The Ultimate Travel Guide to Culion, Palawan
Along with PHILTOA members and media participants, we recently explored the Municipality of Culion – a secluded island in Palawan with a colorful history.
Culion, situated in Northern Palawan, is probably not included in most travelers’ vacation wish lists. You can say that this part of Palawan is not known to most people, or if ever they have heard of Culion, it is because it used to be home to lepers. It was actually the largest leper colony globally, making it an isolated island for more than a hundred years.
Since being established in 1906, leper patients from all over the country and hospital workers were brought to Culion. This is the reason why it used to be an island avoided by many.
Luckily for this island, the WHO (World Health Organization) declared leprosy free in 2006making it safe for travelers. Culion Island is actually one of the most beautiful islands around. Being isolated for more than a hundred years, its natural resources were well preserved.
When You Should Go
Culion boasts of many impressive waterfalls, and the best way to enjoy them is to go there during the summer season. You can explore each waterfall better than during the rainy season.
How To Get There
Since there is no direct flight from Manila to Culion, you can take a ferry or flight from Manila to Coron Palawan. A flight from Manila to Busuanga or Coron Airport takes 90 minutes. Once in Coron, rent a boat to take you to Culion. Boats from Coron to Culion start at 2:00 in the afternoon. A boat ride from the port of Coron to Culion Island takes approximately an hour and a half.
When in Culion, some tricycles can take you around.
To avoid any inconveniences, always plan ahead and make arrangements for your land and ferry transfers.
What You Should Wear & What You Should Bring
Culion is for the lovers of water sports or activities aside from the nature lovers who like to be one with nature. You should bring, of course, get several sets of clothes and undergarments. Don’t forget your swimsuit and sunblock. Also, make sure you have enough money ready for entrance fees to the museums and for other island hopping activities. Bring a camera that will be handy underwater which you can use during snorkeling and beach activities.
What To Expect
In a tropical island destination like Culion, expect to see a lot of the beauty that nature gives. You can also see a lot of the history of the place when you go to the museum. Prepare yourself to be amazed when you finally see and experience the many beautiful waterfalls on this island. There are about eight falls that will truly capture your heart.
What To Do
Visit La Imaculada Conception Church
If you’re a Christian, you can start off by going to the La Immaculada Conception Church, a beautiful church whose walls were taken from the fortress built in the 1700s. In 1978, a patient named Ben Amores painted the church’s ceiling. In 2003 Fr. Gonzales started the idea of restoring the church and had it renovated.
Culion Museum and Archives
Don’t forget to go to the Culion Museum and Archives to better understand the history of the place. Another good stop is the Injection Clinic, where thousands of patients would line up in the hope of getting cured.
Another historical place in Culion is the Balala Nursery, where the children of the patients had to be brought to be isolated from their infected parents. The parents can just see their children during the weekends through a glass door. This was done to avoid infecting the children.
Non-leper and Colony Cemetery
You can also check out the two cemeteries; Non-leper and Colony Cemetery. The deceased that were not infected with leprosy were obviously buried at the Non-Leper Cemetery, while the patients were buried at the Colony Cemetery.
If you’ve had enough of the island’s history, it’s time to enjoy the waters. Having eight wonder falls, you can just choose where to take a dip if you are taking a vacation on a limited time, but if you have all the time in the world, why not go to all the beautiful waterfalls on the island. You can choose among these falls and you will be truly satisfied; Coring, Berg, Balanga, Sinangkan, Igay, Langit, San Pablo, and Butnongan.
Hotels in Culion Palawan
Hotel Maya is located in Barangay Upper Libis, Culion, Palawan. It is right next to the century-old church of the island. You can check rates and book online via Agoda.
If you plan to visit Culion soon, you may contact Culion Heritage TOWN TOUR Plus for assistance.
Have you been to Culion Palawan? Share your thoughts by posting a comment below 🙂