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40 Must-Visit Palawan Tourist Spots for an Unforgettable Philippine Vacation
You’re most likely to land on Puerto Princesa from your flight in Manila. While usually overlooked by tourists in favor of El Nido, you can still find stunning tourist spots in the capital of Palawan.
1. Puerto Princesa Underground River
No trip to Palawan would be complete without going on a tour to the Puerto Princesa Underground River!
Named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New 7 Wonders of the World, this Palawan tourist spot is also the world’s longest underground river. One should not miss the striking stalactite and stalagmite formations within its caves.
Recommended Tours: Viator Puerto Princesa Underground River Tours
Price: $40 (PHP2,000) to $65 (PHP3,200) per head
2. Sabang Mangrove Forest
This is usually taken as a side trip after the Underground River tour.
In the Sabang Mangrove Forest guided tour, you can expect to learn about the history and environmental importance of the mangroves.
Recommended Tour: Explora.ph Sabang Mangrove Paddling and Jungle Trek
Price: PHP350 ($7) per head
3. Sabang Beach
This Palawan tourist spot mainly serves as the port of boats that would take you to the Underground River. However, Sabang Beach is worth visiting on its own.
You’ll enjoy the crystal-clear waters and the long, golden coast that is lined with restaurants, resorts, and other amenities.
4. Plaza Cuartel
If you’re up for a taste of history, visit Plaza Cuartel!
This tourist spot is the site of the infamous Palawan Massacre during World War II, where 150 American soldiers were burned to death by Japanese soldiers.
5. Immaculate Conception Cathedral
Situated near Plaza Cuartel, Immaculate Conception Cathedral is a captivating church built in Gothic architecture style. It used to be a small chapel during the Spanish colonial era.
6. Honda Bay
If you prefer an island tour instead of the city, Puerto Princesa also offers it.
Simply head over to Honda Bay and go on an island-hopping tour. You’ll enjoy visiting distinct islands with spectacular views such as Starfish Island, Luli Island, and Cowrie Island among many others.
Recommended Tour: Klook Honda Bay Island Hopping Tour
Price: PHP 1,500 ($30) per head
7. Dos Palmas Island Resort
Want to experience a luxurious beach vacation in Palawan?
Book your stay at the Dos Palmas Island Resort where you can enjoy the resort’s amenities on top of the white sand beaches on the island.
Website: Dos Palmas Island Resort
Contact: email@example.com / (+63) 02 637 4226 / (+63) 48 434 3118
8. Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center
For those who love animals, you should visit the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center.
Marvel at the various species of crocodiles and birds while learning about their history and habitat.
Contact: (+63) 926 670 4410
9. Iwahig River
This Palawan tourist spot is not just your usual river.
Sign up for the Iwahig River Firefly Watching Tour to witness fireflies illuminate and transform the entire place at night.
Recommended Tour: GoPalawan.Travel Firefly Watching Tour
Price: PHP1,300 ($26) per person
10. Ugong Rock
Ugong Rock is paradise on Earth for both nature and adventure lovers. It is basically a 75-feet tall rock formation that is situated amidst the city’s forests.
Here, you can try traditional or bike zipline rides for a thrilling experience. You can also go on a spelunking tour where you can explore the cave.
Contact: (+63) 906 708 1334
11. Mitra’s Ranch
Prefer a more laidback adventure?
Head over to Mitra’s Ranch where you can go horseback riding. Using the reins, you can guide the horse up to the ranch’s view deck where you can enjoy a magnificent view of the city below.
Contact: (+63) 926 670 4410
12. Baker’s Hill
Baker’s Hill is a must-visit place for any tourists who are looking for carry-on delicacies, souvenirs, or pasalubongs.
Aside from these, one can also find Instagram-worthy spots such as life-size cartoon statues and a mini zoo in Baker’s Hill.
Contact: (+63) 48 433 4314
13. Binuatan Creations
Binuatan Creations is another popular gift shop for tourists. Here, you can support Puerto Princesa’s local artists by purchasing their handicrafts including hats, bags, and other trinkets.
Contact: (+63) 917 848 9269
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El Nido is famous for its white-sand beaches, crystal-clear waters, diverse marine life, and steep cliffs.
14. Big Lagoon
The Big Lagoon is a must-visit tourist spot in El Nido, Palawan. It is known for its aquamarine-colored waters and picturesque limestone rocks that line the horizon.
Feel free to swim with the sea turtles then snorkel a bit farther to see corals on the seabed.
15. Small Lagoon
This Palawan tourist spot is connected to the Blue Lagoon by a narrow cave. To reach it, you can paddle a kayak or simply swim over.
While Small Lagoon is significantly smaller than the Big Lagoon, it still offers the same towering limestone cliffs and turquoise waters.
16. Secret Lagoon
As its name suggests, the Secret Lagoon is one of the island’s best-kept secrets. It is hidden by massive cliffs but if you know where to look, you can easily reach this paradise.
