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Taste.Company | The Ultimate Guide to Puerto Princesa

The Ultimate Guide to Puerto Princesa

July 20, 2018 7:00 pm by Karla Ramos

Ultimate Guide to Puerto Princesa

Puerto Princesa, the capital of Palawan, is a wonderful place to visit. Sure, there are plenty of wonderful and famous beaches around the region but despite this, Puerto Princesa has its very own charm, what with a various underground locations and dive sites for tourists to explore. If you’re wondering exactly what there is to do in the city and where you should start, keep reading for a list of suggestions about activities, food, and even places to stay.

What to See in Puerto Princesa:


1.) Underground River with Bakawan Tours

One of the most sought after spots in Puerto Princesa are the underground rivers. If you want to book yourself and your friends and family a tour, a good place to do so would be the Bakawan Travel and Tours travel agency. Not only to they offer various tours of all shapes and sizes, but if you’re wondering where to stay during your holiday they also offer a list of available and quality accommodations all around the island.

The Puerto Princesa Underground River is one of the most beloved sights in the city, and can be considered by locals and tourists alike the crown jewel of the island. Once inside, you will be able to stare at the various stalagmite and stalagtite formations inside. You will be travelling by boat, riding through the giant cave on the ripples of what is the longest underground river in the entire world. This location is a great place to visit for nature and animal lovers, as well, because you’ll be able to take in the sights of hundreds upon hundreds of bats, giant lizards, snakes and other sorts of wildlife while cruising through the river in the cave. Take note of the line, however, because it can get especially long during the peak seasons.

2.) Ugong Rock

The Ugong Rock is a tourist attraction located on the hillside, where you can avail of activities such as zip lining, rock caving and and bike walking. If you decide to go on the Ugong Rock Adventure, the Ugong Rock Caving will cost you 200 pesos/person, the zipline in the sitting position will cost you 250 pesos/person, and the zipline in the superman position will cost you 350 pesos/person. If you want to take pictures of the view from high above or if you’re the type of person who likes to capture experiences by taking selfies, you might want to avail of the superman position zipline since this one is completely hands-free, giving you the opportunity to whip out your camera and get some once in a lifetime shots. The Ugong Rock Caving option will have you exploring the twists and turns of the cave, which is a good place to go if you like obstacle courses and just being around nature in general. When you go caving, you are pre-equipped with helmets and gloves to protect yourself from the forces of nature. Recently, the Ugong Rock Adventures have also released a new type of activity- bike walking, wherein you go on the zipline as normal except for one twist- that you are riding a bike. You’ll be able to take in the scenery of Puerto Princesa 90 feet above the ground atop your bamboo bike.

3.) Max Palawan

MAX Palawan is a good spot to visit for those interested in adventure and thrill. You’ll be able to get on a dune buggy and drive off road, enjoying the landscape and sceneries of Puerto Princesa. The X-Tremendous Trail Ride lasts for around 2 to three hours and costs a total of P2500, the Adventure Trail Ride lasts for two hours and costs P1800, and lastly the Experience Trail ride, which lasts for 45 minutes, will cost you P750.


4.) Honda Bay (Cowrie Cove)

One of the more popular activities in Puerto Princesa is island hopping and tours at the Honda Bay is a great place to do so. You can hop to the Starfish Island, Luli Island, and the Cowrie Island. Cowrie Island is a good place to be if you would like to catch some rest and relaxation because the island contains cabanas, pavilions, and huts for your comfort.

5.) Firefly Watching

Firefly watching is another unique spectacle in this province. You can take a boat to Iwahig and do firefly watching at night and see all of them light up the dark night, flying about the trees and all around. The travel time takes around 40 minutes, but you will be greeted to a buffet meal before heading out to finally see the fireflies. What’s more, the tour guides will gladly give you information and facts about the beautiful creatures.

6.) Eat Chao Long

Chao Long is one of the popular eats in the city of Puerto Princesa, and a great place to get your fix is at Bona’s Chao Long Hays. You’ll be able to nab yourself a delicious meal for only around P50-P100.

7.) Iwahig

The Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm is a great place to go if you are interested in the daily lives of the prisoners at Iwahig as well as the historical background behind the location. Here, you’ll be able to see the inmates go about their daily lives and you can even support the local industry by purchasing souvenirs at this location. It is also a good spot to take a long look at the farmlands and rice fields as well as the livestock the prisoners raise and take care of in the area.

8.) Kamia Bay

Inflatable Park in Puerto Princesa. This is an incredible way to spend team building or family outing just playing through giant slides, obstacles and what not.

