12 Things to do in Palawan + Tourist Spots

Palawan is home to the Philippines’ most spectacular seascapes and island views. It had easily had easily topped my list of beautiful  tourist spots in the Philippines  from the moment I first made my way to the province many years ago. I have always looked forward to seeing it again because there are so many exciting places to visit, too many to fit in one trip.

Palawan is big. It is its own archipelago composed of roughly 1,780 islands and islets. It isn’t so overwhelmingly massive that you cannot see a lot in one trip, but getting between places takes a while, especially if you are hopping from one island to the next.

If you have 3 days to spend on your vacation, maximize your experience in one destination. Choose between #1, #2 or #3 on this list. If you have one week, you may be able to visit all three, in a rush. To enjoy a more relaxed pace, I recommend that you spend two weeks in Palawan, or more!

Here’s a list of beautiful places to visit in Palawan including top things to do & the best Palawan tourist spots.

To make your trip planning easy, I’ve added links to the locations on Google Maps. Feel free to click/tap on the links posted. Then, use the “save” feature on the Google Maps app. Seeing all your saved locations on the map will help you get started on planning your Palawan itinerary and know the best areas to stay, near places you want to go.

See also: El Nido Itinerary + Travel Guide , 22 Things to do in Puerto Princesa + Tourist Spots , Best Travel Apps .

View all travel tips on: Palawan .

best tourist destination in palawan

Island hopping tour at Bacuit Bay, in El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

Location : Palawan province, west central Philippines . Save on Google Maps .

You will find dramatic “over water” scenery in El Nido, located on the northernmost tip of mainland Palawan. This place is not just about pretty sandy beaches and mesmerizing waters. Its islands are filled with towering karst mountains that serve as the perfect backdrop for adventures in this tropical paradise.

How to go :

Most travelers arrive in El Nido on a 1.5-hour flight to Puerto Princesa Airport (PPS), followed by a 5 to 6-hour shuttle ride. If you want to skip the long land journey, fly directly to El Nido from Manila (1 hour), Cebu or Boracay-Caticlan. This is the fastest but more expensive way. For adventurous travelers who want to maximize their trip, book a flight to Coron-Busuanga Airport (USU) and continue the sea journey to El Nido by ferry.

El Nido Travel Essentials

Where to stay Tours + discounts Check Fares

Top discounts

El Nido Tour A – Lagoons and Beaches Island Hopping

El Nido Tour C – Hidden Beaches and Shrines Island Hopping

Puerto Princesa – El Nido Shuttle Transfers

best tourist destination in palawan

See more : El Nido travel tips

21 Things to do in El Nido + Tourist Spots

More reasons to visit El Nido

Go island hopping around Bacuit Bay islands  — See amazing underwater and “over water” views of El Nido. These islands are found just off the coast of the town proper.

Explore inland El Nido  — See Nacpan and Calitang, the twin beaches of El Nido as well as other natural spots like Makinit Hot Springs, Nagkalit-kalit Waterfalls, Kuyawayaw Waterfalls & Sibaltan Beach.

Take a sunset stroll along Corong-Corong and Marimegmeg Beaches  — Get away from the crowded main beach of El Nido and enjoy peaceful late afternoon views. These sandy shores can be reached on a quick tricycle ride from the town proper.

Try the Bird’s Nest soup  — This rare and often expensive Chinese delicacy is made from the nest of swiftlets (Balinsasayaw) that are harvested in El Nido. One kilogram of the edible nest can fetch prices of up to USD1,000 in Hong Kong and the US. Get a taste of it in El Nido, where it is a lot cheaper.

Book your trip to Palawan

Before you start ticking goals off your bucketlist, here are travel essentials & discounts you’ll need to check. Pre-book online for a hassle-free trip! Click below to compare rates & read reviews:

Palawan Hotels Tours + discounts Flights Airport transfers

Popular tours & discounts booked by other travelers:

Puerto Princesa Underground River Day Tour w/ Buffet Lunch

Port Barton Island Hopping from San Vicente (Join-In Tour)

Honda Bay Island Hopping Tour

Coron Tour A

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2. Puerto Princesa

Puerto Princesa is the capital and major flight gateway in Palawan, especially popular among El Nido-bound tourists. Stay for a few days to explore beautiful spots around the city. Start with a trip to Puerto Princesa Underground River, the 2nd longest navigable underground river in the world, listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and New7Wonders of Nature. Then, spend a day beach bumming and snorkeling on an island hopping tour around Honda Bay. Don’t leave without exploring sights in the city center and feasting on fresh seafood in many beachside restaurants.

Puerto Princesa is around 1.5 hours southwest of Manila by plane. Princesa Airport serves direct flights from Manila, Cebu, Iloilo, Clark, and Davao. Fly with Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific or AirAsia. You can also go by ferry on the RORO bus from Manila or Iloilo.

Puerto Princesa Travel Essentials

best tourist destination in palawan

See more : Puerto Princesa travel tips

22 Things to do in Puerto Princesa + Tourist Spots

More reasons to visit Puerto Princesa

Visit the Puerto Princesa Underground River  — Getting there takes 1 hour by land from the city center. The jump-off point is scenic Sabang Beach.

Island hopping tour in Honda Bay  — There are many beach fringed islands here. The most popular for swimming and snorkeling are Luli Island, Starfish Island, Pandan Island and Cowrie Island. You can find upscale Dos Palmas  Island Resort and Spa in Arreceffi Island.

Spelunking and ziplining at Ugong Rock  — Found along the way to Puerto Princesa Underground River.

See the fireflies and mangrove forest at Iwahig .

Go dolphin watching .

Trek to the waterfalls in Puerto Princesa  — Including Bonton Waterfalls, Olanguan Waterfalls, Salakot Waterfalls & Kayulo Waterfalls.

3. Coron & Calamian Islands

best tourist destination in palawan

In contrast to El Nido’s amazing “over water” views, go to Coron to see stunning underwater views. Here, you can see colorful coral gardens, pristine waters, lots of marine life and even sunken WWII Japanese shipwrecks. Coron can hold its own when it comes to scenic views over the water as well. This paradise is home to hidden lakes and lagoons blessed with emerald to bluish waters, and many fine white sand beaches.

Coron Airport located on the north side of Busuanga Island serves flights from Manila. Book a flight with Cebu Pacific / Cebgo, Philippine Airlines / PAL Express, Skyjet or Air Juan. Travel time by plane is around 1 hour. There are also El Nido-Coron slow ferries route that you can take if you want to visit both destinations + Puerto Princesa in one trip.

Coron Travel Essentials

Coron Super Ultimate Day Tour

Coron-Busuanga Airport Shuttle – Shared and Private Transfers

Coron Ultimate Tour

See more : Coron & Calamian Islands travel tips

Coron Itinerary

More reasons to visit Coron & Calamian Islands

Go wreck diving, snorkeling, and island hopping — There are a lot of islands worth visiting during your boat tour in theCalmian Islands. Don’t miss Banol Island, Banana Island, Atuayan Island, Malcapuya Island, Black Island (Malajon Island) & Calauit Island. Meanwhile, popular dive sites include the Irako, Akitsushima & Skeleton wrecks. See the enchanting lakes and lagoons — A major highlight of any trip in Coron. Don’t miss Kayangan Lake and Baracuda Lake. Busuanga inland tour — Watch the sunset at Mt. Tapyas or Lualhati Park. Enjoy Maquinit Hot Springs. Experience safari in Calauit Island

4. Linapacan Islands

Location : Palawan . Save on Google Maps .

Enjoy an adventure in Linapacan if you want to go off-the-grid and see the “undiscovered” beauty of Palawan. This group of islands can be found spread across the waters between El Nido and Coron. Linapacan had become viral when it was mentioned in a list of places with the clearest waters in the world to swim before you die.

To get to Linapacan, you can go via Coron, which is nearer to the northern islands, or via El Nido, which is nearer to the southern islands. There are no regularly scheduled ferries from both destinations, so you will need to be flexible with your itinerary if you want to go on a passenger boat. From Coron, the boat trip to San Miguel, Linapacan Island takes around 4 hours. At San Miguel you can charter a boat to reach the other islands. From Sibaltan Beach located on the east coast of El Nido, a chartered boat to Maosonan and Magransing Islands takes around 3 hours.

best tourist destination in palawan

Overlooking Taytay Fortress, in Taytay, Palawan, Philippines

Taytay can be found just south of El Nido. On your way to or from Puerto Princesa, stop over the town proper and visit the Taytay Fort (Fuerza de Santa Isabel), one of the best preserved Spanish-colonial stone fortresses remaining in the Philippines. Extend your trip on a tour to Taytay’s many offshore islands that are still largely unspoiled and undiscovered by mass tourism.

Taytay is around 1 hour south of El Nido or 4 hours from Puerto Princesa by private car. By public transport, shuttle vans and buses can take you to Taytay directly from Puerto Princesa. From El Nido, go on a bus or shuttle to Taytay highway intersection. From there, the town proper is a short tricycle ride away.

Taytay Travel Essentials

Where to stay Tours + discounts

6. San Vicente

best tourist destination in palawan

Long Beach in San Vicente, Palawan, Philippines

San Vicente is another town that you can visit on your way between Puerto Princesa and El Nido, in mainland Palawan. This sleepy town is home to Long Beach. At 14 kilometers long, it had been making rounds online for being the longest white sand beach in the Philippines. On my trip there, however, I found that it wasn’t exactly all-white and the uninterrupted length of the sandy stretch was only about 8 kilometers. Still, I was in awe of how long it was. To compare, San Vicente Long Beach, even at 8km, is twice as long as Boracay’s famed White Beach. The best part of going was that I had I did not share the entire beach with any tourist crowds.

The fastest way is by flying directly to the new San Vicente Airport. You can also go by land from Puerto Princesa. Travel time to San Vincente takes around 4 hours from Puerto Princesa by private car. By public transport, you can find shuttle vans at San Jose Terminal, Puerto Princesa to take you directly to San Vicente. From El Nido, you may need to drop off at Roxas Terminal and get on a shuttle or minibus from there. Travel time from Roxas Terminal takes up to 2 hours.

San Vicente Travel Essentials

Philippines 4G Data eSIM (QR Email Delivery)

Philippines Unlimited Data eSIM (QR Email Delivery)

7. Port Barton

best tourist destination in palawan

Dusk view of Port Barton Beach, in San Vicente, Palawan, Philippines

Port Barton is another spot to travel in the town of San Vicente. This quiet village is a smaller and more laid-back version of El Nido. It is popular among budget backpackers and travelers who want to experience the relaxed rural atmosphere of the Philippines. Here, you can go about and explore many pristine off-shore islands and beaches on island hopping tours, at a cheaper price that boat tours offered in El Nido.

Port Barton is also roughly 4 hours away from Puerto Princesa or El Nido by land. You can find direct shuttle vans to Port Barton from both locations. From San Vicente Poblacion / Long Beach, you can charter a boat to get to Port Barton. Travel time by boat takes around 1 hour.

Port Barton Travel Essentials

Where to stay Check Fares

8. Cuyo Islands

best tourist destination in palawan

Cuyo Fortress Church, in Cuyo Island, Palawan, Philippines

Go even more off-grid in Cuyo. This remote group of islands is located in the vast open waters of the Sulu Sea, between the islands Palawan and Panay. During the 1800s, it became the province’s second capital (after Taytay). Here, you can find the well-preserved Cuyo Fortress Church built during the Spanish-colonial era as well as many small islands and diving sites.

Puerto Princesa to Iloilo City RORO (slow) ferries make a stopover at Cuyo Island. From Puerto Princesa, the sea journey takes around 18 hours. Meanwhile, the trip from Iloilo takes around 12 hours.

best tourist destination in palawan

9. Stay at Amanpulo Resort

Location : Pamalican Island, Cuyo, 5318 Palawan . Save on Google Maps .

Looking for the ultimate luxury retreat in Palawan? Say hello to Amanpulo Resort, one of the Philippines’ most expensive holiday destinations. This private island resort is located in Pamalican Island, one of the remote northern islands of Cuyo. Stay in one of the exquisitely designed beachfront, treetop or hillside Casitas with gorgeous views of turqouise waters and the powdery white-sand beach. Guests can also enjoy the resort’s signature spa experience and top-class dining with ingredients sourced from locally-caught seafood and island-grown vegetables/herbs. A stay in Amanpulo Resort will set you back (at least) USD1,485 per night for a treetop casitas, good for two with breakfast.

Amanpulo Resort offers twice daily flights, directly from Manila to Pamalican Island. Flight duration is around 1 hour.

10. Tubbataha Reef & Cagayancillo Islands

Location : Cagayancillo, Palawan . Save on Google Maps .

The Tubbataha Reef is another remote spot to see in Palawan. This 970 square kilometer national park is especially a must visit to divers. It is the place to see one of the highest biodiversity of marine life in the world. Along with the Puerto Princesa Underground River, Tubbataha Reef is one of six UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Philippines.

The easiest way is to go on a liveaboard dive boat from Puerto Princesa. The boats typically leave the city in the evening and arrive at Tubbataha Reef early morning.

11. Tabon Caves & Quezon

best tourist destination in palawan

Tabon Caves Complex in Quezon, Palawan, Philippines

Location : Quezon, Palawan . Save on Google Maps .

Another place to go for off-the-beaten-path adventures is Tabon Caves in Quezon town of South Palawan. This important archaeological site is where the Tabon Man was found. Filipinos who have been attentive in history class may remember that the fossilized remains of the Tabon Man was believed to be the earliest human remains known in the Philippines (until the discovery of the Callao Man in Peñablanca, Cagayan Province). For travelers, the Tabon Cave Complex is a great place to explore cave formations and learn about the archaeology diggings. There are also a few off-shore islands and beaches nearby.

Quezon is around 2.5 to 3 hours south of Puerto Princesa by land. From San Jose terminal, ride a shuttle van to Quezon poblacion. Then, a chartered pumpboat to Lipuun Point / Tabon Caves Complex, which takes around 30 to 45 minutes, from the pier. You will need to make a stopover at the National Museum in the poblacion to secure a permit before visiting the caves.

best tourist destination in palawan

12. Balabac Islands

best tourist destination in palawan

Onuk Island / Roughton Island in Balabac, Palawan, Philippines

Balabac is the southernmost islands in Palawan. It is so far south that Sabah in East Malaysia is nearer to Balabac than Puerto Princesa. The main draw here is 31 gorgeous islands still vastly undiscovered by tourist crowds. These islands are surrounded by pristine, crystal clear waters and white sand beaches. Yes, the sandy shores of many beaches here are a blinding white to off-white, many even have a blushed pink hue! If you’re looking for the best beaches & most vibrant waters in the Philippines, Balabac is worth a spot at the top of your bucketlist.

To get to Balabac from Puerto Princesa, you will need to make a transit stop in Rio Tuba, Bataraza where you catch boats to the islands of Balabac. Rio Tuba is 4 to 5 hours south of Puerto Princesa by land. From Rio Tuba, you can go on a passenger boat to Balabac Island (mainland). Or, hire a boat for your island hopping tour. The sea journey from Rio Tuba to Balabac Island takes around 4 hours.

best tourist destination in palawan

Beyond Palawan

best tourist destination in palawan

Sugar Beach, in Santa Fe, Bantayan Island, Cebu, Philippines

Location : Central Visayas region, central Philippines . Save on Google Maps .

Cebu Travel Essentials

Where to stay Tours + discounts Tours + discounts Check Fares

Location : Metro Manila, Luzon, northern Philippines . Save on Google Maps .

Manila Travel Essentials

Manila-Luzon Shuttle – Tagaytay, Baguio, Laguna, La Union & more

Enchanted Kingdom Admission Ticket

Manila Ocean Park Attraction Pass

See more : Manila travel tips

16 Things to do in Manila + Tourist Spots

What places have you added to your bucketlist? Have you been to beautiful places in Palawan that should be on this list? Feel free to share your thoughts!

Places to visit in Palawan

Palawan tourist spots, things to do in Palawan, where to go in Palawan & more.

Note: Destinations featured above are not listed by rank.

Book your way to Palawan

How much does it cost to travel to Palawan? Click below to compare flight, ferry & buses fares posted on these booking sites:

Where to Stay in Palawan

Click below & search recommended Palawan hotels/hostels/home rentals within your budget. Remember to set your  min/max price , travel dates, and  sort by review ratings . I often book online with these trusted booking sites below for rock-bottom prices & convenient bookings.

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Book sooner rather than later if you already have your dates set. Cheaper-priced rooms and hotels with high reviews tend to get fully booked faster, especially during busy days like weekends, holidays & peak tourist seasons.

Don’t Stop Here

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November 9, 2017 at 4:04 am

Hi Marcos, For first timers, you highly recommended going to El Nido among the top Islands in Palawan (Puerto Princesa and Coron) and take Tour A and C. Do you have a travel agency to recommend? Thanks and hope to hear back from you. NOTE: we plan to visit the Philippines in September 2018.

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November 17, 2017 at 10:07 pm

Hello Alice,

I’ve written a detailed El Nido Travel Guide including where to book your tours. I hope you can check it out. https://www.detourista.com/guide/el-nido/

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November 25, 2018 at 11:46 am

Hi, you have to update your post ’cause they’ve just opened a new airport in San Vicente: https://www.rappler.com/business/202227-tourists-san-vicente-airport-palawan-opening ;)

November 26, 2018 at 11:26 am

Thanks for the heads up Walter.

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December 6, 2018 at 6:28 pm

Thanks for the post Marcos! El Nido is my dream place to go with my husband. You made me crazy about the places through your writing… I will plan my trip for Palawan sooner :)

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15 Must-Visit Attractions in Palawan, Philippines

Tourists swimming in Kayangan Lake

Palawan is arguably one of the top tourist destinations in the tropical paradise of the Philippines. Read on and discover the stunning sights that are responsible for making this island-province so breathtakingly irresistible to globetrotters.

1. tubbataha reefs natural park.

Natural Feature, Park

Four divers swimming with a turtle, Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park, Philippines

2. Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park

Underground River in Puerto Princessa.

3. Bacuit Bay Islands

Natural Feature

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Northern Palawan can perhaps be considered Palawan’s crowning glory. Here lie the breathtaking beaches and waters of El Nido and Coron. The islands of Bacuit Bay in the municipality of El Nido are largely responsible for the province’s boom in tourism. The white-sand beaches are immaculate and their surrounding waters are a vibrant shade of cerulean. The best part is that there are so many of them to choose from. Popular choices, which are usually included in El Nido’s basic tours, are the islands of Entalula, Helicopter, and Shimizu. But if you prefer peacefully enjoying the sand and sea without having to share with a swarm of tourists, you can always request your boatmen to dock on less popular islands for utmost tranquility.

4. Kayangan Lake

Kayangan_Lake_1

Considered by many as the cleanest lake in the Philippines, and by some as even the cleanest in Asia, Kayangan Lake is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Coron. It’s a bit of a trek (a few hundred steps) to get to the lake itself from the docking point, but the gorgeous views more than make up for the effort. The lake is warm and inviting but can get especially crowded during peak season. Try to drop by during the least popular hours of the day to avoid too much company. Sights below the lake’s surface are just as spectacular as those above, with its striking jagged rock formations that just call to be explored.

5. Small Lagoon

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El Nido’s not-so-small Small Lagoon is a wonder to explore on kayak. Be prepared to squeeze through its narrow opening between two limestone rock formations but be even more prepared for the jaw-dropping sights that await inside. Entering the Small Lagoon will feel like entering an entirely new, almost fantasy-like world. The towering rock formations that surround it contrast the lagoon’s sparkling azure waters. Once inside, the real fun begins with exploring its many nooks and crannies. Paddle away or let the water guide your drift. This is one attraction that’s truly magical.

6. Culion Island

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This little island neighboring the tourist hotspot of Coron is much more than meets the eye. In the early 1900’s, Culion was a designated leper colony and was divided into two areas: one for the disease-inflicted, and the other for its “healthy” residents. Many of Culion’s inflicted residents were torn away from their homes and families and shipped off to what was then a completely foreign island, never to return home again. And while the island today is leprosy-free, reminders of its painful, isolating past still remain. There’s the Culion Museum and Archives and all around town are historical structures from its days as a leper colony, accompanied by information signages that take visitors back to how life might have been like back then. Often overlooked, a trip to Culion is a moving historical experience that should not be missed.

7. Coron Bay Shipwrecks

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Coron is considered a wreck diver’s utopia due to the sheer number of shipwrecks right beneath the busy surface of Coron Bay. The United States’ WWII bombardment of Japanese ships in September 1944 has left nearly a dozen wrecks in the area, now bustling with marine life and still well-preserved. Because many of these vessels belonged to a supply fleet, they were carrying a good number of equipment and vehicles when they went down. These still-intact machinery make for interesting sights for wreck divers today.

8. Iwahig Firefly Watching Mangrove Ecotourism And Wildlife Park

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9. Port Barton

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This fishing village in the municipality of San Vicente sits almost halfway between Puerto Princesa and El Nido. For some reason, its beautiful beaches and islets aren’t nearly as popular as those of El Nido or Coron. So this is one Palawan destination that still remains quite low-key. This is also perhaps its strongest allure — that its sand and shores are still peaceful, and can still be savored without the company of tourists docking one bangka after the other. Aside from pristine island-hopping stops like German Island and Exotic Island, Port Barton also has thriving reefs perfect for snorkeling and wrecks for advanced divers.

10. Honday Bay Islands

Aerial view of Honda Bay, Philippines

For Palawan visitors who don’t have enough time to venture up north to El Nido or Coron, the islands of Honda Bay, near the heart of the province’s capital, are a good alternative. It’s about a half-hour drive from the city proper to the Honda Bay port, where travelers can arrange their day-long island-hopping tour. Stop at Starfish Island for endless encounters with – you guessed it – starfish. Check out the picture-perfect sand bar that is Luli Island, which recedes and emerges with the tide (the name is literally derived from Filipino words which mean “sinking” and “rising”). And admire the flourishing reefs of Pandan Island and their schools of colorful fish swimming about, extremely close to shore. Set off on the tour equipped with a snorkeling set and you won’t even notice time go by as you drift along Honda Bay’s crystal clear waters, marveling at the wondrous world below.

11. Ugong Rock

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12. El Nido Beaches

Nacpan Beach, El Nido, Palawan

El Nido’s dreamy beaches aren’t limited to the stops of the island-hopping tours that take you around Bacuit Bay. It also has some that are easily reached by tricycle — no boat rentals necessary. The most popular ones include Nacpan, Marimegmeg, Las Cabanas, and Corong-Corong. Aside from sunbathing, walking by the shore, and gloriously lazing the day away with a cocktail in hand, perhaps the best thing to do at these beaches is to wait for sunset and watch as everything takes on the soft, warm glow of golden hour.

13. Tabon Cave Complex

Archaeological site, Natural Feature

Tabon_Cave_2014_04

Not nearly as popular as Puerto’s Underground River, the Tabon Caves in the municipality of Quezon has been a long overlooked Palawan attraction — and a significantly historic one at that. While there are over 200 caves in the area, only seven are open to the public. The caves proved to be an archaeological gold mine when fossils and artefacts dating up to 50,000 years ago were discovered. Perhaps the most notable of these finds were the skeletal remains of the Tabon Man, which dates back over 16,000 years. A tibia bone, the oldest that has been found so far, is considered one of the oldest evidence of Homo Sapiens from Southeast Asia. To visit the cave complex, a permit is first needed which requires a prior visit to the local National Museum branch in Quezon. A boat rental also needs to be arranged as it is the only way to reach Lipuun Point.

14. Long Beach

Long_Beach_in_San_Vicente

Dubbed the longest white-sand beach in the country, Long Beach in San Vicente stretches an astounding 14 kilometers long. And unlike Palawan’s tourist hotspots, this beach has barely any traces of commercialization (yet). Pay this beach a visit and you’ll be treating yourself to the luxury of feeling like you have your very own tropical haven that goes on forever. No other tourist will likely be in sight — just pure, raw sand and sea goodness.

