- 1. Puerto Princesa Underground River (Puerto Princesa)
- 2. Tubbataha Reef (Cagayancillo Islands)
- 3.Kayangan Lake (Coron)
- 4. Barracuda Lake (Coron)
- 5. Nacpan Beach (El Nido)
- 6. Big Lagoon (El Nido)
- 7. Small Lagoon (El Nido)
- 8. Port Barton (San Vicente)
- 9. Honda Bay (Puerto Princesa)
- 10. Twin Lagoon (Coron)
- 11. Seven Commandos Beach (El Nido)
- 12. Shipwreck Diving (Coron)
- 13. Long Beach (San Vicente)
- 14. Mt. Tapyas (Coron)
- 15. Secret Lagoon (El Nido)
- 16. Snake Island (El Nido)
- 17. Calauit Safari Park (Busuanga)
- 18. Shimizu Island (El Nido)
- 19. Siete Pecados (Coron)
- 20. Iwahig Firefly Watching (Puerto Princesa)
- 21. Historical Tour in Culion
- 22. Onok Island (Balabac)
- 23. Manguao Lake (Taytay)
- 24. Fort Santa Isabel (Taytay)
- 25. Punta Sebaring Beach (Balabac)
- 26. Cuyo Fort (Cuyo Islands)
- 27. Mt. Aguado (Cuyo Islands)
- 28. Cagayancillo Fort (Cagayancillo Islands)
Travel to the islands of Palawan and find out why it's a top destination not just in the Philippines but the whole world. What are the top tourist attractions and things to do here? Read on to find out to plan your ultimate getaway.
Named as the Philippines' last ecological frontier, Palawan is one of the country's wealthiest provinces in terms of biodiversity. It's lined with sugary beaches, cays, and towering limestone formations that are unlike any other. Swiftlets - colloquially known as balinsasayaw - whose nests are prized delicacies, have made these formations their home.
- Browse the best Palawan tours and experiences and Palawan hotels and resorts for your trip
Video by the Philippine Department of Tourism
Dense forests comprise a sizable majority of this island province too, serving as habitat for many endemic species, including pitcher plants, mouse deers, pangolins, and born swine.
Suffice to say that Palawan tours are unmatched in Asia, and wherever you go, you won't run out of things to do. Especially if you plan to visit its significant provinces, namely El Nido, Puerto Princesa, Coron, and San Vicente. Here are some for starters:
See our popular Palawan Vacation Packages
1. Puerto Princesa Underground River (Puerto Princesa)
The world's second-longest subterranean river is the Puerto Princesa Underground River. It's the one that attracts thousands of tourists here and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The drive going to the jump-off point in Sabang Wharf will treat you to a refreshing view of the rural landscape.
After this, you will board an outrigger boat that will take you to where the underground river is. After disembarking, there is a brief trek through a forested nature trail and wooden pathways until you reach the cave opening where paddle boats going inside the cave are docked.
- Check our article on the best Puerto Princesa hotels and resorts
- See other things to do in Puerto Princesa
Nature lovers will enjoy the experience of paddling through the cave system. Prepare to see the stalactites and stalagmites of various shapes and sizes when you join a Puerto Princesa Underground River tour.
The ride will take you through a portion of the 8.2-kilometer subterranean river that runs under the protected cave, giving you plenty of time to marvel at the rock formations that you'll pass by. You'll see stalactites resembling vegetables, dinosaurs, and religious icons within the cave.
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- Book local flights to Puerto Princesa:
See our popular Puerto Princesa Tours and Activities
2. Tubbataha Reef (Cagayancillo Islands)
Situated in the southern region of the island is a marine sanctuary called the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park, one of the best diving spots in the Philippines and the world This beautiful area can be found in the waters of the Cagayancillo town and is also recognized as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Philippines. The whole sanctuary comprises two atolls, or ring-shaped reefs, that are home to an array of colorful aquatic animals and corals.
