Hawaii, Bali, the Caribbean, New Caledonia, or French Polynesia. Chances are, you have heard of these exotic islands. If you’re lucky, you may have visited one of them. But if you’re looking for a new, out-of-the-box travel destination, include the tropical island of Palawan into your bucket list.
Never heard of it? You’re certainly not the only one. Palawan, or among Filipinos known as the Philippine’s Last Frontier, is captivating island province of the Philippines. Although not as well-known as the islands mentioned above, Palawan surprisingly, was crowned as the best island in the world by the readers of a popular travel magazine, Travel + Leisure. This was the second time the island coveted the no.1 spot, after the year 2013. The voters cast their vote based on several criteria; such as the natural sights and attractions, food, friendliness of the locals, and overall value.
What makes Palawan so fascinating? A voter gave his two cents on the island; naming it “every beach lover’s dream destination” and an overall “wonderful and magical place”. A home to five-mile-long underground river as well as 120 species of coral reef, and 800 (yes, eight hundred) species of exotic fishes, and even sunken shipwrecks; Palawan should be on your must-go list if you’re a fan of scuba diving. Even if you’re not, other water sports are also available here; such as kayaking and snorkeling. The underground river is simply breathtaking; clear water running through the caves beneath the island’s mountains is enough to make you gasp. Bacuit Bay is especially popular among tourists who are eager to explore reefs, but the beaches of El Nido are recommended if you’re seeking some quiet time.
Dubbed as “sheer perfection” by The Huffington Post, Palawan has more to offer than jungle-filled mountains and blue water. Located on the Calauit Island, Calauit Safari Park; largest game reserve and wild sanctuary in the country sizing 3,700 hectares, is open for public. Homing 1,870 different animals, the safari park is a perfect destination for those who travel with their young ones.
Palawan is also known among A-list stars such as Madonna and Brad Pitt, who visited the picturesque island before. Recognized Hollywood movies such as The Bourne Ultimatum and James Bond : Tomorrow Never Dies were also filmed on Palawan.
Rich of eye candies, Palawan is surprisingly also where significant historical findings were discovered. The remains of the oldest Homo sapiens were reported to be found in the Tabon Cave in Puerto Princesa, Palawan. The human fossils dated way back to 47,000 years ago. Interestingly, Puerto Princesa, which is also the capital of Palawan, is also famous for its savory culinary delights.
A complete package, Palawan certainly lives up to its title as the world’s best island. Still in doubt? Why don’t you see for yourself?
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