After quite some time on hiatus, I am now back in sunny Cebu after an unfortunate week of torrential rain spent in Palawan, stuck in the guesthouse and unable to go island hopping in El Nido. Timing does matter because instead of long shorelines and endless sun, you will be getting howling winds and rains which both do not make for a good vacation.
Anyway, I did enjoy my trip although the activities we were able to do were only limited because of the typhoon in Luzon. I have to say that Palawan was not directly hit by the typhoon but it was affected and guests like us had to suffice with just going to the nearest beach.
Palawan is beautiful, typhoon and all. Now I understand why it is referred to as the last frontier in the Philippines because of its unspoiled beauty. I have high standards when it comes to beaches and shorelines and Palawan is a testament of just how gorgeous the beaches are in the country. Top that, Maldives and Ko Phi Phi.
Transportation in Palawan is mostly limited to tricycles. Although Puerto Princesa also has its share of jeepneys and some 20 units of taxis, the tricycle is the king of the road. Getting from one destination to another is quite easy and standard prices are between Php150 – Php200 (US$4 – US$6), depending on the distance. Do not hesitate to bargain though as I have found out first hand that if you are a tourist, they tend to charge higher. In El Nido, transportation is limited to tricycles and the vans arranged for tour groups.
Although I am a do-it-yourselfer, for this trip I decided to let go of the reigns, let someone take charge and just relax. I was drained from work and all I wanted to do was just chill. There are plenty of tour packages offered by various travel agencies in Palawan. You can prebook like I did or you can book your tours when you get there. I was traveling with my significant other and I decided to book our tours with RN Virrey Travel and and Tours and the experience was quite pleasant except for the botched island hopping in El Nido because of the weather, which is, to be fair, not the travel agency’s fault.
Day 1 – El Nido Tour A
Small Lagoon, Big Lagoon, Secret Lagoon, Seven Commando, Zimuzu Beach
Day 2 – El Nido Tour B
Cadognon Cave, Cathedral Cave, Snake Island, Pinagbuyutan Island
Day 3 – Puerto Princesa Underground River Tour
Day 4 – Morning City Tour
Crocodile Farm, Baker’s Hill, Mitra’s Ranch, Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Plaza Cuartle, Puerto Princesa Baywalk, Souvenir Shop in the city proper
I was absolutely looking forward to the El Nido tours which we were not able to do. We ended up only doing our tours in Puerto Princesa. i have to say that the City Tour was not worth the money. If you just want to go buy the sweets from Baker’s Hill, I advise you just go there straight and buy. There was nothing remarkable about the city tour although the host and driver was affable and we had the entire van to ourselves.
Here are a few pictures of our trip in Palawan.