Puerto Princesa & Around
The bustling capital of Palawan is generally regarded as little more than a jumping-off point for excursions elsewhere on the island. Often overlooked as an attraction in its own right, this underrated town has some decent hotels and good restaurants, and is an excellent base from which to explore central and southern Palawan.
Coron Town & Busuanga Island
El Nido is the gateway to Palawan's greatest natural treasure: the Bacuit Archipelago. El Nido itself commands a stunning location, sandwiched between towering limestone karst cliffs and Bacuit Bay, with the fantastic contours of Cadlao Island looming right offshore.
Sabang & Around
Tiny Sabang has a long expanse of beach and is famed for the navigable Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (admission P200), which winds through a spectacular cave before emptying into the sea. Tourist paddle boats are allowed to go 1.5km upstream into the cave (45 minutes return); in the June to November low season you can proceed 4.
Port Barton & Around
On the west coast, the refreshingly quiet town of Port Barton is a low-key tourist haunt. The town itself is on an attractive beach with colourful sunsets. Even better beaches can be found on the islands scattered throughout the sheltered bay, and up the coast at Long Beach (both are accessible by boat from Port Barton and make good day trips).
Coron Town is the main town on Busuanga Island and the commercial and population centre of the Calamian group. It is a convenient base for wreck divers, snorkellers, island-hoppers and other sun-worshipping explorers (the town itself has no beach).