Last updated: 11:00 PM ET, Tue December 22 2015

Opinion Home | Notes from the Goats

  • Nick and Dariece | December 22, 2015 11:00 PM ET

    The Island of Palawan: Paradise in the Philippines

    The Island of Palawan: Paradise in the Philippines

    Photos by Goats on the Road

    Palawan is a narrow island stretching from Borneo all the way into the Philippines archipelago. Due to its westerly positioning, it's one of the lesser-visited isles in the country. This island nation as a whole is still considered off-the-beaten-path as far as countries in Southeast Asia go. Backpackers and tourists easily hop around between Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia and Myanmar, but it takes some effort and a desire to get away from it all in order to reach the Philippines!

    Of course, many (most) of the islands have something special to offer visitors, but there's just something about Palawan which lures travelers in. Perhaps it's the limestone karsts, the abundant marine life or the deserted islands offshore. Whatever it is, you should get here fast before things change.

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    Arriving by air, you'll find yourself in Puerto Princesa, which is the island’s capital and main city. Here, you can visit the churches, markets and wander down by the water, but most people use it as a jumping off point for visiting caves, snorkeling and island hopping.

    The Subterranean River near Sabang has recently been listed as a new Natural Wonder of the World! At 5 miles long, this is one of the world's lengthiest underground rivers, but tourists are only allowed in the first mile. Due to the fact that the cave is filled with water, the tour takes you by boat to explore the cavern.

    The stalagmites and stalactites reaching from the ceiling to the floor, and floor to ceiling are massive! This is a great way to spend the day on Palawan. Not only can you visit the caves, but the whole area surrounding the park is beautiful as well. Take a boat through mangroves, laze on one of the beaches, and spot wildlife all around you.

    underground caves palawan

    Although the new Natural Wonder Of The World is definitely worth a visit, this island has much more to offer travelers. The sleepy beach locale of Port Barton is a definite highlight for anyone visiting the Philippines. This quiet, off-track town is the place to come if you're looking for a peaceful, rustic stay.

    This isn't a resort area, and it doesn't have a lot of amenities or luxuries, but isn't that the point? There are a handful of accommodation options here, and some beachside restaurants and bars as well. Your days can be spent swimming in the clear water, hiking to a waterfall, exploring the local villages and watching the fisherman bring in their catch.

    Off shore, there are numerous islands offering excellent snorkeling and beautiful beaches. Day trips can be arranged in Port Barton. In the evenings, finish off the day with a spectacular sunset and a cocktail. Life is good here!

    port barton palawan

    From this sleepy town, make your way north to El Nido, which is a major tourist destination in the area. Towering limestone karsts will greet you as you arrive either by a bumpy jeepney ride from Port Barton, or airplane from the capital city.

    The accommodation options are plentiful here offering everything from resorts to bungalows, and there are many restaurants serving up fresh seafood, local cuisine and western fare. If you're interested in scuba diving, snorkeling, island hopping or just lazing on the beach, this is the spot for you.

    If you're feeling adventurous, hire a boat to take you to one of the deserted islands and camp there for the night! It's possible; you just have to ask around. Regardless of whether or not you're on the mainland, or one of the islands surrounding El Nido, definitely don't miss out on the sun setting behind the craggy karsts each night, that's the highlight of any day!

    el nido philippines

    Palawan is an epic destination that offers something for every type of traveler. It's romantic, adventurous and relaxing. If you’re planning to visit the Philippines, make the extra effort to visit the island of Palawan, it’ll be the highlight of your trip.


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Nick and Dariece Notes from the Goats

Nick and Dariece Nick and Dariece are the couple behind Goats On The Road, a website designed to inspire others to live a financially sustainable, location independent lifestyle. Masters at making money abroad and turning their travels into a way of life, they've been on the road since 2008 and have explored some of the least visited places on earth, finding adventure wherever they go. They are also full time contributors at Credit Walk where they share their expertise of making money and travelling forever. Check them out at Goats On The and follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.
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