• Menu
  • Menu
Der Secret Lagoon Strand in El Nido, Bild: R.M. Nunes / shutterstock

Palawan – the fantastic island paradise of the Philippines

The paradisiacal island of Palawan is one of the most beautiful islands in the world. Bizarre rock formations, dreamlike, fine sand, white beaches, hidden lagoons, turquoise blue water and a unique flora and fauna, as well as a fascinating underwater world characterize this exotic island paradise. A large part of the island’s area is designated as a protected area and since 1991 the entire island has been a designated biosphere reserve. Away from the main towns such as El Nido, Puerto Princesa and Coron Town, Palawan is very original and sparsely populated. Accordingly, the island, which is inhabited by indigenous peoples, is an attraction for adventurers, explorers, water sports enthusiasts and nature lovers.

Location and Arrival

Also known as “the last frontier”, Palawan is the westernmost island of the Philippines. Puerto Princesa is the capital of the unique island paradise, which is only partially developed for tourism. The journey to Palawan is possible by plane, as there are airports on the island in Puerto Princesa, Busuanga, El Nido and San Vincente. Cheap flights to Palawan depart from Manila.

On the elongated island between the South China Sea and the Sulu Sea, it is recommended to get around by car, because the towns are relatively far apart on the 450 km long and about 40 km wide island. The smaller islands belonging to Palawan, which are largely uninhabited, can be reached by boat or ferry.

Palawan’s must-see places

Coron, Palawan
Relax and enjoy the day on Coron Island, Image: Phuong D. Nguyen / shutterstock

There are no big cities on Palawan, but there are some beautiful towns and villages that are embedded in the breathtakingly beautiful natural landscape of Palawan.

Puerto Princesa – the capital and port city worth seeing

Puerto Princesa is the first port of call on the island for many travelers, as it is the busiest airport on the island. The lively town not only offers good shopping opportunities and attractive restaurants, but it is also worth strolling along the Bay Walk. In Puerto Princesa there is also the possibility to ride in the dark on a boat through the mangrove forests, where countless fireflies cavort. Firefly watching is accordingly an experience in itself and incredibly romantic. A trip from Puerto Princesa to Hondy Bay is also a good idea, because not only are there three islands worth seeing here, but also a lot of starfish live here.

El Nido – the most famous holiday resort in Palawan

Situated along an emerald lagoon, El Nido nestles between rugged cliffs and white sandy beaches in the natural landscape of Palawan. The popular holiday resort is characterised by luxurious resorts, numerous restaurants and many small shops that line up along the lively alleys and invite you to go on a little shopping spree. El Nido is so beautiful that it almost seems unreal. In addition, tours to the offshore islands are offered from El Nido and hardly any other place on the island attracts as many visitors as El Nido.

Port Barton – the charming fishing village

Port Barton inspires with its pleasant atmosphere and beautiful beaches. Although the place is one of the most visited on the island, you can never speak of mass tourism here. Accordingly, the place has retained its original charm, because neither luxury hotels nor any tourist attractions can be found here. In return, the place offers a heavenly peace and the opportunity to get to know the simple life of the fishermen better and to taste truly authentic food, because the inhabitants of Port Barton are warm and particularly hospitable.

Coron Town – charming village on Busuanga

Accessible by ferry from El Nido, Coron Town is one of the places with an airport, but it is still more of a small and charming fishing village. Nevertheless, the visit is worthwhile, because embedded in the beautiful nature of the island of Busuanga, the place attracts not only with a good tourist infrastructure, but also with authentic markets.

Sabang – authentic village and beautiful nature reserve

A good 2 hours by car from Puerto Princess are the village and nature reserve Sabang. The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River located here is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Numerous caves, beautiful beaches and untouched wilderness characterize the protected area, so that Palawan can be enjoyed here from its original side.

The most beautiful beaches in Palawan

Palawan is home to the most beautiful beaches in the Philippines. Lonely bays, dreamlike lagoons and turquoise water invite you to relax, sunbathe, swim and dive.

Long Beach (San Vincente)

A good two hours’ drive from Port Barton is Long Beach. It is the longest beach in the Philippines. The white sandy beach, lined with palm trees, immediately gives rise to holiday feelings. There is no shortage of space here, as Long Beach is a bit away from the island’s well-known places, so it attracts few tourists.

El Nidos Beaches

El Nido, Philippines
El Nido on the island of Palawan, Image: R.M. Nunes / shutterstock

Around El Nido there are fantastic beaches. Although El Nido is a popular holiday resort, the beaches are not overcrowded and there are also numerous small bays where you can enjoy the whole day alone. The most famous beach is Corong-Corong Beach or Marimagmeg Beach, which is one of the most beautiful beaches in the island paradise.

The beaches near Sabang

The enchanting beaches around the small fishing village of Sabang are also popular. Here you will find mostly individual tourists and so the beaches are by no means overcrowded. The beaches here look much more like something out of a picture book and thanks to the naturally grown palm trees, there is always a shady spot to spend a day by the sea.