The Philippines allows travelers to choose from dozens of islands, and lovely clear waters, of course, but for devotees of that simplest, and perhaps soothing, or natural attribute, can an island be compare to Palawan? A long, skinny island that lies to the west of the country and north of the island of Borneo, Palawan is a paradise for any sea fan. The crystal clear waters here are among the most breathtaking in Asia and with some of the other coastal topographies, making it a destination that can sometimes feel like a place that only exists in fantasy.

Most flights to the island arrive in Puerto Princesa. Although the town doesn’t have much to remember, it’s the launching pad for trips to the Puerto-Princesa Underground River National Park. This UNESCO World Heritage Site features an underground waterway with unique wildlife that ends directly in the sea. Exploring it by kayak is something visitors will never forget.

Another part of the island, El Nido, sits at the northern end of Palawan and has long been a favorite of discerning travelers, with gorgeous beaches and water that beckon adventurers to dive. Just offshore, north of El Nido, Coron promises vistas that will amaze visitors, with steep limestone karst cliffs, stunningly clear turquoise waters and reefs below the shallow depths.