Palawan Travel Guide

Overview of Palawan

Immerse yourself in crystal-clear waters, pristine beaches, and picturesque limestone cliffs that define Palawan's awe-inspiring landscape. Dive into an underwater wonderland, teeming with vibrant marine life, making it a haven for divers and snorkelers. Due to its lush and varied flora and fauna, as well as its well-preserved natural beauties, this charming province of Palawan is a frequent fixture in numerous worldwide "Best In The World" lists. Learn why sustainable ecotourism is so important for preserving this paradise on Earth's natural beauty. Palawan is a beach bum's paradise, and that's an understatement. From the coral-fringed dreamscapes of the Calamianes and the karst limestone formations of El Nido to the wind-swept shorelines of central Palawan and the unspoiled sandbars of Balabac, sailing the length of the province—from the northern to the southern tip of the main island—brings you up close and personal with paradise in countless forms.

Where to Go

Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park

Explore the famous Underground River, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature.

El Nido

Discover breathtaking limestone karst formations, hidden lagoons, and pristine beaches on island-hopping tours around Bacuit Bay.


Dive into the crystal-clear waters to explore captivating underwater landscapes, including sunken Japanese shipwrecks from World War II.

Honda Bay

Enjoy island-hopping adventures to stunning destinations like Cowrie Island, Luli Island, and Starfish Island.

Port Barton

Experience the laid-back charm of this coastal town with its serene beaches, coral reefs, and a more relaxed atmosphere.

Nacpan Beach

Relax on the long stretch of powdery white sand and turquoise waters of Nacpan, often hailed as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

Balabac Islands

Explore the southernmost islands of Palawan, known for their untouched beauty, rich marine life, and vibrant coral reefs.

Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park

Dive into one of the most renowned dive sites globally, offering a pristine underwater environment with diverse marine species.


Visit the historical island of Culion, once a leper colony, and explore its historical sites, including the Culion Museum and Archives.

Corong-Corong Beach

Unwind on the peaceful shores of Corong-Corong, known for its stunning sunsets and relaxed ambiance.

What to Do

Island Hopping in El Nido

Explore the enchanting Bacuit Bay, visit hidden lagoons, and relax on pristine beaches during island-hopping tours.

Snorkeling in Coron

Dive into the crystal-clear waters to discover vibrant coral reefs, underwater caves, and sunken Japanese shipwrecks.

Underground River Tour in Puerto Princesa

Venture into the UNESCO-listed Underground River, a subterranean wonder with impressive limestone formations.

Scuba Diving in Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park

Dive into one of the world's best dive sites to witness diverse marine life and stunning coral formations.

Beach Bumming in Nacpan Beach

Relax on the long stretch of white sand at Nacpan Beach and enjoy the breathtaking views of the coastline.

Explore Honda Bay

Embark on island-hopping adventures to Cowrie Island, Luli Island, and Starfish Island for snorkeling and beach activities.

Visit the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center

Interact with local wildlife, including crocodiles, at this conservation center dedicated to protecting and rehabilitating endangered species.

Hike to Taraw Cliff in El Nido

Enjoy panoramic views of El Nido's limestone cliffs and Bacuit Bay after a challenging hike to the summit of Taraw Cliff.

Visit Coron Town Proper

Explore the charming Coron town, visit the Maquinit Hot Springs, and discover local markets and eateries.

Experience Puerto Princesa's City Tour

Take a cultural tour to discover historical sites, such as the Plaza Cuartel, Immaculate Conception Cathedral, and Baker's Hill.

Kayangan Lake Adventure

Hike to Kayangan Lake in Coron for a stunning viewpoint and take a refreshing dip in its emerald waters.

Relax in Port Barton

Unwind in the laid-back atmosphere of Port Barton, enjoying quiet beaches and boat trips to nearby islands.

When is the Best Time to Visit Palawan

The best time to visit Palawan, particularly during the dry season, is from November to April. This period is characterized by generally pleasant weather with minimal rainfall, making it ideal for outdoor activities, island hopping, and beach exploration.

The months of December to February are considered peak season, attracting more tourists due to the cooler temperatures and the absence of heavy rains. It's essential to note that Palawan can still be visited during the wet season (May to October), but there is a higher chance of rain, and some tours or activities may be affected.

Travelers looking for optimal weather conditions and a vibrant, lush landscape should plan their visit during the dry season.

The wet season in Palawan typically occurs from May to October. During this period, the region experiences increased rainfall and higher humidity. While Palawan is still accessible and offers a lush, green landscape, travelers should be aware that heavy rains may affect certain outdoor activities, island-hopping tours, and beach excursions.

How to Get to Palawan

By Air

Puerto Princesa International Airport is the main gateway to Palawan. You can fly directly to Puerto Princesa from major airports in the Philippines, including Manila, Cebu, and Davao. Several airlines operate regular flights to Puerto Princesa.

El Nido Airport (ENI)

If you're heading to El Nido, you can take a direct flight to El Nido Airport from Manila. Flights to El Nido are available, but schedules may vary.

Francisco B. Reyes Airport (USU) - Busuanga/Coron

For travellers heading to Coron, you can fly directly to Francisco B. Reyes Airport from Manila. Coron is a popular destination for its stunning landscapes and wreck diving sites.

