A few days stay in PUERTO PRINCESA, Palawan trip is all it takes to set your heart racing. There are plenty of things to do in Puerto Princesa, the capital of Palawan that will make one’s trip here truly unforgettable. Thankfully, it has managed to preserve its splendor over the years despite the crowd it brings. Puerto Princesa, Palawan has long been a magnet of sun-worshippers and pleasure seekers. Thanks to the island-studded Honday Bay, sprinkled with golden and white sand tropical beach clichés that are ideal for swimming, snorkeling and picnic. Meanwhile, Puerto Princesa ‘s subterranean river was once the longest underground river in the world and hailed as one of the New 7 Wonders of the World, a must-visit when traveling to Puerto Princesa. Here’s my Puerto Princesa Travel Guide to help you plan your trip.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT PUERTO PRINCESA
Like the rest of the Philippines, Puerto Princesa enjoys a wet and dry season. The best time to visit Puerto Princesa is during the summer season – April to June. Heavy rains are expected around August to October, but the nice thing about off-peak season is, hotels and flights can give discounts as much as 50% off. I suggest you check the weather updates before proceeding.
WHERE TO STAY IN PUERTO PRINCESA, PALAWAN
Puerto Princesa City is booming, once you arrive in the city center, it’s hard to see why it’s dubbed as one of the cleanest and greenest city in the world due to concrete buildings sprinkled everywhere and annoying traffic jam. But despite that, the city center is a good place to base yourself if you want to explore the top attractions in Puerto Princesa because most of the Puerto Princes budget hotels and mid-raged hotels are concentrated here and everything you need for your vacation, can be bought here.
Here’s a list of some of the best budget hotels in Puerto Princesa, Palawan.
BEST PUERTO PRINCESA BUDGET HOTELS
Cleon Villas Pension
Pineda Road, Lot 1, Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines
Deep Forest Garden Hotel
Gabinete Road Bancao-Bancao, Jacana, Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines
Subli Guest Cabins
55 Socrates Road, Barangay San Pedro, Puerto Princesa, Palawan
Blue Lagoon Inn & Suites
Rizal Avenue Interior, Puerto Princesa, Palawan
BEST PUERTO PRINCESA MID-RANGE HOTELS
Palawan Uno Hotel
National Highway Bgy San Pedro, Puerto Princesa, Palawan
Canvas Boutique Hotel
North Highway Brgy. San Miguel, Puerto Princesa, Palawan
Acacia Tree Garden Hotel
Victan Compound Manalo Extension,
Barangay Bancao- Bancao, Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines
BEST HIGH-END HOTELS PUERTO PRINCESA
Sheridan Beach Resort and Spa
Sabang Beach, Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines
HOW TO GET TO PUERTO PRINCESA, PALAWAN
There are plenty of ways to get to Puerto Princesa from major cities in the Philippines like Manila, Clark (Pampanga), Cebu, Iloilo and Davao.
MANILA TO PUERTO PRINCESA, PALAWAN
There are several airlines flying between Manila and Puerto Princesa such as Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and Airasia. You can book a flight for as low as PHP 1,499 (USD 30 / EURO 26 / SGD 41/ MYR 127), one way, if you book a couple of weeks before your flight. It can go lower during seat sale and travel mart.
CLARK (PAMPANGA) TO PUERTO PRINCESA
Philippine Airlines now flies to Puerto Princesa from Clark, Pampanga. Lowest regular fare is roughly PHP 2,343 (USD 46/ EURO 40 / SGD 63 / MYR 198) if you book about a month ahead. Expect much lower fare during seat sale and travel fare.
ILOILO TO PUERTO PRINCESA
Philippine Airlines flies between Iloilo and Puerto Princesa, regular lowest fare is around PHP 4,000 (USD 79/ EURO 69/ SGD 108/ MYR 383).
CEBU TO PUERTO PRINCESA, PALAWAN
Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines and Airasia fly between Cebu and Puerto Princesa. Direct flights can go as low as PHP 1,715 (USD 34/ EURO 29/ SGD 46/ MYR 145).
DAVAO TO PUERTO PRINCESA, PALAWAN
Cebu Pacific and Airasia has direct flights to Puerto Princesa from Davao, regular fare can go as low as PHP 1,499 (USD 3 / EURO 26/ SGD 41/ MYR 127) if you book about a moth ahead.
MANILA TO PUERTO PRINCESA BY FERRY
2Go ferry travels between Puerto Princesa and Manila. See fare table below. Fare is inclusive of VAT + Taxes and fees.
