- Climatology: Palawan has an excellent climate in terms of temperature is concerned, we will spend practically all year round in flip flops and shorts given their usual annual temperatures between 28 and 32ºC (82-89F) maximum and 24 to 26ºC (75-79F) minimum, although extreme humidity increases the thermal sensation and sultriness. The problem here is the rain, Palawan is the most rainy place in The Philippines; in February and March it barely reaches a daily probability of 5%, in January and April it increases to 10%, and from there it shoots up; In May, June, October and November we will find rain half of the days and from July to September, the odd thing will be that it does not rain, we will be in full monsoon, with high probabilities of typhoons. It is true that precipitations tend to be in the form of generally morning storms, which come to last minutes or hours, leaving the sky clear in the afternoon, but outside the months of December to March it is very likely that the rain spoils the trip.
- Number of tourists: The Philippines is very, very on fashion, and Sabang is a site that has become internationally famous because of the victory of the Underground River in the 7 Wonders of Nature contest; In the last 9 years the number of foreigners visiting the country has increased by around 10% per year. High season coincides with the best season according to weather, increasing the prices of hotels and transport up to triple compared to rainy season. New Year is the time of greatest occupation and most expensive prices. Luckily most visit the town on a day trip from Puerto Princesa, so Sabang is still a quiet place, but do care on high season, since the town is small and there is not much accommodation.
Sabang is a tiny village, you can walk anywhere in a very short time. There is no airport, and although there were previously regular boats from Port Barton and El Nido, there are currently none. We can rent a bangka privately to go to these destinations, but since they are not boats prepared for long journeys, we will be assuming an important risk, which is why it is not recommended.
The only option is to arrive by road:
- Puerto Princesa: is located about 75 km by road to the south. Apart from getting by means of a private excursion to visit the Underground River, we have the following options:
- Lexus Shuttles: 5 or 6 a day in each direction, the last one at 6 pm. It costs PHP 200, 90 minutes. It has a direct service from the airport.
- Jumbo jeepney: 4 a day from New Market Station in San Jose, 7 km north of Puerto Princesa, the first at 7 am and the last at 2 pm. It costs PHP 150 (120 if we do not carry luggage), it takes about 3 hours.
- Take the Puerto Princesa – El Nido bus (there is one every hour, see TRANSPORTATION IN EL NIDO) and get off at Salvacion, where we can change to the only jumbo jeepney at 12 noon, but it does not make much sense, since this second jeepney it also costs PHP 150.
- Hire a minivan privately. It should cost around 2000 PHP and take 90 minutes.
- Anyone who dares to go on a rented motorcycle, costs PHP 600 per day. Good luck.
- Port Barton:
- The most recommendable is again Lexus Shuttles: take one to Salvacion, and change to Puerto Princesa – Port Barton bus (2 a day, 200 PHP, 3 hours from Salvacion).
- Another option is to take one of the Lexus Shuttles that go to El Nido and change in Roxas to one of the companies Nature Island, Recaro Transport and Santolis (this transfer must be arranged in advance), or the only jumbo jeepney Roxas – Port Barton at 12 noon. If we miss these transports, a tricycle or moped will take an hour and costs 400 PHP.
- A private minivan will cost 4000 PHP, it takes 3 hours.
- El Nido:
- The most recommended and still a nuisance: “direct” minivan. Lexus Shuttle. I say “direct” because you have to change in Salvacion. We made this option the other way around. I do not remember how much it cost us, between 700 and 900 PHP; supposedly it takes six hours, but our connection minivan arrived two hours late, so we had to wait at the crossroads on the terrace of a restaurant while it rained cats and dogs. There should be at least 3 a day, at 4 or 5 am, 8 am and 11 am, although in high season there may be up to 5.
- The cheapest: the maxi-jeepney up to Salvacion (150 PHP) and there take one of the hourly buses to El Nido (220 PHP).
- Private minivan: 5,500 PHP, 5 hours.
WHERE TO EAT AND SLEEP
Sabang is little more than a village, but it has accommodations for all budgets. There is no electricity 24 hours a day, so those who can afford it will do well to stay in a hotel with their own generators. In front of the beach, luxury resorts are grouped. In the area near the boat terminal there are several restaurants at reasonable price.
DANGERS AND ANNOYANCES
- Sabang is a safe place, always taking into account the usual precautions. The risk of robberies or any type of violence is practically nil.
- Aside from the problems derived from the climatology, the biggest inconveniences for the traveler will be related to the usual informal labor in the Philippines, especially the transportation issue. As always, extreme care must be taken with food and drink, since traveler’s diarrhea is frequent.
- With an ambitious renewable energy project put into operation, electricity will soon be available 24 hours a day. Meanwhile, if it happens to you as it did to us, that it rains outside, little can be done during the day. At least our accommodation, not very recommendable, had a WiFi router that worked with a charger.
- There are no ATMs and except resorts, no establishment will accept credit cards.