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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:
Source: wallix / shutterstock
Explore Honda Bay
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.
Source: AndreyOnTheMove / shutterstock
Scuba Diving In El Nido
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.
Ugong Rock Adventures
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.
Source: Rad Radu / shutterstock
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.
Source: WatercolorArt / shutterstock
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.
Source: eazytraveler / Flickr
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.
Source: shankar s. / Flickr
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.
Source: walterericsy / shutterstock
Palawan Wildlife Rescue And Conservation Center
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.
Source: lakbaydiva / Flickr
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.
San Jose Market
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.
Source: N8Allen / shutterstock
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.
Source: N8Allen / shutterstock
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!
Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park
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.
Source: Chris De Bug / shutterstock
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.
Source: zsaris / Flickr
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.
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.
Tay Tay, Santa Isabel Fort
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!
Source: Vladimir Sazonov / shutterstock
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.
Source: mikko.dapula / Flickr
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.
Iwahig River Firefly Kayaking
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.
Source: Monika Hrdinova / shutterstock
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.
Tiki Resto Bar
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.
Source: Richie Chan / shutterstock
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.
Source: sukaiburu / Flickr
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.
Puerto Princessa, Mitra Ranch
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.
For many years, Palawan Island was a hidden secret vs. Boracay’s well-trodden tourist path. Boracay is so popular that the government actually closed the area to tourism for six months in 2018. Which left a void in Philippines destinations that Palawan happily filled. With Boracay back open, Palawan is returning to “normal” levels of tourism and has many great destinations for beach-going travelers.
The largest province of the Philippines, there are tons of gorgeous Palawan Island resorts to choose from. With so many places to stay in Palawan, making the decision can be overwhelming, so we’ve created this guide to help you decided where to stay in Palawan.
We will cover off all types of Palawan accommodation options from Hostels to luxury Palawan hotels as well as how to decide where to stay in Palawan, the best Palawan hotels, best places in Palawan to visit, the best places to stay in Palawan, hotels near Palawan attractions, Palawan neighborhood guide and many more. Airbnb is also a great option for short or long stays.
Need data for your trip to the Philippines? We use Tep Wireless which offers unlimited data for $8 per day. Travelling King readers can get 10% off using the discount code TRAVELLINGKING on check out.
Don’t forget to get Travel Insurance, it’s best to always be prepared! I would recommend travel insurance from WorldNomads.com, which is available to people from over 130 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.
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Table of Contents
Palawan’s capital city is pretty centrally located and is a common entry point for travelers to Palawan. Puerto Princesa has two very popular attractions, so even though it is not the best beach destination in Palawan, it is worth adding a day or two for these experiences.
One of the most popular things to do in Palawan is to take a firefly watching tour along the Iwahig River. The other main attraction is the underground river tour of the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park. If you plan to do either of these activities, then Puerto Princesa is the best place to stay in Palawan.
Family Friendly Hotels in Palawan Puerto Princesa
Daluyon Beach and Mountain Resort
Canvas Boutique Hotel
Aziza Paradise Hotel
Hue Hotels and Resorts Puerto Princesa Managed by HII
Another off the beaten path destination in Palawan is Sabang, which is actually the jumping-off point for the underground river trips. Located less than 40 kilometers from Puerto Princesa, most tourists visit Sabang on a day trip from the capital city, but it’s also a great place to stay in Palawan. There are plentiful shuttles from Puerto Princesa airport, and you don’t have to endure a lengthy bus ride as is required for El Nido. Accommodation options range from luxury beach resorts to budget-friendly beach cottages.
Mid range Hotels in Sabang
Daluyon Beach and Mountain Resort
Affordable Luxury Hotels in Sabang
Sheridan Beach Resort and Spa
El Nido is often cited as one of the best beaches in the world and is the best area for tourists interested in island hopping to jaw-dropping spots like the Bacuit Archipelago. El Nido is not the easiest Palawan destination to reach; the most common is to take a seven-hour bus ride from Puerto Princesa or a plane from Manila, but once you’ve arrived, you’ll think you are in paradise.
The best sites and beaches around El Nido are most often explored on tours to the 40-plus islands around El Nido, but Caalan Beach and Corong-Corong beach are each a short distance from downtown El Nido. Despite being a small area, there are loads of hotels and resorts to choose from, although some of the more budget-friendly El Nido accommodations may have limited hours with electricity; that’s all part of the adventure of traveling off the beaten path!
