Spanning 1.5 million hectares (3.7 million acres) with over 1,780 islets, Palawan is dubbed the Last Ecological Frontier of the Philippines in honor of the province’s well-preserved natural resources. In fact, it houses a total of 232 endemic species of animal, which the highest recorded number in the world!
It is home to some of the most pristine bodies of water in the country, including Honda Bay, Tubbataha Reef, Coron Island, Kayangan Lake, Barracuda Lake, and the Puerto Princesa Underground River. Of course, Palawan also has its fair share of cultural attractions. There’s Batak Cultural Village, the World War II Memorial Museum, and Palawan Museum, where guests are welcome to learn more about the province’s history.
Visiting Palawan soon? Here’s a list of some of the best Airbnbs in Palawan to help you decide where to stay when visiting the province. Travelling on a budget? That’s not a problem as all of them are below 100 USD!
Jenny’s Kahamut-an, a family-run guest house in Buenavista Village, is located approximately one hour and 15 minutes away from Puerto Princesa Airport and 30 minutes from the Underground River. They have three cottages in front of the beach, all of which are powered by solar energy.
This particular backpacker’s room is on the first floor of their newest cottage, made of local materials like bamboo and coconut lumbers. It comfortably accommodates two people, with a balcony and a private bathroom. It is also ideal for guests who truly want to disconnect during their vacation, since there is no Wi-Fi in the area.
Breakfast, prepared personally by the hosts using local organic produce, is included in the nightly fee. If you wish to have lunch and dinner in the cottage, you can inform the host and pay for it separately.
Backpacker’s haven in a local fishing village
Address: Barangay Buenavista, Puerto Princesa, MIMAROPA, Philippines (see map)
Price: from 21 USD / night
Access: 1 hour and 15 minutes by bus from the city proper
A sanctuary for laid-back travellers, Bamboo Hostel has open-air cottages that comes with mattresses and hammocks for guests to relax anytime they want. It is a quiet respite in the heart of Puerto Princesa, although stores and restaurants are not accessible by foot from here. You would need to ride a tricycle, the Filipino version of an auto rickshaw, to visit such establishments.
The hosts can help arrange day tours for the guests. At night, they conduct a free screening of Filipino and Southeast Asian movies using a screen and projector inside one of the cottages. For breakfast, they usually serve waffles and brewed coffee. Other facilities include shared bathrooms and showers.
Open-air cottages with hammocks
Address: Barangay San Pedro, Puerto Princesa, MIMAROPA, Philippines (see map)
Price: from 10 USD / night
Contact: (048) 244 0691
Access: 5-minute tricycle ride from the airport
Located just five minutes away from Puerto Princesa Airport, Nelly’s Nipa Hut offers a distinctly Filipino accommodation amidst the busy city. They offer rooms inside nipa huts, locally known as bahay kubo, which are stilt houses indigenous to the country. They are made of bamboo rods and mats, specifically designed to easily let fresh air inside the dwelling.
With a total of 700 square metres (7,535 square feet), the property is fenced to ensure the safety of guests. The beach is only a few minutes’ walk from this property. There are no meals included in the fee, but there are nearby commercial establishments like restaurants and shops in the area.
With a farm-like feel, expect your mornings to be filled with the sounds of roosters living nearby. It is common in provinces like Palawan and other rural parts of the Philippines.
Nelly's Nipa Hut
Address: Puerto Princesa, MIMAROPA, Philippines (see map)
Price: from 12 USD / night
Access: 5 minutes by car or tricycle from the airport
Surrounded by passion fruit trees and palm trees, this bamboo treehouse is ideal for travellers who want to experience rural Philippines. It has shared areas where guests can relax and eat together. It also features a garden with hammocks, a basic kitchen, a laundry area, and showers.
The neighbourhood is a typical Filipino rural area, generally quiet and peaceful. From the property, you can easily walk to a local bakery, a sugarcane juice shop, several restaurants, and grocery stores. Meanwhile, the beach is 15 minutes away by foot and Puerto Princesa’s city centre is located 30 minutes away. If you wish to explore on your own, the host has motorbikes and bicycles for rent.
Guests are encouraged to walk barefooted inside the bamboo treehouse, just like how the locals do it!
Address: Puerto Princesa, MIMAROPA, Philippines (see map)
Price: from 18 USD / night
Access: 15 minutes’ walk from the beach
For a taste of both a traditional and a modern Filipino lifestyle, Orange Mangrove Pension House offers deluxe rooms conveniently located in the heart of Puerto Princesa. Ideally located, this Airbnb is located near public transportation, making it a great base to explore the province.
Each room is equipped with an air-conditioning unit, a flat-screen TV, and a DVD player, as well as a private bathroom with free toiletries. For a separate fee, guests can request additional services like airport transfers and tours.
It is also an ideal accommodation for business travellers, since the property has free Wi-Fi access and a laptop-friendly workspace.
