Puerto Princesa

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Understand Puerto Princesa is the capital of the island province of Palawan. The city has been acclaimed several times as the cleanest and greenest city in the Philippines. It is said it's thanks to mayor Edward S. Hagedorn - politician that locals seem to love and admire (and mention in every occasion). With a wide range of attractions ranging from beaches to wildlife reserves, Puerto Princesa is a nature lover's paradise. There is a useful tourist information office at the airport next to the arrival hall which hands out maps and gives information about current events in the city. They do not book accommodation though. (less...) (more...)

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  • 1 star hotels 1 star hotel

Cities

  • Metropolis over 100 hotels
  • Big city 50-100 hotels
  • Medium city 20-50 hotels
  • Small city 5-20 hotels
  • Village below 5 hotels

Points of Interest

  • Beach Beach
  • Business object Business object
  • Casino Casino
  • Civic property Civic property
  • Education Education
  • Entertainment Entertainment
  • Golf course Golf course
  • Green space Green space
  • Harbor Harbor
  • Historic site Historic site
  • Interesting place Interesting place
  • Medical Medical
  • Monument Monument
  • Museum Museum
  • Shopping Shopping
  • Skiing Skiing
  • Sports facility Sports facility
  • Theater Theater
  • Winery Winery

Points of Interest in Puerto Princesa

  • Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park - more commonly known as the Underground River. At over 8 kilometers in length, is reputably the longest underground river in the world. With its crystalline waters and spectacular cave formations, the Underground River is possibly Puerto Princesa's most popular attraction. The site was also declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1999. The winding path of the river is navigable via small pumpboats that depart from Sabang Beach. Travel time from the city proper to Sabang is about 1.5 hours (This can take closer to 3.5 if you choose to ride in a Jeepney, since you have to wait while they deliver goods along the journey).

Note. A permit is now necessary to visit the underground river and only available in Puerto Princesa, though an online system is in construction.

  • Honda Bay - consisting of several islets with beautiful beaches, Honda Bay is the place to go to for swimming, snorkeling as well as beach and island hopping. Accessible via the Sta. Lourdes wharf which is 25 minutes away from the city. Pumpboats at the wharf can be hired to take visitors to the various islets on the bay. Arrive before 11am to go island hopping if you require a small boat (1-5 people) and before 2.30pm if you require a larger boat.
  • Iwahig Penal Colony - a good example of a true correctional institute, the Iwahig Penal Colony is more of a farming community rather than a prison. Inmates often live with their families and are allowed to toil their farms to earn a living. Carving out handicrafts is also a common preoccupation and mahogany handcarvings are a good buy for tourists. The colony is about 35 minutes from the city center.
  • Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center formerly the Crocodile Farming Institute, and still referred to by locals as the "Crocodile Farm," is both a tourist attraction and a national research institute devoted to crocodiles. About 30 to 40 minutes from the city center, the Croc Farm also has a mini-zoo, which features some of Palawan's endemic species of wildlife. The place is open from about 8:30 AM to about 4:30 PM. From Rizal Avenue you can take an 8-person covered pickup truck (labeled "Irawan")for 20 pesos and the Croc Farm is the last stop; a tricycle carrying only one or two people will cost 100 to 150 pesos. Croc Farm Tickets cost 40p for adults and 20 for kids. You start with an guided tour of the crocs which last about 15 minutes. After that you wonder around by yourself in the endemic species area, where you have to be careful not to fall through a few rotton and crumbling wooden bridges. Although this is not the best managed wildlife area, the endemic species are nonetheless worth seeing and deserve your support.
  • Butterfly Garden with native Palawan butterflies is located about half way to the Croc Farm (above) and along the same road. Open 7 days a week from 8 to 5. Entry is 50 pesos.
  • Our Lady of Immaculate Conception. A very beautiful church that is decorated in blue and white.
  • Palawan Museum, Mendosa Park (south side) (Mendosa Park (south side)). 9AM-noon, 1:30PM-5PM. This is an old museum that is not very well maintained or labeled but which has a number of interesting pieces. It is well worth a visit on a rainy day. 20 P.
  • PSU Museum, Palawan State University (About a 10 minute walk from the front gate of PSU, if you know where you are going.). Closed from 12 to 1 for lunch. This is a one room museum located inside a university building. You should ask for specific directions at the front gate, because not everyone knows about the existence of the museum. The museum is located in one small room but is clean, organized, and well-maintained, with an enthusiastic and helpful staff member. free.
  • White Beach (Pristine Beach), Abueg Road, Bancao Bancao (Everyone knows it). The only beach in town. Not as clean as it used to be and no longer white or pristine. But if you want to meet some of the locals and have a few drinks (alcoholic) then it's a great place. Just walk down and buy a few beers from the take away store aand walk around the huts and you will be invited to join a group at a table. Lots of fun for an international traveler - if you have a great time then throw in some money for the table (200 peso) or buy a cheap bottle of whatever they are drinking.

