Pick your own adventure around Palawan
Where to stay and enjoy Palawan’s best attractions, from sea to shining sea
A boat ride from Coron Town can take you to this eco-friendly resort on the Malaroyroy Peninsula in Bulalacao Island, where there are plenty of sites and activities to enthrall you, from the sandbar and the rich tropical gardens to the various water adventures they offer. As Two Seasons is also a sanctuary for turtles and giant clams, snorkeling and diving are two of the most popular activities that visitors sign up for.
When the sea is calm, take a paddling trip aboard the Molokini transparent kayak, a twopassenger kayak that allows you to see depths of up to 75 ft. If you aren’t an experienced diver, the resort offers HydroBob submersible scooters, which give you the opportunity to bask in the grandeur of the underwater scenery.
What makes this resort eco-friendly? It is a 100 percent self-sustaining island, with the management building certain facilities early on due to the place’s seclusion. One is the desalination plant that converts seawater into potable water, and another is the sewage treatment plant that cleans wastewater enough so that it can be redirected to bathrooms for non-drinking use. Bungalows also come equipped with water heaters that are powered by solar panels. Two Seasons runs on four generators, which are used in intervals, depending on the number of guests present. Twoseasonsresorts.com
Huma Island Resort and Spa
Located on Diciligan Island in Busuanga, the Huma Island Resort and Spa is comprised of 81 luxury villas—64 of them on stilts—that all offer views of the beach. If you need help planning activities during your stay, guests are provided a Villa Host who can assist in creating an agenda for the day, from picking a dive location to scheduling a sunset fishing session.
The resort is found in a region that is considered one of the best diving spots in the world. Aside from the diverse marine life, Huma Island’s dive sites will have you viewing historical WWII wreck sites underwater. One of them is Irako, a Japanese refrigeration ship situated at the mouth of Coron Bay. Meant for advanced divers, the depth of this site is at a maximum of 43 meters.
Getting to the island is a breeze as there are daily flights to Busuanga from Manila and Cebu. Huma also offers exclusive transfers via private seaplanes from Manila, a 90-minute flight that takes you from the city straight to a pristine beach. Humaisland.com
Matinloc Resort prides itself on being the best spot in Palawan for family holidays, as their multi-story villas provide enough room for everyone, with generous views of the sea, the garden, and the forest. But getting to these mountain villas is no easy task, as guests have to hike first through the forest. A view of Palio Sea and the islands of El Nido are sufficient compensation for the physical exertion, however.
The best way to experience all that El Nido has to offer is by going island-hopping. Matinloc has five tours to choose from, each highlighting local areas, from lagoons to caves. If you are curious about El Nido’s beautiful caves, take the Cave Tour, which will bring you to the Cudugnon and Cathedral caves. If you’d rather spend the day at sea, the Snorkeling Tour takes you to different reef sites in the area. Matinloc.com
Amanpulo, Pamalican Island
Amanpulo is the dream destination for people looking for luxurious privacy and with the money to pay for it. As it has its own airstrip, guests can take a private plane from Manila and land directly on Pamalican Island, where powdery white sand and clear waters await them. The casitas at Amanpulo are inspired by the bahaykubo, with wooden decks and a twin-roof design, and are located at the hillside, among treetops, and by the beach. Along the shore, meanwhile, are villas that let guests enjoy a seamless transition from their indoor spaces to the beach. Among the many recreational activities offered at the resort, windsurfing and sailing can be enjoyed all year-round because of the perennial breeze that cools the island. Another must-try is snorkeling, as there are several square kilometers of coral reef formations found just 300 meters away from the beach. Aman.com
El Nido Resort, Apulit Island
Adrenaline junkies will find El Nido Resort’s Apulit Island right up their alley. Aside from the thrill of staying in their water cottages, this ecoadventure island resort also offers actionpacked attractions that are not for the faint of heart.
To get a birds’ eye view of the entire island, guests can climb a 60-meter limestone cliff then rappel down. They can then go spelunking through the North and St. Joseph’s caves. If underwater activities are more your speed, sign up for the Isla Blanca adventure, which involves island-hopping and snorkeling. As you travel from one island to another, a marine guide will identify and explain the different sea creatures that you will encounter. Elnidoresorts.com