Flickr: mayrpamintuan / Creative Commons
The Palawan activities that I’ve tried are memories of my Asia travel that I would recall with great fondness.
If you’re still on the look-out for your ultimate dream destination, here’s some advice stop looking for it and go to Palawan. I promise you, you won’t regret it. And the sooner you go…the more time you’ll save to go back again and again.
Looking back, I could have never imagined how Palawan changed my life completely.
I was caught up in a strenuous job day in and day out. Who was I to complain?
My pocket was hefty and I was making decent money but felt somehow unfulfilled.
Then one day…I just decided to give in to the thoughts that have been floating inside my head. Talk about spur of the moment!
But it was not because I was willing to give it all up to fulfill my lifelong dream. I figured I also needed a break to prevent me from being completely burned out (at work).
Much to your dismay this isn’t an “I quit my job to travel the world” story.
Because really, even if I want to, I thought I can’t quit my job and travel the world with seemingly endless amounts of money.
I had it all mapped out.
However, my original plan of flying and sailing across different parts of the world took a decidedly different turn when I landed in the Philippines.
My last stop for the journey was Palawan.
As you may have known, it’s one of the island provinces located in the Philippines.
Unintentionally, I have “saved the best for last.” I know this may sound cliché but…
From the several places I’ve been, nothing comes close to what I’ve experienced in Palawan. It’s amazing how many memories one place can hold.
One moment and I was a goner…
With a ton of exciting activities that I enjoyed in Palawan, I had to cross-out almost everything on my bucket list
I have come up with a list of 23 Must-Try Palawan Activities in the hopes of inspiring you to have a great one too.
Whether if you’ve been to Palawan one time or 30 times, there’s no doubt in my mind that these Palawan Activities will make you come back for more.
1. Island Hopping and Bangka trips
Flickr: Cedric Buffler / Creative Commons
Although all the islands in Palawan fall under the veil of “paradise” each island has its own distinct set of quirks and qualities which attracts and appeals to certain types of traveler. But which Palawan Island is the best? One way to find out is to hop into a “bangka” and start island hopping at Honda Bay.
2. Marvel at the Magnificent Work of Mother Nature (sunset)
Flickr: spencer341b / Creative Commons
Even the sunsets in Palawan are ineffable. Ironically, this is also one of the beautiful scenes in Palawan that you’ll abhor seeing the most. Why? As how Palawan travelers would put it:
“The worst sight to see in Palawan is the last sunset the night before you leave.”
3. Blast From The Past
Flickr: clod / Creative Commons
Blast from the past as you explore Tabon Caves, an archaeological place to visit located in Lipuun Point, Quezon, Palawan which is dubbed as the “Cradle of the Philippine Civilization.” This is where the ancient tribes of Tabon men were discovered with their remains, along with artifacts, jade ornaments and other earthenware.This makes Palawan of great importance to the history and heritage of the Philippines.
4. Dive into another realm
Flickr: q phla / Creative Commons
True beauty transcends from what we usually see and in this case found in the depths of the sea.
When it comes to marine biodiversity and unparalleled natural beauty, the coral reefs flourishing the island of Palawan are amongst the most memorable features that can be found in the oceans of the world. The Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park, a UNESCO World heritage Site is a haven for divers and marine enthusiast.
Dive also into Barracuda Lake which is dubbed as “the craziest dive site in the Philippines” interestingly situated at the top of a volcano crater noted for its dreamy scenery you’d feel as if you’re in another world.
Something primordial is stirred in me as I swam with the different marine species that have seemingly come to greet me. And that changed me, I end up realizing, true beauty is not only something to be discovered but is something to be treasured and protected.
5. Find Your Own Version of “The Beach”
Flickr: quiet.fyre / Creative Commons
The Secret Beach in El Nido, Palawan was thought to be the island that has inspired author Alex Garland of his best-selling novel “The Beach.” The movie however was shot in Thailand for creative license purposes. Nevertheless, I mean come on! Who could ever resist that? Soak up the sun and lie into the white sand beaches with sparkling turquoise water that perfectly mixes with the emerald green, jungle-filled mountain. And you know the part that sucks? You are just left with no words. It even makes “beautiful” an understatement to describe this paradise.
6. Explore an Underwater Museum
Flickr: spender341b / Creative Commons
There’s just fabulous diving all around the depths of Palawan. But the bay in Coron is particularly known as having some of the best wreck diving in the world. As a matter of fact, Forbes Traveler Magazine named Coron as one of the best dive sites in the world. There is something enchanting about diving and exploring ship wrecks. It’s both eerie and fascinating at the same time.
Here’s a clip you might want to check out:
7. Have a Peek of Africa
Flickr: roslyn / Creative Commons
The Caluit Island Wildlife Sanctuary in Busuanga, Palawan provides a safe haven to some of the endangered and exotic animal species. It somehow gives you a peek of Africa with zebras, gazelles, impalas, giraffes and the likes roaming freely around the island’s lush hills and plains. These African Animals from Kenya co-exist with other rare Philippine animals such as Palawan bearcats and mouse deer. To catch a glimpse of these rare animals in the open is just bliss. As I have said treasures like this implores and urges you to protect it.
8. Hike Through a Jungle Trail
Flickr: Shubert Ciencia / Creative Commons
Stretch your legs and go for a two-hour hiking through a jungle trail just like what our pal Cheenee did in her article “Why Trek the Subterranean National Park Jungle Trail”
9. Kayak Along Spectacular Coastal Sights
Flickr: Patrick Casabuena / Creative Commons
When in Palawan you can kayak along gorgeous sea cliffs and explore secluded beaches and sandbars.
