Welcome to Palawan!
Planning a trip to TRAVEL + LEISURE MAGAZINE’s 2013 World’s Best Island can be part of the fun, but there’s also a lot of ground to cover—how to get here, what to expect from the weather, places to see and go and much more. In this section, you’ll find essential information to help you make the most of your visit.
Because of its scenic landscapes and high bio-diversity, Palawan is known as “The Last Ecological Frontier of the Philippines.”
Palawan is an island province of the Philippines. With a land area of more than 1.7 million hectares, Palawan is the country’s largest province. Its irregular coastline stretches almost 2000 kilometers long, indented by numerous coves and bays. Highlands and rolling terrain covered with lush forests create a cool and scenic landscape.
The capital of Palawan is Puerto Princesa which is a highly urbanized city. Palawan is composed of 23 municipalities, and two districts that divide the province into north and south portions. Thirteen municipalities are considered as mainland municipalities, and these are, Aborlan, Narra, Quezon, Sofronio Española, Brooke’s Point, Rizal, and Bataraza (located south); San Vicente, Roxas, Dumaran, El Nido, and Taytay (found in the north). The remaining island municipalities are: Busuanga, Coron, Linapacan and Culion (forming the Calamianes group of islands), Cuyo, Agutaya and Magsaysay (the Cuyo group of islands), Araceli, Cagayancillo, Balabac and Kalayaan (Spratly Islands).
Except for the northern towns, which are occasionally visited by storms, Palawan is generally typhoon-free. Warm weather prevails from March to May , while the coolest months are from December to February. Heavy rainfall is usually experienced in July and August, often accompanied by the southwest monsoon. To see current Palawan weather conditions, view the right-hand portion of this website.
Palawan is in the Philippine Standard Time Zone (UTC+08:00). Here is the current date and time in Palawan.
Getting to Palawan and navigating around the island is almost as easy as getting there—but be warned that road journeys can be time consuming, bumpy and frustrating (due to the local jeepney drivers observing the standard practice of not adhering to schedules). Using boats to travel up and down the island is also possible: two ferries travel up and down Palawan; and bangka can be hired for trips between points on the coast and offshore islands. Finally, air travel is remarkably speedy and efficient in Palawan, and it’s certainly the way to go if you can afford it.
For information about the Palawan’s airports, ports and more, visit our Getting Here page.
For information about boats, car service, jeepneys and more, visit our Getting Around page.
If you’re visiting Palawan from outside the Philippines, you may need a visa to enter the country. For details, visit the Philippine Immigration’s visa information website.
Seasonal Events, Festivals, and Attractions
There’s guaranteed to be something fun happening during your visit. To see what it is, visit our calendar of events or our annual events listings. Our overview of festivals in the Island also provides essential information as well as details about how locals celebrate.
In Palawan and throughout the Philippines, the Philippine Peso (₱) (PHP) is the official currency. It’s best to bring cash to cover your stay in Palawan: outside Puerto Princesa credit cards are only accepted by some of the more established resorts (and will cost you between 6 and 10 percent commission), banks are few and ATMs almost nonexistent. This converter allows you to determine the value of other currencies compared with the Philippine Peso.
Province of Palawan
There is a tourist office on Fernandez street in Puerto Princesa (phone: +63 48 433 2968) as well as an additional office at the local airport (phone: +63 48 433 2983). If you’d like explore more of Palawan, visit www.palawan.gov.ph, the official website for Palawan tourism, for information about attractions throughout the Island.