But for us it’s so much more than that. It’s a small, hidden, really unknown corner of Palawan that a surprising number of even local Palaweños aren’t familiar with. Considering its outstanding beauty, it’s surprising to us, but with so much beauty all over the island and a total island population of just over 1 million on one of the biggest islands in the country – it’s understandable and probably a good thing it still has its secrets.
See here Binga Beach’s exact location on Turtler:
Why is Binga Unknown?
It’s hard to fault tourists, or even locals, for not knowing much about Lumambong yet. Heck, just on the short way down south to San Vicente there are at least 9 or 10 other beaches! Including, in order southward from Lumambong down to Long Beach: Boding Beach, Ombo Beach, Erawan Beach, Boong Beach, Nagtulay Beach, Alimanguan Beach, Tagpis Beach, BokBok Beach.
This whole zone is so special that it has been designated by the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) as a special flagship Tourism Enterprise Zone (TEZ) for the Philippines. Lumambong Beach is at the very northern edge of the 3rd Phase. The TEZ initiative brings a national focus to masterplan and develop the area into an enhanced and sustainable tourism destination. More info here: http://tieza.gov.ph/tez-projects/flagship-tez-project/san-vicente-palawan/
Phases of the Tourism Enterprise Zone:
Sound fun..? Pardon the confusion folks: Binga Beach is the name of our resort, but the name of the beach we’re on is actually called Lumambong Beach. Quite a beautiful name, really.
Aerial view of Lumambong Beach, with our property Binga Beach highlighted:
Binga for life 🙂
Our ‘Binga’ comes from the name of the small Barangay where we’re situated — Barangay Binga — part of the San Vicente municipality. It’s also the name of the lovely small farming and fishing town adjoining us. And the small body of water in front of our beach reads as ‘Binga Bay’ on some maps, a small subset of the larger Imuaran Bay. There is also a ‘Binga Point’ hill and outcropping dividing our area of beaches from those further south. 1km south from there we have the small Binga River – you pass this on the way driving in from San Vicente and you know you’re close.
See here Binga Bay and other mentioned landmarks:
How is a beach as gorgeous as Lumambong so relatively unknown? The town of Binga is only home to some 90 families, it’s super small! Until just recently it would actually take several hours on very bumpy, primitive roads to make it to the village. Some recent (end of 2018) and incredible road construction improvements have shaved down the time incredibly at each entry point.
The main island routes from Puerto Princesa in the South head along the Eastern coast towards Taytay as the established trading town on the way North towards El Nido. This historically bypassed the towns in a gap along the West coast.
That road system does cut East, but does so around the mountains heading towards Port Barton and San Vicente further North. To get to Binga from the South (where the greater population resides) you had to, often depending on road conditions, loop much farther up North at Taytay junction and hook back down.
In short, until recently Binga took a very long time to get to. The new roads are already a big help for the tourists but more importantly the local farmers and fisherman to transport their wares.
Binga Beach is the Best!
Now for tourists looking for something different beyond the crowds at El Nido and Port Barton, the new airport at San Vicente opens up this whole section of Eastern coast with greater accessibility. Now San Vicente’s 14.7-kilometer white sand Long Beach is minutes away from the airport. Even better, Binga Beach is only 45 minutes away.
Mt. Capoas – Elevation over 1k meters!
What’s better about Lumambong and Binga Beach compared to San Vicente? Well, for one, stand on Long Beach and look across the water, see that huge mountain in the distance at the ocean’s edge? That’s Mount Capoas, the tallest mountain in Northern Palawan standing at 1012 meters tall (3313 feet). The 1.5km long Lumambong Beach is at the foot of it, and this mountain directs favorable, cooling winds right over our beach, and it’s steep slopes channel fresh rain waters down to our coast making the whole surrounding of Binga Bay extra lush and picturesque.
