The island province of Palawan is the largest province in the Philippines.
Because of its distance from the Luzon mainland, with the exception of the capital city of Puerto Princesa, much of the province’s natural attractions are carefully preserved, making them great family friendly vacation spots.
- Top Nine (9) Family Friendly Vacation Spots
- 1. El Nido Marine Reserve Park
- 2. Entalula Beach Club, Snake Island and Cudugnon Cave
- 3. Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park
- 4. Honda Bay
- 5. Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park
- 6. Crocodile Farm
- 7. Immaculate Conception Cathedral
- 8. Emerald Playa Beach & Nature Park and Iwahig River
- 9. Souvenir hunting and more in Puerto Princesa
- What’s you most memorable place in Palawan?
Top Nine (9) Family Friendly Vacation Spots
If you are planning to go to Palawan with your family, here are the top nine family friendly vacation spots which you should check out…
1. El Nido Marine Reserve Park
Arguably, the most family friendly vacation spot is El Nido Marine Reserve Park. You have the option of choosing from five resorts, three of which are operated by El Nido Resorts (the most popular being El Nido Miniloc Island and El Nido Lagen Island).
Regardless of which resort you choose, you will be delighted by the guest cottages which are built on top of stilts right above the clear blue ocean waters.
Not only will your family enjoy swimming along the pristine sandy beaches, you can also kayak to nearby islands.
Other great attractions include the giant clam gardens (be careful not to touch one lest its shells close on your hand or foot) and Philippine cockatoos (an endangered species which have been recently introduced into the region).
2. Entalula Beach Club, Snake Island and Cudugnon Cave
El Nido Resorts offer exclusive access/tours to Entalula Beach Club, Snake Island and Cudugnon Cave to their guests.
Entalula Beach Club is a private beach club boasting of a soft sand beach, relaxing beachside hammocks and cabanas, and a yummy picnic lunch of grilled seafood and meat.
Snake Island is named after snaking formation of its sandbar. Visitors will enjoy trekking through the shallow waters and sandbar or snorkeling along the coral reefs.
Also located on the island is Cudugnon Cave which can only be accessed through a small opening.
3. Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Puerto Princesa’s Underground River is also nominated as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature. The river itself is navigable by way of a paddle boat, although deeper areas have gone unexplored because of the threat of oxygen deprivation.
Aside from marveling at the stunning rock formations and habitat of indigenous bats and marine life, it also boasts of a deep water hole.
Outside of the river, you can go for a swim or dive along the limestone cliffs of nearby Sabang Beach. Or you can go cave exploring at Ugong Rock.
4. Honda Bay
One activity you and your family should not miss is sailing along Honda Bay. Whether you use a tour boat or rent a traditional Paraw, you are in for a treat because you will be able to see frolicking dolphins and swim with the whale sharks.
One of the favorite island your family will probably love is Luli islang (lulubog lilitaw). Kids love to swim there!
5. Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park
Also an UNESCO World Heritage Site, Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park has been dubbed by CNN Travel as one of the best dive sites in the world.
Diving is only permitted from the middle of March to the middle of June owing to calm seas and good water visibility.
Because there are no accommodations in the area, tourists are advised to stay on board their boat or yacht throughout their stay in Tubbataha.
Much of the marine life in Tubbataha is endangered and thus protected by local marine conservation authorities.
Aside from the beautiful corals (the growth of which is being carefully monitored due to the disastrous grounding of the USS Guardian in 2013), you can also see parrot fish, lionfish, clown fish, sharks (including hammerhead sharks, tiger sharks and whale sharks), barracudas, moray eels, manta rays, and sea turtles (including hawksbill sea turtles which are critically endangered).
6. Crocodile Farm
The Crocodile Farm is located in the heart of Puerto Princesa. It is home to freshwater and saltwater crocodiles which are endemic to the region.
If you are weak of stomach, you might want to skip viewing the crocodiles during feeding time. You can also have your picture taken with a baby crocodile.
The farm also has a collection of crocodile skins and skeletons. Among their prized exhibits is an actual skull of a sperm whale.
Because it is also a Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center, you may also see a few exotic animals which are being cared for prior to their release in the wild. Among these animals are Parrots, Wild Boars and the Palawan Bearcat.
7. Immaculate Conception Cathedral
One of the most beautiful historical sites in Puerto Princesa is the Immaculate Conception Cathedral. It is especially noted as being the location where the first Mass was performed.
You might also want to offer a prayer for loved ones who are sick with cancer. The Spanish priest who officiated the first Mass was St. Ezekiel Moreno, who is also known as the Patron Saint of Cancer Patients.
A tour of the cathedral also includes visits to Baker’s Hill, where kids can enjoy tasty hopia while playing in the garden and playground, Mitra’s Ranch (with its fantastic view of Honda Bay), and Iwahig Penal Colony (where the prisoners sell fresh fruits, handicrafts and honey).
8. Emerald Playa Beach & Nature Park and Iwahig River
You can do more than just swim at the Emerald Play Beach and Nature Park. This site is particularly noted for its collection of more than 50 bird species, with 20 plus of which are endemic to Palawan. There are certified birdwatchers who can help you to identify the various bird species through binoculars.
If birds are not to your interest and you prefer insects, you can go on a boat ride down Iwahig River. Boatmen will take you along the mangrove trees where pretty fireflies abound.
9. Souvenir hunting and more in Puerto Princesa
You cannot leave Palawan without buying a few souvenirs. Aloha House is an organic farm and orphanage with the orphans selling jams, cheese and other foods made from organically grown ingredients.
Organic herbs, lotions, soaps and other beauty and hygiene products can be purchased from Lawiswis Organics. For beautiful buri handicrafts, the shop to go to is Binuatan Weavers.
Finally, for the best piña blouses, scarves and other fashion accessories for your wife and girls, you can find them at Rurungan sa Tubod.
Oh by the way, you can also try the longest (1km, well 800m) over the beach zip line in Sabang!