Spend your Summer in the Palawan Island (2024)

World famous for its azure, clear waters, diverse coral reefs, majestic limestone cliffs, and palm-fringed beaches, this island has bewitched many a soul who willingly endured the hassle of a long transit. Nobody can escape its charms, nobody went away without wishing they never had to. This summer, there is only one place to be and that is on one of the most beautiful islands in the world, El Nido, Palawan. How to explore this beautiful destination? Here's a travel guide.

Where is El Nido?

El Nido can be found in the province of Palawan, about 420 kilometres southwest of Manila in the Philippines. It is one of Palawan's mainland municipalities and arguably the most famous. This island is consistently chosen as one of the most beautiful in the world for its outstanding natural splendour and rich ecosystem. Today, it ranks 4th in Conde Nast Traveller's list of 20 Most Beautiful Beaches in the World.

How to get there?

From Manila, there are daily flights to Puerto Princesa, Palawan offered by low-cost airlines. Airline fare can go anywhere between $19 to $60, depending on the season and seat-sale promos. From Puerto Princesa, you have to spend another 5 to 6 hours of land travel to get to El Nido. There are several travel operators that offer transportation services for $13.70.

Tip: Haggle. There are many van tour operators waiting outside the airport and they are all in competition with one another to get the passengers. Hence, they are inclined to give discounts. Do not hesitate to negotiate; you can get a deal for as low as $10.

If you have the budget and you want to get there the best way possible, you may book a flight with AirSwift, a point-to-point carrier that offers direct flight to El Nido. A return trip from Manila will cost you at around $200.

Where to stay?

The town has numerous lodging options to choose from; hotels, guesthouse, inns, and the most popular to backpackers, hostels. Some of these accommodation are even beach-front. Rates vary from $11 to $60 per night.

Tip: It is best to stay in Corong-Corong because it is near the port where all the island-hopping tours begin. Most establishments, such as bars and restaurants, souvenir shops, among others can also be found in this town.

What to do?

Despite its popularity and the steady growth in tourism, El Nido maintains its laid-back vibe. The life is simple and slow paced and fishing remains as the main source of income of the local populace. Tourism comes in second, with several local businesses offering tour packages. Finding a tour operator is not difficult as they are practically everywhere; they are the people outside the airport waiting to greet tourists, they are the tricycle drivers, and they may even be some random stranger who happens to know someone. Palaweños are friendly and do not hesitate to approach tourists to offer their services.

There are 4 island-hopping tours—Tours A, B, C, and D— in El Nido, each one could take you in 4 or 5 islands in a day. Package A and C are the most recommended tours and the ones that will allow you to see some of Palawan's best-kept secrets; the sublime view of a big lagoon, the hidden beach that can only be reached after swimming in deep waters, the abandoned shrine on a heart-shaped island, the beach named after a Japanese diver who died on that island, among others. You will be treated with seascapes so beautiful it's surreal.

Spend your Summer in the Palawan Island (1)

The island-hopping activity begins at 8 or 9 in the morning and ends at 4 or 5 in the afternoon. Life jackets and snorkelling gears, as well as the lunch meal, are inclusive in the package. The boat crew allows 2 to 3 hours on each stop, which tourists spend on swimming, snorkeling, free-diving, or beach bumming.

Here's a quick reference of the tours in El Nido. Note that the prices are standard regardless which tour agency you select. Lunch meal is included in the package and rate goes per head.


Islands included



Small lagoon

Big lagoon

Secret Lagoon

Shimizu Island

Seven Commando beach

₱1,200 - $23.49


Pangulasian island

Cudognon Cave

Cathedral Cave

Snake Island

Pinagbuyutan Island

₱1,300 - $25.45


Secret beach

Hidden beach

Matinloc Shrine

Tapiutan island

Helicopter island

₱1,400 - $27.40


Nat-nat beach

Pasandigan beach

Cadlao lagoon

Bukal Island

₱1,200 - $23.49

What else to do?

There are other hidden gems in the El Nido that you may explore and you don't even have to take a boat. You can easily hire a tricycle driver for a land tour for only $29.36 or 1,500 in Philippine peso. It's a one-day trip that would let you visit a small waterfall called, Nagkalit-kalit Falls, an eco-tourism estate called LiO, an impeccable white-sand beach famous to backpackers, the Nacpan beach, and a chillax beach where you can enjoy a drink while watching the sunset, Las Cabañas.

When is the best time to go?

Tourists come in droves in the Philippines' summer season, March to May. The best time to go there, however, is between June and July where prices are considerably lower and the crowd is lesser. But do take note that the Philippines is a tropical country and has a wet season that begins in June and ends in October. Hence, it is advisable to always check the weather prior to travelling there.


