Puerto Princesa is the capital of Palawan. The beaches aren´t very popular in the downtown area. Puerto Princesa is popular for the Underground River, one of the 7 wonders of the old world and UNESCO Site. There are many things to do in Puerto Princesa apart from the Underground River. We will write 3 Days Puerto Princesa itinerary and even longer if you decide to spend more time.
Read here how to get from El Nido to Puerto Princesa.
How to get to Puerto Princesa
There are various ways you can go to Puerto Princesa. It will always depend on where you’re traveling from flights, vans and bus. We will explain them below.
GETTING TO PUERTO PRINCESA BY PLANE
If you are getting to Puerto Princesa by plane. The fastest way to reach Puerto Princesa is by plane. There are flights from all over the country and the world that land at Puerto Princesa International Airport from airlines like Cebu Pacific, AirAsia and Philippine Airlines. If you’re coming from Manila and Cebu, you can reach Puerto Princesa in an hour and 15 minutes on the plane. There are also flights within Palawan from Puerto Princesa to El Nido that only last 30 minutes. If you’re coming from Boracay you can book flights to Puerto Princesa.
GETTING TO PUERTO PRINCESA BY BOAT
If you are getting to Puerto Princesa by boat. There are scheduled boat trips from Manila to Puerto Princesa if you want to travel on the sea. This is a much cheaper option than flying but obviously takes longer than a plane. Every Thursday, Negros Navigation has trips to Puerto Princesa while the Super Ferry goes to the island every Friday. The trip takes around 18-22 hours.
Travel Tip: Click here to know prices and schedule to book your bus/boat tickets online with 12Go Asia.
BEST TIME TO VISIT PUERTO PRINCESA
This island destination in the Philippines is best enjoyed during the dry season. During this time, visitors can go on different tours, swim in the beautiful waters and enjoy the sun in Puerto Princesa. The best time to visit Puerto Princesa is around October to June since the rain usually falls in the middle of the year. However, Palawan’s wet season does not have typhoons that directly hit the island so going on those months might still be fun.
TRANSPORTATION AROUND PUERTO PRINCESA
The island of Palawan receives many tourists every year as one of the hottest destinations in the Philippines. So, you can expect going around the island to be relatively easy and surprisingly cheap. You can ride the jeepney or the tricycle both costing 10 PHP for the first 4 km. Cars, scooters and vans are also available for rent. Those who want to go island hopping can get on the many boats that travel daily in and out of Palawan for 1,250 PHP. If you want to book a day trip with the tuk tuk to explore all the things to do in Puerto Princesa will cost you 700-900 PHP.
WIFI AND INTERNET CONNECTION IN PUERTO PRINCESA
If you are a digital nomad like us or you need to do some work online, do it in Puerto Princesa where the connection is more reliable than the other places in Palawan. We spent many hours working to make sure we can enjoy El Nido and the other places around Palawan like Port Barton and Balabac.
Puerto Princesa will offer the best connection that you will find in Palawan. You will get strong wifi in hotels and coffee shops. Also data works properly with 4G with Smart and Globe. Once you leave Puerto Princesa for the other destinations the connection will be weak in El Nido, Balabac, Port Barton and Coron.
ATMS AND CURRENCY IN PUERTO PRINCESA
Since Puerto Princesa is already an urbanized and frequently visited destination in the Philippines, you can expect to find plenty of ATMs all over the city.The country uses the Philippine Peso for monetary transactions, where $1 USD = 54 PHP, more or less. Click here to check the exchange rate between your country and the Philippines.
DAILY BUDGET FOR TRAVEL IN PUERTO PRINCESA
You can visit Puerto Princesa even with a limited budget. There are plenty of food, accommodations and activities that you can try in Palawan during your trip. A decent meal in the island in a local eatery can go for as low as 70 PHP while eating at a restaurant can cost around 230 PHP a meal with drinks. If you’re eating at a resort restaurant, you can pay up to 500 PHP for a very hearty meal. A bottle of local beer like San Miguel Pale Pilsen or Red Horse goes for 40-80 PHP.
If you’re planning to go on tours, there are all sorts of packages for various companies that you can enjoy. A boat tour with a group can start at 1,000 PHP or joining Underground River tour can cost less than 2000 PHP. Honda Bay Island Hopping can costs around 1,200-1,500 PHP.
You won’t run out of accommodation options when you visit Puerto Princesa. There are guest houses, hostels and inns that cost around 700-1,500 PHP while bigger resorts cost around 1,700-5,000 PHP. Seafront establishments with excellent views and ambience start at 7,000 PHP. Aside from all those amazing options, you can also book an entire house or apartment with AirBnB! We love the choices they have in Puerto Princesa that start from as low as 700 PHP per night. Cool, right? What’s even cooler is you can Click here to get a great deal off your first booking with AirBnB!