If you would like to spend time scuba diving in Palawan, then Coron is the best destination for you. With over 40 islands offshore and many sunken Japanese warships in the area, diving is a popular activity. The beautiful beaches and laid-back atmosphere make this a perfect family-friendly destination in Palawan.
With a large selection of hotels and resorts in Coron, there are accommodation options for every budget. While you’ll spend most of your time in Coron beach-hopping or island hopping, Coron Town has a decent selection of restaurants and nightlife if that’s what you’re looking for.
Think of Port Barton as El Nido without the “crowds.” It’s still possible to find pristine, untouched beaches around Port Barton. With a few larger resorts scattered outside of Port Barton, the main accommodation option is small hotels and guest houses. Backpackers looking for budget-friendly Palawan accommodation will find many choices in Port Barton, although don’t expect a big nightlife scene and not all accommodation has 24-hour electricity. Port Barton is the best area for adventurous tourists who want to get off the beaten path and enjoy a quiet, serene vacation.
Hello itinerants all over world and the steemit community!
I am here again for my another travel blog series. If you happen to visit Palawan, you might wanna know the things you can do there. If you are a traveler and fond of buying or collecting souvenirs from certain places, then continue reading.
It’s part of the tradition for Filipinos to buy “pasalubong” or “souvenirs” in every trip that we have to bring back home. I am not fond of collecting souvenirs but I give them to my friends and relatives. Most people termed this as ““bring home something for me.” which is indeed accurate. It is important not just for travelers but also for the tourism of the community. In most provinces it’s one of their ways of living.
1.) MCA Market Mall , Pasalubong Center.
For this article, I will be only sharing the major and popular pasalubong shops that I have been to during my trip. Firstly , the MCA Market Mall , Pasalubong Center. It’s just 10 minutes away from the new airport of Puerto Princesa. It’s just actually walking distant but if you don’t feel like hiking you may also ride a tricycle but I think it’s not reasonable for it’s way too near and drivers will cost you same amount of far distances. They do have complete set of souvenirs from accessories to food.
They have these grandiose chandeliers composed of shells and other natural materials. You can choose from different sizes. These are very unique for they were made personally by locals of Puerto.
I am not too sure if these are home decors but I most see them on native restaurants. They look so cool and symbolizes our ancestors living in the past.
You will really feel tired roaming around for there are so many stores in it. There are variety of unique choices. If you are on a budget I highly suggest to never stop bargaining and roaming around for you to save. They will surely give you discount for they have a lot of competitors.
It’s really a good place to buy cultural and traditional stuffs where you can display in your house. I don’t remember the exact prices but I remember them not being pricey. For beach bums these really suit us for they are very oceanic and traditional. Buying souvenir has always been an integral element of one’s travel experience, and may represent a significant proportion of overall travel expenditure. Like these cool carved wood stuffs they symbolized the beauty of Palawan and it’s culture.
They also sell elegantly affordable accessories made from pearls, gems and other natural materials. They are very cheap compared in the City. I think if you buy like these in the City, it costs three times than here. I suggest you have to bulk buy so that you can save more. These are very perfect souvenirs for your sisters, mother, girlfriend and friends.
Huge wooden spoons and forks. These were the ones used by our ancestors. There they say that our ancestors use as huge as this because they were very fond on cooking huge amount of foods and they were really into cooking in every celebrations. These were used in festivals and other occasions in the past.
Cool and unique keychains and home decors made from shells and other materials from the ocean. In the Philippines, the tourism industry has really offered a lot of opportunities to the locals who want to have part time income by doing such thing. We all know that Philippines is rich in natural resources and visited by many tourists. So, this industry never goes out style.
They also have consumable goods. I personally like trying delicacies in every trip I do. I prefer buying these than things maybe just because I love eating that collecting stuffs. You really have to try their delicacies since you only travel once in awhile and you cannot find these just anywhere else. Try everything! It’s just charge to experience.
2.) BAKER’S HILL PALAWAN PASALUBONG CENTER
Baker’s hill is one of the visited tourist spot in Puerto Princesa. It’s an hour away from the city proper but the place is really worth the time and effort. Baker’s Hill is literally on top of a hill which has been developed and later became one of the famous place in the province.
