Top 10 Scuba Diving Locations in Palawan

scuba diving palawan 03When it comes to scuba diving Philippines, Palawan is often on top of the list. With its stunning coral reefs and a wide variety of marine life, diving in Palawan is an experience like no other. But with the many diving sites in Palawan, deciding which site to begin your adventure can be daunting. To help you with your diving holiday, here are the top 10 Palawan scuba diving locations.



  1. Bulawit Bay – Linapacan

barracuda Bulawit Bay - LinapacanBulawit Bay is known for its shallow waters with sea floor that’s entirely covered with seagrass. The place is also famous for its abundance of starfishes and as you keep moving with your dive, you’ll be rewarded with a spectacular view of marine life, from batfish, pipefish, ribbonfish, eels, barracudas, and a wide variety of tropical fishes. 



  1. Cuttlefish Shoal – Puerto Princesa


The Cuttlefish Shawl is the best place to dive in the Philippines if you want something more challenging. In fact, this diving site is only recommended for the more experienced divers because of its depth. When diving at the Cuttlefish Shawl, make sure you hire a local guide since the site is a bit tricky to find. Yet, all your efforts will be worth it once you catch a glimpse of the various barracudas, angelfishes, sea turtles, and cuttlefishes, which is where its name actually came from.


  1. Dilumacad Underwater Tunnel, El Nido


Dilumacad Underwater Tunnel - El NidoDiving at the Dilumacad Tunnel is a truly exciting experience. The tunnel is around 12m deep with a few ceiling holes, making this dive a truly incredible feat. And just like the Cuttlefish shoal, this Palawan scuba diving site is only for the experienced and advanced drivers. Discovered in the 1990s by a Japanese driver, you’ll find the memorial plate etched at the entrance area of this diving site.


  1. Helens Garden, Dos Palmas


If you prefer to scuba dive in a shallow reef, the Helen’s Garden in Dos Palmas would be perfect for you. This site is teeming with black-tip sharks, which makes for a truly fun diving experience. Aside from the sharks, you also get to encounter a wide variety of soft and hard corals while diving at this diving site.


  1. Kalambuan Reef, Coron Bay


Kalambuyan Reef - Coron BayThe Kalambuyan Reef is a Coron diving site known for its unparalleled diversity of beautiful coral reef and an amazing underwater life. This site is a bit far from the town of Coron so you need to plan your trip well if you choose to dive at Kalambuyan Reef. Furthermore, the current in this part of Coron is a bit strong during the summer months.




  1. Port Barton, San Vicente

Whale shark Port Barton - San VicentePort Barton is located in the northern part of Puerto Princesa, in a town called San Vicente. This diving site is largely undiscovered, which makes it the best place to dive in the Philippines. The most notable marine life species that were spotted in this area is the whale shark. Thus, diving at this spot means swimming along with these gentle giants.




  1. Tagbao Island, El Nido


The Tagbao Island in El Nido is one of the most popular Palawan scuba diving locations. In fact, divers from all over the world would visit Palawan to dive in this site. There are three important coral reefs nestled in between these islands. It’s also a great diving spot for beginners since the water is comfortably shallow.


  1. The Wall, Roxas


The Wall is about 20 minutes boat ride away from the main island and a great diving spot for scuba divers of all levels. It is also known for its excellent marine life and breathtaking underwater views. Even if this place is highly recommended for beginners, experienced divers might be surprised at what they can discover when diving at The Wall.


  1. Tubbataha Reef


Tubbataha ReefTubbataha reef diving is very popular in the Philippines. The Tubbataha Reef is basically a Natural Marine Park in Palawan and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993. This marine park is known for its abundance of marine life, with 360 coral species, 600 fish species, 13 dolphin species, and 11 shark species.




  1. Twin Rocks, Miniloc Island


Twin Rocks is another popular site for scuba diving in the Philippines. Located in the northern part of Miniloc Island, the Twin Rocks have great diving site slopes and a rich sandy bottom. The sandy area is often inhabited by a school of stingrays and ribbon tails.




