Puerto Princesa

Travel Guide Asia Philippines Palawan Puerto Princesa



Honda Bay, Palawan, Philippines

Honda Bay, Palawan, Philippines

© Armi

The capital city of the island group Palawan in the Philippines, Puerto Princesa lies in the middle of this very well environmentally-protected island. Palawan is considered as the country's last frontier for maintaining a diverse reserve of flora and fauna.



Sights and Activities

Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park

Underground river

Underground river

© Spinky

Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is a protected area of the Philippines located about 80 kilometres north of the city centre of Puerto Princesa, Palawan. The river is also called Puerto Princesa Underground River. The national park is located in the Saint Paul Mountain Range on the western coast of the island. It is bordered by St. Paul Bay to the north and the Babuyan River to the east. The City Government of Puerto Princesa has managed the National Park since 1992. The entrance to the subterranean river is a short hike or boat ride from the town Sabang.

In 2010, a group of environmentalists and geologists discovered that the underground river has a second floor, which means that there are small waterfalls inside the cave. They also found a cave dome measuring 300 metres above the underground river, rock formations, large bats, a deep water hole in the river, more river channels, another deep cave, as well as marine creatures and more. Deeper areas of the underground river are almost impossible to explore due to oxygen deprivation.

On November 11, 2011, Puerto Princesa Underground River was provisionally chosen as one of the New7Wonders of Nature. This selection was officially confirmed on January 28, 2012.

Other Sights and Activities

  • Honda Bay - Home to a diversity of marine life, islands and sand bars, this is a famous destination for tourists that go island-hopping and snorkeling
  • Palawan Crocodile Farm and Conservation Center
  • Batak Village
  • Iwahig Penal Colony - A unique maximum security prison without walls where inmates roam freely to do farming chores.
  • Viet Ville - Once a village built for Vietnamese refugees who fled their homeland during the Vietnam War.
  • Tubbataha Reef - A smaller version of the Great Barrier Reef located in the middle of the Sulu Sea and is home to diversity of marine creatures.



Events and Festivals

Love Affair with Nature, February 14th

The expression of love for Mother Nature is celebrated the extraordinary way. The yearly celebration features a mangrove planting festivity in the coastal zones to restore degraded mangrove areas.

Balayong Festival, March 4th

Commemorates the founding anniversary of the City of Puerto Princesa highlighted by balayong tree-planting, street dancing and colorful floral parade depicting the Palawan Cherry Blossoms from which the festival derived its name. A merry mixture of socio-civic, cultural, historical, and sports activities are part of the run events. At the ‘Tabuan’ parade (tabuan means ‘marketplace’), farmers fisherfolks, market vendors, traders and buyers showcase the city’s best products and revel as a thanksgiving for blessings and bountiful harvest.

Pangalipay sa Baybay, 1st week of April

A summer extravaganza celebrated at the bay walk area, along the shores of beautiful Puerto Princesa Bay. A whole range of activities kicks off with a parade and an impressive fireworks display.

Kamarikutan Pagdiwata Arts Festival, April full moon (before or after holy week )

Features varied week-long workshops in the different arts, painting in different media, sculpture, music, dance and film. Art exhibits, art forums, and film showing fill the afternoon, with stage perfomances and concerts in the evenings.

Seafood Festival, April 3rd week

Festival celebration of the bounties of the seas, this gastronomic festival offers a taste of seafood specialties Palawan is known for. Puerto Princesa restaurants prepare a mixture of authentic Palawan seafood cuisine and delicacies, as well as other contemporary seafood-filled culinary delights in the region.

Karagatan Festival, 1st week of May

Celebrated during the month of the ocean, the festival demonstrates the synergy of man with the vast seas and the ocean. Held every year in the fabulous beaches of the City's west coast, the four-day event include a coastal clean-up, boat-sailing, kite-flying, banca race, tug-o-war, beach volleyball and football, sand sculpture, mountain to sea trekking, mountain bike race, film showing, a grand beach party and concert, and capped by a Weskini bikini open.

