Palawan Island

Nothing defines Palawan more than the water around it. With seascapes the equal of any in Southeast Asia, and wildlife terrestrial and aquatic, the Philippines’ most sparsely populated region is also the most beguiling. Because of its silhouette – a long sliver stretching 650km all the way to Borneo – there’s a certain liberating logic to travel here [more: Lonely Planet].

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Puerto Princesa City

The capital of Palawan makes a good starting point for exploring the province. There are a few sights around, but hardly any in the city itself, which is why you can treat it as a two-night stop on the way to or from Palawan’s beaches and islands.

For dinner we recommend Ka Lui, Imas and Tito Ernies.

Backpacker and budget traveler should book at Bamboo Nest. But if you like it quite and fancy with a private pool, garden and perfect surrounding - check in at Villa Kalachuchi! Are you looking for a Detox and Yoga Retreat? Here you go - Bahay Kalipay.
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The Underground River is the sight drawing the most visitors to Palawan want to see. It’s very crowded, but still the longest underground river in the world! The jumping-off point for the river is Sabang, more than two hours north of Puerto Princesa by road. We do recommend to get permit for Underground River in Puerto Princesa, to take a bus to Sabang, to sleep at Dayunan Tourist Inn close to the pier and to catch the first boat in the morning to be at Underground River before the tourists arrive! After visiting that amazing UNESCO World Heritage Site, energetic souls should return to Sabang on foot over the 5 km - long Jungle Trail...
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On Palawan's east coast the quaint and friendly town of Taytay was once capital of the island. The town is stretched out along a pleasant bay and offers great views across Taytay Bay from the smallish, squat stone fort built by the Spanish in 1622, a sign of its important trading history. Taytay is a jumping-off point for a number of offshore islands. Make sure you take a mask and snorkel because the waters in these parts are gin-clear, with lots of coral and marine life. Do island hopping in Taytay, it's much more quit than El Nido. Casa Rosa is a nice place to stay in Taytay!
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Nacpan Beach

The beach is located rather far away from El Nido. It took about 45 minutes to get there by Tricycle. But it’s worth it - the beach is a stunner. Lots of white sand, palm trees and just few people. If you want to stay some nights ask for Jack’s Place.
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Coron & Busuanga

A great area for island-hopping, kayaking, diving and trekking, the Calamian Islands off the northern edge of mainland Palawan number a few hundred, the largest being Busuanga. Just to the southeast are the precipitous limestone cliffs of undeveloped Coron Island. Take some time and stay at Casa Fidelis.
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Coves, beaches, lagoons, jungle trails & more

Palawan is the Philippines’ last frontier, an unexplored and unexploited province of wondrous scenery and idyllic tropical beauty. Tourism has yet to penetrate much of this long, sword-shaped island to the southwest and travelers who make it here will find a marvellous Jurassic landscape of coves, beaches, lagoons and razor-sharp limestone cliffs that rise from crystal-clear water.

Use our hashtag #keepontravelingpalawan.
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This small town is a hub. From here you can take a bus to Sabang, Port Barton, San Vincente, Taytay and El Nido. The road from Roxas cuts westwards across the island, through quiet barrios and then up a narrow rough road through dense rainforest before reaching the west side of Palawan. It’s a long trip – at least four hours – but very scenic.
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Port Barton & San Vincente

There are fourteen white sand islands in the bay, many of which are the target of diving trips organized by the resorts here. About 15km north along a rough coastal road from Port Barton is the sleepy fishing village of San Vicente, which has a market and a pier where bancas can be chartered. San Vicente isn’t a tourist destination in itself, but around it there are some marvellous beaches including Long Beach, an undeveloped fourteenkilometre stretch of sand south of town that ranks as one of the most extraordinary beaches in the country – you can see both ends only on a brilliantly clear day.

Stay at Sunset Beach Resort in San Vincente and eat at La Terrasse in Port Barton.
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El Nido

El Nido is a compact town and full of young backpackers. The main beach itself is only average and all but attractive for swimming due to the number of bancas coming and going. With more than forty islands in the area you’ve got a lot to go to. Do not miss „Big Lagoon“, surrounded by towering limestone cliffs which look like a cathedral rising from the water. Nearby „Small Lagoon“ is only accessible through a small gap in the rocks by swimming through. We like Makulay Lodge, not only because it is located just a few minutes away from the crowded town at Calaan Beach. Best food and drinks at The Happiness!
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The village of Sibaltan is located about 45 km away from El Nido town. Tourism is just starting to develope. The people mainly make a living fishing, farming and recently with tourism. Do island hopping in Sibaltan, it's much more quit than El Nido. Stay at Tapik Beach Park or Ursula Beach Club.

Don't miss Tao in the North, eat squid curry at Ursula Beach Club, do Qi Kiteboarding in San Fernando.
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South Palawan

A journey through southern Palawan represents one of the last great travel challenges in the Philippines. Much of the area is sparsely populated, with limited accommodation and nothing in the way of dependable transport, communications or electricity. The major attraction are the Tabon Caves, a little south of the town of Quezon. Many caves in this immense network are still unexplored, and the site is one of the country’s most significant archeologically. On the east coast, around Brooke’s Point, travelling becomes a little tricky as there are hardly any buses and few jeepneys, but if you do make it here you’ll find unspoilt countryside, quiet barrios and deserted, palm-fringed beaches backed by craggy mountains.

The best place to sleep and eat is Shaman's Beach B&B near Quezon.

For more information and travel tipps buy your own Rough Guide!