Simply squeeze through a narrow hole in the limestone wall to discover a serene lagoon with crystal-clear waters.
17. Shimizu Island
Want to do more than swimming?
Head over to one of the best snorkeling spots in El Nido, Shimizu Island. Thanks to its clear aquamarine waters, you can discover a diverse marine life from corals to various fish in this Palawan tourist spot.
18. Seven Commandos Beach
This beach in Palawan is a haven for tourists who want to snorkel and sunbathe.
It features a long stretch of fine white sand where beach bums can rest or get their tan on the shore. At the same time, this Palawan tourist spot has a reef that is inhabited by fish and corals.
Recommended Tour: Klook El Nido Island Hopping Tour A (Big Lagoon, Small Lagoon, Secret Lagoon Shimizu Island, Seven Commandos Beach)
Price: PHP885 ($18) per person
19. Entalula Island
If you’re on a boat tour in El Nido, you’ll probably stop by the Entalula Island to have lunch. However, this is also a magnificent Palawan tourist spot where one can swim and go snorkeling.
20. Nacpan and Calitang Beach
Considered as two of the most beautiful beaches in Palawan, the twin beaches of Nacpan and Calitang offer soft golden sand and crystal-clear waters.
Unlike the beaches previously mentioned, these twin beaches can easily be reached by road via a tricycle or motorcycle ride.
21. Snake Island
This Palawan tourist spot got its name from the incredible snake-shaped sandbar along its coast.
Feel free to strike a pose and take photos on the white sand shore. For a bird’s eye view of the place, you can climb up the view deck on the island.
22. Cudugnon Cave
Puerto Princesa is not the only island that boasts remarkable caves. El Nido also has its fair share.
One of the most striking rock formations is the Cudugnon Cave. This Palawan tourist spot not only offers dramatic views but also carries archaeological and historical significance.
23. Cathedral Cave
Another beautiful tourist spot in El Nido, Palawan is the Cathedral Cave.
Inside, you can admire the rock formations up close. However, it’s best to discover the cave from afar where you can clearly appreciate the tall limestone walls. The cave is named as such because the opening resembles a cathedral’s interior.
Recommended Tour: Klook El Nido Island Hopping Tour B (Snake Island, Cudugnon Cave, Cathedral Cave)
Price: PHP1,300 ($27) per head
Experience Luxury Living in Palawan.
If you’re looking for a quiet escape, head over to Coron in Palawan! The place is not as crowded as El Nido but it offers the same rugged landscapes, aquamarine waters, and several diving spots.
24. Twin Lagoon
This Palawan tourist spot is only accessible by boat but it’s well worth the trip!
When you get there, you’ll be greeted by two picturesque lagoons divided by towering limestone walls. Feel free to swim or go scuba diving to fully enjoy the tour!
25. Barracuda Lake
For the ultimate diving experience, you can head over to Barracuda Lake, one of the renowned scuba diving spots on the island.
Here, you’ll discover hundreds of underwater species from fish to coral reefs among many others. You’ll also get to experience temperature shifts due to the lake’s combination of freshwater and saltwater.
26. Kayangan Lake
Situated near Barracuda Lake, Kayangan Lake is another must-visit tourist spot in Coron.
It boasts of crystal clear waters that are perfect for swimming and snorkeling. No wonder it is dubbed as the cleanest lake in the Philippines!
27. Coron Youth Club Beach
Coron Youth Club, simply known as CYC beach, is one of the most stunning beaches in Palawan. It has a white sand shore that is lined with mangrove trees.
Feel free to relax, sunbathe, or go swimming in the aquamarine waters!
Recommended Tour: Coron Island Ultimate Tour (CYC Beach, Kayangan Lake, Twin Lagoon)
Price: PHP1,600 ($33) per person
28. Siete Pecados Marine Park
This Palawan tourist spot got its name from the seven limestone formations that can be found in the area. But beyond these, tourists can discover a bounty of corals and tropical fishes underneath the crystal-clear waters.
29. Maquinit Hot Spring
Want to take a break from the diving adventures? Head over to Maquinit Hot Spring where you can relax in its warm and therapeutic waters. It is actually one of the few natural saltwater hot springs in the world.
30. Mt. Tapyas
If you’re looking for a different kind of adventure, you’re in luck as Coron has several mountain peaks that can satisfy most hikers.
One of the most popular is Mt. Tapyas which offers sweeping views over the rolling hills and lush forests.
Recommended Tour: GoPalawan.Travel Coron Town Tour (Mt. Tapyas, Maquinit Hot Spring)
Price: PHP700 ($15) per head
31. La Immaculada Concepcion Church
For a land tour, you can visit the La Immaculada Concepcion Parish, or simply known as the Culion Church.
Dating back to the 1930s, this Palawan tourist spot used to be Spanish fortress before Jesuit priests transformed it into a church.
Underrated Palawan Tourist Spots
Puerto Princesa, El Nido, and Coron are certainly the top 3 places that come to mind when you think of Palawan. But this province offers a lot more tourist spots that are under the radar.
