Palawan in the Philippines is a trip unto itself. Filled with island hopping adventures, dramatic cliffs, hidden lagoons, underwater rivers, and white sand beaches, you will have to put in a concerted effort not to discover extra things to do on Palawan than you’ve time for.
The following itinerary has a few of the greatest things to do on Palawan starting from what’s often the start line for many visitors – Puerto Princesa:
- 1 1. Puerto Princesa
- 2 2. El Nido
- 3 3. Port Barton
- 4 4. Taytay (Flower Island Eco Resort)
- 5 5. Coron Island
- 6 6. TAO Expedition
- 7 7. Cuyo Island
- 8 eight. Rizal
- 9 9. Tabon Caves
- 10 10. Balabac
- 11 READ NEXT:
1. Puerto Princesa
From Starfish Island in Honda Bay
Probably your first stop in Palawan, thanks to the handy airport, Puerto Princesa has two major issues to do this make it value stopping in for a day or two.
Where to Keep:
I stayed at Blue Palawan seashore resort and thought it was respectable. The restaurant was pretty good and the room was good, too. Additionally they supply free airport transport. It’s not the perfect place I’ve ever stayed, however neither is Puerto Princesa, to be trustworthy!
Things to Do:
Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park: Though not exactly in Puerto Princesa, the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Website and accommodates the second longest underground river on the earth. It’s touristy and it takes quite some time to get there from Puerto Princesa, but when else are you going to get the prospect to see such a thing?
Honda Bay: Since I only had a day in Puerto Princesa, I selected to island hop in Honda Bay, which is a few 30-minute tricycle experience north of the town. There are plenty of options to do that as an organized tour, however I actually needed to do it independently, which labored out cheaper, too. You possibly can read extra concerning the islands, see what they seem like, and find out how to do a Honda Bay DIY trip here.
Where to Go Subsequent:
Most individuals head from Puerto Princesa to El Nido. I’ve full instructions on how to do this utilizing a bus, van, or flight here. You may as well stop in Port Barton on the best way, or go from El Nido should you had been there first. See under for extra details:
2. El Nido
Floating in the Huge Lagoon
El Nido is arguably Palawan’s most famous cease. Once you head there and see the lagoons and limestone cliffs, you’ll perceive why. There’s nowhere on the earth fairly like El Nido. That stated, it’s also a vacationer favourite, so don’t anticipate to get it all to yourself.
How to Get to El Nido:
The easiest method to get to El Nido is to fly, either from Puerto Princesa or from Manila. I have extra info on how to get there here.
The place to Stay:
I stayed on Corong Corong Seashore, which is slightly much less touristy than El Nido city. It was a small Four-villa resort referred to as El Nido Overlooking and I assumed it was good. The Birdhouse was also fairly magical.
Things to Do:
Most people go island hopping in El Nido. For those who don’t island hop no less than someday, you’re missing out on a lot of the magic of El Nido. The island hopping is fairly rigid in its organization, with tours named A-D with the identical stops on each. When you take a personal tour you’ll be able to customize things a bit more, though it’s a reasonably penny. There are additionally great places to watch the sunset, do yoga, and take a look at other seashores and a waterfall. Read more on the hyperlinks under:
All the Things to do in El Nido
3. Port Barton
When making our means by way of Palawan, the place I was most excited to visit was Port Barton. From what we had learn on-line, it was meant to be rather more secluded and much less developed than most other elements of Palawan, and I was not disenchanted! It has just as much of the sweetness and allure of El Nido and Coron, however with far fewer backpackers.
How to Get to Port Barton:
Getting to Port Barton could be very straightforward. Most get there from El Nido or Puerto Princesa. The value for a three and a half hour minibus switch from El Nido was 500PHP per individual.
Where to Stay:
Although Port Barton continues to be very a lot up and coming, it has developed so much in the final 12 months. They lastly obtained 24 hour electrical energy at the finish of 2018, and there at the moment are much more homestays there than there were before. We stayed at Eashanti’s Place and I might undoubtedly advocate it. Nevertheless, in case you are into partying and consuming late into the night time, then the primary backpacker hostel for reasonable drinks is CocoRico Hostel Bar and Restaurant. They’ve free rum and coke for an hour each day and are blasting music late into the night time. For me, I a lot most popular strolling alongside the seashore and dining in the many peaceful eating places with seating actually right on the seashore.
