Prime 25 PUERTO PRINCESA Vacationer Spots to Go to & Issues to Do 2023
Any dialog about Palawan is very incomplete with out a point out of Puerto Princesa, its capital and solely metropolis. Adventurers and seashore bums flock to the towering karst cliffs of El Nido. Divers and nature lovers are drawn to the lakes of Coron. However lengthy earlier than they made a mark on Palawan’s tourism map, Puerto Princesa was already giving vacationers of all kinds a bit style of what the province has to supply.
Positioned in the midst of mainland Palawan, Puerto Princesa serves as the biggest and probably the most handy gateway to the province. Though a extremely urbanized metropolis, it retains its pure magnificence and has been persistently among the many cleanest and greenest cities within the nation, one thing that any traveler would instantly discover inside minutes of their arrival. It’s no surprise it’s additionally touted because the Eco-Tourism Middle of the Philippines.
However it’s not at all times butterflies and unicorns for the town’s tourism over the previous years. Like in lots of locations around the globe, the pandemic offered quite a lot of challenges. Then, in 2021, the province was ravaged by Storm Odette (worldwide title: Rai), leaving virtually P8 billion in damages. However lately, not even a 12 months after, we had been invited to hitch a latest tour organized by the Division of Tourism (DOT)-MIMAROPA. We bought to see for ourselves what it’s prefer to journey round Puerto Princesa now. On this article, we’re sharing with you an inventory of vacationer sights within the metropolis (not in any explicit order) and what it’s like at this time.
Notice: Puerto Princesa is large! In reality, it’s the second largest metropolis within the Philippines by land space, subsequent to Davao. You’ll discover locations on this checklist which may be one or two hours away from the town heart, however they’re nonetheless a part of Puerto Princesa.
WHAT’S COVERED IN THIS GUIDE?
Formally named Puerto Princesa Subterranean River however generally merely known as PPUR, this 8.2-km-long underground river is the town’s primary tourism draw. This pure surprise which was acknowledged as a UNESCO World Heritage Web site in 1999 and as one of many New 7 Wonders of Nature in 2012.
Tucked within the northern nooks 76 km away from the town correct, it may be reached after round one and a half to 2 hours of land journey. The tour’s jump-off level is Sabang Wharf, and solely a restricted variety of guests are allowed per day. Vacationers are required to register upfront in the event that they wish to go to. To keep away from coping with this course of, it’s best to guide a packaged tour with a tour operator to allow them to register in your behalf. Packaged excursions often embrace roundtrip land and boat transfers, audio information for the underground river tour, and buffet lunch.
One other beauty of reserving with a tour operator is in case of inclement climate, you received’t need to spend time touring to Sabang solely to search out out that the excursions have been canceled for the day. In case this occurs, they’ll additionally make preparations to maneuver your scheduled tour to the next day.
You may additionally guide your Puerto Princesa Underground River tour package deal through Klook.
Just a few minutes away from Sabang Wharf, Cacaoayan Forest Park is an superior lunch cease after your Puerto Princesa Underground River tour. True to its title, being right here will make you are feeling such as you’re in the midst of a forest. Additionally, you will discover a good view deck right here together with Instagram-worthy spots paying homage to these in Bali.
Their lunch buffet provides a wide range of Filipino dishes from fish to pork to rooster to greens and recent fruits. Should you’re concerned about attempting tamilok, the favored unique mollusk, you too can order it right here. Reservations are required for the lunch buffet, however some tour operators embrace a cease right here of their underground river tour packages.
Buffet price is P350 per particular person. However reductions can be found should you guide with Klook!
Location: Brgy. Sabang, Puerto Princesa
Working hours: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Buffet Fee: P350/particular person
Sabang Seaside could also be recognized primarily because the jump-off level to the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River, however additionally it is an attraction by itself. This beautiful seashore with the backdrop of the mountains is a pleasant place to swim and chill out. From right here, you too can see the beautiful St. Paul Limestone formation the place the underground river is flowing beneath.
