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5 BEST NEIGHBORHOODS To Live In Palawan Philippines 2024

best neighborhoods to live in Palawan Philippines

Best Neighborhoods and Areas to Live in Palawan Philippines Introduction

We will help guide you through the Best neighborhoods and places to live in Palawan Philippines!

We lived in Palawan Philippines and only spent $1,000 – $1,500 per month for the two of us while Living in Palawan, and we also have articles that cover how much we spent while living in Manila, Siargao, El Nido, Coron, Boracay, and Davao City.

Palawan calls to you with its pristine beaches, bright waters, and vibrant local culture.

But beyond its natural beauty, choosing where to unpack your bags can be a dilemma.

So dive into our curated guide as we navigate the best neighborhoods in Palawan, ensuring your stay is as unforgettable as the sunsets that you will witness on its beautiful beaches.

Let’s get started!

Table Of Contents

10 Top Reasons to Live in Palawan Philippines

Explore 10 tempting reasons Palawan Philippines should be your next home away from home.

  1. Natural Beauty: Palawan has breathtaking landscapes, from its beaches to its crystal-clear waters, and stunning limestone cliffs. Living here means waking up to paradise every day.
  2. Diverse Marine Life: For marine enthusiasts, Palawan offers unparalleled diving and snorkeling opportunities. Explore vibrant coral reefs, encounter exotic fish species, and witness the famous Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park.
  3. Relaxed Lifestyle: Escape the hustle and bustle of city life. Palawan offers a laid-back atmosphere, allowing residents to enjoy a slower pace and enjoy the simplicity of island living.
  4. Cultural Richness: Immerse yourself in Palawan’s rich cultural heritage. From traditional festivals to local crafts and cuisine, you’ll experience the warmth and hospitality of the Filipino people.
  5. Safety and Security: Compared to other regions, Palawan is known for its relatively low crime rate, making it a safe and secure place for families and individuals alike.
  6. Cost of Living: Enjoy a comfortable lifestyle without breaking the bank. Palawan offers affordable housing, food, and entertainment options, making it an attractive destination for expatriates and retirees.
  7. Adventure Opportunities: Whether it’s exploring underground rivers, hiking through lush jungles, or island hopping, Palawan offers endless adventure opportunities for nature lovers and thrill-seekers.
  8. Environmental Consciousness: Palawan is committed to sustainable tourism and environmental conservation. Living here allows you to be part of a community that values and protects its natural resources for future generations.
  9. Friendly Community: Experience the warmth and friendliness of the local community. Palawan residents are known for their hospitality, making newcomers feel welcome and at home.
  10. Quality of Life: Ultimately, living in Palawan offers a high quality of life. From its stunning natural landscapes and vibrant culture to its safety and affordability, Palawan provides a blend of luxury and simplicity, making it a dream destination for many.

In summary, Palawan offers a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and a relaxed lifestyle, making it an ideal place to live for those seeking adventure and a deeper connection with nature and community.

Cultural Considerations in Palawan Philippines

  1. Respect for Elders: In Filipino culture, respecting elders is highly valued. Always address older individuals with respect and deference. If you’re offered advice or guidance, listen attentively and express gratitude.
  2. Hospitality and Generosity: Filipinos are known for their warmth and hospitality. Expect to be greeted warmly and offered food or drinks when visiting someone’s home. Accepting these gestures with appreciation is customary.
  3. Conservative Dress Code: While Palawan has a relaxed atmosphere, it’s essential to dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites or local communities. Avoid wearing revealing clothing.
  4. Religious Respect: The Philippines is predominantly Catholic, and religion plays a significant role in daily life. When visiting churches or religious sites, dress appropriately and behave respectfully. Avoid making derogatory remarks about religious beliefs or practices.
  5. Personal Space and Gestures: Filipinos are generally affectionate and expressive. Handshakes, hugs, and cheek kisses are common forms of greeting among friends and family. However, be mindful of personal boundaries.
  6. Language and Communication: While English is widely spoken in Palawan, learning a few basic Filipino phrases (such as β€œSalamat” for thank you) can go a long way in showing respect for the local language and culture.
  7. Community and Family Values: Respect for family ties and community relationships is essential. When interacting with locals, show interest in their family and community activities, and be respectful of their traditions and customs.
  8. Festivals and Traditions: Palawan hosts various festivals and cultural celebrations throughout the year. Participating in these events offers an excellent opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture, learn about traditional practices, and connect with the community.
  9. Tipping and Gratuities: Tipping is appreciated but not always expected in Palawan. Keep in mind that in restaurants and hotels, a 10% service charge may be added to the bill. If you enjoy the service you received, a small tip would be appreciated.
  10. Environmental Respect: Palawan’s natural beauty is a source of pride for its residents. Always respect the environment by disposing of waste responsibly, taking part in eco-friendly activities, and supporting sustainable tourism practices.