15. Nagtabon Beach

Nagtabon Beach

More than a tourist attraction, Nagtabon Beach, about a 45-minute drive from the Puerto Princesa city proper, is a local favorite. Because of its accessibility from the city, here you’ll find locals who’ve just gone for an afternoon drive, university students who have just gotten out of class and wanted to hit the beach, or barkadas (groups of friends) enjoying cold brews by the sea. It’s a great beach to lounge so pack a picnic and a cooler. Another local secret is the Nagtabon Viewdeck nearby, which offers the most gorgeous view of the Nagtabon cove and sunset. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon like a Puerto Princesa local.

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10 Amazing Things to Do in Palawan, the Philippines

best tourist destination in palawan

Palawan is a long island located just off the western flank of the Philippines and a paradise from end to end. Best known for its bright blue waters that contrast against the karst stone cliffs of the island, this is one of the most popular resort destinations in the Philippines and is only an 80-minute flight from the capital of Manila. With plenty to explore from the gorgeous beaches , caves, jungles, and the occasional settlement offering rustic Filipino food , almost bottomless beer , and good company, Palawan offers adventures in the water, on land, and at the dinner table.

Swim in Kayangan Lake

The water in Kayangan Lake is believed to be some of the cleanest and clearest in the whole country, which says a lot given how famously clear the hundreds of lakes and lagoons the Philippines is home to. Located on Coron Island, off the northern end of Palawan, you can visit the lake on a group tour or book a private guide. After a steep climb up a wooden staircase through the jungle, you'll find the clear waters of the lake and also one of the most famous viewpoints in Palawan, which looks out on the bay between Coron and Busuanga Island.

Catch the Sunset on Nacpan Beach

TripSavvy / Paula Galindo Valle

There are a lot of beautiful places to watch the sunset in Palawan, but Nacpan Beach is believed by many to be one of the best. Not far from the main town in El Nido, the nearly 2-mile stretch of the palm-lined beach stands out for the curved strip of land that stretches out into the water and peaks into two picturesque hills. While many people decide to make a day trip, it's also possible to spend the night at the glamping resort right on the beach, which offers luxury in the form of air-conditioned tents.

Sail to El Nido's Secret Beaches

TripSavvy / Jess Macdonald

Across the sea from El Nido , on the northern end of the island, Bacuit Bay's limestone islands loom on the horizon, just waiting to be discovered. This part of Palawan is made for island-hoppers , and there are many tour guides with boats-for-hire who will be more than happy to show you the ins and outs of the bay's lagoons and beaches. Motorized outrigger boats may quickly be hired from multiple providers around town. Just check with your El Nido hostel, hotel, or resort ; many resorts and pension houses have their own craft for hire or will recommend a trusted outside provider. You can go kayaking in the Big and Small Lagoons on Miniloc Island or swim under the limestone opening to Matinloc's Secret Beach.

Explore the World's Longest Navigable Underground River

The Cabayugan River flows down from the Saint Paul mountain range within the 22,000-hectare Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park before descending into a cave, the title attraction. From Puerto Princesa, you'll need to take a bus and boat to get to the park, and because limited slots are available for tour groups, it's best to book your tour with a local travel agency.

The underground section of the Cabayugan River is 5 miles long, but only about half of this is navigable by boat. You can ride a paddle-powered outrigger boat from the cave's mouth and sail about a mile into the grotto, and marvel at the exquisitely-shaped limestone formations and the bats and birds that call the inner chambers home.

Spot the Philippines' Rarest Birds

Palawan is an essential stop for birds flying this hemisphere's migratory routes. The East-Asian Australasian Flyway (EAAF) runs between the northern Arctic Circle and New Zealand, with Palawan in the middle offering a rest stop to over 170 species of migratory birds escaping the cold weather from either pole. Palawan is also home to 15 endemic bird species found nowhere else, like the Palawan hornbill (Anthracoceros marchei), the Palawan scops-owl (Otus fuliginosus), and the cave-dwelling Palawan swiftlet (Aerodramus palawanensis). Wherever you end up along Palawan's length, you'll only be a few minutes drive away from some of the best birding sites in the Philippines.

Go Wreck-Diving in Coron Bay

Six shipwrecks that date back to 1944 and World War II tempt divers of all experience levels. Beginners can glide past the ships' exteriors, admiring the coral-encrusted cranes, portholes, and armaments. At the same time, expert wreck divers can enter the vessel and discover a dark, lost world of abandoned engine rooms, scattered personal effects, and bomb holes opening to the deep.

Coron's wrecks range in depth from 10 feet to 140 feet deep, with an average depth of 60 to 80 feet. Motorized outrigger boats called banca take divers from Busuanga Island to the wrecks, which are clustered surprisingly close together: you can spend several days just picking your way through the shipwrecks and dodging the considerable marine life in the area, including yellowfin tuna, groupers, scorpionfish, and sea turtles.  

Eat, Drink &; Be Merry in Puerto Princesa

Travelers tend to treat the capital Puerto Princesa as a short stopover if they don't go immediately from the airport to El Nido or Port Barton. However, these travelers miss out on a vibrant city with many wonderful things to eat and drink.

The two top restaurants both serve Filipino food but with very different vibes. Kinabuch   is like an open-air dive bar with plenty of fried Filipino favorites served with the best local beer. Kalui is more artistic with natural finishes and Filipino art aplenty. You can then top off your night with the spectacular selection of craft beers available at Palaweño Brewery . The barkeep will happily serve you a flight of their current beers on tap!

Guard Against Invaders at Taytay Fort

Mike Aquino

Called Fuerza de Santa Isabel by its Spanish builders and Taytay Fort by present-day locals, this coral and limestone fort was built in the early 1700s to defend Taytay against pirates and slave raiders.

The roughly square-shaped fort occupies an outcropping over Taytay Bay; from this vantage point, defenders could rake the bay with cannon-fire, sinking any foolhardy pirate ships within range. Climb up the stairs into the fort’s upper levels, and you arrive at what looks like a small park, with benches overlooking Taytay Bay and presently dormant cannons still looking out to the sea, as if still on guard against pirates.

Go on an African Safari at Calauit Island

The former dictator Ferdinand Marcos had some crazy ideas, but few were as wild as the African Safari in the north of Palawan. In 1976, Marcos talked the Kenyan government into donating African mega-fauna to the Philippines and stocking Calauit Island with giraffes, zebra, and antelope.

You can ride or walk around several established trails and feeding stations to see the few dozen giraffes and zebra descended from the original arrivals. The African imports mix easily with large local animals like the Calamian deer and wild boar. A safari to Calauit can be easily arranged from the town of Coron. Any hotel or resort around Busuanga Bay will be glad to direct you to their partner tour agencies.

Explore a Prison Without Walls at Iwahig

ClaudineVM/Getty Images

Established during American rule in 1902, Iwahig was first conceived as an overflow facility for prisoners from Bilibid Prison in Manila. Later, administrators took advantage of the terrain to convert Iwahig's purpose from punishment to rehabilitation. It's located about 12 miles west of Puerto Princesa, and tours and visits can be easily arranged. The tourist experience includes a dance routine performed by select inmates and a visit to a graceful old building—formerly a recreational center for prisoners—that now showcases the prisoners' handiwork for sale.

Iwahig is an active prison spread across over 20,000 acres with 4,000 prisoners on site. Here, prisoners can choose to farm on their own plots of land or create products that they can then sell to the tourist trade. Family members are even allowed to come live with them. A merit system allows prisoners to earn points and profits towards their release, including fisheries, carpentry, and farming.

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15 Best PALAWAN TOURIST SPOTS (Last Ecological Frontier)

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When we talk about the most beautiful places in the Philippines, there are a few names that will automatically come to mind. There’s Boracay , Bohol, Manila, and of course Palawan. Known as the country’s largest province, Palawan covers a massive area of almost 15,000 kilometers, consisting of countless white-sand beaches, enchanting islands, and many more natural gems.

The reason why Palawan is ever-loved by many is the pristine condition of its natural attractions. Palawan is considered the “Last Ecological Frontier” of the Philippines because it still retains more than 50% of its original forest cover. Palawan is also the westernmost province of the country facing the highly-disputed West Philippine Sea and it’s also safe to say that the province is also very rich in marine resources.

World-class beach resorts, hotels, and tourist destinations were established in Palawan thanks to the worldwide attraction caused by its breathtaking islands, especially El Nido, Coron, and Puerto Princesa . Where you’ll find some of the most beautiful places in the whole world. Towering limestone cliffs, turquoise waters, extremely rich marine biodiversity, and many more are all waiting for you here in Palawan. On top of it all, expect to enjoy some world-class action by taking on Palawan’s exciting water sports activities!

So, are you ready to visit and explore some of nature’s best creations? From enchanting lagoons to historical landmarks to UNESCO World Heritage Sites , Palawan has really got it all for you. What are you waiting for? Come and join me as we take on an unforgettable journey to the 15 Best Tourist Spots in Palawan!

1. Tubbataha Reef 

Number one on the list and probably the most amazing natural wonder you’ll ever see in your life is the iconic Tubbataha Reef. If you’re a diving enthusiast, there’s a very high chance that you’ve already encountered Tubbataha while searching for the world’s most beautiful diving sites. With its jaw-dropping marine biodiversity, scenic ocean floors, and an extremely wide variety of small and large aquatic animals, Tubbataha is indeed something you shouldn’t miss in Palawan.

Tubbataha Reef

Photo from Tubbataha Reef FB

One of the reasons why Tubbataha Reef’s extraordinary beauty is maintained is because its huge area of 130,000 hectares is heavily protected and unpopulated. So consider yourself lucky when you have a chance to visit this breathtaking tourist attraction because there are only a few of its kind left in the whole world. And luckily for Filipinos, we can always visit one inside our own country.

What’s more incredible is that visiting the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park and World Heritage Site can be a life-changing experience for everyone. Witnessing nature’s beauty at its finest will surely make anyone realize that protecting our natural wonders should be one of the priorities of mankind. So be sure to visit Tubbataha Reef at the Cagayancillo Islands!

2. Puerto Princesa Underground River | Puerto Princesa

Ah, this one’s absolutely impossible to miss! Another one of Palawan’s legendary tourist spots is no other than the Puerto Princesa Underground River . This spectacular natural attraction has been inducted as one of 2011’s New7Wonders of Nature, making it known to the whole world.

Puerto Princesa Underground River

Photo from national-parks.org

The underground river features amazing limestone karst formations, unique wildlife, and impressive cave systems. Many people say that it’s as if you’re entering a whole new ancient world once you visit the Puerto Princesa Underground River. Well, it has been inducted to the New7Wonders for a reason, so better not miss it!

3. Nacpan Beach | El Nido

A major reason why tourists fall in love with Palawan is because of its world-class beach destinations and one of the province’s in-demand islands is the El Nido. There are many must-visit tourist spots in El Nido but probably the most popular is the beautiful Nacpan Beach. Boasting a 4-kilometer stretch of creamy-white sands, crystalline turquoise waters, and a mesmerizing view like that of a tropical paradise, Nacpan is undoubtedly a gem worth seeing.

Nacpan Beach El Nido Palawan

With its enchanting landscapes and surfable waves, lots and lots of tourists from different parts of the world make sure to pay Nacpan Beach a visit.

READ THE BLOG POST: Speechless with Nacpan Beach

4. Kayangan Lake | Coron

Ever wondered what it feels like to cast yourself away in an enchantingly beautiful lake with crystal clear waters, towering limestone cliffs, and a lush rainforest surrounding you? Ah, trust me. It’s definitely a surreal feeling you shouldn’t miss. Well, visiting Kayangan Lake in Coron will make you feel exactly that way.

Photo from WikiMedia Commons

The calmness and peacefulness of the place are something you will never forget. And it’s also an amazing photo opportunity so be sure to bring your A-game for your Instagram-worthy shots! On top of it all, you can also take the chance to dive, swim around, and explore all the incredible features of Kayangan Lake.

5. Barracuda Lake | Coron

Another premium diving spot in Coron is Barracuda Lake, which got its name from the large barracuda skeletons found at the lake’s bottom.

Barracuda Lake

Photo from Pinterest

The crystal clear blue water of Barracuda Lake attracts diving enthusiasts from different parts of the world. Aside from the amazing spectacle of the lake itself, you can also enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime experience of swimming with different species of fishes, underwater rock formations, and many more!

6. Onok Island | Balabac

Probably one of the most underrated tourist destinations in Palawan and lowkey the most beautiful you’ll ever encounter is the Onok Island of Balabac. This privately-owned island was once featured on the National Geographic Channel for the winning photo by George Tapan.

Onok Island

Photo from Balabac PH

The white sandbars and the crystalline waters surrounding the island are truly amazing and will surely make you feel like you’re in paradise. The marine ecosystem around the island is also very rich and thriving where you can see colorful corals, a wide variety of fishes, clams, sea turtles, and more! Oh, and you can also encounter some bioluminescent planktons at night here which is absolutely a unique experience.

From beach bumming, snorkeling, and scuba diving, visiting Onok Island is indeed an all-in experience waiting for everyone. It’s the great escape from all the hustle and bustle of the city we’re all craving. It’s relatively a remote area where you can actually see the beauty of the Milky Way at night!

7. Big Lagoon | El Nido

From the name itself, the Big Lagoon of El Nido is one of the biggest natural wonders of Palawan you shouldn’t miss. It’s usually a part of the blissful island hopping tours in El Nido. The crystalline waters, the towering limestone formations, and the lush forests surrounding you are simply captivating. Aside from all the fun and exciting activities you can do here such as kayaking, diving, swimming, snorkeling, and many more, the best thing you can do here in the Big Lagoon is to simply let yourself float from the entrance channel all the way to the middle. It’s a nice experience to just chill out and appreciate nature’s beauty for once!

Big Lagoon El Nido Palawan

Well, that’s just me but you can always have all the fun you want! Kayak all around, take some Instagrammable pictures, explore the underwater world of the Big Lagoon, and so on. The only thing that matters is that you enjoy, so don’t miss out!

READ THE BLOG POST: Big Lagoon in El Nido, Palawan

8. Long Beach | San Vicente

San Vicente, Palawan’s iconic Long Beach is easily one of the most popular destinations in the whole province of Palawan. Why? Well, it’s because Long Beach is literally long! It’s the longest white-sand beach in the Philippines stretching for more than 14.7 kilometers. Enjoy the peace and serenity of walking along this blissful white-sand beach while the waves of crystal clear waters rustle down your feet.

Long Beach San Vicente

Photo from Long Beach San Vicente Page

With the length of Long Beach, I’m sure that you’ll be able to find a nice spot to take amazing selfies and Instagrammable photos! Take your time to walk around, swim, and explore the beautiful beach here at San Vicente. It’s all yours to conquer!

9. Shipwreck Diving | Coron

Aside from visiting the iconic tourist destinations in Palawan like the Puerto Princesa Underground River, Big Lagoon, Nacpan Beach, and many more, one of the best things to do in this beautiful province is Shipwreck Diving. Coron is actually considered the “Shipwreck Diving Capital of the Philippines” where diving enthusiasts can explore a series of premier wreck diving sites.

Shipwreck Diving

Photo from Dive Worldwide

There are a total of 12 sunken Japanese warships within the territory of Coron Bay and they are all worth exploring. Some of the most famous warships are The Irako, The Morazan, and Olympia Maru, which are situated about 18 to 30 meters deep. Shipwreck diving is absolutely a unique experience so make sure to give it a try!

10. Culion Island

What was once the most feared island in the Philippines is now considered one of the most beautiful island paradises in the world. This is the amazing story of Culion Island, also known as the “Island of No Return” and the “Island of the Living Dead”. Culion was a leper colony where patients with leprosy were forced to abandon their loved ones and segregate themselves from the rest of the world. Despite its sad and dark past, Culion Island now attracts tourists from different parts of the world with its unique history, extraordinary natural features, and many more!

Culion Island

Of course, one of the best things to do in Culion is to learn more about its colorful history by visiting Culion Museum and Culion Church. Oh, and you can also explore its amazing marine biodiversity by snorkeling at the Bogor Marine Park, visiting shipwreck dive sites, and also island hopping! The white sand beaches and lagoons in Culion Island are in very pristine condition because it was isolated from the rest of the world for almost a century.

11. Calauit Safari Park | Busuanga

Palawan is called the Last Ecological Frontier of the Philippines for a reason. The state of tropical paradise here is truly amazing, making gems like white-sand beaches, enchanting lagoons, and amazing islands a perfect home for animals.

Calauit Safari Park

Photo from Wikimedia Commons / Calauit Island

One of the best examples is the Calauit Safari Park in Busuanga where tourists have the chance to meet lovely wildlife up close! The park covers a huge area of 3,700 hectares where more than 1,870 animals live like zebras, giraffes, antelopes, monkeys, bearcats, freshwater crocodiles, and many more! Visiting Calauit Safari Park is truly an amazing experience for everyone, especially children because they can learn more about the beauty of wildlife in the Philippines.

READ THE BLOG POST: 15 Best Coron Tourist Spots  

12. Port Barton Beach | San Vicente

Another underrated beach destination in Palawan is the beautiful Port Barton Beach of San Vicente. The beach is located in a more secluded area giving tourists a chance to enjoy the peace and serenity while having the time of their lives. Port Barton’s pristine, creamy-white sand beach is perfect for just relaxing and enjoying the sea breeze while you sip on a fresh Margarita.

Port Barton

Photo from Port Barton Tourism

There are also several world-class resorts and hotels along the coast of Port Barton to make your stay even more memorable. Oh, and one thing you shouldn’t miss here in Port Barton Beach is the mesmerizing view of the sunset. The calm and serene beach makes the magical sunset even more special because you can really appreciate its beauty even more.

13. Small Lagoon | El Nido

Another spectacle of nature we shouldn’t miss is the Small Lagoon of El Nido. It’s usually explored in the island hopping tours of El Nido along with the Big Lagoon, Secret Lagoon, Shimizu Island, and many more. What makes Small Lagoon special is its secluded location because you can only enter it through a small crack in the limestone rock wall.

Small Lagoon El Nido tour a

Once you enter, I’m sure that you’ll be blown away by the blissful deep blue waters of the lagoon. Whether you’re swimming, kayaking, or snorkeling through the narrow lagoon, having a good time while appreciating the beauty of nature is truly something you won’t forget. Oh, and there are also many cliff jumping sites here at the Small Lagoon!

READ THE BLOG POST: Small Lagoon in El Nido, Palawan

14. Iwahig Firefly Watching | Puerto Princesa

Thanks to the immaculate condition of Palawan’s rainforests, countless species of wildlife animals, plants, trees, and even insects are still thriving in the province. One prime example is the fireflies at Iwahig which is another tourist attraction in Palawan.

Iwahig Firefly Watching Puerto Princesa

Photo from Palawan Days

Iwahig Firefly Watching is a unique and aesthetically pleasing experience for everyone. It’s also an amazing photo opportunity because you can no longer see something like this in the metro or even in other provinces. Oh, and aside from the blissful display of fireflies, I’m sure that you’ll also have a good time having a gastronomic dinner while cruising along the Iwahig River.

15. Manguao Lake | Taytay

Ah, last but definitely not the least is the beautiful and peaceful Lake Manguao. This hidden gem located in Taytay, Palawan is one of the underrated tourist spots in Palawan where you can simply sit back, relax, and inhale all the fresh air you can breathe.

Manguao Lake

Photo from ABS-CBN News

The lake also harbors several endemic species of fishes, trees, and many more. Thanks to its secluded location, Lake Manguao became a premier camping and glamping location for locals as well as foreign tourists.

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PALAWAN INSIDER

What to See in Palawan: 25 Must-Visit Tourist Attractions in Palawan, Philippines in 2023

