The Complete
Palawan Adventure
Travel Guide

The Complete Palawan Adventure Travel Guide

Welcome to Palawan “The Last Frontier”

(population: 982,500+ as of 2020)

Local Language: Cuyonon, and other varieties of Visayan languages

Welcome to Palawan “The Last Frontier”

(population: 982,500+ as of 2020)

Local Language: Cuyonon, and other varieties of the Visayan languages

This article may contain affiliate / compensated links. For full information, please see our disclaimer.

Palawan is known for its turquoise waters, white-sand beaches, emerald forests, golden fields, and radiant coral. 

Palawan, the largest of 1,768 islands that make up the province of the same name, is dubbed the “last frontier” because of its location on the southwestern edge of the Philippine archipelago, not far from Borneo. Covering approximately  14,000 square kilometer  stretching 8 to 40 kilometres across, the island consists of a 425-kilometre-long mountain range (highest peak 2,085 metres above sea level) and plains covering about 118,350 hectares.

Local Language and Culture

Palawan is the home to several indigenous ethnolinguistic groups such as the Tagbanua, Palaw’an, Tao’t Bato, Molbog, Batak, Agutaynen, and Cuyonon with their ancestors that could be traced back to the ancient migrants and traders who settled down in the near mountains and coastal areas.

Cuyonon is considered the native language in this province which is closely related to the Kinaray-a of Miag-ao in Iloilo province aside from the more prestigious Tagalog that has risen in use. Like most Filipinos, locals are known to be extremely hospitable, sensitive and often avoid confrontations wherein even the word ‘no’ is used sparingly. 

Best Time to Go to Palawan


Like most tourist destinations in the country, Palawan is considered as one of the safest and most tourist-friendly places in the Philippines.  Unlike the rest of the Philippines, Palawan isn’t located on the Pacific Ring of Fire which means it doesn’t have any active volcanoes, no active fault lines nor deep trenches, and is basically earthquake-free.

5-day Forecast in Puerto Princesa

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When it comes to typhoons which are one of the hindrances when enjoying your trip, Palawan is often spared from strong typhoons even during the height of the monsoon season based on an average of 20 typhoons that pass by the country on a yearly basis.

  • Since the Philippines only has two seasons, the best time to go to Palawan and its destinations is during the dry summer season which is from November to May.
  • March to April are the warmest months
  • November to February have the lowest degrees but are still dry.

However, this is also considered as the peak season since most locals prefer to go to islands and beaches during this time.

Local Festivals

Beautiful festivities begin with thankfulness and prosperity. Celebrations among different cities, municipalities, and provinces is everywhere in the Philippines. One town/city has its own festival to celebrate its town patron saints and bountifulness.

Tarek Festival (Aborian Town)

Celebrated on the 3rd week of January on the days of the full moon by the indigenous people of Tagbanuas and Batak. The festival is able to showcase the culture and history of the different tribes of the town. Different activities are prepared in celebration but one considered to be the Main Event is the ritualistic dances prepared by different tribes each one having their own cultural presentation.

Arawedan Festival (Port Barton, San Vicente)

The festival held from the 23rd to the 24th of January a celebration of the people of the town organized with cultural activities and events for the tourist attractions. This activity ranges from the usual dances and showdowns to the contest of mouth-watering delicacies that each one has to offer and the street-parade with everyone in different costumes. “Arawedan” is a Cuyono word that means holding together.

Founding Anniversary of the Bataraza Town (Bataraza)

The anniversary is held from the 3rd of January up to the 30th in accordance with the Anniversary of the town. Exciting events are lined up in honor of the celebration like the street parades, the trades and fairs, and the showdowns.

Love Affair With Nature (Puerto Princesa)

Held on Valentine’s Day a celebration for the reforestation of the Mangroves. It is a way of expressing love for Mother Nature. On this yearly celebration, Mangrove plants are planted as a way to restore the damaged and degraded mangrove zones and areas. It gives awareness and sends a message to the people of Palawan on the importance of Mangroves on the ecological system Aside from the Mangrove planting other activities are also available like the environmental quiz bees, film showings, street dances, and other beach events.

