You’ve made up your mind – you’re going to explore the beauty of the Philippine’s “Last Frontier!”
It’s a wise decision – Palawan’s reputation as unchartered territory, as a yet undiscovered travel gem, is not going to last long. Now is the best time to go!
Here’s what you should know before you take off!
Palawan Travel Tip #1. Know thyself
Okay, that’s a little too broad – what we mean is know how much you can take. The majority of flights into Palawan fly into Puerto Princesa, but if you’re planning on trekking over to El Nido, it’s going to be a long and bumpy ride – plan for around 8 hours on a bus. Yes, that’s 8 hours on average and most of the buses have wooden seats.
If you’re not up for this kind of adventure, you might want to opt for a flight straight to El Nido. Same thing for Coron – it’s a long way from Puerto Princesa, but it’s only an hour’s flight from Manila.
Palawan Travel Tip #2. Choose the best time
Unless your idea of tropical paradise contains a lot of rain, it’s best to choose your vacation dates wisely. The rainy season typically begins in June and this is around the time when you won’t want to be vacationing in this area. For the first three to four months of the rainy season, there are heavy monsoons and even the possibility of tropical storms.
The rains die down during the autumn months and by December, it’s a beautiful time to visit Palawan again! In fact, March-ish is perfect – sunny skies and not yet too hot.
At the same time, remember that December to April is high season and the gorgeous weather and beaches bring a lot of people to Palawan. It’s best to book yourself a room ahead of time!
Palawan Travel Tip #3. Cash is best – bring plenty of it
Puerto Princesa has ATMs like any other city, but the rest of Palawan is pretty much without ATMs. Spots like El Nido and Port Barton are beautiful getaways retreats, but there are no banks from which you can withdraw or even exchange money.
In El Nido, you’ll be able to exchange some money at the El Nido Boutique and Art Cafe – BUT it’s still best to come prepared. A good idea is to book your hotels previously and then bring enough cash to tide you over for your trip + an extra wad for emergencies.
Palawan Travel Tip #4. Beware the mosquitoes
Mosquitoes are annoying under any circumstance – but they’re especially pesky when they carry the risk of malaria and dengue fever. Now, there’s no need to get your panties in a bunch – the malaria and dengue fever situation in Palawan is not that bad…that said, it’s always better safe than sorry.
Remember that mosquitoes adapt to local repellants and bring your own! We highly, highly recommend a bug-repellent-included sunscreen – Badger Balm‘s got an all-natural concoction that’s great at keeping both insects and sunburn away.
Palawan Travel Tip #5. Be prepared for the dark
Palawan has electricity…issues. There’s a limited electricity supply here that comes on at around 6 PM and goes off around midnight. If you plan on staying up afterwards, bring an LED headlamp or a flashlight.
Arrange your WiFi time around this schedule as well.
Palawan Travel Tip #6. Bring what you need
It’s a bother to carry all the supplies you might need when you’re traveling – most of us prefer to simply pick these things up when we get to our destination. Don’t do this when you’re traveling to Palawan. Puerto Princesa has shops and stalls and even a few department stores, but outside of this city, there’s precious little in the way of shopping.
If you have a particular sunscreen brand you use, bring it! If you have certain shampoos, bring it! If you need certain diving clothes or sunglasses, bring them!
Palawan Travel Tip #7. Stay covered, relax and have fun!
Palawan is hands down one of the most memorable places we’ve ever visited and judging by what we’ve heard from other travelers, it’s usually top on their list of favorite places as well.
You are going to love it in Palawan – just remember to pack everything you’ll need and make sure you’re covered for any travel-related mishaps that may occur with travel insurance.