If I could only recommend one place to visit in the Philippines, it would be Palawan. This island region is home to some of the most amazing attractions in the country, such as white-sand beaches, snorkel and dive sites (including underwater shipwrecks), secret lagoons, and more.
It’s no surprise that it’s the number 1 destination in the Philippines.
In this article, we’ll guide you through the best Palawan beaches that you should visit.
- An overview of Palawan
- Best Palawan Beaches
- 1. Onuk Island
- 2. Nacpan Beach
- 3. Marimegmeg Beach
- 4. Malcapuya Island
- 5. Banul Beach
- 6. Shimizu Island
- 7. White Beach
- 8. Black Island
- 9. Candaraman Island
- 10. Seven Commandos Beach
- 11. Secret Lagoon
- 12. Sabang Beach
- 13. Inaladelan Island
- 14. San Vicente Long Beach
- 15. Talaudyong Beach
- 16. Duli Beach
- 17. Corong Corong Beach
- What to read next:
An overview of Palawan
Palawan is made up of different coastal areas and most of them is accessible via the Puerto Princesa International Airport.
Here is an overview of the major destinations in Palawan. For a more comprehensive guide, check out our Ultimate Guide to Palawan.
Located on the northern tip of Palawan, El Nido boasts some of the most picturesque beaches in the world. The Bacuit Archipelago is made up of over 45 islands and islets, each with its own unique charm. Some popular beaches include Seven Commandos Beach, Secret Beach, and Las Cabanas Beach.
Coron is a small island in Palawan, and in many ways it is similar to Coron. Personally, I find Coron to be more beautiful and less crowded, but to each his own. The main attraction here is its clear blue waters and rich marine life, making it a top destination for diving and snorkeling. Some must-visit beaches here are Kayangan Lake, Twin Lagoon, and Malcapuya Island.
Puerto Princesa City is the capital of Palawan Province and it serves as the jump-off point to other destinations in the region. Puerto Princesa is a tourist destination itself and it is also home to several beaches and islands.
Best Palawan Beaches
1. Onuk Island
As a traveler who’s been to some of the best beaches in the Philippines, Onuk Island (or Onok Island) still manages to catch my breath, and I’ve been here twice! I would gladly come back for its sheer beauty.
Onuk Island is a private island nestled in Balabac, located in the southernmost part of Palawan. It is surrounded with fine, white sand and beautiful azure waters, surrounded by a home reef perfect for snorkeling and free diving. You can see diverse marine life and, if you’re lucky enough, may even spot a sea turtle or two!
There are no accommodations in the island, so you need to bring a camping tent or a hammock for sleeping in the outdoor cottage.
Onuk Island is typically not included in island hopping tour packages, but there are joiner tours that come here occasionally. The extra effort is all worth it once you set foot on this breathtaking beach, a hidden paradise that is undeniably one of the Palawan’s best beaches.
2. Nacpan Beach
Nacpan Beach is often said to be the most beautiful beach in El Nido. While we don’t really have a say in which beach is the most beautiful, this beach struck us with its beauty. It was also less crowded compared to the other popular spots in El Nido, especially if you come early in the morning.
This beach features 4 kilometers of pristine white sand, offering a serene escape from the bustling tourist crowds. The azure waters are a paradise for swimmers, while the golden sunrise can make early mornings truly magical. Right next to Nacpan Beach is its twin beach, the Calitang Beach.
Because Nacpan Beach is located a bit far from tourist proper, it’s suggested to allot a whole day to go here so you have ample time to beach bum, swim, and enjoy fresh seafood. You can also opt to stay in one of the resorts along the beach.
Location: El Nido
3. Marimegmeg Beach
Located a short ride from the town proper of El Nido, Marimegmeg Beach is another one of the best beaches in Palawan that you shouldn’t miss.
Also known as Las Cabanas beach, it offers a stretch of fine, white sand and clear water. It’s recommended to come here late in the afternoon, so you can watch the glorious sunset while enjoying cocktails.
There are a number of sbars and restaurants along the beach, but it still exudes a laid-back and secluded vibe, making it a great spot for those who want to enjoy a chill time at the beach.
Location: El Nido
4. Malcapuya Island
Malcapuya Island is one of the more distant islands from Coron town proper, but getting here is absolutely worth it.
Like other beaches in Coron, it has fine, white sands and crystal-clear waters. But what makes this beach particularly special is its abundant coral reefs and marine life, making it a haven for snorkeling and freediving enthusiasts.
Getting here involves a boat ride from Coron town, packaged with visits to other nearby islands including Banana Island and Bulog Dos. Grab your beach hat, lather on some sunscreen, and prepare for an unforgettable experience in this slice of Palawan paradise.
5. Banul Beach
Banul Beach (also Banol Beach) is one of the most beautiful beaches in Coron. It is renowned for its small yet exceedingly picturesque coastline.
The beach is famous for its fine, white sand that feels like cloud under your feet, contrasted beautifully with the turquoise waters. The surrounding waters are also abundant with vibrant marine life, making snorkeling a popular activity here. Additionally, the beach is dotted with quaint huts for visitors to kick back and soak in the breathtaking views.
