When you think of El Nido, you don’t necessarily think of surf. That’s usually reserved for Siargao or La Union, but Duli Beach is the one place you can find some swell in El Nido. From November to April you can expect decent surf here, and the sandy beach break makes it a great spot for beginners.
Located in the northern part of El Nido, Duli Beach is about as far north as people travel, with very few people venturing beyond Duli. Aside from surf, it’s a massive beach popular with locals and tourists, with a handful of restaurants and plenty of space to spread out.
WHERE IS DULI BEACH EL NIDO
Located in Base Bay, Duli Beach is around 40 minutes north of El Nido proper. In El Nido terms, Duli Beach would be considered quite far, but it’s easily done on a scooter. If you’ve been to Nacpan Beach, or at least heard of it, Duli is the next major beach just after Nacpan, the dirt road just makes it a little tougher to get to.
The road is perfect up until you turn off the highway and start cutting across to the coast. This is where it turns to dirt, or if you visit during dry season, dust. The first time we visited Duli Beach in 2019 we ended up having to get off the bike and walk it down a hill, as the dust was a foot deep and too dangerous to drive in. The most reputable scooter rental in town is Lakwatsero Motorcycles, which you can rent from for ₱500/$10 USD for 24 hours.
WHAT TO BRING TO DULI BEACH
Prepare for your trip to Duli Beach with our must have travel essentials.
Waterproof backpack & phone case: Earth Pak 35L or 55L Heavy Duty Backpack, IPX8 Waterproof Phone Case Included (click for price)
Quick dry microfiber travel towel: Wise Owl Outfitters Camping Travel Towel (click for price)
Action camera: GoPro HERO9 Black (click for price)
GoPro dome: TELESIN Dome Port Lens for GoPro Hero 9 (click for price)
Drone: DJI Mavic 2 Pro (click for price)
Snorkel, mask & fins: Cressi Adjustable Mask, Fin & Snorkel Set with Carry Bag (click for price)
WHAT TO EXPECT AT DULI BEACH
Duli Beach is a 2km stretch of golden sand, practically undeveloped save for a few local style restaurants and Duli Beach Resort at one end. When we say resort, it’s more like a bar with a small collection of six or so cottages surrounding it. It’s very quaint.
You can walk in pretty much anywhere along Duli Beach and swim in the sandy shoreline, or head over to the rocks just beyond Duli Beach Resort for a little more adventure. This spot was shaded and a little tucked away from the rest of the beachgoers (except for a lone fisherman) so we settled in amongst the rocks. Just don’t forget your shoes if you head this way, limestone hurts.
We were actually on the hunt for a small cave that Zowie went to with some locals back in 2019, but her memory isn’t the best so we didn’t end up finding it on our return trip in 2021. A lot of locals don’t even know this cave exists, as it’s just tucked amongst the limestone very inconspicuously. If you can rent a kayak it’s a lot easier to get to, as we struggled to make it over the rocks. Cave or not, there is a cool little rock pool swimming spot along the point.
SURFING AT DULI BEACH
Surfing is undoubtedly the main attraction at Duli Beach. The great thing about Duli is that it’s usually very beginner friendly. In saying that, experienced surfers will still have fun here. You can rent a board for ₱500/$10 an hour from Duli Beach Resort and pay for an instructor as well if you need.
The swell can be a bit of a hit and miss at Duli Beach, even during the surf season. We visited three times within two weeks in March and it wasn’t until the third time that there was some decent surf. All the locals were out to play and Carson spent an hour or so catching waves with them.
Another great, and we hate to say it but rare thing about Duli is that the local surfer guys are really welcoming. Good vibes just make a place all the more enjoyable and memorable, for the right reasons.
VISIT THE FAMOUS NACPAN BEACH
While you’re up this way, don’t forget to stop by Nacpan Beach just a short distance before Duli Beach. It’s the most famous mainland beach in El Nido, and up there with one of the best in all of the Philippines.
Read: NACPAN BEACH GUIDE
PIN IT FOR LATER
WHERE TO STAY IN EL NIDO
There’s no shortage of accommodation in El Nido, but having all those options can be a little overwhelming when it comes to choosing the best place to stay. We’ve chosen our top four picks for budget, midscale, boutique and luxury hotels in El Nido to make things easier for you.
BUDGET: DEN’GI INN
If you’re planning on being in El Nido for a while and you’re not looking to break the bank, Den’Gi Inn is our top recommendation. We stayed for two weeks and found it was the best value for money. It’s one of the cheapest properties in El Nido, but offers clean rooms, good amenities and is in a prime location in town.
MIDSCALE: FRENDZ HOSTEL
Frendz Hostel has a million dollar view without the million dollar price tag. It’s right in the centre of town but its height offers unbeatable views of the bay. From private to share rooms, it boasts having a bed for every budget, and its social environment makes it a great place to make new friends.
BOUTIQUE: THE BIRDHOUSE
If you’re looking for something a little different, The Birdhouse is that something. It’s a small five tent glamping hotel with unbeatable sunset views. Their tents are decked out with all the finer things in life, including private bathrooms, and their yoga platform is a destination in its own right.
LUXURY: SEDA LIO
For those with a little more cash to throw around we recommend Seda Lio, one of the biggest luxury beach resorts on the mainland. Housed within the Lio Tourism Estate, Seda Lio offers a haven to escape to after a long day of activities and island hopping.