Baker’s hill is more of delicacies and pastries from their pastry shop business. I can tell these really taste deliciously good. You better prepare extra penny for you can spend too much here. The prices are quite pricey but reasonable.
How about you? When was the last time you ever bought a pasalubong from the places you’ve been to? We’d like to hear your experience too. Which of these souvenir items do you like the most?
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Since I love to meet people and learn different culture so I am more than glad to entertain your questions and comments on my posts. My principle in life is just do whatever makes you happy. You only live once why not just make things happen then? I hope to see you guys on the comments so that I’ll be aware of the people whom I need thank to. Just keep calm and read my blogs. For inquiries please feel free to email: mickey.diezz@gmail. I’ll be more than glad to interact with you.
With big dreams about promoting and saving local Filipino culture, Paloma Urquijo Zobel passionately launches clothing line, PIOPIO. She has always had an eye for design and is even interested in urban planning but this time around Paloma takes more of a role in the brand’s marketing and strategy planning, proudly molding this newly opened concept.
The brand is all about local artisans, fabrics and our country’s rich history and great potential. Each piece is born out of its fabric. All their materials are sourced locally from their team road trips around the country where they go to different communities to meet local artisans.
Paloma tells us all about PIOPIO – get the scoop in the interview below!
What is the concept behind PIOPIO? How did it start?
PIOPIO was actually born from a bigger project called Kalye Artisano. Over a year ago, we started conversations with designer Tony Gonzales about getting a group together to build a vibrant, fun artistic community, an artisan village in Palawan. A year later, our vision started to become a reality. Kalya Artisano will be a part of Lio in El Nido, Palawan. It will include a Filipino retail area, artist workshops and a strip of bed and breakfasts uniquely designed by Filipino artists and architects to offer people a new immersive experience.
My mother has always been a huge promoter of handicrafts. When we teamed up to start designing Kalye Artisano and our PIOPIO bed and breakfast, she began taking me to these wonderful communities of artists and weavers who were creating incredibly intricate, beautiful pieces. While her mind was focused on home-ware, mine quickly shifted to clothing.
I had been noticing this amazing surge in local, and Filipino pride from my age group and quickly saw an opportunity to join in on the movement. I wanted to offer an alternative use for these beautiful fabrics like Inabel. So in September after finishing my Masters degree in London, I moved back to the Philippines for good to concentrate on PIOPIO and Kalye Artisano.
Why the name PIOPIO?
The company in mainly based in El Nido (Spanish for the nest) and my name Paloma means dove in Spanish and PIOPIO is the Spanish onomatopoeia for the sound a bird makes ( i.e tweet tweet.)
What made you want to incorporate the Philippines into your brand?
Our long-term goal is to create a movement where traditional Filipino arts will be reinstated to a level of importance where they once were. Obviously this is a big aspiration but its something that keeps us motivated and working hard every day. Apart from the people, art and heritage are what give a country its character and charm. The problem today, is that a lot of the local arts use techniques that have been passed down for generations, that a lot of the youth see as outdated and antiquated. We live in a time of instant gratification and 3D printing… so you can see why sitting on a loom and weaving a blanket for a month may not be very attractive to many. We are trying hard to get the youth excited about the fabrics and techniques again by showing them how they can still be relevant in today’s world. With less than a thousand looms left in the Philippines today, I think my generation will be responsible for the fall or the rise of some these traditional arts.
Who are your partners? Who conceptualizes the clothes?
I have an amazing team, Ina Estacio and Therese Tiosejo. We constantly bounce ideas off each other and we all have different sources where we find inspiration, which makes it even more fun when we all come together to brainstorm at the table. We try to do monthly road trips (PIOPIO migration) to discover new communities of artisans. Ina takes the lead in formalizing all designs and making our vision a reality.
Paloma and her team are extremely hands on and passionate about showing the world how incredible The Philippines are and that there is so much promise in our future. Check out PIOPIO’s main store, which will be in Kalye Artisano, Lio, Palawan and keep updated on when their next pop-up stores will open by checking out @piopio_ph on Instagram.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
El Nido is famous for its white-sand beaches, crystal-clear waters, diverse marine life, and steep cliffs.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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.
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!
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
After listing down some of the Palawan tourist spots you want to visit, check out these travel tips to ensure a hassle-free vacation.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.