and got me hooked on a new sport. I'll definitely be looking to surf again the next chance I get.

Have some time to in El Nido? Check out my post on things to do in El Nido.

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