2GO FARE TABLE (Manila – Puerto Princesa)
|Super Value Class||PHP 1,363 (USD 27/ EURO 34/ SGD 37/ MYR 115)|
|Tourist Class||PHP 1,363 (USD 27/ EURO 34/ SGD 37/ MYR 115)|
|State Room for 3||PHP 6,921.85 (USD 119/ EURO 137/ SGD 187/ MYR 585 )|
|Cabin for 4||PHP 2,529.99 (USD 50 / EURO 43/ SGD 68 / MYR 214)|
2GO FERRY SCHEDULE (Manila to Puerto Princesa)
|Tuesday||1:30 PM||Pier 4||Wednesday||9:00 PM||Puerto Princesa Pier||St. Augustine Hippo|
|Friday||1:30 PM||Pier 4||Saturday||9:00 PM||Puerto Princesa Pier||St. Augustine Hippo|
2GO FERRY SCHEDULE (Puerto Princesa to Manila)
|Wednesday||11:59 PM||Puerto Princesa Pier||Friday||7:30 AM||Pier 4||St. Augustine Hippo|
|Saturday||11:59 PM||Puerto Princesa Pier||Monday||7:30 AM||Pier 4||St. Augustine Hippo|
PUERTO PRINCESA TO CORON, PALAWAN BY FERRY
From Coron, you can take the 2Go Ferry to Puerto Princesa, Palawan. See the fare table (inclusive of VAT, Tax and fees) and ferry schedule below.
2Go Ferry Fare Table (Coron- Puerto Princesa)
|Super Value Class||PHP 434.39 (USD 8.57/ EURO 7.47/ SGD 11.75/ MYR 36.74)|
|Tourist Class||PHP 960.70 (USD 19/ EURO 17/ SGD 26/ MYR 81)|
|State Room for 3||PHP 5,316.59 (USD 105/ EURO 91/ SGD 144/ MYR 450)|
|Cabin for 4||PHP 2,394.80 (USD 2,395 /EURO 41/SGD 65/ MYR 203)|
2Go FERRY SCHEDULE (Coron – Puerto Princesa)
|Wednesday||6:00 AM||Coron Pier||Wednesday||9:00 PM||Puerto Princesa Pier||ST.AUGUSTINE HIPPO|
|Saturday||6:00 AM||Coron Pier||Saturday||9:00 PM||Puerto Princesa Pier||ST.AUGUSTINE HIPPO|
2Go FERRY SCHEDULE (Puerto Princesa – Coron)
|Wednesday||11:59 PM||Puerto Princesa Pier||Thursday||3:00 PM||Coron Pier||ST.AUGUSTINE HIPPO|
|Saturday||11:59 PM||Puerto Princesa Pier||Sunday||3:00 PM||Coron Pier||ST.AUGUSTINE HIPPO|
HOW TO GET AROUND PUERTO PRINCESA PALAWAN
Tricycle and jeep/multi-cab are the main mode of transportation in Puerto Princesa, Palawan. Take note that there are airport tricycles and regular tricycles. Airport tricycles usually charge PHP 50 (USD 1/ EURO .86/ SGD 1.35/ MYR 4.23) to get to Puerto Princesa city center. Regular tricycle fare is PHP 10 (USD .20 / EURO .17/ SGD .27/ MYR .85). Because Puerto Princesa City is sprawling, if you hail a tricycle, you will be asked where you are headed, and depending on the tricycle’s route at that time (for example, there’s already a passenger inside the trike), you may or may not be allowed to ride if your destination is out of the way.
PUERTO PRINCESA TOP THINGS TO DO
Puerto Princesa Underground River is situated in St. Paul Mountain Range. Hailed as one of the New 7 Wonders of the World, this emerald green river is fringed by stunning limestone formations and verdant forest. Puerto Princesa Underground River was once th longest subtarrenean river in the world passing through caves with major formations of stalactites and stalagmites before it meets the West Philippine Sea.
BOAT TOUR AT THE PUERTO PRINCESA UNDERGROUND RIVER
ISLAND HOPPING IN HONDAY BAY PALAWAN
Honda Bay In Puerto Princesa, Palawan is hugged by scenic coast line peppered with tropical palm-fringed islands that are perfect for swimming, snorkeling, picnic and kayaking. A popular tour in Puerto Princesa for first-time tourists is the Honday Bay island hopping. The tour usually includes a stop to the following islands: Pambato Reef (good forsnorkeling), Luli Island (sandbar that is good for swimming and kayaking), Star Fish Island and Cowrie Island (great for picnics).
