Palawan is one of the most beautiful islands, not just in the Philippines, but in the world. It deserves its title because of the many white sand beaches, lagoons, and other natural attractions it has to offer.
If you are visiting this province, chances are, you are likely considering Puerto Princesa because of the Underground River, Coron for its lakes and lagoons, and El Nido for its white and powdery sand beaches. These are incredible places to visit, especially if it is your first time. However, there are other destinations to add to your itinerary, if you plan to see more of this island.
WHAT'S IN THIS GUIDE?
Balabac is the southernmost island of Palawan and is only approximately 50km north from Sabah. There are various endemic species that thrive and live in this part of the Philippines, some of which include the Philippine cockatoo, grey imperial pigeon, the Philippine mouse deer, and the Palawan hornbill. Its remote location and undeveloped destinations make it a frontier destination for those willing to sacrifice their usual comforts.
Balabac is a group of islands and islets that have beautiful powdery white sand beaches, azure waters, and a diverse underwater ecosystem where you might see turtles and dolphins during your trip. Bugsuk Island is one of the places you can visit. It has a white sand beach and you may also see several mouse deer. Some of the things you can do and see include a Spanish epoch lighthouse, the Balabac fort, and snorkeling spots where you can see beautiful corals.
Other noteworthy destinations in Balabac include Onuk Island, another beach destination with bone, white sand, and clear waters. If you’re lucky, you might see a turtle on the island. Other places to add to your itinerary are Comiran Island, Matangala, Canabungan, and Nasubata just to name a few.
Culion is not as popular as its nearby island, Coron, but it is worth visiting, especially if you have done most, if not all of the island hopping tours of Coron. Culion doesn’t have the same beaches and lagoons, but it is a place that is full of history.
This was the place where leprosy was eliminated in the country; the Culion Lepers’ Colony facilities date to the pre-war period. History buffs will enjoy exploring the town because of the relics of the past which include the La Imaculada Concepcion Church and Fort Culion.
Culion also has a snorkeling spot in Crowning Glory Reef where you get to see different shades of blue, green, yellow, and other colors while you watch a school of fish swim by. The water is clear and shallow enough to get a good look at the underwater ecosystem. The best time to go is during high tide, which enables you to enjoy and spend more time snorkeling.
Palawan has many beautiful beaches, especially in El Nido and Coron; both islands’ attractions are often splashed on magazines and tourism promotions materials. However, outside these two world famous destinations, you can add another beach worth visiting in San Vicente.
It is home to the longest beach in the province. The undeveloped shoreline stretches for 14km, which is longer than the white beach in Boracay. However, the rocky cliffs and formations break what could’ve been a long stretch of paradise into smaller coves. The nearby town is as rustic as you could imagine, with nothing to do after 7pm and with lights out soon after. However, the area might not be as idyllic as it currently is in the near future as talks of developers buying land and plans to commercialize the area and the beach. Visit now to experience nature at its rawest.
If you think Palawan is becoming touristy, a visit to Linapacan, just between Coron and El Nido, will make you change your mind. Linapacan has cerulean, glass-like waters and white sand beaches — characteristics of a perfect island and summer getaway.
Like many other destinations in Palawan, one of the things you can do is snorkeling. There is a marine reserve where you can discover the underwater ecosystem in San Miguel. Once you dive into the waters, you get to see corals in different colors, shapes, and sizes, and other marine life.
Island hopping is another popular activity during your stay. Magransing Island is what you would describe as pristine and untouched by mass tourism. Its sand is blindingly white under the afternoon sun and the waters so clear you can see right through it. There are other attractions you can visit such as the Eli Cave, Dimanglet Island, and Patoyo Island just to name a few.
Despite the fast development of popular destinations in Palawan such as El Nido and Puerto Princesa, the province has many other destinations to visit. The ones listed here are just a handful of the several places waiting to be discovered.