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Roxas’ unspoiled and pure white sand beaches can be a perfect beachfront paradise even to the most outgoing traveler.
Roxas is a municipality located on the eastern coast of Palawan, Philippines. This small town has access to the bay, beaches, jungle and port, making it a quaint little spot for a relaxing R&R. There are handful of shops and markets for visitors who needs to grab something before boarding a bus to El Nido or Puerto Princesa, two popular tourist haunts in Palawan.
From Manila, you can take a daily flight to Puerto Princesa or El Nido. There are daily buses and shuttle vans that travel from Puerto Princesa to El Nido, and vice versa, with both making a stop at Roxas. Try booking your flight out months in advance or during off-peak season to reduce the cost of the ticket, or check online travel booking sites for promo codes and discounts.
A boat trip from Manila to Roxas, Palawan could take a day at least. There are passenger ferries that travel from Manila to Puerto Princesa. For your safety, you may want to stick with a reputable company like SuperFerry and Negros Navigation. You can also book a trip with smaller companies like San Nicolas Shipping and Atienza Shipping Lines. They both make stops in Coron and El Nido and are way cheaper.
Roxas is a small town, so traffic in the area consists of people walking, and riding on motorcycles or tricycles (a sidecar attached to a motorcycle). The sidewalks in one stretch of the town’s national highway are built separately and are elevated, making it ideal for you to walk along the road. If you wish to skimp on transportation costs but do not prefer to walk, you can rent a bicycle at the Fort Wally Food Stop starting at Php200, which is just across the “Gasul” petrol station.
There aren’t as many historical or cultural sites in Roxas, considering that the town is a stopover. But there are a lot of interesting places to check out that could warrant a day or two for you to stay in.
For starters, head to Barangay Tumarbong, which is home to some of the finest beaches in the whole of Palawan. If hungry, check out the main public market for their wide selection of fresh produce, pasalubong, and street food. When it’s nearing sunset, head down to the pier or the nearby waterfront to witness thousands of giant fruit bats flying over the town.
Do a waterfalls crawl. Roxas has several waterfalls and inland swimming pools where you can cool off on a hot day. Start with Umalad Falls, which is just at the edge of the town. Once you had your refreshing bath, take a tricycle trip to Matalangaw Falls, which is just halfway between Roxas and Port Barton. If you’re looking for a more challenging waterfalls trek, go beyond Matalangaw Falls and check out the two other falls.
You can also rent a motor boat and go island hopping outside Roxas. Explore the beachside beauty of neighboring island resorts Coco Loco and Butterfly Resort and try seaside activities like snorkeling. Just before sunset, you head down to the beach and go for a long stroll, comb for seashells and corals, or go poking around the tide pools during low tide.
Roxas is one of the leading producers of cashews. So whether you made a stop in Roxas or just passing by going to El Nido or Puerto Princesa, don’t forget to pick up at least a pack of cashews or any cashew delicacies at the public market’s pasalubong area.
If you need something heavy to fill your tummy, there are a slew of Vietnamese restaurants in Roxas that you can try. You can head out to Houia Keau or Armasit for the usual Vietnamese fare. You should also try the tasty chicken inasal, which is marinated grilled chicken, at Town Syte.
Other than the occasional beer, karaoke, and pulutan at any of the string of bars in the town, there isn’t much to do in Roxas at night. However, you can head down to the beach and go night swimming, or lay a blanket on the sand and go star-gazing.
Roxas, in general, is a stopover point going to Palawan’s other popular tourist destinations. So it makes sense that there are multiple pension houses in the town and not a lot of hotels. If you need at least a night’s stay, just a mere two-minute walk from the bus terminal is Rover’s Pension, a popular pension house that offers reasonably priced, modest accommodations. If Rover’s is fully booked. you can also ask a tricycle driver or a local to help you find NJ’s Pension, Donya Nena Pension, Emirose Pension, Dos Bocales, and Pentenyo Pension for available rooms.
You can also book a room at Artesian Bed & Breakfast, which is just five minutes away from the bus terminal. It has 14 rooms for rent, offers free breakfast, Wi-Fi and local tours for a fee.