The Puerto Princesa Underground River

Guide to Visiting the Puerto Princesa Underground River

 Puerto-Princesa-Subterranean-River-National-ParkA popular tourist attraction in the Philippines, the Puerto Princesa Underground River can be found at the province of Palawan. This 8-km long subterranean river flows below a mountain range and channels its way into the various caverns and chambers. Aside from being hailed as one of the longest underground rivers in the world, it’s also among the few rivers that emerge directly into the sea.

Book an Underground River Tour Today!

How To Get There


There are many ways on how to get to this underground river Palawan. If you’re coming from the capital city of Manila, there are several direct flights going to Puerto Princesa City every day. The flight only takes less than two hours. You can also travel by ferry but travel time could take up to 7 to 8 hours. Upon arriving in Puerto Princesa, you can hail a tricycle going to your hotel or to wherever you want to go.


Palawan Underground River Tour


underground river palawan tourThe best way to experience the Puerto Princesa Underground River is by booking a tour. If you’re travelling solo, you can save money by joining a group tour. You can book a Palawan underground river tour in advance or you can book there directly.


You first need to travel to Sabang when going to the underground river. There are plenty of buses and vans that will take you to Sabang coming from the Puerto Princesa bus terminal. Travel time to Sabang is approximately three hours.


Upon arriving in Sabang, you need to go to the tourist office where you need to pay the entrance fee, environmental fee, and an audio guide. After this, you’ll be asked to ride the jetty in front of the office so you can begin your tour.


What To Expect During the Tour


You’ll be riding a motorized boat for your Palawan underground river tour. The boat will first take you to a beach where you’ll be handed an audio device and ushered to a smaller boat that will be used in touring the Puerto Princesa underground river.


The small boat will then take you into the cave and the audio guide will explain the history and significance of the cave system. It will also describe the different rock formations inside the cave, including the stalagmites and stalactites.


The tour of the Puerto Princesa subterranean river national park takes less than two hours. It will only take you to the first four kilometres of the cave, and after about 45 minutes, the small boat will be heading back to the jetty.


Tips to Keep In Mind


Make sure you wear appropriate clothing when you tour the underground river Palawan. Wear flip-flops and other footwear that you wouldn’t mind getting wet. The tour will require you to go through knee-deep water so you have to be prepared for this. Aside from the audio guide, you’ll also be given a helmet for your tour so make sure you wear it at all times. Avoid opening your mouth when looking up while inside the cave since there are plenty of bats that could sprinkle you with their poo. Above all, bring a waterproof camera to document your Palawan underground river tour!

 Book an Underground River Tour Today!

5 Clever Ways to Keep Mosquitoes Away On Your Trip to Palawan

keep mosquitoes away

Palawan is paradise itself. The waters are crystal clear, the air is wonderfully fresh and there are beaches galore to explore. The only downside? The mosquitoes are both abundant and ferocious.

And mosquitoes in the tropics aren’t just a pesky nuisance – they can be dangerous. In fact, mosquitoes are considered the most dangerous animal in the world. The tiny, flitty little things may not be what comes to mind when you think “danger!” but these annoying bugs actually kill around 725,000 of us each year.

It’s not their itty bitty stings, of course, that poses the danger – a mosquito’s lethal impact comes from the diseases they carry like malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, West Nile virus, chikungunya, encephalitis, the recent Zika fever, and the list goes on and on.

Not exactly the sort of thing you want to bring back as a souvenir from your vacation to the tropics.

Which is why you need to know the best ways to keep mosquitoes away – here’s what you want to pack in your bags (and brains) to avoid mosquito bites during your entire vacay!

Mosquito Repellent Clothing

Hands down the easiest way to keep mosquitoes off you is to cover yourself in clothes that mosquitoes cannot stand.keep mosquitoes away

This may not work for the beach, but if you’re planning on hiking the jungles, picking up a set of bug repelling jacket and pants can help you steer clear of mosquitoes, ticks, chiggers and a whole bunch of other annoyances.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that these mosquito repellent clothes are actually quite stylish and come in a wide variety of styles!

