"PUERTO PRINCESA, CAPITAL of PALAWAN" Top 5 Page for this destination Puerto Princesa by davidjo

Puerto Princesa Travel Guide: 560 reviews and 1,616 photos


When i visited Palawan as a tourist i realised i had found a special place. The plane flew over the islands off of the north, over El Nido, Port Barton then across the island over Honda Bay before slowly descending to land on the runway which starts at the sea. From your window you will see mountains, jungle and rugged seashore with idyllic beaches. Ex- Mayor Hagedorn has done so much for the city and is well known for his environmental concerns. The airport is only a 5 minute ride to the city centre, i say city but it's more like a town. Back in 1990 Puerto Princesa really was "The Last Frontier" as after you left town the road north was not surfaced, just a track going north through forest for 280 kms until you reached El Nido. To visit the Underground river you had to take a boat from Baheli or Port Barton, and there were only a handful of cars, the town was quiet and the only traffic going up and down Rizal Avenue were tricycles. There was a choice of a handful of guest houses and people from Manila were frightened to come here as it was known as a wild place, a malarial place and far away from the rest of the Philippines. That first time i saw Palawan in 1990 i knew i would return.


Favorite thing: I have written somany reviews of he city I have decided to make an overview with what I consider is best recommendations, so here goes.
1. Island hopping at Honda Bay---Take a boat for the day and visit three destinations such as Pambatu Reef, Panran Island and Cowrie Island. Cowrie Island has a wonderful luncheon buffet for only 200 pesos.
2. Iwahig Penal Colony is interesting as it is an open prison. Go their souvenir shop and the prisoners will dance, swim at Balsahah River inside the colny, have the prisoners BBQ your lunch ( bring your own meat or fish).
3. We have three museums, the Special Batallion Museum which deals with the war years and the right against the Japanese, the museum at Mendoza Park and the one at the Legislative Building, the last two you can learn about the tribes on the island.
4. The crocodile farm has tours every 30 minutes, and then you can see other animals such as best cats on the nature trail.
5. Spend late afternoon , early evening at Baywalk where enjoy a cool breexe, cold beer and a seafood meal.
6. Bakers Hill is a nice garden with restaurants, birds, and a god view of the ocean. The strange building of Mitra Ranch is nearby where you can ride a horse, or zipliñe.
7. The butterfly farm and tribal village is interesting , especially the guide will explain about the butterflies and other insects before you visit the local Palawenos and see how they live.
8. There are trips in the evening o see fireflies at one of the rivers.
9. The eco park at Irawan is in the forest where there is a zipliñe, canopy walk and massage as well as other attractions.
10. Visit the market and see the wonderful selection of seafood.
11. Although I have never been, there are dolphin watching trips where it is almost guaranteed that you will see these lovely creatures.

Olio e Basilico, an Italian restaurant in native building
Kalui's, famous for its ambience and seafood ( only)
Badjao Seafront on stilts by the ocean, famous for seafood.
TOMTOMS for western food
Kinabuchs, a busy restaurant with extensive menu, good service and excellent food
Artisan, a taste of different foods of the world
White Fence Cafe , a good choice of food, well decorated and nice ambience.

Backpacker suggestions. Sheebangs has great for and atmosphere although it is not near the center
300-400 pesos The long running Duchess has the cheapest rooms in town?
OMG is a basic place to be in the center of town.
Good budget accommodation. Big Brother House ,two locations with swimming pool and kitchen
Grace Park, near the airport
Casa Linda
Cheaper hotels. Marianne Hotel with pool and breakfast
Fersal Hotel
Casa Mila also has travel agency
Deep Forest with good travel agency and excellent restaurant.
Expensive. 5* Princesa Garden Resort with several swimming pools, restaurants, 70+ rooms and bungalows over the sea

OFF THE BEATEN TRACK------- See details of my reviews in OFF THE BEATEN TRACK
Nagtabon Beach 30 kms
Talaudyong Beach. 40 kms
Motorcycle ride along the west coast 139 kms loop
Hot Springs at Luz Vaminda 25 kms
Inagawan Beach. 54 kms


