5 Days in Palawan

For the first time in my life, I'm finally heading to the province of Palawan. It has been in my birthday wish list since 2014 (you can check out my wish list HERE). With the said wish list, comes several itineraries that I have prepared ahead when the day comes. However those itineraries are designed for solo or for couples, making it partially useless for this trip. I was not expecting that I'd be going to Palawan with five other people. Thankfully the said people are none other that my family; my mom, brother, sister, my wife KC and my baby daughter. The sixth member of the group was my dad who was already in Palawan during that time. It was actually him that arranged this family trip for us, perfectly timed for his birthday celebration. 

Check out the view while we're landing at the Puerto Princesa International Airport
Here's how we spent our 5 Days in Palawan:

Day 1

From Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3, we boarded our afternoon flight to Puerto Princesa International Airport. My dad came with the service van of Sunlight Guest Hotel to pick us up and bring us to our hotel for the day. Since we arrived late in the afternoon, there was little time for us to explore Puerto Princesa City's tourist spots aside from that we spent most of our time unpacking too. 
Puerto Princesa International Airport

Sunlight Guest Hotel Inc.

Check out the sunset at Puerto Princesa Baywalk Park

Chow time!

That night, we went for a little stroll to the nearby Puerto Princesa City Baywalk Park. We ended up eating dinner at one of the food stalls here and surprisingly they serve seafood dishes of fine quality. Something one can't easily find in Manila. Overall, our first day was literally short but going out as a complete family is something worth remembering.  

Day 2

We had to wake up very early, as my dad arranged for a van to bring us to El Nido. The trip was traffic free but the ongoing road repairs caused the usual 4 and a half hour trip to become almost 6 hours. Although it was a disappointing experience, it was also kind of a blessing as the passengers got an extra time to get to know each other more. It was there that I got to befriend Erick who's a Guatemalan working in Japan. We got to chat about a lot of things and instantly became friends. We still exchange emails to this day. 
on the road to El Nido
In the van with our friend Erick

Sophia's Beach Guest House 
The view from the Sophia's Beach Guest House

Upon our arrival at El Nido, we immediately checked in at Sophia's Beach Guest House. It has a splendid view. However, its amenities needs a lot of upgrading and improvements. After unpacking and changing clothes we went on a walk around the area to look for a place to eat lunch.  We tried out the food at Sizzling Republic and I have to say it's worth the try.
Let's check out Sizzling Republic

After lunch, we were met by a local friend of my dad. He's fun to talk with and was very eager to tour us around El Nido. He told us that he'd bring us to a great tourist destination nearby. And to my excitement, he said that it was Nacpan Beach (a place that I highlighted in my unused itinerary. After the "introductory" chat, we went back to our place first to get our swimming clothes. 
Oh goodness why now!!!

He picked us up an hour later with his pick up van. On our way to the beach, one of our tires was punctured by a sharp rock which almost caused us to cancel the plan. Thankfully, we managed to replace it with the spare tire at the expense of valuable time.
Nacpan Beach
Calitang Beach
The view from the top of the hill

We arrived at Nacpan Beach in the afternoon but it was so worth it. It has a powdery cream sand and the water was pristine. There were only a handful of tourists during our visit and most of them were foreigners. The locals call the beach Palitan Beach or Twin Beach because of its unique topographic feature. There is this strip of land that separates Nacpan Beach from another beach called Calitang Beach . Unlike Nacpan Beach, Calitang Beach is rocky and does not have much visitors. You can view both of the beaches from an overlooking hill. 
Enjoying the food at Aplaya with our friends

Bought some souvenirs too before going back to our place

We spent more than an hour exploring this beautiful place and then headed back to El Nido just in time for lunch. We had our dinner at the Aplaya and as usual, we had fresh seafood for dinner. A perfect way to end our 2nd day in Palawan.

