5+ Best Things To Do In Palawan, Philippines

Finding 5 things to do in Palawan Philippines wasn't hard, considering it was voted the world's best island three years in a row, there is an abundance of fun to be had there.

Experiencing the best that the Philippines has to offer isn't difficult when in Palawan, the rustic local culture and friendly people create the perfect recipe for a great vacation. 

As you walk along the peaceful beaches, sip on ice-cold beers, devour flavoursome Filipino food and take in the exquisite waterfalls, you will think you're in paradise. 

What more needs to be said about this magnificent island? Book your trip and consider adding one of these 5 activities or attractions to your itinerary. 

  • Population: 1.1 million
  • Currency: PHP
  • When To Go: Oct - May 

5. Underground River

The Puerto Princessa Subterranean National Park is one of the most famous places to visit and explore while you are in Palawan. It is a UNESCO Heritage site (declared in 1999) and includes some of the more important forests systems in the country as well as several cave systems that have diverse inhabitants in the form of flora and fauna.

The length of the underground river is a little over eight (8) kilometers. Despite being well-known, tours are organised well and tours are limited daily to protect the area and ensure that there is order.

Knowledgeable and trained individuals will guide you from the area where you start off with a short walk (well, short for some but maybe a bit long for others!) The walk around the forest will end in the area where the boats are moored.

Safety gear, such as vest and helmets are provided for everybody and one is required to don them, whether or not you know how to swim.

4. Island Hopping

Island hopping may sound like just a typical thing to do in a tropic country like the Philippines BUT you will be amazed at the number of islands that you can go down on and sunbathe or explore. Some islands are large while others are just the right size.

Snorkeling, cliff jumping, sunbathing and scuba diving are just some of the activities that you can do while hopping from one island to another.

Special mention islands include Starfish Island where innumerable starfish and shells wash up to its shore ready for an Instagram worthy picture. Some resorts request an entrance fee for a day visit while most islands are free to just sit back on and relax.

3. Scuba Diving

Another typical activity in most tropical countries BUT you can do this in a UNESCO Heritage site which is Tubbataha Reef. Declared as a UNESCO Heritage site in 1993, this reef is a melting pot of marine life not just underwater but also for birds as well.

It boasts as one of the world's oldest ecosystems and covers almost 100 ha. Aside from This protected area, there are other dive sites which cater to beginner divers and professional divers. Wreck diving is another popular activity in Palawan.

2. Spelunking

Explore Tabon Cave where fossilized remains of prehistoric individuals where discovered in the early 1960's. Aside from the humanoid remains, tools and other items used by different individuals were also discovered in different levels of the cave complex.

There are other noteworthy caves in the island which are unique and worthy of a visit such as the caves in and around Ugong Rock.

1. Cliff Climbing

Palawan island is home to several limestone formations, specifically cliffs. These jagged cliffs are home to birds that produce the base of bid's nest soup. Locals often go up the steep, practically vertical cliffs (sometimes on flexible bamboo ladders or rope ladders) to harvest the bird's nests and sell them.

The dangerous activity has attracted several adventurous visitors and it has become one of the attractions of the area. The government supervised activity utilizes the lass hazardous cliff climbs and cater to the more adventurous visitors.

How To Get To Palawan?

Getting to Palawan is quite straight forward with direct flights from Melbourne and Sydney to Manila and then a domestic flight to Puerto Princessa. This is the only major airport that jets can land with a one hour flight from the capital.

You can find smaller airlines such as Air Swift operate flights to El Nido and Coron airport which is where most tourists end up going. These flights usually cost around $150 per person per flight and include 20kg of baggage and a small carry on bag. Flights leave from Manila domestic airport. 

You can take a long coach service or taxi from Puerto Princessa airport up to El Nido although the journey can take up to 10 hours. Coron is even further and requires a boat trip as well. The roads aren't great and while Palawan is beautiful, getting to these two places is quite time consuming. 

Kirsty Scott