Puerto Princesa City is the capital of Palawan. The province is known as the last frontier of the Philippines. It’s quite evident coz as the moment you stepped-out of the airport, you will be greeted with green trees. Amidst the bustling and growing city, the government of Palawan continuously make that effort of building a green environment.
My visit here coincide with my tour of El Nido (see separate post). Initially, this tour of Palawan is to cover Puerto Princesa only but out of my nature i decided to include El Nido aswell.
My posted itinerary (see my other post) is somewhat into the “amazing race” type again. Tiring as it seems, but i know its possible. As the saying goes “you can’t recycle wasted time”. Every second means everything.
So upon arrival, our itinerary is to do Puerto Princesa City Tour up until 6 PM, our target time to go to El Nido.
One can opt to booked a City Tour from agencies which will cost you 600php / pax, inclusive of van, snacks and entrance fees.
Or one can hop at any white-colored tricycle located near the entrance of the airport’s arrival hall. And ask the driver for a city tour, much cheaper, it’s only 600 php / tricycle. We personally did this method. We save more and had an awesome experience.
Tour started at 11 AM, we asked him to take us first to a restaurant so that we can have our lunch. We then decided to eat at the 1st stop of our tour, the Baker’s Hill.
1. Baker’s Hill
It’s a small recreational park with a restaurant. This place is famous for its baked products such as Hopia and Crinkles. The place is also full of life-sized characters. A bit overrated, but since it’s part of the City tour, might aswell try it out.
Entrance – Free
Our Lunch at Baker’s Hill
2. Mitra’s Ranch
It’s the former house of the former senator Ramon Mitra. Includes several activities like Zipline and the likes. You can also enter the house but with a fee. The house is full of memorabillas of the Mitra Family. Not my cup of tea as you can’t do anything much except for sightseeing.
Entrance – 10 php
3. Crocodile Farm
Palawan is known for its Crocodiles and turtles. I don’t think any Palawan trip would be complete without having a pic with a live crocodile. 😆 This trip is entertaining and knowledgeable. They will provide you with a guide which will tour you around the place. It’s a nice experience handling a live crocodile. Amazing that the baby crocodile’s skin feels like a soft rubber, no wonder some elite brands made them into bags.
Entrance – 40 php
4. Butterfly Park
This is the last leg of the City Tour. It’s a small park with butterflies, some insects, small crocodile and a few birds. They also offer the tribal village. They invited some people from the mountains to give tourists some informations on how they live, their products and their music.
Entrance – 50 php
The tour was finished at around 4:30 pm. The driver send us off to San Jose Terminal to get a van that will take us to El Nido.
Our next 2 days were spent in El Nido (see my El Nido blog post), then we came back after to further enjoy the City.
We departed El Nido via Lexus Van at around 5:30 PM, then arrived at the hotel at 11 PM. A bit late coz the van personally drops each passenger to their respective hotels/inn/hostel.
GREENHOUSE Palawan Hotel
This is located at an alley, along Rizal Ave. Around 10 mins. via car from the airport. They opened last year with around 10+ rooms. As you enter the place, you will be delighted to see that cute, nicely-decorated living area, well-lit and felt comfortably welcoming.
1. Breakfast: :):):)
They offer free breakfast of both Filipino (choices of Tapa, Longganisa, Tocino & Danggit w/ rice, egg, coffee or juice and fruits) and Continental (the usual bacon, ham, bread etc).
2. Cleanliness: :):):):):)
Very well-maintained and spotlessly clean. The room has a sweet aroma making you feel better everytime you enter.
3. Location: :):):):)
Centrally located, almost near to everything, restaurants, pub, airport, shopping etc.
4. Over-all: :):):):):)
What i loved about Green house is their advocacy to have a green environment, its written on their brochures aswell. The mattress is the star of this place, the thickest of them all plus the comfort is A+++. They offer free bottled water, free wifi and has a nice veranda. Such a lovely place with an absolutely gorgeous price. Will be coming back again!
