The moment I set foot on the stunning islands of Palawan, I knew that this was not just a vacation—it was a dream come true.
Palawan, often hailed as the last frontier of the Philippines, had been on my bucket list for as long as I could remember. Crystal-clear waters, vibrant coral reefs, and lush landscapes awaited me, promising an escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Join me on this journey as I recount the highlights of my 5-day trip to Palawan.
Day 1: The Arrival of Dreams
My journey began with a breathtaking landing at Puerto Princesa International Airport. The warm breeze, fragrant with the scent of tropical blooms, welcomed me as I stepped off the plane. After checking into my charming beachfront resort, our local travel expert helped us head straight to Honda Bay for an afternoon of island hopping.
The turquoise waters of Honda Bay revealed a kaleidoscope of marine life beneath. Snorkeling amidst colorful coral gardens and playful schools of fish felt like a plunge into a living aquarium. Each island had its unique charm, from the white sandy beaches of Pandan Island to the mangrove-fringed charm of Luli Island. The day ended with a vibrant sunset painting the sky in hues of orange and pink—a picture-perfect start to my Palawan adventure.
Day 2: Underground River Expedition
Day 2 was dedicated to exploring the world-famous Underground River, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A scenic drive took me to Sabang, the gateway to this natural wonder. The boat ride to the entrance of the cave was an adventure in itself, with limestone cliffs towering above and the occasional glimpse of monkeys playing along the shoreline.
Entering the cave, I was transported to a mystical realm. The stalactite and stalagmite formations resembled ancient sculptures, illuminated by the guide’s flashlight. The eerie silence, broken only by the occasional sound of dripping water, added to the enchantment of the underground journey. As I emerged into daylight, I couldn’t help but marvel at the sheer magnificence of nature’s artistry.
Day 3: El Nido—Island Hopping Extravaganza
El Nido, renowned for its dramatic limestone cliffs and hidden lagoons, awaited me on Day 3. The island-hopping tour started at the crack of dawn, taking me to the Big and Small Lagoons, Shimizu Island, and Secret Lagoon. Each destination left me in awe of the sheer beauty that surrounded me.
Snorkeling in the crystal-clear waters of Shimizu Island brought me face-to-face with a vibrant underwater world. The limestone karsts of Big Lagoon provided a surreal backdrop as I kayaked through its emerald-green waters. The day concluded with a mesmerizing sunset at Corong-Corong Beach, a spectacle that seemed almost too perfect to be real.
Day 4: Nacpan Beach Bliss
On Day 4, I ventured to Nacpan Beach, often hailed as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The long stretch of golden sand, fringed by coconut palms, offered a tranquil escape. I spent the day basking in the sun, enjoying the gentle sea breeze, and savoring local delicacies from beachside shacks.
In the afternoon, a hike up the nearby hill provided a panoramic view of the twin beaches of Nacpan and Calitang, separated by a thin strip of land. The sight was nothing short of a postcard come to life. As the sun dipped below the horizon, I couldn’t help but reflect on the serenity and simplicity that Nacpan Beach had gifted me.
Day 5: Culmination at Coron
The final leg of my Palawan journey took me to Coron, known for its stunning lakes and world-class diving spots. Kayangan Lake, often dubbed as the cleanest lake in Asia, was the highlight of the day. The short hike to the viewing deck revealed a mesmerizing panorama of turquoise waters surrounded by towering limestone cliffs.
Later, a dip in the rejuvenating Maquinit Hot Springs provided the perfect contrast to the day’s adventures. The sunset cruise along Coron Bay, with its dazzling display of colors, marked the grand finale of my escapade in the Philippines.
Day 6: Bittersweet Farewell
As I packed my bags on the final day, I couldn’t help but feel a bittersweet mix of gratitude and nostalgia. Palawan had surpassed every expectation, offering not just a vacation but an immersion into a world of natural wonders. From the vibrant coral gardens of Honda Bay to the mystical depths of the Underground River and the awe-inspiring landscapes of El Nido and Coron, each day had been a revelation.
I am inspired to visit other Philippine destinations next, including the most-recommended Boracay Islands.
Palawan, with its pristine beauty and warm hospitality, had woven itself into the fabric of my most cherished memories. This six-day journey had not only fulfilled a dream but had ignited a passion for exploration and appreciation of the wonders that our planet holds. As I boarded the plane back home, I carried with me the sunsets, the turquoise waters, and the laughter of the locals—a treasure trove of memories that would last a lifetime. Palawan, you are not just a destination; you are a piece of paradise etched into my heart forever.