Nestled in the heart of the Philippines' last frontier, Puerto Princesa is the bustling urban gateway to the enchanting world of Palawan. With its unique blend of city comforts and untouched natural wonders, this capital city offers more than just a stopover point.
From exploring UNESCO-listed subterranean rivers to island hopping in crystal-clear waters and tasting exotic delicacies, Puerto Princesa is a melting pot of experiences awaiting the curious traveler.
Whether you're an adventurer eager to dive into the deep blue or a wanderer looking to soak in the culture and natural beauty, Puerto Princesa offers a myriad of sights and activities to quench your wanderlust. Dive in and discover the treasures that make this city a jewel of Palawan.
1. Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (Underground River)
Description: A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this is one of the longest navigable underground rivers in the world. It's surrounded by stunning limestone karsts, and a guided paddle boat tour gives you a glimpse of its incredible rock formations and the creatures that dwell in its darkness.
Tip: It's recommended to book your tour in advance as the number of daily visitors is limited to preserve the environment.
2. Honda Bay Island Hopping
Description: Discover various islands and snorkeling spots. Common stops include Starfish Island, Luli Island, and Cowrie Island.
Tip: Bring sun protection, and rent snorkeling gear to enjoy the vibrant marine life.
3. Iwahig Firefly Watching
Description: Enjoy a serene paddle boat tour in the evening and witness the magical display of fireflies amidst the mangroves.
Tip: Avoid using flash photography as it can disturb the fireflies.
4. Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center (Crocodile Farm)
Description: Get up close and personal with Palawan's freshwater crocodiles and learn about conservation efforts for various species in the area.
5. Baker's Hill
Description: A lovely park atop a hill known for its bakery and pastries. The place is adorned with statues, well-maintained gardens, and offers a panoramic view of Puerto Princesa.
6. Mitras Ranch
Description: Offers a spectacular view of Puerto Princesa city. It's a great place to enjoy the sunset and offers ziplining for the adventurous.
7. City Tour
Description: Explore the local sights such as the Plaza Cuartel (a historical WWII site), Baywalk, Puerto Princesa Cathedral, and the local market.
Tip: Consider renting a tricycle or joining a group tour to cover more ground.
8. Mangrove Paddle Boat Tour
Description: Learn about mangrove ecosystems while enjoying a peaceful boat ride. Guides often provide valuable insights about the importance of mangroves to the environment.
9. Visit Local Restaurants
Tip: Try local dishes like "chaolong" (noodle soup) or "tamilok" (woodworm). "KaLui Restaurant" is a popular spot known for its seafood dishes and traditional ambiance.
10. Talaudyong Beach
Description: A less-crowded alternative to the famous beaches of Palawan, perfect for a relaxing day by the sea.
Local Transport: The primary mode of transportation within Puerto Princesa is the tricycle. They're affordable and can often be hired for custom tours.
Weather: Puerto Princesa is tropical, so always be prepared for rain, especially from July to October. On the flip side, March to May is the summer season and can be quite hot.
Conservation: Palawan takes pride in its conservation efforts. Be respectful of local guidelines, especially in eco-tourism spots.
Puerto Princesa offers a balance between urban conveniences and natural attractions. Whether you're an adventure seeker or someone looking to relax and soak in the beauty, Puerto Princesa has something to offer.