Palawan and Panglao, Philippines
Holidays on the island of Palawan, popular among divers, can be briefly described as follows: expensive, but high-quality solitude in the bosom of nature. Palawan is a mini-archipelago of one large and many small islands, depending on the choice of a particular local resort, the airport of arrival and the class of hotels change. Travelers who prefer to spend their holidays exclusively below the beach line should also familiarize themselves with this material: “ Diving in Palawan ”. See JIBIN123 for Philippines customs regulations and visa requirements.
The best time to relax here is December-May, but from June to November there are prolonged showers.
One of the James Bond films, Tomorrow Never Dies, was filmed in Palawan.
How to get to Palawan
Plane Manila – Palawan Island (about an hour), then by car or boat to the hotel.
The main “trick” of Palawan is the protected area of El Nido (El Nido) in the north of the archipelago. Two of the 39 rocky islets with luxurious beaches, mostly uninhabited, are occupied by respectable eco-hotels surrounded by stunning nature – rare representatives of exotic species of flora and fauna and more than 100 species of birds live in the forests of El Nido.
Honda Bay is an ideal place for diving and snorkelling. On the islet of Arreceffi is the chic resort of Dos Palmas. The same travelers, who have a limited wallet, settle in the city of Puerto Princesa (Puerto Princesa), from where the deserted beaches of the bay can be reached by boat in half an hour. The best place for diving is Tubbataha reef, 180 km from the island. Dive boats operate from March to May and can be rented in Puerto Princesa. Also from the city you can go on eco-hiking or an 8-kilometer trip along the underground river.
Entertainment and attractions of Palawan
The main attraction of the island is an extended network of many caves connected by an underground river. Together with the surrounding rainforest, it is part of the St. Paul’s Subterranean River National Park. In addition, the old capital of the island of Taytay is of interest, as well as 1780 islets and reefs, considered one of the best dive sites in Asia.
In Puerto Princes, it is worth visiting the Palawan Museum in Mendoza Park, the Rodriguez Butterfly Farm, the Crocodile Institute and the unique “prison without walls” 23 km north of the city.
The Tabon cave complex includes about 200 caves and grottoes, but only seven are open to tourists. Fossil remains of humanoid creatures dating back to about 24 millennium BC have been found here. e. But in the wildlife sanctuary, Ursula Island in the south of the archipelago, you can see a rare mammal – a graceful sea cow.
Desert island trips, trekking, canoeing in the lagoons, snorkeling and diving.
Panglao (Panglao) – a small island with gorgeous beaches, located near Bohol, directly opposite the capital of the island, the city of Tagbilaran. This popular resort is famous for its underwater life, excellent dive sites and hotels for every taste and budget. With his “big brother”, Bohol, he is connected by a bridge and a highway.
There are no ATMs in Panglao, but most large hotels offer their guests the so-called “cash back” from their card. However, for this simple operation, they take a very non-acidic commission, so it is better for reasonable travelers to take care of a sufficient amount of “cash” in advance, back in Tagbilaran.
How to get to Panglao
From the airport and the Bohol pier to Panglao can be reached for 15-20 USD by taxi or for 7-10 USD by colorful tuk-tuk (20-25 minutes).
At the resort, you should choose between Alona Beach – an 800-meter strip of white sand with a bunch of world-class hotels, restaurants and dive centers, which is well-deservedly popular among outdoor enthusiasts – and two kilometers of Doljo Beach., an almost deserted area without shops and bars, but with clean sand and a gently sloping seabed.
Entertainment and attractions of Panglao
A full day excursion to the Chocolate Hills will cost tourists 55-65 USD. On your own, you can walk to a pretty temple in the city of Panglao or the Hinagdanan caves in the north of the island. In addition, many hotels on Alona Beach offer their guests to go on a sea excursion “Good morning with dolphins”.
The island has a full-fledged tourist office where you can not only exchange currency or traveler’s checks and get the necessary information, but also buy souvenirs.
Diving in Panglao
There are at least four worthy dive sites near the island: Kalipayan, Cape Arko, Napaling and Tangnan Face.
Kalipayan is popular because of its convenient location: it is located near Alona Beach and pleases beginners with minimal currents. Covered in corals, gorgonians and sponges, Kalipayan also offers night diving and snorkelling, surrounded by schools of colorful reef fish and sleek black-skinned divers.
Arco Point (aka Cape Arco and Hole in the Wall, Hall-in-the-Wall) is a small cave in the wall, where the entrance is at around 8 and the exit is 18 meters. There you can see a lot of fish, moray eels and sea snakes, as well as soft corals. The current is weak.
Napaling in the north of Panglao will certainly appeal to fans of drift diving. However, sometimes they arrange snorkeling there, and even diving from the shore, which, however, is not very convenient: there are difficulties with returning to the shore. Nudibranch clams, sponges, barracudas, soft and hard corals are found at this site.
The wall of Tangnan or Tangnan Wall in the west of the island is pitted with many caves and cracks that serve as homes for large groupers. There are several fans of gorgonians, sponges, soft and hard corals, barracudas.
Resting on Panglao, you should definitely swim to the islands of Balicasag, Pamilacan or Cabilao. The cost of one dive there is about 25 USD, equipment rental will cost 7-9 USD (for snorkeling – 6-7 USD), and an Open Water certificate can be obtained for 300 USD.