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5 Best Islands in Balabac, Palawan

5 Best Islands in Balabac, Palawan

The Philippines is famous for its many beautiful beaches spread across over 7,640 islands. One of the top spots to visit these white sand beaches in Palawan. This area in the Luzon island group is well-known for tourist spots like El Nido, Coron, and Puerto Princesa. Recently, Port Barton and other parts of San Vicente have also become popular with tourists looking for a quieter place to visit in Palawan.

One of the hidden gems in the Philippines is Balabac, the southernmost town in Palawan. It’s closer to Sabah in East Malaysia than to Puerto Princesa, Palawan’s capital city.

Balabac is becoming more popular because of its stunning beaches, untouched islands, and clear turquoise waters that are just as beautiful as other famous spots in Palawan. Some people even call it the Maldives of the Philippines.

How to Get to Balabac Islands

How to Get to Balabac Islands

1. From Puerto Princesa to Rio Tuba

  • By Land: The journey begins with a six-hour van or bus ride from Puerto Princesa to Rio Tuba. Vans are faster and more comfortable, while buses offer a more budget-friendly option.
  • By Air: For a quicker route, consider a chartered flight from Puerto Princesa to Balabac. However, flights are limited and should be booked in advance.

2. From Rio Tuba to Balabac

  • Boat Ride: From Rio Tuba, take a boat to Balabac mainland. Boats leave early in the morning and the journey lasts around four hours. Ensure to arrange your boat ride in advance as schedules may vary.

Best Time to Visit

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Balabac, Palawan is from March to May, as these are the hottest months. This period usually has calm seas, making boat rides smoother. However, it is also the peak travel season because of summer and Holy Week in the Philippines.

You can also visit from November to February, which is the dry season. It won’t be as warm as March to May, but there is a small chance of rain.

Travel Tips

Travel Tips

  • Permits: Secure the necessary permits for island hopping from the local municipal office. These permits are required to visit certain islands and ensure a regulated and safe experience.
  • Guide Services: Hire a local guide for a safe and informative trip. Local guides know the best spots, can navigate the waters safely, and provide valuable insights into the history and ecology of the islands.
  • Supplies: Stock up on food, water, and essentials in Puerto Princesa or Rio Tuba, as amenities are limited on the islands. Bring enough supplies to last your entire stay, including sunscreen, insect repellent, and any medications you might need.
  • Respect Nature: Follow the Leave No Trace principles to preserve the natural beauty of Balabac. Throw away trash correctly, protect nature, and be kind to animals. Avoid picking up shells, and corals, or disturbing the natural habitat.

5 Best Islands in Balabac, Palawan

The municipality consists of several islands, so most tourist spots in Balabac, Palawan are beautiful beaches with clear waters and rich marine life. Some islands may require a fee or permission to visit, but your tour operator can arrange this when you book island-hopping tours in the Philippines.

1. Onok Island

Onok Island+ Islands in Balabac

Onok Island in Balabac, Palawan, is famous for its stunning beaches, beautiful sandbar, shallow waters, giant clams, and a scenic walkway on stilts. Visitors can swim, snorkel, relax on the beach, and might even spot sea turtles.

The island’s sandbar is ideal for long walks and offers breathtaking ocean views. Additionally, the clear waters are perfect for snorkeling, revealing colorful fish and corals. The giant clams provide a unique look at the local marine life. The stilted walkway offers a picturesque path over the water, making it a great spot for photography, especially during sunrise and sunset.

Reaching Onok Island requires a boat ride from Balabac town, with chances to see dolphins along the way. Moreover, the best time to visit is during the dry season, from November to May, for calm seas and good weather.

2. Camiaran Island (Pink Island)

Camiaran Island (Pink Island)

Camiaran Island is often called Pink Island because its sand has a pinkish color. This happens because the sea mixes crushed red coral with the sand. While walking on the beach, you might find pieces of red coral washed ashore. Please remember not to take these corals with you.

The island offers more than just its unique sand. It has clear blue waters perfect for swimming and snorkeling, where you can see colorful fish and other marine life. The island is also a great spot for sunbathing and relaxing, with plenty of shade from palm trees.

To get to Camiaran Island, you can take a boat from the main town of Balabac. The trip offers beautiful views of the surrounding islands and sea. It’s best to visit during the dry season, from November to May, to avoid heavy rains and rough seas.