Marjorie Gavan is a writer by profession andbypassion. She has a degree in B.S. Journalism and now has 15 years of writing and editing experience under her belt. She currently works as a knowledge specialist in an IT company in Quezon City, Philippines. She chronicles her travel adventures in her blog,Coffeehan.

Spend your Summer in the Palawan Island (2024)


What is the best thing to do here during summer in Palawan? ›

Our most recommended Palawan Summer activities. Spend the day island-hopping in paradise on an El Nido cruise to deep-blue lagoons and white-sand beaches. Explore Bacuit Bay, the Big Lagoon, Seven Commandos Beach, the Secret Lagoon, and a snorkeling area.

How many days in Palawan is enough? ›

If you plan to visit only one destination in the province, the shortest Palawan travel itinerary you can enjoy is 3 days and 2 nights. For two destinations, the minimum duration for the Palawan trip itinerary should be 5 days and 4 nights.

What is special about Palawan Island? ›

Palawan is a stunning province in the Philippines that offers visitors a chance to explore some of the most beautiful natural wonders in the world. From pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters to lush forests and stunning limestone cliffs, Palawan is a nature lover's dream.

How long should you spend in Puerto Princesa? ›

Two days in Puerto Princesa gives you time to tick off the colonial city sights, visit a couple of beaches, and check out Puerto Princesa's UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of the most impressive cave networks in the world. Here are a few tips on how to spend 48 hours in PP.

What would be best for a day in Palawan? ›

14 Best Things to Do in Palawan
  • El Nido Marine Reserve Park.
  • Puerto Princesa Subterranean River.
  • The Shipwrecks of Coron Bay.
  • Calauit Safari Park.
  • Barracuda Lake.
  • Honda Bay.
  • Tubbataha Reef National Park.
  • El Nido's Small and Big Lagoons.

Is Palawan good in July? ›

Palawan weather comes in 2 main seasons: wet and dry. The dry season runs from October to May, while the wet season runs from June to September.

Is Palawan one of the most beautiful island in the world? ›

Palawan emerged on top not for the first time, scoring 94.83 out of 100. Photos of its crystal clear waters, palm-edged beaches, and mountains show just why the island was voted the best in the world. Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

What is the best month to visit Palawan Philippines? ›

October to May is the best time to visit Palawan, with hottest and dry between March - May, with October to February as the cold - dry season. But as a local, the weather in Palawan, specifically El Nido is fairly sunny the whole year round.

Is Palawan the one of the best places in the world? ›

Palawan was hailed as the world's fourth trending destination according to the foreign travel platform Tripadvisor's 2024 Travelers' Choice Awards Best of the Best.

Why do tourists love Palawan? ›

Palawan in the Philippines is counted among the world's best islands. Given its otherworldly natural beauty, pristine beaches and turquoise waters, Palawan is visited by lakhs of beach lovers and nature seekers from across the globe.

Is Palawan worth it? ›

Due to the enhanced health and safety measures and wealth of activities, Palawan is worth considering when you're ready to take that long-awaited island getaway. On Honda Bay eco-tours, boat operators protect vulnerable whale sharks by staying a safe distance away from the giant fish, which can weigh more than 20 tons.

How much time should I spend on Palawan? ›

Around 14 days total is enough if you want to go to major Palawan tourist destinations: Puerto Princesa, El Nido, and Coron.

How long is needed in Palawan? ›

Palawan is a remote region to access and travel through. We suggest that 7 days is the minimum number to stay in the Palawan including the Tao trip. But 10 -14 days is a better allowing time to see El Nido and Coron and a buffer for delays due to any bad weather.

How long to stay in El Nido? ›

We recommend staying 3 – 4 days in El Nido to enjoy an island hopping trip and some of the other activities in the area. If you plan on doing multiple island hopping tours then you may want to add in an extra day for each of these.

What is the best thing to do here during summer in Boracay? ›

From Boracay helmet diving, Boracay snorkeling, cliff diving, island-hopping, to parasailing, you're sure to get a good dose of adrenaline rush here. If you're traveling with a group, you can even book a private island-hopping tour in Boracay as part of a Boracay tour package.

What is the most visited in Palawan? ›

Puerto Princesa Underground River (Puerto Princesa)

It's the one that attracts thousands of tourists here and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

What is the hottest month in Palawan? ›

Palawan Climate Summary
Average annual precip.89.05mm (3.51in)
Warmest monthMay (30.83ºC / 87.49ºF)
Coldest MonthFebruary (24.75ºC / 76.55ºF)
Wettest MonthOctober (149.59mm / 5.89in)
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