Seven Commandos Beach is one of the most beautiful stretches of sand in El Nido, Palawan. A popular El Nido island hopping stop, we were incredibly fortunate to have the entire beach to ourselves when El Nido had just reopened to domestic tourism.
Rather than take an island hopping tour to Seven Commandos Beach, we opted to rent our own kayak and explore the area by ourselves. We recommend everyone tries kayaking in El Nido, as it’s by far one of the best things to do in El Nido.
WHERE IS SEVEN COMMANDOS BEACH & HOW TO GET THERE
Seven Commandos Beach is on the mainland, not far from the town of El Nido. Despite being just around the corner from town, you’ll still need to access Seven Commandos Beach by the sea. To switch things up from the regular El Nido island hopping routes, we decided to rent a kayak from Corong Corong Beach and explore at our own pace for a day.
WHAT TO BRING TO SEVEN COMMANDOS BEACH
Prepare for your trip to Seven Commandos 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)
KAYAKING TO SEVEN COMMANDOS BEACH EL NIDO
We rented our kayak from Jem Brex Kayak Rental, right there on the beachfront of Corong Corong Beach. It was super convenient and the kayaks were really well maintained, the owners were also very accommodating with our last-minute decision to go kayaking. It’s usually ₱600/$12 for a full 8 hour day but they have a great COVID special for ₱350/$7 at the moment! You can also rent a half-day for ₱200/$4.
We had planned to rent one kayak each so we could get better photos, but the wind wasn’t in our favour. We didn’t make it very far before turning around and hopping into one kayak. We passed a number of stunning beaches and rock formations along the way and pulled into Papaya Beach as our first destination.
Seven Commandos Beach is right next to Papaya Beach, separated by a huge rock. After some time spent on Papaya Beach, we jumped back into the kayak and paddled the short distance to Seven Commandos Beach. It’s around 20-30 minutes of non-stop paddling from Corong Corong Beach to Seven Commandos/Papaya.
EL NIDO ISLAND HOPPING TO SEVEN COMMANDOS BEACH
If kayaking doesn’t take your fancy, Seven Commandos Beach is a stop on the History Island tour. We actually came back to Seven Commandos Beach a second time with Ape Tours just to get some drone shots, as we didn’t take the drone on the kayak. If you go the El Nido island hopping route, quote our code ‘NOPOSTCODE’ for 10% off with Ape Tours!
WHAT TO EXPECT AT SEVEN COMMANDOS BEACH EL NIDO
We pulled up in the kayak along the uninhabited stretch of Seven Commandos Beach. Much like the neighbouring Papaya Beach, we were greeted with powder-soft sand and crystal clear water. We were lucky enough to have the place to ourselves!
The public section of Seven Commandos Beach is lined with native picnic huts, ordinarily filled with tourists in a pre-pandemic lifetime. This place can get busy with boats constantly coming in and out, so we felt especially grateful to experience it completely empty.
As isolated as Seven Commandos Beach is, it wouldn’t be the Philippines without a makeshift basketball hoop attached to a coconut tree. We can imagine this being a hit amongst the tour guides when El Nido tourism is in full swing.
STAY THE NIGHT AT VELLAGO RESORT
The other side of Seven Commandos Beach couldn’t be more different from the public end. This section has been privatised and turned into a boutique resort, Vellago Resort. We didn’t stay the night, but the place looked really peaceful and seemed the perfect place to retreat from the world for a few nights. You can check out rates on Agoda here for Vellago Resort, one of the best El Nido Palawan resorts.
Despite there being development, there was still plenty enough public beach space to enjoy. If you’ve got a bit of money on you, you could even stop for lunch at Vellago Resort’s bar/restaurant, which is open to walk-in guests. Just expect resort prices!
FURRY FRIENDS AT SEVEN COMMANDOS BEACH
It’s not often we dedicate an entire section of a post to beach dogs, but this was such a highlight of our Seven Commandos Beach trip, it’d be rude not to. There are two resident dogs at Seven Commandos Beach, apparently brothers. They welcome the tourists and hang around for pats (and if we’re being honest, mostly food). Dog lovers will be in literal paradise.
After an hour or so of hanging out with them, we decided to make our way back to Corong Corong Beach. As we were paddling away, one of the dogs started swimming after our kayak! According to the locals, this guy swims between Seven Commandos Beach and Papaya Beach every day, which is no small feat. If you’re worried about him following you, just paddle into shore until he gets there and then leave. He’ll be too tired to give chase again.
VISIT PAPAYA BEACH NEXT DOOR
If you thought Seven Commandos Beach was secluded, Papaya Beach takes it to a whole new level. Aside from a swing and a few flags, there really is nothing else to distract you on Papaya Beach. Take the kayak around and enjoy this deserted paradise, one of the best beaches in El Nido.
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.