This beach is often busy in the afternoon, as tour boats stop here for lunch. If you want a more relaxing visit, you can charter a boat and get here in the morning or late afternoon.
6. Shimizu Island
Shimizu Island is an unmissable stop on any El Nido island hopping tour, and when you see it for yourself, you’ll understand why. Its white sandy beach, although small, is incredibly picturesque and makes for a perfect place to soak up some sun or enjoy a picnic, while the island’s towering limestone cliffs present a dramatic contrast to the azure sea.
But the island’s main draw isn’t just the beach — it’s the array of vibrant corals and diverse marine life underwater. Snorkeling here is a delight, offering a chance to get up close and personal with colorful clownfish, lionfish, and even sea turtles! In fact, the water here is so clear you can see the fishes from above.
Location: El Nido
7. White Beach
Did you know that this lesser-known beach is voted no. 1 in the Best Beaches in the World by the Big 7 Travel in 2023? As someone who’s been here (and loved it), we can vouch for its beauty!
White Beach is a hidden gem located in the quiet town of Port Barton. Not as commercialized as other Palawan beaches, it offers a tranquil retreat for the adventurous traveler. Getting here is a bit of a challenge, as you need to go on a 20-minute bumpy ride via scooter; an easier, but slightly more expensive way, is to rent a boat that will get you here.
The White Beach stands true to its name. Its sandy shores offer a white canvas that melds seamless into the crystal-clear turquoise water. Coconut trees frame the beach, offering a respite from the sun if needed – and also fresh coconut juice! The water is clear and inviting, and a part of the beach is great for snorkeling as well.
White Beach in Port Barton is an idyllic spot on Palawan’s map, perfect for those seeking a serene and intimate beach experience.
Location: Port Barton, San Vicente
8. Black Island
Busuanga has its fair share of mesmerizing beaches, but while most people stay in Coron and surrounding areas, Black Island is one of the lesser visited ones.
Black Island (also known as Malajon Island) features powdery white-sand beaches, contrasted against imposing dark limestone cliffs — hence the name. The clear emerald waters surrounding the island are home to a rich array of marine life, making it a diver’s utopia.
For those who seek adventure beyond the beach, the island also hosts mysterious caves with natural freshwater pools, perfect for a refreshing dip.
Although devoid of high-end resorts, the island offers an untouched, raw beauty that outshines the need for man-made luxuries. It is one of the best stops during a Busuanga or Calauit tour.
9. Candaraman Island
If you’re in pursuit of the best beaches in Palawan, Candaraman Island is one that you shouldn’t miss!
Located in Balabac group of islands, this tiny island jewel is known for its powdery, white sand and stunning sand bar, which appears on low tide. Without exaggeration, its water is one of the clearest we’ve seen in Palawan! It’s like jumping straight into a lifestyle magazine.
The island is also famous for its starfish population. It’s not uncommon to see these fascinating creatures dotting the shoreline.
With no resorts or commercial facilities, Candaraman Island offers a perfect escape for seeking solitude. It’s one of the best stops during a Balabac island hopping tour.
10. Seven Commandos Beach
Seven Commandos Beach is one of the most popular tourist spots in El Nido. While this beach is often busy (being part of the island hopping tours), no one can deny its allure. Its pristine white sand and clear, azure waters invite tourists for a refreshing swim, while the towering limestone cliffs provide a backdrop to this tropical escape.
Aside from beach bumming, you can also play volleyball and enjoy a snack or drink at a small bar along the shore. The calm waters around the beach also make it excellent for snorkeling and scuba diving.
This beach is not just about beauty though, it also has an interesting story. According to local lore, seven soldiers were left stranded here during the WWII, hence the name. Today though, this 320-meter-long beach cove represents the appeal that Palawan beaches are celebrated for.
Location: El Nido
11. Secret Lagoon
The Secret Lagoon isn’t quite a secret — in fact it’s one of the popular island hopping stops in El Nido. However, its unique structure makes it worth visiting.
The lagoon itself is nestled within limestone cliffs, accessible only by swimming through a small opening in the rock. Upon entering, you’ll be greeted by a small beach cove where you can relax and beach bum.
Aside from the lagoon, there is also a beautiful beach cove nearby perfect for swimming and snorkeling. This beach is one of the most scenic beaches in El Nido, so prepare your cameras for gorgeous photos!
Location: El Nido
12. Sabang Beach
Sabang Beach is perhaps one of the most underrated beaches in Palawan. This pristine stretch of white sand and calm, sparkling-blue sea is located in Puerto Princesa, offering an idyllic setting away from the bustling city life.
The beach itself has a laid-back vibe, perfect for those looking to unwind and soak up the sun. The surrounding landscape, with lush forests and towering limestone cliffs, adds to its allure.
This beach is not only famous for its striking natural beauty but also for its proximity to the UNESCO World Heritage site, the Puerto Princesa Underground River. If you’re booking a tour to the underground river, you’ll get to this beach since it is where the boats depart. However, the tour doesn’t allot of time in the beach, so if you want to stay here longer, you need to plan your visit on your own.