Feast of the Forest, 3rd week of June

A reforestation activity where citizens of Puerto Princesa City and people from all walks of life flock to celebrate a Feast of the Forest, by planting thousands of different tree species in the city's denuded forest zones.

Baragatan Sa Palawan, June 3rd Week

Celebrates the foundation of the civil government of Palawan. The festival derives its name from a Cuyunon terms that means 'meeting', and true to its meaning Baragatan is a convergence and coming together of the people of Palawan to celebrate its history and rich culture.

City Fiesta, December 8th

The Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. Fiesta activities begin during the first week of December with the series of religious activities. The celebrations extends towards the Christmas season laced with nightly cultural presentation, yuletide activities topped by the lighting of the giant Christmas tree and fireworks, as well as ago-industrial, tourism and food fairs.




The city is among those cities in the country that is seldomly hit by a typhoon. It has two main climates, dry during November to April and wet during May to October. Normally, September has the heaviest rainfall in a year. With this, Puerto Princesa generally has a good climate especially in the summer period of March to May. Temperatures are mostly around 30 °C during the day and around or above 20 °C at night.



Getting There

By Plane

Puerto Princesa is connected to domestic air travel with the Puerto Princesa International Airport (International Airport Code PPS) with the following carriers:



Getting Around

By Tricycle

A common mode of transport around the city is on tricycles. These are regular motorcycles with a sidecar and is used like a local taxi where they transport passengers to any destination in the city.




Keep Connected


There are a number of internet service providers nationwide: PLDT-Smart Communications, Globe Telecoms, BayanTel and Sun Cellular and each have their signal strengths in various locations. Internet access areas of broadband speeds are plentiful in city malls, much less so outside the cities, but are growing at a rapid pace. Internet surfing rates depend primarily on where you surf and the medium used (e.g. WiFi or wired). Internet services offered by hotels and shopping malls are expensive and can go up to ₱200/hour (approximately US$5) but neighbourhood cafes can be as cheap as ₱15/hour (approximately US$0.35).

Public place WiFi services in the Philippines is provided by Airborneaccess.net and WiZ is likely to cost ₱100 (approximately US$2) for up to an hour. But if you want cheaper, there is a internet cafe chain in SM malls called, "Netopia", that has a landline internet connection for around 20P an hour (about 0.46 US). Coffee shops as well as malls usually carry WiFi service some are free to use. Certain areas may also carry free WiFi. The SM chain of malls offer free wifi, so you can sit virtually anywhere in the mall and access free wireless.


See also International Telephone Calls

The Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company commonly known as PLDT is the leading telecommunications provider. It is also the largest company in the country. There are three major companies operating GSM 900/1800 networks: Globe, Smart and Sun Cellular. Your home provider at home should have agreements with one of these providers so check with them before leaving home. Roaming may be quite expensive just as elsewhere however, pre-paid SIM cards of these networks are easy to acquire and cost as little as ₱30 and provide a cheaper alternative.
If you don't have a phone to begin with, a complete pre-paid kit with phone and SIM can be purchased for as little as ₱1,500.The usual cost of an international long-distance call to the United States, Europe or other major countries is $0.40 per minute. Local calls range from ₱ 6.50 per minute for prepaid calls.

Due to the wide use of mobile phones, pay phones are increasingly becoming obsolete. Some malls and public places still do have them and they usually come in either the coin or card operated variety. Globe and PLDT are the usual operators. Phone cards are usually sold by shops which sell cellphone pre-paid loads and cards. Note that phone cards of one company can not be used with the other company's card operated phones.


The Philippine Postal Corporation, or PhilPost, is the provides the postal service throughout the Philippines. PhilPost is pretty reliable, but one can hardly call it fast services. It is fine for sending postcards and letters though, both domestically as well as internationally. Prices for sending postcards or letters within the country start at around P7, while most international post costs at least P20. For sending parcels to and from the Philippines it might be wise to use companies like FedEx or UPS. The opening hours of post offices in the Philippines differ from one place to another. Usually, post offices are open from 8:00am to 12 noon and from 1:00pm to 5:00pm on weekdays. And for those that operate on Saturdays, the business hours are from 8:00am to 1:00pm.


Accommodation in Puerto Princesa

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