10. Iwahig Firefly Watching
Image from northernhopetours.com
Visit a mangrove filled with fireflies, under a sky full of stars, and the water glistening with phosphorescence.
11. Seafood Picnics on Empty Coves and Deserted Islands
Flickr: Ruben Swieringa / Creative Commons
Feast on delectable seafood on empty coves and have a secluded island for yourselves.
12. Snorkel and See Brilliantly Colored Fishes and Sea Creatures
Flickr: bernieled / Creative Commons
Snorkel effortlessly along the gentle currents and see different sea creatures and brilliantly colored fishes of various shapes and sizes. Visitors need not worry if they’ve never snorkel before. The guides are super friendly and quick to offer assistance.
13. Discover The Best (In My Opinion) Seafood Curry in Town
Image from: lakwatseradeprimera.com
When in El Nido, Palawan one culinary adventure location you should not miss to visit is Squidos. The restaurant serves mostly seafood and other Filipino and International dishes. Your challenge starts in waiting as food takes awhile to be prepared. Their “Seafood Curry” was the highlight for me, definitely worth the wait. This is by far the best seafood plate I ever ate.
14. Cruise Puerto Princesa’s Underground River
Flickr: Michael Reiss / Creative Commons
A UNESCO World Heritage Park and has been recognized for best practices for biodiversity conservation and sustainable tourism. Paddle boats take tourist to a one hour exploration of the world’s longest navigable river. Visitors are amaze with the stalagmites and stalactites which hang like icicles from the ceiling that shimmers like crystals when struck with a spotlight in the massive limestone cavern.
15. Spelunking and 16. Zip lining Adventures In “Ugong Rock”
Flickr: Haundreis / Creative Commons
Come and explore “Ugong Rock” a 75-foot limestone formation located in Barangay Tagabenit, Puerto Princesa, Palawan. The “Ugong Rock” derived its name from the reverberating sound produced from rocks when you tap it. In the spirit of adventure, climb through steep rocks and worm through narrow passages.
After reaching the top of Ugong Rock , zipline back and feel the intense rush of the fastest zipline in the Philippines.
17. Have a Taste of “Tommy, Look”
Flickr: penmanila / Creative Commons
I never thought “eating” would be the most challenging part of my Palawan Adventure. Trying out foods that you deem exotic or strange is also an exciting adventure and experience. Palawan has also its retinue of exotic foods. The most popular perhaps is the “Tamilok”. Some say “Tamilok” is a mangrove snake and others say it’s a shipworm. But to be more precise, Tamilok is actually a type of mollusk. Folks say Tamilok got its name from two American Soldiers who were visiting the Batak tribe. Amazed upon seeing tribesmen harvesting and eating shipworms, one of the Americans called out to his companion in spectacle saying “Tommy, look!” The tribesmen thought they were referring to the shipworm and thus the delicacy was called Tamilok. Well I never dig food with slimy texture but I never back down a challenge either. Like a boss, I picked out one fat strand of Tamilok and dunk it in vinegar. I made sure I had alcohol in one hand before letting it slide in my throat. And the verdict? I’ll let my pal Cheenee talk about My First Taste of Tamilok.
18. Food Trip – KaLui
Flickr: antpeople / Creative Commons
No Palawan trip would be complete without a visit of Palawan’s most famous and best value restaurant-KaLui. Any fresh catch of the day is offered and served daily on their menu.
19. Ride Off the Beaten Path
Flickr: Maks Karochkin / Creative Commons
Ride on a tricycle to a bumpy adventure off the beaten track or rent a motorbike and explore the Busuanga Island Loop.
20. Climb the 700 Plus Steps of Mt. Tapyas
Flickr: variationblogr / Creative Commons
Climb the 700 Plus Steps of Mt. Tapyas and then pause once you reach the summit. Sometimes you have to take a moment to step back to understand and appreciate the simple things in life. Once you learn how to zoom out you’ll realize there’s so much more to see! The view is just so spectacular it’ll leave you saying “Life is too damn good to waste”.
21. Stroll along the pristine long, white beaches
Flickr: Chris Chafer/ Creative Commons
Well if you’re in Palawan, it would suck if you didn’t know how to swim because it limits your way of discovering this enchanting paradise. But a short stroll along the pristine long, white beaches is not bad either.
22. Dolphin Watch off Puerto Bay and La Terrasse
Flickr: Lisa and Alec / Creative Commons
Have a rare opportunity of catching a glimpse of these magical creatures and enjoy their acrobatic maneuvers.
23. Capture Memories Through the Lens
Flickr: Andy Enero
A picture not just paints a thousand words but is worth a thousand memories. Pull out your camera for special moments and capture priceless memories in Palawan through the lens.
“The best memories are not made up of days; they are made up of moments.”
A couple of times a day I ask myself “Does this place really exist?”
When you see a place that’s too good to be true it makes you wonder if it’s even legal!
You’d be astounded with the great variety of dramatic natural phenomena you’ll see in Palawan that proves that Mother Nature can surprise even the most seasoned traveler.
This place definitely changed my life.
But will it change yours too?
The only way to know is to OWN this question as a reason for YOU to find out YOURSELF.
Share this Must-Try #Palawan Activities and invite a friend to your next Ultimate Adventure.
If I missed something, hot in the comments section and drop your pick. Encourage readers to give Palawan a visit really SOON!
A little ASIA TRAVEL adventure wouldn’t hurt. So #LetsPalawan.