Palawan, often touted as the “Last Frontier” of the Philippines, is known worldwide for its stunning natural beauty. While iconic destinations like El Nido and Coron rightfully steal the spotlight, Palawan has an abundance of hidden gems waiting to be discovered by intrepid travelers. In this article, we’ll venture off the beaten path to explore some of Palawan’s lesser-known but equally enchanting destinations.
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Located in the southernmost part of Palawan, the Balabac Islands remain an untouched paradise. Known for their pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant coral reefs, this remote archipelago is a haven for beachcombers and marine enthusiasts. Must-visit spots include Onuk Island and Candaraman Island, where you can find pink sand beaches, rare marine life, and breathtaking sunsets.
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Port Barton, often overshadowed by its more famous neighbor El Nido, is a tranquil fishing village with pristine beaches and a laid-back atmosphere. It offers a glimpse into traditional Filipino coastal living, with opportunities for island hopping, snorkeling, and exploring nearby waterfalls like Bigaho Falls and Pamuayan Falls.
Nestled between El Nido and Coron, the Linapacan Islands are a hidden gem for adventure seekers. With their emerald waters, secret lagoons, and limestone formations, these islands are perfect for island-hopping escapades. Don’t miss the surreal experience of swimming in the clear waters of the Secret Lagoon and exploring the quaint fishing village of San Miguel.
Culion Island, once a leper colony, has transformed into a historical and cultural gem. Discover the island’s rich history through its well-preserved Spanish-era architecture, including the St. John of Nepomuk Parish Church. Culion also offers opportunities for island hopping, exploring vibrant coral gardens, and learning about its significant role in Philippine history.
Rizal Underground River
While the Puerto Princesa Underground River garners much attention, Palawan has another underground wonder hidden in the municipality of Rizal. The Rizal Underground River boasts impressive limestone formations and a mysterious subterranean realm that can be explored via guided tours. It’s a captivating alternative for those seeking a unique underground experience.
Taytay, a historical town with a picturesque bay, holds treasures like the Santa Monica Parish Church and the 17th-century Fort Santa Isabel. Beyond its historical sites, Taytay offers opportunities for island hopping and exploring nearby gems like the Maldives-inspired Isla de Gigantes, which is just a boat ride away.
Tucked away in southern Palawan, Brooke’s Point remains a hidden paradise for nature enthusiasts. Its lush landscapes are home to diverse wildlife, and you can explore serene spots like Abo-Abo Falls, Kanluran Cave, and the scenic Kalakwasan Cove.
Palawan’s hidden gems beckon adventurous travelers with their unspoiled beauty, rich history, and tranquil charm. Beyond the renowned tourist destinations, these lesser-known spots offer a chance to connect with nature, experience authentic local culture, and embark on unforgettable adventures. As you explore Palawan’s hidden treasures, remember to embrace responsible tourism practices to preserve their beauty for generations to come.
How do I reach these hidden gems in Palawan?
Access to these hidden gems varies. Most require boat transfers from Palawan’s major gateways like Puerto Princesa, El Nido, or Coron. Check with local tour operators for availability and schedules.
Are accommodations available at these lesser-known destinations?
Accommodations range from basic guesthouses to more comfortable resorts, depending on the destination. Booking in advance is advisable, especially during peak seasons.
Is it safe to explore these hidden gems in Palawan?
Palawan is generally safe for travelers. However, it’s essential to follow local guidelines, prioritize safety during boat trips and water activities, and respect the natural environment and local culture.
Are there tour operators or guides available for these offbeat destinations?
Yes, local tour operators and guides can arrange trips to these hidden gems, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience. It’s recommended to book through reputable operators.
When is the best time to visit these lesser-known Palawan destinations?
The dry season, from November to April, is the best time to explore these hidden gems when the weather is favorable for outdoor activities and water adventures.
Are there eco-friendly practices in place to protect these hidden gems in Palawan?
Many local communities and conservation efforts are working to protect these hidden gems. Travelers are encouraged to follow responsible and eco-friendly tourism practices to preserve these pristine destinations.