Should you’re in for extra journey, one other exercise you are able to do right here is the Sabang X Zipline. This thrilling journey will deal with you to the beautiful view of Sabang Seaside and its surrounding space from above. Measuring 800 meters, it’s among the many nation’s longest ziplines that cross a physique of water. To achieve the start line of the journey, that you must go on a brief 15-minute hike.
Tickets value P550. However you’ll discover discounted tickets on Klook!
Island hopping is among the commonest actions in lots of locations within the Philippines, and Puerto Princesa isn’t to be not noted. Right here, seashore chasers go to Honda Bay, which isn’t too removed from the town heart.
Honda Bay is peppered with a number of isles, however island hopping excursions often embrace simply three stops. Should you’re a DIY-er and also you’re becoming a member of a gaggle tour, these three islands might be mounted. However in order for you extra flexibility or should you’re a giant group, chances are you’ll guide a ship and prepare a non-public tour.
The jump-off level is Sta. Lourdes Wharf, roughly half-hour away from the town correct by tricycle. One-way fare is round P400-500 per tricycle.
At current, solely 3 islands are open for public island hopping excursions:
- Cowrie Island
- Luli Island
- Starfish Island
Boat charges differ relying on the sort used. Listed here are the newest charges, good for six passengers.
- with 4-cylinder engine: P2100 per boat or P350 per particular person
- with 3-cylinder engine: P1800 per boat or P300 per particular person
Other than boat rental price, you additionally have to pay the ENTRANCE FEES:
- Cowrie Island: P100
- Luli Island: P70
- Starfish Island: P50
Different islands could also be accessible, however most of them are non-public and gather a lot larger entrance charges. We’ll focus on them intimately under.
Listed here are different bills to count on should you’re doing a Honda Bay Island Hopping Tour:
- Environmental Price: P150
- Terminal price: P5
- Goggles & snorkel rental: P150
- Full face masks rental: P200
- Aqua sneakers rental: P150
- Fins rental: P150
Should you don’t wish to take care of all these funds by yourself, chances are you’ll guide a tour package deal provided by journey companies. Honday Bay excursions often value P1750/particular person, inclusive of lunch, entrance charges, boat rental, tour information, and roundtrip transfers.
It’s additionally out there on Klook with a slight low cost!
Under are extra detailed description of every island.
Of all of the islands dotting Honda Bay, Cowrie Island is the closest to Sta. Lourdes Wharf, making it a super first or final cease. Should you guide a packaged tour, Cowrie Island can also be the standard lunch cease. You too can order drinks from their bar and restaurant. For particular person meals, the meals is served in bilao (winnowing basket tray). For teams, it’s served boodle-fight-style.
Whereas ready for lunch to be served, you’ll be able to take pleasure in swimming within the clear waters, stroll alongside the seashore or simply lay on the sand. Kayaks and stand-up paddle board can be found for hire. And should you’re with a gaggle and you want enjoying sports activities, they’ve an space for seashore volleyball too!
Entrance Price: P100
Cottage Rental: Spherical Desk (good for 4 pax) – P100; Spherical Desk (good for 8 pax)- P200; Kubo (good for 15-20 pax)- P500
Kayak: Single, P100/hour; Double, P200/hour; Triple, P250/hour
Honda Bay is adorned with quite a lot of sandbars. One in all them is Luli Island, quick for lulubog lilitaw, a playful shoutout to its disappearing act at excessive tide.
Up to now, it was the standard lunch cease. However the buffet restaurant right here was destroyed by Storm Odette and has not been rebuilt since. There’s nonetheless lots to take pleasure in right here, although. The fantastic thing about the sandbar itself stays. You’ll be able to nonetheless take pleasure in strolling on the sand, take images, or chill on one in every of their many overwater hammocks. The water is crystal clear too so you’ll be able to see little fish swimming round as you go into the water.