Palawan Insider Team

  • November 26, 2023
  • Tourist Spots

Add New Post Edit with Elementor Save draft Publish 47/100 77 /100 Error notice Updating failed. You are probably offline. Image: Change block type or style Move Image block from position 98 up to position 97 Move Image block from position 98 down to position 99 Change alignment What to See in Palawan: 25 Must-Visit Tourist Attractions in Palawan, Philippines in 2023 Wondering what to include on your Palawan itinerary? In this guide, we highlighted the top tourist attractions in Palawan—from Coron to Balabac. The striking allure of Palawan and the warmth of its people converge to offer an unmatched experience for every traveler visiting this place. While it may be true that Boracay is the star attraction of the Philippines, the province of Palawan offers everything you want to enjoy from the Philippines. Palawan’s waters that will draw you closer to discovering them more are the island’s definition. With seascapes that are unquestionably some of the best in the world, there are countless reasons why the country’s most sparsely populated region is well-loved by tourists from all over the world. It is also interesting to note that this 403-mile island stretches as far as Borneo. Here are 25 of the must-visit tourist spots in Palawan: 1. Kayangan Lake Kayangan Lake in Coron, Palawan - Things to Do in Coron Palawan The view of Kayangan Lake in Coron, Palawan Located in beautiful Coron, Kayangan Lake is regarded as the cleanest lake in the country – some even consider it the cleanest lake in Asia. Before you can reach the lake itself, a trek is needed, but the fascinating views once you get to it are worth all the effort. The lake is warm and inviting, and don’t forget to gaze at its prepossessing jagged rock formations. 2. Barracuda Lake Barracuda Lake - Tourist Spots in Coron Palawan Barracuda Lake in Coron, Palawan Love diving? Then Barracuda Lake should be on your itinerary. Also situated in Coron, this lake combines both fresh and salt waters that hold a secret hidden beneath it. To know this secret, you’ve got to dive in. This lake is named after a sizable barracuda skeleton once discovered in its depths. But don’t worry because though its name is “Barracuda,” there are not many barracudas in these waters, except for its resident barracuda that likes to conceal itself among the rocks at the lake’s far side. Yes, it will remind you of Scotland’s Loch Ness monster, indeed. 3. Twin Lagoon Twin Lagoon in Coron Palawan2 An aerial shot of the Twin Lagoon in Coron, Palawan The only way to get to the Twin Lagoon is by boat. If you wish for a more tranquil trip, you can ride a private boat, and you’ll reach this place early in the morning before the crowds arrive. But that does not mean you can’t take a boat ride with other tourists. Quite reminiscent of Italy’s Capri island, the Twin Lagoon got its name from the two bodies of water separated by stunning limestone cliffs on one of the many islets making up Palawan’s Calamian archipelago. You can explore its reefs and capture the best photos you can share with your friends on social media. 4. Siete Pecados Siete Pecados - Tourist Spots in Coron Palawan An aerial view of Siete Pecados in Coron, Palawan Meanwhile, Siete Pecados is called such because of its seven islands bursting with marine life. You can mingle with sea turtles, squid, tropical angelfish, baby sharks, and octopi, among many others. Snorkel or dive into its turquoise waters to see its grandeur. This site is Coron’s closest dive site to the town proper. In just within a few minutes, your boat ride will take you right in the middle of its seven islands. 5. Calauit Island National Park Calauit Safari - Tourist Spots in Coron Palawan Zebras at Calauit Safari in Coron, Palawan If you want to take a break from Palawan’s waters, head over to Calauit Island National Park. Spanning almost 3,800 hectares, this wildlife sanctuary was originally a game reserve established in 1976. Did you know that the park’s large African mammals were translocated here under the orders of former President Ferdinand Marcos? You won’t need to book a flight to Africa when you visit Calauit Island National Park. Roaming around the park are giraffes, waterbucks, monkeys, freshwater crocodiles, bear cats, zebras, bushbuck, various species of birds, and the region’s very own Calamian deer. 6. Mount Tapyas Mt. Tapyas - Things to Do in Coron Palawan The view from Mt. Tapyas in Coron, Palawan Palawan isn’t just about the beaches and waters. For hiking enthusiasts, there are also some trails you can tread, such as those of Mount Tapyas. Mount Tapyas is the most famous viewpoint in Coron. You will be treated to sweeping views over the rolling hills, a directed look toward the island, and a spectacular sunset you will never forget. However, before you get to the summit, you need to climb a whopping 721 steps. Not for the faint of heart, but avid hikers will love it. 7. Pamalican Island Pamalican Island - Tourist Spots in Coron Palawan An aerial shot of Pamalican Island in Coron, Palawan Pamalican Island is a tiny and sandy island part of the Cuyo Islands in the Sulu Sea, which is located between Palawan and Panay. It is a private island fringed with mesmerizing white sand beaches and coral reefs. Offering a retreat to nature in supreme comfort and privacy, this tropical getaway also has calm and clear seas perfect for water sports, as well as sandy tracks that will lead you to jungle-clad lookouts and deserted coves. You may have seen it from your friends’ posts online, Pamalican Island is where you can find the luxurious Amanpulo Resort, the go-to resort for many Hollywood celebrities when in the Philippines. So if you don’t mind shelling out some bucks to take in the best of the best, book a stay at this resort. 8. Malcapuya Island Malcapuya Island in Coron Palawan - Tourist Spots in Coron Palawan An aerial shot of Malcapuya Island in Coron, Palawn Malcapuya Island belongs to Culion municipality but is also part of the Calamian group of islands. Considered by many travelers as one of the most beautiful islands in Coron, it is teeming with crystal clear blue waters and powdery white sands, providing the best idyllic backdrop for relaxation. Activities you can do here include swimming, snorkeling, or enjoying a sumptuous picnic lunch right on the sands of this paradise. 9. Big Lagoon Big Lagoon - Tourist Spots in El Nido Palawan The majestic view of Big Lagoon in El Nido, Palawan Located off the eastern coast of El Nido’s Miniloc Island, Big Lagoon is famous for its vibrantly-hued waters and picturesque limestone rocks greeting you over the horizon. Your boat will approach this lagoon around a rock fronting a smaller lagoon. From here at the entrance, you can linger for a while and marvel at the Gatorade-blue pool. As it's shallowest, you can take a plunge and swim leisurely alongside sea turtles, or snorkel a bit farther to see some charming corals underneath you. 10. Small Lagoon Small Lagoon - Best Things to Do in El Nido, Palawan Small Lagoon in El Nido, Palawan You bet that if there’s a “Big Lagoon,” there has to be a “Small Lagoon.” Right, and Small Lagoon, being the more cramped version of the former, lets you pass through a narrow entrance that you need to plunge into or ride a kayak and go through a gap on a wall made of limestone, so you can see the turquoise waters and limestone cliffs inside. Then, you can either swim or kayak around this lagoon’s waters, and enjoy its calmness pulsating in harmony with the wildlife. 11. Shimizu Island Shimizu Island - El Nido Tours Shimizu Island in El Nido, Palawan welcomes you to its crystal-clear waters Shimizu Island is part of one of the most popular island-hopping tour packages in Palawan, which takes you here, and to Big Lagoon, Small Lagoon, and Secret Lagoon, among others. Snorkeling the calm and crystal clear waters is a recommended activity around this island. You will see colorful coral reefs and vibrant tropical fish wading beneath. Surrounding the island are black cliffs that shoot into the sky, laden with impressively lush trees. Being a popular tour package, feel free to take advantage of this as you socialize with other tourists over a lavish fresh seafood lunch. 12. Cadlao Lagoon Cadlao Lagoon in El Nido Palawan Cadlao Lagoon is one of the most popular attractions in El Nido, Palawan Characterized by its turquoise waters splashing on its tiny pocket of white sands, Cadlao Lagoon is pure bliss. Ask your tour guides about their favorite lagoon in El Nido, and they will tell you it’s this lagoon. Its waters are best for kayaking and even a short hike leading to a rocky lookout. However, like many islands in Palawan, Cadlao Lagoon is only accessible by boat. But if you are feeling a bit adventurous, you can use your kayak and paddle your way here. 13. Nacpan Beach Nacpan Beach - Best Things to Do in El Nido, Palawan Nacpan Beach in El Nido, Palawan Another pride of El Nido is Nacpan Beach, and you’ll understand why. Before, it was a secret destination only visited by a few tourists, until it was discovered by more tourists. Eventually, it has become among the most popular beaches in beautiful El Nido. Well, it doesn’t have to be a secret as it is wonderful here. Visitors can simply lie on the beach consisting of cream-colored sands lined with coconut trees, or on hammocks if they wish to do some sunbathing. Then, you can swim its crystal clear turquoise waters, or play volleyball, kayaking, and paddleboarding. Discover its magic. 14. Taraw Cliff Taraw Cliff - Tourist Spots in El Nido Palawan The view of Bacuit Bay from Taraw Cliff in El Nido, Palawan Continuing on the list of the top tourist attractions in Palawan with Taraw Cliff. If you fancy trekking, this is for you. But, since the trek features sharp rocks in high heat and humidity, though a short climb, it is not for everyone. Should you wish to partake in this adventure, it is strictly recommended that you follow your guide as they will tell you the path to tread. Before you reach the rocks and the vantage point for amazing views of the area, you will walk through a small jungle and some jungle areas. 15. Seven Commandos Beach Wondering what to include on your Palawan itinerary? In this guide, we highlighted the top tourist attractions in Palawan—from Coron to Balabac. An aerial view of Seven Commandos Beach in El Nido, Palawan This beach got its name from the seven soldiers who were once stranded there. Seven Commandos Beach is known for its fine white sands lined with towering coconut trees standing at the foot of gorgeous limestone cliffs. Seven Commandos Beach is usually part of your El Nido island hopping tour. You can swim, snorkel, play beach volleyball, and indulge yourself with refreshing beverages, as this is the only island in El Nido, alongside its high-end resorts, with bars. Food is also served on this beach. 16. Puerto Princesa Underground River Puerto Princesa Underground River Tour.jpg2 Tourists about to get inside the Puerto Princesa Underground River If there’s one destination that you should never ever miss when you plan to visit Palawan, it has to be the Puerto Princesa Underground River. Apart from being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this subterranean river national park is often featured in school books, so you know this place is really important. As you wear your life vest and your protective helmet, a boat will take you inside the cave where you will get to see the most breathtaking cave formations, stalactites, and stalagmites. Among this underground river’s distinguishing attributes is that it directly emerges into the sea, with its lower portion subject to tidal influences. It also serves as a habitat for some wildlife. 17. Luli Island Luli Island on Honda Bay in Puerto Princesa Palawan An aerial shot of Luli Island, one of the islands you can visit in Honda Bay in Puerto Princesa, Palawan Luli Island is one of the three important islands you will visit in Honda Bay. Honda Bay has 16 islands in total, but only three are open to tourists. Curious about where the island’s name came from? Well, it is taken from the first syllables of two Filipino words, lulubog (“to sink”) and lilitaw (“to surface”), as the island’s sandbar appears and disappears depending on the tides. It is beautiful here. You’ll be able to enjoy Luli Island’s powdery cream sand and clear emerald waters. You may also rent cottages and snorkeling equipment. 18. Cowrie Island Cowrie Island is another of the three islands you’ll be visiting in Honda Bay, the others being Luli Island and Starfish Island. The island got its name from the cowrie shells scattered around the area. Cowries are a type of sea snail. Aside from swimming in and snorkeling in its beguiling waters, tourists can also enjoy really incredible views of the island. Remember to take photos that you can keep as memories. Interestingly, some friendly locals on the island even offer to snap some artistic pictures of you on the island, free of charge. You can also enjoy a delicious picnic-style meal while on Cowrie Island. 19. Ugong Rock Adventures Are you an adrenaline junkie? You must include the Ugong Rock Adventures in your itinerary. Best paired with your visit to the Puerto Princesa Underground River, Ugong Rock Adventures involves climbing Ugong Rock, an enormous moss-covered limestone formation where you will see such a glorious view of the mountains and the surrounding rice fields from the summit. But right before you begin climbing, you’ll be able to see equally astounding untouched mineral deposits in caves. After you’re done taking in everything that the rock’s summit has to offer, you can choose to descend Ugong Rock by a single-rider zipline with a 71-meter drop. 20. Long Beach Image Upload an image file, pick one from your media library, or add one with a URL. UploadMedia Library Insert from URL San Vicente is an exquisite municipality located on the northwestern side of the island of Palawan. If you are passing by in this part of the province, don’t forget to visit Long Beach. Long Beach is regarded as the longest white sand beach in the Philippines and the second-longest across Southeast Asia, hence its name. You can take a dip into its crystal clear waters, or take a walk to explore the beach. If you just wish to relax, you can simply lounge by the ocean, read a book, listen to the waves, or chat with the friendly locals. 21. Bato Ni Ningning Bato Ni Ningning - Things to Do in San Vicente Palawan The view of Irawan Beach from Bato Ni Ningning in San Vicente, Palawan Another must-visit tourist spot in San Vicente is Bato Ni Ningning, touted as the municipality’s “rock star.” The place refers to the iconic rock sitting on top of a hill in San Vicente’s Barangay Sto. Niño. Its name came from a TV show featuring a character named “Ningning” and how this area where the boulder is became her playground. Activities to do at Bato Ni Ningning include climbing atop the hill, of course. You can either use a motorbike to ascend or simply walk. The neighborhood’s community also serves up a meal usually consisting of fresh seafood and barbecue which you can enjoy. 22. Boayan Island Boayan Island - Things to Do in San Vicente Palawan The rich marine ecosystem of Boayan Island in San Vicente, Palawan Boayan Island is the largest island in San Vicente. Hiking is one of the most popular activities here where you can immerse yourself in views of the area from the island’s higher elevations. You may also explore its reefs, and many tourists who have visited this place say the waters are warm, clean, and peaceful. There are also areas where you can play volleyball and badminton. The island’s residents can also prepare food and perform music for you. But those tourists also say you must ready yourself for the pesky sandflies that could bite you. They can be allergic, so be sure to bring an insect repellant with you. 23. Onuk Island Image Upload an image file, pick one from your media library, or add one with a URL. UploadMedia Library Insert from URL Onuk Island is another of the province’s paradises located in Balabac. Balabac is a municipality in the south of Palawan. This island may be tiny, but it has vast clear waters, a sandbar that shows up during low tide, giant clams, wild sea turtles, a coral reef, and a stilt over-water walkway. You may be focused on visiting the underground river or El Nido while you’re in Palawan, but making some time for Onuk Island will be all worth it. 24. Mansalangan Sandbar Another jewel of Palawan’s southern area is the Mansalangan Sandbar. Also referred to as Byan Island, Mansalangan Sandbar is reachable by taking an island-hopping tour in Balabac. If you are a beach bum and love the sun, or just want the perfect place to relax, detoxify, and clear your mind from unwanted thoughts, Mansalangan Sandbar should be on your bucket list. 25. Patawan Island Last but not least is Patawan Island. Also located in Balabac, it is a small islet in the Sulu Sea. Unlike other islands in the municipality, Patawan Island is privately owned. Many tourists also call it “Dolphin Island” because of its shape which resembles a dolphin as seen from drone images. The island has white sands, clear waters, corals, and fish, perfect for snorkeling. You Complete Palawan Travel Guide From the bustling Puerto Princesa capital city, to the wondrous islands in El Nido, to quaint municipalities like San Vicente, Palawan is every traveler’s dream destination. Adventurous souls will appreciate this Philippine province as it is filled with natural sceneries that will leave you wanting more. Toggle panel: AIOSEO Settings Snippet Preview https://palawaninsider.com/tourist-attractions-in-palawan/ What to See in Palawan: 25 Must-Visit Tourist Attractions in Palawan, Philippines in 2023 - PALAWAN… Wondering what to include on your Palawan itinerary? In this guide, we highlighted the top tourist attractions in Palawan—from Coron to Balabac. 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Wondering what to include on your Palawan itinerary? In this guide, we highlighted the top tourist attractions in Palawan—from Coron to Balabac.

The striking allure of Palawan and the warmth of its people converge to offer an unmatched experience for every traveler visiting this place. While it may be true that Boracay is the star attraction of the Philippines, the province of Palawan offers everything you want to enjoy from the Philippines.

Palawan’s waters that will draw you closer to discovering them more are the island’s definition. With seascapes that are unquestionably some of the best in the world, there are countless reasons why the country’s most sparsely populated region is well-loved by tourists from all over the world. It is also interesting to note that this 403-mile island stretches as far as Borneo.

Here are 25 of the must-visit tourist spots in Palawan:

WHAT'S IN THIS POST?

1. Kayangan Lake

Kayangan Lake in Coron, Palawan - Things to Do in Coron Palawan

Located in beautiful Coron , Kayangan Lake is regarded as the cleanest lake in the country – some even consider it the cleanest lake in Asia. Before you can reach the lake itself, a trek is needed, but the fascinating views once you get to it are worth all the effort. The lake is warm and inviting, and don’t forget to gaze at its prepossessing jagged rock formations. 

2. Barracuda Lake

Barracuda Lake - Tourist Spots in Coron Palawan

Love diving? Then Barracuda Lake should be on your itinerary. Also situated in Coron, this lake combines both fresh and salt waters that hold a secret hidden beneath it. To know this secret, you’ve got to dive in.

This lake is named after a sizable barracuda skeleton once discovered in its depths. But don’t worry because though its name is “Barracuda,” there are not many barracudas in these waters, except for its resident barracuda that likes to conceal itself among the rocks at the lake’s far side. Yes, it will remind you of Scotland’s Loch Ness monster, indeed.

3. Twin Lagoon

Twin Lagoon in Coron Palawan2

The only way to get to the Twin Lagoon is by boat. If you wish for a more tranquil trip, you can ride a private boat, and you’ll reach this place early in the morning before the crowds arrive. But that does not mean you can’t take a boat ride with other tourists. 

Quite reminiscent of Italy’s Capri island, the Twin Lagoon got its name from the two bodies of water separated by stunning limestone cliffs on one of the many islets making up Palawan’s Calamian archipelago. You can explore its reefs and capture the best photos you can share with your friends on social media. 

4. Siete Pecados

Siete Pecados - Tourist Spots in Coron Palawan

Meanwhile, Siete Pecados is called such because of its seven islands bursting with marine life. You can mingle with sea turtles, squid, tropical angelfish, baby sharks, and octopi, among many others. Snorkel or dive into its turquoise waters to see its grandeur. 

This site is Coron’s closest dive site to the town proper. In just within a few minutes, your boat ride will take you right in the middle of its seven islands.

5. Calauit Island National Park

Calauit Safari - Tourist Spots in Coron Palawan

If you want to take a break from Palawan’s waters, head over to Calauit Island National Park. Spanning almost 3,800 hectares, this wildlife sanctuary was originally a game reserve established in 1976. Did you know that the park’s large African mammals were translocated here under the orders of former President Ferdinand Marcos? 

You won’t need to book a flight to Africa when you visit Calauit Island National Park. Roaming around the park are giraffes, waterbucks, monkeys, freshwater crocodiles, bear cats, zebras, bushbuck, various species of birds, and the region’s very own Calamian deer.

6. Mount Tapyas

Mt. Tapyas - Things to Do in Coron Palawan

Palawan isn’t just about the beaches and waters. For hiking enthusiasts, there are also some trails you can tread, such as those of Mount Tapyas.

Mount Tapyas is the most famous viewpoint in Coron. You will be treated to sweeping views over the rolling hills, a directed look toward the island, and a spectacular sunset you will never forget. However, before you get to the summit, you need to climb a whopping 721 steps. Not for the faint of heart, but avid hikers will love it. 

7. Pamalican Island

Pamalican Island - Tourist Spots in Coron Palawan

Pamalican Island is a tiny and sandy island part of the Cuyo Islands in the Sulu Sea, which is located between Palawan and Panay. It is a private island fringed with mesmerizing white sand beaches and coral reefs. 

Offering a retreat to nature in supreme comfort and privacy, this tropical getaway also has calm and clear seas perfect for water sports, as well as sandy tracks that will lead you to jungle-clad lookouts and deserted coves. 

You may have seen it from your friends’ posts online, Pamalican Island is where you can find the luxurious Amanpulo Resort, the go-to resort for many Hollywood celebrities when in the Philippines. So if you don’t mind shelling out some bucks to take in the best of the best, book a stay at this resort.

8. Malcapuya Island

Malcapuya Island in Coron Palawan - Tourist Spots in Coron Palawan

Malcapuya Island belongs to Culion municipality but is also part of the Calamian group of islands. Considered by many travelers as one of the most beautiful islands in Coron, it is teeming with crystal clear blue waters and powdery white sands, providing the best idyllic backdrop for relaxation. Activities you can do here include swimming, snorkeling, or enjoying a sumptuous picnic lunch right on the sands of this paradise.

9. Big Lagoon

Big Lagoon - Tourist Spots in El Nido Palawan

Located off the eastern coast of El Nido’s Miniloc Island, Big Lagoon is famous for its vibrantly-hued waters and picturesque limestone rocks greeting you over the horizon.

Your boat will approach this lagoon around a rock fronting a smaller lagoon. From here at the entrance, you can linger for a while and marvel at the Gatorade-blue pool.

As it’s shallowest, you can take a plunge and swim leisurely alongside sea turtles, or snorkel a bit farther to see some charming corals underneath you.

10. Small Lagoon

Small Lagoon - Best Things to Do in El Nido, Palawan

You bet that if there’s a “Big Lagoon,” there has to be a “Small Lagoon.” Right, and Small Lagoon, being the more cramped version of the former, lets you pass through a narrow entrance that you need to plunge into or ride a kayak and go through a gap on a wall made of limestone, so you can see the turquoise waters and limestone cliffs inside.  

Then, you can either swim or kayak around this lagoon’s waters, and enjoy its calmness pulsating in harmony with the wildlife.

11. Shimizu Island

Shimizu Island - El Nido Tours

Shimizu Island is part of one of the most popular island-hopping tour packages in Palawan, which takes you here, and to Big Lagoon, Small Lagoon, and Secret Lagoon, among others.

Snorkeling the calm and crystal clear waters is a recommended activity around this island. You will see colorful coral reefs and vibrant tropical fish wading beneath. Surrounding the island are black cliffs that shoot into the sky, laden with impressively lush trees.

Being a popular tour package, feel free to take advantage of this as you socialize with other tourists over a lavish fresh seafood lunch. 

12. Cadlao Lagoon

Cadlao Lagoon in El Nido Palawan

Characterized by its turquoise waters splashing on its tiny pocket of white sands, Cadlao Lagoon is pure bliss. Ask your tour guides about their favorite lagoon in El Nido , and they will tell you it’s this lagoon. 

Its waters are best for kayaking and even a short hike leading to a rocky lookout. However, like many islands in Palawan, Cadlao Lagoon is only accessible by boat. But if you are feeling a bit adventurous, you can use your kayak and paddle your way here.

13. Nacpan Beach

Nacpan Beach - Best Things to Do in El Nido, Palawan

Another pride of El Nido is Nacpan Beach, and you’ll understand why. Before, it was a secret destination only visited by a few tourists, until it was discovered by more tourists. Eventually, it has become among the most popular beaches in beautiful El Nido. Well, it doesn’t have to be a secret as it is wonderful here. 

Visitors can simply lie on the beach consisting of cream-colored sands lined with coconut trees, or on hammocks if they wish to do some sunbathing. Then, you can swim its crystal clear turquoise waters, or play volleyball, kayaking, and paddleboarding. Discover its magic.

14. Taraw Cliff

Taraw Cliff - Tourist Spots in El Nido Palawan

Continuing on the list of the top tourist attractions in Palawan with Taraw Cliff. If you fancy trekking, this is for you. But, since the trek features sharp rocks in high heat and humidity, though a short climb, it is not for everyone. 

Should you wish to partake in this adventure, it is strictly recommended that you follow your guide as they will tell you the path to tread. Before you reach the rocks and the vantage point for amazing views of the area, you will walk through a small jungle and some jungle areas.

15. Seven Commandos Beach

Wondering what to include on your Palawan itinerary? In this guide, we highlighted the top tourist attractions in Palawan—from Coron to Balabac.

This beach got its name from the seven soldiers who were once stranded there. Seven Commandos Beach is known for its fine white sands lined with towering coconut trees standing at the foot of gorgeous limestone cliffs.

Seven Commandos Beach is usually part of your El Nido island hopping tour . You can swim, snorkel, play beach volleyball, and indulge yourself with refreshing beverages, as this is the only island in El Nido, alongside its high-end resorts, with bars. Food is also served on this beach.

16. Puerto Princesa Underground River

Puerto Princesa Underground River Tour.jpg2

If there’s one destination that you should never ever miss when you plan to visit Palawan, it has to be the Puerto Princesa Underground River . Apart from being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this subterranean river national park is often featured in school books, so you know this place is really important. 

As you wear your life vest and your protective helmet, a boat will take you inside the cave where you will get to see the most breathtaking cave formations, stalactites, and stalagmites.  Among this underground river’s distinguishing attributes is that it directly emerges into the sea, with its lower portion subject to tidal influences. It also serves as a habitat for some wildlife.

17. Luli Island

Luli Island on Honda Bay in Puerto Princesa Palawan

Luli Island is one of the three important islands you will visit in Honda Bay. Honda Bay has 16 islands in total, but only three are open to tourists.

Curious about where the island’s name came from? Well, it is taken from the first syllables of two Filipino words, lulubog (“to sink”) and lilitaw (“to surface”), as the island’s sandbar appears and disappears depending on the tides.

It is beautiful here. You’ll be able to enjoy Luli Island’s powdery cream sand and clear emerald waters. You may also rent cottages and snorkeling equipment. 

18. Cowrie Island

Cowrie Island Puerto Princesa Tourist Attractions in Palawan

Cowrie Island is another of the three islands you’ll be visiting in Honda Bay, the others being Luli Island and Starfish Island. 

The island got its name from the cowrie shells scattered around the area. Cowries are a type of sea snail. 

Aside from swimming in and snorkeling in its beguiling waters, tourists can also enjoy really incredible views of the island. Remember to take photos that you can keep as memories. 

Interestingly, some friendly locals on the island even offer to snap some artistic pictures of you on the island, free of charge. You can also enjoy a delicious picnic-style meal while on Cowrie Island.

19. Ugong Rock Adventures

Ugong Rock Adventures Tourist Attractions in Palawan

Are you an adrenaline junkie? You must include the Ugong Rock Adventures in your itinerary. Best paired with your visit to the Puerto Princesa Underground River, Ugong Rock Adventures involves climbing Ugong Rock, an enormous moss-covered limestone formation where you will see such a glorious view of the mountains and the surrounding rice fields from the summit. 

But right before you begin climbing, you’ll be able to see equally astounding untouched mineral deposits in caves. After you’re done taking in everything that the rock’s summit has to offer, you can choose to descend Ugong Rock by a single-rider zipline with a 71-meter drop.

20. Long Beach

Long Beach San Vicente Palawan Tourist Attractions in Palawan

San Vicente is an exquisite municipality located on the northwestern side of the island of Palawan. If you are passing by in this part of the province, don’t forget to visit Long Beach. 

Long Beach is regarded as the longest white sand beach in the Philippines and the second-longest across Southeast Asia, hence its name.

You can take a dip into its crystal clear waters, or take a walk to explore the beach. If you just wish to relax, you can simply lounge by the ocean, read a book, listen to the waves, or chat with the friendly locals.

21. Bato Ni Ningning

Bato Ni Ningning - Things to Do in San Vicente Palawan

Another must-visit tourist spot in San Vicente is Bato Ni Ningning, touted as the municipality’s “rock star.” The place refers to the iconic rock sitting on top of a hill in San Vicente’s Barangay Sto. Niño. Its name came from a TV show featuring a character named “Ningning” and how this area where the boulder is became her playground.

Activities to do at Bato Ni Ningning include climbing atop the hill, of course. You can either use a motorbike to ascend or simply walk. The neighborhood’s community also serves up a meal usually consisting of fresh seafood and barbecue which you can enjoy.

22. Boayan Island

Boayan Island - Things to Do in San Vicente Palawan

Boayan Island is the largest island in San Vicente. Hiking is one of the most popular activities here where you can immerse yourself in views of the area from the island’s higher elevations. 

