For several years, tourism in Palawan is growing on a steady pace. The island’s wildlife and marine life, plus the beautifully carved landscaped and white sand beaches, has truly cemented its reputation as the Philippines’ last frontier.
With more than a thousand islands and islets under the province, there are also more than a thousand reasons to visit Palawan. Come and let’s explore the world’s best island!
Wacko over Wildlife
Palawan, isolated by Sulu Sea and West Philippine Sea, is home to many indigenous animals that are not commonly found elsewhere. These includes monkeys, squirrels, bear cats, and bats.
Giraffes roaming in Caluit reserve (Philippine Trails)
Calauit Safari (Courtesy of Amphi-Bi Resort)
It even has its own island zoo park – the Caluit Island. It is in this island that a 3,700 hectare reserve is home for both local and African species (from Kenya) such as giraffes, zebras and gazelles. The Caluit Island reserve is the Philippine government’s response to an appeal by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Amazing Marine Life
The pristine waters of the seas beside Palawan is also home to astonishing high number of marine species such as sea turtles, sea cows, and a huge number of corals.
Palawan is also home to another natural wonder – the Tubbataha Reef (part of Cagayancillo Island Group). The Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is a protected area featuring two coral atolls inhabited by over 1000 species of marine life. Several of the animal species include manta rays, lionfish, sea turtles, clownfish, parrotfish, moray eels, napoleon wrasse and sharks. The Tubbataha Reef is popular for season sport divers closely supervised by the Tubbataha Management Board.
Photo Credits to Department of Tourism (DOT)
Declared as one of the Seven World Wonders of Nature, the Puerto Princesa Underground River snakes for about 8 kilometers before opening up into a beautiful lagoon into the South China Sea. Experience a one-of-a-kind boating underneath St. Paul Mountain and see for yourself this true wonder.
Powdery White Sand Beaches and Rock Formations
El Nido (Courtesy of Matinloc Resort)
El Nido, another rising tourist attraction, features coves and beaches that are truly amazing and stunning. With the area’s white sand beaches amidst a backdrop of rock formations, one can truly commune with nature and enjoy the scenery.
Coron (Courtesy of Two Seasons Island Resort)
Also fast gaining attraction is the island of Coron in the north of Palawan. This island group is also known for its clear turquoise lagoon perfect for boating and swimming. Also blessed with shallow reefs, one may enjoy doing diving or snorkeling. Coron is also famous for its seven mountain lakes – offering main overland attractions that provide views of stunning limestones (said to be from Jurassic era). Among these is Kayangan Lake which has been adjudged as the cleanest in all of the Philippines. Another favorite is the Barracuda Lake which is known for divers because of its Barracuda Lake.
Between Busuanga and Coron Islands is a group of islets called Siete Pecados – a semi-circular string which features a shallow but astonishingly beautiful coral garden.
Courtesy of Jungle Beach Resort
Honday Bay is another ideal destination to enjoy the beach and the sea. It consists of several islets and beautiful beaches ideal for snorkeling, diving, island hopping and beach combing.
El Nido Mahogany
There are luxurious island resorts and beach resorts in Palawan. Most of these are concentrated in El Nido and in Coron. They offer world class service and modern amenities ensuring your maximum comfort, convenience, and enjoyment during your stay in Palawan.
Palawan Travel Facts and Tips (Courtesy of Philippine Department of Tourism)
Land Area, Municipalities and Language
With a land area of 1.5 million hectares, the province of Palawan is composed of 1,780 islands and islets. It is politically subdivided into 23 municipalities with Puerto Princesa as the capital city. English and Pilipino are widely spoken, as well as Cuyunon.
How to get there and go around
By air, Palawan is connected to Manila via Puerto Princesa, El Nido, Busuanga, Taytay and Pamalican (Cuyo). There are also flights from Cebu and IloIlo going to the capital during peak season. By sea, major carriers travel from Manila to Coron and Puerto Princesa. Travel within the city proper is usually done via tricycles and jeepneys although one may rent a van or other private transportation. Getting to destinations can also be done through public transport or via pump boats for island travels.
What to wear and bring
Light casual wear is recommended. During rainy months, July to September, jackets and umbrellas are advisable. From March to May, pack sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat. Remember to bring insect repellent, mineral water and flashlight for activities like spelunking and trekking.
- Travelers’ Checks and currency exchange can be availed in the city.
- Credit cards are accepted in major establishments.
- Observe the Cleanliness and No Littering Policy.
- Interactions with cultural minorities need to be coordinated with the Local Government Units. Diving in Tubbatah, expedition to the Calauit Sanctuary and tour of the Underground River also require permits.
- Electricity runs 24 hours in the city but may be scheduled in some municipalities. Most island-based resorts operate their own power generating sets.