A MUST TO SEE IN PALAWAN
Puerto Princesa is the capital of the island province of Palawan. The city has been acclaimed several times as the cleanest and greenest city in the Philippines. With a wide range of attractions ranging from beaches to wildlife reserves, Puerto Princesa is a nature lover’s paradise
- Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park – more commonly known as the Underground River. At over 8 kilometers in length, is reputably the longest underground river in the world. With its crystalline waters and spectacular cave formations, the Underground River is Puerto Princesa’s most popular attraction. The site was also declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1999. The winding path of the river is navigable via small pump boats that depart from Sabang Beach. Travel time from the city proper to Sabang is about 1.5 hours If you are prone to car sickness you should consider using some anti-sickness pills because road is very curvy and some drivers tend to drive quite fast (or very fast).
A permit is now necessary to visit the underground river and only available in Puerto Princesa, though an online system is in construction. Beware that like any other hardworking government office they finish their day at 4pm, so a permit for next day needs to be arranged before that. We can arrange it for you.
- Honda Bay – consisting of several islets with beautiful beaches, Honda Bay is the place to go to for swimming, snorkeling as well as beach and island hopping. Accessible via the Sta. Lourdes wharf which is 25 minutes away from the city. Pump boats at the wharf can be hired to take visitors to the various islets on the bay..
- Iwahig Penal Colony – a good example of a true correctional institute, the Iwahig Penal Colony is more of a farming community rather than a prison. Inmates often live with their families and are allowed to toil their farms to earn a living. Carving out handicrafts is also a common preoccupation and mahogany hand carvings are a good buy for tourists. The colony is about 35 minutes from the city center.
- Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center formerly the Crocodile Farming Institute, and still referred to by locals as the “Crocodile Farm,” is both a tourist attraction and a national research institute devoted to crocodiles. About 30 to 40 minutes from the city center, the Crocdodile Farm also has a mini-zoo, which features some of Palawan’s endemic species of wildlife. The place is open from about 8:30 AM to about 4:30 PM. After that you wonder around by yourself in the endemic species area, where you have to be careful not to fall through a few rotton and crumbling wooden bridges. Although this is not the best managed wildlife area, the endemic species are nonetheless worth seeing and deserve your support.
- Butterfly Garden with native Palawan butterflies is located about half way to the Croc Farm (above) and along the same road. Open 7 days a week from 8 to 5. Entry is 50 pesos.
- Our Lady of Immaculate Conception. A very beautiful church that is decorated in blue and white.
- Palawan Museum, Mendosa Park (south side), 9AM-noon,Open from 1:30PM-5PM. This is an old museum that has a number of interesting pieces. It is well worth a visit on a rainy day.
- Iwahig Firefly Watching Tour – A collaborative ecotourism project that started last October 2008 by the ABS-CBN Foundation and the city government of Puerto Princesa under Mayor Edward Hagedorn, which includes a 45-minute boat ride along Iwahig River where you get to experience the beauty of fireflies as they light up the night.
- Dolphin and Whale Watching Tour (seasonal) – Rise up early in the morning and catch up to the 8 species of whales and dolphins such as the common long-snouted Spinner Dolphin, locally known as “lumba-lumba”, as they leap and play, jumping out of the waters of the wonderful Puerto Princesa Bay.
- City Tour -Take a tour to the city’s famous spots: Plaza Cuartel (restored ruins of an old garrison used in WW2), Butterfly Garden, Crocodile Farm, Baker’s Hill (a local theme park with a botanical garden and leisure farm). Binuatan Creation ( handicraft products of the out of school youths through waiving) Running tours to Puerto Princesa Baywalk, Sports Complex, and Immaculate Cathedral.
- Irawan Eco Park and Zip Line -Covering 3,000 hectares of the flora and fauna protected area of the Irawan Watershed, this is the latest attraction in Puerto Princesa City that houses Asia’s longest canopy zipline with a total length of 1.3 km. For those who are more comfortable with both feet flat on the ground, there are still other exciting activities such as bird watching,hiking the river trail and carabao cart ride.
- Estrella Waterfalls Tour -A trip to this 20 ft. high falls located in the Municipality of Narra, 91 km. south of Puerto Princesa City, will take you at least 2 hours drive along the scenic countryside, after which you can swim at your leisure and enjoy picnic lunch at one of the huts.
El Nido Palawan one of the top tourist destinations in Palawan, which is often referred to as the Philippines’ Last Frontier. Palawan was chosen as one of the best travel destinations in the world, and particularly, it recommended El Nido and the Calamianes Islands.
- Bacuit Bay, El Nido – The bay is dotted with islands and islets, most of which are inhabited. Its clear blue waters are teeming with marine life. It is home to dugongs, turtles, manta rays, species of fishes, coral reefs, and the occasional whale sharks. There are over 30 dive sites ranging in depth from six to more than thirty meters.
- Cadlao Island, El Nido – It is the largest island in El Nido, occupying a land area of 10.06 square kilometers. Among all islands, it is the closest to town proper and has the highest peak that towers up to 640 meters above sea level. It is known for its white sand beaches, gradually sloping sea floor, hidden lagoons, and nature trails through its lush forest cover. One of these nature trails leads to the charming saltwater Makaamo Lagoon. Surrounded by mangroves, the lagoon is best enjoyed in silence at sunrise or sunset when the birds feed.
- Dilumacad Island, El Nido – This island has a beautiful white sand beach stretching to some 300 meters that is ideal for picnic lunches during island-hopping trips. There is an underwater tunnel at its nothern side and a fringing reef on its southern end. The island is also called Helicopter Island because its limestone cliffs resemble that of a helicopter when it is viewed from a considerable distance.