You may also explore its reefs, and many tourists who have visited this place say the waters are warm, clean, and peaceful. There are also areas where you can play volleyball and badminton. 

The island’s residents can also prepare food and perform music for you. But those tourists also say you must ready yourself for the pesky sandflies that could bite you. They can be allergic, so be sure to bring an insect repellant with you.

23. Onuk Island

best tourist destination in palawan

Onuk Island is another of the province’s paradises located in Balabac . Balabac is a municipality in the south of Palawan. 

This island may be tiny, but it has vast clear waters, a sandbar that shows up during low tide, giant clams, wild sea turtles, a coral reef, and a stilt over-water walkway. You may be focused on visiting the underground river or El Nido while you’re in Palawan, but making some time for Onuk Island will be all worth it.

24. Mansalangan Sandbar

Mansalangan Sandbar Balabac Palawan Tourist Attractions in Palawan

Another jewel of Palawan’s southern area is the Mansalangan Sandbar. Also referred to as Byan Island, Mansalangan Sandbar is reachable by taking an island-hopping tour in Balabac.

If you are a beach bum and love the sun, or just want the perfect place to relax, detoxify, and clear your mind from unwanted thoughts, Mansalangan Sandbar should be on your bucket list. 

25. Patawan Island

Patawan Island Balabac Palawan Tourist Attractions in Palawan

Last but not least is Patawan Island. Also located in Balabac, it is a small islet in the Sulu Sea. Unlike other islands in the municipality, Patawan Island is privately owned. 

Many tourists also call it “Dolphin Island” because of its shape which resembles a dolphin as seen from drone images. The island has white sands, clear waters, corals, and fish, perfect for snorkeling. 

You Complete Palawan Travel Guide

From the bustling Puerto Princesa capital city, to the wondrous islands in El Nido, to quaint municipalities like San Vicente, Palawan is every traveler’s dream destination. Adventurous souls will appreciate this Philippine province as it is filled with natural sceneries that will leave you wanting more.

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Palawan travel - Coron Island in northern Palawan viewd from a height. The green island rises sharply out of jewel-blue waters © Kevin Boutwell/500px

Diving and snorkelling

A rich underwater tapestry greets scuba divers who flock to Palawan , which lies at the very heart of the Coral Triangle biodiversity corridor. The highlight is Tubbataha Reefs National Park , a partially sunken atoll in the middle of the Sulu Sea that’s accessible only by live-aboard boat from late March to mid-June. Here hammerheads mingle with giant wrasse and manta rays on a radiant coral shelf. Up north in the Calamian Islands , experienced divers penetrate the haunting husks of some two dozen Japanese shipwrecks sunk by American bombers in Coron Bay in 1944. The Calamians, along with El Nido , have outstanding reef diving. Live-aboard trips between these two tourist hotspots cut through the Linapacan Archipelago, characterised by crystalline waters and lonely beaches.

A traditional bangka (lightweight outrigger boat) sits on water so still it mirrors the pink-blue sunrise in the sky ©Julien Pons/500px

Island hopping

Top of most visitors' bucket lists is boarding a trusty Philippine bangka (motorized outrigger) or speed boat and setting off to explore Palawan’s 1780 islands. Paradise takes many forms here: from the James Bond-worthy seascapes of El Nido’s Bacuit Archipelago ; to the striking turquoise waters and dazzling coral reefs of the Calamian Islands in the north; to the Maldives-esque sandbars of the up-and-coming Balabac Archipelago in the extreme south of the province. Why not unplug from the world and take a multiday expedition, camping on remote islands under the stars, far removed from other tourists?

Palawan travel - View of green mountain and tropical beach, El Nido bay, Palawan island, Philippines

The best part about Palawan’s glorious beaches? Only a fraction are known to the masses. The rest are yours for the taking. El Nido has a seemingly endless supply of sandy dreamscapes both onshore and offshore in the Bacuit Archipelago. The latter was the muse for Alex Garland’s seminal novel, The Beach . North of El Nido, a rough road leads to amber-toned Nacpan Beach , a 3km sprawl with partial sunset views that somehow remains relatively undeveloped. Heading south along Palawan’s west coast, wind-swept affairs like Long Beach in San Vicente lay exposed to the full force of the Pacific Ocean. Way up north, the Calamian Islands are known for postcard-perfect islets often ringed 360-degrees by blindingly white sand.

Children with a large trunk in a boat, El Nido. Philippines. (Photo by: Sergi Reboredo/VW PICS/UIG via Getty Images)

Jungle adventures

Close to 50% of Palawan’s old-growth forest cover remains intact, by far the most among Philippine provinces, providing ample opportunity for landlubbers to frolic in the forest. Waterfalls – there are literally thousands – thunder out of mainland Palawan’s jagged peaks into crisp emerald-green pools. Estrella Falls in Southern Palawan has no less than 64 tiers; it takes four days to reach them all. Naturalists can prowl the rainforests in search of giant monitor lizards, monkeys, endemic Palawan bearcats or flying foxes. Birdwatchers migrate from around the globe to spot rare species like the vocal Palawan hornbill or the red-vented (Philippine) cockatoo, while determined trekkers can scale myriad peaks.

Palawan’s tourism wagon is firmly hitched to the sea, and so is its diet. In Bacuit Bay, bronzed backpackers on island-hopping trips out of El Nido alight on idyllic beaches to gorge on repasts of prawns, squid, mussels, crab and red snapper (pro tip: pick the boat operator with the best lunch). Calamian boat trips offer a similar culinary experience. In remote fishing communities across Palawan, dinner consists of whatever the locals caught that day, perhaps a dorado (mahi-mahi) or yellowfin tuna for sashimi if you’re lucky. Back in civilisation, Kalui in the provincial capital, Puerto Princesa , does delectable set seafood menus complemented by salads of seaweed and forest-picked fern.

Palawan travel - Philippines: In this handout image provided by Red Bull, Rhiannan Iffland of Australia dives from the 21 metre platform at the Big Lagoon on Miniloc Island during the final competition day of the first stop of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series on April 13, 2019 at Palawan, Philippines. (Photo by Romina Amato/Red Bull via Getty Images)

Adrenaline rushes

How extreme can you go? Palawan is an amazing destination for adrenaline junkies. In El Nido, it maxes out with cliff-diving from the karst towers of Bacuit Bay – the Red Bull cliff diving series stopped in El Nido earlier this year. Also in the El Nido area, Sibaltan Beach is an up-and-coming kitesurfing spot while Duli Beach woos surfers; the season for both is November to March. Karst is everywhere, providing rock climbers with opportunities to get vertical – El Nido and Sabang are good choices. The latter is the site of the Subterranean River National Park , the longest navigable underground river in the world. Access is by slow paddle boats that hardly qualify as extreme, but with permission you can don spelunking gear and proceed 3km beyond the tourist zone.

Palawan travel - EL NIDO, PALAWAN, PHILIPPINES - A canoe is heading into a hidden lagoon in Palawan archipelago. A man crouches near the top of the canoe wearing blue swimming shorts (Photo by Jonas Gratzer/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Sea kayaking

Why not skip the standard bangka tours and explore Palawan’s iconic bays by sea kayak? Multi-day expeditions are a logical next step. Several companies on the main Calamian island of Busuanga already offer these. Busuanga is surrounded by little islands that provide shelter and good camping spots. Sea kayakers can spend up to a week paddling around the island, fishing for their food and basking in isolation. More extreme are two-week Busuanga-to-El Nido expeditions that pit person against sea. Paddling has the additional benefit of having limited impact on Palawan’s fragile environment.

Sustainable travel

Palawan has always had a responsible attitude towards its environment. It was one of the first provinces to crack down on litter, noise pollution and single-use plastics. There is plenty at stake, as the province’s pristine rainforests and coastal ecosystems are under grave threat from illegal logging and destructive fishing practices. Against that backdrop, several award-winning resorts are leading the way toward a more sustainable future, blending native design and low-carbon elements like solar panels, composting and edible gardens to create living spaces that will last. Ecotourism will play a role in determining the future of the archipelago. Do your homework and choose responsible tour operators and resorts. The future of Palawan depends on it.

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A travel & food blog

El Nido, Palawan, in the Philippines

21+ BEST Things to Do in Palawan (Your Palawan Bucket List)

Palawan is one of the best places to visit in the Philippines . With its phenomenal beaches, lagoons, scuba diving sites and other nature attractions, it’s no wonder it’s repeatedly voted as the No. 1 Island in the World. Here we’ve compiled a definitive list of the best things to do in Palawan, Philippines!

1. Eat local food in Kalui restaurant

2. enjoy cheap seafood in puerto princesa baywalk, 3. boat tour in the puerto princesa underground river, 4. island hopping in el nido, 5. kayak activity to beaches in el nido, 6. relax in nacpan beach, 7. climb taraw cliff in el nido, 8. visit kayangan lake, 9. soothe your muscles in maquinit hot spring, 10. witness the sunset in mount tapyas, coron, 11. scuba dive in coron, 12. relax in the laid-back beaches of san vicente, 13. explore the remote islands of balabac, 14. day trip in onuk island, 15. visit the pearl farm in flower island, 16. island hopping in port barton, 17. snorkel in dumaran, 18. swim in the clear waters of linapacan, 19. go on a historical tour of culion, 20. go on a liveaboard in tubbataha reef, 21. climb mount mantalingajan, 22. visit calauit safari park, what to read next:.

– From Things to Do and Eat

Things to do in Palawan - eat local food in Kalui restaurant

Kalui is a must visit restaurant when you’re in Puerto Princesa, Palawan. One of the top recommendations when talking to both tourists and locals alike, their focus is family style seafood and Filipino dishes .

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When you walk in, you have to take off your shoes so it feels like you’re entering someone’s home for a special meal. The decor is beautiful, with lots of art pieces, and there are even paintings for sale!

You get free ginger seafood stock soup and a unique type of seaweed called lato to start, and fresh fruits in a coconut for dessert– at least when we went. Then basically everything we actually ordered was amazing! My personal favorite dish was their seafood pinakbet. The vegetables were so fresh and the squid was perfectly cooked and tender!

Things to do in Palawan - eat seafood in Puerto Princesa Baywalk Park

If you’re staying in Puerto Princesa City and looking for a place to eat, don’t miss out on visiting the baywalk park. It’s lined with several restaurants offering affordable Filipino food and even fresh seafood!

For the seafood, you can choose from the displays in front of the restaurants to be cooked or order one of the group meals. We ordered a bilao good for 6-8 people and only paid about P1200!

Aside from the restaurants, you can also stroll by the souvenir shops in the area.

Paddle boat tour to Puerto Princesa Underground River

At 8.2 km in length, the Puerto Princesa Underground River in Puerto Princesa City is one of the longest underground rivers in the world. It is part of the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River Park, which is a a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New7Wonders of the World.

You can explore the initial 1.5 kilometers via a paddle boat tour. The tour takes about 45 minutes. You’ll be given a lifevest and cap for protection, as well as an audio guide to listen to during the tour. Once inside, your guide/boatman will also point out  interesting rock formations and wildlife inside using a torchlight. The underground river has retained its natural ambiance so you can appreciate the stalacties, stalagmites and small waterfalls inside the cave.

To get here, you’ll need to go to Sabang and ride a motorized boat for 15-20 minutes or take a jungle trail for 1 hour . If you’re joining a packaged tour, the boat arrangement is already taken cared of.

Big Lagoon and Small Lagoon in El Nido

Your visit in Palawan won’t be complete without island hopping in El Nido. This is considered the premiere tourist attraction in Palawan and even though it’s visited by thousands of tourists every year, it still remains a beauty to behold.

There are different island hopping tours available in El Nido. The most recommended ones are tours A and C. These will take you to the Small Lagoon and Big Lagoon, which features crystal-clear emerald water surrounded by towering karst rings; Matinloc Shrine, which is a great snorkeling spot; and Secret Beach, which is accessible only thru a small opening.

– From Walk my World

Things to do in Palawan - kayak to beaches in El Nido

Whilst a lot of tourists in Palawan focus on the island hopping tours, there are several stunning beaches which the boat trips overlook that are really close to El Nido and almost entirely empty . Many hotels will hire out kayaks for the day and with a bit of work, you can find a white sand beach with beautiful turquoise water all to yourself! We highly recommend paddling to Lapus Lapus and Ipil Beach to take in these wild beaches without the crowds.

The other benefit of a kayak is that you can also visit some of the really popular beaches like Papaya and Seven Commandos after the tour groups leave for the day. If you arrive after 4pm, it’s very likely that these famous beaches will have very few, if any people on them, allowing you to take in the sunset at one of the most beautiful places in Palawan all to yourself.

Nacpan Beach in El Nido, Palawan | budget-friendly El Nido travel guide

If you’re exhausted from days of island hopping and want to take the afternoon off, you can visit and relax at Nacpan Beach. Nacpan Beach is located about 45 minutes from El Nido town proper. The beach in itself is calm and beautiful.

Here you can relax or beach bum, hike to see an overlooking view of the Twin Beaches and eat seafood at nearby restaurants.

There are also resorts in Nacpan Beach where you can choose to stay overnight.

– From Pinoy Adventurista

Things to do in Palawan - climb Taraw Cliff

Aside from exploring El Nido’s stunning and world-class beaches, islands and towering limestone rock formations, another must-do activity when in El Nido is climbing Taraw Cliff . It’s one of the best spots to see El Nido from above.

This limestone cliff is located right in the heart of downtown El Nido and offers sweeping and panoramic views of Bacuit Bay the of El Nido town.

The best and safest way to get to the viewing deck of Taraw Cliff is through the El Nido Canopy Walk. Although climbing it wasn’t easy, our tour guide made us feel safe and secured by guiding us all the way to the top. The amazing view made me forget the long walk up the stairs just to see this famed view of El Nido. And I don’t regret it. Given the chance, I will climb this again on my next visit to El Nido.

Don’t miss it when traveling to El Nido, Palawan! You will surely enjoy it!

View deck in Kayangan Lake, Coron

Kayangan Lake is perhaps the most popular tourist attraction in Coron, Palawan . With its turqouise water, it’s also dubbed as the cleanest water in Asia.

To get here, you will need to rent a boat or join an island hopping tour. You’ll climb a set of stairs which will then take you to the famous viewpoint of the Coron Bay. Climb down to the other side and you’ll see the lake. You can swim or snorkel/freedive to see fishes or stalagmites underneath.

Maquinit hot spring is a saltwater hot spring that can be found in Busuanga. It’s about 30 minutes away from Coron town proper.

The water in the hot spring comes from a volcano located underground, which is then collected into 3 circular pools. Here tourists can soak themselves for a therapeutic and relaxing dip. The temperature in the hot spring hovers around 40 degree Celcius, which makes it a perfect day-ender after a day of island hopping or trekking Mount Tapyas.

Maquinit hot spring is open daily from 8AM to 10PM.

– From Whisper Wanderlust

Things to do in Palawan - watch sunset in Mount Tapyas

One of my favorite activities in Palawan is to admire the sunset on Mount Tapyas in Coron.

To reach the observation site, you must climb 700 steps. Even if it is quite exhausting, it definitely deserves the effort. In the end, you will be rewarded with an absolutely delightful view. From there, not only will you be able to admire the glorious sunset but also the surrounding landscapes, along with a few islands, including Coron Island. It is a popular place and you will see that many tourists sit on the grass while waiting for the sun to hide behind the hills.

I recommend you to get there at least half an hour before and bring water and some snacks.

– From Dreamers Who Wander

Off the coast of El Nido, Coron is an amazing island full of beauty and secluded white sand beaches. But what makes Coron special and definitely worth a visit?

The answer is simple: this tiny gem in Palawan has been described as one of the best places in the world for wreck diving! In 1944, more than 20 Japanese ships were sunk by a devastating American air raid. Even if only 12 vessels had been discovered up to now, they are all well preserved and at a perfect depth for recreational diving.

Penetrating a sunken ship is an incredibly powerful experience that every passionate and advanced diver would surely appreciate. The fish and sea creatures that now inhabit this extraordinary piece of our history make the experience of wreck diving in Coron truly unforgettable.

– From Wandering Wagars

Things to do in Palawan - visit beaches in San Vicente

San Vicente is a destination that is often overshadowed by many of the more popular destinations in Palawan. In fact, San Vicente is one of the true hidden gems in the Philippines. This idyllic destination has unspoiled beaches, picture-perfect islands, rich marine life, and the chilled out, relaxed vibe that that only seems to occur at the best beach destinations.

San Vicente is often touted as being the next Boracay , although I hope that never happens. Boracay , as beautiful as it is, has become overrun by tourists and businesses. San Vicente is what Boracay was 20 years ago. In San Vicente you can visit Long Beach is the longest stretch of beach in the Philippines. There are also beautiful waterfalls and quiet coastal fishing villages.

For an even more intimate experience head to the suburb of Port Barton . Here you can take boat tours to sandy islands, turtle sanctuaries, rich coral reefs and so much more.

Candaraman Island, Balabac, Palawan

Balabac is an up-and-coming destination in Palawan . It’s composed of 31 islands and several of these can be visited during island hopping.

Here in Balabac you’ll be able to see pristine islands. Most notable are Onuk Island — a private island surrounded by jaw-dropping blue water; Bugsuk Island, which features the finest sand in the area; Candaraman Island, which has a sandbar filled with starfishes; Mansalangan sandbar, a picture-perfect sandbar; Patawan Island and more.

These islands can be visited in 2-3 days.

Onuk Island in Balabac, Palawan

The Philippines has a lot of amazing beaches all throughout its regions, but nothing compares to Onuk Island. This private island can be found in the municipality of Balabac, in the southern part of Palawan.

Onuk Island is an elongated-shaped island enclosed by a reef called Roughton Reef. The island itself has crystal-clear beach and a snorkeling area where you can see fishes, giant clams and even sea turtles. Currently, there are limited rooms in the islands and cottages where you can put up a hammock to relax.

During low tide, you can enjoy swimming in the beach below. During high tide, the water rises just below the stilt pathway so you can jump directly to the water if you wish to do so.

Onuk Island can be visited by boat. It’s often included in island hopping tours in Balabac .

– From Nomadic Boys

Things to do in Palawan - visit pearl farm in Flower Island

One of the most fascinating things we did in Palawan was visiting a pearl farm during our visit to Flower Island.

Flower Island is a small privately-owned island around 1-hour boat ride from Taytay. It is owned by the large pearl farm that owns most of the marine space in this part of Palawan.

As part of our stay at Flower Island, we visited the Pearl Farm.

The process of harvesting pearls is very complex, involving a lot of different stages, which are explained at the farm.

However, the thing that struck us the most from our visit is how stringent and intense the security is! You cannot just turn up at the farm – visits are strictly by appointment, arranged in advance. On arrival, guards meet to inspect you and follow you throughout your tour. The reason is because of the large number of pirate attacks that have happened in the past due to the high value of the pearls!

Kat in Pina Plata, Port Barton

There are already island hopping tours available in El Nido or Coron, so what makes Port Barton different? It’s relatively less crowded so it’s perfect for those who want a quieter time or looking for a new destination to explore in Palawan.

There are different island hopping tours available in Port Barton , but if you’re in a group and renting a boat for exclusive tour, you can customize your itinerary so you can see the best stops in a day. You can snorkel in the Twin Reef or Wide Reef, chase sea turtles in German Island or otherwise relax in swim in beautiful beaches.

Dumaran is one of the low-key destinations in Palawan. It can be visited as a day tour from Puerto Princesa City, although it’s better to spend at least 3 days here to explore the islands.

Dumaran offers several kilometers of coral reef area where you can see various types of corals and fishes. The most popular boat stops include Renambakan Island and Encantasia Island. There are also other islands you can see in Dumaran if you simply want to explore beaches.

Linapacan nabbed its place in the tourist map after an online magazine named it one of the clearest waters in the world.

It can be visited via ferry from either Coron or El Nido. Tourism in Linapacan is not yet established; as such, there are no standard island hopping tours here yet. You will need to rent a private boat to visit Linapacan and its neighboring islands, where you can enjoy frolicking in pristine beaches, snorkel and dive.

Culion in Palawan

Culion Island is one of the major islands in the Calamian Group. It can be visited as a day tour from Coron.

Culion has an interesting history. Several decades ago, it was once a leper colony although it later be declared as a disease-free community. A historical tour in Culion will take you to several landmarks including historical sites as a leper colony, Culion Museum, Culion Church and Bogor Marine Park.

Tubbataha Reef in Palawan

The Tubbataha Reef is one of the best places to dive in the Philippines. In fact, it was listed by CNN as the top 8th best dive site in the world . The only way to visit here is via liveaboard which allows you to a couple day’s exploration.

Tubbataha Reef features high marine life diversity. Expect to see various species of corals, fishes and other animals such as sharks, turtles and manta rays.

Dive season in Tubbataha Reef is from mid-March to mid-June.

If you enjoy challenges, you shouldn’t miss trekking Mount Mantalingajan. It’s considered the highest point in Palawan.

During the trek, you will encounter different landscapes including grassland, mossy forest and jagged rock platforms. It’s also a cultural activity. Interestingly, Mount Mantalingajan was once home to the extinct tribe of Tau’t Daram (also called the “People of the Night”), which is believed to be a mystical tribe who lives in houses above the forest canopy. Today, another tribe continues to live in the mountain — the Tau’t Bato (also called “People of the Stone”). You will encounter the Tau’t Bato villages during your trek.

To get here, you need to travel by van from Puerto Princesa to Rizal. Scaling the summit of Mount Mantalingajan takes 3 days.

Things to do in Palawan - visit Calauit Safari Park

Calauit Safari Park is a game reserve and wildlife sanctuary located in Calauit Island. You can visit it on your own or as part of Coron Black Island tour.

It was originally created as a Little Africa. It’s home to various animals — both imported from abroad and endemic to Palawan. These include giraffes, zebras and Calamian deers. Most of the animals are allowed to roam free, while the rest are held in protected areas for safety. A favorite activity here is feeding the giraffes.

And there’s our top things to do in Palawan! Can you add more to this list? Let us know in the comments below!

Visiting Palawan? Check out the rest of our guides in Palawan:

  • Ultimate Guide to Palawan
  • Top Things to Do in Palawan
  • Best Beaches in Palawan

Puerto Princesa :

  • Guide to Puerto Princesa Underground River
  • Island Hopping in Honda Bay
  • Best Resorts and Hotels in Puerto Princesa
  • Travel Guide to Coron
  • Best Resorts in Coron Palawan
  • Travel Guide to El Nido
  • Best Resorts in El Nido Palawan
  • Travel Guide to Balabac
  • Island Hopping in Balabac
  • Onuk Island

Port Barton :

  • Travel Guide to Port Barton + 3 Days Itinerary
  • Top Things to Do in Port Barton
  • Island Hopping in Port Barton

Katherine author profile

Katherine Cortes is a long-time backpacker and a freelance writer/editor. She likes beaches, snorkeling trips, and relaxing staycations (preferably with bath tubs!).

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This makes me miss Palawan 🙂

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best tourist destination in palawan

Explore the Top 20 Palawan Tourist Spots: A Tropical Haven

Learn more about the breathtaking Palawan tourist spots in this comprehensive article that includes both the island’s famous and underrated destinations and historical attractions.

Welcome to Palawan, the tropical haven where nature’s masterpiece comes to life! Nestled in the westernmost part of the Philippines, Palawan is a mesmerizing archipelago blessed with stunning landscapes, crystal-clear waters, and diverse marine life.

As a highly sought-after destination, Palawan has rightfully earned its reputation as one of the world’s best islands.

In this extensive guide, we’ll take you on an unforgettable journey, exploring the top 20 Palawan tourist spots that showcase the island’s natural wonders, cultural heritage, and off-the-beaten-path treasures. So pack your bags, and let the adventure begin!

1. El Nido: The Crown Jewel of Palawan Tourist Spots

El Nido is a top Palawan tourist spot

Palawan’s crown jewel, El Nido, welcomes you with its breathtaking beauty and endless wonders. This coastal town on the northern tip of Palawan is a paradise for travelers seeking a magical beach getaway.