Location: Puerto Princesa
13. Inaladelan Island
This small island resort in Port Barton, Palawan, offers a truly exclusive and tranquil beach escape. Also called German Island, from a German national who lived here for several years, this beach features fine, white sand, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and fringing coconut palm trees.
What sets Inaladelan Island apart is that it’s a haven for snorkeling enthusiasts! It is surrounded by vibrant coral reefs teeming with marine life, and one of the highlights of staying here is the opportunity to spot sea turtles gliding effortless through the water. We recommend going here during non-busy hours since the sea turtles are easier to see those times.
Location: Port Barton, Palawan
14. San Vicente Long Beach
For those who prefer less commercial areas to beach bum, San Vicente is a haven. San Vicente Long Beach (or simply “Long Beach”) boasts the longest white-sand coastline in the Philippines, stretching 14 kilometers long and covering four villages (namely, San Isidro, New Agutaya, Alimanguan, and Poblacion).
Imagine walking along the shore, with the sun setting over the horizon and the waves gently lapping at your feet, not coming across a single soul. That’s the kind of peace and solitude Long Beach offers.
But it’s more than just a beach lover’s paradise. San Vicente is also a sanctuary for various species of marine life, making it an excellent spot for snorkeling and diving. There is also a small hill called Bato ni Ningning that you can trek for an amazing overlooking view of the beach.
San Vicente Long Beach offers limited accommodations, but in return you can enjoy a true back-to-nature experience, a place where you can disconnect from the hustle and bustle, and truly absorb the beauty of Palawan’s beaches.
Location: San Vicente
15. Talaudyong Beach
If you’re an avid traveler like me, you’d probably been to the most popular beachs in Palawan. But this island province may surprise you yet!
Talaudyong Beach is a hidden gem located less than an hour away from Puerto Princesa City. It is mostly frequently by locals, but even on weekends it doesn’t too crowded.
This beach takes pride in its pristine beauty, with powdery white sand that’s a pleasure to walk on and surrounded by lush greenery. Unlike other beaches in the area, its clear blue waters are calm and inviting, perfect for a soothing swim or snorkeling to explore the underwater seascape.
There are limited resorts along the beach, and it’s recommended to bring your own food and drink for picnicking.
Location: Puerto Princesa
16. Duli Beach
You may think that the beaches in El Nido are mostly similar. Well, not quite so!
Nestled on the north coast of Palawan, Duli Beach is a lesser-known paradise ideal for relaxing and surfing. The 2-kilometer-long, isolated stretch of golden sand is hugged by lush, green palms and washed by the azure waves from the Sulu Sea. The best time to hit the waves is between November and April when the northeast monsoon brings in a consistent swell.
While the beach is a surfer’s playground, it’s equally enticing for those seeking serenity away from the crowds. Apart from surfing and sunbathing, you can take a leisurely walk along the shoreline, enjoy the spectacular sunsets, and enjoy local refreshments at a cafe.
Although there are no luxury resorts on Duli Beach, there are few homestays and beach huts that offer a comfortable stay.
Location: El Nido
17. Corong Corong Beach
Corong Corong Beach may not be the most beautiful beach in El Nido, but it has its own charm. Here, you can book a reasonably priced room close to the beach, mingle with the locals, and have easy access to beachfront bars and restaurants. In short, it’s fun and convenient, especially if it’s your first time visiting the Philippines.
The beach itself is a stretch of fine sand, with calm waters perfect for a relaxing swim or a leisurely kayak ride. If you’re up for some exploring, you can take a short boat ride to the nearby islands and lagoons. From snorkeling in clear, blue waters to diving with diverse marine life, there’s a whole new world waiting to be discovered here in Corong Corong Beach.
Location: El Nido
How to get to Palawan
Palawan has a local and international airport — the Puerto Princesa International Airport. It is the gateway to most destinations in Palawan, including El Nido, Honda Bay, and Balabac.
If you’re heading to Coron, book a flight to Busuanga Airport. From El Nido, you can also proceed to Coron via ferry.
Best way to explore the beaches
Most of the beaches in Palawan are part of island hopping tours. Honda Bay, El Nido, and Coron have island hopping packages so visiting these Palawan beaches is easy and convenient. Otherwise, you may need to commute or take a boat depending on which beach you want to visit.
Other must-know info
In Palawan, cash is still king. While many establishments in cities accept cards, you still need to have cash when visiting smaller businesses and lesser developed areas.
Make sure to bring sunscreen, as the weather in the Philippines can be unforgiving especially during the summer. When visiting uncommercial beaches, it’s also safe to wear insect repellant.
What are your favorite beaches in Palawan? Let us know in the comment section below!
What to read next:
Visiting Palawan? Check out the rest of our guides in Palawan:
- Guide to Puerto Princesa Underground River
- Island Hopping in Honda Bay
- Best Resorts and Hotels in Puerto Princesa
- Travel Guide to Port Barton + 3 Days Itinerary
- Top Things to Do in Port Barton
- Island Hopping in Port Barton
Katherine Cortes is a long-time backpacker and a freelance writer/editor. She likes beaches, snorkeling trips, and relaxing staycations (preferably with bath tubs!).