Traveling comes with a lot of perks.
You get to meet different people, learn their culture and traditions. You get to do some sightseeing; from a high-rise tower in Dubai, at the top of a canyon in the US, on the African savannah with wildlife, or just at sea level, basking on a beach in a tropical island in the Philippines. And the food? Oh, don’t get me started on the exotic and luscious flavors these tourist havens could offer. Trust me, it’d take you a whole to finish reading an article about that!
One of the best parts of a trip though (aside from the food, obviously), are the various enjoyable activities there. Sure, roaming around town and exploring the popular tourist attractions might be enough for you, but you’ve gotta agree: an adventure is worth more than a trip. There could be nothing more gratifying than experiencing an assortment of activities and adventures in the places you visit, especially if you’re with family, or friends, or (ahem!) a special someone.
Fortunately, I know of a place where you can get all those, and more…
Midwest, in the Philippine archipelago, is Palawan. It’s a tropical island province, made up of many quaint municipalities which have interesting features on their own. This 450-kilometer-long island paradise is surrounded by smaller islands you can also explore. The beauty of Palawan can be compared to other famous vacation sites, like the Caribbean Islands, Hawaii, and Rio de Janeiro, without the heavy burden on your pockets.
Being a top travel destination in the Philippines, Palawan vows to keep its guests happy and contented. The exhilarating adventures and activities the island province offers will keep visitors and vacationers in high spirits.
To make sure you get the best out of your Palawan getaway, here is a list of the top 6 Palawan activities worth going for.
Really, you can’t set foot in Palawan and not take a dip in its waters.
I mean, the place is internationally recognized for its lagoons, lakes, and seascapes. Some of the most sought-after snorkeling spots in Palawan are:
Siete Pecados Marine Park – this blessing from nature is located in Coron, an island off the northern tip of mainland Palawan. It’s one of Coron’s best snorkeling sites and has been declared a marine sanctuary.
Simizu Island – with a view straight out of a postcard, this island off of the El Nido, Palawan coastline is a welcoming site to anyone who sets foot. Luncheon by the beach is famous here, and the water is so clear, snorkeling is a breeze.
Kayangan Lake – this secluded body of water in Coron is dubbed as the cleanest lake in the Philippines. It’s made up of 70% freshwater and 30% saltwater.
Even most of the beaches around the island offer snorkeling activities, which implies no Palawan travel is ever complete without having an underwater adventure. So, grab your goggles and check out the vibrant aquatic marine species and coral reefs that make a stunning display undersea.
Kayaking is also one of these fun, albeit relaxing, Palawan activities. It is obviously different from a boat ride tour because you are in control of where you are going, but you still get to enjoy the water and the view.
The most famous kayaking spots in Palawan are the Twin Lagoons, located in Miniloc Island, El Nido. It’s also a famous snorkeling spot.
Basically, the Big Lagoon is connected to the Small one via a small duct where you can kayak (or swim, if you prefer) through. Towering limestone karsts surround the area, making you feel like you’ve discovered a hidden paradise. The water is amazing as well – a glistening shade of turquoise. Exploring the nooks and crannies of this attraction is definitely a good idea!
The island of Palawan is blessed with a vast expanse of fine-powdery sands, but these long stretches of coastline are not only made for walking. Make your Palawan trip more authentic by setting up camp al fresco!
Nacpan Beach in El Nido is a famous spot for camping in Palawan. This beach resembles a wide sandbox where grown-ups (and those who don’t want to grow up) could play. The place is generally secure, and the shore is slightly elevated, so the tides won’t be much of a trouble.
Another great camping site in El Nido is Port Barton. This small quaint village in the northwest coast of Palawan provides a restful setting for a night under the stars. The atmosphere is quite unspoiled, because the town is not as progressively developed as other areas, perfect for a rustic island adventure.
Set up camp in the open air and enjoy the calming sound of the waves. The fresh salty breeze, the beautiful seascape and the echoes of nature are all there to keep you company. Lie down beneath the stars at nightfall, and watch the beauty of the island unfold in the morning after, when the sun rises.
Though snorkeling can already provide you with a fascinating glimpse of underwater artistry, imagine what beauty awaits you in the deep waters. Go diving in the deep: it is a most exciting yet relaxing adventure that you can try. Explore the bottom of the sea and witness the richness nature has blessed this island with.
Palawan is known for its gorgeous diving sites, and the island has become one of the top choices for scuba divers all over the world. There are two famed ones; one for its history, the other for its beauty.
Busuanga Island in Coron is became famous because of World War II. I mean that literally, because it was during the second World War when Japanese vessels and warships around the island succumbed to the cold waters, due to an air raid. Until now, the historical ruins of these vessels can be found off the coast of Busuanga, a reminder of the victories and horrors of a world at war.
The other diving site is reflected at the reverse-side of the Philippine 1000-peso bill. The Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park is located 150 kilometers southeast of Puerto Princesa City. Vibrant coral displays and flourishing marine life populate this underwater paradise. It’s a world-renowned gem declared as a World Heritage Site in 1993 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Indeed, Mother Nature has awarded this island with a shower of natural wonders.
You can have fun on land as much as you’re having fun on water in Palawan.
The island province is not just about pristine waters; it’s also blessed with a mantle of rainforests and rich terrain. Busuanga Island, aside from being famous for diving spots, is also not a slacker in the rugged-road-trip side of the Palawan activity spectrum. El Nido is also a viable candidate for these excursions, offering rugged mountain slopes and dirt roads to plow with your rented ATVs. Explore the wilderness, take a trip around the jungle, and blaze through its trails!
(Heads up: these roads can get really muddy at times, especially if you vacationed during the rainy season in the Philippines. But really, who wouldn’t want to get a little dirty, though?)
Add to your growing list of Palawan activities: ziplining. Apart from cruising around the rough terrains of the jungle in your ATV, you should also try the famous aerial rope slide.
If you like to go daredevil and enjoy the thrill of heights, or if you just want to feel the wind on your face while soaring down a mountainside, then this ride is for you.
Two popular locations in Palawan could give you this. One is the Zipline Adventure in Las Cabanas Resort, which you can find in El Nido. While you hang on for dear life (just kidding: the ride is 100% safe and secure), you will witness a view of the town below, soar above the water, and finally land on a small islet near the coastline.
Another ride is the Ugong Zipline, in Puerto Princesa. However, before you can take the thrilling ride down, you have to go rock climbing first. The Ugong Rock Adventure will make you trek up narrow caves and impressive marble formations. An amazing aerial view (and, of course, the zipline operator who will prepare you for descent) awaits you at the top.
Nothing could be more thrilling than flying through the air and taking delight over the incredible view. It sure is an adrenaline-pumping adventure you definitely must not miss.
There are other activities available in Palawan: island hopping, mountain climbing (Mt. Taraw and Mt. Tapyas in particular), and tours through the Mangrove Forests in Sabang, Puerto Princesa and the world-famous 8.2-kilometer long Subterranean River. Really, the multitude of Palawan activities is staggering.
Island adventures will most definitely make your travel more fulfilling and memorable, especially these ones in Palawan. Exploring the grandeurs of the island has never been this fun and engaging. Truly, the beautiful sceneries can be best enjoyed when we incorporate fun with it.