Pambato Reef Entrance Fee: PHP 50 (USD 1/ EURO 0.86/ SGD 1.35/ MYR 4.23)
Luli Island Entrance Fee: PHP 65 (USD 1.28 / EURO 1.11/ SGD 1.75/ MYR 5.50)
Cowrie Island Entrance Fee: PHP 75 (USD 1.48 / EURO 1.28/ SGD 2/ MYR 6.34)
Cowrie Island Buffet Lunch: PHP 200 (USD 4/ EURO 3.42/ SGD 5.40/ MYR 17)
PUERTO PRINCESA SIGHTSEEING
Puerto Princesa City has a wealth of attractions to flaunt. One of the top activities for tourists traveling to Puerto Princesa is the city tour. You can either join a group tour in a comfortable van with a tourist guide or rent a tricycle for PHP 600 (USD 12/EURO 16/ SGD 10/27/ MYR 51 ) , good for 2-3 persons, to show you around. Here are the list of attractions usually included in the tour: Puerto Princesa Cathedral, Plaza Cuartel, Promenade/The Baywalk, Souvenir Shops, Butterfly Garden and Tribal Village, Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center (Crocodile Farm), Mitra’s Ranch, Bakers Hill and Binuatan Creations (Weaving Loom Center).
PUERTO PRINCESA FIREFLY WATCHING
If you’re looking for what to do in Puerto princesa at night, then head to Iwahig River for the firefly watching tour. This eco-tourism site is managed by the Iwahig Community Eco-Tourism Association. Your jaw will drop upon watching fireflies congregate along Iwahig River, illuminating the river at night.
HIKE UP MT. MAGARWAK
Soaring at only 301 MSK, Mt. Magarwak is located along the north road to Sabang and Puerto Princesa. If you are an adventurer looking for a mountain to climb in Puerto Princesa, then hiking Mt. Magarwak is recommended. The summit offers pleasant view of Honda Bay and Puerto Princesa Bay.
WHERE TO EAT IN PUERTO PRINCESA
Address: 369, Rizal Avenue, Puerto Princesa, Palawan
Open Hours: 5:00 PM – 1:00 AM
Address: 369, Rizal Avenue, Puerto Princesa, Palawan
Open Hours: 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM and 6:00 PM – 10:30PM
BONA’S CHAO LONG HAUS
Address: Manalo St, Puerto Princesa, Palawan
Open Hours: 24 hours
The view rivals the food in Badjao Restaurant. Set amidst verdant mangrove forest by the bay, Badjao Restaurant boast of a lovely setting while you are enjoying your seafood platter.
Address: A.M Abueg Road, Puerto Princesa
Open Hours: 10:00 AM –11:00 PM
Address: Puerto Princesa, Palawan
Open Hours: 6:00 AM – 10:00 PM
PUERTO PRINCESA PALAWAN ITINERARY WITH EXPENSES
It is possible to explore Puerto Princesa’s top attractions in 3-4 days. Here’s my sample Puerto Princesa itinerary for a 3 day 2 night stay. If you have more days to spend in Palawan, I suggest you travel to El Nido from Puerto Princesa after.