I am not sure if all the changes are good as i kind of love nature and not a city man, but where there were rough roads there are now surfaced roads. There used to be one flight a day, now there are many. There was one department store, now there are a few shopping malls open or being constructed. There were only a few cars, with occasional jeepney and tricycles were the normal way to get around town, now there are many buses,multi-cabs, minibuses and 100's of tricycles with traffic congestion. There were 3 gas stations in Puerto Princesa and now there are more than 25. There were 4 old cinemas, now we have 4 cinemas in the Robinsons Complex.. There was one good hotel, now there are quite a few and over 100 places to stay. But now there is a dramatic increase in the number of tourists due to Mayor Hagedorn's wonderful campaign to introduce Palawan to the world by his successful endeavor in getting the Underground River recognised as one of the NEW 7 WONDERS of the WORLD.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:beaches, jungle, waterfalls, nature, cleanliness and low crime rate
  • Cons:have to go via Cebu or Manila to visit other parts of the country.
  • Last visit to Puerto Princesa: Jun 2016
  • Intro Updated Jun 18, 2016
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Reviews (432)

Comments (30)

  • Jun 8, 2016 at 1:36 AM

    I'm having trouble finding the "favorites" section.....so i can read your post Best of Puerto Princesa ?

    • davidjo's Profile Photo
      Jun 8, 2016 at 1:43 AM

      You are welcome. But just scroll down and you should see quite a few " favorite" reviews

    • Jun 8, 2016 at 10:41 AM

      Ok thank you

  • meiyergani's Profile Photo
    Jun 3, 2016 at 1:41 AM

    a very nice place to stay .....love its ....

  • KimberlyAnn's Profile Photo
    May 23, 2015 at 7:58 AM

    An impressive home page! The beauty of the natural environment, butterflies, birds, and fresh fish are all enticing.

  • jo104's Profile Photo
    Apr 27, 2015 at 10:44 AM

    Really nice updates :-)

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Mar 5, 2015 at 10:56 AM

    I see you had an exciting stay in Puerto Princesa... Thanks for your detailed story!

    • davidjo's Profile Photo
      Mar 5, 2015 at 2:31 PM

      Thanks for dropping by. Hope you are settled now after the recent troubles. Another 5 months and i will have spent 20 years in PPC

  • Oleg_D.'s Profile Photo
    Jan 17, 2015 at 2:42 AM

    Your favorites are looking like interesting!

    • davidjo's Profile Photo
      Jan 19, 2015 at 2:01 AM

      Thank you, just skipping through my notifications as there are many. We have been in Manila for a few days, came home, turned on my computer, sparks, motherboard gone. Just bought new laptop a few hours ago and trying to get used to it! as it is winndows8

    • Oleg_D.'s Profile Photo
      Jan 19, 2015 at 7:26 AM

      Sametimes it happens! I hope this laptop will serve properly and very long!

  • globetrott's Profile Photo
    Oct 12, 2014 at 7:48 AM

    lots of scenic places there !

    • davidjo's Profile Photo
      Oct 12, 2014 at 3:21 PM

      the whole island is very scenic--beaches , mountains, rivers, waterfalls, mangroves.............

  • garridogal's Profile Photo
    Jul 18, 2014 at 4:48 PM

    What a great introductory page! Going to check out your tips now...

  • IreneMcKay's Profile Photo
    Jul 9, 2014 at 7:01 PM

    Looks like you live in a beautiful part of the world. I like that there are so many swimming opportunities. Visiting a penal colony sounds interesting too and great that you have baguettes available. I also hate sweet bread and even worse things like sweet sausage in a bun. Yeuk! All the best, Irene

    • davidjo's Profile Photo
      Jul 9, 2014 at 10:00 PM

      Thanks for the compliments. Indeed it is ideal here, been here 20 yrs and hope to make another 20 yrs before i die here!

    • davidjo's Profile Photo
      Jul 9, 2014 at 10:00 PM

      And appreciate your ratings

  • tenluk's Profile Photo
    Jul 1, 2014 at 1:56 AM

    Just take a look at your great pages

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