When it comes to listing the most well-known and touristic spots in the Philippines, Puerto Princesa in Palawan is definitely one of the places that come to mind. The capital of Palawan is a perfect destination because it combines the convenience of being in a city, with a rich natural environment which is suitable for eco-tourism.
Mayor Edward Hagedorn, a recognized environmentalist, has exerted efforts to maintain sustainable development in Puerto Princesa, keeping a balance between development and environmental preservation.
Getting Around Puerto Princesa, Palawan
It is quite easy to get around Puerto Princesa. If you choose to stay near the Rizal Avenue area, all of the commercial centers such as banks and restaurants are pretty much a stone’s throw away. You can either choose to take a tricycle or walk around to take in the city’s attractions. For longer trips, it may be necessary to hire a van.
The city is home to a number of hotels and inns, so you can always take your pick among the available accommodations. For those seeking a bit of extra comfort, there are four-star facilities as well.
If you intend to move around a lot and just need a place to sleep in, you can get cheap deals at transient homes or inns, ranging between PhP300 to PhP1,000 per night. Power interruptions may occur anytime, so keeping a flashlight or similar device can be useful.
Things to Do in the City of Puerto Princesa
Puerto Princesa is home to a number of interesting attractions. For instance, the Plaza Cuartel, which was used as a garrison decades ago, provides a peek into war history.
The Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm is another fascinating site, because instead of keeping prisoners locked in, they are made to work in farms. There are also a number of museums and galleries to visit, as well as a butterfly farm nearby.
One can also rent a motorbike and go around Puerto Princesa. Buy a city map and try to visit all the lighthouses indicated there. You may be in for a treat!
Early in the morning or late in the afternoon, walk along the Puerto Princesa Baywalk near the port area. This is a pleasant spot to hang out, especially if you enjoy watching people. Bicycles are available for rent, as well as numerous stalls for those yearning for native foodstuffs.
Visit the Subterranean River National Park and Take the Mangrove Boat Tour
If you want to witness nature in all its glory, hire a van and take a trip to the world-famous Subterranean River National Park. It has been declared as one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites, and for good reason! Navigating the 8.2-kilometer underground river is indeed an amazing experience, with its numerous stalactites and stalagmite formations that are certain to impress.
Aside from the underground river, another lesser-known attraction near it is the Mangrove Paddle Boat Tour. Volunteer guides will take visitors on a paddle boat and talk about the importance of mangroves in the eco-system. They will point out the different types of trees and animals along the river, and if you’re lucky, one of them will even sing the mangrove’s song.
At the end of the tour, each visitor will be asked to plant a mangrove tree.
Choose Puerto Princesa
For those who are yearning for water sports, there are numerous beaches to choose from near Puerto Princesa. Honda Bay, for example, is a great spot for snorkeling and scuba diving enthusiasts. Sharks and dolphins have also been spotted there.
Whether you prefer the hustle and bustle of the city or the natural beauty of the wilderness, you will find something that suits your fancy in Puerto Princesa. Just check out flight schedules, pack your bags, and you are all set for adventure!