Home to numerous dive sites, Palawan is an exquisite scuba diving destination located in the Philippines. Divers may want to visit Coron or Busuanga, giving you a chance to explore the Tubbataha Reef National Park or taking a plunge in El Nido.
The Calamian archipelago is home to the Busuanga Island and Coron. Both are very popular diving spots renowned for their countless Japanese WWII shipwrecks, which suit nearly all diving experience levels. With some wrecks resting in shallow waters, these make for easily accessible introductory dives for amateur divers.
Tubbataha Reef National Park is a marine protected area boasting amazing marine diversity, with over 600 fish species, 360 coral species, 11 species of sharks and 13 different species of dolphins and whales. Composed of two coral atolls, it is considered a Mecca for scuba divers around the world.
At El Nido you’ll find well over 30 dive sites, with something for everyone. From beginners to experts, diving in El Nido offers a variety of underwater landscapes. Its rich waters are abound with tuna, nudibranchs, turtles, yellow-tail barracudas, yellow-fin snappers and much more !
Located at the western tip of the Philippines, Palawan is a slim stretch of land with splendid beaches and amazing scuba diving destinations.
Voted by National Geographic Traveler magazine as one of the best island destinations in the East and Southeast Asia region, Palawan has an off-the-beaten-track feeling to it.
Getting to Palawan
The main gateway to Palawan is the Puerto Princesa International Airport located in the capital of the province. You can travel within the Philippines from Cebu and Manila to Palawan with local companies such as Philippines Airlines, Zest Airways, Cebu Pacific and Air Asia. Flights from Manila to Palawan are approx 1-hour long.
You can also fly from Manila to Coron (Busuanga Airport) on a direct flight with Philippines Airlines, Cebu Pacific and Airphil Express.
The last option is to fly to El Nido Airport. There are three daily direct flights from Manila to El Nido, which are operated by ITIair.
It takes a full 24 hours to get to Palawan by boat. If you enjoy sailing the pristine waters of the Philippines or if you have time, you may choose from a number of ferry companies such as SuperFerry and Negros Navigations.
Accommodation in Palawan
As a relaxing and quiet holiday destination in the Philippines, Palawan offers secluded white-sandy beaches set against idyllic backgrounds. You will find a wide range of accommodation in Palawan, from youth hostels for weary backpackers to luxury resorts.
Prices vary depending on where you stay and the season. A dorm bed may go for as little as USD6. Although beware that most hostels would have limited use of electricity (just in case you were planning on Video Calling friends and family all night) and lights go out by 10pm.
Luxury hotels usually compensated for power cuts with their own generator. Booking your accommodation in luxury resorts, you will enjoy the comfort of the western lifestyle, with perfect service and friendly staff.
Cost of living in Palawan
Cost of travel in the Philippines is relatively cheap. This is also true for Palawan which is a cost-friendly vacation destination in the Philippines.
A street food meal will cost you less than 70PHP, while a proper meal at a nice restaurant would cost up to 300PHP. A bottle of beer is usually sold for about 50PHP while a mango shake can cost between 50-100PHP. Fancy bars may charge up to $5 for a drink.
If you’d like to rent a motorbike for the day, you will be charged about 700PHP. Expect about the same to rent a double-seat kayak for the day.
Others activities in Palawan
From scuba-diving to island-hopping, the island of Palawan offers a variety of activities to suit all tastes.
One of the major attractions in Palawan, apart from wreck diving, is a visit to Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park. Voted as one of the Seven New Wonders of Nature, this underwater river can be visited on a banca, the Filipino traditional boat.