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The Top Tourist Spots and Attractions in Palawan
Travel & Food

The Top Tourist Spots and Attractions in Palawan

The Philippines is dubbed one of the most beautiful places in the world. It’s an archipelago with over 7,107 islands, blessed with so many natural wonders, from pristine beaches to gorgeous mountains and landscapes. You can pick a random spot on a map, and, chances are, you won’t be far from a lovely vista. But now you may be wondering, which destination is the best?

Among all the islands and locations in the country, people have agreed that Palawan is the best. And for good reasons.

Why is Palawan the Best Tourist Spot?

Palawan is like a collection of the best the Philippines has to offer. If you’re looking for nature, the island province boasts stunning beaches, dazzlingly clear blue waters, and bountiful forests surrounding its mountains. If you’re more of a history buff, there are also fascinating historical sites, such as Fort Santa Isabel.

The seaside doesn’t only provide the perfect background for your Instagram Story, but visitors can join an active surfing community and enjoy other water activities! Beneath the waves, divers and snorkelers can observe the wide variety of marine life.

Foodies are in for a treat, too, as Palawan has one of the most famous food scenes in the country. Fresh seafood at almost every restaurant is a given, but Palawan also has its own spin on local favorites like lechon kawali and sisig. For more adventurous palates, you can enjoy crocodile dishes and tamilok, a local delicacy made from shell-less mollusks!

If things get a little too quiet for your liking, Palawan has a bustling nightlife! Get to know friendly locals and curious tourists while enjoying delicious meals and drinks. Every sip is made sweeter by the sights, sounds, and vibes of your surroundings.

The Top Tourist Spots and Attractions in Palawan

If you’re interested in traveling to Palawan, you should take the time to find out about the different destinations you can visit!

1. Puerto Princesa

Puerto Princesa is the capital of Palawan and will likely be your first stop when you visit the island. As the only urbanized city on the island, Puerto Princesa arguably has Palawan’s best restaurants and nightlife. It also has many resorts and hotels that can cater to many visitors. The city is the perfect starting point for visiting the various attractions in the region.

Nearby, you can take a boat tour of the Subterranean River National Park, a limestone cave with an underground river connected directly to the ocean. Ugong Rock is another popular Palawan tourist spot with fun activities like zip lining and spelunking. Of course, Puerto Princesa also has the white sand beaches associated with the island.

2. Coron

Coron is the island to go to if you’re into diving. During World War 2, many Japanese ships sunk near Coron’s waters; today,  divers can explore these wrecks. Coron also has Kayangan Lake, a mostly freshwater lake with crystal clarity surrounded by almost-surreal karst cliffs.

Coron will forever be in contention for having the best beaches in Palawan. It’s quieter than other, more popular destinations in Palawan, striking the perfect balance of calm and convenience.

3. El Nido

Coron’s louder older brother, El Nido, is the other contender for having the best beaches and is Palawan’s most popular destination. There are also more resorts and nightlife options here than in Coron. However, more amenities mean more people, which can be a blessing and a curse.

If you really want to see nature in all its glory, boat tours in El Nido show off the island’s cliffs, untouched forests, lagoons, and caves. There are also inland tours, which feature hiking and the gorgeous Nagkalit-kalit Waterfalls.

4. Port Barton in San Vicente

If you want to be away from everything—internet and gadgets included—Port Barton may be the place for you. It’s a lesser-known spot, so finding your own slice of paradise is possible. Like the other locations, island hopping tours, snorkeling, and beach days are the primary activities you can expect, just with less hustle and bustle.

Unlike El Nido, boat tours in Port Barton are less standardized, so you can ask your guide to take you to places only the locals know about. Port Barton offers the perfect setting to unplug yourself from the outside world and reconnect with nature.

7 Tips to Keep in Mind When Traveling to Palawan

Are you excited to go on your dream vacation to Palawan? Wait! There are a few things to keep in mind before you visit.

1. Always keep cash on hand.

Wallet with cash

Even with thorough research and careful planning, many places you may want to visit aren’t listed online. These surprising discoveries can be the best part of being in a new location! Keep your cash on hand, preferably in a discreet, waterproof container, to take advantage of unexpected opportunities. Many smaller establishments may not accept credit cards or even GCash.

2. Bring your medical and dietary needs with you.

If you have particular medications or dietary restrictions, bring them with you. There may not be easily accessible drugstores near the resort, and not all restaurants may not have food you can eat. Bring your favorite travel food for the long trip, so you can snack on the go.

3. Aim for the dry or off season.

The frequent tropical storms the Philippines experiences can ruin your perfect beach trip. To minimize the odds of that happening, try to aim for the peak of the dry season: March, April, and May.

Alternatively, you can aim for June through August, the wettest months, to avoid the crowds and take advantage of rainy season discounts. While less crowded and expensive, there’s a higher chance of rain throughout these months. It’s up to you if you want to risk it.

4. Prepare for sudden power outages.

Phone with power bank and charger cable

The unspoiled nature of Palawan comes with the drawback of less infrastructure, especially in the more remote islands. Prepare for power outages and areas without cell reception or an internet connection. Power banks are a must for any Palawan trip.

5. Plan, but not too closely.

Whenever you go on vacation, it’s best to have an itinerary to sample all a place has to offer. Make reservations for lodgings and other high-traffic activities and establishments, like popular bars or restaurants.

However, a strict itinerary can sometimes get in the way of experiencing a new environment, so don’t be afraid to leave a day or two open for exploration and relaxation.

6. Follow local regulations.

Palawan has strict environmental regulations to maintain the island’s natural beauty and cleanliness. There are rules for visiting local cultural sites and indigenous groups. It would help to read them before visiting and avoid littering. The island is home to almost a million people, so be mindful while you visit their home province.

7. Double-check any required documents.

Passport and tickets

You may need proof of vaccination before getting plane tickets, so bring your vax card or digital vaccine certificate. International vacationers may require a passport and a visa, if applicable. It would be best to always carry them with you, maybe in the same container as your on-hand cash and valuables.

Enjoying Palawan On The Go

From its fascinating historical sites to its unparalleled beaches and waters, Palawan has something for everyone! No words can describe how beautiful and relaxing the island is, so you should make it a point to experience what this wonderful destination has to offer. 

As you journey to this tropical paradise, do know that your vacation will be much more enjoyable with a reliable mobile connection—whether it’s for keeping in touch with family and friends or sharing your memorable Palawan moments on social media. International travelers can get Globe’s Traveler SIM while locals can power their trip with the right Postpaid plan or Prepaid promo.

Can’t wait to experience more of the wonders of the Philippines? Make sure to check our Travel and Food blog regularly.

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