The Philippines is blessed with white sand beaches and idyllic islands that have earned the country numerous global recognitions. Boracay Island in the Visayas region is known for its pristine White Beach while the islands of Bohol and Cebu are also at the top of the list for beach lovers. When it comes to planning a vacation to the best places to visit in the Philippines for a dreamy tropical island getaway, your itinerary wouldn’t be complete without including the breathtaking islands of Palawan in the Luzon region.
Located around 1.5 hours by flight from the capital city of Manila, Palawan is often in the bucket list of local and international travelers alike because of its out-of-this-world beauty. The islands of Palawan have everything you’re looking for in the best holiday trip: endless stretches of white sand beaches, crystal clear and turquoise-colored waters, majestic towering limestone cliffs, UNESCO World Heritage Sites and New7Wonders of Nature, and the most incredible diving spots with beautiful marine life and shipwreck sites.
If you’re planning a vacation filled with island hopping adventures, swimming, diving, and lounging on the beach, Palawan should be your next destination.
Palawan has over 1,700 islands and islets scattered across the island province’s top destinations like El Nido, Coron, Puerto Princesa, San Vicente, and more. There are so many beautiful attractions and Palawan activities to visit and do when you book Palawan packages that your entire vacation itinerary in the Philippines can be dedicated to just exploring this island province.
If you still need convincing to include Palawan in your travel bucket list, we’ve compiled pictures of Palawan that show some of the most outstanding Palawan tourist spots waiting for you to explore and add to your Palawan itinerary:
Puerto Princesa Underground River
Located in the Palawan capital city of Puerto Princesa, the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park or commonly known as the Puerto Princesa Underground River, is the world’s longest navigable underground river that stretches up to 8.2KM. It’s one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Philippines and a New7Wonders of Nature. Travelers can explore a portion of this natural wonder by joining Puerto Princesa Underground River tours which are easily accessible from the best Puerto Princesa hotels and resorts.
Kayangan Lake, Coron
When you Google Palawan photos, you will most likely see this iconic image commonly referred to as Kayangan Lake, one of the most famous attractions in Coron island hopping tours. What most people don’t know is that the stunning photo with a majestic karst cliff in the backdrop is not the actual Kayangan Lake but only the view from the trail leading to the top Coron attraction.
Kayangan Lake is hidden behind towering cliffs and can only be reached by a short but steep hike on stairs built around the cliffs. Kayangan Lake is made up of saltwater and freshwater and is as beautiful on the surface as it is underwater. It’s best for swimming, snorkeling, and freediving but it’s advised to always wear a life vest when exploring Kayangan Lake. Don’t forget to bring your goggles to appreciate the beauty of this Palawan attraction during Kayangan Lake tours.
Big Lagoon, El Nido
Another iconic Palawan tourist spot is Big Lagoon in El Nido. One of the highlights of El Nido island hopping tours, this stunning natural lagoon with picturesque majestic limestone cliffs and varying colors of blue seawater will leave you in awe of its beauty. Island hopping boats are no longer allowed to enter Big Lagoon like before. Travelers can ride a kayak to get inside Big Lagoon and appreciate the beauty of one of El Nido’s tourist spots.
Shimizu Island, El Nido
Famous for being a lunch stopover during El Nido island tours, Shimizu Island is a popular snorkeling spot because of its teeming marine life. The imposing rock formations and the pristine white sand beach make this beautiful island one of the best places to sit back and relax while your boatmen prepare lunch. There are only a few pockets of white sand beaches to dock on the island so booking a private El Nido island hopping tour is recommended to get the best spot all to yourself on Shimizu Island.
Twin Lagoon, Coron
A visit to Coron’s Twin Lagoon is another must-try when in Palawan. As the name implies, this attraction features two lagoons right next to each other. From the journey going into the first lagoon, and the swim or kayak ride to the second lagoon, this is definitely one of the highlights of any Coron island hopping tour. While the first lagoon is already stunning, don’t miss the chance to explore the second lagoon during your Coron island hopping tour.
- Read our El Nido and Coron Palawan itinerary
Nacpan Beach, El Nido
You don’t need to ride a boat to get to this next Palawan attraction. Nacpan Beach is one of the El Nido beaches that is accessible by motorcycles, tricycles, or tour vans from El Nido hotels. This 4KM stretch of cream-colored sand lined with coconut trees is the perfect spot for swimming and sunbathing. If you have the energy for it, hike to the highest point of the beach where you will see its twin, Calitang Beach. There are also a number of El Nido restaurants nearby where you can hangout and enjoy the view.
