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The Ultimate Travel Guide to Palawan – Discover the Island’s Best Secrets

Travel Guide to Palawan

Welcome to Paradise! Your Adventure and Travel Guide to Palawan Begins Here

Imagine an island where crystal-clear waters meet pristine beaches, and nature’s wonders are still largely unspoiled by human hands. This is not the stuff of fairytales—this is Palawan, the Philippines’ hidden gem and a must-visit destination for any intrepid traveler. In this ultimate travel guide, we’ll dive into what makes Palawan a bucket-list experience. Whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, or a mix of both, this guide will ensure your journey is as enchanting as the destination itself.

Reasons Why Visit Palawan?

Visiting Palawan is a journey to one of the most pristine corners of the world. This Philippine archipelago is famed for its breathtaking natural beauty, from awe-inspiring limestone cliffs to crystal-clear turquoise waters. The beaches here are the stuff of postcards, promising pure relaxation alongside spectacular sunsets. Beneath the surface, Palawan is a diver’s dream, with vibrant coral reefs teeming with marine life. Above all, the warmth of its people makes a trip here not just a vacation, but a truly immersive cultural experience. In short, Palawan is an unmissable tropical getaway for anyone seeking to escape the ordinary and dive into the extraordinary.

What To Pack When Traveling in Palawan

If you’re dreaming of crystal-clear waters, lush landscapes, and a sun-kissed escape, Palawan is calling your name! Before jet-setting to this tropical paradise in the Philippines, let’s ensure you pack wisely to maximize your enjoyment. Here’s a helpful list to get you started, tailored just for you:

Vital Travel Must-Haves

  • Passport and Paperwork: Double-check the expiration date on your passport and ensure you’ve got any necessary visas. Don’t forget your travel insurance details and all those booking confirmations.
  • Money Matters: Bring a mix of credit cards and cash in Philippine Pesos. Remember, the more remote you go, the fewer ATMs you’ll find.
  • Keep in Touch: Jot down those important contacts and addresses—it’s always good to be prepared.

Wardrobe Wonders

  • Light and Airy Apparel: Think of breathable fabrics to stay cool under the Palawan sun.
  • Coverings for Culture and Care: Pack long sleeves and trousers not just for sun protection, but for respectful visits to sacred sites.
  • Swim Essentials: Multiple bathing suits are a must—you’ll never want to leave the water!
  • Beach-to-Bistro Fashion: A sarong or cover-up transitions beautifully from the sands to a casual meal.
  • Rain-Ready Gear: A lightweight, waterproof layer is your friend during unexpected showers.
  • Happy Feet: Sturdy sneakers for exploration, flip-flops for relaxation.

Toiletry Toolkit

  • Sunscreen: Go reef-friendly to keep marine life safe while guarding against sunburn.
  • Bug Defense: Insect repellent is your ally against unwelcome pests.
  • Personal Care Kit: All the basics, plus your preferred personal hygiene items.
  • Medicine and My Gear: Any prescription meds, with the prescription itself, alongside a simple first-aid kit.

Tech and Travel Gear

  • Snorkeling Kit: Consider bringing your gear for a perfect fit and underwater adventures.
  • Waterproof Wonders: A dry sack is essential for boat trips and to safeguard your treasures.
  • Stay Quenched: A reusable water bottle is both eco-friendly and practical.
  • Memory Makers: Don’t forget your camera – perhaps with a waterproof option to capture those underwater smiles.
  • Charge on the Go: A power bank ensures your devices stay ready for action.
  • Light the Way: A small flashlight or headlamp can be surprisingly handy.

Extra Touches

  • Eco-Friendly Choices: Refillable toiletry containers help reduce waste.
  • Snack Store: Keep a stash of treats handy for those long stretches between meals.
  • Travel Pastimes: Books or games can be perfect for lazy beach afternoons or while en route to your next adventure.
  • Smooth Sailing: If boat rides make you queasy, pack some sea sickness tablets.
  • Safety First: In today’s world, it’s wise to pack masks and hand sanitizers.

Deep Dive Gear (for Divers)

  • Underwater Credentials: Don’t forget your certification card and logbook.
  • Personal Diving Equipment: If you swear by your dive computer or other gear, bring it along.

Seasonally Smart

Palawan’s climate invites you with warmth most of the year, but if you’re visiting during the rainy season (June-September), pack for puddles. If you’re off to chase the sun in the dry months (October-May), up the ante on sun protection.

