Pristine beach, breathtaking landscapes, humongous crocodile, magical fireflies, mouth-watering food, warm and honest people…that is Puerto Princesa, a beautiful city in the western province of Palawan, Philippines.
I was looking at some other old pictures when I’ve seen these. My gosh, I remember 2 years ago I said, I’m gonna blog about this trip. Darn, I can’t believe it took me 2 effin years to do this. Now I’ve lost all the itineraries and documents for that. *sighs
Anyways…I’ll try to recall as much as I can.
Tip: If you’re planning a trip here, be prepared to a lot of activities. It’s a place where you can relax and have fun while exploring. Our budget was around Php7,000+ including the airfare, accommodation, travel & tours agency, food and ‘pasalubong’. Yeah, I know it’s quite expensive but it’s all worth it, you’ll see.
Where to Stay?
There are lots travel agents who will offer you accommodation and tour packages once you get out of the PPS airport. I think this is a lot less expensive than booking online. In our case, we wanted to be sure so we searched for the least expensive and decent hotels online and booked it from Manila. We’ve also had a separate booking for the tour at SMY Travel & Tours which is Php3,000 per person. We’ve had it separate because it was like 1k cheaper that way.
So we’ve stayed at Casitas de Az Pension for 3 days and 2 nights.
How much? Php2,400 – Deluxe Room (4 days and 3 nights with complimentary breakfast / Good for 2 pax / airport transfer / free intermittent wifi / with ac / cold & hot shower / cable tv )
Where to go?
We did the city tour on our first day. But I would have rather do it on the 3rd day so the pasalubong would still be fresh once you arrived in Manila.
This is our sample itinerary.
Day 1 (1:45pm – 6pm)
Running tour to Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Crocodile Farm
Binuatan Creation (Weaving Center)
Baker’s Hill (this is where you can find the best freshly cooked hopia in town. I love the hopiang ube!)
Iwahig Penal Farm
Iwahig Firefly Watching (Paddle boat tour = P600 / Good for 3 pax)
Puerto Princesa Baywalk and Souvenir Shops
7pm – Dinner at Kinabuch (try Crispy Pata)
Day 2: Honda Bay Day Tour
Activities: Swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, fish feeding and island hopping. (Gears are personal account)
Tip: Make sure you bring a waterproof camera or a ziploc so you can save some money. But no worries if you don’t have gears. Before you go to the island, they will drop you off in a store where you can rent a waterproof camera case, goggles, and other snorkeling gears.
What I love most in the Honda Bay tour was the fish feeding…
…and swimming with ’em 😀
…and the lunch by the seashore! SMY Travel served us the best lunch I’ve ever had on a beach (Sugpo, Grilled Tuna, & Fried Eggplant with bagoong…mmm)
After lunch we packed up and headed to the next island on the list – Ugh! I forgot the name of this island. 🙂
My favorite one is Luli. It’s a very nice place to shoot an emo music video.
Day 3: Underground River Day Tour
Activities: Tour cave and optional swimming
Tip: Going to Sabang is a long, and a really bumpy ride. One of our vanmates even threw up so make sure you bring Bonamine or something to fight diziness. Make sure you have your id and permit prior to the Underground tour. We didn’t have much trouble getting a permit since the agency did that for us before our arrival. Also, I think it’s better to go there on a weekday to avoid the crowd and pray for a sunny day to see the real beauty of the famous Subterranean River National Park (also known as Underground River) which is one of the chosen New 7 Wonders of the World.
We came here during a bad weather..so the water is kinda muddy.
After touring the cave, we’ve had a hearty lunch at Taraw Restaurant.
By 3pm, we were back to city proper. So we just toured around the city, bought pasalubong and got wasted until dinner.
You can check out other popular restos there too like Kalui Restaurant (reservation is needed) and Ka Inato. I think some of them serve exotic foods like ‘tamilok’ and crocodile sisig. Try it! Just for fun.
So there…that was our amazing experience in Puerto Princesa. The bucks spent was totally worth it.
I bet you’ll have an amazing one too if PPS is one of your travel destination. Amid the political controversies, it’s still fun in the Philippines. 🙂