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Travel Guide of Palawan in Philippines by Influencers and Travelers

Palawan is the largest island of the province of Palawan in the Philippines and the fifth largest island of the country. The north west coast of the island is along the South China Sea, while the south east coast forms part of the northern limit of the Sulu Sea.

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13 pictures of Palawan from Toa Heftiba, Michael Louie, Cris Tagupa and other travelers

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How to visit Palawan ?

To get to Palawan, the easiest way is to fly into Puerto Princesa International Airport from Manila, Cebu, or other major cities in the Philippines. From there, you can take a van or bus to reach El Nido, Coron, or other popular destinations in Palawan. Alternatively, you can also fly directly to El Nido and Coron from Manila, though flights may be more limited.

It is essential to book certain things in advance, especially if you're traveling during peak season (December to April). Accommodations tend to fill up quickly, so make your reservations early. Additionally, it is recommended to book island hopping tours, as well as popular attractions like the Puerto Princesa Underground River, in advance to secure a spot.

The costs in Palawan can vary depending on your travel style. Budget travelers can expect to spend around $30-40 per day, while mid-range travelers can spend roughly $60-100 per day. Luxury travelers can easily spend over $200 per day. Costs typically include accommodations, food, transportation, and activities.

Some of the best things to do in Palawan include island hopping in El Nido and Coron, exploring the Puerto Princesa Underground River, snorkeling or scuba diving in Tubbataha Reef, and visiting the Tabon Caves. You can also explore the charming towns, interact with locals, and sample delicious Filipino cuisine.

For delicious dining options, consider visiting KaLui Restaurant in Puerto Princesa, known for its fresh seafood and artistic ambiance. In El Nido, you can enjoy a meal with a view at The Nesting Table, which offers both local and international dishes. For a unique dining experience in Coron, head to Kawayanan Grill, where you can sample exotic meats like crocodile and ostrich.

In terms of accommodations, budget travelers can stay at Spin Designer Hostel or Frendz Hostel in El Nido, which offer dorms and private rooms. Mid-range options include Canvas Boutique Hotel in Puerto Princesa and Sophia's Garden Resort in Coron. For a luxurious stay, consider booking a villa at El Nido Resorts Pangulasian Island or Club Paradise in Coron.

Off the beaten path: For a unique and less crowded experience in Palawan, consider visiting Port Barton, a quiet fishing village with beautiful beaches and a laid-back atmosphere. You can also explore the lesser-known islands of Balabac, which boast pristine white sand beaches and turquoise waters perfect for snorkeling and swimming. Another off-the-beaten-path experience is hiking to the top of Mt. Tapyas in Coron, where you can witness a stunning panoramic view of the surrounding islands and watch the sunset.

The Best Things to Do and Visit around Palawan

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1 - Puerto Princesa

   8 km away

Puerto Princesa, officially the City of Puerto Princesa, is a 1st class highly urbanized city in the region of Mimaropa, Philippines. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 255,116 people. It is a city located in the western province of Palawan, and is the westernmost city in the Philippines.

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Puerto Princesa things to do in Palawan

2 - Immaculate Conception Cathedral

   11 km away
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Immaculate Conception Cathedral things to do in Palawan

3 - Stand Up Paddleboarding in Puerto Princesa

   14 km away

Enter the exotic and breathtaking world of the underground river by paddle boat for 45 - 60 minutes. Equipped with a search light you will enter a mystical environment exploring the pitch-dark inner recesses of this cavern. Every turn in this underground river tour provide fascinating different rock formations.

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Stand Up Paddleboarding in Puerto Princesa things to do in Palawan

4 - Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park

   45 km away

The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is a protected area of the Philippines. The park is located in the Saint Paul Mountain Range on the western coast of the island of Palawan, about 80 kilometres north of the city centre of Puerto Princesa, and contains the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River.

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Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park things to do in Palawan

5 - Shore Excursions in Puerto Princesa

   14 km away

Just 45 minutes north of the city proper, hop onto a boat and go for island hopping at Honda Bay located in the mid-eastern coast of the city. Visit to stunning islands with white sand beaches. Each island at Honda Bay offers different thrills and all great for swimming and snorkeling. NO Hidden fees. Government fees are not collected at the wharf. This is a small group tour. The guests are grouped per van.