In fact, you can find over a thousand different marine animals here, such as sea turtles, sharks, manta rays, and clownfish. Aside from the water-dwelling creatures, about 100 species of birds can also be found here, with some of them even making their nests in the trees that cover the surrounding islands.
When visiting the Tubbataha Reef, diving is a must-try experience and is the best way to witness the wonderful diversity found here. Vibrant corals provide picturesque scenes as you dip under the waves. If you have more experience with diving, you can head past the corals to swim deeper where rarer animals such as moray eels, barracudas, and parrotfish can be seen.
3.Kayangan Lake (Coron)
Coron is a laid back destination that has plenty to offer visitors. The island has lakes, lagoons, and beautiful white-sand beaches. This tropical destination lets you relax, unwind, and get away from the daily grind. One of the best attractions in Coron island-hopping tours is no other than Kayangan Lake.
- Check our picks for the best Coron hotels and resorts
- Book a flight to Coron for your upcoming Palawan vacation
Before you can reach this amazing tourist place in Coron, you will do a brief walk when your ship docks at the entrance. Note the impressive formations of limestones and azure waters as you approach the bay.
See our popular Coron Vacation Packages
You'll have to walk a flight of stairs to a vantage point when you reach the cove so you can see the most iconic image of this attraction. It's the area's best-known place and where you can take photos before you go to the lake. It is the highlight of Coron's ultimate island hopping tour.
From there, you can walk down to the lake, the salty water of which is quite refreshing. The mixture of saltwater and freshwater makes the lake's surface look like a mirror. It seems shallow, and from the walking platform, you can almost see the bottom!
In its turquoise waters, you can swim, dive, and attempt to get as close as you can to the bottom. The water's clarity encourages you to see as far as you can when you plunge underneath. Make sure to try a tour in Kayangan Lake for a memorable experience in Coron.
See our popular Coron Island Hopping Tours
4. Barracuda Lake (Coron)
Another popular lake attraction in Coron is Barracuda Lake. The Tagbanuas, Cuyonon, and Calmiananen were the original inhabitants of the Calmianes Islands which included Coron.
The rock formations and the turquoise waters of the lake will make you stop and stare for a moment before dousing the afternoon heat by diving into it.
- Book a Coron firefly watching tour
It got its name from the fact that divers discovered the skeleton of a barracuda in its depths. Barracuda Lake is also one of the cleanest lakes in the country and a famous attraction included in an island-hopping tour in Coron.
See our popular Barracuda Lake Tours
The boat ride to the lake is picturesque; until you reach the docking zone, you will see sedimentary formations towering over the ocean. It's one of the ethereal adventures that you can have on your Coron excursion.
Many island-hopping tours in Coron include Barracuda Lake. There is an entrance fee and a guide fee; both are often included in the Barracuda Lake tour package already. During your trip, make sure to take plenty of photographs and videos before plunging into the turquoise waters!
5. Nacpan Beach (El Nido)
This powdery paradise was one of the secret getaways for some tourists until its beauty was discovered by many and became one of the most sought after beach included in El Nido island-hopping tours.
Nacpan Beach is a four-kilometer strip of cream-colored sand and coconut trees with crystal clear turquoise water. It is17th kilometers north of El Nido town proper in Palawan.
Tourists can lie on the beach or settle in hammocks if they want to do some sunbathing. They can also opt to rest in Nacpan's shady spots.
- Read our recommendations on the best El Nido Palawan hotels and resorts
Aside from swimming, visitors can also do surfing, kayaking, and stand up paddleboard when trying Nacpan Beach tours. Mask, fins, and snorkel are available for those who want to explore the crystal clear water.
Nacpan is one-half of the famous twin beaches in the area—the other one is called Calitang Beach. Travelers can ride a tricycle, where two to three people can fit, to reach Nacpan Beach. Tricycle ride can last for an hour to 90 minutes.
