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!


Palawan Travel Tips

Palawan travel tips

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.

palawan travel tips
your carriage awaits 😉

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.

Palawan travel tips

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.


Port Barton, Palawan Travel Tips

port barton hammocks

Port Barton is a lovely little fishing town in Palawan. For all its pristine natural beauty, it’s managed to stay clear of travel hype – and the large crowds that follow – lending the quiet beach town a quaint, rustic feel.

It’s one of the loveliest off-the-beaten-path destinations we’ve checked out in a long time and quite possibly the most underrated tropical destination there is.

If you plan on checking out this lovely beach town, here are some travel tips to make sure it all goes well.

Travel Tip #1. Be prepared for a bumpy ride

It used to be a nightmare getting to Port Barton, but it’s a lot better now. The road has been significantly improved and in more cases, you should be able to reach Port Barton from Puerto Princesa in around 3 hours.

port barton, palawan

Still, the buses that go are usually endowed with wooden seats and it’s a rather bumpy ride. Be prepared.

Travel Tip #2. Choose the best time

Port Barton’s tourist season starts in November, peaks between late December to March, and ends around early May. It can be hard to find accommodation during the holiday season – Christmas, New Year, Easter – since Port Barton has become a popular travel destination for Filipino travelers.

port barton, palawan

On the flip side, during low season – June to October – some of the resort and guest houses close down and the ones that are open will usually give you a discount. Although this sounds great in theory – no people! discounts! yay! – it also means there’s a real lack of things to do. Most places will be closed around evening time and it’ll prove a challenge to get enough people together for a boat trip to nearby islands.

Travel Tip #3. Bring all the money you’ll need

When we said Port Barton is off-the-beaten-path, we meant it. There are no banks, no ATM machines and no places to even change money. Make sure you have enough cash on you (and a little extra) to be able to pay for everything while you’re here.

That includes housing, food, island hopping tours, and anything else you might need. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself having to shuttle back to Puerto Princesa for some cash.

Travel Tip #4. Bring what you need.

Port Barton is a one-horse town. There are very few, very basic stores that offer a very narrow range of goods so if there’s a particular brand of, say, sunscreen that you need. Bring it with you!

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.


Travel Tip #5. Be prepared to unplug

Palawan, in general, has electricity issues. Port Barton is no exception. 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 afterward, bring an LED headlamp or a flashlight.

The Cobiz Brightest 4 Modes LED Headlight is waterproof and provides plenty of light.

Arrange your WiFi time around this schedule as well.

Travel Tip #6. …and most importantly…

Make sure you’re covered for any travel-related incidentals so you can relax and concentrate on having fun! We highly recommend World Nomads.

They cover travelers from over 150 countries around the world, offer great rates, and cover a range of travel-related costs from the more commonplace – lost baggage and cancellation costs – to the more severe – emergency medical and evacuation assistance as well as coverage for a wide range of adventure sports and activities.


Everything You Need to Know About Island Hopping in El Nido, Palawan


Island hopping in El Nido, Palawan is one of the easiest things to do. Good thing, too, since with over 40 islands to explore, a lack of organization could be abysmal.

Simply by taking a stroll through the town of El Nido, you’ll run across a bevy of small tour companies offering set “island hopping packages.”

These packages basically break down all the islands in the Bacuit Archipelago into smaller groups that you can visit.

island hopping el nido

The El Nido Island Hopping tours are broken down like this:


el-nido-island-hoppingTour A

Places you visit:

  • 2 lagoons on Miniloc Island
  • Simisu Island
  • 7 Commando beach

You get to snorkel and have lunch (not at the same time). The total price is around 700-800PHP, or about $20 per person.


Tour B

Places you visit:

Lunch is included. The total price is around 800-900PHP, or $22.50 per person.

Tour C

  • Snorkel around Matinloc Island
  • Snorkel around Tapiutan Island and visit the Secret Beach where you’ll have the chance to see sea turles.

Lunch is included. The total cost is around 900-1000PHP, or about $25 per person.

Combination Tours

You can also pick-and-choose the islands you want to go to (within reasonable distance) by combining two or more of the tours. These tours will cost you around 1000PHP, or $25 per person.

All the above tours include lunch, mask and snorkel in the price.

