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Sabang Beach, Palawan, Philippines; Everything You Need To Know!

UPDATED OCTOBER 2021. Firstly, for the record, the Philippines may well be the best country in the world to travel in. Having been to all 197 of the 197 countries on the planet, I can safely say that the Philippines is most certainly in the top 10 countries at the very least. Super gorgeous, amazing people, easy to get around, paradise at every corner, really great value, English speaking for the most part. It’s travel perfection.

Now, where should you travel to in the Philippines? Everyone will recommend Palawan, and rightly so, but they’ll only tell you to go to El Nido and Coron, and they’ll skip an absolute gem. Sabang Beach, Palawan, Philippines. 

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sabang beach philippines
Sabang Beach Philippines

Palawan, the most beautiful island in the world

So now then. Palawan, the Philippine’s biggest draw. The question seems to always be El Nido or Coron when chatting about Palawan, but hardly anyone ever talks about Sabang beach in Palawan, and what a mistake the travel world seems to be making with this one! I was burned out from online business and hardcore travel and wanted to finally visit Palawan, but I only had 4 days to spare from Bangkok, so I booked super last-minute return flights from Bangkok to Puerta Princessa in Palawan. Puerta Princessa is one of the 2 airports you can fly into when you want to visit Palawan. 

Sabang Beach palawan philippines
Sabang Beach; Fresh coconuts ($0.30!)
sabang beach philippines
Sabang Beach, the Philippines. Empty!


1) Sabang Underground River; The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park

The reason why Sabang Beach is famous, it’s home to one of the 7 natural wonders of the world. And although of course, you should visit this when you’re in Sabang, as it’s so famous, it’s actually probably the least impressive thing to see or do when you’re here.

From Sabang’s pier, you take a cute local boat through the jade-green waters and karst landscapes around the bay for 30 minutes or so until you reach the impressive stalactite and stalagmite formations inside the Puerto Princesa Underground River. A storm was coming as we approached and it was such a dramatic landscape, I actually love storms so this was even more gorgeous than pure blue skies!

The cave itself is 8.2-kilometre long,  you jump on a group boat when you arrive and dive into the pitch-black depths of the cave. The guides are great, and also you get earphones and a player for more info. There are bats everywhere, and you’ve pointed out some amazing formations. It’s a super cool activity, and an absolute must, but to be honest I thought the boat ride there was almost as much fun as the tour itself! And neither of them compare to the next thing on the list, something most tourists know nothing about…..

TOP-TIP: YOU CAN BOOK THE TOUR TO THE UNDERGROUND CAVE, HASSLE-FREE, HERE. They’ll even drive you from Puerta Princessa town!

Sabang Beach palawan
A storm coming in
sabang beach philippines
The boat to the underground river
sabang beach the philippines
Sabang Pier
7 natural wonder of the world underground river
puerto princesa underground river
he Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park
puerta princessa philippines

2) Private Island trip to Isla Rita

My number 1 tip for Sabang! Isla Rita is almost untouched by tourism, with people flooding to Sabang for the underground river, then jetting off, everyone misses this absolute beauty. A 45-minute van ride from Sabang Beach to Uluguan Bay, you then rent a local fisherman and his boat to sail you another 30 minutes or so to the privately owned atoll of Isla Rita and it is paradise.

The clearest waters you have ever seen, populated with multicoloured fish and giant clams. It’s a great spot for snorkelling. You have the island almost entirely to yourself bar a few local guys and fisherman. The island isn’t developed for tourism so it’s just crystal clear waters and palm trees, I organised it through my hotel (Sheridan beach resort) so they brought a cool box with some beers and it was the most perfect morning. One of my best every travel days. Make the effort, you’ll love it.

Isla Rita Palawan
Isla Rita private island in Palawan, the Philippines
Isla Rita Palawan
The boat to Isla Rita
Sabang Palawan
Isla Rita the philippines
Isla Rita Palawan
snorkelling in palawan
The ridiculously clear water on Isla Rita
snorkelling in palawan
Rita Island, Sabang

3) Zip Lining in Paradise

The whole area around Sabang beach is beautiful, huge dramatic mountains in the background and gorgeous white sand beaches virtually untouched. The best thing about the zipline, aside from the fun of it, are the views! It’s a 10-minute drive from Sabang beach, then a 15-minute hike up the ‘mountain’ (not too difficult though, I was wearing flip-flops as usual!).

From the top, and from the bottom, of the zipline, the views are just amazing! And if you go as a couple, then can strap you in together! 800m, 150 feet above sea level, zipping above the pure blue ocean, whizzing past the mountain views. Unreal.

zipline sabang
The view from the top!
zipline sabang
The view from the bottom!