Things to Do:
There’s a lot to do there, with the preferred activity being the day long island hopping tour which takes you to some superior snorkelling spots and to unimaginable beaches. One stop even presents the prospect to swim with sea turtles, which we weren’t in a position to do anyplace else in Palawan. Another actions to contemplate doing when in Port Barton embrace:
● Visiting White Seashore
● Enjoying the sundown from Port Barton’s fundamental seashore
● Climbing to Pamuayan Falls
● Taking a boat journey and trek to Bigaho Falls
– Bradley of Dream Massive, Journey Far
4. Taytay (Flower Island Eco Resort)
If enjoying castaway on a personal island in the Philippines is in your bucket listing, look no additional than Taytay, a small island that’s simply off the coast of northeast Palawan. Away from the crowds of El Nido, this Island offers quiet, solitude and a back-to-nature strategy to island life in the Philippines.
Taytay was as soon as the capital of Palawan in the course of the Spanish colonial occupation, and though there’s not a lot to do in the city itself, it’s a useful jumping off point for island exploration, and there are reportedly some good waterfall treks just to the north.
How to Get to Taytay:
You possibly can take a shuttle from Puerto Princesa to Taytay, which takes about 4 hours. If you would like a personal switch the resort will help you organize that, however the perfect value choice is to take one of the common shared shuttles.
From Taytay you’ll want to get a personal boat from the resort (pre-arrange this) – there are not any public ferries as this can be a personal island.
Where to Stay:
Accessed by personal ferry from the port of Taytay, Flower Island Eco Resort is the only building on this small island, and has been constructed out of low-impact materials. Mid-Vary seashore huts (principally ventilated utilizing the breeze) front the seashore, which when you come throughout off-season chances are you’ll properly have to yourself (or at most to a number of different lodge visitors).
The resort’s major mission is to protect the island and surrounding nature via tourism. It’s largely self-sufficient and far of the meals is grown on the island (or fished by line from the top of the lodge’s pier). To scale back food waste, every day has a special, surprise menu, the place you get the most effective and freshest.
Things to Do:
We went to go to the Save the Palawan Seas Foundation on a close-by island, which the resort talked about above supports. The foundation has been campaigning to improve patrols towards dynamite fishing (a huge menace to the coral on this a part of the world as fish stocks decline due to pollution and native fishermen resort to increasingly more determined measures to fetch an honest catch). Additionally they train villagers strategies to grow their own vegetables at residence, without pesticides, in order to scale back poverty. Spending an hour or two with the volunteers was a memorable part of our keep here and confirmed us a few of the challenges and opportunities that lie in store for Islanders right here.
Back on Flower Island, there’s a spa, cocktail bar, kayaks and snorkeling gear aplenty and so we took to the water to see in an unimaginable array of colour beneath the surface. The resort also presents tours to a close-by Pearl Farm which supplies an fascinating perception into how the pearl business works, and how this delicate course of is being threatened by local weather change.
– Ellie of Soul Travel Blog
5. Coron Island
Coron from the air close to Kayangan Lake
Although Coron and El Nido are fairly comparable, they each have their very own hanging features that set them aside from one another, and both are value visiting. Island hopping in Coron is sort of magical, with islands which have caves, hidden lagoons (like the Twin Lagoon), and even quiet tree houses.
How to Get to Coron Island:
“If touring from El Nido, it’s potential to take a ferry to Coron Town Correct, which takes a few hours. You may also fly from El Nido or Manila into the airport, which would require a tricycle, taxi, or van journey of about 30 minutes to your accommodation. It’s also possible to take a TAO expedition, described in point 6 under.
Where to Stay:
I stayed at Sanctuaria Treehouses on the extra northwestern, quiet aspect of Busuanga Island, simply outdoors of Coron for 2 days and nearer to Coron City Proper for two days at Sophia’s Backyard Resort and thought splitting time was the easiest way to do it. It gave me access to a few of the farther, much less visited islands at first of my journey and proximity to the extra fashionable Coron Island across the bay for the latter half.
Things to Do:
Like El Nido, you haven’t seen Coron in the event you haven’t island hopped (principally as a result of the island of Coron just isn’t on the same island as Coron town, confusingly!). It’s a bit simpler to go about organizing your personal boat and choosing your personal stops in Coron than El Nido, which I detailed on this submit. It’s also possible to find different issues to do like mountaineering and even a saltwater scorching spring – certainly one of few on the planet. The SCUBA diving is taken into account the most effective in the Philippines in Coron thanks to the WWII wrecks and Apo Reef as properly. I can vouch.
In case you’re making an attempt to determine between Coron and El Nido, I’m going into the benefits and disadvantages of both on this publish.
6. TAO Expedition
Taking an expedition with TAO Philippines is a good way to experience a number of the most lovely islands of Palawan.
TAO Philippines is a regionally owned company that runs multi-day island hopping tours via the distant islands of Northern Palawan. They provide each 3 and 5-day excursions, which begin and end in El Nido or Coron.
