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Palawan

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.

Remote jungles and rugged scenery tower over pristine beaches and excellent diving reefs are also factors that draws visitors here.

In fact, in the north of Palawan, the Calamian Islands are renowned for some of the best wreck diving in the world. However, non-divers are attracted by other atmospheric sights including the limestone cliffs of Coron Island that rise vertically out of the sea above beautiful coves. There are many good places to snorkel. Inland the stunningly beautiful Cayangan volcanic lake is surrounded by rock walls and is a delight to swimmers and divers alike. Just outside Coron town, on the island of Busuanga, a natural hot spring is a great place to unwind after a busy day and offers a chance to mingle with the town’s people.

For those looking to explore further afield, the area offers excellent island hopping and opportunities for solitude and snorkelling. Centrally located Puerto Princesa is the culinary capital and primary gateway to nearby rural and oceanfront tranquillity. The majority of travellers go north to El Nido or Coron town, base camps for island-hopping, snorkelling and diving adventures in the Bacuit archipelago and Calamianes group. The coastline serves as an alternative highway ferrying travellers in bangkas between fishing villages, tourist-friendly towns and a maze of uninhabited islands. In the south where the topography is more rugged, it’s possible to explore jungle-clad mountains though facilities are decidedly rustic.