Note: If you’re not ready for a total mosquito repelling wardrobe overhaul – you can just treat the clothes you already have with a safe insect repellent, like Sawyer Product’s Permethrin Clothing Spray.

Mosquito Repellent

You weren’t thinking of stepping foot in the tropics without at least a bottle of mosquito repellent, were you? Of course not, that’d be silly.

Most mosquito repellents contain DEET, like Repel 100 Insect Repellent (which works amazingly, by the way), but if you have kids and would prefer DEET-free, natural options, there’s plenty of those, too.

keep mosquitoes away

Badger’s Anti-Bug Balm combines a potent blend of mosquito repelling essential oils that’s strong enough to keep bugs away while being gentle enough for children and people with sensitive skin.

And of course, if you’re the DIY type, you can always make your own mosquito repellent!

Dryer Sheets

Here’s a handy little trick that’s super cheap and quite effective – take some dryer sheets with you. We’re not sure why mosquitoes find the smell of Bounce so offensive (note: any brand works), but hey, as long as it works. Plus, it leaves you smelling lovely.

Bath Oil

Not any old bath oil, mind you – you want to pick up a bottle or two of Avon’s Skin So Soft. This bath oil is intended to soften skin but for some reason, it also does a brilliant job of keeping bugs away.

Thanks to this, it’s gained a sort of cult following amongst people who would otherwise serve as mosquito magnets.

Take Your Vitamins

Yup, you should’ve been listening to your mom all along: it turns out certain vitamins make you less attractive to mosquitoes. Or rather, mosquitoes are more likely to bite people with certain vitamin deficiencies, namely the B vitamins.

Which is why studies suggest that upping your intake of vitamin B1 (thiamine) can keep mosquitoes away. How? The theory is that the excess vitamin B1 that gets sweated out – and you’ll do plenty of sweating while in Palawan – produces a scent that mosquitoes find disgusting.

So you essentially become healthier and more repulsive to mosquitoes. Win win.

Okay, there you have it – 5 uncommon, clever ways to ward off mosquitoes in Palawan and have a bite-free, itch-free vacation! Have fun and safe travels!


Top 7 Things to Do in Coron, Palawan

port barton palawan

Coron is an adventurer’s paradise – full of places to to be explored above and under water. From diving Japanese shipwrecks from the 1940s to guided mangrove tours, there is a whole lot to do in Coron. Check out the top 7 – in no particular order!

1. Dive sunken Japanese shipwrecks

Coron is well-known as an awesome wreck-diving destination. In fact, it’s been named as one of the top 10 Best Scuba Diving Sites in the world by Forbes Traveler. Sure, you could see a whole lot of wildlife snorkeling around the beautiful coral reefs of Coron, but in all honesty – those are incomparable to what you’ll experience on the wreck dives.

Here’s a snippet:

There’s just something ethereal and magical about exploring a ship wreck underwater. The wreck dive sites around Coron can be as shallow as 10- 30 feet or as deep as 120-140 feet. There are many to choose from, but be sure to check out Irako Maru for great visibility and the opportunity for deep penetration wreck diving!

2. Trek 700+ steps to the top of Mt. Tapyas

Mt. Tapyas is the second tallest peak in Coron and only a thirty minute walk from the town proper. It towers over the town, offering a breathtaking view of Coron Island. A beautiful place to take in a sunset. Or two.

things to see in coron, palawan

Don’t let the 700+ steps put you off – it’s an easy climb with plenty of rest stops along the way!

3. Four words: Siete Picados Marine Park

Siete Picados Marine Park is a must-visit for anyone in or near Coron. It’s comprised of a cluster of seven islets that are home to an incredibly rich variety of marine life. The massive corals alone are worth the visit and the abundant marine life is the cherry on top.

things to do in coron, palawan

Siete Picados Marine Park also happens to be the closest snorkeling site to Coron – at only a 15 minute boat ride away, there’s just no excuse not to check it out!