There isn’t a itinerary or plan for the expedition. The days are spent swimming in turquoise waters, snorkeling via vibrant coral reefs, chilling on secluded beaches, and fishing off the again of the boat. At the finish of every day, they supply drinks to take pleasure in whereas watching the beautiful sunset.
TAO has 13 base camps on remote islands all through Palawan and each day the workforce decides where to sleep that night time. Lodging are in beautiful bamboo huts overlooking the ocean. Three delicious meals are served each day, which often involve recent seafood caught simply before it’s served.
What I really like about TAO is that they’re greater than a daily tour company, it’s a social enterprise. They use tourism as a software to build resilient communities throughout Palawan. Through the tour, you get many opportunities to interact with the local communities and see the varied tasks TAO has began on the islands.
The value of the tour is $545 USD but properly value each penny. TAO is likely one of the most original tours I’ve ever carried out and an amazing instance of accountable tourism. If you’d like to be a part of a TAO Expedition, you’ll be able to e-book online by means of their website or go to their office in El Nido or Coron.
Taking a TAO Expedition was the highlight of my time within the Philippines, it’s the right tour for these on the lookout for an adventure you’ll be able to be ok with.
– Lora of Discover with Lora
7. Cuyo Island
Cuyo is usually described as Philippines hidden gem and now I can see why. The oldest city in Palawan, Cuyo is filled with rich culture which has advanced from each native and Spanish influences. Cuyo is perfect for those wanting to chill out on the white sandy seashores, take a dip in the crystal clear waters, eat tasty Filipino meals, and interact with the locals who consider in a easy, carefree life.
How to Get to Cuyo:
Cuyo is the most important island of the Cuyo Archipelago with the most important population and is located in between Palawan and Panay. The commonest choice of transport is by ferry, nevertheless, the airline Juan Air also runs flights to Cuyo. We choose the overnight ferry choice to save a night on accommodation, which took round 15 hours. Yes, that seems like a long time, however don’t worry we managed a couple of hours’ sleep! The ferry is snug they usually provide snacks, but when you’re a fussy eater like me, I’d recommend you’re taking your personal.
There’s never a nasty time to visit Cuyo, nevertheless if you would like to miss the rainfall it’s greatest to visit November until March when the weather tends to be drier and cooler. Nevertheless, throughout wet seasons you’ll only be greeted by brief sharp bursts, which brings a period of needed coolness! In the event you’re lucky enough to go to Cuyo during August you’ll get your experience the Cuyo Fiesta, filled with dance, color, and music to have fun.
Where to Keep:
In case you’re on the lookout for a sweet place to keep, then it is best to take a look at the Anino Kite Resort. Just one mile from the airport this prime lodging on Cuyo gives WiFi, clear rooms and a free breakfast.
Things to Do:
You’ll be able to rent a ship for the day and explore the various islands situated round Cuyo to get some superb photographs, and one of the best part is that you simply’ll have the place all to yourself, in contrast to the well-known El Nido and Coron (although, there are some intelligent methods to ditch the crowds in Coron!). For the adrenaline junkies on the market, Cuyo is an awesome place to study kitesurfing. Swimming and enjoyable on the seashore are great, however be careful for the ocean urchins – I’d advocate water footwear!
Simply 300 meters from the pier, St Augustine’s Church was constructed by the Spanish missionaries in the 17th century, and its structure is straightforward but value looking at. The church remains the preferred place in town to attend mass. Finally, we advocate mountaineering up Mt Aguado. Take pleasure in this 4km hike starting from the pier to absorb 360 degree views of Cuyo Island, in addition to the statues along the best way telling the story of Christ.
– Louis of The Northern Boy
Many locations claim to be ‘off-the-beaten-track’ however Rizal, on Palawan’s south-west coast, actually matches the invoice. With many uninhabited seashore coves lining the coastline, you’ll little question find a secluded spot to enjoy the unspoiled white sandy seashores, calm azure waters and some real peace and quiet – you’ll possible be the one vacationer for miles.
How to get to Rizal:
It’s not straightforward to get right here; once you’ve flown into Puerto Princesa you’ll need to navigate a five+ hour journey out of the town, down some deserted roads, throughout filth tracks – and even by means of a thick, seemingly impenetrable forest.
However once you arrive, you’ll perceive why the journey is value it. Many locations claim to be ‘off-the-beaten-track’, but Rizal actually means it. We will virtually assure that on this secluded section of Filipino shoreline, you’ll be the only tourist there.
The place to Keep:
We stayed at Momma Sally’s Guesthouse. Momma Sally is a Filipino native who grew up on this patch of land; she knows the world by heart. She will organize an airport pick-up, give you home-cooked food, and take you to the market, do you have to want.