Tours A to C take a whole day and that typically starts at 9 AM and lasts ’til about 4 PM. There will be other people on the tour with you, so be sure not to be late.

The boatmen also double as chefs during lunch time and they’ll prepare a serve a lovely meal of fish, rice, salad, fruit and coffee on a beach:

Miniloc Island Lagoons


If you want more activity (say, kayaking), sign up for a kayaking tour.

The Cadlao Kayak and Snorkel Tour will take you from Bocal Island along the wall of Cadlao to Paradise Beach, into the Ubugon Lagoon and then to Helicopter Island. The total cost of the tour is 1,400PHP, or around $35.00.

The Miniloc Kayak Tour is really awesome since you get to kayak the Big and Small Lagoons. These lagoons are beautiful and serene – you can see clear through the calm, aquamarine waters, hear the sounds of the wild around you, and even catch the flight of an exotic bird or two. The cost of the tour is 1,400PHP, or around $35.00

You can also choose to do any of the above tours privately – which I recommend since it’ll give you a much more flexible schedule that allows you to linger in the places you like the most. You can also pick-and-choose the islands you want to visit (within reasonable distance to each other) and the activities you want to partake in (i.e. snorkeling, kayaking, or both).

The private tours cost around 3,000PHP, or $75 – the price is good for 2 people and also includes lunch.

Overall island hopping in El Nido is super easy, thanks to the organized packages and the ubiquitous tour stalls. Just walk around, pick out what you like, and talk to the tour companies. You’ll be on your way in no time!


Port Barton, Palawan Snorkeling Tips

snorkeling port barton

With over 7,000 islands making up its beautiful country, the Philippines, in general, is a giant snorkeling spot and Port Barton, Palawan is certainly no exception.

This lovely little fishing and farming village is most well-known (or unknown) for its tranquility. While lazing on the beach is probably our favorite Port Barton activity, there are plenty of other activities to dive into when you tire of lying under the sun, gazing off into the lovely horizon.

Snorkeling is one of the top activities to explore the waters and islands around Port Barton. Check out the best snorkel spots around Port Barton!

But before you strap on your fins and dive in, here are some tips on snorkeling in Port Barton, Palawan:

Tip#1. Get an Early Start

As they say, the early snorkeler sees the fish. Actually, they don’t say that. Fish are around all the time – in fact, they live there full-time. But ocean conditions are the best in the morning. Around 8 AM is probably the best time to set off.

port barton palawan

If you organize a full-day island hopping and snorkeling excursion with a local fishing boat, it’ll typically start around 8 AM and last until around 4 PM. Make sure lunch is included and that there will be enough – you’ll be raving starved after a few hours of snorkeling.

Tip #2. A Boat with a Canopy

The full-day excursions mean you’re going to be spending a lot of time on the boat. Make sure you get a boat with a canopy for shelter from the sun and also in the event of rain. In tropical climates, the rain sometimes comes without much warning and it can get really cold, really fast.

Tip #3. Check the Tides

Reefs are great since that’s where the fish congregate, however they’re pretty rough for humans. Protect your skin against the corals (and vice versa) by checking to see that the tide isn’t too low before you set off to snorkel.

Tip #4. Get a Snorkel

It’s a really smart idea to invest in a snorkel beforehand. Port Barton is not the most lively place on the planet – which is a huge part of its charm – and it doesn’t have a huge collection of rental shops.

snorkeling port barton

You’ll be able to rent snorkel gear at Palawan Easy Dive but it’d be better to have your own mask and snorkel so you don’t have to roam around the sleepy village and also so you know that your gear is legit.

Tip #5. Beware the Jellyfish

Port Barton is occasionally invaded by swarms of jellyfish. The blue jellyfish are pretty alarming looking but not really harmful – still, if you’re going snorkeling during jellyfish season, bring along a light wetsuit and some vinegar.

Tip #6. Stay covered, stay safe

Make sure you’re covered for travel-related incidentals wherever you roam so you can relax and concentrate on having fun. We highly recommend World Nomads. They cover travelers from over 150 countries around the world, offer great rates, and cover a range of travel-related costs from the more commonplace – lost baggage and cancellation costs – to the more severe – emergency medical and evacuation assistance as well as coverage for a wide range of adventure sports and activities.

Ready to go snorkelling? Check out the best snorkel spots in Port Barton, Palawan.