El Nido boasts majestic limestone cliffs rising dramatically from the turquoise waters, forming a backdrop of stunning limestone karst formations.

Island hopping tours are a must here, taking you to enchanting spots like Big Lagoon, Small Lagoon, Secret Lagoon, and Shimizu Island, where you can snorkel and dive in vibrant coral reefs.

El Nido is a top Palawan tourist spot with a myriad of natural attractions.

2. Coron Island: A Diver’s Delight

Coron is one of the best tourist spots in Palawan

Located north of Palawan, Coron Island is a diver’s dream come true. Home to numerous World War II shipwrecks, Coron’s underwater world is a historical and marine sanctuary.

Divers from around the globe flock to explore the eerie yet fascinating remnants of the past while surrounded by thriving marine life.

Don’t miss a visit to Kayangan Lake, known for its crystal-clear waters and stunning rock formations, offering a glimpse of paradise on Earth.

Of course, the thriving marine ecosystem makes seafood a common cuisine locally.

3. Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park: An Underground Wonder

The Underground River in Puerto Princesa is one of the most famous Palawan tourist spots

Venturing south, we arrive at Puerto Princesa, the capital of Palawan. It hosts both natural and historical attractions.

The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature, is a must-visit destination. It is considered a top-notch Palawan tourist spot.

Explore the underground river by boat, winding your way through a network of chambers adorned with impressive stalactites and stalagmites. This mystical journey will leave you in awe of Mother Nature’s artistic prowess.

Near the cave, you can find a variety of flora and fauna species. Don’t miss seeing the thrilling monitor lizards strolling around.

4. Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park: An Oasis for Marine Enthusiasts

Tubbataha Reefs is a globally important Palawan tourist spot

Diving aficionados cannot afford to miss Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park, located in the Sulu Sea. This remote marine sanctuary is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, renowned for its exceptional biodiversity.

The park’s pristine coral reefs are home to an astounding array of marine species, including sharks, manta rays, and colorful reef fish.

Tubbataha Reefs is a bucket-list destination for those seeking an unparalleled underwater adventure.

Thanks to local conservation efforts, the majority of the coral reefs here remain in pristine condition, attracting countless marine species.

It is one of the most eco-friendly tourist destinations in Palawan.

5. Honda Bay: A Tropical Island Hopping Paradise

best tourist destination in palawan

Situated on the eastern side of Palawan, Honda Bay offers an array of idyllic islets, each with its own unique charm.

Starfish Island lives up to its name, boasting an abundance of starfish scattered along its shallow shores. Luli Island is another gem, as it appears and disappears with the tide. Cowrie Island is a great spot for water sports and relaxation.

Embark on an island-hopping adventure to savor the beauty of Honda Bay’s tropical wonders.

6. Port Barton: A Tranquil Coastal Getaway

best tourist destination in palawan

For those yearning for a laid-back beach experience away from the tourist crowds, Port Barton is the answer.

This unspoiled fishing village on the western coast of Palawan exudes simplicity and charm. Enjoy the pristine beaches, unwind in hammocks under swaying coconut trees, and take in the tranquil ambiance of this coastal gem.

Port Barton’s simplicity is a refreshing escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

7. Nacpan Beach: A Paradise of White Sands and Azure Waters

Nacpan Beach is an off-beaten Palawan tourist spot

Nacpan Beach, located in the northern part of Palawan, is a postcard-perfect destination with its long stretch of powdery white sand and turquoise waters.

Its relaxed atmosphere and captivating sunset views make it an ideal spot to unwind and reconnect with nature.

Take leisurely strolls along the shore, swim in the clear waters, and indulge in the serene beauty of Nacpan Beach, dubbed as an off-beaten Palawan tourist spot.

8. Balabac Island: A Hidden Gem Off the Beaten Path

best tourist destination in palawan

Seeking an off-the-beaten-path adventure? Balabac Island, located in the southernmost part of Palawan, awaits with its untouched beauty.

With its stunning lagoons, sandbars, and diverse wildlife, Balabac is a paradise for nature enthusiasts and photographers.

Explore the enchanting Candaraman Island, witness the surreal beauty of Onuk Island, and bask in the pink-hued sands of the renowned Pink Beach.

Many travellers acclaim that the beaches of Balabac can rival those of Boracay Island.

9. Calauit Safari Park: An African Experience in Palawan

best tourist destination in palawan

Have you ever dreamed of going on an African safari? Calauit Safari Park brings that dream to life within the lush landscapes of Palawan.

Located in Busuanga, Calauit Island, the park is a vast conservation area where you can spot African animals such as giraffes, zebras, and gazelles, which were introduced here in the 1970s.

Witnessing these magnificent creatures roaming freely is an unforgettable experience.

Indeed, you don’t have to spend a fortune travelling around African countries to have a semblance of these majestic creatures.

10. Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Puerto Princesa: A Glimpse into Palawan’s History

best tourist destination in palawan

For a touch of culture and history, make sure to visit the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Puerto Princesa.

This century-old church is an architectural marvel and a significant religious site in Palawan. Its striking design reflects European and Filipino influences, offering a glimpse into the island’s colonial past.

As one of the centers of Catholicism in the area, the church hosts daily masses. Near the church are other historical attractions.

11. Ugong Rock: A Thrilling Adventure Amidst Nature

Get your adrenaline pumping at Ugong Rock in Puerto Princesa. This limestone formation offers spelunking and zip-lining experiences, providing a unique perspective of Palawan’s natural wonders.

Climb up the limestone cliffs and zip-line through the lush forest canopy, experiencing an exhilarating adventure in the heart of nature.

12. Batak Tribe Community: Immersion in Indigenous Culture

best tourist destination in palawan

Palawan is not just about natural beauty; it is also rich in indigenous culture. A visit to the Batak Tribe Community allows you to immerse yourself in the traditional way of life of one of the island’s indigenous tribes.

Interact with the locals, learn about their handicrafts and customs, and experience warm hospitality. It’s a rare opportunity to connect with Palawan’s indigenous heritage.

13. Snake Island: A Sandbar Shaped Like a Serpent

Don’t be alarmed by the name; Snake Island is a stunning sandbar in Honda Bay, named for its shape, which resembles a snake.

During low tide, a curvy sandbar emerges, creating a unique and picturesque landform. Stroll along the sandbar, take Instagram-worthy photos, and enjoy the serenity of this natural wonder.

Don’t forget to capture the mesmerizing view from the viewpoint of the island’s peak.

14. Mangrove Paddle Boat Tour: A Journey through Coastal Ecosystems

Venture into the heart of mangrove forests with a paddle boat tour. This eco-friendly experience allows you to witness the intricate ecosystem of mangroves and spot various bird species, including kingfishers and herons.

The tour also educates visitors about the importance of mangrove conservation in preserving coastal biodiversity.

As you glide through the calm waters, take in the serene beauty of the mangrove-lined riverbanks.

15. Nagtabon Beach: A Hidden Gem on the West Coast

best tourist destination in palawan

A hidden gem located on the west coast of Palawan, Nagtabon Beach offers a peaceful retreat with captivating sunset views and opportunities for surfing.

If you want to escape the crowds and immerse yourself in nature, Nagtabon Beach is the place to be. Enjoy the serenity, take a leisurely swim, or catch some waves for an exhilarating surfing experience.

Nagtabon beach is now one of the rising Palawan tourist spots.

16. Tabon Caves: The Cradle of Philippine Civilization

Delve into the history of Palawan by exploring the Tabon Caves, known as the “Cradle of Philippine Civilization.”

These caves, located in the municipality of Quezon, contain ancient artifacts and remains dating back thousands of years, shedding light on Palawan’s early inhabitants and their way of life.

The Tabon Caves Complex is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, offering a unique glimpse into the island’s prehistoric past.

17. Estrella Falls: A Refreshing Oasis in the Jungle

best tourist destination in palawan

Escape to the lush jungles of Narra town and discover the captivating beauty of Estrella Falls. This multi-tiered waterfall is a refreshing oasis perfect for swimming, picnics, and basking in the beauty of nature.

Surrounded by the vibrant greenery of the forest, Estrella Falls offers a serene and idyllic setting to relax and rejuvenate.

18. Dolphin Watching in Puerto Princesa: A Magical Encounter

Embark on an early morning dolphin-watching tour and witness playful dolphins frolicking in the open sea.

This enchanting experience will leave you in awe of nature’s beauty and the gracefulness of these magnificent creatures.

Keep your camera ready to capture the magical moments as the dolphins dance and glide alongside the boat.

19. Cuyo Fort and Lighthouse: A Historical Landmark

best tourist destination in palawan

Step back in time and visit the Cuyo Fort, a historical landmark built during the Spanish colonial era. The fort served as a defense against pirates and other threats during that time.

Climb up the lighthouse for a panoramic view of the island and the surrounding seas, making it a perfect spot for photo enthusiasts. Explore the narrow streets of Cuyo town and immerse yourself in its colonial charm.

20. Maquinit Hot Spring: A Soothing Escape in Coron

After days of exploring Palawan’s wonders, it’s time to relax and rejuvenate your senses at Maquinit Hot Spring in Coron. Nestled amidst lush greenery, this natural hot spring offers a soothing escape.

Enjoy the therapeutic benefits of the warm waters while taking in the tranquil surroundings. Let the warmth melt away your fatigue, leaving you refreshed and ready for more adventures in Palawan.

Palawan is a destination that will captivate your heart and soul with its breathtaking beauty, unique experiences, and warm hospitality. Whether you’re an adventure seeker, a beach lover, or a cultural enthusiast, the top Palawan tourist spots have something unique to offer.

best tourist destination in palawan

So, what are you waiting for? Grab your swimsuit and camera, and let Palawan enchant you with its natural wonders and warm embrace!

Whether it’s exploring the limestone cliffs of El Nido, diving among shipwrecks in Coron, or immersing in the cultural heritage of indigenous tribes, Palawan promises an unforgettable journey that will leave you yearning to return to this tropical paradise again and again.

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best tourist destination in palawan

Hi there fellow traveler! My name is Daniel although you can call me Kumafor. That's my indigenous name. I grew on a remote village called Lias in Barlig, Mountain Province.

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The Crazy Tourist

Home » Travel Guides » The Philippines » 25 Best Things to Do in Palawan Island (the Philippines)

25 Best Things to Do in Palawan Island (the Philippines)

When most people think of Palawan, their minds automatically go to  El Nido and Coron. If you ever came to Palawan and didn’t visit these two areas in the north, you’d be absolutely crazy. However, there is so much more wildlife, island hopping, wreck diving and food devouring to be done on this island.

Don’t be afraid to go off the beaten path and discover the next El Nido-esque towns like Tay Tay and Port Baron where the food is cheap, the beer is cold, and the beaches are a lot less crowded. Or take a detour into a mid-sized city like Roxas or Brooke’s Point that are full of authentic Filipino food, quiet waterfalls, peaceful wildlife sanctuaries, and incredible local experiences. It’s often the most unsuspecting areas that have the most unforgettable experience waiting. Find something on this list that speaks to you, pack your bag and just go!

Lets’explore the best things to do in Palawan Island :

1. Island Hop in Honda Bay

best tourist destination in palawan

45-minutes from the capitol of Palawan, Honda bay offers an island hopping tour that will make all of your vacation dreams come true.

You’ll explore Pandan Island, Cowrie Island, Luli Island, Starfish Island, and Verde Island where the famous Dos Palmas resort is located. All of these islands offer out-of-this-world white sand beaches with turquoise water so beautiful that that you might get a little emotional.

You can spend the whole day island hopping in Honda Bay where you’ll have the opportunity to snorkel, explore the inland of the islands, and splash around in the water. These tours typically provide lunch and snacks for your trip.

2. Scuba Diving in El Nido

best tourist destination in palawan

If you think what you’re seeing above ground is amazing, take a dive underwater in Bacuit Bay.

It’s no surprise that dive sites around El Nido are rich in marine life and thrilling topography including a 50-meter underwater cliff and a 12-meter underwater tunnel. Expect to see animals such as spotted Mata Rays and fully-grown green sea turtles. Take a night dive and you’ll see even more elusive creatures such as seahorses, shrimp and cat sharks.

You can take any and all of the diving courses here for pretty decent prices.

3. Ugong Rock Adventures

best tourist destination in palawan

Ugong Rock is a natural formation just north of Puerto Princessa that is beautiful, wild, and makes a funny noise when you tap it. Ugong Rock Adventures is a tour company that has built a triple threat of exhilarating fun around this formation and travelers love it.

Crawl in and out of rock caves with spelunking, climb up to the zipline as it catapults you through the jungle at high speeds, and trek through the jungle on some strategic trails that lead to incredible views.

4. Beaches of El Nido

El Nido Beach

Some of the most beautiful beaches in the entire world can be found in the north of Palawan in the province of El Nido. Literally, every beach is more beautiful than the next with white powdery sand, turquoise water, and many surrounded by unique towering limestone cliffs.

Visit Secret Beach tucked away in a hidden cove, Nacpan Beach which is 4-kilometers of smooth sand and coconut trees, Pangalusian Beach that looks like a post card, Las Cabanas Beach with warm water perfect for swimming, and the list goes on.

5. Visit Port Barton

best tourist destination in palawan

Venture over to Port Barton, a sleepy fishing town on the North West coast of Palawan. Think of Port Barton as a less trendy, less crowded version of El Nido where you enjoy all of the same attractions for half the price.

Go kayaking on the sea, explore rocky cliff sides, get a good tan while laying on a sandy beach- you get the picture. See how locals live as they fish, take their buffalo on a walk, or head to school.

You can find plenty of budget accommodation here at the expense of electricity. That is, there isn’t any. Most guesthouses in Port Barton run on generators that turn off at night. No fans and no ATMs, either.

6. Tabon Caves

best tourist destination in palawan

At the very tip of a large peninsula jetting off the southern half of Palawan, you’ll find the Tabon Caves. The Tabon Caves are significant for the Philippines as it is home to one the oldest discoveries of human inhabitants. Remains of the Tabon man, along with his artifacts, were found at this very site. Hence, the Tabon Caves are also a National Museum.

When you visit, there are 2 large, cathedral-type caves for you to explore, named the Diwata Cave and Liyang Cave. Hire a boat to take you over and point you in the right direction. When you find the caves, your jaw will drop. The limestone formations nestled into jungle brush look alien. As you walk through, there are small signs dishing out historical information to tie the whole experience together.

7. Baker’s Hill

best tourist destination in palawan

After a long day of adventure tours, consider stopping into Baker’s Hill for a chocolate milkshake, a coffee, or a full-on dinner. They’ve got lots of seafood dishes featuring rock lobster, fish, crab, shrimp and more. If you happen to come in the middle of the day for lunch, you can take advantage of their seafood lunch buffet.

Outside of the amazing food, Baker’s Hill is quite scenic. There are peacocks that love to show their feathers, cutsie life-size Disney statues that locals can’t get enough of and a picturesque garden perfect for a breezy afternoon.

8. Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center

best tourist destination in palawan

A quick 20-minute journey from Puerto Princessa, Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center is a refuge for endangered, hurt, or abandoned animals. The center dedicates itself to the education and progression of the animal species thriving here.

On example is the Crocodile Farm, which raises dozens of young crocodiles to adulthood. The species otherwise may struggle to survive past youth in the wild. You’ll see some massive Palawan Crocodiles in their habitat, and if you’re lucky enough- you’ll be there during feeding time.

There are lots of bird species including eagles, hawks, and hornbills as well as an education museum to peak your curiosity.

9. Eat Tamilok

best tourist destination in palawan

If you though Balut was a crazy thing to eat, wait til you feast your eyes on Tamilok. This Philippine delicacy is a type of mollusk that lives inside of mangrove trees. At a glance you might think that Tamilok look more like a bowl of worms with their long slimy bodies.

You’ll find many restaurants that serve Tamilok on Palawan Island, but if you’re looking for a place that also serves some incredible dishes to get the salty taste out of your mouth, try Kinabuchs restaurant in Puerto Princesa on Rizal Avenue.

10. San Jose Market

best tourist destination in palawan

Renting an AirBnb with a kitchen? Fancy doing some cooking? Make a trip to San Jose Market in Puerto Princessa where rows of freshly caught fresh fish, shrimp, clams, and squid are waiting for you to take them home. You’ll find lots of poultry, pork, and beef all chopped up and ready to go. There are also whole pigs, but I don’t think those will fit in your oven. Side dishes are easy to whip up with lots of green produce to purchase, some of which you may not recognize and just need to take the gamble.

Not interested in cooking? San Jose Market also has lost of stands grilling fresh fish to eat on the spot.

11. Underground river

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At 8.2 kilometers of winding water, this is one of the longest underground rivers in the world! Officially labeled the ‘7th New Wonder of the Natural World’, the underground river in Palawan is a must-do.

You’ll take a short hike through the jungle where monkeys will come out and beg you for snacks, and then you’ll reach small boats at the mouth of the cave. Climb in and you’ll paddle together through complex cave tunnels with hanging bats and calm waters. You’ll learn all about the formations from your friendly guide as you go.

Recognize that these tours are so popular that they can be full for a few days in advance. Plan your trip now by booking with a tour group online.

12. Puerto Princesa City Tour

best tourist destination in palawan

See a couple days worth of sites in one day! That might sound miserable and rushed, but it’s not! It’s just a highly efficient way to navigate the city thanks to the knowledge of your local tour guide.

On this Puerto Princessa City Tour, you’ll be pedaled around the city in a comfy tricycle taxi while you visit historical sites like the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, the WWI Plaza Cuartel, Baker’s Hill for treats, Mitra’s Ranch to visit the horses, the Crocodile Farm and more. You can ask to stop for food, snacks, and shopping at any time!

13. Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park

best tourist destination in palawan

Off the coast of Palawan in the middle of the Sulu Sea is the unbelievable Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park. From the sky, this park may look like a sandy island with its light blue and white coloration, but that’s actually just the plethora of reef only discovered by a group of divers in the 1970’s.

Because of it’s far out location, divers who want to get an up-close look will have to sign up for a live aboard boat where they’ll spend a couple days on the water.

The trip is worth it to see the unspoiled wildlife in its natural habitat. In and around the reef, expect to see thriving populations of green sea turtles, manta rays, 11 species of shark, tons of colorful fish and more.

14. Starfish Island

best tourist destination in palawan

As if you couldn’t guess by its name, Starfish Island is littered with groups of starfish doing what starfish do best. As you walk the shores and swim in the water, watch where you step! These colorful and diverse species of starfish are lounging all around you.

You’ll see many of the bright orange starfish with black horns. These starfish are poisonous but not to humans. You’ll also find the skinny royal blue starfish called the Blue Linckia, the brown and tan spotted starfish called the Pebbled Sea Star and hopefully, many more.

15. Estrella Falls

best tourist destination in palawan

Estrella Falls has one of the most swimmer-friendly plunging pools of any waterfall on the island. Flowing down Victoria Peak, these 20-foot rapid falls rush off a rocky ledge splitting into two waterfalls as they fill up a clean, blue basin below. From the clear pool, the water keeps flowing downstream into two other pools of varying depths. There is a lot of space to play and splash around.

You can find Estrella Falls about 95 kilometers south of Puerto Princesa in a town called Narra. Hire a private car to drive the 2.5-hour distance, or make Estrella Falls a stop over on your way to the southern tip of Palawan.

16. Bakbakan Falls

best tourist destination in palawan

In Brooke’s Point, you can find Bakbakan Falls. This 64-meter waterfall is beautiful and unspoiled, as it doesn’t get as many visitors as the more touristy areas in Palawan. The waterfall slides down a smooth rock slide into a nice cool pool where you can take a dip.

To get there, take a van to Seven Falls Hot Spring and Nature Park Resort. Next, you should easily be able to find a guide that will transport you to the falls via tricycle and guide you through the rigid hike to get there.

Nearby you’ll find the Mainit Hot Springs that are perfect for a quick dip after your hike.

17. Visit Tay Tay

best tourist destination in palawan

This off-the-beaten-backpacker-path town is certainly worth a stop during your Palawan adventure. Located just below the province of El Nido, this place has a lot to offer. Tay Tay is not only fun to say, but fun to explore!

Take in a bit of history from the 17th century Spanish invasion by visiting the fortress called “Fuerza de Santa Isabel”, the Church of Sto. Niño, or the Cathedral of St. Joseph.

Go inland and explore natural wonders such as the Canique Waterfall, Pinangyarihan Falls, and Lake Manguao. Or get on a boat and go island hopping in Tay Tay Bay. You can also find beautiful stilt bungalows on the water and comfy jungle guesthouses for dirt-cheap.

It’s quite a surprise that Tay Tay is typically skipped over completely! Come see what you’re missing!

18. Go Pearl Shopping

best tourist destination in palawan

With clams and oysters galore off the shores of Palawan, you best believe that pearls of all shapes, sizes, and colors can be found on this island. Because of their abundance, you can get these pearls for relatively low prices.

Hire a tricycle driver and tell them what you’re on the hunt for and your price point; he will be happy to take you shopping for a couple of hours. You will find bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and more with the help of knowledgeable sales ladies that can educate you about each pearl. Imagine what a lovely gift this would be to take home to mom.

19. Nagkalit-kalit Waterfall Hike

best tourist destination in palawan

If you’re up in the El Nido area, you must go on the Nagkalit-kalit waterfall hike! This hike is usually paired with a trip to nearby Nactan Beach so there is another selling point for you.

The hike is leisurely down some dirt paths, across a couple riverbeds, and through the forest (it’s easy enough to do in flip-flops). Take in the natural surroundings on your 20-minute journey until you start to hear the sounds of rushing water. When you arrive, you’ll see that you get two for the price of one! That is, there are two waterfalls that collaborate to create sparkling pools of water which are super refreshing after your hot hike.

20. Iwahig River Firefly Kayaking

best tourist destination in palawan

Mix things up a bit with a night adventure on the water where you can kayak under the stars with glowing trees full of magical fireflies all around you. The fireflies fly from tree to tree, lighting up a path like Tinker Bell on their way.

When you show up at the Palawan Ecotourism center, the guides will give everyone a quick kayaking lesson on land. You’ll all put on your life jackets, take a paddle and together will practice paddling. This adventure is perfect for any person of any age, even kids.

21. Simizu island

best tourist destination in palawan

There are many island hopping tours in El Nido, just make sure your trip includes a stop by Simizu Island! One of the most fun experiences is visiting Simizu Island where you can hop over the edge of the boat and get up-close and personal with tons of curious fish. The tour guides will give you fish food to feed them and before you know it, you’ll be surrounded!

From the water, you’ll get gorgeous views of the limestone cliffs that surround a small stretch of beach. Some think this island looks like a natural, tropical castle. From the water, you can swim ashore for some fantastic photo opps in a surreal surrounding.

22. Tiki Resto Bar

best tourist destination in palawan

When you think “Tiki Resto Bar” you might picture a quaint little thatched roof bar with one bartender making you simple cocktails- but that’s not at all what you get here.

Instead, Tiki Resto Bar is a full-on live music club. There’s a huge stage with live performers who sing, play instruments and put on a great show. The lighting is dim with laser lights dancing with the music and glowing neon lights all around.

Groups of locals come here to get a bit tipsy on yummy cocktails, and fill up on appetizers and entrees. While there isn’t much dancing happening here, there are pool tables to rent per half hour if you want to be up and moving.

23. Go Wreck Diving in Busuanga Island

best tourist destination in palawan

Many travelers know Busuanga Island as the neighbor to the oh-so-famous Coron Isand. But what many people don’t know is that aerial attacks in 1944 hit and sunk dozens of WWI Japanese ships right off the coast of Busuanga. Now, these ships make for the most fascinating, eerie wreck dives.

You can actually fly to or from Basuanga Island from Puerto Princesa to the Francisco B. Reyes Airport. If you don’t want to spend a pretty penny, however, Travel2go Ferry Service will take you from Puerto Princessa to Basuanga.

