One of the top tourist destinations in the Philippines, Palawan Island is a tropical paradise just waiting to be explored. From pristine blue waters and beautiful beaches to majestic cliffs that jut out of the earth begging to be noticed, you will find Palawan Island to be everything you want in an exotic vacation. It’s natural beauty, and outdoor attractions are unforgettable. Here are six things you don’t want to miss when you visit Palawan Island:
1. Small Lagoon
Head to El Nido and enter another world during a visit to Small Lagoon. It’s towering, gray rock formations are a stark contrast to the crystal blue waters that you will paddle through. To enter Small Lagoon, take a kayak through a narrow passageway between the limestones. Once you are inside, you will be transported into another reality that is like a scene from a movie. There’s nothing small about Small Lagoon; you can spend hours exploring the details of the formations and capturing breathtaking sights on camera.
2. Coron Bay Shipwrecks
If you are a diver, don’t miss your chance to get up close and personal with the Shipwrecks in Coron Bay. Conflicts between Japan and the United States during World War Two have turned Coron Bay into a ship graveyard. Marine animals have made their homes on these wrecks; if you dive down to see them, you will be able to observe the intact machinery that sunk with the fleet. It’s a surreal experience and one of Palawan Island’s best attractions.
3. Culion Island
If you are up for a bit of dark history while in Palawan, head to the former leper colony of Culion. The town doesn’t look like much, but it has a dark past that’s well worth exploring. Back in the 1900s, Culion tore families apart, dividing lepers and healthy folk. Some of the inflicted were exiled to a faraway land; they never saw their families again. While many tourists pass up this unassuming little town, a visit to the Culion Museum and Archives reveals an interesting and sad tale that many people never get to hear.
4. Kayangan Lake
As the cleanest lake in the Philippines, Kayangan is the place to be in Coron. Stunning views and perfect waters welcome you to the swimming hole. You have to do a bit of walking to get here, but everyone will tell you that it’s worth it. The water is clear enough that you can explore the beautiful rock formations that lie beneath the surface. Kayangan Lake can get extremely busy, so be sure to go later in the day. Even if you don’t want to swim, it’s a great place to take some Instagram-worthy photos!
5. Tabon Cave Complex
If you are feeling adventurous, head to the Tabon Cave Complex. Seven caves are open to the public and are the site of archeological discoveries of fossils and artifacts that are over 50,000 years old. The remains of the Tabon Man were found here and date to be 16,000 years old. Getting here can be a bit of a hassle; it requires a boat trip and a permit from the National Museum Quezon Branch. While it isn’t an easy place to visit, this site is critical to our history as Homo Sapiens; evidence from these caves confirms that humans existed in Southeast Asia long ago. You will be truly awed by what you learn when you visit here.
6. Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park
Take a day trip from Puerto Princesa City to this renowned attraction that will inspire and delight you. Known as the Puerto Princesa Underground River, this natural attraction was named as one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature in 2012. With a reputation like that, you may be wondering how it earned that title. Your tour guide will take you through the cave as you glide along the azure river on a paddle boat. Inside, you can marvel at the stunning rock formations that give the cave its charm and beauty. This excursion is relaxing, peaceful, and educational.