Day 3

For our 3rd day, my dad booked us for an island hopping tour. There were four tours (Tour A, B, C, and D) to choose from and each one has its own unique beautiful destinations. Since we can't really decide which tour to take, my dad decided to do a mixed tour of Tour A and C instead. 
Ready for our island hopping adventure

This special tour costs P5,000. We visited the following places during the said mixed tour:
Small Lagoon
Big Lagoon
Talisay Beach
Lunch at Talisay Beach
Hidden Beach
Secret Beach
Helicopter Island
Seven Commandos Beach

We left Sophia's Beach Guest House at around 9 in the morning and got back at around 6PM. Overall, it was a jam packed but super memorable day. 

Day 4

It's time to say good bye to El Nido. It was truly a hard thing to do as there were a lot more places to visit and things to do however, we have to go back to Puerto Princesa City to prepare for our upcoming flight tomorrow. Thankfully, instead of heading straight to Sunlight Guest Hotel in Puerto Princesa City, we went on a side to to Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR). We arrived at Sabang Port an hour before noon and there were hundreds of tourists waiting in line to ride a boat that would bring them to the PPUR entrance. 
This way... 36 kilometers more!

Photo op at Sabang Port

Instead of waiting, we decided to go on another side trip to the nearby Mangrove Paddle Boat Tour. Although that side trip was quite costly, it gave us a new look at the importance of mangroves and how it helps the locals of Palawan. We then headed back to Sabang Port and had our lunch before riding our reserved boat that will bring us to the beach where we would then walk towards the entrance of the underground river. 
Let's try this out!
Guides here are very knowledgeable about mangroves

Just a heads up, make sure that colorful stuff like key chains and water bottles be kept inside the bags while here. The monkeys here loves to grab these things will little to no chance of getting it back in one piece. Don't hurt these monkeys too as they might throw things to you or bite you. 
Finally! No more lines!

Here we go!
A family photo before our underground river adventure

That freaking monkey stole someone's drink... Get him!!!

Once at the entrance wait for your turn to ride a boat that will bring you inside the Puerto Princesa Underground River. You will be accompanied by a boat man and a local guide. If you don't understand the Filipino dialect, you may ask for the tour earpiece with pre-recorded information about the cave. The tour is about one hour long but don't expect that you'd reach the other end of the river system as the boat returns at a specific area. 
Time to go in!

Check out those bats inside the cave system

After the tour, we headed back to the port where the rental van was waiting for us. It brought us back to Sunlight Guest Hotel. It was quite a tiring day too, so after dinner, we all slept like babies.

Day 5

It's our last day in Palawan, we were booked for an afternoon flight back to Manila today. Instead of staying in the hotel to rest, we decided to do the Puerto Princesa CIty Tour. This tour brought us to the following places:
Plaza Cuartel
Puerto Princesa Cathedral
Crocodile Farm
Baker's Hill

After the tour, we also had a chance to but some souvenirs before heading to the airport. Overall, our 5 days in Palawan was a very memorable one. Although our stay was relatively short, it still gives me the sense that I will be coming back to this province again (hopefully soon). When that time comes, I hope I would already be able to use my itinerary. 


  1. Looks like you had a wonderful time in Palawan. Sophia's Beach Guest House looks so pretty and the views from there are totally stunning. The food platter looks so yummy. And overall, your itinerary looks just perfect!

    1. Hi Neha. Thanks for the kind words. =) The places was pretty from the outside though. I hope they improve the facilities.

  2. wooowwww!!! your 5 days in palawan are well spent!!! were you tired from the long van trip? i was but i realized it was all worth it! next time you should also try honda bay tour :)

    1. It was truly tiring but the views were great and the activities were fun. You'd totally forget that you're tired. Thanks for the tip. Googled it and Honda Bay looks outstanding.

  3. Palawan had developed into a world-class destination from its humble beginnings. It seems that everybody's been there except me. Such a shame that I've explored other places more other than my own. El Nido, Coron, the underground river, to name a few are some of my favourite places to experience if I have the chance to visit Palawan.

    1. You should visit Palawan Ash. It's one great destination.


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