- El Nido Resorts -The biggest private sector employer in El Nido, cooperates with the Philippine government in environmental conservation and management. At present, TKDC operates in two islands of El Nido namely, the Miniloc Island and the Lagen Island.
- Miniloc Island, El Nido – Miniloc Island, where the first resort in El Nido was established, started as a diving station for Japanese and European tourists. The tranquil turquoise-green waters of its orchid-lined limestone walls Big and Small Lagoons showcases a kaleidoscope of marine life. Scientists believe that these lagoons were actually caves which abound in these islands. The roofs of these caves must have collapsed millions of years ago, and these lagoons have emerged in their stead.
- Lagen Island, El Nido -The most luxurious exclusive resort in the area is situated in its cove, which is fringed by a lush forest and limestone walls. Its Leta-Leta Cave was an important burial site of the Late Neolithic Age, where a collection of stone and shell artifacts, and sophisticated pottery and nephrite adzes and axes were recovered. Other materials include stone ornaments and shell beads. It was excavated by Dr. Robert Fox in 1965.The island hosts a high diversity of birds including almost all of the species endemic to Palawan. The Lagen trail is one of the best sites for birdwatching, more rewarding during the early morning or towards late afternoon.
- Pangalusian Island, El Nido -It has one of the widest stretches of powdery white beaches in El Nido, which is very ideal for sun bathing, sunset viewing, and other beach activities. The waters fronting the beach are clusters of coral reefs that make this area a good snorkeling and diving site. A trail located in the middle of the island is a good place for birdwatching, especially during early mornings and late afternoons. The trail ends at the peak of the island and provides and an excellent 360-degree view of the Bacuit Bay and nearby islands.
- Vigan Island, El Nido
Located near Pangulasian Island, it is also referred to as, “Snake Island,” because of the fine natural sandspit (s-shaped sandbar) that “snakes” off it shores. The sandspit is clearly visible only when the tide is low. On both sides of the sandspit are shallow swimming areas.
- Cudugnon Point, El Nido -It is an important anthropological site, where jewelry and pottery dating back to the Sung Dynasty (960-1279 BC) were yielded. The anthropologists believe that the cave dwellers were from Borneo, and travelled across the ancient land bridge that connected Palawan from Borneo. The crevices of its cave roof are inhabited by barn swallows and insectivorous bats.
- Matinloc Island, El Nido -Matinloc Island, the longest slim island in El Nido, has a secret beach, which is a pocket of white sand beach at the corner of a sinkhole, that is inaccessible by boat and surrounded by steep rock walls. To reach it, divers must swim underwater through a narrow crevice in a rock wall. At noon, the sun streams in through the opening, allowing a play of light and shadow against its limestone walls. The beach floor drops abruptly. According to local legend, this beach inspired Alex Garland’s novel The Beach, which was written while the author was in El Nido.
- Pinasil Island, El Nido -The island has a cathedral-like cavern accessible by dinghy and kayak. Its cool interior is lit at certain times of the day by sunlight coming through an opening at its peak. This one of important sites for the busyadors or the birds’ nest gatherers.
Coron Island Palawan is a wedge-shaped limestone island, with few of its coastal areas being covered by mangrove forests. It has seven lakes, famous of which is the nationally-acclaimed cleanest lake in the Philippines, the Kayangan Lake. It also has a number of islands with white beaches and clear blue waters perfect for snorkeling, deepsea fishing and shipwreck diving.
- Mt. Tapyas – a 30 minutes treak from the town proper, Mt tapyas provides breathtaking view of Coron Island, the residential areas, the commercial buildings, the greenery of Coron and the road to Busuanga. A staircase of the hundred steps leads to the specious view deck with a giant cross on top of Mt. tapyas
- Maquinit Hot Spring – located at Brgy, Tagumpay facing the passage of Coron Bay, it can be reached by tricycle from Poblacion for 15 minutes or by boat. A dip in the hot spring is an invigorating experience after a tiresome hike.
- Malcapua Island – a beautiful Island with very fine white sand beach just like Boracay but without construction.
- Culion – The former leper colony. The public boat leaves Coron town at 12 noon daily and returns at 7:30 am the next day.
- Siete Pecados – popularized by the shoot of a local television show of a mermaid love story. Experience swimming in an aquarium, beautiful corals and a great variety of fishes. Recommended time to snorkles is aroung 1pm-2p. This is one of the best sites to snorkel in Coron
- Barracuda Lake – located near the Kayangan Lake, it also a Hall of Fame Awardee for the cleanest and Greenest lake in the Country. It’s name derived from a story passed on from generation to generation that two giant barracudas live in the lake. But its allure lies in its shimmering emerald waters.
- Kayangan Lake – before approaching the lake, go over the cave and glimpse at the great view on top of the mountain. This view is the most photographed area in Palawan. It is also judge as the cleanest lake in the country.
- Twin Laggon – the water and towering rocks are great photos for poster. On low tidw, experience kayaking under the hotel of the rock.
- CYC Island- is nice but gets very busy. It’s the only free beach in the area.
- Skeleton Wreck- is a snorkeling destination where you can see sunken ship even while snorkeling.
- Banol beach – Is very picturesque with its flower trees set against the rocky island. It has sugary fine sand in its beachline.
- Beach 69 – is not as good as Banol. Free if you came from kayangan lake.
- 7 Islands – this is a marine reserve, guarded 27/7 by 2 locals. Snorkle or dive to the aazing coral reefs.