By following these tips, you will not only show respect for Palawan’s rich heritage but also create meaningful connections with its residents.

So remember to enjoy your experience, and savor the unique blend of traditions, values, and natural beauty that Palawan has to offer!

General Cost of Living in Palawan Philippines Breakdown

Cost of Living in Palawan Philippines for Expats CategoryMonthly Cost in USDMonthly Cost in PHP
Housing in Palawan Philippines
Basic 1-bedroom apartment (city center)$200 – $400β‚±10,000 – β‚±20,000
2-bedroom apartment (city center)$300 – $600β‚±15,000 – β‚±30,000
3-bedroom apartment (city center)$400 – $800β‚±20,000 – β‚±40,000
3-4 bedroom villa (compound living)$600 – $1,200β‚±30,000 – β‚±60,000
(electricity, AC, water) for a family$100 – $200β‚±5,000 – β‚±10,000
Food in Palawan Philippines
Local and imported groceries for your family$300 – $500β‚±15,000 – β‚±25,000
Dining out 2-3 times a week$100 – $300β‚±5,000 – β‚±15,000
Cheap street food and fast food per meal$2 – $5β‚±100 – β‚±250
Transportation in Palawan Philippines
Tricycle per 5 km ride$1 – $2β‚±50 – β‚±100
Jeepney ride$0.25 – $0.50β‚±10 – β‚±25
Local Ferry$1 – $10 USDΒ β‚±55 – β‚±550 PHP
Plane (local) ticket$50 – $100β‚±2,500 – β‚±5,000
Total Monthly Cost of Living in Palawan Philippines for Expats$1,000 – $2,500β‚±50,000 – β‚±125,000

Pros and Cons Of the Best Neighborhoods and Areas in Palawan Philippines

Best Neighborhoods and Areas in Palawan PhilippinesProsCons
El Nido– Beautiful beaches and islands
– Lively tourist town
– Great scuba diving
– Can be noisy and crowded in high season
– Limited health facilities
– Remote, far from major cities
Puerto Princesa City– Capital city with good infrastructure
– Access to malls, restaurants, hospitals
– Close to the airport
– Busier and more crowded than other areas
– Not as scenic as beach towns
Sabang– Close to underground river and nature sites
– Quieter than El Nido
– Lower cost of living
– Limited nightlife and dining options
– Need to take boats to reach nearby islands
Coron Town– Gateway to beautiful islands and lagoons
– Good diving spots
– Lower cost than El Nido
– Isolated location
– Small town lacks amenities
San Vicente– Off the beaten path
– Quiet and peaceful
– Long stretch of beach
– Very remote, underdeveloped
– Need to travel to Puerto for supplies

Top Neighborhoods and Places in Palawan to Live for Expats

Best Neighborhood/Areas to Live in Palawan PhilippinesDescriptionEst. Monthly Rent Range (USD)Est. Monthly Rent Range (PHP)
El NidoTourist town with stunning beaches and islands. Lively atmosphere but can get crowded.$200 – $800β‚±10,000 – β‚±40,000
Puerto Princesa CityCapital city with malls, restaurants, and infrastructure. More developed but busier than beach towns.$300 – $1,000β‚±15,000 – β‚±50,000
SabangQuieter town near underground river. Limited dining and nightlife but more affordable.$100 – $500β‚±5,000 – β‚±25,000
Coron TownGateway to beautiful islands but isolated location. Underdeveloped but cheaper.$50 – $300β‚±2,500 – β‚±15,000
San VicenteOff the beaten path with quiet beaches. Very remote and undeveloped.$50 – $200β‚±2,500 – β‚±10,000

Health Insurance While Living in Palawan Philippines

Having comprehensive travel insurance is highly recommended when visiting Palawan Philippines to protect against any unexpected incidents. SafetyWing is an excellent option tailored to global travelers and digital nomads.

