Your Ultimate Guide to Narra: Top Attractions Revealed
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Narra, a beautiful town located in the southern part of Palawan, Philippines. Narra is known as the “Rice Granary of Palawan” due to its vast rice fields that produce high-quality rice grains. This province is home to some of the most breathtaking landscapes, lush forests, crystal-clear rivers, and untouched beaches in the region, making it a perfect destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers.
From its vibrant local culture to its stunning natural attractions, Narra has so much to offer to visitors who want to experience the best of Palawan. So pack your bags, come and discover the hidden gem of Palawan in Narra.
Rasa Island falls under the jurisdiction of the municipality of Narra and is renowned for being the home of the Katala, also known as the Philippine Red-Vented Cockatoo. In 2006, Rasa Island was declared a Wildlife Sanctuary through Philippine Presidential Proclamation 1000, earning Narra the title of “Philippine Cockatoo Capital of the World.” It was also recognized as “One of the Top 13 Bird Watching Sites in the Philippines” by the Philippine Department of Tourism.
The Katala population was estimated to range between 1,000 to 4,000 in 1994, but poaching caused a significant decline to approximately 870 to 2,300 in 2001. 70 to 75% of the remaining population can be found in Palawan, making Rasa Island a crucial area for protecting this species.
Katalas are white with red under-tail coverts tipped white, yellowish under-tail, and pale yellow underwings. They are 12 inches long with an 8.6-inch wingspan, making bleating and screeching noises similar to other cockatoos, but less noisy than umbrella or Moluccan cockatoos.
Apart from Katalas, Rasa Island is also home to other globally endangered species, including 104 bird species such as the Grey Imperial Pigeon and the Mantanani Scops Owl. The surrounding sea of Rasa has diverse marine life, with at least three marine turtle species and dugongs, as recorded by the Katala Foundation. Rasa Island is an ideal destination for nature lovers, birdwatchers, and wildlife enthusiasts.
Arena Island is a hidden gem nestled in a thriving coral reef, offering a glimpse of a diverse marine life and rich natural resources. With its pristine waters, white sand beaches, and lush greenery, it is an ideal destination for snorkeling, diving, and exploring. The island is home to various trees and endemic bird species, as well as the famous pawikan (sea turtles).
Arena Island has a successful Marine Turtle Conservation Program that has released thousands of turtle hatchlings since 2003. The program is funded by the Arena Island Turtle Sanctuary Resort, which also provides visitors with the luxury of private casitas designed with ecotourism in mind. Guests may even have the opportunity to release hatchlings during their stay, contributing to the island’s commitment to preserving the pawikans.
Discover the beauty of Arena Island and its contribution to the conservation of the Philippines’ native sea turtles.
Estrella Falls and Mount Victoria
Estrella Falls is a popular destination for both tourists and locals alike, offering fresh and cool waters cascading rapidly from Victoria Peak to its twin perennial falls at the mountain’s edge. The water flows down to three natural pools of varying depths, perfect for swimmers of all levels. The falls were awarded the title of “Cleanest Inland Body of Water” in a national competition in the river category, and the Municipal Government of Narra has provided resort facilities such as cottages, huts, shades, restrooms, and provisions for grilling for guests to use during their visit. Located 6 kilometers from Barangay Malatgao, Estrella Falls can be reached via tricycle or jeepney for commuters.
In addition to the stunning waterfalls, rare species of flora and fauna can be found in the area, including orchids and ferns, adding to its natural charm. The cool climate in the region also makes it an ideal habitat for wildlife. Estrella Falls is a perfect spot for ecotourism, allowing visitors to appreciate and enjoy the wonders and beauty of nature.
Meanwhile, Mount Victoria has amazed biologists and scientists with the discovery of rare species of flora and fauna, and its several peaks present a challenge for even the most experienced mountain trekkers. In 2007, the discovery of the rare Nepenthes Attenboroughii, a rat-eating pitcher plant, made headlines around the world.
Narra’s Palay Festival
The municipality of Narra holds an annual celebration known as the “Palay Festival,” previously called the “Anihan (Harvest) Festival,” in the middle or end week of October. As the “Rice Granary of Palawan,” Narra celebrates its rice harvest, which is essential to the entire province.
The local government of Narra organizes various events throughout the municipality for people from all over the region to gather and enjoy the festivities during this celebration.
Classic Narra Tour Options:
Estrella Falls is the most popular day trip excursion in Narra. The falls offer crystal-clear freshwater from the mountains and stunning green scenery, providing a refreshing and immersive nature experience.
For adventure-seekers, climbing Mount Victoria is a must-do activity in Narra. This scenic mountain is home to rare species of pitcher plants that were recently discovered and known to grow only at the top of the peak. With its unique vegetation and stunning views, Mount Victoria is a perfect destination for explorers.
Discovering Narra in 4 days
Day 1: Arrival in Puerto Princesa – Transfer to Narra
Upon arrival in Puerto Princesa, head to Narra. Check in at your hotel and spend the rest of the day exploring the town or relaxing at the beach.
Day 2: Arena Island
Take a boat to Arena Island and spend the day snorkeling or diving in the coral reef with diverse marine life. You can also relax on the beach, go kayaking or paddleboarding,
Day 3: Arena Island
Explore more of Arena Island and visit the turtle sanctuary to learn about the conservation efforts for green and hawksbill turtles.
Day 4: Transfer to Puerto Princesa
On your last day in Narra, take a private van transfer back to Puerto Princesa for your departure flight or onward journey.