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You might be of the opinion that the most beautiful place on earth is the Maldives, and it is hard to argue with, but there is one particular island that is running it for its money.

The island of Palawan is part of the vast Philippines archipelago, which consists of over 7,000 islands. A slice of paradise miles away from the busy bustle of Manila, Palawan is just perfect.

Travel and Leisure magazine has named it the "best island" in the world, with Instagramers taking it fast in recent months and the buzz around Palawan is only getting bigger.

Combined with its small surrounding islands (which make up the Palawan province), it feels untouched by the white sandy beaches and tropical jungle.

This is so amazing here just for a few reasons…

El Nido is one of the most beautiful places you’ll ever see

Al Nido is a group of 45 islands from the tip of the Palawan, famous for its secret lagoon. Swim through a hole in the limestone cliffs to enter a hidden bay. There are also over 30 dive spots and sunset hiking routes.

El Nido Palawan
Image: warrencamitan/Instagram

Filipino culture is in full swing at the vibrant Baragatan festival

Each year, in the two weeks leading up to Palawan's Foundation Day on June 23, all of Palawan's municipalities come together for a huge celebration in Puerto Princes that celebrates the region's best. There are colorful tableaux, craft markets and local food items.

Baragatan Festival in Palawan
Image: eazytraveler/Flickr

There’s majestic lagoons with sparkling blue water

Visit the island around Palawan to see the cleanest lagoon in the area. From the Twin Lagoon in Coran, which is actually the two statues separated by the Karst statues, to the Paguriran Lagoon in Sorsgon. Kayak through them and simply soak up the peaceful atmosphere.

Majestic Lagoons in Palawan

You can visit one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature

The Puerto Princesa Subtranian River is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the new 7 wonders of nature. Take a boat trip to slip through the world's longest underground tunnel.

UNESCO calls this underground river "one of the most unique in the world", and we have to agree.

Puerto Princesa Subterranean River

You’ll discover the sleepy fishing village of Port Barton

Just three hours from Puerto Princesa, the capital of Palawan, this little-known village is less congested with quiet beaches. You can also book boats for trips to nearby islands such as German Island, Foreign Island and Paradise Island.

Sleepy Fishing Village

You can scuba dive among amazing coral and sea life at Tubbataha Reefs

Since Tubbataha was discovered by divers in the late 1970s, it came to be recognized as one of the most notable coral reefs on our planet. With 600 species of fish, 11 species of sharks, and 13 species of dolphins and whales, it is a spectacular diving spot.
Due to its isolated location, the tubebeta can only be seen on a liveboard boat. Keep in mind that the dive season is just three months long, lasting from mid-March to mid-June.

Tubbataha Reefs

The fresh seafood in Puerto Princesa is out of this world

This vibrant city has a thriving culinary scene, featuring seafood specialties and local cuisine that will make you swoon. Try delicious grilled skewers, fresh fish caught that day and other delicious snacks.

Puerto Princesa Fresh Seafood

Resorts are just as luxurious as the Maldives – without the price tag

Everyone on those water villas lust on Instagram? You can visit Palavan itself with beautiful views here. For example, El Nido resorts have private islands where you can spend a night for $ 300 - much more affordable then upwards of $ 1,000 to a resort in Maldives.

El Nido Resort Villas