On the northeast coast of Palawan, about 140km north of Port Barton by road and 50km south of El Nido, the quaint and friendly town of TAYTAY (“tie-tie”) was capital of Palawan from the earliest days of Spanish conquest in the seventeenth century until Princesa assumed the role in 1903. Today little remains to show off this history save the half-ruined Puerto de Santa Isabel (free), the smallish, squat stone fortress built by the Spanish between 1667 and 1738. As with many places in Palawan, the main attractions lie offshore – you can tour the wonderfully untouched islands in the bay by chartering a bangka for the day from the harbour (P1000–1500). Elephant Island is best known for its hidden lagoon, with a natural skylight in the roof that makes it a wonderful place to swim.

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