24. Visit Roxas

best tourist destination in palawan

This mid-sized city in Palawan offers a welcomed break from the backpacker trail and resorty beaches. There are certainly fun adventures happening here, only they are half the price of El Nido and not nearly as crowded.

Spend a day chasing waterfalls with Umalad Falls and Matalangaw Falls, both of which require a refreshing walk through the jungle and reward you with a nice cool pool of water at the finish.

You can go island hopping off the coast of Roxas to a few peaceful beaches where snorkeling and sun tanning await. There is also a Butterfly Resort that is full of gorgeous flowers and a collection of native Philippine butterfly species.

The best thing to do in Roxas, however, is to just wander around eating and shopping your way through the city.

25. Mitra Ranch Horses

best tourist destination in palawan

When visiting a horse farm or going horseback riding abroad, you always want to be sure that you’re supporting an establishment that loves, nurtures, and respects their animals. This is it.

Located in Puerto Princessa, Mitra Ranch is home to dozens of well looked after horses grazing the pastures all day. There is a small entrance fee if you’d just like to sit at a picnic table and relax. Alternatively, you can pay around PhP 50 to go on a quick ride around the premises.

Once you’ve seen enough, there is a zipline course nearby that you might want to consider visiting.

25 Best Things to Do in Palawan Island (the Philippines):

  • Island Hop in Honda Bay
  • Scuba Diving in El Nido
  • Ugong Rock Adventures
  • Beaches of El Nido
  • Visit Port Barton
  • Tabon Caves
  • Baker's Hill
  • Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center
  • Eat Tamilok
  • San Jose Market
  • Underground river
  • Puerto Princesa City Tour
  • Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park
  • Starfish Island
  • Estrella Falls
  • Bakbakan Falls
  • Visit Tay Tay
  • Go Pearl Shopping
  • Nagkalit-kalit Waterfall Hike
  • Iwahig River Firefly Kayaking
  • Simizu island
  • Tiki Resto Bar
  • Go Wreck Diving in Busuanga Island
  • Visit Roxas
  • Mitra Ranch Horses

best tourist destination in palawan

Traveloka Accomodation

20 Jul 2023 - 7 min read

The Most Popular Tourist Spots in Palawan, Philippines and How to Get the Most Out of Your Vacation

Discover the wonders of Palawan, Philippines - a tropical paradise with pristine beaches, lush forests, and stunning limestone cliffs.

Palawan is a stunning province in the Philippines that offers visitors a chance to explore some of the most beautiful natural wonders in the world. From pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters to lush forests and stunning limestone cliffs, Palawan is a nature lover's dream. With top Palawan tourist spots like Puerto Princesa and El Nido, there are plenty of things to do on Palawan island.

By following our tips on how to plan a trip to Palawan, Philippines, choosing the best accommodations, transportation options, and stress-free vacation tips, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip to this paradise.

Palawan is a tropical paradise in the western part of the Philippines, making it a popular destination for tourists worldwide. However, with so many best places to visit in Palawan, Philippines, it can be overwhelming to plan your itinerary.

That's why we've compiled a travel guide to help you explore the best Palawan tourist spots and maximize your vacation. From El Nido to Port Barton, let's dive into the beauty of Palawan and discover the best places to visit in Palawan, Philippines.

Top 5 Tourist Attractions in Palawan

Underground River in Puerto Princesa

best tourist destination in palawan

The Underground River is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is one of the top Palawan tourist spots. Located in Puerto Princesa, it is one of the most unique natural wonders in the world. You can explore the river by boat and see the different rock formations and cave systems.

Island Hopping in El Nido

best tourist destination in palawan

El Nido is undoubtedly one of the most popular tourist spots in Palawan. It is known for its stunning limestone cliffs, white sandy beaches, and crystal-clear waters. El Nido has many activities, including island hopping, snorkeling, and diving. The best way to get the most out of your vacation in El Nido is to book an island hopping tour. You can explore the different islands, lagoons, and beaches while enjoying the beautiful scenery.

Coron Island

best tourist destination in palawan

Coron is another popular tourist spot in Palawan. It is known for its beautiful beaches, crystal-clear waters, and stunning marine life. One of the best things to do in Coron is to go on a snorkeling or diving trip. You can explore the different wrecks and corals while enjoying the beautiful marine life. If you're not into water activities, you can visit the other beaches and hike to the top of Mt. Tapyas, which offers a beautiful view of the island.

Honda Bay in Puerto Princesa

best tourist destination in palawan

Honda Bay is a group of islands in Puerto Princesa and a popular destination for island hopping. You can visit different islands and beaches while enjoying the beautiful scenery. It is also an excellent spot for swimming, snorkeling, and diving.

Another popular tourist spot in Puerto Princesa is the Underground River. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the world's unique natural wonders. You can explore the river by boat and see the different rock formations and cave systems.

Port Barton Beach

best tourist destination in palawan

Port Barton is a small village located in the northern part of Palawan. It is known for its beautiful beaches, clear waters, and stunning landscapes. One of the most popular tourist spots in Port Barton is White Beach.

It is a lovely white sandy beach with crystal-clear waters, making it a perfect place to relax and unwind. Another popular activity in Port Barton is an island hopping tour. You can explore the different islands and beaches while enjoying the beautiful scenery.

These top Palawan tourist spots offer breathtaking views and unforgettable experiences. So whether you're into water activities, beach hopping, or just want to relax and unwind, Palawan has something for everyone.

Read more : Exploring the Best Beach Resorts in Quezon, Philippines

How to Make the Most of Your Trip to Palawan?

Planning and knowing things to do on Palawan Island is essential to make the most of your trip to Palawan. When planning a trip to Palawan, Philippines, it's important to consider the season, as the weather can affect your travel plans. The best time to visit Palawan is from November to May, when the weather is dry and sunny.

You can start by researching the top Palawan tourist spots and creating an itinerary that includes the must-see attractions. Consider your interests and preferences when choosing your activities: island hopping, diving, or exploring the local culture and cuisine.

Another way to make the most of your trip to Palawan is to choose your accommodation wisely. There are many options, from budget-friendly hostels to luxury resorts, depending on your budget and preferences. Also, consider staying in different parts of Palawan to experience different vibes and attractions.

While it's tempting to try to see everything in Palawan, it's essential to balance your itinerary with some downtime to relax and recharge. Remember to sample the local cuisine and interact with the friendly locals to experience the Palawan culture truly.

Accommodations & Transportation Options for Traveling Around Palawan

In Puerto Princesa, the capital city of Palawan, you can find a wide range of capacities, including hotels, resorts, and guesthouses. Plenty of affordable hostels and homestays are available for those on a budget.

You can choose from beachfront resorts, budget-friendly guesthouses, and backpacker hostels in El Nido. If you're looking for a more secluded getaway, you can also find private villas and bungalows on the outskirts of El Nido. Here are some of the best accommodations in Palawan:

El Nido Resorts

best tourist destination in palawan

These luxury resorts offer guests a chance to stay in private villas, enjoy stunning ocean views, and indulge in delicious cuisine.

best tourist destination in palawan

El Nido Resorts Lagen Island Resort

best tourist destination in palawan

Sheridan Beach Resort and Spa

best tourist destination in palawan

Located in Puerto Princesa, this beachfront resort offers guests a chance to relax in comfortable rooms, dip in the pool, or enjoy a spa treatment.

best tourist destination in palawan

Sabang Beach, Sitio Cabayugan

Daluyon Beach and Mountain Resort

best tourist destination in palawan

This eco-friendly resort in Sabang offers guests a chance to stay in comfortable rooms and enjoy various activities, including snorkeling and hiking.

best tourist destination in palawan

Sabang Beach, Barangay Cabayugan

Matinloc Resort

best tourist destination in palawan

This luxury resort in El Nido is on a private island. It offers guests a chance to stay in luxurious villas, enjoy gourmet cuisine, and participate in activities like kayaking and island hopping.

best tourist destination in palawan

Palio, Matinloc Island

starts from ₱ 21,000.27

The Funny Lion

best tourist destination in palawan

This boutique hotel in Coron offers guests a chance to stay in stylish rooms, dip in the pool, and enjoy delicious cuisine at the rooftop restaurant.

best tourist destination in palawan

Sitio Jolo, Poblacion 5

starts from ₱ 8,049.99

Regarding transportation around Palawan, several options are available, including tricycles, taxis, and vans. Tricycles are a standard mode of transportation in cities and towns, while taxis are available in larger cities like Puerto Princesa. Vans are a popular option for traveling between different parts of Palawan, especially for island hopping tours and airport transfers.

If you're looking for a more adventurous mode of transportation, you can also rent a motorbike or scooter. This option is ideal for exploring the less crowded areas of Palawan and enjoying the beautiful scenery at your own pace. However, it's essential to exercise caution and wear protective gear, as the roads in Palawan can be challenging and dangerous.

Tips & Tricks for Enjoying a Stress-Free Vacation in Palawan

Planning a vacation to Palawan can be exciting. Still, it's essential to remember some stress-free vacation tips to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip, especially if you're on a budget.

best tourist destination in palawan

One of the best ways to avoid stress during your Palawan trip is to plan and book your accommodations and activities in advance. This will help you avoid last-minute scrambling and ensure that you have plenty of time to relax and enjoy your trip. You can also consider booking a tour or hiring a guide to help you navigate Palawan's attractions and get insider tips.

Be Flexible

best tourist destination in palawan

Another tip for a stress-free vacation in Palawan is to be flexible with your itinerary. While having a plan is essential, it's also important to allow for some spontaneity and adjust your goals as needed. This can help you avoid feeling overwhelmed or stressed if things go differently.

Choose Budget-Friendly Options

best tourist destination in palawan

If you're on a budget, there are plenty of ways to enjoy Palawan without breaking the bank. You can save money by staying in budget-friendly accommodations, eating at local restaurants, and avoiding expensive tourist traps. Also, consider traveling during the off-season, as prices tend to be lower and attractions less crowded.

Whether you're on a budget or not, there are plenty of ways to make the most of your trip without feeling overwhelmed or stressed. With these tips, you will have an unforgettable experience in this tropical paradise.

Read more : Leyte, Philippines and all its Amazing Tourist Attractions

So there you have it, the mesmerizing beauty of Palawan, Philippines, awaits your arrival!. From crystal-clear waters to breathtaking landscapes, this tropical paradise has it all!

But wait, before you go, here's a nifty little secret we want to share with you!. If you're looking for a stress-free and unforgettable vacation, there's no better way to do it than with Traveloka!

Traveloka is your ultimate platform for all things travel-related. Want to book flight tickets or find the perfect hotel for your stay? They've got you covered!. But that's not all, folks! With Traveloka Xperience , you can also grab tickets to various attractions and activities, all conveniently on your smartphone!.

So, why wait? Embrace the adventure, plan that dream holiday, or indulge in a serene staycation using Traveloka. Your journey to Palawan and beyond begins with just a few clicks!

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Our Destinations

Discover the top must-visit destinations in palawan.

Get ready to explore the breathtaking natural wonders of Palawan. Our travel guides provide the essential information to plan your dream trip to the most popular destinations in Palawan

Aerial view of Coron's Lagoons

Coron Travel Guide

Tourist going on a cruise into the Underground River in Palawan

Underground River Travel Guide

Diving at ENTALULA ISLAND EL NIDO

El Nido Travel Guide

Discover the hidden gems and secret islands of palawan..

Palawan is full of natural wonders that are waiting to be explored. In this guide, we'll take you off the beaten path to discover the lesser-known destinations and hidden gems of Palawan, including secret islands and secluded beaches.

Day trip to Balabac's Patonggong Island

Southern Palawan Travel Guide

Isla Blanca, Taytay, Palawan

Taytay Travel Guide

Island Hopping tour Poer Barton Palawan

Port Barton Travel Guide

Beyond palawan: exploring other destinations in the philippines.

The Philippines offers more than just the usual tourist hotspots. From the beautiful beaches of Boracay to the towering peaks of the Cordilleras, discover the hidden gems of this tropical paradise with our travel guide.

Horse Drawn Carriage parking in front of Malate church

Manila Travel Guide

A scenic view of Siquijor Island coastline

Siquijor Island Travel Guide

Willy's Rock Kawa Bath Boracay Island hopping

Boracay Island Travel Guide

Bohol Chocolate Hills natural landmark in Philippines

Bohol Travel Guide

Pristine waters and white sand in Bantayan Island

Cebu Travel Guide

mytourguide.ph

Introduction

Palawan , an enchanting province in the Philippines , has gained immense popularity as a top-tier travel destination. Located in the western region of the country, Palawan boasts pristine beaches, crystal-clear turquoise waters, lush jungles, and a rich biodiversity that captivates travelers from around the globe. This paradise-like destination is renowned for its untouched natural beauty and offers a wide array of activities and attractions for all types of adventurers.

Stunning Coron, Palawan with crystal-clear turquoise waters and lush green surroundings.

Explore the breathtaking natural beauty of Palawan with its stunning tourist attractions. From the white sand beaches to the unique underground river, discover what makes this island paradise one of the top tourist destinations in the Philippines .

Location Of Palawan

Palawan Island is located in the southwesternmost part of the Philippines .

Brief Overview of Palawan as a Popular Travel Destination

Palawan is a province in the Western Visayas region of the Philippines . Known for its breathtaking natural landscapes, Palawan is an archipelago composed of more than 1,000 islands.

With over 1,000 islands, 70% of which are natural Marine Protected Areas, Palawan is considered the Philippines’ best slice of paradise. As the Philippines’ most diverse ecosystem, it’s no surprise that Palawan is a popular destination for those looking for pristine beaches and unspoiled scenery. Palawan is the best place to be if you want to enjoy nature, pristine beaches , and enthralling culture.

What Makes Palawan Worth Visiting?

With its stunning landscapes and vibrant marine life, Palawan has consistently been ranked as one of the best islands in the world. Its fame grew exponentially after being named “The Best Island in the World” by renowned publications such as Travel + Leisure and Conde Nast Traveler.

It is not surprising that visitors are drawn to Palawan’s exquisite white-sand beaches such as El Nido’s Secret Lagoon Beach or Coron’s Kayangan Lake Beach. Aside from its breathtaking coastline, Palawan has several remarkable natural wonders.

The Puerto Princesa Underground River , recently declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, enchants tourists with its impressive limestone formations and captivating underground river system. Meanwhile, Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park entices divers with its colorful coral reefs teeming with marine life.

Moreover, Palawan provides ample opportunities for adventure-seekers who wish to explore its dense rainforests. Whether venturing into Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park or embarking on a trek through Cleopatra’s Needle in El Nido , visitors can immerse themselves in the lush greenery while marveling at unique flora and fauna.

When it comes to diving or snorkeling, Palawan ranks among the world’s best island destinations for underwater life. Despite not being known as a backpacker’s haven like other parts of Southeast Asia, Palawan can be an ideal destination for travelers seeking tranquility. It has plenty of small hotels and private villas that are perfect for honeymooners or well-heeled families who want to escape it all in luxury.

Must-See Attractions in Palawan

One of the most stunning destinations on earth to travel to is Palawan . Read up on the top tourist destinations in Palawan to help you prepare for your future backpacking trip.

PUERTO PRINCESA

The capital of the island province of Palawan is Puerto Princesa . This coastal city is known for its beach resorts and seafood eateries. The Underground River, also known as the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a five-mile stretch of the Cabayugan River that passes through a massive limestone cave and into the West Philippine Sea. Its stunning limestone cliffs, blue waters, and towering cave formations will captivate tourists and nature enthusiasts alike.

Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park

A captivating view of the Tubbataha Reefs, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Philippines.

The Tubbataha Reef Marine Park spans 96,828 hectares and comprises two massive coral atolls – the north and south atolls and the Jessie Beazley Reef, a smaller coral structure 20 kilometers north of the atolls. It’s a one-of-a-kind atoll reef with a dense concentration of aquatic life.

Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park is home to some of the most stunning and unusual coral reefs on the planet. Birds and marine turtles use the North Islet as a breeding ground. More than 1,200 marine species call it home, including seagrasses and algae, corals, sharks, rays, fish, sea turtles, seabirds, and marine mammals. It is home to a variety of huge species, including white-tip and gray reef sharks. There are also plenty of mackerels, snappers, large groupers, and Napoleons.

Honday Bay Islands

Honday Bay Islands, Guide to Palawan

Honda Bay is a bay on Palawan’s eastern shore near Puerto Princesa City. In the bay are numerous small islands, including Arrecife Island, which is home to an elegant resort.

The Spaniards gave the bay its name. Honda is a Spanish word that means “deep bay.” It is a popular snorkeling and island-hopping destination. Some of the islands to visit include Pandan Island (also known as Makesi Island), Cowrie Island, Luli Island, and Starfish Island.

Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park

Honday Bay Islands, Guide to Palawan

Puerto Princesa Subterranean River is located in the Saint Paul Mountain Range on the western coast of Palawan , some 80 kilometers north of the city of Puerto Princesa. It is a 2-hour trip from the city center of Puerto Princesa to Sabang, where you’ll board a boat to the underground river. It has an underground river that runs straight to the sea.

The underground river is known for its stunning karst environment, which is made up of natural rock formations formed by the dissolving of limestones. Tourists can only see a 4.3-kilometer section of the 8.2-kilometer-long underground river, which features jaw-dropping cave formations, beautiful limestone cliffs, and clean waters. Read More

Mangrove Ecotourism and Wildlife Park

Mangrove Ecotourism Wild Life Park is located in Iwahig, Puerto Princesa City, alongside the Old Iwahig Bridge on the National Highway. Witness a spectacular display of fireflies among the mangroves and trees that line the banks of the Sicsican and Iwahig Rivers.

Honday Bay Islands, Guide to Palawan

Ugong Rock is a 75-foot-high limestone rock formation. There are tunnels and tiny passageways inside that lead to an observation deck at the summit of the spectacular rock formation. When tapped, a hollow limestone inside the cave emits an ugong or echoing sound, hence the name.

Nagtabon Beach

Honday Bay Islands, Guide to Palawan

Nagtabon Beach is 30 kilometers from Puerto Princesa City on the west coast of Palawan . It is a beautiful stretch of white sand beach that is perfect for swimming.

El Nido is a well-known tourist attraction on the Philippine island of Palawan . It is a strikingly gorgeous destination to explore, with scenic lagoons, white-sand beaches, towering limestone cliffs, charming inlets, magnificent coral reefs, and clear waters abundant with marine life. Read more…

Small Lagoon

Honday Bay Islands, Kayangan Lake, Guide to Palawan

Small Lagoon is a beautiful, shallow bay on Miniloc Island’s northern tip, about a 20-minute boat ride west of El Nido Town. It is approximately 150 meters long. It is surrounded by limestone cliffs that are partially covered in lush flora.

El Nido Beaches in Palawan

Honday Bay Islands, Kayangan Lake, Guide to Palawan

The name El Nido in Spanish means “the nest”. The beaches in El Nido are known for their remarkable beauty and crystal-clear water. Some of the popular beaches to visit include Nacpan Beach, El Nido Airport Beach, Las Cabanas Beach, Hidden Beach, Papaya Beach, Seven Commando Beach, Payong-Payong Beach, Marimegmeg Beach, Duli Beach, Secret Lagoon Beach, Corong Corong Beach, Buena Suerte Beach, Pinagbuyutan Island, and Dolarog Beach

Coron is a tropical island in the Philippines’ Palawan province. Beautiful beaches, crystal-clear freshwater lakes, abundant marine life, shallow-water coral reefs, turquoise lagoons, and limestone landscapes add to the area’s secluded ambiance. Coron is also noted for its world-class WWII wreck diving and one of the country’s cleanest lakes, Kayangan Lake .

Kayangan Lake

Honday Bay Islands, Kayangan Lake, Guide to Palawan

Kayangan Lake is a crystal-clear freshwater lake featuring underwater rock formations, tunnels, and islets near Coron. It is considered to be the cleanest lake in the Philippines if not all of Asia. The water is so clear that it allows you to see the rock formations beneath it.

Coron Bay Shipwrecks

The shipwrecks in Coron Bay are a collection of spectacular wreck locations in Palawan for diving and snorkeling. There are 12 sunken warships at the bottom of the ocean which is the result of a US Navy aviation raid on the Imperial Japanese Navy in September 1944 during WWII.

Choosing between Coron and El Nido ? Simplify Your Decision with Our Handy Comparison Table .

General Travel Tips for Palawan

Best time to visit palawan based on weather conditions and tourist crowds.

Palawan’s climate is generally tropical, characterized by two distinct seasons: the dry season (November to April) and the wet season (May to October). The best time to visit Palawan is during the dry season when there are fewer chances of rain disrupting your outdoor activities.

The months of December to February are particularly popular due to milder temperatures and lower humidity levels. However, this also means that these months can be busier with tourists, so it’s advisable to book accommodations and activities in advance.

Duration of stay – recommended minimum days to explore the main attractions

To fully experience the beauty of Palawan , it is recommended to spend at least 7-10 days on the island. This will allow you ample time to explore the main attractions such as Puerto Princesa Underground River , El Nido’s stunning beaches, and Coron’s breathtaking lakes. Additionally, a longer duration will give you flexibility in case of unexpected weather changes or if you simply want some relaxation time by the beach.

Booking flights and accommodations in advance to secure the best deals

It is highly advisable to book your flights and accommodation s well in advance when planning a trip to Palawan . As one of the top travel destinations in Southeast Asia, demand for flights and hotels can be high throughout the year. By booking early, you not only ensure availability but also have a better chance of securing better deals and discounted rates.

When booking flights, consider flying into either Puerto Princesa or Coron depending on your preferred itinerary. Several airlines offer direct flights from Manila or Cebu .

It’s wise to compare prices among different carriers and keep an eye out for promotions or seat sales. In terms of accommodations, Palawan offers a wide range of options to suit different budgets and preferences.

From luxurious beach resorts to budget-friendly hostels, it’s important to research and book accommodations that meet your needs. Popular areas to stay include Puerto Princesa City, El Nido town proper, and Coron town.

Packing essentials – lightweight clothing, swimwear, comfortable shoes, sun protection, insect repellent, etc.

When packing for Palawan , it’s crucial to consider the tropical climate and the activities you plan to engage in. Lightweight clothing made from breathable fabrics such as cotton or linen is highly recommended due to the warm temperatures. Don’t forget your swimwear as Palawan boasts stunning beaches and crystal-clear waters perfect for swimming and snorkeling.

Comfortable shoes are a must, especially if you plan on exploring nature trails or participating in island hopping tours. Opt for sturdy sandals or sneakers that provide good traction.

Additionally, pack plenty of sunscreen with a high SPF rating to protect your skin from the strong tropical sun. Another essential item is insect repellent as mosquitoes can be present in certain areas of Palawan .

Choose a repellent that contains DEET or other effective components and apply it regularly. It’s also wise to carry a light rain jacket or poncho in case of sudden showers during the wet season.

Currency exchange and availability of ATMs in major towns

The currency used in Palawan is the Philippine Peso (PHP). While some establishments may accept major foreign currencies like US Dollars or Euros, it is advisable to exchange your money into local currency for convenience and better rates. Currency exchange counters can be found at airports and major towns such as Puerto Princesa City, El Nido , and Coron.

It’s recommended to compare rates among different money changers before making any transactions. ATMs are widely available in larger towns across Palawan ; however, they might be limited in more remote areas.

It’s wise to carry enough cash when venturing to less developed locations or smaller islands. Notify your bank about your travel plans beforehand to ensure smooth ATM withdrawals and avoid any card-related issues during your trip.

Getting Around Palawan

Domestic flights – options for flying into puerto princesa or coron from manila or cebu.

Palawan , with its multiple entry points, offers convenient domestic flight options to reach popular destinations such as Puerto Princesa and Coron. From Manila and Cebu , you can find several airlines that operate daily flights to both cities.

Air travel is the quickest and most efficient way to access Palawan , saving you valuable time for exploration. The flight from Manila to Puerto Princesa is approximately an hour and a half while flying from Cebu takes around an hour.

