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10 Best Ways to Explore Palawan Island, Philippines

Sonali Pimpale Jun 10, 2019
Pristine sandy white beaches and gorgeous limestone rock formations, have twice earned Palawan Island the proud title of the world’s best island. This Edenic island in western Philippines is full to the brim with things to do for nature lovers, adrenaline seekers, and devout foodies.

Sail Underground on the Puerto Princesa

You might have cruised on many a river and lakes, but how many times have you sailed beneath the terra firma? A UNESCO World Heritage Site, and listed in the New 7 Wonders of Nature, the 8.2 kms long Puerto Princesa is the longest navigable underground river in the world.
Glide through the intricate caves and tunnels to admire the ethereal limestone formations. The steady dripping of water, and the gentle rustle of bats’ wings will be the only sounds in the depths of the cave. An audio guide will impart scientific information about the caves and some unique species that call this enigmatic place their home.

Go Island Hopping at El Nido

With breathtaking natural beauty, El Nido is the crown jewel of the Philippines.
White sandy beaches, crystal clear lagoons, a plethora of snorkeling sites, make El Nido island hopping tours one of the most sought-after activities in Palawan Island.

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At Palawan Island, beauty does not only thrive above the Earth. Dive headlong into the waters around El Nido, where the depths teem with rich marine life, a 12-meter underwater tunnel, and a 50-meter underwater cliff.

Have Fun at the Ugong Rock Adventure

Ugong Rock is a charming limestone formation a few kilometers away from Puerto Princesa, named so because it makes a curious noise when you tap it. Go spelunking in the rock caves, fly like a superhero on the superman zipline, and enjoy cycling in the air with bamboo zip bikes!

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Make a Pit Stop in Port Barton

Port Barton, a delightful, laid-back fishing town in the North West coast of Palawan, often gets overlooked in favor of the more alluring El Nido. Being a lot less crowded, you can revel in the beautiful beaches, go kayaking, and explore rocky sea cliffs in privacy.

Explore the Tabon Caves

With calm, turquoise waters in the front, a surrounding dense forest, and striking limestone formations, the Tabon Caves are no doubt exquisitely beautiful. Among the seven caves, only two caves, namely the Diwata Cave and the Liyang Cave, are accessible to public.
Aesthetic beauty is not the only draw to these magnificent caves. Tabon Caves have a tremendous anthropological significance. The oldest evidence of human civilization in Philippines was found here, in the form of human bones dating back to almost 20,000 years (the Tabon Man), and pottery, jewelry and tools around 47,000 years old.

Drop in at the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center

Palawan Island has always been upfront in the preservation of ecosystems. Apart from being a tourist attraction, the center is a haven for endangered species, including various types of birds and snakes.
It is particularly well-known for the crocodile farm, where you can find crocodiles in all sizes, from tiny, new-born babies to monstrous adults.

Visit the Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park

A protected marine sanctuary in the middle of the Sulu Sea, the Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Rife in diverse marine life including coral reefs, dolphins, sharks, whales, and countless fish, Tubbataha Reef is esteemed as one of the best dive sites in the world.
Considering its location, divers have to access Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park via live-aboard boats. This excursion is recommended between the months of April and June.

Learn Some History at Taytay

One of the hidden gems in Palawan Island, Taytay is a rustic Spanish town about one and half hour away from El Nido. In addition to stunning islands and snorkeling sites, Taytay is home to the Fuerza de Santa Isabel, commonly called Fort Isabel, a relic from the Spanish invasion in the 17th century.

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Hunt for Shipwrecks in Coron Bay

Those who love wreck diving will strike a gold mine at Coron Bay. There, on the seabed, lie the remains of ships from a fleeing Japanese fleet, which were bombed by the US Navy aircraft in September 1944, during World War II.

Catch a Firefly Show on Iwahig River

Paddle out with a guide on the calm waters of the Iwahig River in the dark, and enjoy the sight of the trees lighting up with the glow of the fireflies.
These activities merely scratch the surface of Palawan's treasures. Go on the Puerto Princesa city tour, shop at the San Jose market, make some fishy friends on Starfish Island, shop for pearls, take a dip in the plunging pools of Estrella Falls, enjoy a safari at Calauit Island, discover Honda Bay, and feast on Tamilok at the gorgeous Palawan Island.