The Ultimate Puerto Princesa Travel Guide: Explore the Green City of Palawan
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Located in the heart of Palawan, Puerto Princesa is a unique travel destination that showcases the beauty of nature and sustainable development. As one of the few green cities in the Philippines, the city is highly protected and preserved, offering visitors a chance to experience the natural wonders of the area. In the city proper, a third of the population resides, overlooking the stunning Puerto Princesa Bay. However, the rest of the city remains underdeveloped, with lush forests, towering trees, majestic mountains, and expansive beaches waiting to be explored.
Whether you’re looking to immerse yourself in the city’s rich culture, savor the local cuisine, or embark on outdoor adventures, this ultimate Puerto Princesa travel guide has got you covered. Discover the top attractions, must-try experiences, and practical tips to make the most of your visit to this eco-friendly destination.
What to See in Puerto Princesa:
Looking for the top places to visit during your holiday in Puerto Princesa?
Here are some of our favorite must-see attractions that are not to be missed:
The Underground River, situated a two-hour drive from the city center of Puerto Princesa, is a globally acclaimed natural marvel. This enchanting river meanders through an extensive limestone cave system that extends approximately 8.2 kilometers (5 miles) beneath the earth’s surface. It holds the prestigious title of being a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is counted among the New Seven Wonders of Nature. Visitors can embark on a paddleboat adventure into the cave, where they can marvel at the breathtaking rock formations, stalactites, and stalagmites that embellish the walls and ceiling of the cave.
Honda Bay is a stunning coastal area located a short 20-minute ride from the city proper, Honda Bay is known for its crystal-clear waters that showcase a vibrant underwater world. The bay is home to thriving coral reefs adorned with a kaleidoscope of colors and teeming with diverse marine life. Snorkelers can immerse themselves in this underwater paradise, encountering tropical fish, sea turtles, and other fascinating creatures. With its idyllic beaches, breathtaking scenery, and abundant marine biodiversity, Honda Bay is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and beach enthusiasts alike.
For those in search of a secluded and tranquil retreat, Nagtabon Beach is an ideal destination. Situated a mere 25km drive from Puerto Princesa city proper, this 800-meter-long and 15-meter-wide beach offers a serene escape. With its breathtaking views, it serves as a perfect setting for a relaxing picnic. Additionally, depending on the weather conditions, the beach can also provide a good surfing experience.
Some of the most captivating attractions are situated in the heart of the city, conveniently within walking distance of each other. Among these notable landmarks is the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, a historic church with rich historical significance. Adjacent to the cathedral, you’ll find Plaza Cuartel, an open-air park that served as a penal colony during World War II. Another fascinating site to explore is the Palawan Heritage Center, a captivating museum that offers insights into Palawan’s history, culture, and art. For a delightful late afternoon experience, a leisurely stroll along the Baywalk is highly recommended. This scenic promenade not only offers stunning views but also provides an excellent opportunity to enjoy a delectable dinner at one of the seafood restaurants in the vicinity. Moreover, food peddlers can be found selling an assortment of treats like corn cobs, ice creams, and more, adding to the vibrant atmosphere of the area.
When to go to Puerto Princesa:
Puerto Princesa is a great travel destination that can be visited year-round. However, the best time to travel is during the dry season, which typically runs from November to early May. During this time, you can expect warm and sunny weather, making it the perfect time for outdoor activities and sightseeing. Do note that this period is also the peak tourist season, so expect higher hotel rates and more crowds.
The wet season runs from June to September. In this season, the weather in Puerto Princesa can be unpredictable, with occasional heavy rainfall and strong winds. The duration of rainfall may vary depending on the strength of the low-pressure system, which can cause the rain to last for a few hours or several days.
Puerto Princesa is rarely in the direct path of typhoons. However, it’s always best to check the weather forecast before traveling. You can visit Pagasa’s website, the official weather bureau of the Philippines, to get the latest updates on the weather conditions in the area.
Overall, Puerto Princesa is a great destination to visit any time of the year, as it offers a unique experience that can be enjoyed in all seasons.
Getting to Puerto Princesa:
Getting to Puerto Princesa is easy with several transportation options available from nearby destinations.
Here’s how you can get to Puerto Princesa from different places:
From El Nido
Public Transportation: There are daily public buses and vans available for travel between El Nido (Corong Corong Bus Terminal) and Puerto Princesa. The transport services operate from 7:30am to 6:00pm and take around 5-6 hours. Book Online
Private Transportation: The quickest and easiest way to get from El Nido to Puerto Princesa is by booking a private van. Book Online
Ferry: 2GO Ferry operates twice a week sailing from Coron to Puerto Princesa and vice versa. The travel time of 2GO Ferry from Puerto Princesa to Coron and vice versa usually takes around 11-12 hours.
From Manila and Cebu
Flight: Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines, and Air Asia operate direct flights to Puerto Princesa.
Ferry: 2GO Ferry operates twice a week sailing from Manila to Puerto Princesa and vice versa. Ferry ride from Puerto Princesa to Manila (via Coron) takes around 22 to 28 hours.
From Port Barton
Public Transportation: There are daily public buses and vans available for travel between Port Barton and Puerto Princesa. The transport services operate from 7:30am to 6:00pm and the travel time usually takes around 3.5 to 4 hours. These transportation options have been known to be unreliable in terms of both safety and adherence to the timetable.
Private Transportation: The quickest and easiest way to get from Port Barton to Puerto Princesa is by booking a private van. Book Online
From Taytay and Roxas
Public Transportation: All public vans and buses that travel between Puerto Princesa and El Nido typically make stops along the way in Taytay and Roxas. Book Online
Private Transportation: The quickest and easiest way to get from Taytay to Puerto Princesa is by booking a private van. Book Transfer Online
From Sabang (Underground river)
Public Transportation: Lexxus operates a daily shuttle van service from Sabang to Puerto Princesa, taking around 2 hours.
Private Transportation: The quickest and easiest way to get from Sabang to Puerto Princesa is by booking a private van. Book Online