Why Choose SafetyWing?

SafetyWing makes travel insurance easy and affordable at just $45 – $250/month. Here are some key reasons to consider it:

  • Global coverage including exotic destinations
  • Flexible policies fit nomadic lifestyles
  • Easy sign-up and claims from phone/computer
  • Covers medical, evacuations, disruptions, baggage, etc.
  • 24/7 customer support anywhere
  • Customizable coverage amounts and add-ons

Other Travel Insurance Options

While SafetyWing is a top choice, companies like WorldNomads, Cigna Global, and IMG also offer comprehensive travel insurance for Palawan Philippines. Typical policies range from $45 – $500 for 2 weeks to a month of coverage. Compare coverage and premium costs.

Some key considerations for finding a good insurance policy:

  • Emergency medical and evacuation
  • Trip cancellation/interruption
  • Lost/delayed baggage
  • Adventure sports coverage
  • Altitude sickness coverage
  • 24/7 emergency assistance

Philippines Insurance Cost Estimates

Insurance PlanTrip DurationEstimated Cost
SafetyWing1 month$45 – $250
WorldNomads2 weeks$100-$200
Cigna Global1 month$150-$300
IMG2 weeks$150-$250

Living in Palawan for Expats

Overview: With its tropical beaches, underwater rivers, and lush jungle landscapes, Palawan offers expats a chance to live in paradise, though the remoteness and lack of infrastructure can present challenges.

Cost of Living

Monthly Budget

  • Expats can expect a monthly budget between $900 – $1,500 USD or β‚±4,950Β PHP – β‚±82,500 PHP.

Basic Utilities

  • Basic utilities cost around $100 – $250 USD or β‚±5,500 – β‚±13,750 PHP.


  • Groceries are around $200 – $400 USD for one or two people or β‚±11,000 – β‚±22,000 PHP.

Eating Out

  • Eating out costs $4 – $10 USD per meal at local restaurants or β‚±220 – β‚±550 PHP.


  • Rent for nice 1-2 bedroom apartments averages $300 – $800 USD per month or β‚±16,500 – β‚±44,000 PHP.
  • Upscale 3-4 bedroom serviced apartments or houses cost $1,000 – $2,000 USD per month or β‚±55,000 – β‚±110,000 PHP.
  • Short-term accommodations are $20 – $50 USD per night or β‚±1,100 – β‚±2,750 PHP.

Healthcare and Hospitals in Palawan

  • Private healthcare and insurance run $45 – $300 USD or β‚±2,475 PHP – β‚±16,500 PHP per month, depending on coverage and services.
  • Consider travel insurance like Safetywing or World Nomads with plans starting at just $45 USD or β‚±2,475 PHP per month.

Lifestyle, Culture, and Recreation in Palawan

Palawan is renowned for its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, vibrant marine life, stunning limestone cliffs, UNESCO-listed sites like the Underground River, and rich cultural heritage.

  • Beach Activities:Β Islang hopping, snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, standup paddleboarding
  • Nightlife:Β Live music at bars, dancing at clubs, dining at beachfront restaurants, evening boat tours
  • Local Culture:Β Visit Puerto Princesa Underground River, tour colonial buildings in Puerto Princesa, try local cuisine like seafood and crocodile sisig, see firefly watching in Sabang
  • Recreational Activities:Β Hiking in El Nido Palawan, ziplining, ATV tours, waterfall treks, golfing, cycling, bird watching, river cruises

Groceries for Family of 4

Around $600 – $800 USD or β‚±33,000 – β‚±44,000 PHP for basics plus some imported items.

Dining Out

The average meal cost is $5 – $10 USD per person or β‚±275 – β‚±550 PHP at inexpensive restaurants.

