Planning for a Palawan trip anytime soon? Whether you are headed to Puerto Princesa, El Nido, or Coron, each destination has a wealth of attractions you should not miss! We've compiled 30 Palawan tourist spots that we think you should include on your itinerary when you visit Palawan. Get ready to tick them off this bucket list!
1. Puerto Princesa Underground River
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One simply cannot go to Puerto Princesa without having going on a tour of the Underground River. A UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature, it's one of the world's longest underground rivers. The stalactite and stalagmite formations within its caves are stunning and should not be missed.
A usual side trip after the Underground River tour is the Mangrove Paddleboat Tour. Taking place on a river just near the underground river, this guided activity takes you to see Sabang Mangrove Forest and educates you about the environmental importance of the mangroves.
3. Immaculate Conception Cathedral
The Immaculate Conception Cathedral is a beautiful Gothic-inspired church built in 1961. However, its foundation dates back to the late 1800s when it was just a small chapel during the Spanish colonial era.
Found just near the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, this park is more than just a patch of green in the city. Within its gates lies what remains of an old garrison and a tunnel which is the site of the infamous Palawan Massacre during World War II—around 150 American soldiers, who were trying to escape through the tunnel, were burned to death by Japanese soldiers.
5. Sabang Beach
While Sabang Beach serves as the port for boats that can take you to the Underground River entrance, it's also a beach that is worth visiting. Featuring a long shoreline that is dotted with restaurants and resorts, it's also a nice place to get your dose of sun, sand, and sea.
Puerto Princesa proves through Honda Bay that it's more than just city sights. Through an island-hopping tour, tourists can visit its numerous islands, which are all unique and different from each other. Luli Island, Starfish, Island, and Cowrie Island are just some of the usual stops for the tour.
This is not just your usual river. At night, it transforms into a magical and enchanting place, thanks to the fireflies in the mangrove trees which illuminate the entire place. If you want to witness this amazing sight for yourself, make sure to sign up for the Iwahig River Firefly Watching Tour.
8. Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center
Animal lovers are sure to have a blast at Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center. It is where Palawan Crocodile Farm is located, which not only serves as the home of various crocodile species, but is also a research center that educates visitors about these creatures. Aside from the crocodile farm, aviaries featuring various species of birds are also found all around the area.
Baker's Hill is a well-known pasalubong store in Puerto Princesa, selling various pastries and cakes. Tourists who visited Puerto Princesa almost always have one or two boxes of their homemade hopia in their carry-ons when they go home. However, with plenty of Instagram-worthy spots such as a mini zoo and a collection of life-sized cartoon statues, it proves that it's more than just a pasalubong stop.
Nature and adventure come together at Ugong Rock, and if you're a fan of both, then it's one experience that you shouldn't pass on. Ugong Rock is a 75-feet tall rock formation sitting amidst the city's lush forests. Here you'll find Ugong Rock Adventures, which offers various thrills such as spelunking tours at the rock's cave as well as zipline and bike zipline rides.
11. Dos Palmas Island Resort
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At this resort located on a private island on the coast of Honda Bay, you'll get a glimpse of a luxurious paradise. Sign up for a day tour so you can dip your toes in the magnificent waters of the white sand beaches on the island and gain access to the resort's wealth of recreational facilities.
Support Puerto Princesa's local artisans by buying some of the handicrafts sold at Binuatan's Creations. When you visit, you will not only get to see the weavers in action, but you'll also get to try the craft for yourself.
14. Secret Lagoon
Literally one of Miniloc Island's best-kept secrets, this small lagoon is hidden by massive karst cliffs. You'll crawl through a small hole to get through and once you're inside, you'll discover a stunning lagoon with cool, blue waters.
15. Big and Small Lagoons
The Big and Small Lagoons are staples in El Nido's Tour A itinerary. Surrounded by limestone cliffs, both lagoons feature crystal clear waters which make them perfect for swimming and snorkeling. You can also rent kayaks and paddle along the surface.