A hassle-free way to get to the attraction is to join a guided tour in Nacpan beach! There are restaurants along the coast that range from affordable to expensive. There are also snacks for sale along the beach's entrance although the selection is limited.
6. Big Lagoon (El Nido)
The Big Lagoon is uniquely famous for its vibrantly colored waters and picturesque limestone rocks on the horizon. It's off the eastern coast of Miniloc Island in El Nido, Palawan. It's best accessible via a guided boat package, which is the El Nido island-hopping Big Lagoon tour.
The boat will approach Big Lagoon around a rock that fronts a smaller lagoon. And from here, the unforgettable dazzling blue of the water greets visitors. The pool at the entrance is an awe-striking Gatorade-blue that tourists usually stay on the boats a bit to marvel.
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While boats can drive you further into the lagoon, most guides dock only at the entrance to give room for swimmers, snorkelers, and kayakers. The water lightens to a bright periwinkle until it meets a small beach.
See our popular El Nido Island Hopping Tours
Like many of Palawan's pretty lagoons, the Big Lagoon is surrounded by limestone rocks. But here, the rocks only reach hill-high. In between are beautiful clear canals and a few coves. In this tourist attraction, a tiny cave connects to a room-size small lagoon.
The Big Lagoon boasts a generous space to host any relaxing water activity often included in an El Nido sland-hopping tour.
At its shallowest, you can swim leisurely with sea turtles and then snorkel a bit farther with corals right beneath you. You can also free-dive up to 50 m deep, but jellyfish and urchins frequent there, too so be careful.
7. Small Lagoon (El Nido)
If you're looking for more lagoons to visit, then you have to visit Small Lagoon. It's significantly smaller than the Big Lagoon.
However, when it comes to the uniqueness and allure it exudes, it can't be overlooked. El Nido Small Lagoon island-hopping tour is a tourist favorite because towering limestone cliffs surround its turquoise waters.
The Small Lagoon has a narrower entrance, unlike the Big Lagoon where the opening is easily reachable. To get inside, you can plunge or ride a kayak and go through a gap on a limestone wall.
Once inside, you can swim or kayak around Small Lagoon's natural waters and appreciate its calm environment accompanied by the flow of wildlife.
You can visit this attraction of El Nido by booking an El Nido Small Lagoon island-hopping tour. Take note that there are constraints to the number of tourists and time spent in Small Lagoon to maintain its captivating ambiance.
- Book a direct flight to El Nido for your upcoming Palawan itinerary
8. Port Barton (San Vicente)
Port Barton is lovely, calm, and quiet. It's only 2-3 hours away from Puerto Princesa City, and there are fewer people here compared to its province's most famous neighbors. Joining a Port Barton day tour is worth it as the town offers numerous tourist spots perfect for any traveler!
Situated 1-2 hours by land from Poblacion, this peaceful coastal town is an accessible location for international travelers. You can go here or choose to remain for a few evenings.
- Read our article on the best hotels and resorts in Port Barton
More restaurants and bars are available here compared to Long Beach and Poblacion. It is similar to El Nido's chill beach atmosphere.
One of the best Port Barton tours is island-hopping. You can explore nearby islands such as Starfish Island, Exotic Island, German Island, Inaladelan Island, and German Island that are part of island-hopping tours in Palawan.
Other attractions you should visit in Port Barton include Bigaho Falls, Pamuayan Falls, Itaytay Beach, Long Beach, Aquarium Reef, Twin Reef, Marine Sanctuary, and more. It's no wonder most tourists keep coming back to this beautiful destination.
9. Honda Bay (Puerto Princesa)
Honda Bay is one of the first tourist spots in Palawan to have made a mark on the tourist map, with its beautiful beaches and strategic location.
With a pier that's accessible from anywhere in the capital within 30 minutes, Honda Bay tours allow travelers the ease of uncovering three gorgeous sandbars: Luli Island, Cowrie Island, and Starfish Island.
