Best Things to Do in Palawan that Don’t Involve the Beach

Palawan became one of the world’s most beautiful islands because of its fetching beaches characterized by powdery white sand, towering karst formations, and cerulean-colored waters. These are the main attractions of the province and the reason many local and foreign tourists make their way here. However, the province is more than just its beaches. There other places to visit and things to experience during your visit. These are some of the things to do and places to visit in Palawan that don’t involve hitting the beach. Add these to your itinerary to enjoy your trip and gain new experiences.

Underground River (Puerto Princesa)

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the reasons people decide to spend at least one night in Puerto Princesa. It will take a few hours to reach the cave, but once you get inside, you’ll realize it was worth it. You won’t explore the whole cave, but only part of it. The trip provides you a glimpse of the subterranean beauty of the province. The stalagmites and stalactites take on various shapes and sizes. Use your imagination when you look at them, the guide makes a few jokes and provides some descriptions of the Underground River. There are plenty of tour packages that offer trips to this attraction that include transportation, fees, and lunch.

Where to Stay: Search Puerto Princesa Hotels

Fort Santa Isabel (Taytay)

Palawan isn’t just for beach lovers; history buffs can also enjoy their trip. Fort Santa Isabel or also known as Taytay Fort has a history that dates back to the 1660s. The initial structure was a wooden palisade. Governor-General Fernando Manuel de Bustillo had it replaced with stronger coral limestone material. Taytay Fort acted as a line of defense against Muslim raiders. Explore the imposing fort and learn more about its history by visiting this part of the province.

Where to Stay: Search Palawan Hotels

Calauit Safari (Coron)

Coron is famous for its lakes, beaches, and dive spots. One place to include in your itinerary is Calauit Safari. Who would’ve thought that you’d see a safari in the Philippines? But here is one. The animals were taken to this part of Palawan from Kenya by boat. Some of the animals you’ll find are Calamian deer, giraffes, and zebras. You can explore the area, but always keep a safe distance from the animals and listen to the guide. You can also feed the giraffes during your visit. There are tour agencies in town that offer this package.

Where to Stay: Search Coron Hotels

Taraw Cliff (El Nido)

El Nido’s beaches are its main draw and there are many island hopping tours to take you to them. But there’s more to El Nido than the beaches like hiking up Taraw Cliff. The cliff provides a stunning bird’s eye views of the town below and the sea. The cliff isn’t high but can still be dangerous because of the jagged limestone you’ll need to climb up and the steepness of the ascent. Try going early in the morning to avoid the hottest times of the day.

Where to Stay: Search Palawan Hotels

Mount Tapyas (Coron)

While in Coron you should also go up to Mount Tapyas. The mountain has more than 700 steps that lead to a huge cross and an observation area that provides overlooking views of the town, the rolling hills, and the sea. The hike up is easy because of the many rest stops along the way. The ideal time to go is during blue hour until sunset. Give yourself an hour or so before sunset to make it in time. This is when you’ll see the sky turn from blue to a fiery red-orange. Take the tricycle or just walk to the start of the hike.

Where to Stay: Search Coron Hotels

Culion Town Tour

This former leper colony is a noteworthy destination you can visit from Coron. Culion used to be a place where lepers and their doctors sought refuge. Fast forward to today, leprosy is a thing of the past. The locals will gladly tell you stories about their town’s past and its resiliency to overcome a disease. The Culion Museum will provide you with a back story of the town’s history through artifacts, news clippings, letters, and other records.
The Culion Church dates all the way back to the 17th century. Fort Culion is another attraction near Culion Church. The recollect Augustinians had the fort constructed in 1740. Other places you can visit include the Agila Viewpoint and Pulang Lupa.

Where to Stay: Search Palawan Hotels

Ugong Rock (Puerto Princesa)

This destination is often included with a trip to the Underground River. There is a cave you can explore during your stay. The caving is short but still a good experience while in Palawan. Once you reach the top your reward is the overlooking views. Most take the zipline on the way down.

Where to Stay: Search Puerto Princesa Hotels

Glittering Fireflies and Plankton (Coron)

This is a unique tour you can do from Coron. You think you might only see the luminescent plankton in other countries, but you could actually see them here in Coron. The trip starts at night you’ll ride a boat to the spot where the water will sparkle when you touch it.

Where to Stay: Search Coron Hotels

Waterfall Hopping (El Nido)

Take a break from island hopping and beach bumming by going on a hike to these two waterfalls: Bulalacao and Nagkalit-kalit. These may not be as impressive as others in the country, but they are still worth the trip. The hikes are easy and the waters of the pools beneath the cascade are cool and refreshing.

Where to Stay: Search Palawan Hotels

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