16. Shimizu Island
Named after a late Japanese scuba diver, it's one of the best snorkeling spots in El Nido. Through its crystal-clear waters, one can discover an abundant reef inhabited by the corals and various fishes.
With a long stretch of fine white sand, 7 Commandos Beach is an absolute haven for beach bums who not only want to take a dip or snorkel in the turquoise waters, but also want to take a rest, sunbathe, and play along the shore.
18. Cudugnon and Cathedral Caves
El Nido's Tour B is all about caves and coves and part of the itinerary is the Cudugnon and Cathedral Caves. Cudugnon Cave has beautiful limestone formations, but more importantly, its archaeological and historical significance as a dwelling for Palawan's ancient dwellers makes it worth visiting. To enter the cave, you'll have to crawl through a small opening so be extra careful. On the other hand, Cathedral Cave is best admired from afar. It's named as such because the tall limestone walls that surround the opening make it look like a cathedral.
Don't be alarmed—it's not an island full of snakes. It's actually a beautiful sandbar strip that snakes along the coast in the shape of an S. Feel free to strike a pose on the white sand shore or climb up the view deck to get a bird's eye of the entire place.
Located on the remote yet stunning Matinloc Island, this abandoned shrine is built in honor of the Our Lady of Matinloc. However, the place is not just for the religious but also for adventurers. There's a jagged cliff you can climb to give you a great view of the island.
The soft white sand that lines the shore of this island make it one of the usual lunch stops during tours. Aside from enjoying a picnic on the sand, tourists also highly recommend going on a swim in its turquoise waters and snorkeling to see the island's magnificent corals and fishes.
The twin beaches of Nacpan and Calitang are the only beaches you can visit by land. Said to be two of the best beaches in El Nido, they can be reached via a tricycle or motorcycle ride. Nacpan boasts a 4-kilometer shoreline lined with soft golden sand. Meanwhile, Calitang has a shorter shoreline albeit dotted with white sand. On the bend where these twin beaches meet, there's a small hill where you can get sweeping views of the beaches.
23. Kayangan Lake
Blessed with clear waters perfect for swimming, Kayangan Lake is dubbed as the "cleanest lake in the Philippines." It is bordered by tall limestone formations and if you want a view of the entire place, you can just climb up a 300-step hill for a picture-perfect view.
24. Barracuda Lake
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Not far from Kayangan Lake is Barracude Lake, one of the island's renowned scuba diving spots. The waters of the lake is a combination of freshwater and saltwater, which is why divers will experience temperature shifts from cold to hot at the thermocline.
The best of Coron's marine life can be discovered at Siete Picados Marine Park. Beyond its cool and clear waters lies a bounty of corals and tropical fishes you can only discover through snorkeling. Of course, the 7 limestone formations after which the place was named are also worth checking out.
26. CYC Beach
CYC Beach is one of the white sand beaches of Coron. CYC stands for "Coron Youth Club." The beach is characterized for its crystal clear waters and its mangrove trees.
27. Calauit Safari Park
Calauit Safari Park will remind you of an African safari with all the wild animals roaming freely about. Established in 1976 by the late President Marcos, the park is home to many wild animals such as giraffes, zebras, antelopes and even animals endemic to the area such as the Calamian deer.
Mt. Tapyas is the second highest peak in Coron. At the summit is a large imposing steel cross from where you can enjoy gorgeous views of the town and the bay. To get there, you'll have to climb up a paved stairway composed of over 700 steps.
If you want to take a break from wading in the cool waters of the sea and relax in warm therapeutic waters instead, Maquinit Hot Spring is for you. Unlike usual hot springs of freshwater, Maquinit is a natural saltwater hot spring and is actually one of the few in the entire world.
Culion's La Immaculada Concepcion Parish used to be a Spanish fortress during the colonial times but in 1933, Jesuit priests transformed it into a church. Nestled atop some rocks, it's a nice spot to watch the sunrise.