Malcapuya Island, Coron
If there’s one beach that can rival Boracay’s powdery White Beach, it’s Malcapuya Island in Coron, Palawan. While it’s not as long as White Beach of Boracay, Malcapuya Island also has fine powdery and blinding white sand, crystal clear waters, and coconut trees lining up its shores, making it one of the most beautiful beaches in Palawan. Aside from swimming or chilling in the nipa huts while sipping on fresh coconut juice from the shell, hike up to the highest point on the island to appreciate the view during your Coron beaches tour.
Small Lagoon, El Nido
Small Lagoon may be significantly smaller than Big Lagoon, but it’s still a tourist favorite because of its towering limestone cliffs surrounded by turquoise waters. Unlike its bigger counterpart, Small Lagoon has a narrower entrance so it’s best explored by riding a kayak or swimming to get through a gap in a limestone wall during an El Nido island hopping adventure.
Long Beach, San Vicente
While Boracay’s White Beach is the most popular in the Philippines, the underrated Long Beach in San Vicente, Palawan, is the longest in the country and the second longest in the whole of Southeast Asia. Stretching 14KM, this undeveloped beach is three times the size of Boracay’s White Beach. It doesn’t have rows of San Vicente hotels and resorts lining the beachfront, instead, you’ll see hundreds of coconut trees that serve as your backdrop when walking along the beach. When planning your San Vicente tourist spots itinerary, don’t miss the sunset view at Long Beach, it’s one of the best in the Philippines.
Tubattaha Reef, Sulu Sea
The marine sanctuary called Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is regarded as one of the best diving spots in the Philippines and the world. Located in the Palawan town of Cagayancillo, Tubbataha Reef is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Philippines. The marine sanctuary features two atolls, or ring-shaped reefs, and is home to some of the most colorful aquatic animals and corals.
Divers who join Philippine scuba diving packages to Tubbataha Reef will be able to see thousands of marine animals such as sea turtles, sharks, manta rays, and clownfish to name a few. Apart from marine creatures, there are also hundreds of bird species found here, a treat for birdwatchers.
Sabang Beach, Puerto Princesa
While Puerto Princesa is best known for the Underground River and Honda Bay island hopping tours, the underrated Sabang Beach deserves the spotlight too. Located on the west coast near the popular Puerto Princesa Underground River, this hidden tropical beach lined with palm trees has a stunning view of the surrounding mountains. It’s known as a picnic spot for Puerto Princesa tours guests who just visited the Underground River but you can also swim, lounge on the beach, get a massage, or watch the sunset while sipping on beer or cocktail drinks.
Mt. Tapyas, Coron
No list of top things to do in Coron is complete without hiking the view deck at Mt. Tapyas. Best visited in the late afternoon during a clear day, travelers will need to climb over 700 steps to see the breathtaking view of the entire town of Coron, the sea, and the neighboring islets during sunset. Enjoy the fresh air, take photos, and marvel at the raw beauty of Coron, Palawan once you get to the top during your Coron tours.
Port Barton, San Vicente
If you’re looking for a small laidback beach town in Palawan, plan a trip to Port Barton. Unlike the more famous Palawan towns of Puerto Princesa, El Nido, and Coron, the humble coastal town of Port Barton doesn’t get as many visitors but is equally charming. Aside from relaxing at Port Barton resorts or the beachfront restaurant and bars, you can also join Port Barton island hopping tours to explore nearby islands to make the most of your Palawan tours.
Start Planning Your Trip to Palawan Now!
From pristine beaches, enchanting lagoons, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and overlooking tourist spots, there are plenty of reasons why you should visit Palawan during your trip to the Philippines.
Palawan isn’t just one of the best adventure destinations in the Philippines, it’s also the perfect destination for Philippines honeymoon packages and all-inclusive family vacation packages including accommodation at 5-star hotels in the Philippines.
Make sure to check out our wide selection of Palawan vacation packages with hotel and flights, Palawan tours and activities including land tours and Palawan island hopping tours, and Palawan transfers like Puerto Princesa airport transfers, Coron airport transfers, and El Nido airport transfers for a hassle-free way to get to your hotels and resorts in Palawan.
For the best-value holidays, check out our hotel booking products in the Philippines, Philippines discount travel packages, and Philippine tour packages to some of the best destinations in the Philippines.
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