Where To Go in Palawan & Activities To Do

Puerto Princesa Underground River

Embark on an awe-inspiring journey through the Puerto Princesa Underground River, one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature. Tucked away on the island of Palawan in the Philippines, this majestic subterranean river flows through a breathtaking cave system adorned with staggering limestone formations, stalactites, and stalagmites. Glide along the crystal-clear waters as you’re enveloped by the serenity and mystery of the caverns, where geography and mythology embrace.


  1. Guided Boat Tours: Navigate the underground river on a guided paddle boat, and witness the awe-inspiring rock formations and fluttering bats.
  2. Nature Trekking: Explore the jungle trail around the national park, spotting diverse wildlife and lush flora native to Palawan.
  3. Cave Exploration: Experience a deeper sense of adventure by venturing into the smaller chambers and caves that the area offers.
  4. Mangrove Paddle: Paddle through the nearby mangrove forests for a serene and educational experience about this vital ecosystem.

El Nido

Discover the tropical paradise of El Nido, renowned for its powdery white-sand beaches, towering limestone cliffs, and rich marine biodiversity. This picturesque town serves as your gateway to the enchanting Bacuit Archipelago, a cluster of islands where every turn reveals idyllic lagoons, hidden coves, and vibrant coral gardens. Here, beauty is stitched into the tapestry of the seascape, inviting travelers into its tranquil embrace.


  1. Island Hopping: Visit iconic locations such as the Big and Small Lagoons, Secret Beach, and Snake Island, enjoying swimming and snorkeling along the way.
  2. Scuba Diving: Explore the underwater marvels, including the jaw-dropping biodiversity and vibrant coral reefs around the archipelago.
  3. Kayaking: Paddle through the tranquil waters, accessing spots that are out of reach for larger boats.
  4. Beach Relaxation: Unwind on the soft sands of Nacpan Beach or take in the sunset from Las Cabanas Beach.

Port Barton

Port Barton” by SToto98 is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Port Barton is a serene coastal village that exudes an atmosphere of timeless tranquility. Quieter and more preserved than other tourist hotspots in Palawan, it offers an authentic glimpse into laid-back island living. With its uncrowded beaches, rustic charm, and welcoming locals, Port Barton provides an intimate experience where you can truly disconnect and savor the slow pace of life by the sea.


  1. Snorkeling: Delight in the rich underwater world where turtles and vibrant schools of fish are abundant in the pristine waters.
  2. Sunset Cruises: Embark on an evening boat ride to witness the mesmerizing hues of Port Barton’s sunsets.
  3. Waterfalls Visits: Take a trek through the lush jungles to discover enchanting waterfalls like Papawyan Falls.
  4. Island Camping: Spend the night on a secluded island, enjoying the simplicity of camping under a canopy of stars.


Coron is both a diver’s dream and a nature enthusiast’s sanctuary. Set in Northern Palawan, this gem is adorned with dramatic karst landscapes, crystal-clear freshwater lakes, and wreck diving sites that are considered some of the best in the world. Coron’s history lies beneath the surface, with sunken World War II ships offering an underwater museum for divers, while the panoramic views from Mount Tapyas offer a sweeping vista of the surrounding islands.


  1. Wreck Diving: Explore the hauntingly beautiful remains of sunken Japanese WWII ships, providing an unparalleled diving experience.
  2. Lake Excursions: Take a dip in the mesmerizing waters of Kayangan Lake or Barracuda Lake, famed for its stunning rock formations and brackish water.
  3. Hot Springs Visit: Unwind in the relaxing and therapeutic waters of Maquinit Hot Springs, one of the few saltwater hot springs in the world.
  4. Mountain Trekking: Conquer the steps leading up to the viewpoint of Mount Tapyas for a jaw-dropping overview of the Coron Bay area.

Sailing into the Sunset – Ultimate Travel Guide to Palawan

As the sun dips below the horizon, casting a golden glow over the tranquil waters of Palawan, it’s hard not to feel a pang of sadness at the thought of leaving such a magical place. But take heart, dear traveler, for Palawan doesn’t just give you memories; it captures a piece of your soul.

So go forth, and share your tales of emerald waters and hidden lagoons, of friendly locals and mouth-watering cuisine, and most importantly, of the limitless adventure that awaits in the island paradise of Palawan. And remember, this isn’t goodbye—it’s just until next time. Adventure on!

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Lester A

Lester is the owner of Hanapph Online. Since 2023, Lester started writing and blogging about the Philippines to give locals and foreigners an idea of what makes this country unique. His goal is to be your guide and to show you the beautiful islands of the Philippines.
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