Puerto Princesa Itinerary
Day 1 Itinerary in Puerto Princesa
As you are getting in the morning by plane most of the cases in Puerto Princesa and you will have to accommodate in your hotel. The first day option will be a Puerto Princesa Day Tour that can be on your own, by tricycle or booking a tour. It will take you the whole afternoon and it will include some local food like crocodile sisig the most typical in the area.
You can visit Iwahig Prison where prisoners make dances and sell souvenirs to tourists. And for the end of the tour you can visit Palaweno Brewery. And at night you can complete the day with the fireflies tour.
EAT CROCODILE SISIG
There are other few things here that you won’t see in other places in the Philippines like the Crocodile Sisig. That was a new find for us! And since we are from Angeles City we had to try and compare. It was great since we love it sisig.
VISIT LOCAL MARKETS
Some of our favorite things in every new city is visiting local markets. You will find the best prices in a local atmosphere. There are fruits, juices and local carinderias. The New Market in Puerto Princesa is very close to the Bus Terminal. If you are dropping by, there is no excuse for not visiting.
PALAWAN SPECIAL BATTALION
If you’re fond of history, you would surely love this place as it en-captures a moment in Philippine’s history. The museum has a rich world war II that you may enjoy, very informative and very entertaining.
SUNSET BAYWALK PARK
Puerto Princesa’s sunset is really beautiful. Take a walk on Baywalk Park, eat, and enjoy the sunset at the bay. Don’t forget to take pictures.
VISIT IWAHIG PRISON ONE OF THE MOST IDYLLIC PRISONS IN THE COUNTRY
Remove all your pre-assumed notions of prisons and visit Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm. You would find prisoners selling souvenirs, dancing and engaging with tourists. You don’t need to feel alarmed because there are still security measures in place. It is just a great opportunity to find humanity in your travel/trip in an unusual place. It just 15 kilometers far from the city. You will have to use private transportation to get there and there is no entrance fee.
DRINK CRAFT BEER AT PALAWEÑO BREWERY
The Palaweno Brewery has lots of different beers that you may want to try. Tourists and locals visit this place because of the friendly staff and their beers. There are also wings, fries and many more.
A TOUR WITH FIREFLIES IN IWAHIG
The fireflies in Iwahig are really beautiful and magical. Honestly, this might be a seasonal opportunity. There are nights that there are only a few fireflies that would make the trip bad. Otherwise, it will be an experience of your life. You can click below to book tours starting from 1300 PHP.
Day 2 in Puerto Princesa Itinerary
For the second day in your Puerto Princesa itinerary you can visit the Underground River. It will take you big part of the day. We recommend you to join to a tour. You can do on your own but it will take longer since you will have to ask for the permits one day in advance in Puerto Princesa. You will save a few dollars but in our opinion isn’t so worth it that hassle. You can combine the visit with more adventure in the mangroves and zip line in Puerto Princesa to complete your day.
You can read our full blog post how to get to Underground River in Puerto Princesa!
VISIT UNDERGROUND RIVER
One of the most popular thing to do when you travel Palawan is visiting Puerto Princesa underground River. It was a part of the 7 wonders of the old world for its natural beauty. How go there? You need to head to Sabang which is 2 hours driving from Puerto Princesa. You can book tours starting from 1,300- 1,500 PHP and you can DIY for 1,000 PHP. ($1=50 PHP). Puerto Princesa’s underground river is magical, it is under the Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will find birds and monkeys in the watershed. The trip will be amazing and fulfilling because the underground river is one of the longest navigable rivers in the world.
When visiting the Underground River you can also enjoy Sabang Beach if you are staying in the area. It’s a nice beach to spend the day.
ZIPLINE, TRAIL WALK & SPELUNKING
There are tours available that are catering to adventurers who would love to walk on a trail to observe the richness of biodiversity Puerto Princesa has. Also, spelunking is a good idea as Puerto Princesa has lots of good caves. Lots of travel tours also have zip lines that are surely an adventure of itself. The fee for the zip line is 150 PHP.
Day 3 in Puerto Princesa Itinerary
If you are joining a tour they will pick you up first thing in the morning and you will be back to your accommodation in Puerto Princesa after lunch. It’s always a great way to spend your day enjoying snorkeling and visiting islands.
ISLAND HOPPING IN HONDA BAY
You can book a tour or going on your own to the island hopping in Honda Bay. You can even stay overnight in one of the resorts. The Dos Palmas Island is a secluded sanctuary just across Honda Bay. Dos Palmas Island is very relaxing and tranquil. Also, you’d love the various species of corals, fish, and others on the island. Surely, an island that is an experience of its own. Click here if you want to book a luxury experience in Dos Palmas!
More Days Puerto Princesa Itinerary
There are more activities to do in Puerto Princesa if you decide to spend longer. You can go to Nagtabon Beach, Inflatable Island. If you like adventure you can visit Tibag Falls and hike Mt Magarwak. You can even go to the turtle Sanctuary. You can always combine them enjoying a beautiful sunset in the beach.
