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Palawan: "The Last Frontier." Palawan is an amazing tourist destination with untouched islands, limestone cliffs, coral reefs, misty mountains and teeming wildlife. Palawan is a paradise and is known for its 3 Major Destinations; Puerto Princesa, El Nido and Coron.
With a beautiful, coral-fringed range of jungle-clad mountainous islands which jut out of the Sulu Sea, spectacular beaches, magical lagoons, and sparkling seas that are a treasure chest of marine life, Palawan is one of the real gems of the Philippines, and offers a lot to see and do.
Puerto Princesa, the capital of Palawan, is often called 'City in the Forest'. The city has been acclaimed several times as the cleanest and greenest city in the Philippines. With a wide range of attractions, ranging from beaches to wildlife reserves, and the world famous Underground River, Puerto Princesa is a nature lover's paradise. In keeping with its green image smoking is not permitted at any of its tourist spots such as The Underground River, Mitra's Ranch, Baker's Hill and Binuatan Creatives, with heavy fines levied.
El Nido, located 238 kms northwest of Puerto Princesa or 86 nautical miles south of Coron, is in the middle of Bacuit Bay, nestled in a karst backdrop of enchanting rock formations. Named after the swiftlets, which nest in its high cliffs, the town of El Nido is the jump off point for El Nido Tours to the magnificent islands and rock formations of Bacuit Bay. El Nido has been made famous by movies shot on location such as "The Beach" "Survivor" and "Bourne Legacy"
Coron, Palawan located on the northernmost part of the peninsula, and about an hour by air from Manila, is unique with its misty mountains, towering against the backdrop of fine white-sand beach. Coron is also famous for its World War II wreck diving, and the site has been named in many lists as one of the top dive spots in the world.
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Thanks to its rugged topography, small population and distance from other islands, Palawan has managed to stay pristine, and is perfect for being explored on a Palawan tour.
Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park At over 8 kms in length, is reputably the longest underground river in the world. With its crystalline waters and spectacular cave formations, the Underground River is Puerto Princesa's most popular attraction and one of the 7 wonders of the natural world. Tours only allow entrance up to 5 kilometres, because any further into the river and navigation becomes difficult and impacts on the unique fauna, flora and bat and swallow population. The number of daily Permits issued are also restricted, again to keep any impact of visitors to the cave to a minimum. When inside the marvellous cave, one is treated to fascinating stalagmite and stalactite formations that are sure to take your breath away!
From Sta. Lourdes Tagbanua, Puerto Princesa City, one can see Honda Bay. Bordering fabulous beaches and small resorts and Palawan hotels, the bay has several islets with shallow reefs. In fact, it has become the favourite water sports destination among local and foreign tourists.
Many of the resorts and hotels in Palawan here offer great value for money, with excellent facilities and amenities. You can even use our Palawan map to choose your hotel in Palawan based on its location.
Palawan is also home to Tubbataha Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located about 181 km southeast of Puerto Princesa. One of the world's best diving spots; it was nominated as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature, losing out to the Underground River. Home to 573 species of fish, 379 species of corals, 11 species of sharks, and 12 species of dolphins and whales, it lies right in the centre of the Coral Triangle, a major hub of marine biodiversity.
The presence of 323 species of wildlife earned Palawan the title ‘Haven of the Philippine Wildlife'. In the Calauit Island Wildlife Sanctuary in Busuanga, Coron which is considered one of Palawan's most amazing sites, African animals such as elands, giraffes, gazelles and zebras co-exist with native Philippine animals like the mouse deer, Palawan bearcat and peacock (pheasant).
Spread over 96,000 hectares, the El Nido Marine Reserve in Miniloc, El Nido, is a popular nature spot in Palawan, and has a number of resorts and Palawan hotels to accommodate its visitors. It boasts diverse ecosystems such as limestone reefs, mangroves, coral reefs, rainforests and white sand beaches. The reserve is also home to a variety of fish like manta ray and to the sea cow or dugong, which is the world's rarest marine mammal and one that can trace is origins back 2 million years (a fossil was excavated within the Underground River). Thanks to the natural scenery and variety of wildlife, the reserve is now one of the Philippines' premier tourist destinations.
Another sanctuary in Rio Tuba Village, Bataraza, is Ursula Island Game Refuge and Bird Sanctuary. After a whole day's flight, birds use this island to rest and gather together two hours prior to sunset. Besides wildlife, the island province also boasts extraordinary scenic wonders. Taking a tour in Palawan to visit these wildlife havens is a real highlight of a trip to Palawan.
Thanks to the world-class diving, snorkelling and jungle trekking facilities, Palawan is popular not just among nature lovers but also adventure sports enthusiasts. The Bacuit Archipelago's spectacular seascapes, Coron island's magical lakes and the wrecks around Coron town rank high on every tourist's list.
There is so much to see, explore, and experience throughout the island of Palawan that one week would not be enough. All the beaches, islands, and reefs deserve a visit, especially in the areas of Busuanga and northern Palawan. One would need a lifetime to discover all the islands, beaches and reefs in Palawan.
Besides taking Palawan tours and enjoying the scenic beauty and wildlife, local and foreign tourists also join Palawan's local residents in celebrating various feasts, festivals and Palawan events. There are three events that are most popular - Pista ng Dalampasigan, Baragatan festival and Ugyunan, all of which pay tribute to the colourful culture, rich history and traditions of Palawan.
For instance, the Pista ng Dalampasigan festival celebrates the effort of the local residents and government in restoring the beautiful coasts and mangrove forests. All these events in Palawan feature live entertainment, colourful parades and various other communal activities.
Though not exactly a shopper's paradise, Palawan is a storehouse of wood carvings, handicrafts and creative gifts. The island province also offers a range of traditional delicacies as well as a taste of local culture. The huge influx of tourists, both local and foreign, has given a boost to Palawan's food service industry. There are plenty of fine Palawan restaurants and eateries all over the islands where people can pick between traditional and international cuisines.
There are several restaurants and eating establishments in the coastal resorts and Palawan hotels around Coron and El Nido. These places specialise in seafood and Filipino cuisine in a mixture of local and international themes and flavours. Restaurants in Palawan do great business also because of their location; many of them offer visitors spectacular panoramic views of the Sulu Sea.
The name Palawan was, most probably, given by the Chinese sometime in the 9th century. They called it PA-LAO-YU, or ‘the land of beautiful safe harbour'. Others believe the name has its origins in the Indian word ‘Palawans', which means 'territory'. The popular belief, however, is that ‘Palawan' is a corrupted version of the Spanish word ‘Para agua' because the main island's shape is similar to that of a closed umbrella.
Palawan is also home to several indigenous ethno-linguistic groups that live in remote villages in the mountains and coastal areas. These are the Bataks, the Tagbanua, Palaw'an and Tau't Bato.
Palawan is one of the last unexplored islands in the Pacific region. It is also the place where the 1997 James Bond thriller Tomorrow Never Dies was shot. A place where paradise remains preserved, every corner has a story to tell and a charm all its own, Palawan awaits you!! Choose from our wide selection of Palawan hotels and tours in Palawan and let us help you plan your perfect Palawan holiday!