Beaches in Palawan

A Week in Palawan

This article will take you through your week-long vacation in Palawan. You’ll learn everything from “where to stay” to “what to do”!

A Week in Palawan

A highly undervalued travel destination that is emerging as a popular tourist spot in Palawan, in the Philippines. In 2020, Palawan was voted one of the most beautiful islands in the world; and rightfully so.

This province in the Philippines is full of crystal clear waters, mesmerizing rock formations, and gorgeous white sand beaches. If you’re looking for a fun island vacation, Palawan should top your list! 

Whether you choose to relax and sip margaritas by the beach on your staycation or like exploring new islands and swimming with fish, Palawan has you covered! Palawan has some of the world’s most diverse and breathtaking marine life. 

This article will take you through your week-long vacation in Palawan. You’ll learn everything from “where to stay” to “what to do”! This itinerary will be full of activities to make sure you get to explore as much as you possibly can during your week here. 

When to Visit Palawan?

When to Visit Palawan

Puerto Princesa is the central island city in Palawan and is usually the city of choice for all tourists arriving in this archipelago province. Puerto Princesa has a proper airport with regular flights coming in and going out each day. 

Before landing in Puerto Princesa, we advise that you pre-book your hotels/resorts for the trip. Due to its rising popularity, many tourists make their way to Palawan each year. However, their infrastructure is still developing, and there are few hotels/resorts in the province. 

These hotels/resorts are often fully booked, and it is doubtful that you’ll find last-minute room bookings in the resort of your choice. 

Book your accommodation; Booking.com is hands down the best and most trusted site. Other options include Airbnb (if you want private accommodation) or Hostelworld (if you are a backpacker on a budget).

To get the most out of your week-long trip to Palawan, it is recommended that you arrive in Puerto Princesa the previous evening. This way, you’ll have enough time to rest after your flight and prepare for the next day. 

 

Arriving in Palawan – Puerto Princesa

Arriving in Palawan - Puerto Princesa

The Civic District of Singapore, located near Merlion Park, is frequently seen as the beginning of modern Singapore because it was a component of Sir Stamford Raffles’ ambitious design when he arrived in the early nineteenth century. You can see the colonial structures that flank the Singapore River from here. Beside the Italianate Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall and the Victorian-era Old Parliament House is the neoclassical Asian Civilizations Museum. Gaze up at the ornate sculpture adorning the former Supreme Court and the neoclassical City Hall supported by imposing Corinthian columns. Every day it begins at 10 a.m. until 7 p.m.

 

Day 1 – Exploring Puerto Princesa

Exploring Puerto Princesa

Balai Princesa is arguably the best resort to stay at when in Puerto Princesa, especially if you have the budget for it. Alternatively, many travelers liked Paboreal Boutique Hotel and Susan’s Place Bed and Breakfast as more budget-friendly options.

On your first day, you could choose to explore the city. However, the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is a mere 1 hour away and a must-visit attraction. 

After a good night’s sleep, getting an early start to your day is best. The National park opens at 8 am, so after enjoying a delicious breakfast at your hotel/resort, set out for your day. Make sure to book your river tour to the national park the night before at the latest to ensure you get a spot.

The park is located in the Saint Paul Mountain Range on the western coast of Palawan and is a designated UNESCO World Heritage site. It is also home to hundreds of unique flora and fauna species that are a site to beyond in themselves. 

The river tour is perfect for group travelers, as you’ll be able to save good money when booking for a group. 

After a fun-filled and adventurous river tour, you could return to your accommodation in Puerto Princesa. However, I recommend you go to Malcapuya Island to enjoy the dreamy sunset. This island almost feels like a scene from a castaway movie with white sand and a dense tree backdrop. 

End your day with a nice dinner at your accommodation, or go to the multiple local restaurants in Puerto Princesa to enjoy some delicious local food. KaLui Restaurant is quite famous amongst locals and tourists, making it a must-visit. 

Day 2 – Traveling to El Nido

Traveling to El Nido

For your second day in Puerto Princesa, you can head out to explore the local shops and attractions. However, make sure to make it back in time to pack up and catch your 3 pm boat ride to El Nido. 

Alternatively, you could also choose to drive here. El Nido is a 5 hour’s drive north from Puerto Princesa. Although traveling to El Nido is long and hectic, it will highlight your Palawan trip. 

El Nido is the most popular tourist spot in Palawan, so you’re likely to find a variety of resorts here. However, these are significantly more pricey compared to those in Puerto Princesa.

Matinloc Resort is a luxurious resort for lavish travelers; however, Cuna Hotel is also a gorgeous (and budget-friendly) alternative. You’ll arrive in El Nido at night, so it’s best to eat dinner and get a good night’s rest because your day three will be extended. 

Day 3 – Island Hopping in El Nido

Island Hopping in El Nido

The best way to navigate yourself around El Nido is through an island-hopping river tour. Once again, don’t rely on last-minute bookings and book your preferred tour the day before. 