Entrance Price: P70
Round 25 minutes away from the wharf, Starfish Island is the snorkeling cease on Honda Bay excursions. It bought its title from quite a few starfish that decision its clear, shallow waters dwelling. Even should you don’t know swim, you’ll be able to nonetheless see the small fish and different marine animals frolicking round.
Take into account that there’s a designated swimming and snorkeling space marked by a line so be certain to remain inside that space to your security.
One can find many tables and chairs and even cottages for hire right here. Should you’re hungry, there’s a small retailer on the island the place you should purchase snacks. Seafood “paluto” can also be out there. You should purchase seafood — crabs, lobsters, fish, sea urchin or uni, and rang-ranga (spider shell) — and have them cooked.
Entrance Price: P50
Cottage Rental: Kubo, P150; 2 tables (for giant teams), P300
In contrast to the opposite Honda Bay tour stops, Pambato Reef is just not an island. It’s a standard snorkeling spot, marked by a platform floating in the midst of the ocean. Earlier than leaping into the water, vacationers are given a brief lecture about marine and reef ecology and conservation.
Nevertheless, this too was closely broken by Storm Odette and stays closed to today. However as soon as Pambato Reef reopens, don’t miss out a chance to discover one in every of Puerto Princesa’s most visited underwater web site!
As of this writing, Pandan Island stays closed and has but to announce once they would reopen.
One of many extra developed islands in Honda Bay, Pandan Island is now occupied by a non-public resort, Isla Pandan. It’s not among the many standard stops of the frequent three-island or two-island excursions.
It has an unbelievable, cream-colored seashore and clear emerald waters the place you’ll be able to swim, snorkel, or simply bask within the solar. A buffet lunch can also be out there on the island in addition to cottages and totally different water sports activities and seashore actions. You’ll be able to go kayaking, stand-up paddling, jetskiing, and banana boating should you’re into water actions or play volleyball and frisbee on the seashore. You too can go snorkeling, diving, or helmet diving.
Their day tour price is inclusive of the doorway price, cottage, buffet lunch, and use of kayak, stand-up paddle, volleyball, frisbee, and board video games.
Day Tour Fee: P1000/particular person
Dos Palmas Island Resort
Located in Arreceffi Island, Dos Palmas is an island resort and spa excellent for individuals who wish to have an opulent island trip. Their lodging are proper by the seashore, going through the tuquoise waters.
Should you’re on a restricted funds, you’ll be able to have a style of the luxurious island expertise by occurring a day tour. You’ll be able to discover the 20-hectare island and the facilities of the resort. Other than spending time on the seashore, day trippers can take a dip on the swimming pool, play volleyball, or go snorkeling.
Day Tour Charges: Grownup, P1800; Little one (2-11 years outdated), P900
*Day tour charges are inclusive of land and boat transfers and lunch.
For reservations & inquiries, chances are you’ll contact the administration.
E mail: [email protected], [email protected]
Cell Quantity: 09175904442 / 09175000154 / 09298132360
Other than its pure magnificence, you’ll be able to admire extra of Puerto Princesa by exploring the town and studying about its historical past by occurring a metropolis tour. Don’t depart with out shopping for souvenirs and pasalubong from Binuatan Creations, Baker’s Hill, and pasalubong heart.
You’ll be able to constitution a tricycle to take you to the totally different cultural and historic spots for P800-1000 per tricycle, good for as much as 3 passengers.
However in order for you a extra snug and extra insightful tour led by a educated information, guide an organized tour! Klook additionally has reasonably priced Puerto Princesa metropolis excursions!
Though there are some variations, listed below are the standard stops included in metropolis excursions.
Palawan Wildlife Rescue & Conservation Middle
Beforehand generally known as the Crocodile Farming Institute or Crocodile Farm, the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Middle is a 10-hectare property the place they breed two species of crocodiles, the Philippine crocodile (Crocodylus mindorensis) and the saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus).
Each quarter-hour, an academic tour is completed, which begins by the doorway the place the skeleton and pores and skin of an enormous crocodile are on show. After that, you may be led to the nursery of the newborn crocodiles after which to the realm the place the grownup crocodiles are saved. Don’t fear, you’ll be strolling on an elevated walkway, out of attain.