Puerto Princesa City Foundation Day (Puerto Princesa)

From the 4th to the 10th of March, all the people of Puerto Princesa celebrate the founding anniversary of the City. A mixture of events are available and lined up each having its own cultural and historical aspects. The events highlighted are the colorful-parades of floral, street dancing, and tree plantings activities.

Kulambo Festival (El Nido)

An annual celebration is done from the 15th to the 18th of March with various activities such as Street Dancing, Parades, and show-offs of the local delicacies. What highlights this entire festival is the people of the town dressing up in “Kulambo” otherwise known as a mosquito net.

Kaniyogan Festival (Narra &Brooke’s Point)

On the 19th of March, this festival is aiming to promote and continue to preserve the different products that the “tree of life” has to offer. “Kaniyogan” is a term better known as the coconut plantations that are abundant and present in the town. Activities such as street dancing, parades, trade fairs, and beauty pageant are also available during the festival.

Pangalipay sa Baybay Festival (Baywalk, Puerto Princesa City)

On the 1st week of April specifically on the 10th of April, the festival celebrated on the bay walk area of the shore of Puerto Princesa is held as a massive summer extravaganza. A whole variety of activities are held during the event starting with the fireworks display and a parade to kick off the start of the festival. A daily clean-up of the coast of the Baywalk is done and everyone is rewarded with the events that are lined up such as street dancings, sports activities, dance, and modeling competitions.

Kamarikutan Pagdiwata Arts Festival (Galeri, Puerto Princesa City)

A week-long celebration on the full moon of the month of April that features the different forms of arts present in the city. Activities involving arts are available such as workshops for different arts, media, music, and paintings. Art exhibits, forums, and film showings add to the excitement of the festival.

Seafood Festival (Puerto Princesa City)

A celebration of the blessings of the ocean done on the 3rd week of April, it showcases the taste of the famous and known specialty of Palawan which is Seafood. Restaurants in the city prepare varying dishes involving seafood cuisines and delicacies as well as the delights of the city.

Karagatan Festival (Puerto Princesa)

On the 1st week of May, this festival is celebrated in accordance with the month of the ocean. It showcases the relationship of man to the sea. With the festival being located on the different beaches available at the city’s west coast a lot of fun and adventurous events are lined up as well as the annual coastal clean-up.

Pasinggatan Festival (Taytay)

A festival held on the 1st of May lasting until the 4th that aims to bring out the best in everyone may it be on their talents or their unique personalities. The festival is derived from the word “Singagat” meaning to shine.

Panalimanan Festival (Roxas)

From the 1st to the 15th of May, this festival is held in commemoration and in accordance with the day of the foundation of the entire municipality. The festival allows the people a glimpse of the beautiful convergence of the eco-tourism of Palawan.

Kalugta’n Arts Festival (El Nido)

It is a way of celebrating the traditional Earth Day in a Philippine fashion by coastal trails, cliffs, and canal clean ups. Everyone in town gives a hand on the clean ups even the guests that come into town.

Manunggul Festival (Quezon)

An annual celebration on the 15th of May as a way of promoting and preserving harmony and unity among the people of the town.

Kalabukay Festival (Dumaran)

This festival is done in celebration of the founding day and anniversary of the Municipality starting from the 14th to the 18th of June. It is also a way of preserving the forests of Dumaran in which the last of the “Kalabukay” remains. A Kalabukay is the word on Cuyonon referring to the Philippine Cockatoo or “katala” which is an endangered species of bird found only in the Philippines.

Malagnang Festival (San Vicente)

In celebration of the Municipality’s Foundation Day on the 21st of June. It gives a glimpse of the history of the people’s unrivaled ingenuity. The highlights of the festival are the events on which mud is involved with the term “Malagnang” a Cuyono word which means muddy in accordance with the muddy soil spread across the town.

Baragatan Festival

One of the biggest festivals celebrated in Palawan on the 3rd week of June. The name of the festival is a Cuyono word that pertains to “beggar”. The term “beggar” refers to the gathering of various people all from different municipalities bringing their own culture and traditions through fairs, parades, showdowns, and competitions.

Feast of the Forest (Puerto Princesa City)

A celebration on the 3rd week of June where people celebrate the feast of the forest. It is the people’s way of giving back to Mother Nature through different activities such as planting various species of trees in the denuded parts of the forests. It’s a way of continuously preserving the forests of the city.

