Traveling with the kiddos in tow might sound like a huge hassle, but it is entirely possible. Not only is it possible, there is actually nothing more fulfilling than traveling as a family. Sure, having the occasional romantic getaway with your hubby is nice. But there’s a good chance you’ll find yourself missing them halfway into a trip like we did in the Maldives.
Maybe you won’t, but you can’t deny the fact that taking the kids to exotic places is a great way for them to be exposed to the world and gain enlightenment about other walks of life. One of the best places of all time to travel as a family is in the island-chain country of the Philippines.
Palawan with kids
Not only is it beautiful in the Philippines, it’s also extremely kid-friendly. Especially if you focus your travels on the Filipino islands of Palawan. If you’re still on the fence about lugging the kids around on your next vacay, reading about these kid-friendly destinations in Palawan might help to clear things up.
Based on my research I will outline the top places to visit in Palawan with kids and I can’t wait to take mine to these amazing places. I’m holding off a bit until the kids are old enough to scuba dive:
First of all, if you have any daughters, they’ll love the name Puerto Princesa simply because it reminds them of their favorite Disney princess. But the fun doesn’t stop there, not even close. Puerto Princesa is a great first stop and the easiest first stop since it is the capital of the Palawan islands.
Technically, Puerto Princesa is a big city, which is why many travelers are surprised by the tons of outdoor activities and stunning natural surroundings. To give you an idea of the sheer stunningness, there are seven natural wonders located in Puerto Princesa alone. The best of all seven is the Puerto Princesa Underground River, and your kids will absolutely love it.
The Underground River in Puerto Princesa is a UNESCO World Heritage site that spans about 8 kilometers (or 5 miles), and it is quite literally underground. The winding river travels through a cave before dumping into the West Philippine Sea. You can sign up for a tour through the caves to see what it’s all about.
El Nido caters to all types of travelers, families included. If you’re coming from Puerto Princesa, it is about a 6-hour drive or you can fly there in 90 minutes. No matter which transportation method you choose, once you arrive you’ll be in an entirely new world. A huge perk of El Nido is that it feels like it’s off-the-beaten path in a way. But this doesn’t mean you have to give up on the little luxuries you’re used to.
There are plenty of family-friendly hotels and resorts in El Nido, all within a short walk to the beach. If you’re not traveling with infants or toddlers, consider signing up for a boat tour of the surrounding islands. These can last half day or all day and provide tons of opportunities to swim, snorkel, and hang out on the beach while building sand castles as a family.
Getting from El Nido to Coron is easy; you can book your ferry ticket from Coron to El Nido or vice versa. The only downside of El Nido is that it can get a bit crowded, but this is great if you want to socialize with other families. However, the crowds can be a bit much for some family travelers, which is where Coron comes into play.
Coron offers the same natural beauty of El Nido, just with way fewer people. If you’re family is up for an adventure, sign up for diving in Coron. There are plenty of dive shops to choose from, and many of them are 100% family friendly. Of course this activity isn’t suitable for young children, But if you’re traveling with teens, embarking on a diving adventure will create lifelong family memories.
Tay Tay is the best place for a family photo op. The bay views from the island are nothing less than breathtaking, so just imagine what next year’s Christmas card will look like? Similar to the rest of the Philippines, one of the most popular activities to do here is island hopping. If you participate in a tour from Tay Tay, you’ll get to spend time with the fam on islands entirely untouched by man.
For history-loving families, Tay Tay is a great addition to the Palawan itinerary. It is home to Fort Isabella, a fortress that still stands from the colonial days of the Philippines. If they kids don’t want to tag along with history-buff parents, they can hang back and snorkel, dolphin watch, or explore Filipino culture.
Best place to stay in Palawan
There are accommodation options for all budgets in Palawan from you budget dorm room in the local hostel with backpackers, lovely family owned guesthouses right through to 5 star hotels. You’ll find many options to suit your budget. I find Bookings.com to have slightly discounted rates for hotels in Asia, even better than going direct.
See search box below to help you find the best place to stay in Palawan from Bookings.com.
The Philippines and in particular Palawan has some amazing places to scuba dive and snorkel, in fact its one of the best places in the world. Its really the main reason I have been holding off visiting Palawan with kids because I would love for the kids to be able to scuba dive there. The kids are currently a bit young and I don’t want to frighten them and have them not enjoy it. Especially when it costs so much.
I would love to do a live-aboard trip and move between the places listed above but that will be a while off yet! Need to get us all PADI certified. Craig has his PADI ticket, me and the kids don’t, yet! I had two discovery lessons with an instructor in the Maldives and absolutely loved it. Its another amazing world down there!
Have you been to Palawan with your kids? Leave us any tips in the comment box below.
Sal, Craig & Our3kids