IN PHOTOS: Which of these 5 Palawan destinations will you visit next?

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With majestic limestone cliffs, beautiful and clear lakes, lagoons, and seas, long stretches of white sand, and natural wonders like the Underground River, Palawan is recognized by international publications as one of the world’s most beautiful islands. (READ: The unhurried life in Cuyo)

Since the world’s most beautiful island is right in our country, why not pay a visit? And there are many places to explore, too, so one visit is certainly not enough, unless you’re staying for months. (READ: Charmed by Palawan)

Below are destinations and photos of some beautiful places in Palawan, starting from Puerto Princesa and going up north. If you’re up for a long-term adventure, you can even go to all these places in one trip. (READ: Palawan, Boracay lead ‘World’s Best Islands’)

Puerto Princesa

PALAWAN MUST-VISIT. A UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New 7 Wonders Of Nature, the Underground River is visited by many tourists at any time of the year. All photos by Rhea Claire Madarang unless otherwise specified

PALAWAN MUST-VISIT. A UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New 7 Wonders Of Nature, the Underground River is visited by many tourists at any time of the year. All photos by Rhea Claire Madarang unless otherwise specified

Take the boat to the Underground River and marvel at the cave formations. Tour around the city and enjoy picturesque views like the landscape from Mitra Ranch, and the colorful plants and flowers at Baker’s Hill. You can also check out other beaches and islands in Puerto Princesa, like those in Honda Bay. (READ: Baragatan Festival, a wonderful time to visit Palawan)

RIVER AND CAVE TOUR. Enjoy looking at the cave formations while your guide paddles your boat and points out interesting sights

RIVER AND CAVE TOUR. Enjoy looking at the cave formations while your guide paddles your boat and points out interesting sights

BEAUTIFUL ANY SEASON. Puerto Princesa has nice beaches like this one near the Underground River

BEAUTIFUL ANY SEASON. Puerto Princesa has nice beaches like this one near the Underground River

IDYLLIC. Enjoy the view of forest and sea from Mitra Ranch

IDYLLIC. Enjoy the view of forest and sea from Mitra Ranch

BURSTS OF COLOR. Baker’s Hill has several flower art displays like this, and even stone mosaic art

BURSTS OF COLOR. Baker’s Hill has several flower art displays like this, and even stone mosaic art

How to get there: Take a flight to Puerto Princesa. Major airlines like Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, and AirAsia fly there.

San Vicente

LONG BEACH. This beach, which stretches to 14 kilometers, is the longest in the country. Photo by Shirin Bhandari

LONG BEACH. This beach, which stretches to 14 kilometers, is the longest in the country. Photo by Shirin Bhandari

San Vicente is home to the Philippines’ longest beach, which stretches to 14 kilometers. The long beach area is quite remote, so be prepared to see just sand, water, and coconut trees as you walk along the shore. Accommodations are very basic. There are more establishments in Port Barton, which is an hour’s boat ride away. Port Barton also has its own beach and some waterfalls. (READ:Silence, back to basics in stunning San Vicente, Palawan)

WATERFALLS. Port Barton, which is about an hour’s boat ride or more from the long beach area, has waterfalls you can trek to. Photo by Jherson Jaya

WATERFALLS. Port Barton, which is about an hour’s boat ride or more from the long beach area, has waterfalls you can trek to. Photo by Jherson Jaya

SANDBAR. Port Barton has a beach with a sandbar, where locals pass. Photo by Jherson Jaya

SANDBAR. Port Barton has a beach with a sandbar, where locals pass. Photo by Jherson Jaya

How to get there: From Manila, fly to Puerto Princesa then take the Roxas or El Nido van then ask the driver to drop you off at the main road’s junction going to Port Barton. Then take a habal-habal to Port Barton. You can also take a jeep to Port Barton from Puerto Princesa, but trips are limited. Total travel time is around 4 hours. Meanwhile, to get to San Vicente’s long beach, ride a boat for over an hour to get to the Poblacion area, then hire a motorbike to the beach. (READ: Cooking on vacation, another way to explore the Philippines)

Taytay

TINY CHURCH. Inside its walls you will find a small, charming church

TINY CHURCH. Inside its walls you will find a small, charming church

While Taytay has beautiful beaches, what is unique about it is its old Spanish fortress by the sea, the Fuerza de Sta. Isabel, built in 1667. If you take a tricycle up to eat at Casa Rosa, a hilltop restaurant, you will see it from afar. Up close, you will see that within its walls is a small church amid flowers, shrubs, and grass.