Kasadyaan Festival (Coron)

On the 28th of August, the celebration is held as a way of thanksgiving for the abundance and blessings from the Patron Saint of the town, San Agustin. Many activities are lined up in celebration such as cultural events, showdowns, sports activities, and parades.

Purongiton Festival (Cuyo)

One of the most unique and astounding festivals that are annually held in Palawan. The Ati street dance is being performed by the revelers who are covered in Soot. During the dance, the drumbeats can be heard as well as the shouting of Viva Agustin with the festival coinciding with the feast celebrated for the town’s Patron Saint, San Agustin.

Light a Tree Festival (Puerto Princesa)

This festival is the beginning of a seasonal change and transformation. It’s a preparation for the Christmas Holidays as decorations are being put up as well as the giant Christmas Tree.

Mayor Hagedorn “Lighting the Giant Christmas Tree and City Fiesta” (Puerto Princesa)

The festival is done on the 8th of May as a feast of the Immaculate Conception Of Mary. The whole festival continues until the Christmas Season with activities such as cultural presentations, trade fairs, fireworks, and the lighting of the Christmas.

Pagdiwata Ritual Festival (Aborlan)

The festival takes place during the full moon cycle of the month of December. It showcases a number of traditional rituals of the coming of Christanity. The locals show their respect and celebrate by planting crops with symbolic meanings on them as well as organizing and planning traditional huntings. The event is also a way to appease the local spirits especially those that have their connections to personal health and harvesting. Dances of ritual traditions are also made.

Paskuhan sa Kapitolyo (Capitol, Puerto Princesa City)

A whole month celebration in December organized by the government. It is in commemoration of the birth of The Savior on Christmas Day, a month filled with various activities and is highlighted by the giant animated display of a Christmas Tree. The festival ends with the New Year Countdown.

How To Get to Palawan

Palawan is accessible via land, sea, and air travel and Puerto Princesa is often the gateway to this province.

By Air

The easiest and most common way to go to Palawan is by riding a plane, with Puerto Princesa as the main jump-off from , Manila ,Clark (Pampanga), Iloilo, Cebu, and Davao and there are also daily flights going to El Nido, Coron, and San Vicente from Cebu, Manila, and Caticlan (Boracay). However, Puerto Princesa covers international flights aside from domestic.


By Ferry or Boat

With over 1,700 islands, Palawan naturally has a complex network of ferries and boats to connect destinations inside and outside the province with Puerto Princesa as the main ferry pier on the island which you can get to destinations as far away as Cebu and Manila and also its neighboring spots like El Nido and Coron. Though the most economical way to get to Coron is to travel by bus from Puerto Princesa to El Nido, then to take the ferry from El Nido to Coron.

Si-Kat Buses caters daily trips to Palawan wherein the trips come only once a day from Manila. The whole journey takes three hours and 45 minutes with a stop over in Batangas pier and the drop off point is at Sabang or you may opt to ride with 2GO – which departs Manila to Puerto Princesa twice a week. The duration of the travel is about 30 hours.

Getting Around Palawan


Car rentals in Palawan are available but are quite expensive due to the relative rarity of that type of vehicle on the island and is considered an unusual means of transportation in Palawan. However, if that’s what you prefer, the best strategy is to plan your car rental online and in advance to allow you to compare the offers and find the best deals.


You can ride an ordinary (non-AC) or air-conditioned bus if you're coming from Palawan's main island destinations and want to travel to/from destinations like Puerto Princesa, El Nido, and San Vicente/Port Barton. This option is convenient to those who travel with big or multiple luggage since there are compartments where you can store them with more legroom making for a more comfortable ride, especially on long trips.The only downside is that the travel time might be longer than vans because buses make stops along the way to pick-up or drop-off passengers.


Vans can also be an option for long trips in the main island of Palawan when traveling to/from Puerto Princesa and El Nido, and San Vicente/Port Barton and is faster than buses as they usually do point-to-point transfers but also can make stops for lunch or bathroom breaks. They also leave the terminals once it’s full of passengers and there are no big compartments for luggage like buses. You also have the option to hire a private van if you're traveling with a big group or want the exclusivity and more legroom.