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Shore Excursions in Puerto Princesa things to do in Palawan

6 - Kayaking Tours in Puerto Princesa

   14 km away

If you’re going to stay in Puerto Princesa, Palawan in the Philippines for at least few days, Island Hopping on the Honda Bay is one of top things to do in Palawan. It’s also one of top things that tourists would do when they’re in the area. A short boat ride from Puerto Princesa, Palawan, to Honda Bay, where you can visit multiple islands in a single day. See what Luli Island, Cowrie Island, and Starfish Islands have some time to spare to swim, snorkel (rent your own gear) for a closer view at marine life, or simply relax on a white-sand beach under the sun. Hotel pickup and included lunch makes this island-hopping experience more pleasant and a cinch to execute with little planning. Chance to observe and even get close to marine life.Convenient hotel pickup and lunch included. Honda Bay is something you cannot miss when you’re in Puerto Princesa, Palawan!  Go and grab it while you’re at it! =) Ready your go pro or water proof camera and jump on now!

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Kayaking Tours in Puerto Princesa things to do in Palawan

7 - Sightseeing Cruises in Puerto Princesa

   14 km away

Named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, there are few places in the Philippines that are as unforgettable and iconic as the natural wonders that can be found in the Underground River near Puerto Princesa city. A day tour to this breathtaking location will take you through what is now named as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. After an early morning pick up, you'll drive to Sabang Wharf before transfering by boat to the Underground River National Park. This location is not merely the access to the river: it's also a national park that is a haven for local and some endemic wildlife in the Philippines, and famous as a birdwatching site. The highlight of the tour remains as the guided paddle boat which will take you across the underground river.

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Sightseeing Cruises in Puerto Princesa things to do in Palawan

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Learn More about Palawan

Palawan, also nicknamed “the last frontier”, is a large island located in the west of the Philippines. It is the main island of the province of Palawan which is an archipelago composed of about 1 780 islands and islets. It is one of the least inhabited, greenest and probably most beautiful islands in the country. Here, one can find tropical jungle and impenetrable forests, rocky peaks, fine sandy beaches, dreamy lagoons and exceptional underwater world. In short, Palawan has quickly become a true ecological reserve and an el dorado for tourists in search of adventure. The most convenient is to rent a scooter and ride the main road between beaches and rice fields. But if you want to go from one island to another, take a motorboat. The capital of Palawan looks like a provincial town, and you will have to stroll towards its village on stilts inhabited by fishermen and its fish market. Scuba diving enthusiasts will also be delighted to visit the surroundings of Palawan, especially the very preserved Calamianes Islands in the North. Accompanied by an accredited local guide, this is the promise of an encounter with many colorful exotic fish and an unforgettable experience! The Calamian Islands, as well as El Nido, offer superb opportunities to dive among the reefs. Tubbataha Reefs National Park is a partially submerged atoll in the middle of the Sulu Sea, accessible only by boat cruise. The jungle of Palawan is a must, many waterfalls are present in the forest, the Estrella waterfall, in the south of Palawan has no less than 64 levels; it takes four days to cover them all. The forest is full of tropical species that you can meet along the way.

Frequently Asked Questions by Travelers planning a trip to Palawan

Where to stay in Palawan?

In Palawan there are many hotels where you can stay, some with direct access to the beach like El Nino Coco Resort or Floresita's Beach Resort. You can also rent a villa in a tropical setting.

There are different alternatives to travel from Manila to Palawan. Flying is the easiest and fastest option, the flight takes 1.5 hours.
The ferry is not very practical, the crossing lasts a whole day, there is only one crossing per week, so it is necessary to organize oneself accordingly.
You can also take the bus, the train or the cab, but the easiest option is still to fly.

Palawan and its cities are crossed by many side-cars. The roads are also frequented by buses and jeepneys, but the road network is in bad condition. The cities are full of solutions for urban transportation, numerous cabs and cheap tricycles. But we recommend that you travel by bicycle or rent a car with a driver who knows the area.
But the boat is the major means of transportation in the Philippines. To connect islands by sea, typical catamarans are available everywhere and are much more convenient.

   Where to Stay near Palawan

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   More Travel spots to explore around Palawan

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Discover more travel spots to explore around Palawan

  🏖️ Beach spots     ⛰️ Cliff spots     🌊‍ Ocean spots     🌲 Nature reserve spots     🌴 Tropics spots     🏖️ Lagoon spots     🏞️ Watercourse spots     🌴 Jungle spots     🚣‍♂️‍ Kayaking spots     🏨 Resort spots     Scuba diving spots     🏖️ Shore spots     🏊 Swimming pool spots     🏘️ Town spots     🤿 Underwater spots     🏖️ Archipelago spots     🐾 Wildlife spots     🏖️ Coast spots     🚴 Cycling spots     🌲 Forest spots     🏖️ Headland spots     ⛰️ Hill spots     ⛰️ Hill station spots  

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