4) ATV in Sabang Beach

Quad biking, or ATV, is a super fun thing to do while you’re in Sabang beach too. A couple of companies can organise it, but all the bookings run back to the Sheridan beach resort, so you can book it directly there (like I did). You get a quick rundown of how to drive the things, if you’ve never driven them before though don’t worry, it’s very simple.

Then you take a kind of learner drive on the road from the resort into the jungle, driving past beautiful, local villages and palm trees until you hit the dirt track. From here it’s up to you how crazy you want to be! You can hit the trail hard, smash through the puddles, get filthy and have fun, or you can take it easy and enjoy the experience. The whole thing last about 2 hours from signing the waivers until returning back.

atv sabang
atv sabang
atv sabang

5) Sabang Beach

Sabang Beach is not only a place to come and visit the underground river, and the beach itself is paradise! I was shocked to see how beautiful the actual beach was, but also the surrounding landscape and the cute little village. My girlfriend and I loved filling our downtime on the beach here, and wandering around the village, drinking cheap rum and local coconuts, local food and dips in the ocean.

And because Sabang isn’t overrun with the backpacker crowds, it’s quiet too, the beach only has a handful of people. A serene spot to kick back and read some books about traveling.

sabang beach palawan philippines
fresh coconuts
Fresh coconuts!
sabang beach palawan philippines
sabang beach palawan philippines

6) Mangrove Tour

You can hit the tropics without heading out to the mangroves. Right beside the zipline, you can hire a local guide and a local canoe and they’ll paddle you into the depths of the jungle. Perfect for nature lovers, but don’t forget the mosquito spray, those guys are hungry out here! Look out for the black and yellow mangrove snakes, and also ask about the tamilok – a local woodworm, very tasty apparently!

mangrove tour sabang philppines
The start of the mangrove tour
mangrove tour sabang philppines

7) Organic Farmstay

You can stay at an organic farm for a night during your time in Sabang beach, then the following morning get an awesome tour of everything they have going on there. You get to visit the rice paddies, the coffee plantations, the cocoa trees but even better is the animal section.

Geese are running around freely, you can feed the ostriches, the pigs, even tend to the vegetables. The highlight for me though was planting our very own durian tree in the new section of the farm, so much fun, great for the environment and it’ll be there for years to come.

Camping grounds are almost finished, as is a higher-end villa to stay in, and it’s all owned by the hotel I stayed at, the Sheridan Beach resort, so you can organise it with them. 80% of the food they use at the hotel is now sourced from their own organic farm including the black rice, the fresh fruit and the vegetables. Oh, and I got to try my hand at ploughing the fields with the help of a buffalo, knock that one of the bucket list!

organic farm sabang
Feeding the ostriches at the organic farm
organic farm philippines
organic farm philippines
Ploughing fields buffalo
Trying my hand at a spot of farming

8) Romantic Dinner

The beauty of how empty Sabang Beach is compared to El Nido and Coron is that you can organise something pretty special for your other half. I’ve always dreamed of organising a beachfront dinner for 2, and finally, Sabang give me the opportunity, so one night we had the white table cloth, the candlelit dinner, the champagne. In a busier area, this kind of thing is impossible, so this was a real winner. Maximum boyfriend points!

candle lit dinner on the beach
Candle lit dinner on the beachfront!
candle lit dinner philippines
Dinner for 2
romance philippines

9) Pizza Making

I had planned such an awesome getaway for my girlfriend and I and the itinerary was so much fun, as you can see from all the stuff we did above! One afternoon though we had a free schedule, so I asked the hotel what they suggested, but we had done almost everything! They set up a quick pizza making station for us, so we spent 15 minutes prepping the pizza, the stone oven and then devouring maybe the nicest pizza I’ve ever eaten! Then back to the beach for some cocktails and relaxation.

pizza making sheridan beach resort
The finished article!
pizza making philippines
sabang philippines


The easiest way to get to Palawan is to fly to Puerta Princessa Airport, from there Sabang is about 2 hours north. Note, there are 2 airports that people use when flying to Palawan, either Puerta Princessa like me (it’s normally cheaper), or you can fly north, near Coron in Palawan, to an airport called Busuanga.

The best way to do it is to fly to Puerta Princessa (PP), then travel to Sabang Beach by the hotel transfer. Then after a couple of days there, continue north to El Nido and Coron. 

There are a few options depending on your budget. Hotel transfers, jeepney or van.

