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PLACES TO SEE & THINGS TO DO
HOSTORICAL LANDMARK
CULTURAL SIGHT
NATURAL RESERVES
MAN-MADE
MOST DO ACTIVITIES
DIVING

***HISTORICAL LANDMARK***

PUERTO DE STA. ISABEL

The historic Taytay Fort, built in 1667, under the Augustinian Recollect Fathers, was used as a military station during that period. The fort's small chapel and cannon are still intact. Constructed in 1667-1738, it is under the National Museum of the Philippines. It is located in Poblacion, Taytay, Palawan, reachable in eight hours of land travel. From the Malvar Terminal in Puerto Princesa, one can take a Taytay bound jeepney or bus and get off at the Taytay church. The fort can be reached by a three-minute walk from the church. Taytay is 215kilometers from Puerto Princesa City.

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CUYO FORT

Built during the early Spanish period, purposely to protect the people from their enemies, it is considered as one of the most ancient and unique forts in the Philippines. Within its walls are the church, the convent, and the only Perpetual Adoration chapel in Palawan. It is located in Poblacion, Cuyo, Palawan, an hour and 30 minutes by air and 24 hours by sea from Manila. Cuyo can be reached from Manila via the Air Pacific Airways. It is also accessible by sea from Puerto Princesa City and Iloilo province via MV Milagrosa, and from Manila, via MV Asuncion.

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CAGAYANCILLO FORT

It was built on the coast atop a small mountain. It is made of sea rocks mixed with lime. This old fort served as a church, ground force, and safety place of the residents during attacks staged by pirates and marauders. It is located in Cagayancillo, Palawan.

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MELVILLE LIGHTHOUSE

It is still in use after more than 100 years. This century-old facility used to guide ancient marine vessels landward and is still glowing after a hundred years. The lighthouse has become a familiar landmark to locals.

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PLAZA CUARTEL

Former site of a Japanese garrison, it is a few yards from the Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral. 143 American soldiers were burned inside a tunnel during the World War II. It serves as a Memorial Park in honor of local heroes, and American soldiers.

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CULION CATHEDRAL

It is managed by Jesuits in Culion, Palawan.

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PORT MILLER & LIGHTHOUSE TOWER

A historical landmark in Brooke's Point, Port Miller is a cemented water tank constructed as a source of potable water for the natives and the settlers of the municipality. The original Lighthouse Tower constructed by Sir James Brooke is still visible but much of the area is now occupied by a new lighthouse tower. It is located in Brooke's Point, Palawan, about 192 kilometers south of Puerto Princesa City or 3-5 hours by land. Buses and jeepneys depart daily from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm from Puerto Princesa City.

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***CULTURAL SIGHT***

BATAC TRIBAL COMMUNITY

One of Palawan's indigenous groups, the Bataks are mountain people who dwell in the river valleys north of the provincial capital. They are of Negrito stock, and since only less than 500 of them thrive today, they are considered a ""disappearing people."" Batak Settlement sites are on the slope of Cleopatra's needle, a 1,593-foot sharp mountain peak in Northern Palawan, and also found in Sitio Riandcan in Tagabinet, Tanabag Concepcion, Langogan, and Roxas. Sitio Riandacan is about 3 kilometers from Barangay Maoyon, Palawan.

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TABON MUSEUM

Visitors must come to Tabon Museum for orientation before proceeding to the Tabon Caves Complex. A lecture on Palawan pre-history, the archeology of Tabon caves; the ethnology (study of different tribes) of Palawan, and other related information are presented here. The museum houses some of the archeological diggings and other artifacts. It is presently under the supervision of the National Museum of the Philippines. It is located in Quezon, Palawan. About 155 kilometers south of Puerto Princesa City, the town of Quezon can be reached by taking a bus or jeepney ride from Puerto Princesa City. A tricycle can be hired to take one to the museum. It takes 3-4 hours by bus or jeepney to Quezon and 5-10 minutes by tricycle to the museum.

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PALAWAN MUSEUM

It showcases the history, culture, music, art and crafts of Palawan. Exhibits show the archaeological, ethnological, collections; such as jars and porcelains, hunting and trapping tools used by the early ancestors, musical instrumental and brassware, some artefacts from Tabon Caves as well as antiques and diggings from Cuyo during the Spanish Era.

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PALAWAN STATE COLLEGE MUSEUM

This museum features archeological artifacts and prehistoric diggings, which include fossils and crude tools of ancient man. It is located in the city proper of Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, from where one can take a tricycle and ask to be let off at the school. Travel time is 5-10 minutes.