A portion of the property is a nature park the place the rescued wildlife are housed. You’ll additionally see varied species of uncommon birds right here and a wide range of wild fauna.
Opening hours: Every day, 8:30 AM to five:00 PM
Entrance Price: P70
Mitra’s Ranch is owned by the household of the late Senator and Home Speaker Ramon Mitra Jr. Positioned in Barangay Sta. Monica, the home sits atop a hill and has a view deck, permitting a superb, stress-free view of the town, Honda Bay, and the verdant surroundings in between.
Mitra’s Ranch is open to the general public. You solely have to pay the doorway price if you wish to go inside the home.
Working Hours: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Entrance Price (to enter the home): P20
Not too distant from Mitra’s Ranch, additionally in Barangay Sta. Monica, stands Baker’s Hill.
Baker’s Hill is an easy bakery that developed right into a household vacation spot. Once you go by means of the gate, you’ll be greeted by giant, colourful statues of standard characters, including life to the gardens and playground surrounding the bakeshop. The positioning can also be wearing varied decorations, the theme of which change relying on the time of the 12 months.
Most vacationers who come right here go pasalubong buying. You should purchase totally different baked items like cookies, brownies, and naturally, their standard hopia in several flavors. Additionally they promote different snacks like cashew nuts, polvoron, and pastillas. Should you’re in search of extra than simply snacks, you’ll be able to dine at their restaurant known as Baker’s Kitchen.
Working Hours: 7:00 AM to eight:00 PM
Weaving is a big a part of the tradition and humanities in lots of elements of the Philippines. Right here in Puerto Princesa, handloom weaving is showcased at Binuatan Creations. It additionally serves as a livelihood program to the neighborhood particularly moms and college students.
Watch how the expert weavers make colourful materials out of native fibers like buri, ticug grass, and amumuting. These materials are then made into totally different hand-loomed merchandise like luggage, equipment, placemats, and desk runners. To get extra appreciation on how intricate it’s, guests are welcome to strive their hand on the method. The weavers would fortunately information you as they clarify use the loom.
After this expertise, drop by the memento store to purchase a few of their merchandise for your self and for pasalubong to your family and friends!
Working Hours: 7:00 AM to six:00 PM
Plaza Cuartel seems to be like your strange park lined with benches and timber at this time, however it has a ugly previous. On 14 December 1944, on the top of World Warfare II, 150 American prisoners of struggle had been burned alive by the Japanese in a garrison that stood on the web site of the place Plaza Cuartel is situated at this time.
Tunnels the place the prisoners the place saved and the ruins of the outdated garrison are saved as a reminder of this darkish second within the metropolis’s historical past. A memorial marker can also be put in to commemorate the troopers who died through the bloodbath and acknowledge the 11 who survived.
Puerto Princesa Cathedral
Adjoining to Plaza Cuartel stands Puerto Princesa Cathedral, also referred to as the Immaculate Conception Cathedral Parish. On the web site the place it stands, the primary mass in Puerto Princesa was held on March 10, 1872 by Saint Ezequiél Moreno who was then an Augustinian Recollect Fray.
The cathedral has been rebuilt a number of instances together with after it was destroyed by Japanese bombing throughout World Warfare II. The construction that you simply see at this time took virtually a century to complete and was solely accomplished in 1961. Its facade and interiors are clad in Neo-Gothic architectural type, much like the church buildings in Medieval Europe.
Palawan Butterfly Backyard and Tribal Village
Because the title suggests, there are two elements to this attraction: the butterfly backyard and the tribal village. The butterfly backyard homes quite a lot of species of butterflies that you may see flying round contained in the net-covered backyard.
Other than these stunning flying creatures, you too can see some endemic wildlife of Palawan right here just like the Palawan Bearcat, bearded pig, and Palawan peacock-pheasant which is the chook that seems on the official seal of the town of Puerto Princesa. These species are smaller in dimension, however much like the peacocks, the male has colourful feathers and vibrant wings that exhibits once they unfold it, often to draw peahens or the feminine birds.