Similarly, direct flights from these cities to Coron are relatively short, averaging one hour. It is advisable to book your tickets well in advance to secure the best fares and ensure availability during peak seasons.

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Kayaking at Big Lagoon in El Nido, Palawan

Top 14 Things to See and Do in El Nido Palawan: Stunning Beaches, Islands & Lagoons

Jessa Tek-Ing

1. Chill at Nacpan Beach

2. marvel at the beauty of big lagoon.

  • 3. Kayak in Small Lagoon
  • 4. Dip in the Secret Lagoon

5. Discover the Hidden Beach

6. find the secret beach, 7. relax at shimizu island.

  • 8. Lounge in Seven Commandos Beach

9. See the View from Matinloc Shrine

  • 10. Lie on the Sandbar of Snake Island

11. Catch the Sunset at Las Cabanas Beach

12. climb the taraw cliffs, 13. plunge into nagkalit-kalit waterfalls, 14. dive and explore the marine life, experience the beauty of el nido.

Aerial view of El Nido's limestone karsts and clear blue waters at Small Lagoon

Explore one of the best island destinations in the world found in the Philippines' Palawan province, El Nido. Find out why it's continuously in the top favorites of travelers from different parts of the world.

One of the  top tourist destinations in the Philippines , both for local and international explorers alike, thanks to its undeniable and exotic beauty is El Nido .

This quaint little beach town located in the northernmost part of mainland Palawan has developed to become a travel destination, with more convenient access to more flights and a wide array of El Nido resorts  and El Nido hotels  (some of which offer  Philippine luxury vacation packages ), some of the best beach resorts in the Philippines , Philippines honeymoon resorts , and backpacker hostels that cater to everyone's budget, El Nido has opened its doors to wanderers from all walks of life.

  • Find El Nido tours and activities you can add to your itinerary
  • See destinations for solo travel in the Philippines

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See our popular El Nido Tours and Activities

Private el nido palawan lio airport to or from any el nido town hotel transfer service, palawan el nido hidden beach island hopping tour c + optional upgrade to private tour, palawan el nido shared island hopping tour a with lunch & transfers | secret lagoon, shimizu island.

El Nido weather is almost always in summer mode, making it a great year-round destination. The main attraction of El Nido is several island-hopping destinations that you can easily travel to. 

More than the many beautiful islands off its coast, the island also satisfies adventure-seekers and nature lovers by offering exciting  tours in El Nido such as cliff climbing, kayaking, trekking to waterfalls, and lounging on pristine Palawan beaches in the main island.

  • Boracay to El Nido Philippine tour packages
  • Boracay to Palawan Philippine tour packages
  • Puerto Princesa to El Nido tour packages
  • Cebu to El Nido Philippine tour packages

Experiencing El Nido is like getting lost in a dream, one that you wouldn’t want to wake up from. Its grandeur and charm will surely let you have a taste of paradise and heaven on earth. Can’t wait to explore El Nido yet? Start preparing your trip with this list of all the things to do in El Nido that you should not miss when you explore this exquisitely gorgeous tropical destination.

Traveler kayaking in El Nido, Palawan

Deserted golden sand, clear blue waters, and a surreal view of the ocean await you at Nacpan Beach. Just the thought of lounging under the sun in this paradise makes you wish for that dreamy escapade. It's why joining an  inland trip in Nacpan Beach  is worth the wait. 

The 45 minutes to 1-hour drive from the El Nido town proper is well worth it once you set foot in this slice of heaven. Read a book, listen to music, or watch the waves kiss the shoreline as you take in the beauty that Nacpan Beach has to offer. Local and foreign tourists rave about the 4-km long Nacpan Beach in El Nido because of the laid-back vibe here. 

Nacpan Beach is part of the Twin Beaches with the adjacent Calitang Beach. You can climb up to the highest point and see the view of the two beaches. If you're trying out Nacpan Beach tours, buy some drinks or snacks in the beach bar as you work on your tan. The sunset in Nacpan Beach is also a must-see, the cherry on top for a perfect tropical getaway in El Nido, Palawan.

Top 14 Things to See and Do in El Nido Palawan: Stunning Beaches, Islands & Lagoons

  • Book a  direct flight to El Nido  for your upcoming Palawan itinerary
  • See other Palawan tours you can try
  • Check out this  El Nido land tour to Nacpan Beach, Lio Beach & Bulalacao Waterfalls

Top view of Big Lagoon in El Nido, Palawan

This majestic lagoon in Miniloc Island looks like a scene straight from a destination movie. It's like you're transported to a different dimension where you're surrounded by towering cliffs lined up to watch over you. It is one of the highlights of an El Nido Big Lagoon Private Tour .

As you enter through the Big Lagoon, everything is a sight to behold – the crystal-clear blue water, the ray of light peeking through the top of the cliffs, and the luscious limestone formation. It has become famous for being featured in several movies and postcards because of its beauty, as seen from drone shots to kayak views.

Top 14 Things to See and Do in El Nido Palawan: Stunning Beaches, Islands & Lagoons

See our popular El Nido Island Hopping Tours

Palawan el nido shared island hopping tour c with lunch & transfers | secret beach, hidden beach.

Due to the local government's efforts to keep the pristine condition of El Nido islands and avoid overcrowding, island-hopping boats are not allowed to go inside of the Big Lagoon anymore. The time spent and the number of tourists is also strictly controlled.

  • Check out other destinations where you can experience island hopping in the Philippines
  • Read our article on Port Barton resorts

Tourists, however, can board kayaks and paddle their way through the shallow entrance that will lead to a giant natural pool with turquoise waters surrounded by towering limestone cliffs.

3. Kayak in Small Lagoon 

Travelers kayaking at Small Lagoon in El Nido, Palawan

Another Miniloc Island destination is the famous Small Lagoon. As the name implies, it is relatively smaller compared to the Big Lagoon, but can't be discounted when it comes to the beauty and charm it exudes.

Unlike the Big Lagoon where the opening can be easily entered, the Small Lagoon has a smaller entrance. You can swim or ride a kayak and go through a crack on a limestone wall to get inside during your Small Lagoon tour .

Top 14 Things to See and Do in El Nido Palawan: Stunning Beaches, Islands & Lagoons

Once you’re inside, you can take a dip or kayak around the peaceful waters of Small Lagoon and enjoy its calm surroundings with the sound of nature as your default soundtrack. Its serene turquoise waters that make up a natural pool in the middle of cliffs are the perfect spot for floating or kayak rides.

Similar to the policies implemented in Big Lagoon, the number of tourists and time spent in Small Lagoon has limitations as well to keep its enchanting vibe. 

  • Boracay to El Nido flights Clark to El Nido flights

4. Dip in the Secret Lagoon 

Secret Lagoon in El Nido, Palawan

This unique natural pool in El Nido's Miniloc Island is also known as the Hidden Lagoon. This popular El Nido Big Lagoon has a sweet surprise that awaits you once you enter a small opening on the majestic limestone cliffs.

When getting here, your boat will make its way to a small white sand beach in the southern part of Miniloc Island. You'll pass through a hollow rocky cave-like opening so be extra careful and dock your head. You can easily wade into the opening if it's low tide.

  • Check out our  Puerto Princesa to El Nido tour package with Port Barton island-hopping side trip
  • Book an  El Nido island-hopping tour on a party boat

Once inside, you'll be greeted by a small natural pool surrounded by remarkably high limestone cliffs –  this is the Secret Lagoon.

You can dip in the natural cold pool and bury your toes in its beautiful white sand. Unlike the Big Lagoon and Small Lagoon, the water here is cooler because of the cliffs that cover it from the sunlight.

However, a Hidden Lagoon tour  is done during low tide, the water is only knee-high deep and activities are limited to quick dips or picture taking. But the mysteriousness of the Secret Lagoon is what makes it a worthy destination. 

Top 14 Things to See and Do in El Nido Palawan: Stunning Beaches, Islands & Lagoons

​ Similar to the Big Lagoon, you will need to board a kayak or swim from your boat to get to this Hidden Beach. The pristine small stretch of white sand beach called the Hidden Beach is usually a part of Matinloc Island Premium Private Tour .

Boats cannot fit in the entrance to go to the Hidden Beach. Since the distance from where the boats dock and the beach itself is quite far; the best way to get inside is by riding a kayak from your boat where you'll pass through towering karst cliffs.

Anchor

The crystal clear water here is more shallow than the Big Lagoon and Small Lagoon and is excellent for a relaxing swim. The white sand of Hidden Beach lined with lush greenery is also the right spot for sunbathing or building sandcastles if you have kids with you.

Travelers swimming at the Secret Beach in El Nido, Palawan

El Nido isn't done yet with hidden and secret places! A highlight and must-see during an El Nido speedboat island hopping tour  is the Secret Beach. This hidden enchanting beach in El Nido is said to have been the inspiration behind the novel "The Beach," by Alex Garland. It was then adapted into a film starring Leonardo di Caprio. 

Once your boat arrives, you'll see nothing but a big wall of limestone cliffs with no beach in sight. To see the Secret Beach, you'll need to swim through the hole under the towering cliffs. A sweet surprise in the form of a hidden unspoiled beach awaits you behind the wall that surrounds it.

Be careful when swimming through the hole, especially if the waves are strong. Kayaks cannot go in through the hole, so your only option is to swim. Your tour guide will provide you with life vests and assist you as you make your way inside. But the struggle will be all worth it when you see the immaculate Secret Beach. 

Shimizu Island in El Nido, Palawan

Shimizu Island (also spelled as Simizu Island) is the perfect stop for you to relax in its cool white-sand beach or whip out your snorkeling gears to explore its colorful marine life. In fact, a Shimizu Island tour  will let you lounge on one of the  best beaches in El Nido and a popular lunch stopover as well.​

You can spot here different species of fish in various shapes, colors, and sizes. You can explore the beauty of Shimizu Island underwater by snorkeling or you can relax and lounge by its white sand beach.

The island-hopping tour usually includes lunch at this island stop. You can swim some more or take a nap under the shade of the limestone cliffs as your boatmen and guide clean up and prepare to leave for your next stop.  

8. Lounge in Seven Commandos Beach 

Beach view of boats at Seven Commandos Beach in El Nido, Palawan

The 320-meter long Seven Commandos Beach is said to have been named after seven soldiers who were stranded here during World War II. You can visit this when you book a Big Lagoon tour . 

Seven Commandos Beach is a postcard-worthy white sand beach lined with coconut trees and a massive wall of limestone cliffs in the background. It's the perfect last stop for tourists to lounge by the sand with a freshly opened coconut in hand. 

The Seven Commandos Beach has a shore wide enough for tourists to play beach volleyball or work on their tan. The beach is also known for its gentle waves; you can relax by the crystal-clear waters after a tiring day of kayaking in the lagoons.

It's also the right spot for snorkeling because of the calm waters and precious marine life. But you can always opt to have a lazy afternoon on its shores and enjoy the tropical island life.  

Matinloc Shrine in El Nido, Palawan

Unlike the beaches and lagoons of El Nido whose main highlights are their pristine white sand beaches and crystal clear waters. This island-hopping stop in a Matinloc Island Premium Shared Tour is a unique one.

The Matinloc Shrine, specifically the Shrine of Our Lady of Matinloc, is an abandoned spiritual oasis that sits on top of Matinloc Island and offers one of the best views of El Nido.

There's also a mini-museum on the island where you can learn about the shrine's history. The story says that a Matinloc devotee had a vision of a dome with 12 pillars and inside was the image of the Virgin Mary.

Anchor

The way to the viewing deck is through the limestone cliff staircase, so make sure to wear your slippers or aqua shoes. Once you reach the top, you can climb further to the jagged cliffs to see a 360° view of the neighboring islands and the blue waters of El Nido. 

10. Lie on the Sandbar of Snake Island 

Aerial view of the sandbar at Snake Island in El Nido, Palawan

Snake Island, aptly named because of its s-shape white powdery sandbar that connects a small island to the mainland of El Nido, is a popular attraction included in a Cave Exploration Private Tour . The sandbar only appears during low tide and is truly a sight to behold. 

Snake Island excursions feature gorgeous sandbar strip, hidden in Bacuit Bay, which is the perfect spot for a romantic stroll as you take in the breathtaking view. Dip your feet in the sand or lounge by its shores as the waves meet from both sides gently crash into you. Not to worry though, there are no snakes in Snake Island. Its other name is Vigan Island. The beauty of Snake Island and its serene vibe make it a must-try when in El Nido. 

Top 14 Things to See and Do in El Nido Palawan: Stunning Beaches, Islands & Lagoons

See our popular El Nido Snake Island Tours

Palawan el nido shared island hopping tour b with lunch & transfers | snake island, cudognon cave, palawan el nido beaches & caves island hopping private tour to snake island, hassle-free 5-day el nido palawan package at seda lio 5-star hotel with island hopping & snorkeling.

Las Cabanas Beach in El Nido, Palawan

The beach is lined with several bars and restaurants. You can buy drinks and snacks while waiting for the sunset or chill and enjoy the laid-back vibe of this El Nido tourist spot. 

Some of these bars and restaurants also have bean bags or chairs by the beach where you can grab the perfect spot for sunset-watching. Our tip is to find a seat by the far left to get the best view of the sunset. 

If you want a different way to enjoy this beach in El Nido, you can also try the Las Cabanas zipline where you can be treated to an incredible view. At night, you can also enjoy romantic dinners or chill drinking sessions by the beach here. 

View from Taraw Cliffs in El Nido, Palawan

There are two ways to climb the Taraw Cliffs: the regular hike or by a Canopy Walk. But both will require you to face your fear of heights. The regular hike up the Taraw Cliffs will have you ascending its steep and sharp limestone rocks. Doing this hike will require a guide and proper hiking shoes, so you have a better grip. 

An alternative and much safer way to see the view from the Taraw Cliffs is by doing the Canopy Walk. Compared to the regular hike, a canopy walk tour provides you with safety equipment like helmets and harnesses. There are built-in walkways in the cliffs that you can explore to get the best views. This option is an excellent activity for inexperienced hikers.  

Aside from the islands, beaches, and lagoons of El Nido, you can also dip into the natural pool of Nagkalit-Kalit Waterfalls. The hike to the waterfalls is an adventure itself, but the cool temperature of the water compensates for the effort of trekking to the place. 

"Nagkalit-kalit" translates to "Nagsaglit" in Tagalog which means "taking a moment." You will surely forget the time as you adore the beauty of the waterfalls and the joy it offers to tourists who stumble upon it.

Nagkalit-Kalit Waterfalls is located in between El Nido town proper and Nacpan Beach. It’s usually a stop in El Nido inland tours. From the main road, you will have to trek for about 20-45  minutes in the jungle and rivers to reach the waterfalls. Once you arrive at Nagkalit-Kalit Waterfalls, you can choose from the big or the small falls and plunge into the natural pool for a refreshing swim.  

While Palawan’s  Coron is regarded as a top diving spot, El Nido also offers several underwater adventures for diving enthusiasts. There are over 40 diving spots that you can choose from in El Nido. From coral gardens, tunnels, steep vertical walls, sandy flats, to deep dives, El Nido has them all for you. 

  • Cebu to Coron to El Nido tour
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Most of the diving spots in the island are around its islands and beaches that are included in  El Nido island-hopping tours . The most popular diving site in El Nido is South Miniloc, where you can find vibrant coral gardens. You might even get the rare chance to spot sea turtles.

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Boracay 20-minute aquanaut helmet diving experience with gear & underwater photos, sorsogon donsol whale shark interaction tour with transfers, boracay island scuba diving with instructor & equipment.

Kayaking at Big Lagoon in El Nido, Palawan

Take it from us; El Nido will leave a mark on you. If you think that falling in love at first sight, isn't real, think again because El Nido will cast a spell on you. Its effortless natural beauty, charming tropical island vibe, and breathtaking sceneries along with the warmth of its people will surely find a way to your restless heart. We're sure that El Nido will be on the top of your favorite travel destinations once you explore it for yourself.

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Start planning your island getaway to El Nido and tick it off your travel bucket list. To make your itinerary planning more relaxed and your adventure more convenient, make sure to research  El Nido tours and activities from El Nido island hopping tours to inland activities. Check out glamping resorts in El Nido for a unique experience.

See our popular El Nido Vacation Packages

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20 Best CORON PALAWAN TOURIST SPOTS & Things to Do

20 Best CORON PALAWAN TOURIST SPOTS & Things to Do

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When we think of Coron, the first thing that comes to mind are the towering karst cliffs that cloister pristine lagoons and lakes. These limestone walls have become iconic, but they’re not really unique to the area. Several other destinations in the Philippines have the same wonders to brag about — from El Nido just across the sea to Caramoan all the way to the other side of the country — but what sets Coron apart is the sheer diversity of what it has to offer.

Coron is part of the Calamianes, a collection of jagged islands that pepper the waters of Northern Palawan. It is the tourism hub in the area. Its map is dotted with tour operator offices, hotels, hostels, and guesthouses. Consequently, this made the town of Coron the major jump-off point to tourist attractions in neighboring islands and municipalities.

Coron offers a wide array of tourist spots and activities — from lustrous lagoons to beautiful beaches to unforgettable dive sites. They even have saltwater hot springs, which is pretty rare, and, believe it or not, an African safari.

Note: Most of these attractions can be accessed as part of an organized tour — either by chartering a private ride or by joining a group tour. You can also pull a D-I-Y if you have the means. In addition, opening hours might change without prior notice, so please check the official websites or Facebook pages before visiting.

WHAT'S COVERED IN THIS GUIDE?

1. Kayangan Lake

This scenic lake can be reached after a 15-minute trek up a hill, a bit challenging but totally worth it. But even before reaching the actual lake, you will be treated to a magnificent view of the clear blue waters halfway. This image from the view deck is what you will usually see when you search Kayangan Lake on the internet.

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To reach the actual lake, you need to do a few minutes of trekking, but the sight of Kayangan Lake will make the climb worth it. It is hailed as one of “the cleanest lakes in the Philippines”. It’s also important to note that the area is maintained by the local Tagbanua tribe. Take a dip and appreciate the surrounding rock formations. Go early to avoid the crowd.

Entrance Fee: P300 Tour Guide Fee: P500 If chartering a private boat: Standard rates are P2,700 (2-4 pax) / P3,250 (5-8 pax) / P3,800 (9-15 pax). Please book with the Calamian Tourist Boat Association. The rates above do not include entrance fees, guide fee, and food. If joining a group tour: P1,500 – P2,800 per person (ALL IN). Check the itinerary and inclusions before booking.

Get discounted rates when you book with Klook! The Coron Super Ultimate Day Tour and Coron Tour A both include Kayangan Lake in their itineraries.

✅ BOOK CORON TOUR A HERE!

✅ BOOK CORON SUPER ULTIMATE DAY TOUR HERE!

2. Barracuda Lake

Barracuda Lake is another popular lake on Coron Island that is open to the public.

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Why Barracuda? It’s said to be named after a giant barracuda fish whose skeleton was discovered in the depths of the lake. Like the Kayangan Lake, it has brackish water, a combination of saltwater and freshwater, but what makes it more interesting, especially for divers, is the thermocline — layers of cold, warm, and hot waters.

Be sure to follow the safety regulations when swimming and diving.

Entrance Fee: P250 Tour Guide Fee: P500 If booking a private boat: P2,700 (2-4 pax) / P3,250 (5-8 pax) / P3,800 (9-15 pax) per boat. Please book with the Calamian Tourist Boat Association. The rates above do not include entrance fees, guide fee, and food. If joining a group tour: P1,500 – P2,800 per person (ALL IN). Check the itinerary and inclusions before booking.

Score a great deal when you book with Klook! Both Coron Tour B and Coron Super Ultimate Day Tour have Barracuda Lake in their itineraries.

✅ BOOK CORON TOUR B HERE!

3. Twin Lagoon

This is a double treat for tourists! This stop features two pieces of paradise separated by a low karst wall.

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The first lagoon where the boats are docked can easily get crowded, especially at midday. The second lagoon can be accessed in two ways, depending on the tide — taking the ladder over the rock during high tide or swimming through an opening underneath the rock during low tide. Either way, take utmost care when transiting between the two.

You may feel a combination of warm and cold water as you swim in the lagoons.

Entrance Fee: P200 Tour Guide Fee: P500 If booking a private boat: P2,700 (2-4 pax) / P3,250 (5-8 pax) / P3,800 (9-15 pax). Please book with the Calamian Tourist Boat Association. The rates above do not include entrance fees, guide fee, and food. If booking a group tour: P1,500 – P2,800 per person (ALL IN). Check the itinerary first before booking. Some tour packages don’t have Twin Lagoon in their itinerary.

You can book this tour through Klook! The Coron Super Ultimate Day Tour and Coron Tour B both include Twin Lagoon in their itineraries.

4. Banul Beach

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Aside from the lagoons and lakes, Coron is also blessed with beautiful beaches both on the mainland and on the islands. Banul Beach features powdery white sand, limestone walls, and a coral garden.

Banul Beach is the usual lunch stop for the Coron Island Tour, although not always. Some tour operators do their lunch stop somewhere else when the beach has already reached its traffic capacity.

Entrance Fee: P150 Tour Guide Fee: P500 If booking a private boat: P2,700 (2-4 pax) / P3,250 (5-8 pax) / P3,800 (9-15 pax). The rates above do not include entrance fees, guide fee, and food. If booking a join-in tour: P1,500 – P2,800 per person (ALL IN). Check the itinerary and inclusions before booking. Some tour packages don’t have Banul Beach in their itinerary.

Score a great deal when you book with Klook! Coron Tour B and Coron Super Ultimate Day Tour’s itineraries have Banul Beach as their lunch stop.

5. CYC Beach

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Coron Youth Club (CYC) Beach is usually part of the Coron Island Tour package. The beach has fascinated both local and foreign tourists for its clear waters, fine white sand, and picturesque beachscape embellished with mangrove trees and rock formations.

Entrance Fee: FREE Tour Guide Fee: P500 If booking a private boat: P2,700 (2-4 pax) / P3,250 (5-8 pax) / P3,800 (9-15 pax). Please book with the Calamian Tourist Boat Association. The rates above do not include entrance fees, guide fee, and food. If booking a group tour package: P1,500 – P1,800 per person (ALL IN). Check the itinerary and inclusions first before booking. Some tour packages don’t have CYC Beach in their itinerary.

Get discounted rates when you book with Klook! Both the Coron Super Ultimate Day Tour and Coron Tour A’s itineraries include CYC Beach.

6. Siete Pecados

If you are curious about what Coron has to offer beneath the surface, Siete Pecados Marine Park flaunts a diverse and vibrant underwater ecosystem.

Aside from various marine species, it also features a colorful coral garden that delights divers and snorkelers alike.

Entrance Fee: P100 Tour Guide Fee: P500 Standard Boat Rates: P2,700 (2-4 pax) / P3,250 (5-8 pax) / P3,800 (9-15 pax). Please book with the Calamian Tourist Boat Association. The rates above do not include entrance fees, guide fee, and food. Coron Island Tour Rates: P1,500 – P2,800 per person (ALL IN). Check the itinerary and inclusions first before booking.

Book with Klook! The Coron Super Ultimate Day Tour and Coron Tour A both include Siete Pecados in their itineraries.

7. Mount Tapyas

At 210 meters, Mount Tapyas offers a panoramic view of its surroundings. At its summit stands a giant cross. At sunset or sunrise, you can also witness the sky’s colorful gradient.

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But to get to the top, you need to conquer around 700 concrete steps. But fret not, rest stops with chairs have been installed along the way. For those who are not really into hiking, you can stop and take a breather in one of these rest decks.

To reach Mount Tapyas, you can march to the base of the hill independently (DIY-style) or charter a tricycle. If you want a hassle-free trip, you can book a Coron Town Tour . Whatever you choose, make sure to bring enough water and sun protection for this activity.

Entrance Fee: FREE Coron Town Tour: P700 – P1,600 per person. Check the itinerary and inclusions first before booking.

You can get promo rates when you book with Klook!