|DAY 1||PUERTO PRINCESA CITY TOUR + FIREFLY WATCHING TOUR|
|08:05 AM||ETD to Puerto Princesa from Manila|
|09:25 AM||ETA Puerto Princesa|
|09:50 AM||PHP 50 (USD 0.99/EURO 0.85/SGD 1.35/MYR 4.23)||Ride tricycle to hotel|
|10:15 AM||PHP 600 (USD 12/EURO 16/ SGD 10/27/ MYR 51 )||Check-in at Hotel. Freshen up. Rest|
|12:30 PM||PHP 600 (USD 12/EURO 16/ SGD 10/27/ MYR 51 )||Start of Puerto Princesa City Tour : Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral|
Butterfly Garden and Tribal Village
Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center (Crocodile Farm)
Binuatan Creations (Weaving Loom Center)
|04:30 PM||End of City Tour|
|05:00 PM||PHP 1,300 (USD 26/EURO 23/SGD 35/MYR 111)||Pick up for Iwig River Firefly Watching Tour|
|08:00 PM||Firefly Watching Cruise|
|09:30 PM||Back to hotel|
|10:00 PM||Freshen up. Sleep.|
|DAY 2||PUERTO PRINCESA UNDERGROUND RIVER TOUR|
|07:00 AM||PHP 2,300 (USD 46 / EURO 40 / SGD 62/ MYR 197 )||Pick up for Puerto Princesa Underground River Tour. Van ride to Sabang Wharf.|
|08:30 AM||Boat transfer Puerto Princesa to Underground River|
|09:30 AM||Guided paddle boat to Puerto Princesa to Underground River|
|10:30 AM||End of paddle boat tour|
|11:00 AM||Ride outrigger boat back to Sabang Wharf.|
|11:30 AM||Lunch in Sabang Wharf|
|02:00 PM||Return drive to Puerto Princesa City|
|04:00 PM||Back to hotel. Freshen up.|
|05:00 PM||Shop for souvenirs|
|06:30 PM||Dinner. Socials.|
|09:00 PM||PHP 600 (USD 12/EURO 16/ SGD 10/27/ MYR 51 )||Back to hotel. Sleep|
|DAY 3||HONDA BAY ISLAND HOPPING|
|07:00 PM||PHP 1,650 ( USD 33/ EURO 29 / SGD 45/ MYR 141)||Pick up for Honda Bay Island Hopping Tour|
|04:00 PM||Back to hotel. Freshen up. Head to airport.|
|06:55 PM||PHP 150 (USD 3 /EURO 3/SGD 4/ MYR 13)||ETD Puerto Princesa.|
|08:20 PM||ETA Manila|
|TOTAL||PHP 7,250 (USD 145/ SGD 177.35 / MYR 619.23)|
*Food not included. Budget is good for solo traveler. If you are traveling in a group, this could be lowered as you will share the expenses.
PUERTO PRINCESA PALAWAN BUDGET
Here’s a list of possible Palawan trip expenses. You will not encounter all of them. This is just to give you an idea of how much you will possibly spend on each activities.
|PHP 1,300 (USD 26/EURO 23/SGD 35/MYR 111)||Iwahig River Firefly Watching Tour|
|PHP 2,300 (USD 46 / EURO 40 / SGD 62/ MYR 197 )||Puerto Princesa Underground River Tour|
|PHP 1,650 ( USD 33/ EURO 29 / SGD 45/ MYR 141)||Puerto Princesa Honda Bay Island Hopping Tour|
|PHP 750 (USD 15 / EURO 13 / SGD 20/ MYR 64)||Puerto Princesa City Tour by van|
|PHP 600 (USD 12/EURO 16/ SGD 10/27/ MYR 51 )||Tricycle Tour (Puerto Princesa Tour), good for 2 persons|
|PHP 150 (USD 3 /EURO 3/SGD 4/ MYR 13)||Puerto Princesa Airport Terminal Fee|
|PHP 50 (USD 0.99/EURO 0.85/SGD 1.35/MYR 4.23)||Trike from Airport to Puerto Princesa City|
|PHP 50 (USD 0.99/EURO 0.85/SGD 1.35/MYR 4.23)||Trike from Puerto Princesa City to Airport|
|PHP 600 (USD 12/EURO 16/ SGD 10/27/ MYR 51 )||Budget hotel per night|
|PHP 150 (USD 3 /EURO 3/SGD 4/ MYR 13)||Rice Meal|
HONDA BAY ISLAND HOPPING ENTRANCE FEES
If you’re going to do a DIY Tour of Puerto Princesa’s attractions, here’s a list of entrance fees. If you’ve booked a tour, usually entrance fees are already included in the package.
|PHP 65 (USD 1.28 / EURO 1.11/ SGD 1.75/ MYR 5.50)||Luli Island Entrance Fee|
|PHP 50 (USD 1/ EURO 0.86/ SGD 1.35/ MYR 4.23)||Pambato Reef Entrance Entrance Fee|
|PHP 75 (USD 1.48 / EURO 1.28/ SGD 2/ MYR 6.34 )||Cowrie Island Entrance Fee|
|PHP 200 (USD 4/ EURO 3.42/ SGD 5.40/ MYR 17)||Cowrie Island Buffet Lunch|
|PHP 50 (USD 1/ EURO 0.86/ SGD 1.35/ MYR 4.23)||Starfish Island Entrance Fee|
PUERTO PRINCESA TRAVEL TIPS
Prepare PHP 150 (USD 3 /EURO 3/SGD 4/ MYR 13) for terminal fee when flying out of Puerto Princesa.
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About the Blogger : Gael is a Filipina travel blogger. Her work has appeared in local and international publications.
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