On the Tribal Village, you’ll get a peek into the lifetime of the indigenous folks of South Palawan known as Palaw’an. Right here, guests are handled to a cultural present the place they might see how the Palaw’an tribe historically lives within the mountains. The Palaw’ans reveal how they hunt, make hearth, and carry out a brief musical quantity utilizing a string instrument known as kudyapi. There’s additionally a bit cafe right here the place you’ll be able to strive civet coffe or kopi luwak.
Working Hours: 8:30 AM to five:00 PM
Entrance Price: Grownup, P60; Little one (4 to 12 years outdated), P50; Senior Citizen & PWD, P50
Should you’re touring to Puerto Princesa with children and youngsters at coronary heart, Palawan Water Park bought you coated. You’ll be able to take pleasure in sliding down the water slides together with your family and friends or splash round of their swimming pools.
The primary and solely water park in Palawan, it’s owned and managed by Astoria, however it’s open to everybody and NOT unique to Astoria’s resort visitors.
Every ticket to the water park is inclusive of a lunch buffet.
Entrance Price: Adults, P1200; Children (4ft and under), P950; Children (2 years outdated and under), FREE
Working Hours: Monday to Sunday, 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Journey awaits north of the town correct! In Barangay Tagabinet, you will see one of the vital thrilling sights in Puerto Princesa —- Ugong Rock Adventures, a community-based sustainable tourism vacation spot.
Be able to get bodily as a result of you may be climbing Ugong Rock and go rappelling and spelunking on its caves. Reaching the highest would reward you with a panoramic view of the forest and the encompassing limestone formations. After taking within the views, you received’t be climbing again down as a result of the descent is by using a 71-meter zipline!
Whereas Puerto Princesa seashores are synonymous with the islands of Honda Bay, you’ll additionally discover a number of coves that may be accessed by land. One in all them is Nagtabon Seaside.
Nagtabon Seaside is located lower than an hour away from the town heart, so it’s considerably indifferent and never often included in standard Puerto Princesa itineraries. It was a sanctuary for individuals who wish to escape the crowds, however it has been getting the eye of extra vacationers. Those that go to are welcomed by a picturesque view of the mountains and cerulean waters.
Just a few years in the past, there are just a few cottages out there for hire right here, however there at the moment are resorts and eating places within the space.
Location: Barangay Bacungn, Puerto Princesa
Find out how to get there: From the town heart, take a bus going north (Taytay/Roxas/El Nido) to Bacungan. Then, constitution a tricycle to Nagtabon Seaside. Should you’re a gaggle, renting a van for a roundtrip transportation is an choice too.
In order for you one thing a bit extra offbeat, strive firefly watching and get that magical feeling! Even should you already deliberate out your actions in Puerto Princesa, you’ll be able to most likely squeeze this into your itinerary since this tour occurs at evening. Once you be a part of a firefly watching tour, you’d hop on a ship and exit into the water the place you might feast your eyes with the blinking lights from the fireflies and the twinkling of the celebs within the sky.
There are three totally different firefly watching places in Puerto Princesa:
- Iwahig River. That is the unique location of firefly watching in Puerto Princesa. Utilizing a paddle boat, you’d cruise alongside Iwahig River as your boat man and tour information present you the fireflies. Sadly, Iwahig firefly watching is currenly closed, however fear not as a result of there are different firefly watching spots in Puerto Princesa.
- Sicsican River. That is the place we went firefly watching on our latest journey. Town’s baywalk space serves because the jump-off level for this tour. From right here, you’d hop on a ship after which switch to a smaller boat, which might take you to Sicsican River the place fireflies abound. Tour guides make the firefly watching exercise entertaining by “speaking” to the fireflies in several languages. The tour features a scrumptious dinner on the boat, which we loved after cruising on the river and seeing the fireflies that seem like Christmas lights by the aspect of the river.