Jeepneys are one of the most popular methods to get around the main cities, towns and villages in Palawan as they’re priced similar to tricycles with reasonable fare and painted in vivid colours which you won’t miss. Although, they follow planned routes and they’re not air-conditioned and can be crowded at times.


Like all the destinations in the Philippines, tricycles are available throughout Palawan Province and offer the cheapest and best way to travel around your destination especially the remotest areas which could transport up to 4 passengers comfortably.


Motorbike rentals are available in Palawan and is recommended to use packages which include a driver since Palawan roads are not always in a good state and there’s also little street lighting after dark. You’ll also easily find rentals in Puerto Princesa and El Nido, the 2 main tourist areas on Palawan Island as your options are more limited in other destinations.

Adventures You Can Do in Palawan

Kingfisher ParkKaliboNo entrance fee
Puerto Princesa City Baywalk ParkPuerto PrincesaNo entrance fee
Freediving CoronCoron, Palawan2500 PHP single session
Miniloc IslandEl Nido, Palawan200 PHP entrance fee
Miniloc IslandEl Nido, Palawan200 PHP entrance fee
Puerto Princesa City Baywalk ParkPuerto PrincesaNo entrance fee
Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation CenterPuerto Princesa35 PHP entrance fee
Plaza CuartelPuerto PrincesaNo entrance fee
Palawan Butterfly Ecological Garden and Tribal VillagePuerto Princesa50 PHP entrance fee
Calauit Island National ParkBusuanga, Palawan400 PHP entrance fee
Kingfisher ParkCoron, Palawan

Not available

Malbato ChapelCoron, PalawanNo entrance fee
Mount TapyasCoron, PalawanNo entrance fee
Taraw CliffEl Nido, Palawan400 PHP tour fee
Vigan IslandEl Nido, PalawanNo entrance fee
Payong-Payong BeachEl Nido, PalawanNo entrance fee
Nacpan BeachEl Nido, Palawan50 PHP Entrance Fee
Seven Commandos BeachEl Nido, Palawan1200 PHP Tour Fee
Pangalusian IslandEl Nido, PalawanNot Available
Helicopter IslandEl Nido, Palawan100 PHP Tour Fee
Matinloc IslandEl Nido, Palawan100 PHP Entrance Fee
Snake IslandEl Nido, PalawanNo Entrance Fee
Corong Corong BeachEl Nido, PalawanNo Entrance Fee
Cadlao IslandEl Nido, Palawan200 PHP Entrance Fee
Lagen IslandEl Nido, PalawanNot Available
Las Cabañas BeachEl Nido, PalawanNo Entrance Fee
Lio BeachEl Nido, PalawanNo Entrance Fee
Marimegmeg BeachEl Nido, PalawanNo Entrance Fee
Entalula IslandEl Nido, Palawan200 PHP Environmental Fee
Calitang BeachEl Nido, Palawan50 PHP Entrance Fee
Tapiutan IslandEl Nido, Palawan200 PHP Tour Fee
Talisay BeachEl Nido, PalawanNo Entrance Fee
Pinagbuyutan IslandEl Nido, Palawan1300 PHP Tour Fee
Brother IslandEl Nido, PalawanNot Available
Cavayan IslandEl Nido, PalawanNot Available
Star BeachEl Nido, PalawanNot Available
Caalan BeachEl Nido, PalawanNot Available
Twin BeachEl Nido, Palawan50 PHP Entrance Fee
Ipil BeachEl Nido, PalawanNot Available
Darocotan IslandEl Nido, PalawanNot Available
Malapacao IslandEl Nido, PalawanNot Available
Vanilla BeachEl Nido, PalawanNot Available
Dibuluan IslandEl Nido, Palawan100 PHP  Entrance Fee
Popolkan IslandEl Nido, Palawan200 PHP Tour Fee
Ocam Ocam BeachCoron, PalawanNot Available
Talaudyong BeachPerto Princesa, Palawan150 PHP Entrance Fee
Makesi IslandPerto Princesa, Palawan75 PHP Entrance Fee
Banana IslandPerto Princesa, Palawan200 PHP Entrance Fee
Miniloc IslandEl Nido, Palawan

