Malampaya Sound Protected Landscape and Seascape

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The Malampaya Sound Protected Land and Seascape Area is a 200,155 hectare protected coastal and marine area located in the municipalities of Taytay and San Vicente in northwestern Palawan, in the Mimaropa region in the Philippines. It is centered upon a body of water rich in marine life, known as the Sound. The name Malampaya comes from a Tagbanua word that means “rich in fish.” The Sound not only provides the fishermen of the surrounding municipalities with their means of livelihood but is an important watershed. It was declared a protected area on July 12, 2000.

The area is a good place for diving, snorkeling, hiking, mountain climbing, camping, and spelunking. Being rich in various types of wildlife, the area is also a good place to spot exotic birds and marine mammals. It is the only place in the Philippines where the Irrawaddy dolphin can be seen.



The sound is shared by two municipalities in eastern Palawan: Taytay and San Vicente. Taytay is known for a Spanish fort built in the 1500s and for Flower Island with its spectacular coral reef. Also near the sound is Lake Danao, the biggest freshwater lake in Palawan and a protected area in its own right, which also provides good fishing.

The sound has two divisions, the inner sound and the outer sound, which are separated by around 13 islands. Some swampy areas may be found along the coastline.


There are various types of vegetation in the sound. Old mangrove trees grow along the coastline. The inner sound has brackish water where zooplankton and shellfish thrive. The outer sound has sea grass beds as well as mangroves. Some areas are covered with tropical lowland forest, with trees such as almaciga, apitong, narra, molave, and ipil, among others.

The brackish inner sound is the only area in the Philippines that is frequented by the critically endangered Irrawaddy dolphin. The outer sound has extensive coral reefs and is frequented by bottle-nosed dolphins.

Many species that are endemic to Palawan can be found within the protected area. These include mammals like the Northern Palawan Lesser Tree Squirrel, Palawan Porcupine and Palawan Bearcat, and birds like the Tabon Bird, Palawan Peacock Pheasant, Green Imperial Pigeon, Palawan Racket-tailed Parrot, Palawan Malcoha, Palawan Hornbill, and Talking Myna. The area is also inhabited by the Philippine Mallard, the Philippine Cockatoo, the Hawksbill Turtle, the Philippine Macaque, and the Palm Civet. Turtles also lay their eggs in the area from January to March.


Within the area is Mt. Capaoas, where visitors may trek and climb; however, the peak is off limits to climbers, who are advised to go no higher than 450 meters because of the danger of falling rocks. In the outer sound there are some unexplored caves which may be entered by experienced cavers with permission. The coast of Sitio Binaluan is best for diving and snorkeling, while Barangay Abongon has a waterfall. The 13 islands in the area may be explored by boat.

Getting there

Malampaya Sound may be reached by land from Puerto Princesa, the capital of Palawan. A public jeepney to the area is available every other day. Private transport may also be arranged. The west coast of the sound may be reached by a bus from Puerto Princesa to Alemanguan. A public jeepney to Malampaya Sound is also available from the Poblacion of Taytay.


  • “Malampaya Sound Landscape and Seascape Protected Area.” In Palawan Adventures & Recreational Activites. [1]
  • Velasco, Pete, Lawrence, Kate, and San Luis, Josette. “Malampaya Sound Protected Landscape and Seascape.” In Suhay, October 2000 – January 2001. [2]



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