WHALESHARK IN PUERTO PRINCESA
If you are lucky, you might be able to spot a whale shark in Puerto Princesa. It might be harder for you to find whale sharks in Puerto Princesa but the best season is from April to November. The place is in Honda Bay and there are companies offering tours for 2,000 PHP and they can even give you back half of the price if you don’t watch the whale sharks. The activity will start picking you up in the morning and going back around 2 pm to your accommodation place in Puerto Princesa.
VISIT NAGTABON BEACH
Nagtabon Beach is really a charmer because it is not famous yet, although soon, it will be. Also, you could surf on Nagtabon. You’ll also love the crystal clear water that’s also really loved by tourists.
ENJOY KAMIA BAY INFLATABLE ISLAND
Unleash the kid in you and visit the Kamia Bay’s Inflatable Island. Jump, slide and just have fun. The island has lots of other different activities as well like kayaking, eco tours, and many more. Entrance fee is 600 PHP included buffet lunch.
REFRESH AT TIBAG FALLS
The Tibag falls is actually not high but is composed of cascades. It is an instagrammable place that would surely leave you in awe. Also, there’s a sense of exclusivity from this place that you’ll love. There is no entrance be and it will take you 30-40 minutes to get there from the bus terminal around 50 PHP will cost the transportation.
GO TO ARENA ISLAND TURTLE SANCTUARY
The Arena Island Turtle Sanctuary prides itself on being a beautiful place, a sort of a haven that you could relax into. You will also enjoy the food being served in the place. If you’re lucky, you might encounter a turtle egg hatching.
HIKE UP MT. MAGARWAK
Mt. Magarwak is very near from the Bayan. You could go here on a thirty-minute ride. The hike is also relatively easy but the views atop are irreplaceable. Also, the ambiance of the place is relaxing so you won’t feel pressure from hiking at all. Click here to book the activity with Klook!
WHERE TO STAY IN PUERTO PRINCESA
For our staying we chose a new hotel The Colonial a small boutique hotel close to the beach. We loved staying close to the beach for sunset, sunrise and especially when we are traveling with Han since he loves it. The hotel is so beautiful and we love it the restaurant with the small pool. Food was delicious and internet working amazing before our trip to Balabac.
If you are wondering about the staff we have no words for them. We were leaving at 3 am and they took care of us. Since wake up call and also they prepared an amazing Filipino breakfast for takeaway. What a surprise!
Read here where to stay in Puerto Princesa
Image from Booking
Loved by its warm and friendly staff, Sheebang Hostel’s Rooms have air-conditioned units, private bathrooms with toiletries, and free wifi. The breakfast served in the hostel is continental. It is also very near to Puerto Princesa Airport, only 1.9 km away. The bar is also the favorite place of guests to hang out. A night in their Double Room with Private Bathroom costs about $20 USD.
SHEEBANG HOSTEL is located at F. Ponce de Leon Road, Barangay San Pedro, Palawan, Puerto Princesa City, Philippines. Click here to check their availability and book your stay!
PRINCESA GARDEN ISLAND RESORT AND SPA
Images from Booking
Having pride with their large outdoor pool, Princesa Garden Island Resort and Spa is also a large resort featuring rooms, suites, villas with free WiFi, fitness center, three restaurants, and on-site water sports facilities for guests to love. Their rooms, suites, and villas all have a flat-screen TV, a safe, a seating area and a private bathroom with a shower and free toiletries, and equipped with air-conditioning units. The three restaurants differ in their food offers. Tomato and Basil Cuisina Italiana offers Italian cuisine. While local and international cuisine is served at Rice. Lastly, Sala Lobby Lounge offers cocktails and drinks. Breakfast is also a buffet that guests will enjoy. A night in their Princesa Classic Room costs about $140 USD.
PRINCESA GARDEN ISLAND RESORT AND SPA is located at Barangay Bancao-bancao, Caniguiran, Palawan, Puerto Princesa City, Philippines. Click here to check their availability and book your stay!
AZIZA PARADISE HOTEL
Images from Booking
Featuring a vibrant and lively atmosphere, Aziza Paradise Hotel entertains by arranging live bands on site in the evenings. Each room is equipped with air-conditioning units, a flat-screen TV, a balcony/terrace, and a private bathroom. Guests really enjoy the swimming pool as it is very well maintained and very well designed. Also, the staff is very helpful and accommodating. A night in their Deluxe Room with breakfast costs about $100 USD.
AZIZA PARADISE HOTEL is located at BM Road, Barangay San Manuel, Puerto Princesa City, Philippines. Click here to check their availability and book your stay!
You can book an entire house or apartment in Puerto Princesa with AirBnB! Click here to get a great deal off your first booking with AirBnB!
You can book an entire house or apartment with AirBnB! Click here to get a great deal off your first booking with AirBnB!
Travel Tip: Click here to know prices and schedule to book your bus/boat tickets online with 12Go Asia.
Hope it’s useful our 3 Days Puerto Princesa itinerary for your next trip! Let us know in the comments below if you have questions or we are missing something.
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