Palawan, a 2,000 km long island in the Philippines, is a province in the Mimaropa region of the Luzon island group.
The island was visited by almost two million tourists annually prior to the pandemic and remains the busiest tourist destination in the country. The province boasts pristine waters and natural scenery and is explored by people from all over the world.
With a perfect tropical climate, visitors more often than not return to Palawan to experience the islands beauty, white sand beaches and friendly faces.
Tourism slowed down due to the pandemic, with international and domestic travel put on hold. However, there will come a time when tourism flourishes again and island holidays will be back on people’s wish lists!
Places and Activities in Palawan
1. A quick dip in the crystal-clear waters of Kayangan Lake
With its unique natural mix of fresh and salt water, Kayangan Lake in Coron is an incredible place to visit. Take a dip, refresh yourself, and bask in the warm rays of the sun while enjoying the natural rock formations and scenery.
2. Check out the animals in the Safari Park
Located on Calauit Island off the coast of Coron, Palawan, this sprawling open-air safari is home to a number of animals, all of which live comfortably within the sanctuary. A feeding session with the giraffes guarantees an up close and personal experience and the sanctuary has a wonderful selection of exotic animals and birds.
3. A ‘crowd-free’ getaway to Port Barton
Port Barton in San Vicente is easily accessible by land and sea. Post-pandemic, the low population makes for a low-risk area. Port Barton beach has restaurants and cafes and you can go island-hopping at your own leisure (within your own bubble) making this one of the best and safest activities.
4. Dive deep at Tubbataha Reef National Park
Considered one of the best global diving locations, Tubbataha reef is nothing short of amazing. UNESCO even considered Tubbatha a World Heritage Site in 1993. In this area, you can marvel at the countless sea creatures including whales, sharks, manta rays, turtles, and dolphins. Even if you are not an avid diver, sea life is so rich that you can see the marvel of all these sea creatures above water by snorkelling or kayaking around the small islets. A must-do activity is kayaking to the Ranger Station at sunset.
5. The only way is up! Hike your way up Mount Tapyas
If you’re ready to do something different, you can go on a 720-step journey atop Mount Tayapas where the views are incredible. Stay and watch the picture-postcard sun set with hues of warm yellow, pink and red. Despite Mount Tayapas having 720 steps, the climb itself is easy and you can go at your own pace and take a breather while immersing yourself in the journey.
6. The serenity of Culion Island
Known for its isolation from crowded areas of Palawan, a trip to Culion Island makes for a relaxing day at the beach and visits to amazing waterfalls. You can also visit the museums and landmarks on the island.
7. Nacpan beach – Amazing Eats
The sprawling Nacpan beach boasts pristine white sand. You can safely find a socially-distanced place and spend the day getting a tan. There are also numerous places serving local cuisine within the beach area for that total Filipino beach experience.
8. Bacuit Bay Islands can give you some space
Chartering a boat with people in your bubble is not only safe but feels liberating. The destination of Bacuit Bay is considered a peaceful reserve with beautiful beaches. There might be more people here but social-distancing will definitely be easier than taking part in other more popular activities.
9. Go chasing Pamuayan waterfalls!
If you are already in Port Barton, you can take a 6-7 km low-risk and covid-free hike to see some beautiful sights en-route to the waterfall. Once there, you can cool off in the water!
10. Long Beach speaks for itself!
Spanning a massive 14-kilometer stretch of the coast, Long Beach is great stop-off point while travelling across Palawan. With great places to eat, incredible sand and plenty of nature to enjoy, Long Beach is where it’s at!
11. Sunset at Corong Corong Beach
For a totally memorable experience, spend a serene afternoon relaxing and waiting for one of the best sunsets Palawan has to offer. The surrounding palm trees provide a tropical vibe and once the sun sets, try some local food and refreshment.
12. Siete Pecado – An Instagram hotspot!
With its unique geography, this island is a gorgeous spot to take memorable photos. You can charter a boat and head to the island for an incredible marine-life experience. The waters below and its colourful reefs can be seen easily due to the clear waters. One of the best spots to see!
13. Surf’s up at Duli Beach, dude!
Grab a surfboard and get rocking with the waves at this surfer’s paradise. There are rentals shops for equipment in case you don’t have your own. “Everybody’s surfing now!”
14. Iwahig Firefly Show
Spend an evening on a chartered boat looking at fireflies as they show off and light up the night sky! It is one of the most amazing natural events and low-risk if you’re on your own boat.
15. Jungle trekking to Olangoan Falls
Are you a fan of Indiana Jones? Fancy yourself as an explorer? If so, a hike through the lush greenery on the way to Olangoan Falls is for you. At the end of the trip, you can find two waterfalls where you can take a dip and even swim with the fish!
This list is only a fraction of what the island of Palawan has to offer. Beautiful scenery, breath-taking natural beauty and exhilarating activities will make you want to stay! Enjoy your trip safely, choose safe destinations and activities and leave all your worries behind!