Paradise colored in shades of blue and green, where you will completely forget about your busy and robotic life spent in your industrialized and technologized city. This is what Palawan, The Last Frontier of the Philippines, offers. My 3-week Palawan itinerary will teach you everything you need to know about this little paradise.
There’s a good reason why Palawan was called the most beautiful island in the world two years in a row by Conde Nast Traveler.
The province between the Sulu Sea and the West Philippine Sea comprises about 1780 islands. What you’ll find here? An abundance of plains with rice, vast meadows with palm trees, hills, mountains, and cliffs formed by rocks of karst and limestone, and hidden beaches with white sand, watered by the turquoise waves of the sea. There are so many unique Palawan tour packages that will let you experience everything these islands have to offer.
I know it sounds fantastic and almost incredible, but Palawan exists, and I advise you to visit it now before becoming a hugely popular destination. I spent 3 weeks in the Philippines, exploring the island far and wide, part of my two months trip to Southeast Asia.
PIN IT FOR LATER ↓
What I use every time I travel:
- To book hotels: Booking.com
- To book tours: GetYourGuide.com
And I haven’t stopped in one place because I wanted to see and know more. Therefore, I recommend this 3-week Palawan itinerary since you have so much to see and do here.
In the following four destinations, you will learn about one of the seven wonders of nature, the cleanest lake in Asia, and many other great places worth exploring, including the best Palawan beaches. This is my itinerary for the perfect trip to Palawan:
3 week Palawan itinerary
3 days in Puerto Princesa | Palawan itinerary
The most popular and easy method to get to Palawan is by plane, from Manila to the provincial capital of Palawan, Puerto Princesa or Puerto, as the locals call it.
We flew with Air Asia, and after an hour and a half, we stepped foot in the modest but colorful airport. In Puerto Princesa, we spent three days, during which we had many activities that kept us busy in an enjoyable way. Let me tell you about my Puerto Princesa itinerary.
We stayed at a hotel near the airport but far from the bustle of downtown, with many noisy tricycles and tourists, and we started exploring the surrounding villages.
We discovered bands of children waving, excited, and intrigued by the appearance of two unknown figures on their narrow streets, and we learned about their modest but happy living.
⇒ Also read: Visiting The Underground River, one of the 7 Natural Wonders of our World
Best tours to add to your Puerto Princesa itinerary
There are many things to do in Puerto Princesa, and you would need more than 3 days to try them all. But, having a limited time to spend here, you must choose the area’s best tours and tourist attractions.
Puerto Princesa is not only the cleanest city in the Philippines, a name earned thanks to its tropical and lush forests, stretched over hundreds of kilometers, but it is also home to one of the 7 Natural Wonders of our world, The Underground River, a river “dug” into the mountain.
To visit the river of 8 km in length, of which only 2 km are navigable, you need a whole day because of the 75 km / 2 hours distance from the city.
The road to the river works like this: you will travel by van, then by a motorboat, and eventually you will be taken into a kayak with a suitable size to enter into the mountain.
During the tour, you will have audio equipment and listen in the headphones to the story of the stalagmites and stalactites. You’ll also hear some information about the fauna which lies in darkness.
⇒ Book your Underground River tour
Another tour I recommend ( and took the next day ) is Honda Bay Islands, where you will visit three very different, uninhabited islands, StarFish, Luli, and Cowrie.
While on StarFish Island, you will take selfies with the starfish; on Cowrie Island, you will snorkel and admire the beautiful scenery that seems pretty surreal.
⇒ Book your Honda Bay Islands hopping tour
Other great tours in Puerto Princesa:
Where to stay in Puerta Princesa:
- low-budget: Golden Pension House, Palawan– free Wifi, free parking, excellent breakfast
- mid-budget: Cleon Villas Pension – free Wifi, free parking, rooms with balcony, excellent breakfast
- luxury: Ai World Park and Resorts– swimming pool, room service, great view, restaurant
2 days in San Vicente | 3 week Palawan itinerary
When I carefully prepared my Palawan itinerary, San Vicente wasn’t on my list. I discovered it thanks to a lovely hotel located there, about which I will write a separate article soon.
I’m glad that San Vicente was added to my journey of 3 weeks in the Philippines because it is not a touristy area, so it’s not that easy to find out about it.
I could even number the tourists I saw there on the fingers of one hand.
If the wilderness of the place doesn’t seem a good enough reason to spend two days in San Vicente, then maybe the longest white sand beach in the Philippines, under Long Beach, will convince you.
It’s lovely, full of palm trees, and so long that you can not see the end. Not to mention the possibility of having it only for you, given the low number of tourists in the area.