These islands and beaches contain clear turquoise waters and unique rock formations. You’ll find yourself traveling through coves, exploring hidden caves, and diving amongst the marine life while enjoying the pleasant sunny island weather. 

Visitors can choose from 4 tours (A, B, C, and D). 

Tour A 

Big Lagoon, Shimizu Island, Secret Lagoon, and Seven Commando Beach.

Tour B

Snake Island (Vigan Island), Entalula Beach,  Pinagbuyutan Island, and Cudugnon Cave.

Tour C 

Helicopter Island, Secret Beach, Matinloc Island, Star Beach, and Hidden Beach.

Tour D

Ipil Beach,  Natnat Beach, Paradise Beach, Pasandigan Beach,  Cadlao Lagoon, and Bukal Beach.

You can book your tours here

Tour C is the most famous island hopping tour among tourists. However, regardless of which time you choose, you are sure to have one of the best experiences of your life. 

The best part is that you don’t need to worry about food either. Your boat crew will treat you to a freshly prepared meal at midday. It’s all part of the island tour package. 

Thinking of Visiting Other Major Filipino Cities? Check out Batangas.

Day 4 – More Island Hopping in El Nido

 

More Island Hopping in El Nido

For your second day in El Nido, you can opt for another island hopping tour to see more of El Nido’s hypnotic island beauty and white sand beaches. 

Alternatively, you could also choose to spend the day relaxing at your resort; however, I recommend the former. There are too many islands in El Nido, and each is unique. 

Regardless of what you choose to do during the day, spend your evenings lounging on the beach and enjoying the sunset. Most beaches also have bars that serve delectable drinks, perfect for you to let loose after a day full of adventure. 

End your day with dinner at your resort’s restaurant. Regardless of where you choose to stay, you are guaranteed scrumptious, freshly made food by the chefs. 

Day 5 – Traveling to Your Final Destination; Coron

Traveling to Your Final Destination; Coron

Your fifth day will also have an early start as you’ll have to be prepared on time to catch your 6-hour-long ferry to Coron. You could also opt for the faster but pricier tourist boat that will get you to Coron within 4 hours. 

Regardless of your preferred method of travel, make sure to book your ferry/boat tickets the night before. 

Once you arrive in Coron, check in to your hotel (make sure to book your hotel in advance). The Two Seasons Hotel in Coron is, without a doubt, the best hotel in Coron for those with the budget for it. 

This 5-star resort has stunning bungalows, a fantastic restaurant, and many recreational activities for its guests. Alternatively, Bacau Bay Resort is a great budget-friendly option as well. 

When you reach Coron, it’ll likely be late in the afternoon. This is the best time to get to Mount Tapyas and enjoy the breathtaking views. 

To reach the top of Mount Tapyas, you must climb the excruciating 721 steps, which can be a challenge even for the fittest of athletes. Although, once you reach the top, the views are nothing like you’ve ever seen before.

End your day with a delicious dinner at Manggis Restaurant, located at the foothills of Mount Tapyas. This restaurant offers a variety of Filipino dishes, along with Continental cuisine as well.

Day 6 – Exploring Coron

Exploring Coron ss

It would help if you opted for a guided island tour on your first full day in Coron. Multiple tours are available to cater to each tourist’s budget and preferences. Tickets for these tours can be bought here. 

Regardless of which tour you choose, make sure it includes the Twin Lagoons and the Barracuda Lake in its itinerary. A mountain separates the Twin Lagoons; the only connection between the lakes is a two-meter-long cave. Many visitors swim between the lakes under the cave for a unique experience.

Barracuda Lake, located on the north coast of Coron, offers a unique diving experience. Like all of Palawan, Barracuda lake also has crystal clear waters. However, what sets this lake a class apart from the rest is that the temperature changes can be felt under the water as well.

Are you a photographer? You will love Antipolo’s Instagramable Spots

Day 7 – Final Day in Palawan

Final Day in Palawanxx

After the long exciting week that you’ve had in Palawan, you could opt to relax at your resort on your final day. 

For tourists staying at the Two Seasons resort, you can spend your day enjoying the multiple exciting activities this 5-star luxury hotel has to offer. I’d recommend getting a massage at their spa. It’s the perfect way to end your island vacation. 

However, if you wish to explore more still, you can always book another short island hopping tour in Coron and explore the rest of this gorgeous island. 

Choose the tour that takes you to Pass Island and Black Island, as these are not to be missed. Just be back in time to pack your bags and head out. 

You could opt for an overnight ferry or a short 40-minute flight to Manila from Coron.

Conclusion

The beauty of Palawan is hugely underappreciated. Although recently, it is finally getting the attention it deserves. The turquoise waters, diverse marine life, and fascinating rock formations could give even the best island vacations a run for their money. Comment below if this article helped you through your Palawan trip or made you buy your tickets!

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Justin Gonzalez

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