200 PHP per person

Big LagoonEl Nido, Palawan200 PHP per person
Small LagoonEl Nido, Palawan200 PHP per person
Cadlao LagoonEl Nido, Palawan200 PHP per person
Kayangan LakeEl Nido, Palawan300 PHP per person
El Nido to Puerto Princesa vice versaPalawan

300 – 450 PHP rent day

Secret LagoonEl Nido, Palawan1200 PHP per person
Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National ParkPuerto Princesa, Palawan500 PHP Entrance Fee
Ugong CavePuerto Princesa, Palawan350 PHP Entrance Fee
Cudugnon CaveEl Nido, PalawanNot Available
Cathedral CaveEl Nido, PalawanNot Available
Ille CaveEl Nido, Palawan100 PHP Entrance Fee
Tabon CavesQuezon, Palawan20 PHP Entrance Fee
Miniloc IslandEl Nido, Palawan200 PHP Entrance Fee
Big LagoonEl Nido, Palawan200 PHP Entrance Fee
Secret LagoonEl Nido, Palawan1200 PHP Tour Fee
Shimizu IslandEl Nido, Palawan1200 PHP Tour Fee + 200 PHP Environmental Fee
Matinloc IslandEl Nido, Palawan100 PHP Entrance Fee
Cadlao IslandEl Nido, Palawan200 PHP Entrance Fee
Small LagoonEl Nido, Palawan200 PHP Entrance Fee
Payong-Payong BeachEl Nido, PalawanNot Available
Cathedral CaveEl Nido, PalawanNot Available
Star BeachEl Nido, PalawanNot Available
Entalula BeachEl Nido, Palawan200 PHP Tour Fee
Darocotan IslandCoron, PalawanNot Available
Barracuda LakeBoracay, Aklan150 PHP Entrance Fee
Siete PecadosCoron, Palawan150 PHP Entrance Fee
Lusong Coral GardenCoron, PalawanIncluded in Coron Tours
Starfish IslandPuerto Princesa, Palawan320 PHP entrance fee
Makinit Hot SpringsEl Nido, Palawan150 PHP entrance fee
Nagkalit-kalit WaterfallsEl Nido, Palawan250 PHP Entrance Fee with Guide
Bigaho FallsPort Barton, Palawan50 PHP Entrance Fee
Pamuayan WaterfallsSan Vicente, PalawanNo Entrance Fee
Duli BeachEl Nido, Palawan50 PHP Entrance Fee
Ocam Ocam BeachCoron, PalawanSUP only starts at 1000 PHP
Ugong Rock AdventuresPuerto Princesa, Palawan350 PHP Entrance Fee
Where Location Fee
Mitra’s Ranch Puerto Princesa, Palawan 500 PHP per Ride
Sabang X Zipline Puerto Princesa, Palawan 350 PHP per Ride
Irawan Eco Park Puerto Princesa, Palawan 350 PHP per Ride

Other Things To Do When in Palawan

  • El Kusina Filipino Cooking Class
  • Poochie’s Kitchen
  • Traveling Spoon
  • A’s Beauty Cafe

Restaurant located in Abanico Road, famous for their sampalok iced tea, sandwiches using homemade kamote bread (which they also use to make French toast) with filling options like their mind-blowing home-smoked pork belly bacon or their smoked fish spread and rice bowls.

  • Rurungan sa Tubod

A shop and weaving center created in 1999 to provide a livelihood to women in the poverty-stricken areas of Palawan, that creates and sells pina-woven items as well as in some selected shops in Manila.

  • Palaweño Brewery

The first all-female beer brewers of the Philippines, Ayah Javier and Malu Lauengco’s craft brewery that made waves not only in the Philippine craft beer scene (as one of its pioneers) but also worldwide with two of their Ayahay craft beers being included in the Ultimate Guide to the World’s Best Craft Beers by American Express Essentials. Famous for their Honey Nut Brown Ale that uses Palawan honey from the Batac tribe, tasting of molasses, spice, and caramel; and the Ayahay IPA that is unapologetically strong, dark, and hoppy. 

