Palawan is the Philippines’ last frontier, a largely unexplored and unexploited wonderful scenery
Palawan is an archipelagic province of the Philippines that is located in the region of MIMAROPA. It is the largest province in the country in terms of total area of jurisdiction. Its capital is the city of Puerto Princesa, but the city is governed independently from the province as a highly urbanized city. The islands of Palawan stretch between Mindoro in the northeast and Borneo in the southwest. It lies between the South China Sea and the Sulu Sea. The province is named after its largest island, Palawan Island measuring 450 kilometres. The Palawano and Tagbanwa, are believed to be direct descendants of Palawan’s earliest settlers. They developed an informal form of government, an alphabet, and a system of trading with seafaring merchants. Surviving ancient tribal artwork include reliefs of elephants, sharks, and fish found at Tabon Caves. Approximately 5,000 years ago, a culturally distinct period characterised by jar burials is evident. This era lasted till AD 500. Over 1500 jars and a mural depicting a burial procession were found.
Palawan is the Philippines’ last frontier, a largely unexplored and unexploited province of wonderful scenery and idyllic tropical beauty. Beyond the centres of Coron, El Nido and Puerto Princesa, tourism has yet to penetrate much of this long, sword-shaped island to the southwest of Luzon, and travellers who make it here will find a marvellous Jurassic landscape of coves, beaches, lagoons and razor sharp limestone cliffs that rise from crystal clear water. Offshore, despite some damage from dynamite fishing and coral bleaching, there always seems an untouched reef to discover. Nothing defines Palawan more than the water around it. With seascapes the equal of any in Southeast Asia, and terrestrial and aquatic wildlife, the Philippines’ most sparsely populated region is also the most beguiling. Because of the silhouette of its main island a long sliver stretching 650km all the way to Borneo there’s a certain liberating logic to travel here. Despite becoming something of a travel-media darling in recent years, Thailand style tourists hordes have yet to arrive and the main island’s Amazonian interior remains relatively pristine. That said, the northern towns of El Nido and Coron base camps for adventures in the Bacuit Archipelago and Calamian Islands, respectively are starting to attract big crowds in the high season. Not to fear plucky travellers who venture outside those two hubs have countless places to choose from in their quest for that perfect paradise. How to get there? Although the airport of Puerto Princesa (Palawan’s capital) is now considered an international airport, currently only very few flights fly in from abroad. So the best way to reach Palawan would still be to first fly into a bigger airport in the Philippines most likely through Metro Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport and then take a domestic flight to Palawan. Most domestic flights are affordable, however prices do hike up significantly during peak seasons such as Holy Week, Christmas, and over the summer. If your trip happens to fall on peak season, make sure to book your flight to Palawan as early as possible (it doesn’t help that Palawan is currently one of the top tourist destinations in the country).
Things To See And Do In Palawan? 1st activity. Visit Puerto Princesa Underground River in Sabang. It was declared one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature in 2012 and has been largely responsible for the surge in tourism since then. This, along with Sabang Beach, make for a good day’s worth of adventure. 2nd activity. Visit Port Barton is still quite the hidden gem. If you’re not a fan of crowds, which have become difficult to avoid in Palawan’s more famous destinations, Port Barton might just be the place for you. Island-hop through beaches of solitude, snorkel above turtles, kayak to nearby islets you’ll have all to yourself this serenity is Port Barton. 3rd activity. Visit El Nido’s most famous spots are generally recognized among travel agencies, guides and boat men. El Nido’s top sights are distributed among these tours, of which tours A and C are most popular. Any adjustments to the tours can also be arranged with your guide. Towering limestone rock formations, pristine beaches, and crystalline blue waters El Nido is, in every sense of the word, breathtaking. 4th activity. Visit Coron on the island of Busuanga can be reached by either flying into the island’s airport or by ferry from the ports of Manila, Puerto Princesa, or El Nido. Coron, as is El Nido, is naturally stunning. Landscapes are adorned by distant mountains, karst limestone formations, and cerulean waters. It’s become most famous for Kayangan Lake, said to be the cleanest in the country, and its numerous reefs and WWII shipwrecks which make for astonishing dives. There are also enough dazzling white-sand beaches to pack an itinerary. 5th activity. Visit Balabac group of islands in Southern Palawan. Made up of some 30 islands and islets, this area is home to the province’s untouched tropical gems. Because many of these islands are privately owned, prior arrangements are best off made with their owners or local guides. And because the area’s tourism industry is not all that developed yet, tourists might have a difficult time personally organizing their own trip. For a fuss-free trip, get in touch with a travel agency to arrange a tour.
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