Cowrie Island is named after the cowrie shells within the area. Aside from swimming and lounging, it's the perfect place to enjoy a sumptuous picnic-style dinner.
Luli Island, on the other hand, got its name derived from its unique sandbar. It disappears during high tide, while it reappears during low tide.
Cottages can be rented throughout the bay, and snorkel equipment rentals are also available. Lastly, Starfish Island is named as such because of the abundant number of starfishes found within its powdery white sands. Go swim and snorkel when you try a Honda Bay island-hopping tour.
See our popular Honda Bay Island Hopping Tours
Pandan Island is also worth mentioning as it's included in some Honda Bay island hopping tours. It got its name from the numerous Pandan trees surrounding the area. You can rent a cottage, try water activities such as jet ski or kayak, make a sandcastle and more.
See our popular Palawan Vacation Packages
10. Twin Lagoon (Coron)
The Twin Lagoon in Coron Island, Palawan province is picturesque lagoons divided by towering limestone walls. Visiting the lagoons offers a bit of adventure.
From the town proper, they are accessible only by boat, which will take you through a maze of giant karst walls. If you're eager for a hassle-free adventure, you can book a Twin Lagoon tour.
See our popular Twin Lagoon Tours
Boats dock on the first lagoon, and then visitors must swim from here to reach a rickety wooden staircase that leads to the second. At low tide, you can instead wade through a cavern that connects both lagoons.
Other times you need to swim utterly underwater for a few meters and resurface on the separate pool. It’s one of the best attractions included in a Coron ultimate tour.
The ethnic Tagbanua tribe is the guardian of the Twin Lagoons. To the tribe, all such areas are sacred. However, the Tagbanua has had to lease a few of these tourist sites to outside companies.
Thankfully, non-profit groups are now helping to empower the Tagbanua to operate some of Palawan island-hopping tours, which include immersive camp programs in their traditional beach homes.
See our popular Coron Vacation Packages
11. Seven Commandos Beach (El Nido)
Going to Seven Commandos Beach is like going to paradise. It has a long stretch of fine white sands and the line of swaying coconut trees below its dramatic limestone cliffs.
The beach is part of El Nido island hopping tours, which also includes favorites Big Lagoon and Small Lagoon.
Seven Commandos is usually the tour's first stop, where visitors can swim, snorkel, and feast on refreshing coconut juice. Boats will dock here for around 45 minutes.
After this, you can enjoy your free time and unwind within the area before you visit the other tourist spots included, especially those included in island-hopping tour in El Nido. It’s a perfect way to spend a day in El Nido.
It was said that save for the high-end resorts found in El Nido, this is the only island with bars. The original one was mostly just a small hut that serves drinks ranging from fruit shakes to cocktails.
Food is also served here. The beach also has a beach volleyball court which is perfect for big groups.
See our popular El Nido Island Hopping Tours
12. Shipwreck Diving (Coron)
While Coron is sometimes likened to El Nido - owing to their similar limestones – something that sets Coron apart is its impressive shipwreck sites often packaged in a reefs and wrecks tour.
A total of 13 can be found between the waters of Culion and Busuanga visited in Coron diving tours, the majority of which are Japanese fleet used during World War II. Collectively, these warships have been declared by Forbes as among the world's ten best dive sites.
Although most of the wrecks are submerged over 100 feet below water (perfect for wreck divers), some are between 10 and 30 feet - shallow enough to be explored by merely snorkeling.
Among this is the Skeleton Wreck, a popular attraction in a Coron island-hopping tour, which is a steel-hulled boat believed to have belonged to a local fisherman.
Another one is the Lusong Gunboat, which lies 11 meters off the coast of Lusong Island. At low tide, its keel breaks through the shallows, making it perfect for snorkelers.
The keel of a large cargo ship, Tangat Wreck, also protrudes upright near the surface in Tangat Island. Corals, nudibranchs, fishes, and even sea turtles inhabit the wrecks, providing excellent opportunities for underwater photography.
