Located in a small fishing village on the western coast of Palawan in the Philippines, Sabang Beach is framed by mountains and lapped by calm waters. The nearby Underground River—a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature—is famous for its stalagmites and gaping caverns. The Basics
Sabang Beach is situated midway between Puerto Princesa and El Nido, making it a great place to stay overnight to break up the long and winding journey. Unlike many of the beaches in nearby El Nido, Sabang Beach is pristine and generally devoid of crowds: You’re likely to have it all to yourself. From Sabang Beach, you can charter a private fishing boat to take you to Isla Reta, an untouched island surrounded by clear waters.
Things to Know Before You Go
How to Get There
- Sabang Beach is a great place to escape the crowds of Palawan.
- A jungle backdrop means that mosquitoes are rife, especially during sunset, so ensure you wear plenty of bug spray.
- Visitors can also soar over the ocean on the Sabang Zipline, explore caves and mangroves, or cool off at Sabang Falls.
- Along the beach, stalls sell fresh coconuts and water.
If not arriving as part of an organized tour, you can take a shuttle van to Sabang Beach from the San Jose Terminal in Puerto Princesa. The journey takes two to three hours. If you’re planning to continue north to El Nido, several shuttle buses depart from Sabang daily and take around three hours, depending on traffic. When to Get There
Sabang remains relatively devoid of crowds throughout the year, making it an ideal spot to escape the stress of modern life. Locals agree that the best time to visit the Philippines is from February to April, when monsoon season has passed and the weather is relatively dry albeit still unpredictable.
Exploring Puerto Princesa Underground River
If you’re visiting Palawan, exploring the Underground River is a must. Booking an Underground River tour independently involves obtaining permits and long wait times for boats. Travelers can avoid this by booking a day tour from Puerto Princesa—despite the river’s name, its access point is in Sabang, 25 miles (40 kilometers) north of Puerto Princesa—which typically includes hotel pickup and drop-off and a buffet lunch.