Where to stay in San Vicente:
- low-budget: Jake and Zyra Place – bungalow, beachfront
- mid-budget: BING-VICE Tourist Inn – great location, AC, good breakfast included
- luxury: Sunset Beach Resort – swimming pool, beachfront, Exceptional breakfast
⇒ Also read: Staying at Peace & Love Resort in San Vicente. Palawan, Philippines
5 days in El Nido | Best things to do in Palawan Philippines
Most Palawan lovers go straight to El Nido for its spectacular lagoons, pristine beaches, and crystal clear waters, perfect for snorkeling and other water activities.
Indeed, El Nido is a beautiful dream place where you’ll feel like you’re on another planet.
To fully enjoy the paradise of El Nido, you will need to choose a tour of the four available (A, B, C, D) and explore the islands and everything they offer.
Book your favorite tour in El Nido ↓
I have chosen tour A, which allowed me to discover Big Lagoon, Small Lagoon, Secret Lagoon, Shimizu Island, and 7 Commando Beach.
Undoubtedly, the Big Lagoon is the most beautiful sightseeing of the whole tour; it is a large stretch of water in a gorgeous color, bordered by majestic cliffs.
The tour is an excellent activity that you shouldn’t miss under any circumstances.
How incredible it sounds exploring islands and beaches, plus a hearty lunch of fish, rice, salads, and the most exotic fruits for less than $ 30?
Yes, the tours offered in Palawan, be it Puerto Princesa, El Nido, or Coron, are available to every budget, and the quality-price ratio is excellent. Just go for it!
⇒ Also read:
TOP 7 best beaches in EL NIDO, Philippines
El Nido – all you need to know about Tour A
18 things you must see & do in El Nido, Philippines
El Nido, Palawan- Complete guide to Philippines’s hidden paradise
Things to do in El Nido, except for the classic boat tours | 3 week Palawan itinerary
Perhaps you wonder if you can have fun in El Nido without being forced to climb into a boat. The answer is yes.
The city center is full of restaurants, shops, and pubs, many with ocean views. For a perfect tan, fun, good food, and sensational views, you can spend time in El Nido Bay and Bacuit Bay.
For extra excitement and a beach in addition to the list, rent a scooter for $ 5, drive to the north of the island, among immense rice paddies and stop for a few hours on Nacpan Beach, a beach very similar to Long Beach in San Vicente, but on a smaller scale.
Where to stay in El Nido:
- low-budget: Harmony Healing Resort – beachfront bungalow
- mid-budget: La Españolita Resto & Rooms– free parking, free wifi, restaurant, bar
- luxury: Dryft Darocotan Island– beachfront, restaurant, room service, bar
5 days in CORON | Palawan 3 week itinerary
This time a ferry will become your means of transportation between El Nido and Coron. You can choose between a slower ferry and a faster one.
Depending on climatic factors, the first will bring you to Coron in 3 h, the second in 5, 6.
We chose the slower boat, and that’s because we had to check in at the hotel at 2 pm anyway.
Included in the price, you will get a desired snack after a few hours spent on the pretty tumultuous waters.
You shouldn’t sleep the whole route as long as you can get out on the deck and admire the islands lost in the distance, and the playful fish, hopping through the waves.
Book your favorite tour in Coron ↓
⇒ Also read:
10 things to do in Coron, Philippines
Coron Island, Philippines – Ultimate Tour
Amazing sunset at the top of Mount Tapyas in Coron, Philippines
Coron, Philippines – Island Escapade. Tour C
Don’t skip Kayangan Lake in Coron | Palawan itinerary
The star of Coron is Kayangan Lake, the cleanest lake in Asia. To reach it, or more precisely, to reach Coron Island or the surrounding areas, it is necessary to sign up for an organized tour.
After extensive research, I have chosen two tours that I recommend to you, which seem to be the most attractive.
The first tour included 3 gorgeous islands (Bulog Dog, Banana si Malcapuya), while the second one, called the Ultimate Tour, included Siete Pecados, Kayangan Lake, Twin Lagoon, Smith Bech, Skeleton Wreck, Las Islas de Coral si CYC Beach.
Besides boat tours, it is a must to climb Mount Tapyas for a perfect panorama of the island and the most beautiful sunset.
I suggest you start at least one hour before sunset because you will have no less than 700 stairs to climb.
Yes, your wrists will tremble, and you will feel muscle soreness the next day, but it is worth it. See for yourself ⇩
Where to stay in Coron:
- low-budget: Bella Vita Guest House – free wifi, free parking, exceptional breakfast
- mid-budget: Corto del Mar Hotel – free parking, pool, restaurant
- luxury: Two Seasons Coron Bayside Hotel – pool, free wifi, room service, good breakfast
el nido palawanpalawan itineraryPalawan Philippines