With the undeniable beauty of Palawan, it has already become a regular on the list of the world’s best islands of international travel magazines. Of course, this doesn’t come as a surprise. From the clear blue-green waters of lagoons and colorful reefs to pristine white beaches, what more can you ask for? The Palawan tourist spot has been the talk of the town, the world rather, because of its magnificent charm.
Palawan is home to nature reserves on both land and sea, marine gardens of giant clams, sea turtles nesting on white-sand beaches, hundreds of species of butterflies, and lush palm forest.
The list may be long but trust us, you’ll ask for more!
Puerto Princesa City
Puerto Princesa City is the capital of Palawan. It is called the Eco-Tourism Center of the Philippines and is mainly a gateway to El Nido. In Puerto Princesa, you’ll find a decent food scene, some nightlife, and a growing number of boutique hotels.
1. Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park
This is one of the most frequented Puerto Princesa tourist spots. (Rightfully so!) The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature. It is also one of the longest underground rivers in the world, traveling five miles through a subterranean cave system. Tourists will see karsts—natural rock formations created by dissolving limestone—loom in every direction.
2. Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center
If you’re an animal lover, you will surely have a blast at Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center, one of the best places to visit in Puerto Princesa. It is where Palawan Crocodile Farm is located, which not only serves as the home of various crocodile species but is also a research center that educates visitors about these creatures. Aside from the crocodile farm, there are also aviaries where you’ll see various species of birds.
3. Baker’s Hill
Baker’s Hill is a well-known pasalubong (gift store) in Puerto Princesa. They sell various pastries and cakes that will surely fill your tummy. Most tourists in Puerto Princesa never miss Baker’s Hill and always have one or two boxes of their homemade pastries in their carry-ons for their loved ones back home. But other than being a pasalubong store, Baker’s Hill has also become one of the most famous Puerto Princesa tourist spots because of its Instagram-worthy areas such as the mini zoo and a collection of life-sized cartoon statues.
4. Honda Bay
If you think you can’t enjoy an island like Puerto Princesa, think again ‘cause it’s more than just city sights. There you’ll find Honda Bay where various white beaches are located. Through an island-hopping tour, tourists can visit its numerous islands, which are all unique from each other. The best Puerto Princesa beaches are in Luli Island, Starfish Island, and Cowrie Island.
5. Iwahig Firefly Watching Mangrove Ecotourism And Wildlife Park
A tour at the Iwahig River and Park will give you a magical treat as you witness an enchanting group of shining fireflies twinkling within the mangroves that line the riverbank. The tour is guided by a local who talks about these critters, the Iwahig environment, and even constellations. It’s a great tour for couples who want a naturally romantic setting and for children who have an affinity for anything whimsical. Don’t miss Iwahig Ecotourism and Wildlife Park as it is among the best places to visit in Puerto Princesa.
El Nido is on the northwestern-most tip of mainland Palawan. It is famous for its luxurious resorts and prized birds’ nest soup. But whether you stay in the budget side of town or on its exclusive islands, you would still enjoy the beauty of El Nido.
6. Secret Lagoon
Secret Lagoon is an exciting Palawan tourist spot to visit. It is literally one of Miniloc Island’s best-kept secrets as it is hidden by massive karst cliffs. To get there, you’ll crawl through a small hole to get through and once you’re inside, you’ll discover the stunning Secret Lagoon’s cool, blue waters. Secret Lagoon is definitely a great El Nido Palawan tourist spot.
7. Big and Small Lagoons
The Big and Small Lagoons are staples in El Nido’s tour itinerary. Both lagoons are surrounded by limestone cliffs and feature crystal clear waters which make them perfect for swimming and snorkeling. You can also rent kayaks and paddle along the surface.
8. Shimizu Island
This island is an El Nido Palawan tourist spot and one of the best snorkeling spots in El Nido. It is named after a late Japanese scuba diver who’s believed to have died in an underwater tunnel on this island. Through its crystal-clear waters, one can discover an abundant reef inhabited by the corals and various fishes.
9. Seven Commandos Beach
With a long stretch of fine white sand, 7 Commandos Beach is an absolute paradise for beach bums who not only want to take a dip or snorkel, but also want to take a rest, sunbathe, and play along the shore.
10. Nacpan and Calitang Beach
The twin beaches of Nacpan and Calitang are the only beaches you can visit by land via a tricycle or motorcycle. These two are said to be among the best beaches in El Nido. Nacpan is an El Nido Palawan tourist spot that boasts a 4-kilometer shoreline lined with soft golden sand. While Calitang has a shorter shoreline albeit dotted with white sand. You can also get a sweeping view of the beaches on the bend where these twin beaches meet.