4. Check out wildlife at the Calauit Island Wildlife Sanctuary

What better place to check out African wildlife than in…the Philippines?

Calauit Island is about a 2 hour drive away from Coron town so it’s going to be a full-day trip – but it’s worth the visit. At the wildlife sanctuary, you’ll find a collection of giraffes, zebras, bear cats, Calamian deer, peacocks, as well as various species of birds.

It’s a huge – 3,700 hectares – sanctuary built by the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos to preverse African and Palawan wildlife threatened with extinction. Whether you’re an animal lover or not – this trip is totally worth it.

5.  Explore Busuanga Island on a mountain bike

The best way to explore the entirety of this beautiful island – at your own pace – is to rent a motorbike. You can stop by beaches for a quick, refreshing dip or explore the numerous trails that lead to mangrove forests and rivers. A stopover at a waterfall is always nice, too!

6. Go horseback riding

Another pitstop you can make on your motorbike is at “Horse Valley” – just a 10-minute ride from Coron. Spend the day riding through the bushes and forests around the foot of Mt. Tundalara – the second highest mountain in all of Palawan.

Or, if you’re an experienced rider, you can even horse ride your way up the 700+ steps of Mt. Tapyas and take in the beautiful views – without much effort on your part.

7. Idle away the day hopping from one beautiful island to the next

No “things to do in coron” list is complete with…island hopping. Coron is home to some of the most beautiful beaches and spectacular underwater wildlife and an island hopping tour is the best way to check out all the sights!


5 Must Try Foods of Palawan

things to eat in palawan

Travel is all about…eating.

There’s no doubt about it – one of the best ways to experience a place and culture is to taste it! And Palawan is no exception.

Palaweño cuisine is, like the island itself, a still undiscovered frontier. With the unique mix of cultures and the abundance of fresh marine and land-based ingredients at its disposal, Palawan has some unique culinary delights that are purely its own.

Here are the top must-try foods in Palawan…

1. Tamilok

So…tamilok is…a worm. That alone really turned us off. In fact, it’s a woodworm that lives in the mangroves. Even grosser.

But don’t worry, it gets better. Although tamilok looks like a worm, it’s actually a mollusc that tastes surprisingly a lot like oysters – just longer and slimier.

things to eat in palawan

These long, slimy creatures are cleaned, dipped in vinegar and served raw.

One interesting thing about tamilok is the source of its name. According to legend, two foreigners were with tribesmen who were about to feast on the “u-od,” which means worms in Tagalog. One of the westerners watched and in utter astonishment shouted toward his companion, “Look! Tommy! Look!”

The tribesmen believed the white men were experts who knew the actual name of the dish…Thus “tamilok”…or “tommy, look!”

2. Lechón

Lechón is a favourite in nearly all parts of the Philippines – and it’s no surprise since anyone with taste buds can tell that this is just damn good food!

palawans foods

This delicacy comes from the Spanish influence in the Philippines and is now held in the place of highest honour in the Philippines – it’s a national dish! It’s a simple dish – a suckling pig roasted over charcoal to a juicy, succulent finish!
3. Crispy PataCrispy pata is simply delicious. Just don’t ask what it is…palawan foodsOkay, we’ll tell you. They’re pig trotters. Yes, feet. Deep-fried. And with a soy-vinegar drip. Absolutely delicious.

4. Kaldereta

You must try this dish – it’s a sin if you don’t. Kaldereta is one of the most popular Filipino dishes – it’s made of mutton, liver spread, cheese, capsicum, and chillies all placed in a tomato-based sauce.
what to eat in palawanYum!

5. Chao Long noodles

Palawan’s dishes are varied, thanks to their rich cultural and ethnic diversity. Chao Long noodles are a Vietnamese cuisine and brought to the Philippines by the Vietnamese refugees who migrated over during the Communist occupation of South Vietnam. must try foods palawanThanks to the Vietnamese settlers, Palawan is home to several delicious Chao Long noodle houses.

There is also plentiful seafood to be had in Palawan. Get some!