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Palawan Island: Planning Your Dream Vacation

Updated: Mar 13, 2023

Cauayan Island Resort, El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

It is often described as one of the most beautiful islands in the world. With its crystal-clear waters, powdery white sand beaches, limestone cliffs, and lush jungles, Palawan is a nature lover's paradise.


Palawan Island is located in the western part of the Philippines, in the MIMAROPA region. It is the largest province in the country, comprising the main Palawan Island as well as other smaller islands and islets.

Culture and History

Palawan Island is home to a rich and diverse culture and history,

The island has been inhabited for thousands of years by various indigenous groups, including the Tagbanua, Batak, and Palawano. The Tagbanua are the largest indigenous group in Palawan and are known for their intricate weaving and basketry, while the Batak are skilled hunters and gatherers. The Palawano, on the other hand, are known for their unique and complex belief system that includes animism and ancestor worship.

The island's culture is reflected in its traditional practices, such as the Tagbanua tribe's art of tattooing, and the Cuyunon people's unique dances and music. Visitors can also explore historical sites, such as the Spanish fortress of Cuyo and the World War II Museum in the capital city of Puerto Princesa. The island's history and culture make it a fascinating destination for those interested in learning about the Philippines' past and present.


Palawan has a tropical climate with two distinct seasons: the dry season (November to April) and the rainy season (May to October). The temperature is usually between 25°C to 32°C, and the humidity can be high throughout the year. During the dry season, the weather is generally sunny, with clear blue skies and calm seas, making it the best time to visit for outdoor activities. The rainy season, on the other hand, brings occasional heavy downpours, and the sea can be rough, causing some tours and activities to be canceled.


Palawan has three main airports: Puerto Princesa International Airport (PPS), which is the largest and most frequently used airport in Palawan, El Nido Airport (ENI), and Francisco B. Reyes Airport (USU), also known as Busuanga Airport, serves the Calamian Islands. These airports offer connections to major cities in the Philippines, such as Manila and Cebu, as well as some international destinations. Visitors can fly into any of these airports to begin their Palawan adventure. Check out these low-cost flights.


Palawan has many popular areas to stay, but some of the most well-known are Puerto Princesa, El Nido, and Coron. Puerto Princesa is the largest city in Palawan and offers a range of accommodations, from budget to luxury. El Nido is a popular tourist destination, known for its stunning beaches and clear waters. There are many resorts and accommodations in El Nido, but it's important to book early as it's a busy area. Finally, Coron is another popular destination, offering a mix of accommodations and stunning natural attractions. For the greatest options, see here.


Palawan offers various transportation options for tourists to get around the island, from tricycles and jeepneys to buses, vans, and boats.

Tricycles are the most common mode of transportation in Palawan. These are three-wheeled motorcycles with a sidecar that can fit up to four people. Tricycles are best for short trips within towns and cities.

Jeepneys are another popular mode of transportation in Palawan. These are modified jeeps that can fit up to 20 passengers. Jeepneys follow a set route and are a good option for getting around towns and cities.

Buses and vans are also available for longer trips around Palawan. They are air-conditioned and more comfortable than tricycles and jeepneys.

Boats are used to reach the more remote islands and beaches in Palawan. Island-hopping tours are a popular activity and usually involve renting a private boat or joining a tour group.

Car and motorcycle rentals are also available, but it's important to note that driving in Palawan can be challenging due to poor road conditions and heavy traffic in some areas. It's recommended to rent a car or motorcycle only if you have experience driving in these conditions.

Overall, Palawan offers a variety of transportation options to suit any traveler's needs and budget.


Palawan is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The island boasts crystal-clear waters, soft white sand, and diverse marine life, making it a perfect destination for beach lovers. Some of the most popular beaches in Palawan include El Nido, Nacpan, Port Barton, and Coron. Each beach offers something unique and different, from the limestone cliffs and lagoons of El Nido to the calm and peaceful shores of Port Barton. Whether you're looking for a relaxing getaway or an adventure-packed vacation, Palawan's beaches have something for everyone.

A panoramic view of Nacpan Beach, showing its clear turquoise water, white sand, and tall coconut trees against a backdrop of green hills and blue skies
Nacpan Beach, El Nido, Philippines

Food and drink

Palawan is a food lover's paradise, offering a wide variety of culinary options that cater to all tastes and budgets. Some must-try local dishes include chicken adobo, kinilaw (a type of ceviche), and tamilok (a woodworm delicacy). Seafood is also plentiful and fresh, and you can enjoy it grilled, fried, or cooked in a variety of ways. For drinks, fresh fruit shakes and coconut juice are popular choices. You can also find a range of bars and restaurants serving cocktails and other alcoholic beverages. Keep in mind that tap water is not potable, so it is recommended to stick to bottled water or bring your own water filtration system.


Palawan is not known for its nightlife compared to other popular tourist destinations in the Philippines. However, there are still some places where tourists can experience the local nightlife scene. Puerto Princesa, the capital city of Palawan, has a few bars and nightclubs that stay open late, especially on weekends. El Nido also has a few bars that offer live music and beach parties. However, the nightlife in Palawan is generally low-key and more focused on relaxing activities like stargazing, bonfires, and sunset watching.

In conclusion, Palawan Island is a breathtaking paradise with its stunning natural wonders, rich culture and history, delicious food and drink, affordable prices, and a variety of activities such as island hopping, diving, and hiking, Palawan is a must-visit destination for travelers seeking an unforgettable experience. Whether you want to unwind on pristine beaches, explore hidden lagoons, or discover new cultures and traditions, Palawan has something to offer everyone. The island's unique blend of nature and culture is sure to leave a lasting impression and create cherished memories for any visitor.


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