Deluxe room in the city
Address: Burgos corner Manalo Street, Barangay Masikap, Puerto Princesa (see map)
Price: from 26 USD / night
Contact: +63 917 877 8121
Access: 2 kilometres (1.2 miles) away from the airport
Known for its pristine beaches and coral reefs, El Nido is a perfect retreat for beach lovers. If you simply can’t get enough of the gorgeous ocean views, you can rent a cottage by the bay at Floresita’s Beach Resort. It is located in Barangay Sibaltan, a peaceful and remote village in El Nido.
All rooms in the bamboo cottages have a private comfortable room and a shower. They also have internet access and a laptop-friendly area. Although far from the city center, guests won’t run out of activities to do here. They have a restaurant and bar where local dishes are offered for a separate fee. Kayaks and jet skis are also available for rent, the hosts can also help you arrange island-hopping tours.
The property uses electricity generators and power may fluctuate at times. However, if you’re here for the beaches and the outdoor activities, it wouldn’t be much of a problem.
Cottage with beach views
Address: Barangay Sibaltan, El Nido, MIMAROPA, Philippines (see map)
Price: from 33 USD / night
Contact: +63 917 507 9700
Access: 1-hour van ride from town proper
Home in the mountains
Address: Barangay Buena Suerte, El Nido, MIMAROPA, Philippines (see map)
Price: from 56 USD / night
Contact: +63 926 272 3809
Access: 5-minute ride from ferry terminal
Nestled in the mountains of El Nido, CED Pension offers Filipino-style rooms equipped with air-conditioning units and secured by 24/7 CCTV cameras. It is located near the town center, which has easy access to both commercial establishments and outdoor activities.
Rooms and common areas are filled with wooden furnishings that add to the native feel of the accommodation. With views of trees and mountains, it is perfect for travellers who wish to reconnect with nature. Other amenities include a private bathroom, hot showers, and a laptop-friendly workspace.
Breakfast is included in the nightly fee, composed of pancakes, eggs, a local fruit, and coffee.
Overlooking the ocean, The Loft is a private accommodation nestled halfway up a hill in El Nido. You would need to ascend 100 steps in order to access the property, but the views from the top are truly worth climbing for. Below the hill is a beach, where guests can relax and swim.
From the town, it only takes a five-minute walk to reach the accommodation. It is located in a quiet neighbourhood where blooming flowers, towering trees, and monkeys swaying in trees are a common sight.
The room is air-conditioned and equipped with cable television. Guests will also have access to complimentary Wi-Fi.
Private loft with stunning ocean view
Address: El Nido, MIMAROPA, Philippines (see map)
Price: from 93 USD / night
Access: 5-minute walk from town proper
Located in the secluded municipality of Busuanga, Sanctuaria Treehouses is ideal for those who don’t mind going far from the comforts of city life. Here, guests can enjoy the authentic Palawan vibe by staying in an eco-friendly treehouse situated on the top of a lush hill.
The property is near famous shipwrecks and island-hopping destinations. It also has access to a beach where guests can swim and kayak to see the mangroves. Another nearby attraction is the Concepcion Waterfalls, which can be reached within 20 minutes by foot.
Meanwhile, staying in the treehouse itself is a treat. They have an open-style games room, and a balcony where one of the most beautiful sunset views in Palawan can be enjoyed. Although breakfast is not included in the fees, you can still easily order from the resort’s bar and restaurant, offering Filipino, Western, and Thai food.
Gorgeous sunset from your room
Address: Sanctuaria Treehouses (see map)
Price: from 42 USD / night
Contact: +63 916 388 7938
Access: 45-minute ride from the airport
If you like travelling for a cause, Palawan Eco Lodge, in the municipality of Rizal, would be an ideal place to stay. A part of its proceeds go to community projects, like sailboat building, which directly benefit the locals. It also provides an opportunity for travellers to discover more than just great views but the local life too.
Amenities include bathrooms with toiletries and other essentials, beach beds, and hammocks. Living up to their commitment to be an eco-friendly facility, the lodge uses solar electricity instead of a generator. Meanwhile, if you are staying for a long vacation, you can avail yourself of their free cleaning and laundry service once every 5 days. Kayak, surfboards, bodyboards, snorkels, and fins can also be used by guests.
The rooms are located on the beachfront. There are no air-conditioning units, but the fresh ocean breeze makes up for it.
Eco house at a deserted beach
Address: Rizal, Palawan, Philippines (see map)
Price: from 56 USD / night
Access: 5-hour bus ride from Puerto Princesa city
Staying in Palawan
Like any other destination in the Philippines, Palawan has luxury hotels and resorts that provide world-class 5-star accommodations. However, if you wish to have a truly memorable vacation, there’s nothing better than immersing yourself in the local life. Do what the locals usually do, eat what they commonly have, and stay in places like their own. That is an experience that no amount of money can buy!
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