25 Places to Visit in Puerto Princesa, Philippines 2023
Palawan’s capital and lone city, Puerto Princesa, must be mentioned in any discussion about the archipelago. Visitors seeking adventure and beach time throng El Nido’s imposing karst cliffs. The Coron Lakes are a popular destination for divers and eco-tourists. But Puerto Princesa was already providing visitors of all kinds a little taste of what the region has to offer before they left a mark on Palawan’s tourism map.
The biggest and most practical entrance to the province is Puerto Princesa, which is situated in the center of the Philippine island of Palawan. Even though it is a very populated city, it nonetheless keeps its natural beauty and has continuously ranked among the cleanest and greenest in the nation, something that any visitor would notice right away after arriving. It makes sense that it is sometimes referred to as the Philippines’ Eco-Tourism Center.
Behind Davao, it is the second-largest city in terms of land area in the Philippines. This list includes locations that are up to two hours drive from the city center but are yet considered to be a part of Puerto Princesa.
Puerto Princesa Underground River
This 8.2-km-long underground river, often known as PPUR or the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River, is the city’s principal tourist attraction. This natural marvel was named one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature in 2012 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999.
It is located 76 kilometers from the center of the city and is accessible by land in one and a half to two hours. Sabang Wharf is where the tour begins, and a few guests are permitted each day. If they wish to visit, visitors must register in advance.
Cacaoyan Forest Park
After you tour the Puerto Princesa Underground River, Cacaoayan Forest Park is a fantastic place to stop for lunch and is only a short distance from Sabang Wharf. You’ll feel as though you’re in the center of a forest here, as the place’s name suggests. Here, you’ll also discover a lovely view deck and Instagram-worthy locations resembling those in Bali.
They have a variety of Filipino meals at their lunch buffet, including fish, pig, chicken, veggies, and fresh fruit. You can also order tamilok, a well-liked exotic mollusc, from this place if you’re curious to taste it. Although some tour companies include a stop here in their packages for underground river tours, reservations are required for the lunch buffet.
Sabang X Zipline
Although Sabang Beach is widely renowned as the starting site for the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River, it is also a destination unto itself. This beautiful beach is a great spot to swim and unwind with the mountains serving as the backdrop. Additionally visible from here is the magnificent St. Paul Limestone formation, which is where the underground river flows.
The Sabang X Zipline is another activity available here if you’re looking for additional adventure. During this exhilarating journey, you will be treated to a breathtaking aerial view of Sabang Beach and its surroundings. It is one of the 800-meter-long ziplines in the nation that crosses a body of water.
Honda Bay Tour
In many places in the Philippines, island hopping is one of the most popular pastimes, and Puerto Princesa is no exception. Honda Bay, which is close to the city center, is where beach-goers congregate in this area.
Although Honda Bay is dotted with several islands, only three islands are accessible for island hopping cruises currently:
- Cowrie Island
- Luli Island
- Starfish Island
Cowrie Island is the nearest to Sta. Lourdes Wharf of all the islands in Honda Bay, makes it a great place to start or end your visit. Swim in the crystal-clear seas, stroll along the beach, or simply lay on the sand to relax. You may hire kayaks and stand-up paddleboards. Additionally, they have a beach volleyball court if you’re traveling with a group and enjoy playing sports.
There are several sandbars in Honda Bay. One of these is Luli Island, also known as lulubog lilitaw, a lighthearted reference to the island’s propensity to vanish during high tide. It used to be the typical lunch stop. However, Typhoon Odette destroyed this buffet restaurant, and it has not been rebuilt since.
However, there is still much to love here. The sandbar’s natural beauty is still present. There are still plenty of overwater hammocks available, and you may shoot pictures or relax while strolling on the sand. As you enter the water, you can see tiny fish swimming around since the water is so transparent.
The snorkeling destination on Honda Bay cruises is Starfish Island, which is about 25 minutes distant from the wharf. Numerous starfish live in its crystal-clear, shallow waters, giving it its name. You may still observe the tiny fish and other aquatic creatures playing even if you cannot swim.
Pambato Reef is not an island, in contrast to the other locations on the Honda Bay tour. A platform floating in the middle of the ocean serves as a landmark for the popular snorkeling location. Visitors are given a brief lecture about the ecology and protection of the reefs and the marine environment before entering the sea.
Pandan Island, one of Honda Bay’s most developed islands, is now home to the exclusive resort Isla Pandan. It is not one of the typical stops on the popular two- or three-island trips. You can swim, snorkel, or just relax in the gorgeous, emerald waters that have an amazing, cream-colored beach.
Dos Palmas Island Resort
Dos Palmas is an island resort and spa on Arreceffi Island that is ideal for visitors seeking an opulent island getaway. Their lodgings are directly on the sand and overlook the turquoise lake. Going on a day excursion will allow you to experience a luxury island even if your budget is tight. You may explore the resort’s amenities as well as the 20-hectare island.
Puerto Princesa City Tour
Along with its natural beauty, Puerto Princesa also has a rich cultural past that may be learned by taking a city tour. Don’t leave without purchasing souvenirs and pasalubong from Baker’s Hill, Pasalubong Center, and Binuatan Creations.
Palawan Wildlife Rescue & Conservation Center
The Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center, formerly known as the Crocodile Farming Institute or Crocodile Farm, is a 10-hectare facility where two species of crocodiles are bred: the Philippine crocodile (Crocodylus mindorensis) and the saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus).
The rescued species are housed in a nature park on a section of the land. Here, you may also witness a variety of rare bird species and wild wildlife.
The late House Speaker and Senator Ramon Mitra Jr.’s family owns Mitra’s Ranch. The property is situated in Barangay Sta. Monica has a panoramic terrace that provides a good, peaceful view of the city, Honda Bay, and the lush surroundings in between.