TAYTAY SIGNAGE. From the old fortress’ walls you will find the municipality’s signage

TAYTAY SIGNAGE. From the old fortress’ walls you will find the municipality’s signage

If you are going to Taytay just for the fortress, you can actually make this a side trip before going to El Nido, as Taytay is on the way to El Nido.

How to get there: From Manila, fly to Puerto Princesa then take the El Nido van or bus. Get off at Taytay, then ride a tricycle to the fort. Travel time is about 4 hours.

If you’re coming from San Vicente poblacion area, ride a habal-habal to the junction in the main road, then take the El Nido van or bus to get off at Taytay.

El Nido

CLEAR WATERS. Kayaking to the Small Lagoon

CLEAR WATERS. Kayaking to the Small Lagoon

Picture-perfect white beaches, crystal-clear waters, and towering limestone cliffs are what you will find when you go island hopping in El Nido. The mainland has beautiful beaches, too, and arguably the best place to see the sunset is Maramegmeg Beach at Corong-Corong. (IN PHOTOS: 8 PH lakes to add to your travel bucket list)

POWDER-FINE BEACH. Papaya Beach, just one of El Nido’s beautiful beaches

POWDER-FINE BEACH. Papaya Beach, just one of El Nido’s beautiful beaches

TWIN BEACH. Nacpan Beach in El Nido mainland has two beaches separated by a strip of land – one, a quiet cove, the other with strong waves

TWIN BEACH. Nacpan Beach in El Nido mainland has two beaches separated by a strip of land – one, a quiet cove, the other with strong waves

BEACH SUNSET. Maramegmeg Beach is the most popular yet still quiet spot to watch the sunset in El Nido

BEACH SUNSET. Maramegmeg Beach is the most popular yet still quiet spot to watch the sunset in El Nido

How to get there: From Manila, fly to Puerto Princesa then take the El Nido bus or van. Travel time is around 5-6 hours. (READ: Discovering the jewels of Coron)

If you’re coming from Taytay, simply ride an El Nido bus or van, too.

Coron

CLASSIC CORON BEAUTY. This view on the way to Coron’s Kayangan Lake is a famous picture-perfect spot where Coron tourists have their photos taken

CLASSIC CORON BEAUTY. This view on the way to Coron’s Kayangan Lake is a famous picture-perfect spot where Coron tourists have their photos taken

Similar to El Nido’s landscape and seascape, Coron also has beautiful beaches, clear waters, and limestone cliffs. It also has shipwrecks for diving and a big, beautiful Coral Garden, with massive corals stretching to several meters. (READ: 8 beautiful white PH beaches perfect for barefoot walking)

SAND AND ROCKS. Many of Coron’s white beaches have beautiful rock formations

SAND AND ROCKS. Many of Coron’s white beaches have beautiful rock formations

TWIN LAGOON. This lagoon is clear and deep, and has a mysterious feel to it

TWIN LAGOON. This lagoon is clear and deep, and has a mysterious feel to it

CORALS AND FISH. Coron has snorkeling sites thriving with marine life

CORALS AND FISH. Coron has snorkeling sites thriving with marine life

How to get there: From Manila, fly to Coron then take a 1.5-hour shuttle to Coron town. You can take a tricycle to the jump-off for island hopping. (READ: Lonely island and Mr GaGa)

From El Nido, ride a passenger boat to Coron. Travel time is 8 hours or more.

Will you be visiting soon? What’s on your Palawan itinerary? Let us know in the comments below.– Rappler.com

Claire Madarang is a writer, traveler and seeker. Her wanderlust takes her on adventures like backpacking for 7 weeks straight. Her seeking leads her to different wellness practices like meditation and healthy (mostly vegetarian) eating. Follow her adventures, tips and epiphanies at her blog, Traveling Light.

Read More: http://www.rappler.com/life-and-style/travel/ph-travel/71693-el-nido-resorts-asia-responsible-tourism-world-travel-awards-2014

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