Palawan Travel Guide

Located in the southwest of the Philippines, Palawan is the epitome of the nation with its fine beaches, crystal clear waters and fun towns. Island hopping and wildlife spotting are the main activities in Palawan.

Several main islands make up the Palawan chain, including Busuanga and Agutaya in the north, Balabac in the south, Kalayaan and Spratly in the west, and Cagayancillo in the east.

Rich in mineral deposits and wildlife, Palawan is a popular destination for all types, but especially for lovers of the outdoors and those into water sports. Other islands worth a visit on a tour are stunning Starfish Island for its starfish, Snake Island for the white sands, and SeƱorita Island for its curious lapu-lapu fish. Lu-li Island is a low-key, low season, low tide place to visit.

Water sports are the most popular activity in Palawan and visitors can enjoy swimming and sailing, along with excellent scuba diving and snorkeling. The diving in Palawan is particularly appealing owing to its collection of mangrove swamps, wrecks, underwater caves and drop-offs.

Trekkers also take to the mountains and valleys in Palawan, with the El Nido cliffs and Nagtabon Beach being excellent walking territory. In addition, cavers can enjoy the ancient Tabon Caves, and archaeologists the many digs around the islands.

Many visitors also choose to visit Palawan for its fabulous festivals and there are loads to choose from throughout the year. Tarek Festival in January starts off the year; Baragatan sa Palawan follows in June and is the most colorful with its street parties and music, while the November Feast of the Immaculate Conception and the Pagdiwata Tribal Ritual during December’s full moon are for culture vultures.

Getting There & Away

Palawan is a fair way by boat from the rest of the Philippine islands, with a 20-hour journey time from Manila. The best way in is therefore to fly, and there are daily departures from the capital to Puerto Princesa Airport in the center of Palawan. Several local airlines make the flight, which runs at about an hour.

Things to Do

Palawan Attractions

Puerto Princesa Subterranean River

This amazing body of water is one of the highlights of palawan, an underground river near the capital city that flows through a stunning limestone landscape. registered by unesco.

El Nido Marine Reserve

Coral reefs, sandy beaches, and lush rainforests feature in this beautiful reserve which takes in hundreds of thousands of acres and boasts dugong and manta rays.

Tabon Caves

These deep caves not only feature large caverns filled with stalactites and stalagmites, they also contain the ancient tabon man.

Irawan Crocodile Farming Institute

An ideal palawan attraction for those with kids, there are crocodiles galore here along with other indigenous palawan critters.

Palawan State Museum

For those who fancy delving into palawan culture and history, this fine museum features the music, art and crafts of the palawan people.


Baragatan sa Palawan

This june celebration is palawan’s most colorful and sees upbeat street parties and live music.