A Paradise Haven for Island Seekers
If your tropical daydreams are made of dipping your toes in turquoise waters, discovering secret lagoons, marveling at the beauty of limestone cliffs, and exploring shipwrecks, Palawan is sure to take your breath away.
Palawan as the Best Island of the World 2020
Hailed as the “Best Island in the World” in 2020 by world-famous travel magazine Travel + Leisure. Palawan topped the readers’ votes for the fourth time. It has overtaken other popular summer destinations like Bali, Koh Lanta, Sicily, Langkawi and Bora-Bora.
The Last Frontier of the Philippines
Nestled on the western part of the Philippines is an archipelago of more than 1,700 islands. It is the country’s “last ecological frontier.” Your trip to Palawan will surely be a holiday to remember whether you’re a nature lover or an adrenaline junkie. It has pristine beaches, rich underwater life, lush jungles and friendly locals. It’s the perfect place to create new memories with your family, friends and loved ones. Backpackers and solo travelers from all over the world can’t help but fall in love with it, too!
Palawan’s tourism industry is booming. It paved the way for the growing number of both luxury and budget-friendly hotels, resorts, inns, apartments and Airbnbs. You can also own an affordable condo in Palawan if you are planning to settle down in this paradise.
So what does tropical bliss look like? Just imagine yourself boating around postcard-worthy locations, swimming with sea turtles, hiking exhilarating trails, enjoying a buffet of delicious seafood and watching the romantic sunset from a hammock.
Are you ready to hop on the plane when travel restrictions are over? Let’s check out some of the best things to do in Palawan:
1. GO ISLAND-HOPPING
A trip to Palawan won’t be complete without an island-hopping tour. It is whether you are in El Nido, Puerto Princesa or Coron. It might be impossible to cover every island during your short stay in El Nido. Yet, you could have a taste of everything by taking a boat tour around your chosen spots.
A visual feast awaits as you’ll be greeted by the out-of-this-world attractions of Bacuit archipelago. It has its mesmerizing rock formations and lagoons. There are also hidden beaches and coves that is carved out of a Disney movie! Swim, snorkel, ride a kayak and breathe in the beautiful scenery.
Some of the must-sees are Miniloc Island (Big Lagoon, Small Lagoon, Secret Lagoon), Matinloc Island (Secret Beach and Hidden Beach), and the Seven Commandos Beach.
If you’re in Puerto Princesa, don’t miss the chance to book the famous Honda Bay tour. This is where you can bask in the sun. You can also soak in the clear, aquamarine waters of Starfish Island, Cowrie Island and Luli Island.
Coron is a natural enchantress, too. Make sure to tick these stunning places off your bucket list: Kayangan Lake, Siete Pecados and Twin Lagoon.
Bonus part is, these day tours usually include a delectable local boodle fight to complete your island experience in Palawan!
2. SAIL INTO THE UNDERGROUND RIVER
Cruise through the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park. It is also known as the Underground River. See for yourself why this hidden jewel was bestowed with prestigious honorifics. Namely, a “UNESCO World Heritage Site” and chosen as one of the “New 7 Wonders of Nature.”
The 8 km-long crowd darling in Palawan’s capital is one of the world’s longest underground rivers. It features diverse species, limestone karsts, stalagmite and stalactite formations, large chambers and tropical rainforest. Patrolling the cave entrance are crab-eating monkeys and monitor lizards.
As you paddle through the dark cavern, listen to the stories of your local boatman. You will hear bats squeaking and water dripping as your background music. You can go bird-watching too!
3. SURF AT DULI BEACH
If you think that the surfing scene in the Philippines is only confined to Siargao, Baler or La Union, think again. Palawan is at it, too!
Around 45 minutes away from El Nido’s town proper reached via scooter is a secret surf spot called Duli Beach. This is where you can catch the waves, chill in a secluded haven and meet kind locals who will gladly give you some awesome surfing lessons.
Nice swells are expected from November to April, the best months for surfing here in Palawan. If you love taking the off-the-beaten path while traveling to avoid touristy locations, this is the ideal place for you to relax. Whether you want to ride the board to awaken your adventurous soul or you just want to retreat from the huge crowd, head on to Duli Beach and experience its laid-back vibe first hand.
4. DEEP DIVE INTO AQUATIC LIFE AND SHIPWRECKS
While El Nido is home to breathtaking beaches, Coron’s charm is in its ethereal underwater world that paints a thousand words.
Coron is a famed snorkelling and scuba diving destination in the Philippines so expect your jaws to drop as you witness its rich marine life, vibrant coral reefs and lovely sea creatures.
Don’t forget to bring your go pro camera to document the colorful marine biodiversity of places such as the Barracuda Lake, Siete Pecados and Lusong Coral Garden.
History enthusiasts can also travel back in time and explore the haunting World War II Japanese shipwrecks like the Okikawa Maru, Irako Maru and Akitsushima Maru in Coron Bay. Sunk by the US forces in 1944, the remnants of these fleets are now popular to wreck divers who have their excursions in Palawan.
5. VISIT SAN VICENTE
If hanging out in tourist-laden places is not your style, why not consider having a beach escapade a few hours away from El Nido and Puerto Princesa?
Once you get to the municipality of San Vicente in Palawan, you can choose to stay in the country’s longest white sand beach called Long Beach or in a small fishing village known as Port Barton.
Although tourism is slowly picking up in the area, it is still less crowded compared to the more popular destinations in Palawan like El Nido, Puerto Princesa and Coron.
The serene, laid-back atmosphere in this part of Palawan is so inviting especially if you need some quiet time to think and disconnect from your worries. Here you can enjoy the same awe-inspiring views minus the swarms of tourists.