By Sea

Palawan is accessible by sea, with ferry services available from Manila and other nearby islands. Ferry travel is an option for those who prefer a scenic journey and have more time to spare.

How to Get Around

By Taxi / Ride-Sharing Services

Going around Palawan while using taxi services are available in some urban areas, traditional ride-sharing services like Grab are not as prevalent in Palawan. In Puerto Princesa, the capital city, you can find taxis for short-distance travel within the city center. However, in more remote areas or smaller towns, taxi services may be limited.

By Private Transfers / Van

Travellers can rent private transfers, such as hired vans or cars with drivers, are available for more comfortable and personalised transportation between destinations. This option is suitable for those who prefer a more relaxed travel experience.

By Scooter / Motorcycle

Renting a scooter or motorcycle is a convenient option for exploring smaller towns and more remote areas. It provides flexibility and the freedom to explore at your own pace.

By Bicycle

In smaller towns and beach areas, walking or bicycling is a pleasant and eco-friendly way to explore the surroundings.

What to Eat

Palawan offers a diverse range of dining options to cater to various budgets and palates.

Local Food

Palawan boasts a rich culinary scene with a diverse array of local delicacies that showcase the unique flavours of Filipino cuisine. Here are some popular local foods in Palawan and recommended restaurants such as Kinabuch's Bar and Grill, Rene Saigon, KaLui and Badjao Seafront Restaurant.

Fresh Seafood

Seafood is also famous on the island, and travellers can visit KaLui, Tiki RestoBar, La Terrasse, Gusto Gelato & Deli, Bona's, Pearl Restaurant and Squidos Resto Grill.

Western Food

Palawan offers a range of dining options, including establishments that serve Western cuisine alongside local flavors. Here are some places where you can enjoy Western food in Palawan such as The Gypsy's Lair Art Café, Trattoria Altrov'é, Bistro Coron, La Terrasse, Artcafe El Nido and Hangover Resto Bar.

What to Buy

Palawan offers a variety of unique and locally-made products that make for great souvenirs and keepsakes. Here's a list of items you might consider buying in Palawan such as Pearls, Cashew nuts, Beaded Accessories, Local Handicrafts, Honey, Tribal Art and Artifacts and Local Coffee.

Where to Stay

Palawan caters to a diverse range of travellers, accommodating both budget-conscious backpackers and families seeking a tranquil retreat. The island offers various types of lodging to suit everyone's preferences.

Affordable accommodations, including budget-friendly rooms, are readily available throughout Palawan, particularly in places like Puerto Princesa. On the other hand, for those desiring a more luxurious experience, Palawan boasts numerous five-star resorts providing top-notch amenities and services.

What to Bring

  • Bring comfortable sandals, flip-flops, and walking shoes for exploring beaches, towns, and nature sites.
  • Don't forget your swimsuit for enjoying Palawan's beautiful beaches and clear waters.
  • Pack sunscreen with high SPF, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the tropical sun.
  • Mosquitoes can be present, especially in the evenings. Bring insect repellent to avoid insect bites.
  • Palawan uses Type A, B, and C electrical sockets. Bring a suitable power adapter for your electronic devices.
  • Stay hydrated by bringing a reusable water bottle. Tap water may not be potable, so opt for bottled or filtered water.
  • Pack any essential medications, a basic first aid kit, and any personal health items you may need.
  • While major towns may have ATMs, it is advisable to carry some cash, especially when visiting more remote areas.

What to Wear

In Palawan's tropical climate, it's recommended to wear lightweight and breathable clothing such as T-shirts, shorts, and swimwear. Pack comfortable sandals or flip-flops for beach outings and casual walks. Bring a sun hat and sunglasses for sun protection, and consider a light rain jacket for occasional showers. Long-sleeved shirts and pants made from lightweight fabric can provide sun protection and guard against mosquitoes

Things to Note

  • Palawan is known for its stunning natural beauty and diverse ecosystems. Practice responsible tourism by minimising your environmental impact, disposing of waste properly, and respecting wildlife.
  • While major towns have ATMs, it is advisable to carry sufficient cash, especially when traveling to more remote areas where electronic payment options may be limited.
  • Stay hydrated, use sunscreen, and carry basic medications. Consult with a healthcare professional about any vaccinations or health precautions before traveling.
  • Transportation options may vary between different areas of Palawan. Plan your transportation in advance, especially for inter-island travel, and consider booking transportation services through reputable providers.
  • If participating in island-hopping tours, be aware of marine conservation rules. Avoid touching or disturbing marine life, and adhere to guidelines set by tour operators to preserve the delicate ecosystems.
  • Palawan experiences a tropical climate with the possibility of occasional rain showers. Check the weather forecast and pack accordingly, including a light rain jacket or poncho.
  • The power supply in some areas may be intermittent. Charge your devices when possible and consider bringing a power bank.
  • English and Filipino are widely spoken, making communication relatively easy. Learn a few basic phrases in Filipino for a more immersive experience.
  • Some remote areas may have limited or no internet connectivity. Plan accordingly and inform friends or family if you'll be incommunicado for a while.
  • Palawan is home to unique wildlife. Enjoy observing animals in their natural habitat, but maintain a respectful distance and avoid feeding or disturbing them.
  • Some attractions may require permits or entrance fees. Check in advance and be prepared to pay any necessary fees to support conservation efforts.

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