Where to eat:

1.) Kinabuch

Kinabuch’s Grill and Bar is especially good for large groups of people, such as family or friends due to the restaurant’s large seating. You can try not only Filipino favorites, but also the Palawan delicacies that might seem strange, but are actually quite delicious. One example is Tamilok which costs around P135, a wood-worm ceviche with vinegar sauce. Another is the crocodile sisig and even the kalderetang kambing. The ambience really makes you feel as if you are by the beach side, because there are outdoor seating arrangements complete with Filipino nipa hut roofs to eat and relax underneath.

2.) Skylight Hotel

– Skylight Hotel is not only a beautiful place to stay while you’re in Puerto Princesa, but they also happen to serve up some delicious local food at their restaurant under the same name. They serve fresh Palawan seafood such as the grilled steak, tanigue, blue marlin, and even more such as crunchy clams and hangover shrimp. If you want to get a taste of the delicious and fresh seafood that Puerto Princesa has to offer, then Skylight Hotel is definitely a good place to go- not to mention their extremely classy interiors and exteriors which will allow you to sit back, relax, and feel like royalty.

3.) Ka Lui

– If you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck, then the Ka Lui restaurant is a good place to drop by. They have great customer service and the interiors of the location are very clean and well furnished. The fact that you have to take off your shoes before entering the establishment adds to the authentic feel of the restaurant. They have a wide variety of items on the menu, ranging from the Puerto Princesa speciality, seafood, to even vegetables and fruit. Ka Lui tends to be packed with lots of people, tourists and locals alike, so if you’re going with a large group it would be a good idea to book a table ahead of time by making a reservation.

4.) Badjao

The Badjao Seafront Restaurant is another delicious seafood restaurant in Puerto Princesa. Some of the must-tries are the salt and pepper squid as well as the clam soup. Not only is the food fresh and delicious, but you also get to enjoy a wonderful view of the waters and the sea’s horizon given that the restaurant is located in front of the sea, hence its name. You might want to have a friend or two alongside you to share, however, because they have rather large servings.

5.) Ka Inato

f you’re feeling a bit tired of all of the delicious seafood Puerto Princesa has to offer and would like to have a little bit of the delicious, hearty taste of meat then Ka Inato is a good restaurant to satisfy your cravings. Some of their tastiest dishes are the grilled chicken, inasal, and baby back ribs.

6.) Vietville

While Filipino food in the city of Puerto Princesa is more than delicious, it’s nice to get a taste of foreign cuisine every once in a while. Viet Villa serves up delicious traditional Vietnamese food which will bring excitement to your taste buds. The atmosphere of the restaurant is extremely refreshing since it is located outdoors. Some delicious Vietnamese cuisine to try are the hot Vietnamese Pho, a type of soup good for those cold Palawan nights, French bread, and last but not least, the Banh Mi.

Trips Outside Puerto Princesa

1.) Port Barton

To get to Port Barton from Puerto Princesa, you can take a standard bus with a travel time of approximately 4 hours, with a price of around P200 per person. You may also opt to take a van, which will set you back P300.

Port Barton is home to numerous islands which means lots of rainforests and beaches. It is similar to El Nido, but is more quiet and small, given that it is not as popular or developed. If you’d like to rent a boat in order to get around, it will cost you 700 pesos inclusive of a lunch meal.

There is also one dive school located in Port Barton, the Aquaholics dive school. If you want to explore more of the underwater life, you can book underwater flights from Subwing Palawan.

Other places to see are the Pamuayan waterfall, the Bigaho waterfall, Pamuayan beach as well as one of the most popular spots in Port Baron, the White Beach. Keep in mind that the White Beach is privatised, so you will have to pay around 20 pesos in order to get in.

If you want a place to sleep, some popular recommendations are the Ausan Beach Front Cottages which offers free breakfast, hot water, and air conditioning. Another is the Port Barton Homestay which has free wifi and a great view.

I personally spent time in Inaladelan Island, for those who enjoy camping, this is definitely a good place to visit.


2.) San Vicente

  • In order to get to San Vicente from Puerto Princesa, you can lead to Port Barton by bus and then take a boat which leaves at around 8 every morning, and costs P150 for a single trip. If you want to leave directly from Puerto Princess, you can ride a tricycle to San Jose Terminal and then take a 3 to 4 hour bus ride, which will se you back around P400.
  • One of the best places to visit in San Vicente is the Long Beach, the longest white beach in the entire Philippines. It consists of 14 kilometers of white sand and the beautiful blue coastline.
  • A good example of a place to stay in San Vicente is the Club Agutaya.


3.) El Nido

El Nido is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Palawan, so getting there is fairly easy and you need not worry about being apart from civilization, because the city is relatively developed and modernized while still staying true to the roots that made them famous in the first place.


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