The long travel is all worth it when you arrive to the islands of Balabac Palawan.
Palawan is long and narrow island maximum width of 24 miles (39 km) and a mountainous backbone that runs its entire 270-mile (434-km) length1. It has 3 major tourism highlights, in the northern part are El Nido and Coron, the center part of the island is where you can find the subterranean river or the underground river of Puerto Princesa and at the southern part is where the Maldives-like islands of Balabac.
In this travel blog, we went to Balabac; the Municipality of Balabac, is a 2nd class municipality in the province of Palawan, Philippines2. The Municipality of Balabac is known for its beautiful islands and sea-water crocodiles. Balabac has no public airport so the entry point is in Puerto Princesa, Palawan’s capital. From Puerto Princesa we rode a van going to Buliluyan port then hop on to a motorized boat also known as bangka here in Philippines.
For our convenience we took a travel and tour for this trip to Balabac, the inclusion are van fare from Puerto Princesa to Buliluyan and Buliluyan to Puerto Princesa, 2 nights accommodation in the town proper of Balabac then meals from Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. During our planning, we initially considered the 4-day tour but end up to 3-day tour instead and an exclusive boat ride for around Php 12,000.
How to Get to Balabac Islands?
Book a flight or Sail – Book a flight going to Puerto Princesa, Cebu Pacific, Phillipine Airlines, and AirAsia are all have flights to Puerto Princesa. If you’re from Manila, you may also sail via 2Go
Ride a Van – Take a van going to Bataraza Terminal/Rio Tuba/Buliluyan port. Fare is at Php 350.00 and the trip takes four to five hours. If you booked through a travel and tours the van will get you directly to Buliluyan port.
Register – It is required for all tourist to register/log-in at the Buliluyan port and log-out once trip is over.
Ride a boat – There are no passenger boats traveling from Buliluyan Port to Balabac. So highly recommended to get a travel and tours to arrange all of these for you.
In Balabac, there is no ATM, so it’s best to bring cash. It’s important to be respectful of the Muslim culture and avoid wearing revealing clothes. Accommodations are basic, so don’t expect a fancy resort. Electricity is now available 24/7 in the town proper, but it’s still a good idea to bring a power bank.
On this trip, I spent around Php 21,000 for a weeklong vacation. The majority of the expenses, around Php 12,000, went towards the Balabac tour, while the rest covered accommodation, food, flight, transportation, and other miscellaneous expenses in Puerto Princesa.
The Maldives may be expensive, but for only 21K pesos, you can experience the same natural beauty and enjoy activities like swimming, snorkeling, and trying delicious seafood. You may not have the luxury of a resort, but if you’re looking to appreciate nature in its purest form, this is a great option.