Shallower wrecks are often in Coron island hopping tours, along with other attractions, such as Coral Garden and Black Beach.
- Book flights to Busuanga for your upcoming Palawan getaway
See our popular Philippine Scuba Diving Packages & Courses
13. Long Beach (San Vicente)
San Vicente's Long Beach provides a laid-back atmosphere, perfect for tourists interested in sightseeing, beach lounging for hours, sunset-watching, and island-hopping. It's the Philippines' longest white beach and the second-longest in the whole of Southeast Asia.
The coastline of 14 kilometers is undeveloped and is three times the size of the White Beach of Boracay. It’s 40 kilometers from Port Barton, another primary destination in San Vicente. Try Port Barton tours if you'd like to enjoy the town in its fullest.
- Check out the best San Vicente hotels and resorts
Long Beach houses some front beach and non-beach accommodations. For those who want direct access to various parts of the 14.7 km white-sand beach, booking a location here is perfect.
Long Beach includes different barangays that serve as jumping points for public transport such as New Agutaya, San Isidro, and Alimuangan. There are also a lot of restaurants available here, serving both local and international cuisines.
If you want to explore the longest white beach in the Philippines, pack your stuff and visit this tourist destination in San Vicente! The best way to explore Long Beach is by renting a motorcycle or by joining a guided tour.
14. Mt. Tapyas (Coron)
A journey to Mt. Tapyas' viewing deck is worth it. Despite the 724-step ascent, it'll be worth all the sweat because you'll see Coron's unusual perspective that gets better as you go higher.
You'll see a big white cross when you reach the top, which you can also know when you're in town but not as panoramic as in the viewing deck.
From the city center, Mt. Tapyas is easy to reach. You can travel to the base by walking, join a sightseeing tour in Coron, or rent a tricycle.
The mountain is easy to climb because most of it involves walking on concrete steps, and there are several platforms and benches where visitors can stop and rest before going on.
Before you reach the top, there are about 700 steps. Don't worry as, during your way up, there are rails to hold on.
Feel the fresh air and see the city from a panoramic point of view as you slowly reach the top. Rest a while before going down; wait until sunset to watch the blue sky turn red and then dark.
Mt. Tapyas is an ideal half-day trip for those who are looking for a different activity aside from the usual Coron island-hopping tours.
See our popular Coron Tours and Activities
15. Secret Lagoon (El Nido)
Also known as Hidden Lagoon, it's a must-visit destination during your trip to El Nido and is part of island-hopping tours in El Nido. Your boat will first head for a small white sand beach in the southern part of Miniloc Island.
You're going to pass via an opening like some hollow rocky cave, so be extra careful and dock your head. If it is low tide, you can easily wade into the entrance.
Once inside, a small natural pool surrounded by extremely high limestone cliffs will welcome you, which is the Secret Lagoon. In its lovely white sand, you can plunge in the natural cold pool or just lounge and relax. Appreciate and enjoy the surrounding scenery while in the lagoon.
The water is colder here due to the cliffs that cover it from the sun rays, compared to the Big Lagoon and Small Lagoon. The Secret Lagoon's mystery is what makes it a worthy destination. It's a significant component of island-hopping tours in El Nido and is loved by the locals.
16. Snake Island (El Nido)
Also known as Vigan Island, this island got its unique name from its S-shaped sandbar that is approximately 3 meters long.
Like any other island in El Nido, Snake Island tours are popular because it has crystal clear turquoise waters. It's one of the islands that will give you the experience and feeling of walking in the middle of the sea.
Watch the marine life underneath like small fishes, sea turtles, corals, and starfishes via snorkeling along the shoreline. Snake Island is also a paradise filled with thick foliage and lots of mangroves where monkeys are often seen.
See our popular El Nido Snake Island Tours
It also houses a small shed on top of a hill that boasts a stunning bird's eye view of the snake-looking sand trail, and a panoramic view of the Bacuit Bay and nearby El Nido islands.
