My trip to Palawan has been one of the most memorable trips I’ve had in years. Palawan is perhaps the Philippines’ last frontier. Dense forest, crystal clear water and protected marine life, Palawan is definitely the place to visit to loosen up. So let me give you some travel tips to give you an idea on what to do and where to go in Puerto Princesa.
What to See
For me, the main attraction of Puerto Princesa are the beaches in Honda Bay and the Puerto Princesa Underground River. Since we’re already there, we took the city tour and visited Baker’s Hill, Mitra Farm, Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Consevation Center. There’s still much places to see but we had to limit our trip to Honda Bay and the Underground River because we didn’t have the luxury of time to stay longer. I guess in order to really appreciate Puerto Princesa, Palawan you may want to have a week of stay there before heading to other regions in Palawan and see El Nido and Coron.A beach near the Puerto Princesa Underground River
Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park
The Puerto Princesa Underground River is a fascinating subterranean river. It’s a 24 km long cave with amazing stalactite and stalagmite formations inside. The locals wouldn’t hesitate to call these formations with familiar figures like the Holy Family, Jesus Christ, Virgin Mary, some fruits, vegetables, etc. It’s difficult to take good pictures because we don’t have any powerful lights on. I didn’t bother, too since I don’t want to disturb the bats.Mouth of the Puerto Princesa Underground River
There’s a 4 km navigable length inside the subterranean river but we’re only allowed to travel up to 1.5. Special permit is needed to go further. Besides I feel like as we go further I get dizzy due to, apparently, lack of oxygen inside. The Puerto Princesa Underground River is definitely a must see when you visit Puerto Princesa.
The Honday Bay is another exciting part of the trip in Puerto Princesa. The Honday Bay has many little islands and reefs which are good for snorkelling and other fun underwater activities. Some of the areas we went to are Luli Island, Pambato Reef, Starfish Island, and Pandan Island. Pandan Island is the best of them all and has the finest sand close to the quality of sand in Boracay.
You can either take advantage of the tour organized by the management of the hotel you’re in or you can DIY it. We DIYed it ourselves and saved more than 60% had we chose to have the former. But if you’re not concerned about the budget and you want to save yourself from the hassle of thinking how to DIY it, then you’d probably want to have the organized tour instead.Boat like these are gonna take you to the Honday Bay islands.
I had fun snorkelling at Luli Island, Pambato Reef, and Pandan Island. A frightening experience in Pambato Reef was when I crossed the yellow buoyant line and swam where most baby sharks sometimes hang out! I was enjoying the site of beautiful, colorful corals on that area and had no idea that everybody was already freaking out because of what I did and the life guards were nervous because the area I was into is prohibited.
There were no record of shark attack in the Pambato Reef they said (so far lol) but some said that baby sharks stay there a lot so they had to put up a buoyant line to prevent people from swimming into those areas.
All these photos are taken at Pandan Island. Beautiful beach with lots of starfish! Quite scary to walk while you’re in the water chances are you’ll get to step on them! Before going on a boat trip to these islands make sure that you have your snorkelling gears ready. Rentals are available.
You should not miss Ugong Rock if you like spelunking and zipline. This is really not for me because I’m afraid of heights but did it due to peer pressure. haha! See my reaction on the second picture? The video is much worse! lol (No I’m not gonna post it here hehe).
Half of the time I was shaking and almost fainted when they pushed me down that mountain! It was scary but fun at the same time. I don’t think I will ever try that again but it was a fun experience.Spelunking at Ugong Rock
Tamilok or shipworm is a popular delicacy in Palawan. It’s wormlike, naked clam, eaten raw with vinegar, onion, and garlic. Taste’s like raw oyster.Tamilok is a popular delicacy in Palawan Me eating tamilok
I’ll add more content on this Puerto Princesa Palawan Travel Tips post as I get to edit some of the photos we took during our stay there. Consider adding these in your itinerary when you visit Puerto Princesa. Enjoy!
Most of the photos are taken using iPhone 4S and enhanced using Snapseed app.