Located at the foot of Mt. San Cristobal and Mt. Banahaw, Nagcarlan has a relatively cool climate and is surrounded by lush greenery. It is a large municipality in terms of land area (78 square kilometers) but it is not heavily populated; there are less than 60,000 residents according to a 2010 census. We’ve been to Nagcarlan several times now, and while we were initially just passing through en route to other destinations in Laguna or Quezon, we soon realized that there are quite a number of travel destinations in town worth our time.
We didn’t think much about sunsets while preparing for our recent visit to El Nido. Anyway, there was already much to see here during the daylight hours. We were planning on just spending restful evenings at our resort after each day spent touring the islands at the Bacuit archipelago and other spots in El Nido. However, many memorable travel experiences are often unplanned ones. On this occasion we were surprised to see how stunning the sunsets in El Nido are and ended up spending each evening gazing at the fiery colors of the twilight sky.
Ever since we returned to the Philippines eight years ago, our preference has gravitated towards off-the-beaten-track, relatively undeveloped travel destinations. Not only are those places devoid of the usual huge tourist crowds, they also tended to be much more pristine. (It’s one reason why we never even considered revisiting Boracay.) Our recent trip to El Nido gave us a chance to visit a destination we’ve only read about in the last 2 or 3 years – the Twin Beaches of Nacpan and Calitang.
After our morning adventures at the Small Lagoon and Secret Lagoon in beautiful Miniloc Island, it was almost lunch time. Our boat hoisted anchor and headed for Shimizu Island, an islet with towering limestone rock walls and a gorgeous white sand beach that would soon double as our lunch picnic spot.