Snake Island is part El Nido island-hopping tour and is either the lunch stop or the start-off point of the said tour. The major crowd-pullers of Tour B are the scenic sandspit of Vigan Island and the caves that are in the set (Cathedral Cave and Cudugnon Cave).
17. Calauit Safari Park (Busuanga)
Housing thousands of endangered and endemic species, Calauit Safari Park remains to be the Philippines' only game reserve and wildlife sanctuary.
Its resident species include African animals that were transported from Kenya in 1976, including the reticulated giraffe and the world's most endangered zebra species, the Grevy's zebra.
These animals can be found freely roaming in the sanctuary's 3,700-hectare expanse, along with mouse deer, bearcats, and the Calamian deer, which is in here.
Visitors who are participating in a Calauit Safari Park tour are allowed to do guided feeding to giraffes while on foot, providing a thrilling experience that's at par with Kenyan safaris.
The safari park has the porcupine and the Binturong (bearcat) of the Philippines. There's also the bearded pig of Palawan, one of the country's endemic four wild pig species.
The Philippine freshwater crocodile is also being taken care of here. Under the Philippine Red List of Threatened Wildlife, all are endangered species.
18. Shimizu Island (El Nido)
One of the most popular islands in El Nido is Shimizu Island. It's part of the El Nido island-hopping tour and an alternative stopover spot for lunch, and it can get a bit crowded here during midday. It's a popular spot for snorkeling because it's teeming with colorful marine life.
The Japanese-sounding name makes one wonder about the island's origin. According to guides and boatmen, a group of scuba divers explored the waters of El Nido decades ago. Unfortunately, one of them didn't make it back from a deep underwater tunnel.
Days were spent searching for the diver's body until it's on an island with imposing rock formations and beautiful white sand. The deceased diver's last name was Shimizu, and the island was named after him.
Visitors can explore the island during El Nido island hopping tour while the boatmen prepare lunch. Boats will dock here for less than one hour, so make good use of the time swimming and snorkeling while waiting for the meal to be served.
Under the shade of the hot noonday sun, the boatmen will serve grilled fare of meat and seafood, vegetables, and fresh fruits for dessert. There are also local folks who sell sodas and ice cream around the area.
19. Siete Pecados (Coron)
Siete Pecados is one of the highly-recommended tourist spots in a Coron day tour. What's lovely about this marine park is that all of its seven islands are teeming with marine life, together with various marine species.
The area is known for its vibrant marine life, immersive as you dive into its turquoise waters. Siete Pecados is Coron city's closest dive site to the town proper. In just a few minutes, the boat takes you right in the middle of the islets.
You only need to climb down the ladder to get to the water, or you can hop off and snorkel directly. This practicality makes Siete Pecados a top Coron destination to visit.
Siete Pecados is inhabited with sea turtles, tropical angelfish, and squid. Often waiting for some bread from divers, the fish swarm wonderfully around you as if you've reached their current.
Baby sharks and octopi, with more species coming in and out of their home reefs, are often seen here! There is a powerful current along Siete Pecados, so a rope along the water guides snorkelers.
See our popular Coron Vacation Packages
20. Iwahig Firefly Watching (Puerto Princesa)
Iwahig firefly watching is a famous evening riverboat cruise in Puerto Princesa. They let tourists view flickering insects, also known as "fireflies" or "lightning bugs." This educational firefly watching activity is one of the community-based sustainable tourism initiatives and eco tours of the city.
See our popular Eco Tours
It started in 2007 and now being managed by the locals of Barangay Iwahig. It's temporarily closed due to rehabilitation purposes, but it'll be opened soon to the public.
This tourist attraction is among the bucket lists of tourists as it also gives them a chance to have a close encounter with fireflies. The watching site, which is around 45 minutes away from the city proper, opens at 6 p.m. as the fireflies usually come out in the evening.