32. Tubbataha Reef
Tubbataha Reef is one of six UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Philippines. This 970 square kilometers national park is a must-visit to everyone, especially divers. Here, you can see one of the highest biodiversity of marine life in the world.
How to go? In Puerto Princesa City, you can ride a dive boat at night that would take you to Tubbataha Reef by morning.
Recommended Tours: YGD Travel Agency Tubbataha Liveaboard Tours
Price: from $1,365 (PHP67,000) per head with included accommodation
33. Calauit Safari Park
In this safari park, you’ll get to see wild animals such as antelopes, giraffes, and zebras among many others, freely roaming the area.
This is one of the lesser-known tourist spots not only in Palawan but also in the whole Philippines. So, visit Calauit Safari Park if you want to see something new.
How to go? From Coron, you can charter a boat to reach Calauit Island where the safari park is located.
Recommended Tour: Club Paradise Calauit Safari Tour
Price: PHP4,670 ($95) per person
34. Linapacan Islands
Linapacan Islands became viral when it was included in the list of places with the clearest waters in the world. It is definitely one of the most undiscovered Palawan tourist spots! Go here to escape the crowds in El Nido.
How to go? You need to get on a passenger boat from Coron to reach the islands. You can also ride a chartered boat from El Nido.
Recommended Tours: Tour Linacapan
Price: from PHP1,500 ($30) per person
35. San Vicente Long Beach
The quiet town of San Vicente is known for having the longest white sand beach in the Philippines. The beach offers 14 kilometers of undeveloped shoreline with clear waters, perfect for swimming or surfing.
How to go? Fly directly to the new San Vicente Airport to see this amazing beach. You can also take public transportation from San Jose Terminal at Puerto Princesa City.
36. Port Barton
This underrated Palawan tourist spot is also situated in San Vicente. It is popular among travelers who want to experience a relaxed rural atmosphere. Here, you can freely explore undeveloped off-shore islands.
How to go? Arrive at the town of San Vicente then charter a boat to get to Port Barton.
37. Fuerza de Santa Isabel
Fuerza de Santa Isabel, or simply Taytay Fort, is a historical attraction in the town of Taytay. It was built in 1667 and was used as a military station during the Spanish period.
How to go? Ride public transportation in Puerto Princesa to take you directly to Taytay.
38. Tabon Caves Complex
The Tabon Caves Complex is an important archaeological site in Palawan. This is the place where the remains of the Tabon Man, believed to be the first human to reside in the Philippines, was found.
How to go? From Puerto Princesa, ride a shuttle van to the town of Quezon. Then, take a chartered boat to Tabon Caves Complex.
39. Cuyo Island
This refers to a group of islands that are situated in the Sulu Sea, between the islands Palawan and Panay. Cuyo Island is known for its kitesurfing and windsurfing community. But there’s also a lot of historical sites to discover.
How to go? You can take the Puerto Princesa to Iloilo City roro (ferry) which makes a stopover at Cuyo Island.
40. Amanpulo Resort
If you want to have the ultimate luxury getaway in Palawan, head over to Amanpulo Resort in Pamalican Island.
Guests can enjoy the serene white-sand beaches, untouched turquoise waters, and the signature amenities such as the spa and restaurant in this remote resort.
How to go? The resort itself offers direct flights from Manila to Pamalican Island.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org / (+63) 2 7976 5200
5 Important Palawan Travel Tips for First-time Visitors
After listing down some of the Palawan tourist spots you want to visit, check out these travel tips to ensure a hassle-free vacation.
1. Create a Travel Itinerary
With so many destinations to choose from, it can be quite overwhelming to plan your Palawan trip.
To simplify things, it’s best to create a travel itinerary. This would help you maximize your time and manage your budget.
2. Pack the Right Items
After planning your itinerary, you can now start packing essential items for the trip.
Bring beach must-haves such as sunscreen, bathing suits, and flip flops. But depending on where you’ll go, you might also wanna buy reef shoes if you’re snorkeling or dry bags for storing valuables.
3. Know the Different Modes of Transportation in Palawan
You don’t wanna be that tourist who arrives at the airport in Palawan, clueless about what to do next.
Before hopping on that flight, it’s best to research how you can get around the island. Riding buses and vans is an option to get to major cities/towns. But you might have to take a boat to reach Palawan tourist spots in remote islands.
4. Avoid Littering
In an effort to keep the island clean, Palawan’s local government has placed an ordinance against littering.
So, avoid throwing your trash in random places and instead, do your own part in preserving the island.
5. Try Local Food
Don’t leave Palawan without trying the local food!
Taste all kinds of seafood (fish, shrimp, or crabs) in which the province is known for. You should also try classic Filipino food such as halo-halo or adobo.
Palawan is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Philippines today. From white-sand beaches and crystalline waters to stunning rock formations and wonderful countryside, the island offers something for every tourist.