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  • Palawan, the last frontier of the Philippines

    Palawan

    Palawan

    Despite being the second largest archipelago in the world, and being home to more than seven thousand island, the Philippines remains one of the least explored tourist destinations in Southeast Asia. But even if many travelers ignore the Philippines in favor of more popular destinations, these islands are a paradise for backpackers and adventurers who are itching to find the last untouched corners of the continent.

    Palawan is the largest island province in the Philippines, and it is said to the country’s last pristine paradise, where nature is found in its purest form, and where dramatic landscapes are more common than pebbles. Fly to the Philippines to get to  Palawan, the last frontier of the Philippines, where adventure and the beauty of nature awaits you.

    Cities and towns

    Puerto Princesa, photo by Der Mann mit der Kamera on Flickr

    Even the urban areas of Palawan are something exceptional: the provincial capital, Puerto Princesa, has been hailed as one of the cleanest cities on the planet, and there’s little doubts that it is the greenest city in the Philippines.

    Now you can enjoy the pleasures of city life without feeling guilty about polluting the environment. But the most amazing sights in Puerto Princesa are still nature-related, like a butterfly garden, a nearby nature reserve, and a beautiful bay. Coron, on Busuanga island is famed as a wreck diving destination, with ten preserved Japanese ships dating back to WWII.

    El Nido is laid out on several karts islands and islets, and it is a town where nature and culture are so well intermingled that you can barely separate them. Another notable urban destination is Port Barton, a laid back beach town that is gloriously undeveloped and with world class beaches and diving spots.

    Nature reserves

    Coron, photo by Caryl Joan Estrosas on Flickr

    Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is the undeniable natural gem of Palawan province, and one that is part of the New 7 Wonders of the world.

    The natural park showcases a unique and fascinating phenomenon, an underground river with at least two levels, incredible limestone formations and a surprising variety of species. Even above the ground, the park is spectacular: karst landscape, the river emerging directly into the sea, lush forests and a complete mountain to sea ecosystem.

    Calauit Game Preserve and Wildlife Sanctuary on Calauit island is separated from the mainland by a mangrove swamp, and it is the the first successful wildlife translocation experiment in Asia. Here you can see a range of endemic species, as well as African wildlife, and some great scenery too.

    Other sights

    Puerto Princesa Underground River, photo by Paul Chin on Flickr

    In addition to natural wonders, Palawan has several very interesting cultural and historical sights as well. Iwahig Penal Colony near Puerto Princesa is far from your ordinary tourist attraction: it is an open air penal farm where inmates are allowed to work on a farm, earn money, live with their families and make handicrafts that are sold to visitors.

    Port Miller & Lighthouse Tower in Brooke’s Point is another interesting sights due to its importance to locals. In Roxas, stop by the outdoor market where you can find an amazing range of fresh local fruit and street food, as well as an impressive quantity of locally produced cashews to munch on while sightseeing.

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