Fireflies live in the mangroves and trees situated along the banks and Sicsican and Iwahig Rivers. They typically thrive in pollution and noise-free areas. Using flash photography during the tour is, however, discouraged as this may disturb the fireflies which are inhabiting the area.
See our popular Firefly Watching Tours
21. Historical Tour in Culion
The world's largest leper colony in the 1900s, Culion is a town that's well-suited for people wanting to try heritage tours.
Cut off from the rest of the world, its former inhabitants – including Spanish priests and caregivers - lived among themselves and were isolated until it was declared leprosy-free in 2006.
Remnants of the Spanish-era settlement remain intact until today, including a nursery for children, a sanitorium, a male dormitory, and several plazas.
The best way to cap off your day is by taking the 333 steps up to Aguila's viewpoint, which overlooks the municipality and the other islands in Calamianes. It's a unique tourist spot included in Palawan island-hopping tours that deserves at least a place in your route.
See our popular Palawan Island Hopping Tours
From Coron town, you can take the 1:30 p.m. passenger boat to Culion. The ship leaves Culion for Coron the next day at 7 a.m. If you don't plan on staying the night, you can join a day tour to Coron. It's hassle-free, and you'll get free pick-up and drop off to your hotel in Coron.
22. Onok Island (Balabac)
Photo by @tim5official on Instagram
Sitting off the shores of Balabac town in the southwestern portion of Palawan is Onok Island, a peaceful, privately-owned island surrounded by clear waters and covered with a forest of palm trees. From the island also stems a sandbar that you can walk on when the tide is low. To get here, you will need to go on a boat ride from Rio Tuba town.
Upon reaching the island, you will dock set foot on soft powdery sand. You can then walk around the perimeter of the island to find the perfect spot to lay down and sunbathe or head over to the wooden walkway that leads to wooden huts built on stilts. After settling down in your preferred spot, it's time to get in the water for a leisurely swim. If you want to see the marine life in the area, you can rent paddle boats and go towards deeper spots where you can snorkel.
Under the waves, you will find coral reefs, schools of fish, and some giant clams. When you return to the island to rest, you can also enjoy the unobstructed view of the pristine sea.
23. Manguao Lake (Taytay)
Photo by Taytay, Palawan Tourism Office
Manguao Lake sits in the town of Taytay in the northern region of Palawan Island. This 640-hectare lake is known to be one of the largest freshwater lakes in the Philippines. Bordering its blue waters are lush forests that offer beautiful scenery to tourists and locals, making it a great spot for a peaceful getaway.
Inside the lake, you can find 3 endemic fish species. Meanwhile, the surrounding lush forests are home to about 136 birds and 29 kinds of mammals. Birdwatchers often flock to the lake to try and spot rarer or endemic species such as the Palawan peacock pheasant, Palawan hornbill, and Philippine duck. In light of the lake's rich biodiversity, it is also recognized as a Municipal Conservation area and Ecotourism Zone.
While the lake's waters are calm and may seem very inviting, the local government does not recommend swimming in it during the dry season due to the cyanobacteria that bloom there. Instead, it is safer to wade in the waters during the rainy season. Aside from being a great place to stop and relax, the lake is a well-known fishing spot among locals.
24. Fort Santa Isabel (Taytay)
Photo by Taytay, Palawan Tourism Office
Fort Santa Isabel, which is commonly known as the Taytay Fort, is a structure that dates back to 1667, when it was first built out of wood. It was named in honor of the Queen Isabella II of Spain. Eventually, it was rebuilt using coral stone and was finally completed in 1738. This coastal fortification mainly served as a way to protect Taytay from Muslim warrior-raiders during the Spanish reign in the Philippines. Back then, the Spanish army had fired cannons from the fortress whenever the Muslim forces would sail towards the small town.
A bastion or garitas is located at each corner of the fort. Aside from serving as a means of protection, the structure is also recognized as an important part of the local heritage, especially religion. Etched into some portions of the stone walls are Roman Catholic scenes and figures that were highly revered during the Spanish reign.
