Considered as one of Philippines most iconic travel destinations, Palawan islands are dotted with roughly 1,780 islands and islets surrounding the main island. Palawan is composed of rocky coves, rainforests, outstanding dive sites, mountains, primeval caves, and pristine beaches. Measuring 450 kilometres long and 50 kilometres wide, it lies between South China Sea and Sulu Sea .
Its capital, Puerto Princesa City is the only one official city and the last sign of civilization before heading towards distant islands off the coast and jungles. Palawan has been declared as a nature sanctuary of the world and Philippines' last ecological frontier. The waters are among the best in the world, for diving and also for fishing combined with a fascinating wealth of wildlife and natural beauty. Moreover, it is where the Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park, one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, is located.
Diving pleasures are added to a lot of other activities on Palawan such as archeology. Evidence of a prehistoric civilization makes Palawan rich in archeological attractions. Whatever Palawan lacks in modern infrastructure, the serene environment guarantees that you will find all the rest and relaxation you need in between adventures into the Philippines' last frontier.
Best Scuba Diving Season
DIVING IN PALAWAN
Palawan is a diver's paradise; it has miles of sub-surface coral and rainbow reef walls that abound with varied and colorful marine life. It has an amazing collection of WWII shipwrecks and gorgeous coral gardens.
- All level divers / depending on the dive site
- Underwater photographers / macro divers
•Diving all year around possible
•Best time / October - March
•Nearly no rain in April and May
•Raining season / July – October
•Cold water / December - February (26 to 27°)
•Warm water / March - May (29°)
•Calm sea / March - early June
DIVING SEASONS IN PALAWAN
Two types of climate:
- Northern, southern extremities and the entire western coast have two distinct seasons - six months dry and six months wet
- Eastern coast - short dry season (1-3 months) and no pronounced rainy period during the rest of the year
- Southern part is virtually free from tropical depressions
- Northern Palawan - torrential rains (July and August)
- Temperatures - 24-33 degrees Celsius
- Lowest temperature - 19 degree Celsius
- Rainy season – July-October
- Strongest rainfalls – September
- But even in rainy months there are dry days and even on rainy days it does not rain all day long
- Dry weather January-February / chilly in the night time
- Summertime – March-May
Coron is one of the top 10 scuba diving spots in the world according to Forbes Traveler Magazine. It is well blessed with a wide range of dive sites to suit all tastes and levels of experience.
The major attraction however is undoubtedly the wrecks of the Japanese supply fleet sunk in September 1944. That makes Coron the most important wrecks dive sites in the world, second only to those in Truk Lagoon. It is much easier to dive in Coron than in Truk due to shallow and calm water.
The most important dive sites are (not in order):
The Taiei Maru was an oil tanker. This wreck has everything, it is well covered with good corals particularly very large lettuce corals, sponges and schools of fish including fusiliers, snappers and batfish, plus the ubiquitous lionfish and scorpionfish.
The conditions are normally calm but fierce currents are common. Novices should check the tide tables first and penetrate the wreck only with an experienced divemaster.
Visibility: 33 to 65 ft.
Average depth: 52ft
Maximum depth: 85 ft
Akitsushima was a seaplane tender/carrier. Due to depth and metal hazards within, no swim throughs are allowed without wreck diver certification. Wreck divers can make an impressive penetration into the engine room to see the four engines. The gears and machinery for operating the crane are the main objects of interest for a penetration into the stern.
It is also good for fish life. Large groupers lurk in the hull and schools of barracuda, tuna and snapper are found along it.
The conditions are normally calm but with some strong currents. Definitely it’s not a dive for novices.
Visibility: 33 to 65 ft.
Average depth: 92 ft
Maximum depth: 125 ft
This wreck was a Japanese freighter. Swim through possibilities are superb on this wreck but as always a guide is essential. The shallow side of the hull is a veritable coral garden inhabited by a great variety of fish including the inevitable nasties such as scorpions. We also found several different species of anemone inhabitants and shoals of some quite large species. The hull makes a great second dive.
The conditions are normally calm with some current.
Visibility 33 to 65 ft
Average depth: 92 ft
Maximum depth: 110 ft
There is a highly interesting tribal culture living in the mountains of the area, about less than five hundred people left. You should also know that the culture of Palawan is one which focuses greatly on appreciation of the environment.
Crowded by the end of November and beginning of December because of Christmas and New year, you can have difficulties finding a room.
The island of Palawan has nine areas filled with beach resorts, hotels, and diving spots: Busuanga / Coron; Central Palawan; Cuyo area; El Nido (greatest concentration); Puerto Princessa (greatest concentration); Port Barton (idyllic cottages on the coastline, far from the modern world); Roxas; Sabang; Taytay.