Simple bakery Baker’s Hill has become a popular family vacation spot. Large, vibrant statues of well-known characters will greet you as you enter the gate and liven up the grounds and playground that surround the bakery. The facility is also decked out in a variety of decorations, with a different theme for each season of the year.
In several regions of the Philippines, weaving plays a significant role in culture and the arts. At Binuatan Creations in Puerto Princesa, handloom weaving is on display. It also provides the community, particularly moms and students, with a means of subsistence.
Today Plaza Cuartel resembles a typical park with trees, seats, and picnic tables, but its past was terrible. In a garrison that once existed where Plaza Cuartel is now, 150 American prisoners of war were burned alive by the Japanese on December 14, 1944, during the height of World War II.
As a reminder of this terrible period in the city’s history, the tunnels where the captives were housed and the ruins of the ancient garrison are still standing. A memorial plaque is also put in place to honor the 11 men who survived and to remember the soldiers who perished during the tragedy.
Puerto Princesa Cathedral
Several times, notably after Japanese bombs during World War II devastated it, the church has been reconstructed. The building you see today was only finished in 1961 after nearly a century of construction. Its Neo-Gothic exterior and interior decorations are reminiscent of churches from Medieval Europe.
Palawan Butterfly Garden and Tribal Village
The butterfly garden and the tribal village are the two components of this attraction, as the name would imply. Many different types of butterflies fly around in the net-covered area – home to the butterfly garden.
Along with these lovely avian species, you may also view some of the endemic fauna of Palawan in this area, like the bearded pig, the peacock-pheasant, and the Palawan bearcat, which is the animal that is depicted on the official seal of Puerto Princesa. Although smaller than peacocks, these species have bright feathers and brilliant wings that are displayed when they spread their wings, mainly to attract peahens or other female birds.
Astoria Palawan Water Park
Palawan Water Park has you covered if you’re traveling to Puerto Princesa with children or just youngsters at heart. With your loved ones, you can enjoy splashing around in the pools or going down the water slides.
Astoria owns and operates Palawan’s first and only water park, however, it is accessible to the general public and NOT just hotel guests.
Ugong Rock Adventures
North of the actual city is where the action is! One of Puerto Princesa’s most exciting attractions, Ugong Rock Adventures, a community-based sustainable tourism destination, is located in Barangay Tagabinet.
You’ll be climbing Ugong Rock and exploring its caves via rappelling and spelunking, so get in shape. A panoramic view of the forest and the surrounding limestone rocks would be your reward for reaching the top. You won’t have to climb down after admiring the scenery because you’ll be taking a 71-meter zipline!
Since Nagtabon Beach situates less than an hour from the city center, fairly remote and not typically included in travel plans for Puerto Princesa. It was once a haven for people looking to get away from the throng, but now more tourists have started to notice it. Visitors enjoy a beautiful scene of the mountains and emerald lake.
Try watching Fireflies to acquire that magical experience if you’re looking for something a little more unusual! When you sign up for a firefly viewing tour, you get on a boat and head out onto the water where you can enjoy the twinkling stars in the sky and the fireflies’ blinking lights.
In Puerto Princesa, there are three places to see fireflies:
- Iwahig River
- Sicsican River
- Nagsaguipi River
Mt. Magarwak Sunrise Trek
Mt. Magarwak, which is 350 meters high, is a good site to go if you want a bird’s-eye view of Puerto Princesa. Depending on the speed, the hike to the mountain’s summit may cover an hour and a half, and mostly ideal for novices. To get to the peak before sunrise, it is preferable to start your hike early in the morning. When you reach the summit, you may sit back, enjoy some coffee, and watch the magnificent sunrise over Puerto Princesa.
Kamia Bay Resort
Brgy. Luzviminda is where Kamia Bay Resort is located. One of the largest inflatable parks in the nation is located in the waterpark, which occupies a space of roughly 4 hectares in Binusalian Bay. All ages of visitors can have fun bouncing around, sliding down slides of varying heights, or trying out inflatable wall climbing.
There are also bike paths and eco-tours available here. In addition, there are many places to relax at the resort, whether you’re with family, friends, or your special someone.
Following the fall of South Vietnam in 1979, a lot of Vietnamese refugees arrived in Palawan and established a camp. The camp later relocated to Barangay Sta. Lourdes in 1993. Some people have left and returned to Vietnam over the years, but some have opted to stay.
Viet Ville is the current name of this Puerto Princesa neighborhood. A visit here will undoubtedly be highly intriguing for history aficionados. In this restaurant, which goes by the same name, you may also sample Vietnamese food. Among other things, the Viet Ville restaurant offers banh mi, pho, and Vietnamese coffee.
The most well-known Filipino eatery in Puerto Princesa is probably KaLui. It does this with wooden furniture, pottery items, and paintings to promote a cozy Filipino feel. Ka Lui specializes in serving Filipino seafood dishes. A complimentary fruit salad on a coconut half is also provided.
The best part of any trip is always indulging in the local cuisine. Don’t miss out on the tamilok, a specialty of Palawan, if eating strange food doesn’t scare you! Mostly found inside mangroves, it has the nickname “woodworm”. It is, however, a species of long-bodied, soft-bodied sea snail. a distant relative of mussels and oysters! Although it has a pronounced woody aftertaste, its taste and slimy texture are comparable to those of the more popular bivalves.
Top Puerto Princesa Resorts
- Astoria Palawan Resort
- Aziza Paradise Hotel
- Citystate Asturias Hotel
- Daluyon Beach and Mountain Resort, Sabang Beach
- Hue Hotels and Resorts
- Princesa Garden Island Resort and Spa
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