In 2018, the local government collaborated with the National Historical Commission to restore this grand structure to its former glory.
25. Punta Sebaring Beach (Balabac)
Photo by detourista.com
Punta Sebaring Beach is another white-sand beach that rivals the beauty of its more famous counterparts, such as Boracay Island's White Beach. This hidden gem sits along the edge of Bugsuk Island, which is part of Balabac, the southernmost town of Palawan. As Punta Sebaring Beach is located in a more remote region of the province, you will need to take a boat from the mainland to reach it.
When you finally arrive at the beach, you will immediately see its powdery white sand go on for miles. The beach's beauty has remained unspoiled as there are no commercial establishments on the island nor along the shore. Past the beach, you will find towering palm trees and the local community. Make your way across the beach when the tide is low to find a stunning sandbar that stems from Punta Sebaring. As the water laps the sand, it gives the entire sandbar a rippled texture, adding to the already scenic appeal of the area.
While there are no hotels or resorts on the island, you can coordinate with the local government of Balabac before your visit if you wish to spend the night here.
26. Cuyo Fort (Cuyo Islands)
Photo by Cuyo Island
The Cuyo Fort stands in the center of the historic Cuyo Island, which is located in the northeastern waters of Palawan Island. The municipality of Cuyo is the oldest town in the province and served as Palawan's second capital from the late 1800s to the early 1900s. During the Spanish colonization era in the Philippines, Spanish forces constructed the fort to serve as a fortress from attacks by the Moro people. It was completed in 1680 and was made out of stone and mortar. Aside from providing protection, this naval structure also housed the town's church, adoration chapel, and convent, making it one of the most unique forts in the country.
Along with the church, a belfry was also erected inside the fort's premises, along with watchtowers. Today, the fortress' walls measure up to ten meters high, and you can even walk along the renovated portions of the wall to get a better view of the island and its surroundings. The church also remains a significant part of the community and is the venue for the town's annual Feast of St. Augustine, which takes place every 28th of August.
27. Mt. Aguado (Cuyo Islands)
Photo by A Journey of Faith
Another popular tourist attraction on Cuyo Island is Mt. Aguado. This towering mountain is covered with lush forests that house various species of birds and mammals and is an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts. However, the mountain does not only serve as an ecotourism site. It is also best known for the life-sized statues that depict the Stations of Cross, a testament to the strong Spanish and Catholic influence on the island.
These statues begin at the foot of the mountain continue all the way to the peak. Devout Catholics make the pilgrimage to the mountain annually as part of Holy Week rites observed in Cuyo. At the end of the trail, you will be rewarded with a 360-degree view of the whole island. From here, you can even see the surrounding islands that also make up the Cuyo Archipelago.
28. Cagayancillo Fort (Cagayancillo Islands)
To protect the town of Cagayancillo from invaders in the late 16th century, the Spanish forces that colonized the area at the time decided to build the Cagayancillo Fort. This naval fortress, however, took over a hundred years to complete and was only fully constructed in the early 18th century under the leadership of a Spanish priest. In contrast to other forts built in Palawan under the Spanish regime, this one was built using sea rocks and limestones.
The whole structure was also constructed in the shape of a diamond instead of the more common rectangular forts. Its walls are about 12 meters high and 3 meters thick. Like the Cuyo Fort, Cagayancillo's also houses the town's church to ensure that the locals could safely practice religious rites.
Explore Palawan and Discover its Natural Wonders
There are indeed a lot of things to do in Palawan. From El Nido to Puerto Princesa, to Coron, and San Vicente, you'll have a lot of options for your trip to this beautiful region.
Whether you're looking for outdoor adventures, eco-tours, or beach tours, you'll surely find the best adventure for you and your group!
Start looking for things to do in Palawan now. Explore Palawan tours and activities that you can add to your itinerary for a complete and hassle-free travel experience.
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