Palawan is a stunning destination located in the Philippines that offers visitors a unique combination of pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and breathtaking landscapes. If you’re planning a trip to this paradise on earth, you’re in for a treat! In this ultimate guide, we’ll take you through some of the best things to see and do in Palawan, so you can make the most of your trip.
Explore Puerto Princesa Underground River
The Puerto Princesa Underground River, also known as the St. Paul Subterranean River, is a 5-mile long river that flows through a cave system within the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999 and was voted as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature in 2012. The river is located on the western coast of the island of Palawan, near the city of Puerto Princesa.
To explore the river, visitors must take a boat tour that takes them through the cave system. The boat ride lasts around 45 minutes and takes visitors through a network of chambers filled with stunning rock formations, stalactites, and stalagmites. The river is also home to several species of bats and other wildlife, which can be seen flying around the cave walls.
The tour guides are knowledgeable and provide information about the geology and history of the cave system. They also point out interesting rock formations and other unique features of the river. One of the most famous features of the cave system is a large chamber called the “Cathedral,” which features a large, domed ceiling and is one of the most photographed areas of the river.
The Puerto Princesa Underground River is a popular destination for tourists visiting Palawan, and it’s recommended to book a tour in advance to ensure availability. Visitors should also note that the cave system can only accommodate a limited number of people at a time, so there may be a wait to board a boat. However, the wait is well worth it, as the experience of exploring this subterranean wonder is truly unforgettable.
Overall, the Puerto Princesa Underground River is an incredible natural wonder that should be on every traveler’s bucket list. It’s a unique experience that’s unlike anything else in the world, and it’s sure to leave a lasting impression on all who visit.
Island Hopping in El Nido
Island hopping tours in El Nido are divided into four different routes: A, B, C, and D. Each route offers a unique experience and takes visitors to different islands, lagoons, and beaches. Here’s a closer look at what you can expect from each route:
Route A: This route takes visitors to some of the most popular destinations in El Nido, including the Big Lagoon, Small Lagoon, Secret Lagoon, and Shimizu Island. Visitors can go kayaking in the lagoons, swim in the crystal-clear waters, and explore the hidden beaches and caves.
Route B: This route takes visitors to Snake Island, Cudugnon Cave, Cathedral Cave, and Pinagbuyutan Island. Visitors can go snorkeling and see a variety of marine life, including colorful fish, sea turtles, and even small sharks.
Route C: This route takes visitors to Matinloc Island, Tapiutan Island, and Secret Beach. Visitors can hike to the top of Matinloc Island and enjoy a stunning view of the surrounding islands, swim in the crystal-clear waters of Tapiutan Island, and relax on the secluded Secret Beach.
Route D: This route takes visitors to Cadlao Island, Natnat Beach, Bukal Island, and Paradise Beach. Visitors can hike to the top of Cadlao Island and enjoy a panoramic view of the surrounding islands, swim in the turquoise waters of Natnat Beach, and relax on the white sand beaches of Bukal Island and Paradise Beach.
Regardless of which route you choose, you can expect to see some of the most stunning scenery in the world. The limestone cliffs, crystal-clear waters, and white sand beaches create a picturesque paradise that’s hard to find anywhere else. Visitors can also take advantage of the many opportunities for snorkeling, diving, kayaking, and other water activities.
Island hopping tours in El Nido are available from a variety of tour operators, and it’s recommended to book in advance to ensure availability. Visitors should also be prepared for a full day of activity, as the tours typically last around 8 hours. Despite the long day, island hopping in El Nido is an experience you won’t soon forget, and it’s sure to be a highlight of your trip to Palawan.
Coron Island is located in the northern part of Palawan and is one of the most popular destinations for tourists visiting the region. The island is known for its stunning scenery, crystal-clear waters, and incredible marine life. Visitors to Coron Island can enjoy a wide range of activities, including snorkeling, diving, island hopping, and hiking.
One of the most popular attractions on Coron Island is the Kayangan Lake. This freshwater lake is often called the cleanest lake in Asia and is surrounded by towering limestone cliffs. Visitors can swim in the lake’s crystal-clear waters, hike to a viewpoint for a stunning panoramic view of the area, or explore the underwater cave systems.
Another popular attraction on Coron Island is the World War II shipwrecks. Coron Bay is home to several Japanese shipwrecks that were sunk during World War II. These wrecks have become popular dive sites, as they offer a unique opportunity to explore a part of history while experiencing some of the most beautiful coral reefs and marine life in the world.
Visitors can also enjoy island hopping tours that take them to some of the most beautiful beaches and lagoons in the area, including Twin Lagoon, Banol Beach, and CYC Beach. These tours often include opportunities for snorkeling and swimming in crystal-clear waters.
For those who enjoy hiking, Coron Island offers several options. The Mt. Tapyas Trail is a popular hiking trail that takes visitors to the top of a mountain for a panoramic view of the island. The trail is challenging, but the views are well worth the effort.
Overall, Coron Island is a must-visit destination in Palawan. Its stunning natural beauty, incredible marine life, and unique history make it a one-of-a-kind destination that’s sure to leave a lasting impression on all who visit. Whether you’re looking to relax on a beautiful beach, explore underwater wrecks, or hike to a stunning viewpoint, Coron Island has something for everyone.
Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park
Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park is a world-renowned diving destination located in the middle of the Sulu Sea, off the coast of Palawan. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993 and is considered one of the most biodiverse areas in the world. The marine park covers a vast area of over 97,000 hectares and is home to an incredible variety of marine life.
The reefs of Tubbataha are the main attraction for divers, and for good reason. They are among the most beautiful in the world, featuring a vast array of coral species in different shapes, sizes, and colors. The park is home to over 600 species of fish, as well as sea turtles, sharks, dolphins, and many other marine creatures. Divers can expect to encounter schools of colorful fish, including butterflyfish, angelfish, and parrotfish, as well as larger predators such as barracuda and reef sharks.
Tubbataha Reef is only accessible by boat, and most diving trips depart from Puerto Princesa or the nearby island of Coron. The diving season runs from March to June, during which the water is calm and visibility is at its best. The park is open to both novice and experienced divers, but due to the remote location and challenging conditions, it’s recommended that visitors have a minimum of advanced open water certification.
Aside from diving, visitors to Tubbataha Reef can also enjoy snorkeling, which is a great way to see the marine life up close without the need for scuba gear. The park also offers opportunities for bird watching and nature hikes on some of the smaller islands within the marine park.
Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park is not only a world-class diving destination, but it’s also an important conservation area. The park’s reefs and marine life are under threat from climate change, overfishing, and other human activities. As a result, the Philippine government and various non-governmental organizations are working to protect and preserve the park’s delicate ecosystem.
In conclusion, Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park is a must-visit destination for diving enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. The park’s stunning reefs, diverse marine life, and pristine environment make it an unforgettable experience that’s sure to leave a lasting impression on visitors.