My dream destination you ask? There’s no place I’d rather be than to be on our very own Palawan islands. Which, travelers all over the planet voted as the BEST ISLAND IN THE WORLD! Not just once or twice but three times! Though, it’s such a shame to admit that I haven’t gotten a chance to explore Palawan. But I’m no stranger to the island as I’ve sent many tourists there. This is why it’d be special to set foot on real-life paradise. However, what really makes Palawan, the best island in the world and a dream destination?
Puerto Princesa City
The capital of Palawan, situated right in the heart of the main island. According to folklore, this city got its name from a beautiful princess-like maiden who roams around the bay during moonlight nights. Some say she’s seen sitting on a rock at the Parola beach looking far out sea as if waiting for her love to come home. But authorities say, it’s because of ”the geographical location of the place as a port – being naturally protected from the inclemency of the weather all year round. It has sufficient depth to allow ships of all sizes to anchor. It is truly a “Princess of Ports” or in Spanish “Puerto Princesa.” Yet, according to historical accounts, it’s named in honor of Princess Eulalia of Spain. She was born in 1864 to the Reigning Monarch, Queen Isabela II and her consort Dr. Francisco de Asis. But when the princess met an untimely death, the Queen changed the name to “Puerto de la Princesa.” Thus, Puerto Princesa.”
Puerto Princesa is also the gateway to a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park or Underground River. I’d probably go there straight from the airport then go back to the city to check out the city museum then en route to my dream destination in Puerto Princesa. The next day is for Honda Bay tour then to a bonus dream destination if not, straight to El Nido. No time wasting here!
Dream destination in Puerto Princesa: Iwahig River
This is going to sound so cheesy and dreamy but hey, I would love to see fireflies at dusk. Yes, Iwahig River is so magical it houses fireflies well ok, it’s so pristine, it’s where fireflies hangout. It’s about an hour drive south of Puerto Princesa City center. The perfect way to cap off the first day on the world’s best island.
Bonus dream destination: Port Barton, San Vicente
This part of Palawan is considered an off-the-beat destination but still tourist-friendly. Roughly, three hours away north-west from Puerto Princesa City. An ideal place to chill and enjoy the rustic tropical island vibe.
Located in the northernmost part of the main island. Roughly six hours drive from Puerto Princesa and around four from Port Barton, San Vicente. Believed to be originally called as Talindak, a small village of the indeginous group, Tagbanua. This town is famous for its edible birds’ nests, which lured Chinese traders way back in history. Then came the Spaniards, it was under the municipality of Taytay. And became independent in 1916 and called, Bacuit. Then later changed to El Nido, means, the nest, after the edible nests of swiflets found in the limestone caves. The nest is the main ingredient of a gourmet soup, popularly known as Chinese Bird’s nest soup.
The unbelievable beauty of El Nido was only discovered after a mishap encountered by divers in Bacuit Bay. ”The following morning, the divers woke up to an amazing scenery of skyscraping dark cliffs, thick green forest, white sand beach, sparkling water and, rising above it, a series of magnificently sculpted jade islands.” And then, development started in the early 1980s.
Dream destination in El Nido: All that’s included in all of the island hopping tours!
Yes, Tour A, B, C and D! I mean, unless you live in the area, it’s not every day that you see unearthed skyscraping limestone islets and islands, hidden lagoons, and pristine beach. Probably, have to spare five days here.
This town is in the south-east half of the Busuanga island, the biggest island in Calamian Archipelago, separate from the main island. Coron is famous for its amazing dive sites in addition to its unspoiled beaches. Meaning, island hopping galore, which means another five days to spare here.
Dream destination in Calamian Archipelago: Calauit Island
I can hear Shakira singing in the background! Ha, ok this is not Africa but definitely feels like it. I’ve always wanted to see animals in a safari setting, wild and free.
Sound’s like a plan right?! I can even reverse it if I want to. This is actually an itinerary I recently suggested to someone who wanted to wander in the world’s best island. Which, I’m totally stealing once I scored those cheap flights ! Though, there’s so much to see in Palawan which is good for another getaway! I don’t mind being a full-blown tourist for my first Palawan trip. So, see you when I see you Palawan!