Puerto Princesa, Palawan: The Last Frontier

by - 1:33 PM

Palawan has always been on top of my travel wishlist for so many years. With the Underground River recently named as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, Puerto Princesa is fast becoming a tourist hotspot of the country and a gateway to other praise-worthy places to visit like El Nido & Coron. But there’s actually more to Puerto Princesa than just the world-renowned Subterranean Underground River.

Quick Facts

  1. Where is  Puerto Princesa, Palawan?
Puerto Princesa is the capital of Palawan, a province located near the West Philippine Sea, and is also dubbed as the city in a forest. Living up to its name, the city was hailed several times as the cleanest and greenest city in the Philippines owing to the fact that they are also strictly implementing their environmental ordinances.

There are numerous flights that service Manila/Cebu to Palawan routes everyday, namely: Cebu Pacific Air, Tigerair (under Cebu Pacific Air), AirAsia, and Philippine Airlines. Just take note though that the airport is small and that restaurants and other facilities within the airport may be limited.

2.  What to do in Puerto Princesa, Palawan?
Even the moniker for Puerto Princesa already spells adventure in itself. With a big land area to boast next to Davao City, Puerto Princesa offers a lot of adventures for people of varying tastes.

Underground River. One of the very few places hailed as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World is found in the town of Sabang, about 80 kilometers north of Puerto Princesa City. This natural wonder is known as the world’s longest underground river next to the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico.

Honda Bay Island Hopping. Though the city is known as the city in a forest, Puerto Princesa also has a lot of unspoiled beaches to offer. I wasn’t able to do island hopping in Honda Bay on my last visit in 2014 because we were already pressed with time for including El Nido in our itinerary. But if you have an extra day or two, don’t forget the pristine beaches of Pandan, Cowry and Starfish in Honda Bay on your next Puerto Princesa excursion.

Firefly Watching. One of the popular activities you can do in the city is the Iwahing Firefly Watching which normally starts at 7 PM onwards. There, you’ll get to appreciate these numerous tiny creatures that shimmer and flutter about at night which is such a sweet treat to the eyes.

City Tour. Don’t forget to do a quick city tour and visit the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Plaza Cuartel, Crocodile Farm, Mitra’s Ranch, and of course, Baker’s Hill for your pasalubong. Don’t forget to try Chaolong too, a Vietnamese noodle dish, served in many places in Puerto Princesa. And last but not the least, don't leave Palawan without tasting the Tamilok, a local delicacy and aphrodisiac.

3.  How much money is needed?
A four-day sojourn to this enchanting city would more or less set you back by about six thousand pesos or less. But fret not, because this last frontier of the Philippines would definitely surprise you in more ways than one.

Sample Itinerary and Expenses 
(for a group of 6)

Day 0:
Arrival in Puerto Princesa
City Tour (600/tricycle)

Day 1:
Underground River (1,500)

Day 2:
Honda Bay Island Hopping (1,000)

Departure from Puerto Princesa

Food Allowance (1500)
Transportation and Miscellaneous Allowance (1000)

TOTAL: 5,600 pesos

So there you have it - Puerto Princesa City in a nutshell.

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