It’s been called the “the last frontier of the Philippines” and if there was ever a region that captures what this archipelago nation is all about, it’s here.

There is a serious wow-factor in the scenery here. It’s a Unesco Biosphere Reserve of wild jungle, ancient volcanoes, turquoise lagoons and hidden coves hemmed in by limestone cliffs. From out on the water, on a yacht or fishing boat, you’ll see jungle-clad mountains bursting from the shifting shades of aquamarine below. And the sublime beaches would rival anywhere in the tropics. Palawan is remote, undeveloped and the perfect place for a barefoot luxury holiday.

Around 1,700 islands make up the Palawan province, an archipelago within an archipelago. The main island is an unusual narrow sliver that stretches down from Mindoro Island to the northern tip of Sabah, Borneo, like a white sandy bridge over the Sulu Sea.

There are huge stretches of palm-lined powdery beaches stretching into the distance, with barely a soul in sight. The largest and most famous of which is at San Vicente, stretching for 14 stunning kilometres along the coastline. Offshore, a myriad of colours collide in an underwater swirl of tropical fish, coral reef and sunken ships. The diving is out of this world, especially in the Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park, the first of Palawan’s two Unesco sites.

The other is unforgettable. The Puerto Princesa Underground River is the longest of its kind in the world at 8.2km. You enter by boat, through a yarning river cavern, and traverse through an eerie and still subterranean realm of otherworldly beauty, past innumerable stalagmites and stalactites. Then there are the limestone cliffs of Coron, the volcanic lake of Cayangan, the breathtaking Bacuit Bay, the list just goes on.

Accommodation here is deliberately very quiet, designed to fit into the natural surroundings harmoniously in true barefoot luxury style. When you book with Lightfoot Travel you’ll receive expert impartial advice on the best place to stay for your requirements.

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