This place was an introduction to the world famous Palawan Island. We arrived here after a short flight from Cebu.
We did in fact visit this place twice as it was the cheapest place to fly in/out of Palawan.
Where to stay in Puerto Princesa
Tree House Hostel
It was time for 2 beds in a 6 bed dorm again, and this place was clean and convenient.
With only a few dorms, it was a relatively small and personal hostel. It was also half empty on both occasions we visited – a bonus!
A perfect stopover for catching a plane or spending a day in the city.
Things to do in Puerto Princesa
Baywalk Promenade (FREE)
This is a clean area, with views of fishing boats and many statues/sculptures. A pleasant place for a romantic 10 minute stroll.
We were approached by Filipino students who surveyed us. They were so polite and friendly!
Plaza Cuartel (FREE)
This Plaza was a well maintained area with information boards that demonstrated a brief history on the Philippines involvement in WWII. It was interesting and seemed to be the spot for the only tourists we saw here in Puerto.
Shop in SM Mall (NOT FREE)
This mall was on our doorstep and housed everything we needed and more for our short visit. A good place for grabbing a bite to eat and stocking up on backpacker supplies.
Subterranean Underground River Tour (£25 each on Klook)
After listening to some Asian guy sleep talk all night, me and Kel were well up for the 7am start to the Subterranean Underground River… not!
But, we stuck through the 2 hour minibus journey to get there and then enjoyed a short 10 minute boat road to where the river is situated.
The scenery on this side of the island is stunning, with its beautiful soft sand beaches, mountains covered in greenery and clear blue skys.
We were handed hard helmets and earphones, then guided towards a small boat where our tour began.
Heading through the cave, in crystal clear waters we witnessed many limestone structures in various shapes resembling the nativity scene, the titanic, jesus, fruit, veg and much more. It was pretty fascinating actually, and the whole tour lasted 45 minutes. I’ve never seen anything like it, and photos just don’t do it justice.
It’s clear that they’re really trying to reserve the condition of this place too, as tourists are prohibited to touch, shine lights etc.
Unfortunately as other members of the tour group were participating in other activities, it meant that we were standing around for a few hours. This was a big let down, as it meant we had been out for 8 hours, and all for a 45 min experience.
That be said, me and Kel were in awe of the underground river and caves, so we’re glad we visited them.
Where to eat in Puerto Princesa
Reef Hot Dogs
Situated in the main city, these were the best hot dogs of the trip so far!
We also visited SM Mall on a few occasions for Jollibee (the Filipinos favourite fast food joint!).
Puerto Princesa worth visiting?
If you’re looking to visit the underground river or Honda Bay (no one recommended this to us), then this is a perfect place to stop for a few nights.
Also if you wish to do Palawan on a budget, likelihood is you will want to fly in/out from here. The place is full of everything you need, and the locals are friendly and welcoming.
From Puerto Princesa we took a 5 hour bus up the island to El Nido – the place of dreams!