Adventure and Food Guide to Palawan, Philippines

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Curated By

Jacqueline de Guzman

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  • Adventure Travel

  • Active Travel

  • Off-the-Beaten-Path Travel

  • Nature Escapes

  • Beaches

  • Snorkeling

  • Outdoors

  • Hidden Gems

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Curator’s statement

Palawan, a stunning province located in the western part of the Philippines, is a paradise for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike. With its crystal-clear waters, towering limestone cliffs, and incredible biodiversity, Palawan offers a unique and unforgettable experience that is sure to leave a lasting impression. From exploring the underground river in Puerto Princesa to island hopping in El Nido, there is no shortage of things to do and see in this beautiful destination. Whether you're looking to relax on a secluded beach, go scuba diving or trekking in the jungle, Palawan is a must-visit destination that will take your breath away.

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Where to stay in Palawan, Philippines

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Luxe beachfront property with upscale island-inspired villas.

Fora Perks
  • $100 food / beverage credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

El Nido Resorts, Pangulasian

Eco-luxury resort in Bacuit Bay comprised of 42 "green" accommodations with pristine beach, set against a backdrop of tropical forest.

El Nido Resorts, Apulit Island

Set in Taytay Bay in North-eastern Palawan, this eco-resort offers activities on the island for the adventurous guest.

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Things to do in Palawan, Philippines

people wade in a natural pool outside a green covered cliff on a sunny day
  • Visit the Underground River: The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park features a 5-mile long underground river that winds its way through a cave system. Visitors can take a boat tour to explore this unique natural wonder.

  • Scuba diving and snorkeling: Palawan is known for its incredible underwater world, with a diverse range of marine life and stunning coral reefs. El Nido Marine Reserve Park, a marine reserve park in El Nido, is not only home to stunning coral reefs and marine life, but also lush rainforests. Take a guided tour to explore the rainforests and see a variety of plant and animal species.

  • Explore the limestone cliffs: Palawan is famous for its towering limestone cliffs that rise out of the turquoise waters. Take a kayak or paddleboard tour to explore these stunning formations up close.

  • Visit the Calauit Game Preserve and Wildlife Sanctuary: This reserve on Calauit Island is home to numerous exotic animals, including giraffes, zebras, and antelopes. Visitors can take a tour to see these majestic animals up close.

  • Hike through the rainforest: Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site features a 5-mile long underground river that winds through a stunning cave system. The park is also home to lush rainforests, limestone cliffs, and diverse wildlife.


  • Nacpan Beach: Located in El Nido, Nacpan Beach is a long stretch of powdery white sand with crystal-clear waters and a laid-back atmosphere. It's a great spot for sunbathing, swimming, and taking in the stunning views of the surrounding cliffs and lush greenery.

  • Hidden Beach: As its name suggests, Hidden Beach is a secluded and secluded spot in El Nido that requires a bit of an adventure to reach. Visitors must swim through a small opening in the rocks to reach the beach, but the effort is well worth it for the pristine waters and picturesque landscape.

  • Sabang Beach: Located in Puerto Princesa, Sabang Beach is a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, and taking in the stunning views of the surrounding mountains. It's also the starting point for tours of the nearby underground river.

  • Long Beach: Stretching for over 14 kilometers, Long Beach in San Vicente is one of the longest and most beautiful beaches in the Philippines. It's a great spot for swimming, sunbathing, and enjoying the stunning views of the turquoise waters and surrounding mountains.

  • Port Barton Beach: This picturesque beach in San Vicente offers crystal-clear waters, powdery white sands, and a laid-back atmosphere. Visitors can relax on the beach, go snorkeling, or take a boat tour to nearby islands.

  • Coron Island Beaches: Coron Island is home to several stunning beaches, including Twin Lagoon, Kayangan Lake, and Malcapuya Island Beach. Each of these beaches offers unique features and stunning landscapes, making them well worth a visit.

Places to eat & drink in Palawan, Philippines

a beach with palm trees

Palawan cuisine is heavily influenced by its coastal location, and it features a variety of fresh seafood dishes. The region's cuisine also incorporates local fruits and vegetables, as well as traditional Filipino ingredients and cooking techniques. Some of the popular dishes in Palawan include seafood soup, grilled fish, kinilaw (a raw seafood salad), and rice cakes made with coconut milk.

KaLui Restaurant: This restaurant in Puerto Princesa is known for its traditional Filipino cuisine, fresh seafood, and unique ambiance. The restaurant is set in a beautifully decorated wooden house surrounded by lush gardens.

Badjao Seafront Restaurant: Located in Puerto Princesa, this restaurant offers stunning views of the sea and specializes in fresh seafood dishes, such as grilled tuna and seafood curry.

El Nido Boutique & Artcafe: This restaurant in El Nido offers a range of international and Filipino dishes, including fresh seafood and vegetarian options. The restaurant also features a gallery showcasing local art.

La Terrasse Restaurant: Located in Coron, this French-inspired restaurant offers a range of dishes, from classic French cuisine to Filipino specialties. The restaurant features a romantic atmosphere and stunning views of the bay.

Boodle Fight: This casual restaurant in Puerto Princesa serves traditional Filipino dishes, such as grilled meats, fish, and vegetables, served on banana leaves. The restaurant is known for its large portions and affordable prices.

Be sure to try local delicacies, such as kinilaw (raw seafood marinated in vinegar), adobo (meat stewed in vinegar and soy sauce), and halo-halo (a sweet dessert made with shaved ice, milk, and various fruits and toppings).

Photo credit: Larisa Orsino Fong Photography

Travel advisor Jacqueline posing in black top

Travel Advisor

Jacqueline de Guzman

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to the Philippines.