Sabang Boat Terminal

Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park

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About Puerto Princesa

Background

Puerto Princesa is the capital of the island province of Palawan. The city has been acclaimed several times as the cleanest and greenest city in the Philippines. It is said it's thanks to mayor Edward S. Hagedorn - politician that locals seem to love and admire (and mention in every occasion). With a wide range of attractions ranging from beaches to wildlife reserves, Puerto Princesa is a nature lover's paradise.

There is a useful tourist information office at the airport next to the arrival hall which hands out maps and gives information about current events in the city. They do not book accommodation though.

Activities

Buy native products at the Tourism Association of Souvenir Shops, they offer handicrafts made by the native tribes like manunggul or wooden jar, bulol or tisot, good harvest and carved animals. Others are tingkop (rice baskets), fish baskets, bags made from bark of a tree, native accessories, weave curtains and table mat, rattan floor mat and other assorted cashew nut delicacies.

Puerto Princesa offers good diving and is a fairly good place to take a PADI course if you plan to dive at some of the larger sites in El Nido or Coron. Moana dive centre, run by Paolo, offers PADI Open Water for 17500p. Good equipment, and pleasant instruction, with confined water dives taking place in the shallow parts of Puerto Princesa bay. Possible to see sea turtles, eels, lionfish, porcupine fish, batfish and snapper amongst others.

  • Plaza Cuartel, Taft St. near Cathedral. Historical Place, a must see site.
  • Baker Hill, mitra rd, bgy sta monica. check out the plants and animal in its natural habitat. 600.

Food

  • Kalui, 369 Rizal Avenue. Tel. 933 2580. Opens at 6pm for dinner, closed some holidays. Amazing food and ambiance. Can get quite busy so a reservation can't hurt. Seafood is the specialty and the daily seafood special for two is P395++.
  • Ditchay's (French Bistro), Manalo Ext. before Island Divers, Bancao Bancao,  723 1530. W-Su 5PM-midnight. French cuisine and can be a very welcome alternative for those longing to eat something else than local food after a long trip. The little restaurant lets you dine in intimate ambiance while you may chat to both the cook and the owner. The menu includes a variety of french foods like coffee & tea, paté rillettes, confit, soupes, salades, tapenades, grillades, fruits de mer, porc, boeuf, poulet, canard, crépes, patisserie" PPH 400-900.
  • Kinabuch is a sports bar and grill and a magnet for tourists and other visitors. The food is really good and customers can play pool or watch live sports.
  • A&A Seafood Palace, national highway cor wescom rd (4th floor of A&A Plaza Hotel),  +6348 434-2274. 8a-2p; 6p-10p. newest Chinese restaurant in town. freshest seafood catch and a great Hong Kong chef. try out authentic Chinese cuisine. 150-800.
  • Divine Sweets, Valencia St. Great cakes (45-90p), coffee, shakes etc. They also serve food (untested). Wifi if you order
  • Ima's vegetarian, Fernandez St. Very good vegetarian food. Highly recommended Main dishes around 100-120.

Drinks

  • Cafe Nori, Circon Bldg. Valencia St.. Mon.-Fri. 8:00AM-10:00PM; Sat.-Sun. 10:00AM-10:00PM. Serves Japanese cuisine with fusion and variety of Filipino and American cuisine. Also available are fruit shakes, coffee & frappuccinos.
  • Reggae Pulse Bar, 4th District Tiangge Centre, Rizal Ave (Between Bpi Bank and LBC on the main street Rizal),  +639478673322. 4pm-2am. Cool Reggae Bar serving ice-cold beers, beer towers/buckets, cocktails and mixed drinks. Free WiFi, a stylish & relaxing VIP bamboo lounge.

This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Puerto Princesa on Wikivoyage.

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