FIRST OF ALL, check out the options here to travel around Palawan. It’s easy to organise online in advance, no-hassle, full-refunds etc. I recommend booking your transport in advance with these guys 100%

  1. HOTEL TRANSFER: The easiest option is to organise it through your hotel, it takes about 90 minutes. I did this with the Sheridan Beach Resort who offer 4 times throughout the day as a transfer, often complimentary as part of your package. Winner!
  2. JEEPNEY. (BOOK HERE) From San Jose Terminal in Puerta Princessa city, you can take a local jeepney (about $4 and 3 hours) 4 times a day,  7AM, 9AM, 12noon and 2PM, and the same time for the rerverse journey.
  3. VAN; The Lexus Shuttle can take you directly from the airport to Sabang. They cost about $6 and take 2 hours. Call to get a ticket though because they can fill up! Booking office in Puerto Princesa (0912-100-2651, 0917-585-9602). The schedule both ways is 7:30AM, 8:30AM, 10:30AM, 1PM, 3:30PM and 5PM.

If you’re heading to El Nido (or coming from El Nido), it’s the same situation. Either a shuttle or a local jeepney. From Sabang, you can catch a van starting at 7am, up to 16.30pm. You can book that online here

REMEMBER: Never fly without FREE airport lounge access.

Puerta Princessa to Sabang Beach, Palawan:


I always love to give 3 options about where to stay, because I’ve lived through every aspect of travel from being a broke backpacker to being financially free, so here are the 3 best options for luxury, middle range and budget:


Sheridan Beach Resort

The best accommodation in Sabang, without a doubt. One of the few places to have 24/7 hot water, electricity and good wifi. Not only that, it has 2 amazing restaurants (which are so well priced, even if you don’t stay here, go and eat here!).

The Sheridan Beach Resort is also home to the largest swimming pool in the whole of Palawan, complete with swim-up bar and a gorgeous, imposing tropical mountain backdrop. The rooms are huge, with silent aircon and super comfy beds, massive bedrooms and it leaves you feeling like you’re in luxury, but still with a local feel.

sheridan beach resort and spa sabang beach philippines
Sheridan Beach Resort room
sheridan beach resort and spa sabang beach philippines
Our gorgeous room
sheridan beach resort and spa sabang beach philippines
sheridan beach resort and spa sabang beach philippines
The restaurant at the Sheridan, what a view!
sheridan beach resort and spa sabang beach philippines
The longest pool in Palawan
beach front cabana
Our beach front cabana

The staff are amazing, and perhaps the best thing of all is their list of activities. ATV, zip-lining, pizza-making, beach front romantic dinners etc all can be set up directly with them. Amazing, without these guys my 4 days wouldn’t have been half as good, well worth the extra little splurge. Check out their promos where you can ger 4D/3N with food, activites etc for 2 people for about $450 all-in, amazing!

You can check out all the prices and awesome features of the amazing Sheridan Beach Resort here


Hill Myna Beach Cottage

Sabang is cheap, so midrange can cost around $15 a night, and you’re right on the beach front. Bar, restaurant and electricity up to 11pm. Don’t expect luxury, but you can hear the waves from your room, doesn’t get much better than that for $15.

Check out all the reviews, features and photos of the Hill Myna Beach Cottage here

Hill Myna Beach Cottage
Hill Myna Beach Cottage
Hill Myna Beach Cottage
Hill Myna Beach Cottage


Bambua Nature Cottages

2 people sharing for $5? That’s FIVE DOLLARS. And you thought the days of budget backpacking were over? Not just yet! Just 10 minute walk from the beach, in a mountain setting. I would have loved this before my online money making days began!

Check out all the features, photos and reviews of the Bambua Nature Cottages here

Bambua Nature Cottages
Blue Bamboo Sunbird Cottages
Bambua Nature Cottages

Sabang Beach, in conclusion:

Palawan lives up to the hype. It’s a world away from the Capital, Manila. And the Philippines should be one of the most visited countries in the world. Add it to your travel bucket lists folks.

The fact that it isn’t, works in our favour, it’s less crowded, it stays great value and the wonderful Filipino people stay wonderful. And yes, if you go to Palawan, for sure go to El Nido and Coron, but DO NOT miss out on Sabang Beach. It’s worth so, so much more than a one-day trip to the underground river. I’d give at least 3 full days to explore the area, prepare to be blown away, it’s something really, really special. Happy travels!

Sabang Beach Palawan
Sabang Beach Palawan; Cheers!

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55 thoughts on “Sabang Beach, Palawan, Philippines; Everything You Need To Know!

  1. An amazing experience you have shared with us. Weather is so good in the Philippines. I love cave adventures. Share More Stories like this. I also want o to join you on your next trip lol. keep up the good work. If you ever come to Dubai just let me know. Thanks!!!

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  4. That’s a lot of things to do in Dubai in one day! I would love to give a try to hot air balloon ride.