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PALAWAN PUERTO PRINCESA NATIONAL MUSEUM

Showcases the history, culture, music, arts and crafts of Palawan. On exhibit are archaeological, geological, ethnological collections such as jars and porcelains, hunting and trapping tools used ancestral man, musical instruments and brassware’s, some artefacts from the Tabon Caves as well as antiques and Spanish era artefacts found near Cuyo. Books on Philippine history, anthropology, archaeology and flora and fauna are also found.

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***NATURAL RESERVES***

TUBBATTAHA REEFS

It is a marine sanctuary under technical supervision by the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) & the Department of Environment & Natural Resources (DENR). It is located in Cagayancillo town, Palawan. Trips to Tubbattaha from mid-March to mid-June are all vessel-based and require planning for a minimum of six weeks prior to departure. To reach the place, take a 70-minute flight from Manila to Puerto Princesa City. From the airport, a shuttle bus takes you to the dive boat. Boat ride from Puerto Princesa City takes approximately 12 hours.

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CORON REEFS

Seven enchanting lakes surrounded by craggy limestone cliffs attract hundreds of nature lovers to this island in northern Palawan, near the town of Coron.

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EL NIDO MARINE RESERVE

Occupying an area of 96,000 hectares, this popular nature spot boasts of diverse ecosystems such as rainforest, mangroves, white sand beaches, coral reefs, and limestone cliffs. It is now one of the country's premier tourist destinations. Blessed with extraordinary natural scenery, El Nido is, the sanctuary of various forms of wildlife. Countless varieties of fish are also found here. Manta rays are a common sight; when in season, divers may see one of the world's rarest marine mammal, the sea cow, known locally as ""dugong."" Accommodations are available at El Nido Resorts on the Miniloc and Pangulasian Islands. El Nido Resorts are noted for their hidden lagoons, palm forests, orchids, and offshore cruise points. Apart from the cozy accommodations, recreational facilities and aqua sports equipment are also available for tourists. Tours to the resort are possible through Ten Knots Corporation. The reserve is located in Miniloc Island, El Nido. From the Manila Domestic Airport, a charter plane flies to mainland El Nido, from where a pumpboat is taken for a trip to Miniloc Island where the resort is situated. Travel time is two hours by plane from Manila, 45 minutes by pumpboat to the resort area.

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PUERTO PRINCESA SUBTERRANEAN RIVER NATIONAL PARK

A world heritage site, this natural wonder features an 8.2 kilometer navigable underground river, reputed to be the world's longest, that winds through a spectacular cave before emptying out in to the South China Sea. This river flows within a deep cavern under rugged limestone and marble cliffs, special features of the park. Known as one of the world's wonders, this river stretches eight kilometers deep into an underground lagoon with crystalline waters. Within the hallowed recesses, one winds through the tunnel aboard a paddle boat with outriggers to be enthralled at every turn which reveals stalactite pillars, rock formations, and domed amphitheaters. The park is located in Bahile, Puerto Princesa, Palawan. Located 81 kilometers from the city proper, the place can be reached through Barangay Cabayugan to Sabang, from where one could take a pumpboat ride to the Underground River, or hike through a monkey trail. An alternative way to reach the river is through a hired pumpboat ride from Bahile wharf. Travel time through Barangay Cabayugan is 1 1/2 hours' jeepney ride and 10 to 15 minutes’ pumpboat ride or 1 1/2 hours’ hike.

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HONDA BAY

The bay consists of several islets with shallow reefs bordering fabulous beaches which have become the favorite swimming, snorkelling, and diving destinations of local residents and tourists. These islets are the Cannon (Cowrie) Island, Bat Island, Lu-Ii Island (derived from the word ""lulubog-lilitaw"", meaning floating and sinking island, is visible only during low tide), Meara Marina, Starfish Island (known for its fine white sand and clear water that teems with starfish), Snake Island (an island with a long stretch of fine white sand shaped like a snake), Pandan Island, and Senorita Island (the breeding site of lapu-lapu fish). Lodging facilities are available for overnight stays in the islands of Meara Marina and Starfish (Sandbar Resort). The bay is located in Sta. Lourdes Tagbanua, Puerto Princesa City. About 12 kilometers east of Puerto Princesa City is Sta. Lourdes wharf where pumpboats could be hired to take tourists to the island of their choice. Some islands require an entrance fee; others are privately owned, thus, permits from the owners are necessary. Sta. Lourdes wharf is 25 minutes away by hired tricycle or jeepney. A pumpboat ride from the wharf to the different islands is from 15 to 50 minutes.