The next day is our Puerto Princesa Underground River Tour. I booked this trip 1 1/2 months in advance through Greenhouse. It’s necessary to do so, coz as we all know the Underground River is now 1 of the World’s New 7 wonders of Nature. Many tourists flock to the site, as per the government’s duty to protect it, they restricted the area for 100 guests per day.
The tour will cost you around 1500 php / pax. Inclusive of the Van (it’s 2 hrs away from the center), tour guide, permit, boat and a sumptuous lunch buffet.
Our call time for this trip is around 6:30 AM. We are 12 tourists inside the van plus the tour guide and the driver. Like what i’ve mentioned, its 2 hrs away from the city proper. Around 8 AM, we stopped by the view deck to have CR breaks and enjoy the sight and if you wish to do some photo op.
After 15 mins, we’re travelling again. Around 8:30 AM we arrived at the boat docking station. We waited while our guide validate our permits, after that we hop in one of the boats (maximum of 7-8 persons/boat) and sail for 20 minutes.
The entrance to the River
Before going in, its compulsary to wear life jacket and helmet. Only 7 persons are allowed per boat, Including the tour guide. He will then assign 1 person to hold the light that will be use inside the cave.
Upon entering the cave, you will then be greeted with lots and lots as in literally loads of bats. The entire ride is around 45 mins, roundtrip. The guide said that they have this limit for tourist and anyone who wanted to go beyond shall need to accomplished a special permit.
– Mama Mary
– The Big Fish
– Big Mushroom
After the trip, we headed to view the Bayawak
Our buffet Filipino Lunch
We’re done at 12:30 pm and headed back to the central.
– The elephant Mountain
Around 2:30 PM, we’re back at Greenhouse. We decided to chill first for a few hours. Around 4:30 PM, we went out again to shop for Pasalubongs (souvenirs).
1st Stop: Eat Halo-halo! Hahaha we’ve been craving for this eversince we saw our co-tourists at 7 commando in El Nido eating halohalo. Unfortunately, we didn’t bring some money at the time so we just look at them and pity ourselves. Hahaha.
2nd Stop: Tiangge Tiangge
It is located at the street near our accommodation. Not a lot of stores here so we then decided to go to LRC
3rd Stop: LRC Mall
This is probably the largest souvenir shop in Puerto Princesa, they have indoor shops (airconditioned) and outdoor shops. This is where we buy our souvenirs like shirts, ref magnets, pearls, cashews etc.
4th Stop: Puerto Princesa Market
See, Jhon (my special friend 😆) has this habit of getting the most out of his money. He decided to buy some cashews as pasalubong for his family. He will not be cheated by one or two souvenir shops, so he decided to use his charms and asked some locals as to where is the cheapest area to buy some cashews. The locals guided us to the wet market. From LRC Mall we hire a tricycle to take us there, fare is 8 php. Again, Jhon used his charms and befriended the driver. That kind-hearted man guide us to the seller of the cashews, he even told the seller that we are his cousins so that the seller will think that we are Palawan locals and might give us more discount. O well, Hardwork paved its way, Jhon got a whopping 40 pesos discount each bag of Cashews, he got it for 80 pesos, where in LRC it’s 120 pesos. Hahaha.
After our souvenir shopping we headed back and starts preparing ourselves for our Kalui Dinner at 8 PM. (Will blog post for our Kalui Dinner soon).
The next day, we eat our breakfast and prepared for our trip back to Manila.
– Other Puerto Princesa Tours (prices are mostly similar to other agencies)
Honda Bay – 1300/pax
Dos Palmas day Tour – 1800/pax
Zipline – 550/pax
Dolphin Watching – 1000/pax
San Carlos River Cruise – 1500/pax
Firefly Watching – 1200/pax
Estrella Falls – 1400/pax
Tabon Cave – 3500/pax
My trip to Puerto Princesa is ok. Tho’ the city tour cannot be compared to what i’ve seen in Bohol, still its a nice experience. I still have a lot to see and in time i’ll be back to explore it. 😊