Finding things to do in Puerto Princesa Palawan is easy… deciding where to start is the hard part.
PUERTO PRINCESA is a slice of heaven which is not limited only to beautiful waters but extends farther beyond imagination. Choosing what to do and where to go first can become really mind-boggling especially when you’re on a limited time. “So many places. So little time.” fits perfectly to this kind of situation which is pretty much the same wherever you go in Palawan or anywhere in the entire Philippines. Puerto Princesa is also known as “the City of the Living God” and for a good reason. Below is our list of Things To Do In Puerto Princesa Palawan – Please feel free to add to the list if you know of other great places.
1: Explore The Puerto Princesa Underground River
Considered one of the 7 Wonders Of Nature, the Underground River is one of the reasons Puerto Princesa city is flooded with tourists every year. And why wouldn’t they? It is a great example of nature’s mystique. A journey to the underground river will take you on a tale that started many hundreds of years ago. Although the stalactite and stalagmite formations within the cave aren’t glowing like crystals, each of them has a fascinating story to tell. Added to that is the guide’s quirky manner of presenting his figment of imagination which most of the time will make you burst with laughter.
Click To See The More On The Puerto Princesa Underground River
2: Island-hopping in the quiet waters of Honda Bay.
A 45-minute drive from the city proper, Honda Bay is home to various virgin islands like Pandan Island, Starfish Island, Cowrie Island, and Luli Island. The famous Dos Palmas Resort is also accessible from the port. You can choose to rent your own boat for around ₱1,500 ($33) or share it with fellow tourists.
Head to Starfish Island and see starfish of different colors and sizes. Snorkel and get a chance to discover paradise underwater. Afterward, take the time to see Luli Island. Named after the Filipino slang “Lulubog Lilitaw”, this some 2-kilometer sandbar disappears during high tide and reappears during low tide. Lastly, relax next to a glass of mojito or mango shake in Cowrey Island. Meet and get to know some tourists and ask them to play beach volleyball with you. Have a great time and head back to the city before dusk.
Price: P1000/person (Agency)
Click To See The More On Cowrie Island
3: Dos Palmas Island
Still within the expanse of Honda Bay, fronting the Sulu Sea is a 20-hectare private island Dos Palmas. Surrounded with white sandy beaches and turquoise waters, this can be your perfect alternative over the very touristy Honda Bay Island Hopping tour. Hop on one of the native outrigger boats en route to the island and discover the intoxicating combination of nature and luxury in a one ultimate tropical paradise experience.
Price: P1800/person (Agency)
How to go there: Hop on one of the shuttle van going to Sta. Lourdes wharf. From there ride one of the outrigger boats going to the island. Tricycles are also one form of transportation going to the wharf.
4: Iwahig River Firefly Spectacular
Another enjoyable experience while in Puerto Princesa is to see thousands of fireflies light up the mangroves in Iwahig. Fireflies are abundant in the mangrove trees along Iwahig River. The tour will take you to a 30 to 45-minute paddle boat ride through the river to get an up-close view of the sparkling fireflies.
5: Dolphin Watching
We had a great time chasing and spotting dolphins and for quite a while the dolphins would swim alongside the boat. It was a wonderful experience and well worth the time. Dubbed as one of the most adorable of sea creatures, who wouldn’t want to get a glimpse of these friendly homies in Puerto Princesa Bay. Watch them take your breath away as they dance, fly and swim in the middle of the ocean. Price: P500
See more here Palawan’s Cowrie Island: Honda Bay Tour island hopping
“What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
6: Estrella falls
Do you feel like chasing waterfalls? In Puerto Princesa it best done in Estrella falls. Enjoy its cold and refreshing waters. Relax, be one with nature and oblivious to world. Other interesting waterfalls you might want to check are Salakot and Bonton. Price: P300
7: Eat fresh-out-of-the-oven bread at Baker's Hill
8: Arena Island Turtle Sanctuary
Thinking about avoiding the tourist beaten path? Head to Arena Island where serenity is at its best quality.Have a sumptuous dinner by the shore under the moonlit sky. Worry about nothing else as you have the place all to yourselves or shared with some few tourists also seeking peace and quiet. Price: P800
9: Port Barton
Two to three hours drive away from Puerto Princesa is Port Barton, home to some breathtaking sunsets and sanctuary to colorful and rich coral reefs filled with various marine species. Whether you’re in it just to witness its unsung beauty or dig deeper into its unknown hollows, this place is definitely worth a visit. Price: P500 – P1500
How to go there: Ride a van or a bus going to El Nido. Alight the bus at the intersection/junction going to Port Barton. Ride a tricycle to take you to Port Barton. Tips: Make sure to ask how much are you gonna be charged for the tricycle service for you to avoid being rip off. P300 may seem to be a fair price which you can share with 2-3 other people.
10: City Tour & Food Crawl
Wrapping Puerto Princesa city are amusement and wildlife parks, cathedrals, and great restaurants. Best known to be the Philippines city which has the richest wildlife habitat, Puerto Princesa did themselves well with preserving various endangered wildlife species. There they have the Butterfly Garden which is a sanctuary to different kinds of butterflies and other animals. Not far from the Butterfly Garden is the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center (formerly known as the Crocodile Farm and Nature Park) which houses the Philippine freshwater crocodile with Mac-mac the biggest croc in the city as the main star. While in PWRCC, you may also want to give the infamous crocodile sisig a try. Couple of miles away is Baker’s Hill where you can get tasty pastries at such inexpensive prices and Mitra’s Ranch which offers a scenic view of the surrounding valley. Head back to town and drop by the Immaculate Conception Cathedral and Plaza Cuartel to know a little history about the city. Stroll along Puerto Princesa Baywalk at sunset then enjoy the city’s lively night life after 6PM.
11: Ugong Rock
If you are looking for some rush of adrenaline and love jaw-dropping adventures then you might enjoy caving in Ugong Rock. Marvel at some awesome rock formations while climbing your way to the top. Finally, fly your way down through a zipline. This can be another activity to fill in your itinerary after your Underground River tour. Price: P500
12: Swim At Starfish Island
The island is named after the various types of starfish seen all over the shoreline. Bring your snorkeling gear (which you can rent at the port) and feed fish with bits of bread. Starfish Island is known to be less crowded than Pandan Island, so if you’re looking for a more quiet escape, this island would be paradise.
13: Visit the Mitra Ranch
Mitra Ranch also offers zipline adventures, but it’s more known for its horses, the vast greenery, and the amazing view deck where tourists can view the city of Puerto Princesa.
14: Relax by the pristine white sands of Pandan Island.
Pandan Island is known to have a finest sand among all the other islands in Honda Bay, so it’s no surprise it’s the most popular one. Tiny huts around the island sell fresh seafood and tourists can ask the staff to cook the daily catch any way they want.
15: Rest under the shade of coconut trees on Cowrie Island
Nipa cottages are scattered all over Cowrie Island where tourists can have a relaxing time with a body massage as they overlook the beach.
There you go folks. The next time you visit PUERTO PRINCESA, make sure to have done one or two things in this list and I guarantee your stay in the city is one you would always cherish and remember. Anyhow whichever you choose to do, the locals in the city is sure to deliver quite an amazing experience to its visitors. They certainly took the time and effort be proficient in what they do through proper training. They may not be very conversational in English as one can truly be but they sure know how to try. . . 🙂