Island-hopping, waterfall trekking, camping and kayaking are some of the things you can do in Palawan’s hidden gem. This remote paradise will soon be discovered by more vacationers so why not come and visit while it’s still untouched?
6. WATCH MAGICAL FIREFLIES
How does firefly-watching while cruising on a boat sound to you?
A magical experience awaits for those who will witness the gleaming spectacle of the paddle boat ride. It will traverse along Iwahig River in Puerto Princesa. It will surely be one memorable night for couples, kids and the young at heart. This bewitching scene of dancing fireflies that illuminate the mangroves and trees under the stars is like a fulfillment of one’s fairytale dreams. Make the moment more special by stargazing, identifying the constellations and sharing your most unforgettable Palawan travel stories.
7. CLIMB MT. TAPYAS
For those who want to stretch a muscle after lounging at the beach and pigging out on scrumptious seafood the whole day, a hike to the top of Mt. Tapyas might be a good idea.
The best part is you can view the stunning Coron sunset from here! However, witnessing such a splendid beauty won’t be a walk in the park because you would need to climb more than 700 steps to reach the top. Make sure to keep yourself hydrated during the hike because the heat in Palawan could be unforgiving especially during summer.
After the tiring trek, it’s time for you to relax, so head straight to Maquinit Hot Springs for a soothing dip!
8. FEAST ON LOCAL CUISINES
Aside from the scenery, one of the things we look forward to when traveling is the food. While lots of restaurants in Palawan now cater to international flavors, don’t you think it’s still best to get to know a new place through its local dishes?
It’s no secret that Palawan’s specialty is its fresh seafood like crabs, lobsters, fish and shrimps. These mouthwatering delights are abundant in the island and are usually the star of the boodle fight in boat tours. There are also plenty of seafood restaurants that offer their fresh catch of the day depending on your taste and budget.
If you’re a fan of eating exotic dishes, why not give Crocodile Sisig a try? It certainly gives a new twist to the popular Filipino dish. The usual Filipino sisig is made from chopped pig’s head and chicken liver. Another must-try local delicacy in Palawan is Tamilok, which is often called a woodworm. However, the slimy creature is not actually a worm. It’s a mollusk or a shell-less saltwater clam harvested from rotting mangrove trees. Will you dare to take a bite?
9. CHASE WATERFALLS IN NARRA
Here’s another off-the-beaten track that is worth-visiting: Estrella Falls found in the Narra town, the rice granary of Palawan. This river has earned the reputation of being the “cleanest inland body of water” in a national competition in the river category.
A few kilometers away from Puerto Princesa is a secret paradise surrounded by virgin forest and rich flora and fauna located near Mt. Victoria. After touring around the city to see its main tourist attractions, you can enjoy the cascading cool splash of Estrella Falls, which was recognized as the cleanest inland body of water in 2002.
Aside from taking a refreshing dip, you can also have a picnic here with your friends and family while basking in nature’s beauty. For those who crave for more adventure, you can also camp by the river and trek to the other scenic waterfalls in the area like the Inuman Banog Falls and Sultan Falls.
If you can’t get enough of chasing waterfalls, be ready for some action as there are more than 60 of them along the Estrella River!
10. CATCH THE SUNSET AT LAS CABANAS
Nothing beats the feeling of capping the day with a pretty sunset. Imagine lounging on a beach bean bag with a good book and a mango smoothie. Las Cabanas Beach is the perfect location for that when you’re in El Nido, Palawan.
If you’re looking for a place to sunbathe, swim and chill, you can check out this beach which is located a few minutes away from the town proper and is accessible via tricycle or a motorbike. There are also several bars and restaurants that offer great food and drinks for those who want to relax after a full day of island-hopping activities.
There’s a zipline too if you wish to give in to that adrenaline rush! Aside from Las Cabanas, other well-recommended places to watch the glorious golden hour are Lio, Nacpan and Corong-Corong. Ready to record that magical timelapse?
Life in Palawan is bustling with endless adventures and surprises. Even if you plan on staying there for over a month, you will never run out of islands to explore and activities to try. There is also a perfect mix of rural and urban lifestyle – you can indulge yourself in its natural landscapes and seascapes while enjoying the convenience of malls and public transport.
Because of its geographical location on the western part of the Philippines, Palawan is rarely hit by typhoons so it’s typically a safe place for you to settle down.
Suggested Read: Top Reasons Why Siargao is Asia’s Best Island for 2021
Looking for an affordable condo in Palawan?
If you’re seriously thinking about starting an investment or eventually living in Palawan where island and city living is made possible, Camella Manors Verdant in Puerto Princesa (the gateway to El Nido and Coron) is the ideal place for you to gain the best of both worlds.
The Verdant, situated in a highly urbanized city with a strong investment potential and a booming business district, is the newest and one of the most affordable mid-rise condominiums of Vista Land in Gabinete Road, Brgy. Bancao-Bancao, Palawan.
The Verdant is strategically located near beaches, malls, schools, hospitals, lifestyle centers and other major attractions and is only 10 minutes away from the Puerto Princesa International Airport as well as the Port of Puerto Princesa.
Owning an affordable condo in Palawan have perks to enjoy. The amenities of the 5,075-sqm resort-type development will captivate your island lifestyle. The amenities are swimming pool, kiddie pool, fitness gym, club house, play park and commercial area. For everyone’s safety and security, The Verdant has other building features such as CCTV cameras 24/7 and electric perimeter fence.
The Verdant’s Building 1 will soon be ready for occupancy in the first quarter of this year. On the other hand, the second building is already pre-selling its units. It is expected to be done by the fourth quarter of 2021. The Verdant has seven floors and 266 units available.