The Philippines is understandably one of Asia’s top tourism countries for its exquisite beaches and breathtaking landscape, but this beautiful country isn’t only about an island in isolation, with no other activities but sun bathing. Tourism has grown significantly in the Philippines due to the cheap accommodations, friendly locals, and the variety of activities that are easily available for tourists to take part in while there.
More than 7000 islands are located in the Philippines, and they offer a range of adventurous activities. Among the numerous islands that the Philippines is known for, Palawan is one of them.
Nothing defines or describes Palawan more than the beautiful water surrounding it. With seascapes uniform to any other in Southeast Asia, it also has a vast abundance of aquatic and wildlife forms. Palawan, the Philippines’ least populated region, is also known to be the most fascinating. Due to its outline – an extended sliver that spans 650km, reaching all the way to Borneo – there is a particularly redeeming logic to travel to Palawan.
The coastline acts as an alternate highway carrying travellers in bangkas between villages known for fishing, friendly townships, and a web of unoccupied islands. The majority of travellers to Palawan go north to Puerto Princesa, El Nido, or Coron town, areas which are famous for snorkeling, island hopping, and diving ventures.
There are around 1,700 islands located in the Palawan area, and their discrete location has allowed for diverse development, and different customs have been handed down from generation to generation all by the word of mouth.
The prime Palawan Island has almost 2,000 km, which is around 1,200 miles of coastline. Rocky caves, islets, and spotless white and sandy beaches can be marked all over.
It is the tradition among the locals to admire nature almost like a deity of worship. Due to this reason, there has often been a trend while the region was undergoing development to reserve the vast areas of forests that fill the mountain ranges. The topmost peak to reach is Mount Mantalingahan, which is around 6,843 feet high.
Palawan Island also experiences an array of climates throughout the year. Torrential rains flood its northern part from July to August, while the east side experiences a few months of dry weather, and the south is practically free from tropical extremes.
Over the years, the weather has been noted as perfect for tourists. The seascapes are some of the best in the world and have attracted thousands of tourists on a yearly basis. The landscape reverberates with the tunes and excitement of over 200 bird species, around 600 types of butterflies, and 1500 plants.
Getting to Palawan
To get to Palawan, you can fly in from Manila to El Nido or Puerto Princesa. Puerto Princesa is the island’s biggest city and visit worthy.
Areas for Island Hopping in Palawan
Considering all of the above, tourists love to island hop through Palawan’s islands. Some of the most famous islands that tourists love to visit and explore are Puerto Princesa, El Nido, and Coron.
Puerto Princesa is a prevalent and popular tourist city in Palawan, with numerous seafood restaurants and beach resorts. It is the second largest city after Davao City. Puerto Princesa has remarkably been acclaimed many times as the greenest and cleanest city in the Philippines. With stunning white, sandy beaches and rivers that extend as far as the eye can see in addition to an underwater cave, Puerto Princesa is becoming a greater option for many tourists worldwide. Puerto Princesa has two island tours; the Dos Palmas Island Day Tour and the Honda Bay tour.
Island hopping is the best thing to do not only in Puerto Princesa, but in the El Nido province as well. El Nido is a first class area in Palawan that is well managed and protected by the government of the Philippines. It is around 238 kilometers (around 148 miles) northeast of Puerto Princesa and 420 kilometres (which is 260 miles) southwest of Manila. A profusion of natural splendor and beauty fills every corner. The underwater world, white sand, hidden caves, and beautiful, luscious water will have you yearning to come back over and over again. The serene yet exciting views will leave you feeling relaxed yet rejuvenated with a feeling of thrill and enthusiasm. El Nido offers four island tours, generally known as Tour A, Tour B, Tour C, and Tour D.
Coron is another spectacular city located in Palawan. It includes the eastern part of Busuanga Island, all of Coron Island, and 50 other trivial islands extending as far as Canipo Island in the South and Tara Island in the northeast. These islands make up the Calamian Archipelago of Northern Palawan, distinguishing the Sulu Sea from the South China Sea. Coron offers three island tours, notably the Culion Tour, the Coron Island Tour, and the Malcapuya Loop Tour.
Tips for Island Hopping
If there are more than 4 to 5 people going with you, hire a private boat. This will make it a lot easier and convenient to travel. You can explore more without fearing the potential loss of a fellow traveler.
Use underwater cases to protect cameras or other gadgets. With all of the water around and movement, it is a good idea to be prepared with proper protection, not only for your body, but also for your possessions, whether their electrical or otherwise.
Bring extra pairs of shoes. This cannot be understated considering the amount of walking that is necessary to get through the islands. Bringing an extra pair of shoes, specifically aqua shoes, is a great idea and can save you from severe foot aches.
The boats will help you get around, but if you want to do some deeper, personal traveling, hire a kayak and have snorkeling gear ready. This way you can look through the coral reefs and other such areas without having to swim back to the spot where your boat is docked each time.
Reserve an island hopping tour beforehand and make sure it includes lunch. This way you can ensure that you don’t miss out on all the famous areas. You can get proper viewing done and have a guide to help you get through it all, with food waiting for you when you’re hungry.