- Nagsaguipi River. This tour features a buffet dinner at a restaurant simply earlier than you begin your firefly watching journey. After making your stomachs full, you’ll get on a paddle boat and sail on Nagsaguipi River the place you’ll see the fireflies glow by the mangrove timber.
With a top of 350 meters, Mt. Magarwak is a pleasant place to go to if you wish to see Puerto Princesa from above. The trek to the highest of this mountain is appropriate even for freshmen and takes round an hour and a half, relying on the tempo. It’s best to start out trekking early within the morning round 5:00 AM so you’ll be able to attain the highest earlier than dawn. When you get to the highest, you’ll be able to chill out, have some espresso and look forward to the spectacular dawn over Puerto Princesa. From the height, you too can admire Honda Bay and Puerto Princesa Bay.
Mt. Magarwak is situated in Brgy. Bacungan, about 15 kilometers from the town heart.
Kamia Bay Resort lies in Brgy. Luzviminda, lower than an hour away south of the town heart. The waterpark covers about 4 hectares of the property in Binusalian Bay and options one of many largest inflatable parks within the nation. Visitors of all ages can take pleasure in bouncing round and happening the slide of various heights or strive wall climbing on the inflatables.
Different actions provided listed below are eco-tours and bike trails. The resort additionally has a buffet and plenty of areas the place you’ll be able to chill whether or not you’re household, associates, or your particular somebody.
Notice: We’re undecided if Kamia Bay Resort is closed or open. We didn’t get to go to on our latest journey, so we couldn’t affirm. However their social media accounts have been inactive since 2021.
In 1979, after the autumn of South Vietnam, quite a lot of Vietnamese refugees discovered themselves in Palawan and arrange a camp. In 1993, the camp was moved to Barangay Sta. Lourdes. Over time, some have left and returned to Vietnam however some selected to remain.
Right this moment, this neighborhood in Puerto Princesa is named Viet Ville. Historical past buffs will certainly discover a go to right here fairly fascinating. You too can have a style of the Vietnamese delicacies on the restaurant right here that bears the identical title. Viet Ville restaurant serves pho, banh mi, and Vietnamese espresso, amongst others.
Ask anybody in Puerto Princesa the place they counsel a first-time vacationer ought to go for a meal, and there’s a giant probability they’ll level you to Ka Lui.
KaLui is maybe probably the most well-known Pinoy restaurant in Puerto Princesa. Fostering a homey Pinoy environment, it’s with picket furnishings, ceramic items, and work. Ka Lui serves largely Filipino seafood specialties. Additionally they give a complimentary fruit salad served on a halved coconut.
This restaurant is extraordinarily standard so it’s extremely really helpful that you simply make prior reservation to safe a desk.
Deal with: 369 Rizal Avenue, Puerto Princesa
Opening hours: Mondays-Saturdays, 11AM-2PM (Lunch), 6PM-11PM (Dinner)
Contact quantity: (048) 726-6217
This isn’t someplace to go to however one thing to take pleasure in! Er, provided that you’re an adventurous eater.
Indulging in native meals is at all times a terrific a part of any journey. If unique meals doesn’t faze you, don’t miss out on Palawan’s delicacy —- tamilok! It’s also known as a woodworm as a result of it’s discovered inside mangroves. However it’s, in truth, a kind of marine mollusk with lengthy and delicate our bodies. Yep, a distant cousin of oysters and mussels! Its style profile and slimy texture are corresponding to the extra frequent bivalves too, albeit with a powerful woody aftertaste.
When in Puerto Princesa, you’ll be able to do that unconventional deal with at some eating places within the metropolis. I used to be capable of strive tamilok after we had lunch in Cacaoyan Forest Park in Sabang. They serve it with a aspect of vinegar the place you’ll be able to dip it earlier than savoring it.
One other restaurant that gives it’s Kinabuch’s Grill and Bar situated inside the metropolis heart, the place our teammate Yosh had his first style of it.