Mt. Capoas seen across Imuaran Bay, viewed from Long Beach, San Vicente:
Historical Map of Capoas Peninsula (here with alternate Copoas spelling):
Whereas Long Beach is a low, flat, sandy plain, the Binga area is bordered by a quite dramatic topography. On our resort property alone we find an incredibly lush and interesting mangroves creek with rope bridge connecting our lodging area to the beachfront. Every section of our property is set on some rolling hill or another. Through dragon bamboo, coconut palms, mangroves, strong old cashew trees and more.
The shadow of Mt. Capoas takes our breath away, it’s right next to us on the beach. So tall it’s often mysteriously shrouded in clouds, rarely revealing its full shape or stature.
Mt. Capoas as seen from in front of Binga Beach at Lumambong:
Binga Beach = White Sands
And what of the beach? It’s why we’re here, perhaps? It is. As fine of white sand as anywhere else on Palawan, cool to the touch on even the hottest days, we love that Lumambong is a ‘big beach’ with a wide berm, a high flat top with even a higher second level dune rising again, providing multiple vantage points to take in the ocean view and areas to enjoy. On our area is a thick collection of mature, tall coconut palms (hence our logo) providing great shade and surrounding every visitor with seemingly gentle dancing giants in the ever-present fresh ocean breeze.
White sands at Binga Beach / Lumambong:
Mt. Capoas hidden in clouds:
Super calm and relaxing waters
Lest the coast seem too strong among the heights of the mountain and the towering palms, this wildness is counterbalanced by some lucky shaping of our corner of Binga Bay, the immediate hill at our beach’s side, and the gentle, rock-free slope of the shore all combining to produce an incredibly gentle beach. A surfer’s spot this is not, alas, but the super calm waves make swimming with children, launching a sailboat or kayak, or even learning to kitesurf all so much more accessible. If that’s all too much to consider, know that it’s super easy to go for a swim in this water that is often so placid it resembles a swimming pool. And is so clear and refreshing it feels that good, too.
Calm waters here in Binga Bay:
Great sunsets at… ‘Emergency Point’?
We must stop to note the allure of the Western facing coastline delivering us amazing sunsets. This is clear. Depending on the season they occur to the left of, beyond, or to the right of the quite near Rangod Island or in winter we find it setting down for refuge to the right, behind the corner of ‘Emergency Point’. We are still studying the history and meaning of this most interestingly named spot.
US Army 1944 map of Mt. Capoas and “Emergency Point”, found at the most southwestern edge of the big peninsular landmass:
Sunset at Binga Beach:
The Binga Beach Position & Topography
This is the beach, it is amazing. But let’s re-enter the property at Binga Beach Resort after a day out in the sun. First stop at the small high of our dune to reflect in all directions. Then, step onto our rope bridge and through ancient mangroves for a magical transition to our secluded palm and Bermuda grass garden. Here in shaded, ensconced tranquility we find our bespoke bamboo and white canvas glamping platforms. Here we are separate from the beach but can still view the ocean, here we take a break from the sun and gather strength to enjoy it all over again.
Mangroves at Binga Beach heading to shaded palm area:
A remote and peaceful village
Binga is remote: at our property there are no municipal lines, sewage or power. This was initially a challenge, but overall an opportunity to do things as clean and green as possible. With 100% wind and solar power, new and advanced septic and our own-controlled and extra-treated fresh water supply we are achieving an incredibly low environmental impact.
Very interesting and welcoming for us is the social history and tenor of the local Binga people. Very warm, can-do and welcoming; this small community is quick to embrace those arriving with open hearts.
At our most beautiful, northern end of Lumambong Beach, the history is impressive and endearing. First established by the Distal family, long natives of the Binga town but prior having arrived from El Nido in the early 1960’s. When the parents of the most recent generation passed away, they bequeathed a parcel to a son and daughter each. They are 9 among them and we purchased ours from one of the sons, and are now very happily welcomed as family among them.
So we hope to welcome you to Binga Beach soon, where you can enjoy and discover our small, unspoiled and hidden refuge that feels like home.