Central Palawan Travel Guide

Central Palawan is the gateway to Palawan, a huge island province of over 1,700 islands in the western part of the Philippines. It’s an hour away by air from Manila and is home to the provincial capital, Puerto Princesa.

Palawan is often referred to as the Philippines’ last frontier and it is widely celebrated for its extensive collection of flora and fauna. In particular, it has some stunning beaches, deep caves, an abundance of exotic wildlife, and unbeatable diving in the north.

The main attraction in Central Palawan is the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River, a national park and UNESCO World Heritage site. It is more commonly referred to as the Underground River and can easily be done on a daytrip from Puerto Princesa. Another of Central Palawan’s star attractions is the Tubbataha Reef Marine Park, located to the southeast of Puerto Princesa in the Central Sulu Sea.

Two other must-see attractions in Central Palawan are Sabang Beach, to the northwest of Puerto Princesa, and Nagtabon Beach, in a similar part of the country. They both have gorgeous sands and excellent tourist facilities. The main town in Central Palawan is Puerto Princesa, one of the Philippines’ most livable cities. It has a good supply of hotels, shops, and restaurants.

Central Palawan is directly accessible from Manila, along with other major Filipino cities, by flying. Flight time from the capital to Puerto Princesa Airport is about an hour, while the journey by ferry takes over 20 hours.

Getting There & Away

Flight time to Puerto Princesa Airport from Manila’s domestic airport is just over an hour and there are daily flights with a number of airlines. You can also get to Central Palawan from Davao and from Cebu City, along with a few other major cities in the country. The high-speed SuperFerry takes about 22 hours to reach Puerto Princesa from Manila, via the North Palawan Calamian Island Group.

Things to Do

Central Palawan Attractions

Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park

The underground river is the star attraction in central palawan, the world’s longest navigable underground river, which is just northwest of puerto princesa.

Nagtabon Beach

Featuring stunning sunsets, nagtabon beach is close to puerto princesa and has good facilities and nice sands.

Honda Bay

A pretty bay just up from puerto princesa featuring many islands with numerous beaches and great snorkeling and swimming.


A chilled out village and the gateway to puerto princesa subterranean river national park, sabang also comes with a nice beach.

Puerto Princesa

The main city in central palawan has the best supply of accommodation along with the best restaurants and shopping.

Side trips from Central Palawan

North Palawan

This part of palawan has the most delectable islands and also boasts some of the world’s most interesting wreck diving in coron bay.

Tubbataha Reef Marine Park

A one-of-a-kind marine park to the southeast of puerto princesa, bursting with color and life.


Baragatan Sa Palawan

A trade and food fair in june marking the founding of the civil government of palawan.