Oh, Coron! What’s not to love about it? Coron leaves its visitors struck by the number of islands dotting the sea, beautiful Coral Garden with massive corals stretching to several meters visible through crystal-clear water, rolling landscape, red soil, and lush palm forest.
11. Kayangan Lake
Blessed with clear waters perfect for swimming, Kayangan Lake is dubbed as the “cleanest lake in the Philippines” and some consider it as the cleanest lake in Asia. It is bordered by tall limestone formations and if you want a view of the entire place, you can just climb up a 300-step hill for a picture-perfect view. It might be a bit of a trek but the views are worth the effort. The lake is warm and inviting. That’s why tourists love Kayangan Lake and considered it as the top Coron Palawan tourist spot.
12. Twin Lagoons
Twin Lagoons, also known as hidden lagoons, offer a one-of-a-kind experience that you shouldn’t miss. The lagoons are essentially two small lakes that have been created inside limestone cliffs and are fed by the turquoise ocean water. When the tide is low, the surface of the water lays below a beautiful limestone archway, where you can swim through to the other lagoon. As you swim, you’ll pass through warm and cold spots that just add to the strangely wonderful experience. Twin Lagoons is definitely a great Coron Palawan tourist spot.
13. Barracuda Lake
Barracuda Lake is one of the island’s renowned scuba diving spots. The water of the lake is a combination of freshwater and saltwater, which is why divers will experience temperature shifts from cold to warm.
14. Siete Pecados Marine Park
Photo source: Wikimedia Commons
If you’re looking for the best of Coron’s marine life, it can be found at Siete Pecados Marine Park. You’ll be amazed at how glorious this natural creation is because beyond its cool and clear waters, lies a diverse of corals and tropical fishes you can only discover through snorkeling. You shouldn’t also miss the 7 limestone formations where the place was named. Trust us, you’ll miss out a lot if you don’t visit this Palawan tourist spot.
15. Calauit Safari Park
Calauit Safari Park will give you a piece of an African safari with all the wild animals roaming freely. This was established in 1976 by the former dictator Ferdinand Marcos. The park is home to many wild animals such as giraffes, zebras, antelopes and even animals endemic to the area such as the Calamian deer.
16. Mt. Tapyas
Tourists flock to Mt. Tapyas to get a panoramic view of Coron. It is also a great place to see the sunset. There’s also a giant cross and letters spelling “Coron,” there that lights at night. But the journey doesn’t come easy as you have to take 721 steps to the view deck. Don’t worry, the trek is worth it when you finally reach this Palawan tourist spot.
17. Malcapuya Island
A tropical getaway is never complete without beaches. Malcapuya Island is one of the many pristine beaches Coron boasts. You can enjoy the sun and just laze all day on the fine white powdery sand of the island. And if you’re lucky, you’ll get to enjoy the beach all to yourself— what a great way to spend a day at this Palawan tourist spot, right?
18. Maquinit Hot Spring
Now, if you want to take a break from wading in the cool waters of the sea and relax in warm therapeutic waters instead, go for a dip in a hot spring! Unlike usual hot springs of fresh water, Maquinit is a natural saltwater hot spring and is actually one of the few in the world.
Palawan truly captivates everyone’s hearts. There’s something about it that makes people fall for its charm. And with pictures like these, you can easily see why.
Frequently Asked Questions About Palawan Islands
Q: Where are the Palawan Islands located?
A: Located in the Western Visayas region, Palawan is the fifth largest island of the Philippines. The capital city is Puerto Princesa.
Q: Is Palawan open for tourists 2022?
A: Palawan is currently under Alert Level 2. All tourists need to present their vaccinations card. If unvaccinated, a negative RT-PCR test results is required. Check here to read more travel requirements.
Q: Is Palawan worth visiting?
A: Absolutely! With its white beaches, breathtaking rock formations, crystal clear lagoons, and more, Palawan is surely a slice of heaven.
Q: How many hours is the travel from Manila to Palawan?
A: It takes approximately 3hrs and 30mins including all transfers to get to Palawan from Manila.
Q: How to travel to Palawan Island?
A: The most common way to travel to Palawan is by riding a plane, with Puerto Princesa as the main jump-off. However, there are flights going to El Nido, Coron, and San Vicente.
Q: How many islands are there in Palawan?
A: There are roughly 1,780 islands in Palawan.
Q: Is Palawan the most beautiful island in the world?
A: Palawan was recognized as the “best island in the world” in a survey conducted by renowned international travel magazine Travel+Leisure, a New York-based travel magazine, where the island topped with 94.83 points.
Q: What are the best things to do in Palawan?
A: There are a lot of things to do in this beautiful island namely:
- Swim on the beaches of El Nido
- Island Hop in Honda Bay
- Visit Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center
- Rent kayaks in Big and Small Lagoon
- Watch fireflies in Ihawig
- Admire the beauty of Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, and more!
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