Falling in love with Palawan’s ethereal beauty is almost too natural for Filipino beachgoers and other global travelers who set foot in this best island paradise nestled in the western part of the Philippines.
Everything about this holiday destination is a feast for the eyes – its emerald green waters, mysterious lagoons, towering limestone cliffs, and sunsets straight out of a painting. If you’re already mesmerized by these gems, wait until you see the underwater jungle of the country’s “last ecological frontier” which is teeming with Japanese shipwrecks, coral reefs, and other aquatic life.
It seems that the rest of the world has come to know about what was once a well-kept secret in Southeast Asia. This archipelago of more than 1,700 islands and islets earned the laurels of being the “Best Island in the World” in 2020, a distinction bestowed by New York-based magazine Travel + Leisure. Topping the readers’ votes for the fourth time, the remote island province bested other well-known summer destinations like Bali, Koh Lanta, Sicily, Langkawi, and Bora-Bora.
Knowing the Best Island in the World
Palawan also made it to the list of the world’s best islands by Condé Nast Traveler for its 2020 Readers’ Choice Awards, placing fourth in the Asia category. The prestigious travel publication even featured El Nido as one of the “25 Best Island Beaches in the World” in its 33rd annual survey last year.
Along with Boracay, Palawan was cited in a Forbes article last year that recognized the Philippines as one of the “rising stars in travel” which is expected to become a tourism hotspot in the post-pandemic era, along with Ethiopia, Iran, Myanmar, Georgia, Slovenia, and Tunisia. The write-up commended both island destinations for their white sand beaches and rich flora and fauna species.
Visiting this tropical utopia tucked between the islands of Mindoro and Borneo will take you to a medley of nature and adventure, chill and thrill, colors and flavors. You can just read a book or sunbathe on a secluded beach or go spelunking if you’re not faint-hearted. And of course, no vacation is complete without a taste of the place’s local cuisines and exotic delicacies!
Now that the Philippines’ secret paradise is out, let’s list down some of the main reasons why Palawan deserves the title “Best Island in the World.”
Palawan’s natural attractions will take your breath away
Brimming with out-of-this-world landscapes and seascapes, Palawan has an abundance of islands and beaches that holidaymakers can explore during their trip. El Nido is the gateway to the jaw-dropping allures of Bacuit Archipelago, which is known for its lagoons, coves, karst cliffs, and white-sand beaches. The turquoise waters of Miniloc Island are indeed one of the crowd darlings with the famed Big Lagoon, Small Lagoon, and Secret Lagoon.
Another unspoiled paradise that will steal your heart is El Nido’s Hidden Beach in Matinloc Island which was included in Condé Nast Traveller’s list of “The 30 Best Beaches in the World” last year. If you wish to escape the bustling town proper, Nacpan Beach (with its twin Calitang) is the place to go. It’s a secluded haven with creamy white sand where you can relax and take a dip away from the crowd.
Puerto Princesa City also has its charms like Honda Bay where you can satisfy your wanderlust in the azure waters of Starfish Island, Cowrie Island, and Luli Island. Iwahig River is also a must-see attraction if you want to have a magical firefly-watching experience with your loved ones. On the other hand, some of Coron’s postcard-worthy places to visit are Kayangan Lake, Twin Lagoon, and Banul Beach due to their pristine beauty that will leave anyone in awe. Taking a breather from island-hopping tours by pampering yourself at Maquinit Hot Springs is also a perfect way to replenish your energy.
The underwater treasures of Palawan are worth diving for.
Coron is a slice of heaven for scuba divers and snorkelers. It’s almost like a different world underwater – surreal and filled with mystery waiting to unfold before the eyes of anyone who dares to discover its hidden marvels. Schools of fish, colorful corals, sea turtles, and other marine life comprise its enchanting aquatic garden. Some of the famous snorkeling and dive sites in Coron are Siete Pecados, Lusong Coral Garden, and Barracuda Lake.
Adventure lovers and history buffs will also have a blast exploring the World War II Japanese shipwrecks such as the Okikawa Maru, Irako Maru, and Akitsushima Maru in Coron Bay. The remnants of these vessels that were sunk by the US forces in 1944 are very popular to wreck divers around the world.
It is home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999, the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is one of the world’s longest navigable underground rivers. The 22,202-hectare property in Palawan’s capital city has an 8.2-kilometer-long underground river that boasts of striking limestone karsts, stalagmite, and stalactite formations, diverse species, large chambers, and tropical rainforest.
The Underground River is also hailed as one of the “New 7 Wonders of Nature” based on the results of a global poll, joining the ranks of the Amazon, Halong Bay, Iguazu Falls, Jeju Island, Komodo, and Table Mountain. A local boatman will guide you while cruising through the dark cavern with the squeaking of bats and the dripping of water as your background music. Bird-watching is also a fun activity during the tour of this national treasure.
The island flavors will tantalize your taste buds.
If you think Palawan is all about a visual feast, think again. It can also host a party for your tummy! Palawan is a great place to enjoy a popular tradition in the Filipino culture known as the boodle fight or kamayan, where a variety of delicious food is served on banana leaves, and people eat with their bare hands.
Tourists will get the chance to socialize and pig out on a fiesta of fresh seafood like crabs, shrimps, mussels, grilled squid, and Bangus (milkfish). Palawan’s bizarre dishes are also a must-try for adventurous souls. Tamilok (also called woodworm or shipworm) is a long and slimy delicacy that is not a worm but a mollusk just like snails and scallops. This shell-less saltwater clam harvested from rotting mangrove trees and deadwood is served in many local eateries in Palawan.