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TABON CAVE

Known as the ""Cradle of Philippine Civilization,"" Tabon Caves consists of a series of chambers where anthropologists discovered the remains of crude man and his tools. Anthropological significance came to the fore with the discovery of the remains of the 22,000 year old Tabon Man in one of its interiors, along with other artifacts decades ago. The caves are located in Lipuua Point, Quezon, Palawan. About 155 kilometers south of Puerto Princesa City, the place can be reached by taking a bus or jeepney ride from the provincial capital to Quezon. It is followed by a pumpboat ride from Quezon wharf to the caves. Travel time is 3-4 hours by bus or jeepney to Quezon and 20-30 minutes’ boat ride from Quezon pier to the caves.

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URSULA ISLAND GAME REFUGE AND BIRD SANCTUARY

This island is a haven for birds that converge here two hours before sunset, to take their rest after a day's long flight. It is located in Rio, Tuba Village, Bataraza, Palawan. About 236 kilometers from Puerto Princesa City, the town of Bataraza can be reached by bus or jeepney which departs daily from the city. From Bataraza, proceed to Rio Tuba and then take a pumpboat ride to Ursula Island. Bataraza is 5-6 hours’ drive from Puerto Princesa City. The bird sanctuary is about 2 hours’ pumpboat ride from Rio Tuba.

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***MAN-MADE***

CALAUIT GAME PRESERVE & WILDLIFE SANCTUARY

It is a unique game reserve and wildlife sanctuary of exotic African animals and endangered endemic animals of Palawan. Established on August 31,1976 by virtue of Presidential Decree No.1578, this was initiated in response to the appeal of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature to help save African wildlife when former President Ferdinand Marcos attended the 3rd world Conference in Kenya. By virtue of RA 7611 (SEP), administrative jurisdiction of DENR was given to the local government of Palawan, effective December 31, 1993. Management of the area is the responsibility of the PCSDO (Palawan Council of Sustainable Development Office). It is located in Calauit Island, Busuanga, Palawan.

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PALAWAN BUTTERFLY GARDEN

This is a great activity for the whole family and even mum won’t mind these insect at close range. The Philippines are home to numerous varieties of these fluttering rainbows and this is a great spot to view them up close. There are other unusual creatures here such as the praying mantis, stick and leaf insects, giant scorpions, atlas beetles and other jungle insects.

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PALAWAN WILDLIFE RESCUE AND CONSERVATION CENTER
(formerly Crocodile Farming Institute)

It aims to preserve and conduct further research studies on endangered species of crocodiles. One of the structures is a ""hospital"" for sick and disabled crocodiles. It also intends to make good use of the raw materials derived from crocodile skin. The place also maintains a mini-zoo featuring some of Palawan's endemic animals, under the supervision and management of DENR-PAWB. It is located in National Road, Barangay Irawan, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, 30-40 minutes’ travel from the city proper. One can take a tricycle and get off at Barangay Irawan where the crocodile farm is located. A jeepney could be hired to get to the place.

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IWAHIG PRISON AND PENAL FARM

Encompassesa 37 hectare scenic farm planted with coconut palms, rice and other crops cultivated by the prisoners and their families. The prison’s populace is about 4,000 and many inmates live with their families in so-called rehabilitation areas. Within the farm is the Balsahan River known for its cascading waters and picturesque scenery. Iwahig is more like a modern farm rather than a prison. The inmates work their farms unguarded and are allowed to earn an income by working in the many shops which turn out various handicrafts. Most popular of which are the hand-carved items made from Mahogany wood. The farm is definitely a good stop for tourists.

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VISTA LUZ PICNIC GROUNDS

It offers facilities like cottages and picnic huts. Locals come on weekends for swimming and picnicking. The biggest hut called the pavilion is good for groups up to 100 persons. Two cottages, each with two beds, electric fan, and private bathroom are available for an overnight stay. It is located in Circulation Road, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, 5-7 minutes by tricycle from the city proper via Circulation Road. It is two kilometers away from the airport.

