Ready for a swim?
photo by George Parrilla

Palawan is an island province of the Philippines. The provincial capital is Puerto Princesa and it is the largest province in terms of land area.

It is one of the few places left in the archipelago that have not been `logged-out'.

The most common local language is Cebuano, but many speak English and a group of ex-patriate Swiss operate a shortwave radio network using swiss-German.


The island of Palawan stretches from Mindoro to Borneo in the southwest. It lies between the South China Sea in the northwest and Sulu Sea in the southeast.

Other destinations

  • Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park

Traveling around

The roads are currently being improved all over the islands. However the bus journey from Puerto Princesa to El Nido still takes 7 hours with the express van.

From El Nido to Coron (or vice versa) there are two options, since the direct airlink was removed in January 2009. Either 8 hour (132km) open sea boat ride or ITI flight to Manila and then another flight to Busuanga (Coron). No other options exist.

Sabang and The Underground River National Park is the #1 tourist destination on Palawan.

From Puerto Princesa catch a trike or mini-bus to the New Market Jeepney Terminal in San Jose. At the terminal, catch the next Jeepney or Bus to Sabang. In Sabang, you'll be greeted by commissioners who will show you to the resort of your choice. I recommend you look at the cheapest cottages first. The Blue Bamboo Resort offers private native style cottages with a panoramic view starting at P350/night. Sabang is a great place to enjoy nature and to get acquainted with local customs.

From Sabang go by charter boat to Coconut Garden Island Resort, Port Barton and El Nido. The voyage is very scenic and remote. It takes 3 hrs to Coconut Garden, or 4 hrs to Port Barton, and 7-9 hours straight to El Nido. Some boats offer Bay Trolling along the way with the chance to catch and eat some incredible fish. A 1-2 night stop-over at Coconut Garden or Port Barton is highly recommended. These voyages is for the young and adventurous, and not recommended for children.


  • Tabon Caves Located in Quezon, Palawan. The Caves were the discovery site of the skull cap remains of the Tabon Man estmated to be 22,000 years old. Explore its 138 hectares of rugged cliffs and deep slopes and breathtaking sea view.


Puerto Princesa to New Market Jeepney Terminal in San Jose - (15 min. by Trike - P60, or min-bus - P12)

San Jose Terminal - Sabang - 3 hrs. by Jeepney - P150

Sabang to Underground River - 20 min. by Park Ferry Service Bangka - P300 - or - 2 hrs. by hiking the Monkey trail - P200

Sabang to Coconut Garden Island Resort - 3 hrs. by Charter Boat - P1,100

Sabang to Port Barton - 4 hrs. by Charter Boat - P1,200

Sabang to El Nido - 7-9 hrs. by Charter Boat - P2,300

Coconut Garden Island Resort to El Nido - 4-6 hrs by Charter Boat - P1,200

Port Barton to El Nido - 5-6 hrs. by Charter Boat - P1,300

Same applies in reverse by Charter Boat. - (El Nido to Port Barton to Coconut Garden to Sabang)


  • KaLui Restaurant, 369 Rizal Avenue, Puerto Princesa City, (048)433-2580. Meals cost around $7 USD per person. Often rated as one of the best restaurants in Palawan, go for the fresh catch of the day set meal.

  • Badjao Seafront Restaurant, Abueg Sr. Road, Bgy. Bagong Sikat, (048)433-9912. Great seafood with views facing the water.


  • Kinabuchs bar and grill, Rizal Ave. Open air bar very popular with locals and tourists alike but tends to get crowded on weekends. Grilled chicken is cheap and excellent.

  • Tom Tom Club, just off Manalo Street (Manalo Extension). A Garden Restaurant/Music Bar owned by a German and his Filipina wife. Very nice place for a meal (steaks are famous) and some good company. From time to time there is live music. Open daily from 4PM (closed on Thursday).


Caramay its a small village on the east coast of Palawan,most of the inhabitants are farmers or fishermen.It is 107 kilometres north of the city Puerto Princesa. Caramay is a starting point to hike to the Batak tribes who live high in the mountains above Caramay. Caramay has a 3 kilometre long white sandy beach, with the name Tabyuobeach. From here it's possible to rent a motorbanca to go island-hopping on the many islands in Green Island Bay; some of the islands are marine protected areas and are exellent for snorkeling. On Tabuyobeach there are a few cottages available for rent to stay overnight.

  • Puerto Princesa - the island's administrative capital

  • Quezon - It is where the Tabon man lived a long time ago. Some referred to Tabon Cave as the cradle of philippine civilization.

  • Pamalican - an exclusive resort on a private island

  • Busuanga

  • Calauit - game preserve and wildlife sanctuary

  • Coron - wreck diving

  • El Nido - limestone cliffs, lagoons, beautiful beaches

  • Port Barton - a truly laid-back coastal getaway with a great beach

  • Sabang - town with a long underground river in the National Park

  • Aborlan - a rural university town

  • San Vicente - town on the northwest edge of palawan island, consisting of several barangays and islands. It has one of the longest beaches in the world, the cream-coloured "long beach" which is 14km long and at some places up to 80m wide.

Get in/out

From Manila, you can reach Palawan by ferry and by plane.

Philippine Airlines has regular flights to the capital, Puerto Princesa. Seair flies to Busuanga, Coron, and El Nido three times a week. Island Trans-Voyager Inc flies to El Nido twice daily.

Contact & location

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The photos displayed on this page are the property of one of the following authors:

George Parrilla, Moody 75, Shubert Ciencia, Haundreis, bingbing, Guido G, eric molina

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This travel guide also includes text from Wikitravel articles, all available at WikitravelView full credits

Stefan ErtmannRoyjen, Peter Fitzgerald, Robert Respicio, David, Fergus Macdonald, Ramil G. Austria, Gaimhreadhan O'Coileain, Tom Holland and Todd VerBeek, Tatatabot, Inas, Tensaibuta, PhilippInfo, Petska, Rgtanjuakio and Idril

This travel guide also includes text from Wikipedia articles, all available at WikipediaView full credits

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