Snorkeling in Puerto Princesa and other areas in Palawan Island is one memorable experience. The island is blessed with a variety of colorful, interesting and intriguing life forms, which include fishes, sponges and corals. The island is known for many other things but of course the star of the show would be the pristine waters that are perfect for snorkeling. Snorkeling in Puerto Princesa is an experience that water enthusiasts, adventurers, and tourists should not miss.
There is no actual snorkeling in Puerto Princesa, the capital city. The place is an idyllic but fast-growing city with major shops, restaurants, hotels and other business establishments. Puerto Princesa is easily honored as the cleanest city in the Philippines and was the first to strictly implement anti-littering and anti-smoking laws. Snorkelers, divers and beach bums all pass by this city en route their final destinations elsewhere in the island.
According to local and foreign tourists, the top five spots for snorkeling are the following, in no particular order.
Kayangan Lake is considered as one of the cleanest and calmest lakes in all of Asia, which makes it perfect for snorkeling. The water is so crystal-clear that you can already see schools of tiny fish and shrimp before you dive in. Located in Coron in northern Palawan, Kayangan Lake will get you swimming and snorkeling for hours. And as you rest afterwards, bask in the sound of chirping birds and fluttering butterflies. Coron is 10-12 hours by boat from Puerto Princesa or direct from Manila.
Another popular spot for snorkeling in northern Palawan is Miniloc Island, off the shores of El Nido town. Miniloc is everything you have dreamed of in an island Paradise getaway: plenty of sun, beach and water. The natural limestone structures are also a crowd pleaser. The resorts here are equipped with all sorts of facilities that are perfect for honeymoon, family vacation, or business trip. Aside from snorkeling, guests may also decide to go scuba diving, kayaking, island hopping, or spelunking.
The best beach in Palawan is Amanpulo luxury beach but it is reserved for the rich and famous. It is said to have been visited by Hollywood stars and foreign dignitaries. It has its own private airport, and there is no doubt its swim, dive and snorkeling spots class among the best in the world. Secluded from the rest of the Philippines, Amanpulo means “peaceful island” and that is exactly what it is.
If Amanpulo is just a little above your family vacation budget, you could consider Dos Palmas Resort, the second most expensive in Palawan. If you can afford $190 (approx. PHP8,400) per person per night, then Dos Palmas is perfect for you. Dos Palmas is located along Honda Bay to the east of Puerto Princesa.
There are cheaper beach resorts and dive spots along Honda Bay that are much less expensive than Dos Palmas. Admission to Starfish Island is only P50 (US$1.13), while other islands are for free. The most visited island is Pandan Island with white-sand beaches and crystal blue water. Guests are welcomed in inexpensive huts and cottages that are beautifully lined along the beachfront.
So there you go. Water lovers have no reason not to visit Palawan. Snorkeling in Puerto Princesa is the beginning of so many potentially unforgettable snorkeling experiences all over the island.