Can dine out affordably 4-5 times per month.

Transportation in Palawan

Public Transit

  • Jeepneys cost $0.25 – $0.50 USD per ride or β‚±15 – β‚±30 PHP
  • Tricycles cost $1 – $2 USD per short trip or β‚±55 – β‚±110 PHP
  • Local ferries range from $1 – $10 USD or β‚±55 – β‚±550 PHP

Gas costs around $1 USD per liter or β‚±55 PHP.

Owning a Vehicle

  • A basic small car can cost $5,000 – $10,000 USD or β‚±275,000 – β‚±550,000 PHP.

Pros and Cons of Living in Palawan

Pros: Beautiful beaches, islands, and nature. Lower cost of living. Laid-back lifestyle.

Cons: Limited infrastructure and amenities. Need to travel for specialized medical care. Typhoon season.

Best neighborhoods to live in Palawan for Families, Singles, Retirees

Tailored recommendations for different lifestyles, catering to families, singles, and retirees.

Best Neighborhoods to live in Palawan by GroupBest Places in Palawan Philippines
FamiliesPuerto Princesa – Access to schools, childcare, healthcare
SinglesEl Nido – Lively nightlife and tourist scene
RetireesSan Vicente – Quiet and peaceful beach town

Additional tips:


  • Puerto Princesa – Access to schools, childcare, healthcare
  • Consider Sabang or outskirts of Puerto Princesa for more space and privacy
  • Look for family-friendly compound living arrangements
  • Proximity to grocery stores and pediatricians


  • El Nido – Lively nightlife and tourist scene
  • Coron Town – More backpacker vibe, good nightlife
  • Look for roommate or shared housing situations to save money
  • Travel around to find the right social scene


  • San Vicente – Quiet and peaceful beach town
  • Look for retirement villages or compounds for amenities and community
  • Consider part-time living in Puerto Princesa for healthcare access
  • Join groups and clubs to meet other retiree ex-pats

Tips on Moving Banking and Finding Housing in Palawan Philippines

here are a ton of tips on finding accommodations, navigating the housing market, and making the most of your budget.

Living in Palawan TipsTips for ExpatsResources
Finding HousingJoin Facebook groups, check classified listings, use a broker to find,Β,Β
Shipping BelongingsUse door-to-door container shipping, or box & freight forwarders like LBC Shipping
Banking and Money TransfersOpen a local account, use Wise or PayPal for international transfersWise
VisasCheck requirements, apply for retirement or investor visas in advance if neededPhilippine Embassy Singapore

Here is a list of local apartment rental websites, Government resources for Visas, Facebook Groups, Tourism Boards, and more to help you with your potential move here.

Expat Facebook Groups:

Philippines Tourism Board:

Philippines Data Sites:

Ministry of Culture and the Arts:

Embassy of Siargao Philippines:

Government of Philippines:

Philippines Local Rental Websites:

  • MyProperty
  • Airbnb
  • Hostelworld
  • For exchanging money use Wise Which is the best option if you are a digital nomad and Expat. a cheaper option to send and receive money internationally rather than exchanging money through other platforms like Paypal, Payoneer costs a lot of money for exchange fees and rates
    • Booking Flights: To Find insane flight deals, search on Google Flights, and Skyscanner and choose the monthly option to find the best day to fly.

Conclusion on the Best Neighborhoods and Places to Live In Palawan Philippines

With its gorgeous beaches, remote islands, and lush jungles, Palawan offers expats an ideal tropical paradise to call home. The best neighborhoods to stay in Palawan depend on your priorities and lifestyle.

Families may prefer the amenities of Puerto Princesa, while singles and young travelers will enjoy the lively tourist vibe of El Nido. For a peaceful beach retirement, consider the laidback San Vicente.

Wherever you choose, Palawan’s natural beauty and low cost of island living make it a tempting spot to settle down. Do your research, and weigh the pros and cons of each area, and you’re sure to find the perfect spot in Palawan to start your new expat life.

Consider renting short-term at first to experience different parts of the island before committing long-term. Try networking with other expats and join Expats in Palawan Philippines to get advice and to find hidden gems or up-and-coming areas.

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