✅ BOOK CORON TOWN TOUR HERE!

8. Maquinit Hot Springs

After your island-hopping escapade or your Mount Tapyas hike, Maquinit Hot Spring is a perfect place to cap off your day. The hot spring bath draws dozens of tourists — locals and foreigners — despite the considerable distance from the town center.

You can book a tour or just charter a tricycle to go there. The roundtrip tricycle fare is around P350. The travel time is around 30 minutes from the town center.

Entrance Fee: P200 Coron Town Tour: P700 – P1,600 per person. Check the itinerary and inclusions first before booking.

Maquinit Hot Spring is often included in the Coron Town Tour package. If you decide to take this tour instead, get promo rates when you book with Klook!

9. Calauit Safari

A piece of Africa in the Philippines? Yes!

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Although not really an African safari, the Calauit Safari Park still entices you with an experience that is different from the usual island destination activities in the Philippines. The island provides a habitat for animals that are not native in the Philippines like giraffes and zebras.

Calauit is located in the municipality of Busuanga, on the other side of the island, so it can take a lot of time to reach. To get to the Calauit Safari, you travel by sea or travel by land.

If you want to visit Black Island too, then the recommended mode is by boat. Here are the other stops when you travel by boat: Lusong Coral Garden and Gun Boat Wreck and Pamilacan Island. Other packages might include these stops: North Cay and South Cay.

If you choose to go by land, the itinerary will depend on the operator. Choose the one that suits your preferences. The trip by land usually consists of 2-4 of these attractions (aside from Calauit Safari): Conception Falls, Malbato Chapel, North/South Cay, Pamilacan Island, and Lusong Coral Garden and Gun Boat Wreck.

Entrance Fee: P250 (Filipinos) / P400 (Regular) Tour Guide Fee: P500 Standard Boat Rates: P9,300 (2-4 pax) / P10,400 (5-8 pax) / P17,000 (9-15 pax). Please book with the Calamian Tourist Boat Association. The rates above do not include entrance fees, guide fee, and food. Calauit Safari Tour Rates: P2,500 – P3,000 per person (ALL IN). Check the itinerary and inclusions first before booking.

You can get discounted rate when you book Klook’s Coron Calauit Safari and Beach Tour!

✅ BOOK CORON CALAUIT SAFARI & BEACH TOUR HERE!

10. Black Island

Situated northwest of Busuanga Island is Malajon Island , popularly called Black Island by the locals and tourists.

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It looks intimidating from afar because of its distinct feature — the dark colossal karst cliffs that largely define the island’s landscape. These peaks rise from a huge bed of white sand that slopes steeply and slides under the waves. It’s a wide and happy playground for the beach lover.

Aside from snorkeling, diving, or beach-bumming, you can also go cave hunting as the island have caves that are open to the public. The biggest can be easily accessed by climbing a short ladder. Its floor is cracked open, allowing a glimpse of the cold crystal water that filled its miniature lakes. Stalactites adorn its ceiling and rocks covered in sparkling white silica make up its walls.

Black Island is usually part of the Calauit Safari Tour by sea.

Entrance Fee: P200 Tour Guide Fee: P500 Standard Boat Rates: P9,300 (2-4 pax) / P10,400 (5-8 pax) / P17,000 (9-15 pax). Please book with the Calamian Tourist Boat Association. The rates above do not include entrance fees, guide fee, and food. Calauit Safari Tour Rates: P2,500 – P3,000 per person (ALL IN). Check the itinerary and inclusions first before booking.

You can book Klook’s Coron Calauit Safari and Beach Tour and get a discounted rate!

11. Pamalican Island

There are two Pamalican Islands in Palawan: the popular one is in Cuyo, which is exclusively owned by Amanpulo; the other can be found in Busuanga, easily accessible from Coron.

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Lying west of Busuanga, this 50-hectare island is fringed by a wide expanse of light-colored sand and is covered by a dense forest. This is the best place for beach lovers to laze around and swim.

Pamalican Island is usually included in the Calauit Safari Tour itinerary.

Entrance Fee: P100 Tour Guide Fee: P500 Standard Boat Rates: P9,300 (2-4 pax) / P10,400 (5-8 pax) / P17,000 (9-15 pax). Please book with the Calamian Tourist Boat Association. The rates above do not include entrance fees, guide fee, and food. Calauit Safari Tour Rates: P2,500 – P3,000 per person (ALL IN). Check the itinerary and inclusions first before booking.

12. Lusong Coral Garden & Gun Boat

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Lusong Coral Garden is another usual stop in the Calauit Safari Tour itinerary. This activity is amazing and enjoyable not only for those who know how to dive but also for those who are content just snorkeling.

The vast coral garden is a sight to behold — various colorful marine creatures frolicking in and out of the various formations of vibrant corals.

Lusong also has a shipwreck of a World War II gunboat.

Klook’s Coron Reefs and Wreck Day Tour includes Lusong Coral Garden at Gun Boat in the itinerary.

✅ BOOK CORON REEFS & WRECK DAY TOUR HERE!

13. Malcapuya Island, Bulog Dos & Banana Island

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These island destinations are tailor-fit for those who are interested in beach bumming and swimming. These three share the same feature — powdery white sand beaches, cerulean waters, and rock formations — but each of them still offers something different and will make you appreciate the natural beauty of Coron.

All three are usually included in Malcapuya Island Tour , sometimes called Island Escapade Tour or Beaches Tour . Some packages also have Malaroyroy Island in the itinerary.

Entrance Fee: P250 (Malcapuya Island) / P250 (Bulog Dos) / P250 (Banana Island) Tour Guide Fee: P500 Standard Boat Rates: P4,350 (4 pax) / P5,450 (8 pax) / P7,100 (15 pax). Please book with the Calamian Tourist Boat Association. The rates above do not include entrance fees, guide fee, and food. Island Escapade Tour Rates: P1,500 – P2,800 per person (ALL IN). Check the itinerary and inclusions first before booking.

Klook’s Coron Tour C and Coron Island Escapade Day Tour have Malcapuya Island in their itineraries. Check the other inclusions.

✅ BOOK CORON TOUR C HERE!

✅ BOOK CORON ISLAND ESCAPADE DAY TOUR HERE!

14. Fireflies and Plankton Tour

It’s something that we highly recommend! This tour is an enchanting experience that you will never forget! In Coron, fireflies come out and fly around the mangroves at night, creating a luminous show.

But it doesn’t stop there. The natural illumination continues when you look down and dip your hand in the water, creating a magical trail brought about by the bioluminescent plankton.

You can avail of this through Calamian Islands Travel and Tours. The tour is inclusive of buffet dinner, transfers, and kayak fees. Note that they don’t do private tours, only group tours.

We tried taking photos and videos but it’s just too dark. But it is similar to what’s happening in this video. Not the same, but close to it.

Joiner Tour: P950 per person Tour Duration: Pick-up at 6:00 PM. The end of the tour and return to the hotel is at 9:30 PM.

15. Parasailing

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This is a thrilling way to see and experience Coron. If you want to see panoramic views of the natural riches of the area from above but don’t want to sweat it out by hiking up a mountain, you can opt to strap yourself up and parasail. Feel the wind embracing you as you appreciate the breathtaking scenery up in the air.

There are many parasailing packages offered in Coron. You can go solo or experience with your friends or family by booking the double flyer or the triple flyer. You can also check Klook’s All-In Watersports Experience if you want to try other watersports aside from parasailing.

✅ BOOK PARASAILING EXPERIENCE HERE!

✅ CHECK ALL-IN WATERSPORTS OPTIONS HERE!

16. Water Sports

Aside from the island-hopping tours, there are lots of water sports activities in Coron. Each operator offers different packages with varying inclusions and/or combines them with other tours or activities. Choose the best that suits your preference, budget, and itinerary. Some of the options are:

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  • Banana Boat

Score a discounted rate when you book with Klook! If you want to check the rates and inclusions, here are some of the water sports activities offered. Note that most tours are bundled with a “Clear Kayaking” activity.

✅ Check BANANA BOAT Details Here!

✅ Check FLYFISH Details Here!

✅ BOOK JETSKI Details Here!

17. Culion Island

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Also part of the Calamianes, Culion Island is another day trip destination from Coron. Isolated from the rest of the world for almost a century, Culion has endured the stigma associated with being the biggest leper colony in the world.

Finally declared a leprosy-free area in 2006 by the World Health Organization (WHO), the island town is slowly rising as a tourist destination. Getting there is quite challenging as that route is yet to be developed, so the crowd volume is way fewer than the neighboring Coron and Busuanga.

Some of the places to visit are the Culion Museum and Archives, Culion Church, Aguila Viewpoint, Balanga Falls, San Ignacio Farm, Pulang Lupa, and diving/snorkeling sites. The first three are usually part of the Culion Town Historical Tour .

Island hopping tour usually includes Malcapuya Island, Banana Beach, Bulog Bulog Beach, Bogor Marine Park.

Getting There: You can charter a private boat via the Calamian Tourist Boat Association. The office is located at Lualhati Park, just behind the public market. The rates depend on the number of passengers and the itinerary. Note that because the price is quite steep, it is best for big groups. Alternatively, you can join a group day tour from Coron. This is a much cheaper option if you don’t plan to stay overnight on the island.

If you are planning to stay overnight, the cheapest option is to take the passenger boat from Coron. Only one trip per day per way. The departure time from Coron is 1:30 PM. The trip back to Coron is scheduled at 7:00 AM the next day. The travel time is about 90 minutes. Note that this schedule might change, depending on the weather condition and other reasons.

Rates: P3000/1-4 pax, P3500/5-8 pax, P6000/10-15 pax (Private Boat Roundtrip); Approximately P1200 (Day Tour from Coron); P180 (Passenger Boat Fare + P20 Terminal Fee)

18. Coron Town Tour

Coron is not just about island hopping and beach activities. The town center also has some attractions for those interested in seeing how the locals go about their lives. Here are the usual stops:

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  • Public market
  • Souvenir shops
  • Lualhati Park
  • St. Augustine Church
  • Maquinit Hot Springs
  • Mount Tapyas

Some tours include a stop at a cashew nuts factory.

Although it is entirely possible to do this tour on your own — most stops are accessible by tricycle and on foot — it’s best done with a guide, who can explain the significance of these places to the locals.

Rates: Maquinit Hotsprings P200 (Entrance Fee); P350 (Roundtrip Tricycle Fare); FREE (Mount Tapyas Entrance) Coron Town Tour: P700 – P1,600 per person. Check the itinerary and inclusions before booking.

If you want to join a group tour, you can book Klook’s Coron Town Half-Day Tour. Usually, Klook offers discounted rates for tour packages.

19. Shipwreck Diving

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The battle between the US Navy and the Imperial Japanese Navy in 1944 at the height of World War II resulted in about a dozen sunken warships at the bottom of Coron Bay. These shipwreck diving spots are just a short boat ride from the mainland and are within recreational diving depth. The colossal wartime vessel wrecks are said to be some of the best-preserved in the world.

Some of the popular wrecks are the Irako, the Olympia Maru, the Okikawa Maru, the Kogyo Maru, the Akitsushima, and the Morazan. There are many dive operators in Coron Town, so you will have no problem booking a diving tour here.

20. Seafood Galore

Because Coron is a world-famous island destination with very few food sources, expect the food to be quite pricey. Yes, even seafood! If you are eating at restaurants, the price range for a meal is P150 to P400.

To give you an idea, the P150-meal at a proper sit-down resto is composed of a cup of rice and a small serving of a Pinoy dish like adobo, tapa, or liempo. If you want to binge on seafood, the price of grilled seafood is around P200. For fruit shakes, the price is P100 to P120.

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Some of the restaurants we tried are:

  • La Morena Cafe
  • Carl’s BBQ
  • Kawayanan Grill Station
  • KT’s Sinugba sa Balai
  • La Sirenetta

The locals also recommend Santino’s Grill and Amigos’ Smokes and Grill .

That said, there are still many carinderias and other budget options for those traveling on a shoestring.

Note: Most restaurants and cafés are operating only during lunchtime and dinner time. Lunchtime is from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM and dinner time is 6:00 PM onwards.

Top Coron Resorts & Hotels

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Here are some of the top-reviewed hotels, hostels, resorts, and apartments in Coron as scored by Agoda customers.

  • Happy Camper Hostel. Check Rates & Photos! ✅
  • Haisa Apartment. Check Rates & Photos! ✅
  • Blue Waters Inn Coron Palawan. Check Rates & Photos! ✅
  • Two Seasons Coron Bayside Hotel. Check Rates & Photos! ✅
  • Bluewave Hotel. Check Rates & Photos! ✅
  • Acacia Garden Inn. Check Rates & Photos! ✅
  • Coron Eco Lodge. Check Rates & Photos! ✅

Search for more Coron Hotels!

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Top Nine Destinations to Visit in Palawan

Also known as the philippine’s last frontier, palawan is truly a perfect destination for paradise seekers and those who wants to see a glimpse of heaven. this is certainly one of the most visited tourists destination in the philippines because of its breathtaking scenery, white sand beaches and the amazing land and seascape. to make the most of your visit to palawan, here are the top nine destinations of the province that are worth seeing:.

Top Nine Destinations to Visit in Palawan

Also known as the Philippine’s Last Frontier, Palawan is truly a perfect destination for paradise seekers and those who wants to see a glimpse of heaven. This is certainly one of the most visited tourist destinations in the Philippines because of its breathtaking scenery, white sand beaches and the amazing land and seascape. To make the most of your visit to Palawan, here are the top nine destinations of the province that are worth seeing: 1. Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park

best tourist destination in palawan

Situated in the Saint Paul Mountain Range, Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (also known as Puerto Princesa Underground River) is a protected area where an underground river which is the longest in the world can be found. On November 11, 2011, Puerto Princesa Underground River was provisionally chosen as one of the New7Wonders of Nature and was officially confirmed on January 28, 2012.

best tourist destination in palawan

Nicknamed as the “Heaven on Earth”, El Nido is one of the many reasons why Palawan is considered as Philippines’ Last Frontier. It is a first class municipality and situated northeast of Puerto Princesa, Palawan’s capital. According to the international news channel, CNN Go, it is the best beach and island destination in the Philippines for its extraordinary natural splendor and ecosystem.

3. Honda Bay

best tourist destination in palawan

Like El Nido, Coron is another reason why Palawan is the Last Frontier of the Philippines. Due to its pristine beaches, dive site and other nature-oriented activities, Coron is a top tourist destination in the region. Tourists will definitely be amazed of the aquatic views of a dozen sunken Japanese warships off Coron Island making it a popular diving destination. On 2007, Coron was listed in Forbes Traveler Magazine’s as one of top 10 best scuba diving sites in the world.

5. Batac Village

Batac Village is the home of the indigenous Batac tribe who are quickly vanishing at the present time. Currently, there are less than 500 Batac people who dwell alongside a river that cuts through the northern Palawan mountain ranges. At the village, tourists can observe their culture and beliefs. Souvenir items that are made by the Batac people can be bought here.

6. Puerto De Sta. Isabel

best tourist destination in palawan

Also called as the Taytay Fort, Puerto De Sta. Isabel is one of the historic attractions in Palawan. The fort was built in 1667 under the Augustinian Recollect Fathers. This famous relic was completed in the year 1738 and was used as a military station. It was mainly used to defend against Muslim raiders. Presently, it is supervised by the National Museum of the Philippines. The structures that are still intact inside the Fort are the chapel and cannons.

7. Port Barton

best tourist destination in palawan

Port Barton is a small coastal village where most tourists consider it as one of the highlights of their visit in the country. Its pristine islands attract tourists who seek a non-luxurious vacation spot. Presently, Port Barton is not as developed as Puerto Galera or Boracay and it is still largely unspoiled and slightly primitive and it is exactly the reason why it’s an attractive tourist destination.

8. Tabon Caves

best tourist destination in palawan

Labeled as the “Cradle of Civilization” of the Philippines, Tabon caves are a set of caves situated in the southwestern part of the province of Palawan. It is where archeologists found a skull cap remains of the Tabon Man which is one of the oldest remnants of human inhabitants found in the Philippines. Presently, the place is being developed as a major archaeological and tourism destination for local and foreign tourists in the country,

9. Calauit Island

best tourist destination in palawan

Situated in the Calamian Archipelago, Calauit Island is an interesting tourist attraction to visit because of the wild animals that can be seen here. The animals were imported from Africa during the ‘70s in response to an international effort to help save he animals in Kenya. There are eight species that arrived in Calauit in 1977 which include; giraffes, bush bucks, gazelles, waterbucks and impalas. Today, the African animals are still roaming around the island and their number continues to increase. You may also check these articles for more tourist spots in the Philippines: The Ten Most Popular Destinations to Visit in Manila

Ten Tourist Attractions in Davao City that are worth visiting

Ten Hidden Vacation Spots in the Philippines

25 Emerging Tourist Hotspots in the Philippines

Top Ten Most Livable Cities in the Philippines

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_Bay,_Philippines
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Nido,_Palawan
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puerto_Princesa_Subterranean_River_National_Park
  • http://philippinetravelforum.com/2013/02/top-ten-places-visit-palawan/
  • http://www.hoteltravel.com/philippines/palawan/batac-village-in-palawan.htm
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taytay,_Palawan
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coron,_Palawan#Economy
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tabon_Caves
  • ttp://wikitravel.org/en/Port_Barton
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calauit_Island

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COMMENTS

  1. Top 28 Palawan Philippines Tourist Spots and Things to Do: Home to The

    Top 28 Palawan Philippines Tourist Spots and Things to Do: Home to The Best Islands & Beaches By Ella Larena Verified expert Travel to the islands of Palawan and find out why it's a top destination not just in the Philippines but the whole world. What are the top tourist attractions and things to do here?

  2. 2024 Palawan Tourist Spots + 12 Things To Do in Palawan

    1. El Nido Island hopping tour at Bacuit Bay, in El Nido, Palawan, Philippines Location: Palawan province, west central Philippines. Save on Google Maps. You will find dramatic "over water" scenery in El Nido, located on the northernmost tip of mainland Palawan. This place is not just about pretty sandy beaches and mesmerizing waters.

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    Palawan has over 1,700 pristine islands and islets scattered in its four main destinations: El Nido, Puerto Princesa, Coron, and San Vicente. One of the top Palawan destinations is the UNESCO World Heritage Site and New 7 Wonders of Nature, the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, or the Underground River.

  5. 15 Must-Visit Attractions in Palawan, Philippines

    Palawan is arguably one of the top tourist destinations in the tropical paradise of the Philippines. Read on and discover the stunning sights that are responsible for making this island-province so breathtakingly irresistible to globetrotters. 1. Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park Natural Feature, Park Share Add to Plan

  6. 10 Amazing Things to Do in Palawan, the Philippines

    Palawan is a long island located just off the western flank of the Philippines and a paradise from end to end. Best known for its bright blue waters that contrast against the karst stone cliffs of the island, this is one of the most popular resort destinations in the Philippines and is only an 80-minute flight from the capital of Manila.

  7. 15 Best PALAWAN TOURIST SPOTS (Last Ecological Frontier)

    1. Tubbataha Reef Number one on the list and probably the most amazing natural wonder you'll ever see in your life is the iconic Tubbataha Reef. If you're a diving enthusiast, there's a very high chance that you've already encountered Tubbataha while searching for the world's most beautiful diving sites.

  8. What to See in Palawan: 25 Must-Visit Tourist Attractions in Palawan

    Tourist Spots Onuk Island in Balabac is one of the must-visit tourist attractions in Palawan. Wondering what to include on your Palawan itinerary? In this guide, we highlighted the top tourist attractions in Palawan—from Coron to Balabac.

  9. Palawan paradise: top things to see and do

    Top of most visitors' bucket lists is boarding a trusty Philippine bangka (motorized outrigger) or speed boat and setting off to explore Palawan's 1780 islands.

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    Spas (1) Water Parks (1) Weddings & Honeymoons (1) Likely to Sell Out (1) Popular Cities in Palawan Province Puerto Princesa 0 reviews Mimaropa, Philippines El Nido 0 reviews Mimaropa, Philippines

  11. 28 Best Palawan Tourist Spots for First-Timers

    The stunning Twin Lagoon in Coron, one of the best Palawan tourist spots Palawan Island, in the Philippines, has been rising to the top of the list as not only a budget-friendly, backpacker location, but also as an ecotourism destination.

  12. 21+ BEST Things to Do in Palawan (Your Palawan Bucket List)

    8. Visit Kayangan Lake. View deck in Kayangan Lake, Coron. Kayangan Lake. Kayangan Lake is perhaps the most popular tourist attraction in Coron, Palawan. With its turqouise water, it's also dubbed as the cleanest water in Asia. To get here, you will need to rent a boat or join an island hopping tour.

  13. Explore the Top 20 Palawan Tourist Spots: A Tropical Haven

    El Nido is a top Palawan tourist spot with a myriad of natural attractions. 2. Coron Island: A Diver's Delight Located north of Palawan, Coron Island is a diver's dream come true. Home to numerous World War II shipwrecks, Coron's underwater world is a historical and marine sanctuary.

  14. THE 15 BEST Things to Do in Palawan Island

    Things to Do in Palawan Island, Philippines - Palawan Island Attractions Things to Do in Palawan Island Explore popular experiences See what other travelers like to do, based on ratings and number of bookings. Day Trips (85) Bus Tours (115) Beaches (46) Nature and Wildlife Tours (51) Full-day Tours (86) Bodies of Water (12) City Tours (23)

  15. The Top Tourist Spots and Attractions in Palawan

    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. Source. 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 ...

  16. 25 Best Things to Do in Palawan Island (the Philippines)

    Visit Secret Beach tucked away in a hidden cove, Nacpan Beach which is 4-kilometers of smooth sand and coconut trees, Pangalusian Beach that looks like a post card, Las Cabanas Beach with warm water perfect for swimming, and the list goes on. 5. Visit Port Barton. Source: WatercolorArt / shutterstock. Port Barton.

  17. Best Palawan Itinerary Guide: How Many Days, Where to Go, What to Do

    The most visited destinations in Palawan are El Nido, Coron, and Puerto Princesa, but recently, the municipality of San Vicente, home to Port Barton, has also been gaining popularity. See our popular Best Philippines Itinerary Tour Packages Hotel + Breakfast + Tours 5-Day Nature & Islands Adventure Package to Puerto Princesa and El Nido Palawan

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    El Nido is undoubtedly one of the most popular tourist spots in Palawan. It is known for its stunning limestone cliffs, white sandy beaches, and crystal-clear waters. El Nido has many activities, including island hopping, snorkeling, and diving. The best way to get the most out of your vacation in El Nido is to book an island hopping tour.

  19. Palawan: Discover the Top Must-Visit Destinations

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    Introduction Palawan, an enchanting province in the Philippines, has gained immense popularity as a top-tier travel destination. Located in the western region of the country, Palawan boasts pristine beaches, crystal-clear turquoise waters, lush jungles, and a rich biodiversity that captivates travelers from around the globe.

  21. 14 Must-Visit and Things to Do in El Nido Palawan Tourist Spots

    This quaint little beach town located in the northernmost part of mainland Palawan has developed to become a travel destination, with more convenient access to more flights and a wide array of El Nido resorts and El Nido hotels (some of which offer Philippine luxury vacation packages), some of the best beach resorts in the Philippines ...

  22. 20 Best CORON PALAWAN TOURIST SPOTS & Things to Do

    20 Best CORON PALAWAN TOURIST SPOTS & Things to Do Planning a trip to Coron? Here are just some of the many PLACES TO VISIT and THINGS TO DO that you might want to add to your CORON ITINERARY! When we think of Coron, the first thing that comes to mind are the towering karst cliffs that cloister pristine lagoons and lakes.

  23. Top Nine Destinations to Visit in Palawan

    This is certainly one of the most visited tourist destinations in the Philippines because of its breathtaking scenery, white sand beaches and the amazing land and seascape. To make the most of your visit to Palawan, here are the top nine destinations of the province that are worth seeing: 1. Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park.