The 15 Best Palawan Beaches

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The long, thin slither of islands that make up Palawan extend south westerly, away from the main cluster which makes up the rest of the Philippines. This is the remotest and least populated of all Filipino regions, and there is little arguing that it is home to the most stunning scenery.

It is only in recent years that Palawan has crept on to the travel radar, and whilst many have still yet to know it by name you will probably recognise it. Images of its towering karst limestone pinnacles jutting out of crystal clear turquoise waters are becoming a staple of the travel media. Imagine Thailand at its very best and you're close to imagining the breathtaking landscapes of Palawan.

Ranked as one of the "best islands in the world", tourism has inevitably begun to make its mark on Palawan. However, at present it is still only the northern El Nido and Coron areas that attract anything approaching a crowd. The rest of the region remains something of a pristine, tropical idyll with mile upon mile of barely explored coastline.

In fact swathes of the archipelago form a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve with exotic flora and fauna to be found on both the land and in the sea. Palawan is diving heaven with species including turtles, whale sharks and dugongs all found here. And if that weren't enough the WWII Japanese shipwrecks off Coron Island are considered one of the best dive sites on earth.

The beaches of Palawan and its islands are without doubt some of the best in Southeast Asia, and therefore the world. These are the beaches you imagine when you think archetypal tropical paradise.

  • 1. El Nido

    El Nido
    © softlight69 / 123RF
    Great for:
    • Snorkeling

    El Nido is an unspoilt tropical paradise often referred to as the Philippines' last frontier. Situated towards the northern tip of Palawan island El Nido is much more than just a single beach. In fact it comprises around 50 beaches set among a series of small islands, towering marble cliffs, lush tropical vegetation, ancient caves and enchanting lagoons.

    As if that wasn't enough, El Nido is the largest marine sanctuary… read more »

  • 2. Corong Corong Beach

    Corong Corong Beach
    © Galeja
    Great for:
    • Snorkeling

    Corong Corong Beach is located in the El Nido area and is home to some of the stunning scenery that Palawan Island has become known for. The prefect sandy beach is fringed with tall coconut palm trees and limestone rock formations tower above the crystal clear water at the northern end.

    The beach at Corong Corong is generally not as crowded as El Nido's other beaches. It also has more… read more »

  • 3. Seven Commandos Beach

    Seven Commandos Beach
    Allan Ascaño

    Located in El Nido, Seven Commandos Beach has beautiful white sands, turquoise waters, and dramatic limestone cliffs. Fringed with coconut palms this is the archeytpal tropical Southeast Asian beach.

    Before continuing, it is worth explaining the name, as I know you are probably wondering! They say that the name comes from World War II, when seven commandos were stranded here. There isn't really any more information than that, or whether it… read more »

  • 4. Duli Beach

    Duli Beach
    © Jakub Barzycki/123RF
    Great for:
    • Surfing

    Set towards the north of Palawan island, Duli Beach is within easy reach of the tourist hub of El Nido, but far enough to keep the crowds away (around 25 km). In fact, chances are you'll have the place to yourself. This generous stretch of pristine beach is backed by palm trees and thick jungle covered hills beyond. With barely anything in the way of development this really is a… read more »

  • 5. Malcapuya Beach

    Malcapuya Beach
    Great for:
    • Snorkeling

    Located on Malcapuya Island near Coron, Malcapuya Beach is everything you imagine a tropical island beach would be. One of the regular destinations on the Island Hopping Tour, Malcapuya is just to the north of the better-known Banana Island. This secluded spot has endless stretches of white sand which wraps around the entire island and the water is as clear as you can imagine.

    When you visit Malcapuya Beach, you are… read more »

  • 6. Las Cabañas Beach

    Las Cabañas Beach
    Great for:
    • Snorkeling

    If you are looking for a quiet stretch of paradise, Las Cabanas Beach is well worth the hike. You get to this beach on foot, and when you arrive, you will be greeted with a view of golden sands reaching out into crytaline turquoise waters. Beyond the fringing of coconut palms is a backdrop of mountains rising out of the forest and up to the clouds.

    On one end of… read more »

  • 7. Banol Beach

    Banol Beach
    Great for:
    • Snorkeling

    Widely regarded as the best for tourists Banol Beach is located is on Coron Island, which is a popular destination for its inland lakes and lagoons. Here you will find paradisiacal white sandy beaches that stretch along the turquoise waters of Coron Bay. The backdrop of limestone cliffs are spectacular and rival much of what you will see in Thailand.

    The water at Banol Beach is crystal clear, and you… read more »

  • 8. Nacpan Beach

    Nacpan Beach
    Allan Ascaño
    Great for:
    • Surfing

    Nacpan Beach stretches along the Palawan coast for four kilometers. Backed by a line of tall, swaying coconut palms the beach here is beautiful gold-tinged sand lapped by gentle turquoise waves.

    As you head south along Nacpan beach, you will pass what was once just a tiny fishing village before reaching the imposing limestone headland. Just before this the beach becomes a narrow spit and joins neighbouring Calitang Beach to… read more »

  • 9. Marimegmeg Beach

    Marimegmeg Beach
    © Galeja
    Great for:
    • Snorkeling
    • Swimming

    Marimegmeg Beach sits on the same stretch of sand as Las Cabanas just south of El Nido. In fact many consider them the same beach. Either way, Marimegmeg offers you a quiet stretch of paradise with a good range of facilities close at hand.

    Whilst Marimegmeg Beach may not be able to rival some of the island beaches with their pristine settings and pure white sands it is easy to get… read more »

  • 10. Long Beach

    Long Beach
    © Namhwi Kim/123RF
    Great for:
    • Surfing

    The name Long Beach is something of a clue here, as is the local claim that this is "the longest white beach in the Philippines". Stretching for over 8 kilometres (5 miles) along the Palawan coast it certainly does live up to its name. What the name doesn't convey is what a stunning, pristine beach this is.

    An unbroken expanse of white sand, Long Beach is backed by a uniform fringing… read more »

  • 11. White Beach - Port Barton

    White Beach - Port Barton
    Dennis Orita
    Great for:
    • Snorkeling

    Port Barton is not a super well-known destination, but if you have the chance you should definitely visit before it is well and truly "discovered". The little coastal town is much more laid back than spots such as El Nido and Coron which have become victims of their own success. That said the secret about this destination is out, and it is growing quickly in popularity.

    The good news is the… read more »

  • 12. Manlipien Beach

    Manlipien Beach
    laura bolletta
    read more »
  • 13. Sabang Beach

    Sabang Beach
    David Petit
    read more »
  • 14. Port Barton

    Port Barton
    read more »
  • 15. Nagtabon Beach

    Nagtabon Beach
    read more »