Camiaran Island is part of a larger group of islands in Balabac, which means you can explore other nearby islands on the same trip. Each island has its own unique charm and natural beauty, making Balabac a hidden paradise worth discovering.

3. Punta Sebaring Beach

Punta Sebaring Beach+ Islands in Balabac

Located on Bugsuk Island, Punta Sebaring Beach is a popular spot in Balabac, easily accessible from nearby guesthouses and campsites. This beach is known for its 6-kilometer stretch of soft white sand connected to a massive sandbar.

The clear, calm waters are perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking. Furthermore, the area also offers stunning sunrise and sunset views, making it ideal for photography and relaxation.

Visitors can explore the rich biodiversity of the surrounding mangrove forests and enjoy birdwatching. Getting to Punta Sebaring Beach involves a scenic boat ride from the main town of Balabac to Bugsuk Island, followed by a short walk or ride to the beach.

Nearby accommodations range from basic tents to comfortable lodgings, often offering guided tours and activities. Punta Sebaring Beach is a must-visit for its natural beauty and outdoor adventures.

4. Candaraman Island

Candaraman Island

Candaraman Island in Balabac is a common lunch stop on island-hopping tours, known for its cream-colored sand, light blue waters, and tall palm trees. Nearby is the Starfish Sandbar, where you can see starfish on the sand during low tide or snorkel in shallow waters during high tide to spot them. 

The island offers a peaceful, less crowded atmosphere, perfect for relaxing, swimming, and snorkeling. Moreover, you can also enjoy a picnic lunch under the shade of the palm trees. However, many island-hopping tours include a stop here for a relaxing meal, allowing you to soak in the natural beauty and tranquility of the island.

5. Patawan Island

Patawan Island + Islands in Balabac

Patawan Island is a small island east of Bancalan Island. It is a private island that you can visit with Palawan tours. Some people call it Dolphin Island because its sandbar looks like a dolphin from above. You can swim and snorkel in the clear waters around the island.

The island is surrounded by colorful coral reefs, making it an excellent spot for underwater exploration. Visitors often spot a variety of marine life, including colorful fish and sometimes even sea turtles. In addition, the serene and uncrowded beaches provide a perfect setting for relaxation and sunbathing.

To make the most of your visit, it is recommended to bring your own snorkeling gear, as facilities on the island are limited. Additionally, be mindful of the environment by not disturbing marine life and keeping the island clean. In addition, Patawan Island offers a peaceful retreat and a unique experience for those looking to explore the hidden gems of Palawan.

The Hidden Paradise of Balabac, Palawan

Knowing about tourist spots in Balabac, Palawan is important because it helps travelers enjoy the natural beauty, unique wildlife, and rich culture of this hidden gem, making their trip more special and memorable. 

Asking for help from professionals like Sam SEO Philippines is essential as they give expert advice on the best places to visit, local customs, safety tips, and travel details, making the trip smoother and avoiding problems. This is important because it makes the visit more fun and educational while promoting responsible and sustainable tourism that benefits both visitors and the local community.

Final Thoughts 

Balabac, Palawan, is a special place with natural beauty, diverse sea life, and peaceful islands. Known for its white sand beaches and clear waters, it’s perfect for snorkelers and divers. Moreover, the islands host unique wildlife like the Philippine mouse deer and various birds. 

Enjoy adventure or relaxation by exploring uninhabited islands or soaking in a serene environment. Additionally, with its secluded charm and stunning landscapes, Balabac promises an unforgettable experience. Plan your trip today and discover this hidden paradise in the Philippines.

FAQs

Are there ATMs in Balabac, Palawan?

No, there are no ATMs in Balabac because it is a remote area. Furthermore, you should bring all the cash you need for your trip. It’s best to withdraw money in Manila or Puerto Princesa. If you stay in Rio Tuba, there are some ATMs there.

Is it safe to go to Balabac, Palawan?

Balabac is generally safe for tourists, but you should always be careful and aware of health and travel risks. Additionally, learn about local customs, traditions, and laws to avoid any problems or misunderstandings.

Is there a mobile or phone signal in Balabac, Palawan?

The mobile signal in Balabac is weak and unreliable. However, if you need to contact family or access important information, do it while you’re in Puerto Princesa or other larger towns.

Are there any restrictions or permits required in Balabac?

Some islands in Balabac are privately owned and may require fees or permits to visit. Moreover, your tour operator can help arrange this for you.

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