You can visit this award-winning craft brewery by dropping by their Tap Room and sample their beers or you can schedule a microbrewery tour which would be more beneficial and exciting if you’re a craft beer aficionado or just someone that wants to know more about craft beer,as it holds many surprises including a craft beer 101 class, a microbrewery tour, and of course, beer tastings. Palaweño Brewery is at 82 Manalo Street, Puerto Princesa City.

  • Philippines One Life Adventures – 10 Days
  • Philippines Palawan Adventure 7-Day
  • Palawan Tour: Puerto Princesa to El Nido 
  • A Week In Palawan, Philippines
  • 10 Days Do The Philippines Group Tour- Palawan Islands
  • Philippines West 
  • 10 Day Palawan Island Hopper – Philippines

Book Your Adventures Here

Eat Your Way Around Palawan

Local Foods and Delicacies

You can find both local and international cuisine in Palawan since it is one of the most famous tourist destination in the country.  All kinds of seafood and is abundant here. There are a lot of interesting local delicacies Palawan has to offer and Tamilok is the top of the list. This is my favorite part. Let’s eat! 

Best Neighborhood to Stay When in Siquijor

Puerto Princesa is the capital city of Palawan and is the most accessible part of Palawan since this is where the airport is located and is considered the best place to stay in if you want to immerse yourself in the culture and the arts of Palawan. This city is also ideal for those who want to mix business with pleasure since it has all the amenities that anybody needs if they need to work remotely. Unlike in other areas of Palawan, the city has a stable Internet connection which can ensure that you can work remotely. The Underground River is also located in this city which makes it convenient for those that would like to visit it.

Books to Read

  • Palawan Story by Caroline Vu
  • As Good As Dead : The True WWII Story of Eleven American POWs Who Escaped from Palawan Island by Stephen L. Moore

The heroic story of eleven American POWs who defied certain death in World War II—As Good as Dead is an unforgettable account of the Palawan Massacre survivors and their daring escape.

Final Thoughts

The Province of Palawan has become famous for the immaculate exquisiteness that nature has imparted to it and its people, a remarkable place in the Philippines that has made a clear-cut mark on the world map when it comes to luring in tourists. No wonder Palawan made it to “The World’s Best Island” by Travel & Leisure gave this 2020.

The citation as the Best Island in the World is all the more important because this is voted upon by the readers of the prominent Travel + Leisure (T+L) magazine. Voters also expressed their admiration for the island known as the last ecological frontier of the Philippines. Palawan has been described as dramatic at sea level, with mountains that emerge directly from the ocean palm-edged beaches. Another voter has also mentioned the beautiful beaches of Palawan, as well as its gorgeous landscape and scenery.

The island has maintained a reputation as a world-class destination. Blessed with its natural beauty, strategic location, colorful culture, and friendly people. Every municipality boasts of their different attractions, festivals, and even delicacies and products unique only to their town. It is one of the country’s priciest possession recognized in the whole world. Enjoy a vacation of cultural, historical, and underwater pursuits.
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IMPORTANT NOTE: The rates, contact details and other information indicated in this post are accurate from the time of writing but may change without itchyfeetadventures’ notice.  It is strongly advised to check the up-to-date prices by clicking on the buttons that leads you to the vendors website for booking. The website and its writers shall not be held liable for the price change and it’s only purpose is to provide estimation of the current prices upon writing.

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8 thoughts on “The Ultimate Palawan Adventure Travel Guide”

  1. I miss Palawan! I’ve only been to Puerto Princesa. You have covered great adventures and activities, hopefully, I can travel there back again.

  2. Palawan is very high up on my list to places I really want to visit as soon as we can travel again. Thanks for the comprehensive guide.

  3. What a superb post & photos for first-time visitors to Palawan. We visited for the first time 2 seasons ago from BC Canada and loved it! The water and surrounding Islands are beautiful! I’ve Pinned this for future reference & for others to see. Great job. 🙂

  4. Alyssa Hixenbaugh

    I have never been to Palawan but now I know what to expect if I travel there! Great guide!

  5. Great tips and guides in traveling to Palawan. It is one of the beautiful islands in the Philippines which features white beaches, crystal clear water, caves, and mountain cliffs. Lots of activities to choose from. We hope to visit this place someday and try to do scuba diving, hiking the trail for photoshoot, and try to eat the local food.

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