  5. This is one place we have been planning to go from such a long time. Im quite passionate about Burj Khalifa.

  6. If i go to Dubai for a day only – I’ll probably spend all my time shopping. They have some amazing shopping malls and shopping streets. We actually have done that when we were in transit and had a layover for 5 hrs

  7. This is an amazing post I must say…such an eye-opener. Awesome place I would like to visit once. Everything about the things to do in Dubai Desert Safari is described wonderfully in a way to inspire anyone.

  8. Great article. Very detailed and well written!Thank you for this inspiring post.

    Happy traveling

  9. It’s a breathtaking place – full of adventure and beautiful sightseeing. Would love to visit in future.

  10. Philippines is a Paradise

    It has the most beautiful faces and beautiful people in the World

    It has the best beaches in the World

    And the best weathers ever

    Economy is as strong as the tropicana trees

    Typhoon beautifies Philippines!

  11. Philippines is a Paradise

    It has the most beautiful faces and beautiful people in the World

    It has the best beaches in the World

    And the best weathers ever

    Economy is as strong as the beaches.

    Typhoon beautifies Philippines!

  12. Beat the heat of the desert and enjoy a great evening desert safari with us, you will be picked up from our safari pickup points and taken to thrilling desert safari, This tour includes dune bashing on land cruiser then you can enjoy camel rides with wonderful desert views for perfect photos, You can enjoy Quad biking with our powerful quad bikes, don, t miss the sand boarding opportunity on big golden dunes.

  13. It’s Amazing post really Its a great pleasure to see beautiful landscapes.Its full of information and After seeing the awesome photography, I am going to put this on my bucket list of this year, Thanks we can hope find more here like this beautiful collection.

  14. So useful and interesting to read! Very informative and detailed piece of blog! Who would have thought that you could give me some tips for the Philippines? Well done my friend, next time I’m visiting Sabang for sure! Thank you so much for taking your time on making this post!

  15. I’ll be going to palawan soon with my husband and adult son and we are staying at the Sheridan. Thanks so much for your blog. We’ll be staying 4 nights so our time will be well spent thanks to you. As our flight arrives in PP at 3:20, we could get a van ASAP to Sabang. , ? I’ve read elsewhere. How do we get in touch with a van to go up to El Nido once in Sabang?
    It surprises me that you haven’t been to Norway yet! A great place that we’ve been to so often ( daughter living there). But bravo for all the others!!

    1. Plenty of taxi’s are willing to go to El Nido for the money. That should not be hard to find and an easy way to get one is go to a hotel and ask them to set up a taxi ride to El Nido. Long drive though.

  16. I literally just booked before I stumbled upon this post! And we booked at the Sheridan! Haven’t been back to the Philippines since I was 12 and now I’m taking my hubby and kids. So excited, thank you for this post!

    1. Hi I know your comment was a year ago but wondering how you thought of Sabang, Palawan and the Sheridan Resort? We are travelling with kids there in Jan 2019. Thanks JC

  17. Hi,

    Your blog is too good. Keep it up I appreciate your efforts in this regard. If you have a plant to visit UAE I advise you that Don’t miss the dhow cruise dinner in Dubai. Desert Safari adventure with BBQ dinner is also awesome. For quality services meet Mr.Irfan


  18. Hi, Thank you for sharing your beautiful story in the Philippines, very detailed and well written! I would like to commend you as the Author of this Blog for sharing us an interesting idea. Keep it up a good job!!
    Hope you will make more Blog and include the DUBAI EVENING SAFARI:

  19. I am going to Palawan and Coron with my boyfriend in a couple of weeks and have been researching loads. Your blog is the great…thank you so much..I didn’t think I could be more excited but I am now!! Whoop

  20. I loved the Philippines! It’s a gem for beach lovers, for sure. Your photos brought back lots of memories of a great time with some of the friendliest people out there.

  21. Awesome! I’m from Philippines but haven’t been to Sabang Beach, Palawan. I need to put this on my list this 2017.

  22. Happy to hear that you enjoyed the Philippines so much! The Sheridan really is a beautiful place to stay in Sabang. You mentioned that you’ve been to 194 out of 197 countries. Can I ask what the remaining 3 countries are?

  23. Amazing beaches beauty and that place is full with natural beauty. I add that place in my wishlist and you captured awesome photos of that beautiful place.

  24. Whoa ! Looks like a little paradise here ! We would love to go there, we boorkmark this page for a later trip !
    Thanks !

  25. Wow what a detailed guide! Looks fabulous, guess I have to make it myself there next time. Who would have thought that you could give me some tips for the Philippines? Well done my friend, next time I’m visiting Sabang for sure!

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