11 Amazing Destinations in Puerto Princesa Palawan
If you want an adventure-packed vacation this summer, then head off to Puerto Princesa, Palawan. Considered to be an eco-tourism destination, Puerto Princesa is one of the cleanest and greenest cities in the Philippines. And if you haven’t heard by now, the island of Palawan has a number of amazing attractions all located within a compact region, which is why this is always among the favorites of tourists.
If all those are not convincing enough to visit Puerto Princesa this summer, then here are the top 11 attractions in the city that will make you want to book that plane ticket.
1Puerto Princesa Underground River
Right on top of the list is the world-famous Puerto Princesa Underground River, which is named as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enter the dark belly of a mountain through a calm underground river, considered to be one of the longest underground rivers in the world. Gaze at the humungous stalagmites and stalactites, and delicate flowstones which eerily resemble mythical animals, religious figures, everyday things, and even vegetables! Learn history, geology, and cultural lessons, and listen to the songs of bats and swallows high above the cave’s massive cathedrals.
A trip to the Puerto Princesa Underground River starts at Sabang Beach where you ride a pump boat to take you across the length of the magnificent Sabang Bay. Be mesmerized at the strange rock formations and towering limestone cliffs that line up the bay. Discover the secret coves and beaches between those cliffs. Look at the crystal clear water below you, and you might get a glimpse of a sea turtle chasing your boat. If you get lucky, you might even chance upon the rare sight of a sea eagle hunting for fish in Sabang Bay.
A stopover between the metropolis and Sabang Bay, Elephant Cave is nestled in a gigantic, pure white limestone cliff called Karst Mountain. The site was seen in one of the legs in the popular reality TV franchise The Amazing Race Philippines. The cave is not yet open to the public, but you can snap a quick photo with this geographical wonder in the background.
Are you hungry for adventure? Then stop by Ugong Rock, a towering 23-million-year-old rock formation in the middle of a vast farm. Get to the top of the rock formation by first entering a cave of fantastic rock formations. Scramble up moss-covered until you get to an impressive deck that offers a good view of the entirety of Barangay Tagabinet. But how do you get down? Easy! Ride one of the fastest zip lines in the country! It’s a series of adventures that you won’t want to miss.
On the hills that surround Puerto Princesa city lies Mitra’s Ranch, the old residence of Congressman Ramon Mitra. In this tranquil and calm place, you can see a lovely view of the vast Honda Bay. You can also ride a horse around the ranch or enjoy a cool zip line. It’s the perfect spot for relaxation and rejuvenation.
Just a few minutes away from Mitra’s Ranch is Baker’s Hill, a fantastic place that seems to leap off from a fairy tale. Topiaries, sculptures, log cabins, and playgrounds make Baker’s Hill a fun place for adults and kids alike. You can even spot a beautiful peacock in the mini zoo! But the best thing about Baker’s Hill is that you can grab some delicious pastries, delicacies, and snacks right smack in the middle of this fantasy land! Yes, at Baker’s Hill, you can unleash the child in you!
7Palawan Special Battalion World War II Memorial Museum
The Philippines was a major player in World War II. Have a glimpse of history by visiting the Palawan Special Battalion Memorial Museum. You’ll see actual weapons, artillery shells, bullets, equipment, uniforms, and more that were used during the war that changed the world. There are also memorabilia such as shoes, phonographs, vinyl records, radios, and more. The experience becomes even more authentic as you hear old 40s tunes in the museum’s pipe-in sound system. Oh, don’t forget to have a souvenir photo of you holding a 30-caliber machine gun on a beautifully restored WWII Jeep.
8Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center
Crocodiles are some of the largest, fiercest, most powerful, and most vulnerable animals in the world. Be amazed and come face to face with these 10 to 20-foot reptilian monsters in the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center. Aside from crocs, there are also endemic animals such as bear cats, porcupines, and various birds that enjoy the protection and sanctuary of the PWRCC.
Traditional weaving is almost a lost art, but thankfully, this art is preserved at Binuatan Creations at the outskirts of Puerto Princesa, Palawan. Look at how fabrics are skillfully weaved using a traditional foot-treadle floor loom. You will simply shake your head at just how complicated the device is! Weavers skillfully run threads and yards to make amazing patterns. They will also invite you to try weaving your own material! Don’t forget to buy some of their handcrafted souvenirs.
10Plaza Cuartel and the Baywalk
Plaza Cuartel served as a stronghold—and later a prison—for Filipino and American soldiers until Japanese invaders conquered the place during World War II. This serene, flower-filled, and quiet park is a place of reflection and a place to honor the brave men who died for this country.
Just a few minutes away from Plaza Cuartel is Puerto Princesa’s Baywalk where locals spend breezy afternoons munching on goodies, taking a stroll, biking along pathways, and watching the sunset. Tour operators are standing by if you want to take a ride through mangrove forests to watch glowing fireflies during nighttime.
Honda Bay consists of beautiful sandbars, islets, and reefs. Get on a boat, and travel to these magnificent islands, each one with its own unique features and characteristics and all of which give you a magnificent view of mainland Palawan. If you like powdery beach sands, cool water, and amazing scenery, then you should head out to Honda Bay.
Philihappy Pro Tips
- A 3D2N itinerary is recommended if you want to enjoy all the activities listed above. As of this writing, most flights from Cebu to Manila arrive in Puerto Princesa at noon. Thus, upon your arrival, do a city tour first. On the second day, visit the Underground River, and drop by Ugong Rock on your way back to the city. Finally, cap your Puerto Princesa holiday with an island-hopping trip around Honda Bay.
- In Puerto Princesa, the prices of most tours are standardized by a local government ordinance. There are tarpaulins and flyers that indicate the prices. Thus, you don’t need to be afraid of getting ripped off.
- Even though the main capital occupies a small portion of the island, Puerto Princesa geographically covers the entire central portion of Palawan. Thus, many of the attractions are far away from each other. It is advisable that you hire a van to take you to all these destinations in the most time-efficient manner.
- For first-time visitors, we recommend getting the services of a tour operator to secure permits and to help you get around Puerto Princesa easily and without hassles. DIY trips are quite challenging for first timers, and you are prone to costly mistakes.