Nagkalit-Kalit Falls: An Easy Sidetrip on the way to Nacpan
Green rice fields, river crossings, cool forest air, and sometimes even thick sludges of mud–these are some of the things you’ll experience on the way to El Nido’s local picnic spot Nagkalit-Kalit Falls. Back in the day, locals would come here with a bottle of liquor and a guitar and just sing the day away by the riverbank. Now, it’s a popular sidetrip when heading to Nacpan Beach.
Between the rainy months of June and December, the surrounding wildlife, forest, and streams in this waterfall are filled with color, sound, and action. The forest is lush and greener and you can spot various animals from butterflies and colorful bugs to geckos, endemic birds, and cute little fish.
A Sneak Peek
The Trek to Nagkalit-Kalit Falls
Taking about 30 to 45 minutes, the easy trek to the waterfall is a refreshing experience in itself. You’ll pass by some nipa huts, a field of coconut trees, and head in to the forest, where you’ll be crossing about eight streams. Prepare to get wet!
Once you start hearing the sound of the gushing water, about five minutes before reaching the falls, the trail becomes a little steeper and sometimes even muddy, especially after a rainy day.
You’ll be holding onto anything you can grab hold of, like big rocks, tree trunks, branches, just to keep your balance. But rest assured, the short ascent isn’t so hard, not when you have your own local guide to happily assist you every step of the way.
Nagkalit-Kalit’s Two Waterfalls
The first waterfall, by the time you reach it, has varying amounts of water. It can be quite loud and big during the rainy season (June to December), but this can slow down to a trickle during the dry season (January to May). Just adjust your expectations as your experience will definitely vary!
Once you reach the first waterfall, you can dip right in the shallow pool about knee-high, or stand by the waterfall itself and have a shower. The water is cool, clear, and inviting, especially early in the morning or late afternoon. When you’ve had your fill of the first waterfall, you can now take on a tougher adventure: the second waterfall!
You’ll hike around the side of the first waterfall, and will even be using a rope to help you up. Again, the trail here can be slippery or muddy after a rainy day. Otherwise, it’s quite a thrilling hike. This other one is just as shallow and the waterfall is a little bigger. The view of the forest from here is amazing! You can also bring some snacks with you and hang out by the riverbank and stay for as long as you like.
Supporting Local Tourism
Trekking Nagkalit-Kalit Falls is a simple local experience that island residents usually have on their free time. This area thrives on community-based sustainable tourism where people in and around the waterfall take care of the environment and ensure the safety to every guest. By doing this activity, you are supporting local livelihood and help put kids to school!
How to get to Nagkalit-Kalit Falls
The easiest and most convenient way to get to Nagkalit-Kalit Falls is by motorbike. You can rent one in El Nido’s Town Proper for about P700 per day. If you’re coming in a big group, you might as well rent a van.
Now you just follow the Taytay-El Nido National Highway going north and in around 30 minutes you’ll see signages of Nagkalit-Kalit Falls to your right (see map). If you reach the dirt road going to Nacpan Beach, that means you’ve driven past the waterfalls’ entrance!
Alternatively, you can head to El Nido Transport Terminal just right across the wet market in the town proper (see map). There’s a jeepney there that goes to Brgy. Bucana at 10:30 am sharp. Just go there by 10:00 to make sure you have a seat. Travel time is around 30 minutes and fare is around P40 per person.
Costs & Fees
By the time you arrive at the entrance, someone will assist you and get you a guide, which is required. The cost may vary but it’s usually P200 per person. If you’re coming in a group of five or less, you can ask for a discount and get a guide for around P400. There’s also an additional P10 fee per person for passing through someone’s private property.