When tourists imagine a holiday in the Philippines, they're likely to envision the kind of vacation that involves white-sand beaches, jungle treks and first-rate scuba dives against an idyllic resort background. While these elements exist in isolation across the archipelago, it's rare that they come together on one island to such great effect. In many ways, the resorts in Palawan have everything tourists dream of.
Palawan is a large island with several distinct towns. Puerto Princesa is the capital, and while some Palawan accommodation is found here, Puerto Princesa is most useful as a commerce and transportation hub. It's a lovely town and would probably attract more tourists if not for the promise of secluded beaches and islands on the horizon.
El Nido is another important hub with several hotels. It's used as a launching point for the Bacuit Archipelago, a chain of 40 islands known for their stunning landscape of limestone cliffs. A few days in Bacuit means one after another beautiful vista and more than a few guaranteed secluded beaches.
Wreck diving is a major pastime in Palawan, and there's no better place to begin than Coron. The beaches here aren't the main drawcard, but the sunken Spanish galleons have created one of the most dive-able underwater landscapes in the world.
Visitors typically fly in via Puerta Princesa Airport
and then connect to their local destination from there. The choice of where to stay depends largely on what types of activities are on the agenda, but a good all-around choice is laidback Port Barton. Some of the most relaxed hotels in Palawan are found here, and they enjoy access to beaches and a range of activities.
For more information on hotels and landmarks in the different areas of Palawan, click on the interactive Palawan map
on the left-hand side of the page.