Taytay is located 220 kilometers northeast of Puerto Princesa. It is bounded in the north by El Nido, in the south by San Vicente and Dumaran, in the east by Taytay Bay and the Sulu Sea, and in the west by the South China Sea.
Taytay is rich in history, culture, and natural beauty. It is the largest municipality of the province and the first capital of Palawan. The biggest freshwater lake in the province, Lake Manguao, and the Malampaya Sound, dubbed the “Fish Bowl of the Philippines”, are located here.
Taytay, which means “bridge” in the local dialect, was established as a Spanish town in 1623. Relics of Taytay’s colonial past can still be found to this day, including a 17th century Spanish fortress called “Fuerza de Santa Isabel”, the Roman Catholic Church of Santa Monica with its thick walls of solid limestone blocks, and the ruins of the old Governor’s Mansion.
Passenger flights into Taytay’s Cesar Lim Rodriguez Airport in Barangay Sandoval ended when Club Noah ceased its operations in 2008. The nearest airport is now El Nido, several hours away.
Most tourists go to Taytay by road. From El Nido in the north, it is about one and a half hours by bus or van. From Puerto Princesa in the south, it is about 4 hours by bus or van. Private hire vans are available in Taytay to take you to the next part of your journey, or visa versa.
The Company RoRo Bus offer rides from Puerto Princesa (4 1/2 hours, Non-AC 280₱, AC ₱360; Status 2014). Some (Mini-)Busses from El Nido hold in Taytay. Ask around.
MultiCab and tricycles are the most common means to get around Taytay, and are widely available. Tricycles can be fairly limited to certain areas and may not be able to go very long distances, so ASK before boarding. Do remember to state the road name and the district (Barangay), as some roadnames are repeated. Standard tricycle fare around the city is 30 pesos if you just want to go a few streets away, or about 60-150 pesos if you are going to the outskirts (i.e., 7km away, or the place is on an unpaved road, etc). Tricycle drivers are generally nice and quote only about 50% more than the standard rate if you look foreign, so just nicely counter-offer them a fair value and they will usually accept.
Note: Some of this attractions are more known by native visitors, not much by tourists.
Travelers will find a wealth of attractions in Taytay. Here are some of the islands worth visiting around Taytay Bay, all easily accessible by boat from Apulit Island Resort.
Isla Blanca Isla Blanca is a long coral white sandbar dotted by coconut trees. A short trek to a hill on the island leads to a viewdeck that offers a 360-degree view of the whole bay. Amazing coral reefs that are great for snorkeling abound the area, especially at the drop-off which bottoms out at 40 meters.
Noa-noa Island Noa-noa Island is located north of Apulit Island Resort. It boasts of a reef system that embraces the entire 12-hectare island.
Lover’s Cave Lover’s Cave, a pair of coves at the back of Apulit Island, is only accessible by dipping underwater to enter an arch that leads to the coves.
Tabonito Cave Tabonito Cave is characterized by a crack near the peak of Apulit Island. It is the refuge of the endangered Tabon Bird (Megapod), and the Balinsasayaw (Swiftlet).
St. Joseph’s Cave The biggest cave in Apulit Island, St. Joseph’s Cave is characterized with a rock formation at its entrance shaped like a saint. There are seven chambers and even more interesting rock formations inside St. Joseph’s cave.
Pabellon Island Pabellon Island, the collective name for Elephant Island and Castle Island, is well guarded because of the presence of precious nests of the Balinsasayaw. There is a hidden lagoon inside Elephant Island perfect for swimming.
Nabat Island Nabat island is home to the Balinsasayaw, the source of the edible nests. Its white-sand beach is only accessible during low tide. The waters surrounding the island are rich with coral reefs, perfect for diving and snorkeling.
North Cave One has to cross a small lagoon in order to go to the inner cavern, where private lunches or dinners are usually held.
From RoRo Bus Terminal goes busses to Puerto Princesa (4 1/2 hours, Non-AC 280₱, AC ₱360; Status 2014). All (Mini-)Busses to El Nido hold in Taytay.