This actually is the right place to stay the deserted-beach way of life for every week, protected in the information you’ve received a pal searching for you.
What to Do:
I spent every week shifting from abandoned beach-cove hut to sea-side hammock, with only native fishermen and pleasant stray canine as firm. After early morning wakeup calls from the resident rooster, I spent my days watching unspoilt sunrises, consuming coffee, consuming recent fish, and alternating between reading a e-book on the hammock and dozing on the sand.
Should you’re worrying the way you’ll have the opportunity to cross the time with so little to do – I wouldn’t. I’m probably the most lively travellers I do know, however Rizal actually taught me to loosen up and recognize mother earth’s true magnificence. There’s an area market close by which is value prizing your self off the hammock for, to absorb rural Filipino life – oh, and to top off on scrumptious recent fruit in your next few days of lazing.
– Katie of Modern Class
9. Tabon Caves
How to get to Tabon Caves:
The easiest method to go to Tabon Caves is by tour from Puerto Princesa. For those who store round, you’ll have the ability to find one which’s not rather more costly than doing it independently. If you need to do it yourself, you will get the bus to the small city of Quezon and go across by boat (about 800 pesos for the boat, with up to 6 individuals).
The place to Stay:
There are solely a few guesthouses in Quezon (akin to Noc’s Pension House), so it’s potential to keep overnight if you would like. However until there are other issues you desire to to do in the space, it’s in all probability better to base your self nearer to (or in) Puerto Princesa and do Tabon Caves as a day journey.
Things to Do:
There are two explanation why Tabon Caves are such an necessary Palawan website – one about nature and one about man. When it comes to nature, it’s straightforward to see for your self. These lovely caves open up in entrance of you, offering a simple exploration into caverns crammed with fascinating rock formations. Round them is a lush green jungle and a shocking coastline with a few seashores for swimming and picnics.
Nevertheless it’s the historical past that makes them so special. It’s right here that a few of the oldest evidence of people in Asia have been discovered. There was a well-known discovery of the skeleton of the ‘Tabon Man’, that’s thought to be about 30,000 years previous (and turned out to truly be a lady). And another fossilised bone fragment discovered right here is estimated to be up to 50,000 years previous!
Whenever you stand in these caves or walk by means of the darkened tunnels, you possibly can virtually imagine what it will have been like for early man to shelter right here at night time and eat the meals that that they had hunted within the jungles around them.
There are about 30 protected caves right here at the Tabon Caves complicated however only seven are often open to the general public. They’re simply accessible and there’s no climbing concerned – there are even stairs in a number of the steeper ones. It’s more of a museum than an adventure exercise – however the nature has been fairly well-preserved.
– Michael of Time Journey Turtle
Balabac is a gaggle of islands within the southernmost tip of Palawan. As soon as an off-beat location, it’s turning into a extra widespread destination due to its virgin islands and sand bars.
How to get to Balabac:
To get to Balabac, you need to take an area flight to Puerto Princesa, Palawan. From there, commute to both Rio Tuba or Buliluyan port, where boats can take you to Balabac.
To get to the islands, you’ll be able to organize for an island hopping tour. Some locals additionally supply full packages, which embrace transfer from/to Balabac, lodging and meals.
The place to Keep:
For the lodging, you’ll be able to both camp in a single day on the islands or stay in modest inns in mainland Balabac island. For the primary, it’s greatest to seek the advice of together with your boat operator as some islands aren’t very best for overnight stays due to permission issues or bugs.
Things to Do:
When you’re here the one thing you are able to do is chill out and island hop. You possibly can go to Onuk Island, a personal island with white sand, blue water and where you possibly can freedive to see big clams and turtles. Onuk Island is probably the most sought-after islands in Balabac. You can too see Candaraman Island, another nice seashore that may easily beat common tropical beaches around the globe, and which has an space referred to as “starfish alley” the place you possibly can take footage with actually dozens of starfishes; Camiaran Island, a pinkish-sand seashore; Mansalangan sand bar, with its picturesque sand formation; and Punta Sebaring, which has one of many best, whitest sands within the nation.
Island hopping can easily be achieved in three days.
Balabac can also be recognized for whale sharks sightings and some larger finish liveaboard diving alternatives.
Another thing which you can take pleasure in in Balabac is recent, low cost seafood. Fish, shrimp, and crabs could be bought early in the morning from local fishers or, during island hopping tours, caught and/or cooked by your boat operator.
– Tara of Tara Lets Anyplace
I hope this itinerary provides you an concept of a number of the greatest things to do in Palawan. It’s a stunning province of the Philippines with tons of selection, some highly regarded spots, and a few off the crushed path gems.