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NASIN-AW WHITE BEACH AND SILICA BEACH

It is a seaside fun place for those who wish to indulge in marine pleasures, without leaving the confines of the city. The fine white sand and clear waters of White Beach make it a perfect spot for swimming. A few picnic tables were installed but an overnight stay is not possible since there are no accommodation facilities here. It is located in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, 5-7 minutes by tricycle from the city proper. The beach is two and a half kilometers away from the airport

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***MOST DO ACTIVITIES***

ARCHAEOLOGICAL EXPLORATION

Can be fun and endlessly appealing to both younger and older visitors to Palawan. Visit the Tabon Caves and be enthralled by the chambers which yield knowledge about life 50,000 years ago.

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CALAUIT ISLAND WILDLIFE SANCTUARY

A ‘must-do’ activity for the whole family. African animals from Kenya such as giraffes, elands, zebras and gazelles co-exist with endemic Philippine animals like the Palawan bearcat, mousedeer and peacock pheasant. when the animals are waking up. Tourists are required to secure a permit at the Office of Palawan Council for Sustainable Development located in Coron. There are no regular transportation facilities in the area, thus, you are advised to hire a vehicle.

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CAVE EXPLORING

(Spelunking) is great fun. Images of Pirates, spring to mind…the kids will love it! Don’t forget to take your camera as well as the flash-light and DO make sure you go on a guided tour, as caves are easy places to get lost in. Some caves have rivers running through them and are great for canoeing down.

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HORSE RIDING

Palawan is a dream destination for nature lovers and Busuanga is where a naturalist and horse lover, married to a Filipina has installed his residence and stables. One can hire horses here and go horse riding. Novices are catered for and even if your kids are toddlers, they are sure to enjoy sitting on the back of one of these friendly animals.

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ISLAND HOPPING

Puerto Princesa City Honda Bay; El Nido; Busuanga; Coron; Cuyo, Port Barton; Quezon Malanut & Nakuda Bays are the places to visit and the kids will enjoy discovering new beaches.

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RAFT RIDING

A great adventure for the whole family and can be done in the hidden lagoon at El Nido.

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SAILING

The waters of Palawan can be a rewarding experience. This is an activity that all but the youngest family members can enjoy, on any number of small sailing dinghy and catamaran type craft and local boats. If you want to sail on a larger vessel from one island to the other, this too is possible and this time you can take even the littlest family members with you.

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SNORKELLING

Can be done at Puerto Princesa City Honda Bay; El Nido; Busuanga; Coron; Port Barton and Quezon. If your children are old enough to swim properly, then this is a ‘must-do’ activity.

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SPORT FISHING

Is a rewarding activity in the waters off Palawan and if your kid’s aren’t quite old enough to battle with one of the ocean’s larger fish, a net and a bucket of water will keep them happy for hours.

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SWIMMING

Can be done along much of Palawan’s coast. For a little more than just swimming why not combine swimming with country walks up the winding hilly terrains of Nagtabon Beach and the El Nido cliffs? It’s a great way to enjoy the passing scenery and stop off and picnic on the way. A place the kids will really enjoy is at the Balsahan Swimming Pool. This is actually a river within the area of Iwahig Penal Farm; Its cool cascading waters come from the mountain. To get in requires a permit from Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm Superintendent.

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TREKKING

An activity for the older family members, unless you are up to carrying the little for a long way. Discover how nature views Palawan as you clamber over hills, into valleys and across rivers, or just take a leisurely stroll along a beach. Trekking is a great way to discover the quieter side of the islands.

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TENNIS

Can be played at a number of resorts on the island. For more information ask your hotel’s concierge on arrival.

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BEACH VOLLEYBALL

One of the world’s most popular beach sporting activities and on the beaches of Palawan there are numerous venues for this activity.

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***DIVING***

CLUB PARADISE

Has a Japanese ship wreck, a good variety of hard and soft corals as wells as walls, drop-offs and slopes. Not only that, if you are lucky you will see dugongs here.

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COCO BEACH

A very good variety of hard and soft corals, a myriad of fish species, walls, slopes, canyons and caves worth exploring.

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LAS PERLAS

A good variety of corals and fish as well as shipwrecks. There are a total of 12 Japanese ship wrecks from WW 2 lying in this underwater wonderland.

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MARICABAN BAY

A good variety of marine life, walls, drop-offs, slopes and is another ‘homer’ to dugongs. There are also numerous caves and wrecks in the area.

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ROXAS, SAN VICENTE

Another good location and many species of fish, corals and other marine life as well as sharks can be seen.

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TAYTAY

The best time to dive here is from late March (when the northeast winds weaken) till June (when southwest winds start). Under the water, everything from sharks and manta rays to sea anemones and clown fish, await diver’s discovery.

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