Palawan, Philippines Practical Information
What to Expect
You are embarking on an adventure in a place and amongst people whose lives are very different. In addition to the personal physical challenges you may face, travel conditions can present unexpected obstacles, such as rough and bumpy roads and changeable weather. To prepare for this “pack” a flexible and relaxed attitude. Bring a spirit of adventure and inquiry, a healthy sense of humour and a willingness to encounter the unexpected, and you will find your trip to the Palawan the adventure of a lifetime!
Entry Visas NOT required by UK, Australia, NZ, USA for a stay up to 21 days only. Other nationalities should consult their consular office. All nationalities require a full passport valid for 6 months beyond the intended length of stay. Visa costs are not included and are the client’s responsibility.
Nothing compulsory, but we recommend protection against Malaria, Tetanus, Infectious Hepatitis, Typhoid and Polio. You should consult your doctor in advance for up-to-date advice. You should consult your doctor in advance for up-to-date advice and remember to plan your immunisations well ahead of your departure.
Much of this expedition is fully inclusive. All parks, entrances, fees, guiding, logistics, hotels, meals and most drinks are included. Not included are visas, tips, optional extra excursions (e.g. diving) and personal expenses. The currency in the Philippines in the Philippine peso. Banks are open Mondays to Fridays from 9am until 3pm. Currency can be exchanged at banks and various accredited money changers. Most banks handle travels cheques. Visa and MasterCard’s are accepted in all major hotels and resorts but a limited number of business establishments.
Adequate travel insurance is mandatory for everyone who participates in a Pioneer expedition. Please bring a copy of your insurance policy and contact numbers to give to your expedition leader in case of illness or accident.
As with all Pioneer expeditions, we are committed to maximising the benefits of our trips to the local community and minimising the negative impact associated with tourism. We employ local agents and staff, not just to benefit the local economy, but also to give you a real sense of Philippine culture. We camp on sandy beaches to leave as little tracks as possible, we burn/recycle our rubbish and use very little motorised support for the expedition, minimising the impact on the environment.
One of the reasons we have chosen Palawan as the destination for our expedition, apart from its relative isolation and raw natural beauty, is that for many years it has had a progressive environmental policy – leading the way for its Southeast Asian neighbours. In 1989 the Aquino government imposed a logging ban which halted the loss of nearly 20,000 hectares of forest a year. This amounted to almost two and a half percent of total forest reserve on these islands, home to a varied diversity of flora and fauna some of which is endemic. Although it took a little time, by the mid 90s there was an end to fire clearance and illegal logging. Both the authorities and the local people seem to have recognised the mood of the times, and their new awareness of the ecology has preserved the rich natural environment of Palawan. Even people who fish with dynamite and cyanide – usually not locals – are faced with prosecution. We hope that by being one of the few tour operators to take our groups to Palawan we will encourage others to follow our lead, bringing much needed revenue to the benefit of local communities. We employ local tour operators – the guides throughout the trip are local to the destinations visited as no one has a better understanding of – or is more passionate about – the wonderful surroundings we explore than the people who live there. Cooks, porters and drivers are also local people and will give you a real insight into Filipino culture and tradition. As with all our tours, we pay all staff a fair (well above the average rate) and prompt wage. We treat every individual equally and with respect and will not make local guides work unreasonable hours and we expect clients to respect and observe this policy.
Palawan produced and supplied produce, such as food and camping equipment, are all purchased locally in order to maximise the benefits to the local people. All clients are encouraged throughout the trip to use local services and buy local souvenirs. Not only will you be benefiting the community you are visiting but you’ll also find some fantastic and unusual items, particularly in the market at Puerto Princessa. The city is renowned for its cleanliness; the locals are enthusiastic about keeping their city clean. Refuse disposal and street cleaning both function immaculately and Puerto has the distinction of winning the Earth Day Award (1993) and the Macliing Dulag Environmental Award We want to ensure this trip has a minimal impact on the environment, therefore there will be a maximum of eight team members.
In Palawan the rainy season- which lasts for about 4 months, starts in June and is usually recommended as a time to avoid visiting. Jan – May is a good time to visit
Located between the Equator and the Tropic of Cancer, Palawan enjoys a tropical to subtropical climate. The island province has two main seasons – the rainy months from June to October and the dry season from November to May. In fact, the climate in Palawan is very different from other places in the Philippines. Palawan has two kinds of climate. The one that occurs in the southern and northern extremities and also the western coast has two seasons – wet and dry, each six months long. The one on the eastern coast has a short dry spell of about one to three months and no definite rainy period. While the southern region is practically free from tropical depressions, the north experiences torrential rains in July and August. Basically anything can be expected.