There’s also the crocodile sisig, which is an exotic twist to the popular Kapampangan cuisine. It uses crocodile meat as the main ingredient instead of the chopped pig’s head and chicken liver that make up the traditional sizzling pork sisig. Nido soup is also a famous and expensive delicacy in Palawan made of edible bird nests (dried saliva of the balinsasayaw or swiftlets).
It is believed to have many nutritional and medicinal benefits in traditional Chinese medicine. For your appetizer or side dish, try Palawan’s ensaladang lato, a salad made of edible seaweed also known as sea grapes or green caviar. Lato is not just flavorful; it’s also rich in vitamins and minerals.
There are plenty of activities to boost your adrenaline rush.
So you’ve had enough of lounging on the beach? It’s time for some exciting outdoor adventures with your friends! You can hike Mt. Tapyas to see the beautiful Coron sunset. It’s not a walk in the park because you have to climb more than 700 steps to reach the top. Is spelunking or ziplining your thing? Go to Ugong Rock in Barangay Tagabinet, Puerto Princesa City, a 75-foot limestone rock formation that’s considered an ecotourism destination.
Aside from the traditional ziplines, it also has a bamboo zip bike adventure (a combo of bamboo-made bike and zipline) for an added thrill! If you want to see the picturesque bird’s eye view of Coron, you can try parasailing. Other fun water activities include banana boat rides, fly fish rides and jet skiing. Want to chase waterfalls? Trek to El Nido’s Nagkalit-kalit Waterfalls and pass through the rice fields, rivers and jungle before taking a refreshing dip into the natural pool.
There’s also a secret surfing spot here.
Surfing in the Philippines is often associated with these three favorites – Siargao, Baler, and La Union. But there’s also a beautiful, secluded beach in Palawan that can be considered a surfer’s paradise. Reached via scooter around 45 minutes from the town proper is Duli Beach, where the locals give surfing lessons to tourists who want to learn the sport.
The atmosphere in Duli is pretty laid-back so you can just chill and ride the board with the friendly surfers of El Nido. The best time to catch the waves in this secret haven is from November to April so expect nice swells during these months.
Sunsets in Palawan are nothing short of magical.
After a tiring day of island-hopping, what can be better than spending the golden hour with your special someone or travel buddies while sipping cocktails on a lovely beach? Palawan is famed for its unforgettable sunsets that paint a thousand words. You can simply savor the magic moment and take photographs or time-lapse videos of the majestic sundown.
Some of the best spots for sunset chasing are Las Cabanas, Lio, Nacpan, and Corong-Corong Beach in El Nido. How about getting on the mat for a sunset yoga session with your pals in a gorgeous hillside boutique glamping hotel? Pure bliss!
It has the longest white sand beach in the Philippines.
If you want to go off the beaten path after enjoying your holiday in Puerto Princesa, El Nido, and Coron, check out the first-class municipality of San Vicente, which is around three hours away from the capital city. In this town, you will find the country’s longest white sand beach. Living up to its name, the 14.7-kilometer Long Beach spanning the coastline of four barangays—Poblacion, New Agutaya, San Isidro, Alimanguan—is approximately three times longer than the White Beach of Boracay.
Make sure to experience this untouched paradise at the edge of a lush forest before it becomes packed with tourists. Although it’s still a bit underrated for now, this immaculate, coconut tree-fringed shoreline is expected to become a prime tourist spot with the inauguration of the San Vicente Airport in 2018 and other major infrastructure projects. San Vicente was also designated as the first flagship Tourism Enterprise Zone of the Philippines.
Aside from Long Beach, a small fishing village known as Port Barton is worth visiting if you’re in San Vicente, Palawan. It’s also an ideal location if you’re looking for a serene atmosphere where you can take a much-needed respite from your busy life while gazing at magnificent sceneries.
Indeed, Palawan is blessed with breathtaking places and hospitable locals. If you can’t get enough of this dream island destination, you can opt to buy a resort-themed condo in Puerto Princesa City and make it the jump-off point of your next beach adventures in El Nido, Coron, and San Vicente. It can also serve as your vacation home in Palawan or a source of passive income if you rent out your unit to tenants.
Make the Best Island in the World your Home
Now you don’t have to choose between living your dream island and a city lifestyle!
Camella Manors Verdant, an RFO condo in Palawan, is whereyou can take pleasure in the blend of rural and urban living as you travel to the breathtaking sites of Puerto Princesa and other nearby places, use the condo’s luxurious amenities and have access to the public transport and malls in the city.
The Verdant’s posh amenities include the swimming pool, kiddie pool, fitness gym, clubhouse, play park, and commercial area. The Verdant also has security features like CCTV cameras 24/7 and an electric perimeter fence for your safety and peace of mind.
This affordable condo for sale in Palawan is only 10 minutes away from the Puerto Princesa International Airport and the Port of Puerto Princesa. You can go to beaches, hospitals, schools, malls, lifestyle centers, and other major attractions in no time. Ongoing infrastructure developments in the area will possibly increase business and commercial engagements in the city.
This condo for sale is the newest and one of the most affordable mid-rise condominiums of Vista Land located in Gabinete Road, Brgy. Bancao-Bancao, Palawan. The 5,075-square meter condo village features two 7-story structures with a total of 532 units for both buildings. Each building of The Verdant has studio, 1-bedroom, and 2-bedroom units.
For inquiries and information about the property, go to Camella Manors’ official website. Come home to The Verdant now!