The lovely Philippines offers satisfying holiday options for all travelers. There are so many islands to choose from, and they are all beautiful! Be it a holiday with family or a friendly get together, or even a cozy and romantic holiday for lovers, The Philippines never disappoints.
There are amazing activities and natural beauty and even the most comfortable and luxurious resorts, be it for a solo traveler or a family with kids. There’s no better way to experience all that than via a holiday at Palawan – the most popular and unique holiday destination in the country. Here is a comprehensive list of the best things to do in a week in Palawan:
Palawan is called the ‘final frontier of the Philippines’ because it is a huge province including thousands of big and small islands just sitting in the sea, waiting to be explored through the Sulu and South China seas. Since the Palawan Islands have only recently come to the focus of travelers, the facilities for backpackers and tourists both have come up beautifully.
The best time to visit Palawan’s amazing golden beaches and white sands is the dry season because what’s the fun of a beach in rains? It is dry from December to May, but from March to May is quite hot as it is also the Filipino summer. The rainy season might offer lower prices, but it is of no significance.
The main city on the Island of Palawan, with a convenient airport that connects Palawan Island to Cebu, Manila and other main airports, Puerto Princesa is the starting point for your amazing adventure in Palawan. Visit the Subterranean River National Park of Puerto Princesa, which lies at a one – hour drive from the city. The river flows through limestone cave systems, and the sights here are one of its kind in the whole world.
After the cruise in the meandering river, one can relax at Sabang village, which has a wind-lashed beach and wild tracts of deep green jungles. If there is time, you can indulge in hiking and birdwatching in Sabang as well.
A very popular and vibrant tourist destination, El Nido is truly the essence of Palawan. Driving North from Puerto Princesa for about 5 hours leads you to El Nido. It’s the challenge to reach El Nido which makes it a rustic and interesting place. It is a true backpacker’s heaven, and the views can sweep you off your feet.
The island-hopping tours are iconic and at the top of every traveler’s list here. The best part, one does not need to negotiate as the rates have been fixed by the government. Nacpan beach, Las Cabanas beach, and Big, Small and Secret Lagoons are superb and going up Mt Taraw is a must-do for it is more than just a hike, it’s like a rock-climbing exercise.
Apart from the regular touristy must-dos, the 7 Commando Beach and Snake Island (Vigan Island), Pinagbuyutan Island, Entalula Beach, and Cudugnon Cave are all on the island-hopping circuit. Ipil Beach, Cadlao Lagoon, Paradise Beach, Pasandigan Beach, Natnat Beach, and Bukal Beach along with a few more hidden beaches are highlights of the tours, and travelers enjoy these places a lot along with food and hospitality on the tour. El Nido needs at least two days to explore and enjoy the composite experience of the place.
There is ample variety in the kind of resorts, dorms, and rooms for all kinds of travelers. From luxury international hotels to backpacker hostels, the is a mind-boggling variety of accommodation options in the whole of Palawan. Although El Nido is primarily a backpacker’s destination, there are also a handful of agencies that offer all-inclusive El Nido getaways if that’s the type of trip you are after.
Getting from El Nido to Coron is pretty easy – just take a boat from El Nido. The new ferries leave early from El Nido and by midday from Coron. The early ferry leaves at 6 am and take about 4 hours to reach Coron. The Coron archipelago is full of unique cultures different from island to island, shipwrecks, and corals.
Pick an island-hopping tour before 9 am in the morning and include Kayangan Lake and Twin Lagoons. Kayangan Lake is the famous place that shows off the most classic Coron viewpoint with green, limestone mountains rising above the water.
It is the cleanest lake in the Philippines and some say it is the cleanest lake in Asia. Twin Lagoons is interesting for the fact that they are two, separated by a limestone wall in which you can swim underneath. Pass Island is a beautiful white sand island on a tour from Coron, and next, you can see Black Island too.
Maquinit Spring is a natural saltwater hot spring surrounded by mangroves and is a must-do. Malcalpula Beach, Waling Waling Island and Bamboo Beach are also beautiful destinations for tourists. Skeleton
Shipwreck is also a surreal, amazing place to see a World War 2 era Japanese ship in the waters. One can take day tours from Coron, like Calauit Island National Park which is home to 104 African animals. Other tours include Cabo & Bali Beaches tour, Coron Water Ride Adventures which includes many water rides.
You can also take a tour which gives Solo Flyer Parasailing Experience and lets you use clear kayak unlimited. Getting back to Manila is a short 40 – minute flight or even a slow overnight ferry. From Manila, the world is at your disposal. A point to note:
At tropical destinations, there are bound to be some viral infections in the air. Be careful of what kind of water you drink and use, and where you eat. When in water, avoid consuming the water.
7 days in Palawan is a sufficiently well-balanced itinerary for a place of the caliber, where justice will be done to each spot and one can see and experience enough without getting bored or overwhelmed. Experience Philippines the oceanic way – come to Palawan for a week!
Best attractions in Palawan for a one-week vacation
Lee Rosales is the woman behind the Lifestyle and Travel Blog http://ilovepaars.com and www.mommalee.com . Follow her adventures as a solo parent and a solo female traveler.