PALAWAN

El Nido Philippines


Prepare to be wowed beyond words by majestic limestone karsts, pristine waters, possibly your best diving and snorkeling experience, natural wonders and a prison without walls, among others. Palawan also hosts a UNESCO Heritage site, the Tubbataha Reef which is undeniably the best dive site in the country and famed throughout the world.

Palawan is more than perfect for honeymooners, not only in pictures but also in experience. Discover a place teeming with incomparable natural wonders combined with extraordinary hospitality. There is simply so much to see in Palawan but let’s focus on the more popular towns of Puerto Princesa, El Nido, Coron and the island-resort of Amanpulo.

Explore Paradise Beaches

El Nido

El Nido exhibits the country’s diversity both in geological and biological aspects. Nacpan Beach, Entulala Island, Hidden Beach, Secret Lagoon Beach, Vigan Island, Matinloc Island, Simizu Island, Marimegmeg Beach, and Seven Commando Beach are the most noteworthy island hopping attractions. Snorkel, sunbathe, swim, or beach bum in paradise to your heart’s content. If you’re looking into factoring romance in your trip, El Nido Resorts offers the best of the best. Sleep over luxury water cottages, relax on a hammock, dip in your private pool, and kayak in calm clear waters. Hollywood celebrities Shay Mitchell, Troian Bellisario and Patrick Adams have high praises for the destination. Jeremy Renner and Rachel Weisz shot the final scene of The Bourne Legacy in El Nido, proclaiming the town a “paradise island” and a “fantasy place”. Aman Resort of Amanpulo is reportedly the most expensive vacation destination in the whole country. Only reachable via private flights, this destination is truly a haven for those seeking exclusivity, privacy, impeccable service, and of course the exotic beauty of Palawan. Hollywood stars Tom Cruise, Jude Law, Robert de Niro, and Sienna Miller have been reported to have visited the resort. In El Nido, the limestone cliffs of Bacuit Bay are frequented by mountain climbers. Cadugnon Cave is an archeological site where relics dating back from the Sung Dynasty were uncovered. Cathedral Cave hosts the edible nests of swiftlets called nido harvested by the locals and thus where this town derived its name from. Small Lagoon and Big Lagoon are favorite attractions for their deep emerald waters, marine life and a “private pool” in the former.

Coron

Coron is situated northeast of Puerto Princesa. Coron Islands’ coastline is home to several beaches, lakes, and lagoons. Almost three quarters of the island are made up of black limestone cliffs cascading down to 13 lakes. There are a number of full day island hopping packages available to tourists, the destinations grouped together based on the islands’ proximity to each other. Banol Beach, CYC Island, Tangat Island, Malcapuya Island, Banana Island, Bulog Beach and Black Island make up the list of typical island hopping destinations though there are more gorgeous islands to explore. Honeymooners will find tranquility, romance and utmost privacy in island resorts from mid-range to high-range choices such as Two Seasons Coron, El Rio y Mar Resort, Mangenguey Island, Club Paradise Palawan and Huma Island Resort and Spa, among others.

Island Hopping Experience

In the capital city of Puerto Princesa alone, island hopping includes Honda Bay’s Snake Island featuring a winding sandbar that slithers about pristine waters, Starfish Island packed with starfishes of different colors and sizes, Pandan Island named so with the abundance of a local plant and where tourists can enjoy snorkeling and fish feeding, and Cowrie Island perfect for sunbathing, lounging and picnicking. Arreceffi Island hosts Dos Palmas resort, an exclusive island resort with top-notch amenities and fun activities.

Enjoy Natural Wonders

The Subterranean River

The Subterranean River or more commonly called Underground River is the longest navigable underground river in the world at 8.2 kilometers. Inside the cave are spectacular formations of stalactites and stalagmites. The Subterranean River is one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature.

Kayangan Lake

Coron boasts of Kayangan Lake dubbed as the cleanest lake throughout the Philippines, Twin Lagoon composed of two seemingly identical lagoons with varying water temperatures due to cold fresh water continuously meeting hot sea water, and Mount Tapyas showcasing a panoramic view of the sea and nearby islands.

Popular Underwater Activities

Tubbataha Reef

Puerto Princesa is the jump-off point for those going on dive trips to Tubbataha Reef. This protected area is home to more than 1000 marine species, many of which are classified as endanged. The site features 2 huge ring-shaped coral reefs, a hundred-meter perpendicular wall, vast lagoons and coral islands serving as a shelter to various marine and bird species. Pambato Reef off Honda Bay also offers an amazing snorkeling experience.

Wreck-Diving Capital of the Philippines

Coron is known as the Wreck-Diving Capital of the Philippines. There are at least 12 shipwrecks to explore; most are Japanese sunken vessels during World War II. Barracuda Lake is one crazy dive, challenging divers to first climb sharp limestone cliffs before descending into the waters of the lake. The dive is unusual due to visible layers of the water. The top layer is freshwater, below that is warm saltwater but gets hotter as divers go deeper into the underwater cave. At 35 meters below sea level, the water turns to tea brown with zero visibility due to the acidity effect of leaves which fall on the lake. Siete Pecados snorkeling site is very popular with its countless varieties of fishes and hard corals.

Dive sites in El Nido

El Nido has more than 30 dive sites showcasing rock formations, tunnels, walls, and a myriad of schools of fish, planktons and marine life. Among the interesting wildlife to be seen are sea cows, manta rays and occasionally, whale sharks as well.

How to get to and around Palawan

To best way to reach Palawan is by air via domestic flights. There are daily flights from Manila to Puerto Princesa, Coron via Busuanga and El Nido. There are also regular flights from Cebu, Clark, and Davao to Puerto Princesa, and from Cebu to Busuanga. Many tourists travel to El Nido from Puerto Princesa on a 5 to 7-hour land trip for much cheaper costs. There is a ferry from Coron to Puerto Princesa and vice versa on weekends but the trip takes 14 hours. You can hire boats to travel between Coron and El Nido on a 7-10 hour journey.

Tour packages are typical in Palawan which would be the most convenient way to visit the attractions. The tours include all land and boat transfers, tour guides, related entrance fees and picnic or buffet lunch. Rickshaws are easily available when getting around town.

Travel Tips

Bring enough cash with you
Allocate at least 3 full days each for Puerto Princesa, Coron and El Nido to be able to experience the highlights of Palawan.
Timing
Allocate at least 3 full days each for Puerto Princesa, Coron and El Nido to be able to experience the highlights of Palawan.
Power outages
Apply mosquito repellent to be safe, especially during the Underground River tour. Make sure to book this tour at least a month ahead as the attraction limits the number of daily guests.
Apply mosquito repellent to be safe
Apply mosquito repellent to be safe, especially during the Underground River tour. Make sure to book this tour at least a month ahead as the attraction limits the number of daily guests.
El Nido
If traveling to El Nido by bus, reserve tickets in advance.
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