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Your guide to Palawan
All About Palawan
The archipelago of Palawan in the southwestern Philippines is known for its outstanding natural beauty, including white-sand beaches, crystal-clear water, rolling hills, steep cliffs, and lively small villages.
While visiting Palawan, you can snorkel near vibrant coral reefs, snack on freshly caught parrotfish and marshmallow-like marang fruit, scuba dive around World War II shipwrecks, and take a shaded snooze on the powder-soft sand. However, not everything in Palawan is about the beach. The area offers historical, cultural, and ecological attractions like Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, and the Tabon Cave Complex, where early human artifacts from 50,000 years ago were discovered.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Palawan
Palawan has warm temperatures all year round, and the biggest weather variance occurs between the dry season and the rainy season. The rainy season, which generally occurs between June and October, ranges from intense afternoon rainfall to non-stop rain for multiple days. Although this can make planning activities a bit tricky, it is still a good time to visit, as there may be more vacation houses to rent. The dry season offers the best weather to take advantage of outdoor activities across the island. However, it does get busy and the demand for apartment rentals may increase dramatically. There are also many festivals held across Palawan throughout the year, which may affect the rates and availability.
Top things to do in Palawan
Located on El Nido Bay around 45 minutes north of the town of El Nido, Nacpan Beach is one of Palawan’s most beautiful beaches. The sparkling golden sand is lined with hundreds of palm trees, while the crystal-clear turquoise water provides a great spot for sunbathing and swimming, and the many cafes and restaurants nearby rent sunbeds and deckchairs. At its southern end, Nacpan Beach meets smaller Calitang Beach — walk up the hill between them for an awe-inspiring vista.
Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park
Designated a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Puerto Princesa underground river flows through an impressive cave system. Within the caves, you’ll find stunning limestone formations, old-growth forests, and unique native wildlife — listen out for bats as you make your way through this otherworldly place dotted with fossils and waterfalls.
The Big Lagoon sits on an island 45 minutes away from El Nido, its dazzling blue water creating a stark contrast against the surrounding limestone cliffs. The lagoon is a popular place to swim, rent a kayak to explore, and spot sea turtles — a common sight in shallower water. The best time to visit is during high tide, due to the sharp coral at the lagoon’s entrance.