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Nothing defines Palawan more than the water around it. With seascapes the equal of any in Southeast Asia, and wildlife terrestrial and aquatic, the Philippines’ most sparsely populated region is also the most beguiling. Because of its silhouette – a long sliver stretching 650km all the way to Borneo – there’s a certain liberating logic to travel here.
Centrally located Puerto Princesa (Puerto) is the culinary capital and primary gateway to nearby rural and oceanfront tranquillity. The majority of travellers go north, without question the highlight. Skimming along in bangkas around a maze of uninhabited islands feels somewhat post-apocalyptic.
The coastline serves as an alternative highway ferrying travellers between fishing villages and tourist-friendly towns. In the south where the topography is more rugged, it’s possible to explore jungle-clad mountains though facilities are decidedly rustic. Diving and island-hopping snorkelling trips in the Bacuit archipelago and Calamianes group manage to captivate both those seeking adventure and those wanting to unwind.