As the last unsettled area in the country, Palawan is also known as the Last Frontier of the Philippines. The island is a popular attraction for both local and foreign tourists as it offers beautiful mountains covered in lush forests and crystal clear blue waters.
Puerto Princesa, the provincial seat of Palawan, is a coastal city popular for its beach resorts and seafood restaurants. It is the second largest city in the country in terms of geographical area, just next to Davao, but is the least densely populated. The city has been considered as the cleanest and greenest city in the country several times.
If you are a history and culture buff looking to dive deep into the roots of Palawan, visiting its museums is a recommended activity.
This museum is the best place to get more information about the Tabon Cave, which is where the oldest human skeletons in the Philippines were found. You can also get more details about the indigenous people found in the Palawan including the Tagbanuas, Pala’wans and Cuyunons. Of course, if you want to know more about the wildlife in Palawan, you can also see that inside, too.
The museum is located in the Old City Hall Building and is open from Monday to Saturday, from 8:30am to 5:00pm. Entrance fee is at 50 pesos for adults, 20 pesos for students and 10 pesos for children.
Palawan Heritage Center
This 480sqm interactive museum showcases the culture and history of Puerto Princesa. The displays in the PHC are not just educational but also entertaining. Not only does it have photos, artifacts and life-size dioramas but also fun and interactive modules that kids and kids-at-heart will love.
The PHC is open from Mondays to Fridays at 9am to 4:30pm, with an entrance fee of 50 pesos.
Palawan Special Battalion World War II Museum
The WWII museum was built in honor of Dr. Higinio Mendoza, Sr., who was a local hero and guerilla slain by the Japanese troops during WWII. The museum has five galleries containing relics of each of the major war players: Americans, British, Russians, Germans and Japanese.
The museum can be found along Rizal Avenue Extension in Barangay Bancao-Bancao and is open every day from 8am to 12pm. Entrance fee is at 30 pesos but children below 10 years can enter for free.
Honda Bay Tour
A visit to Puerto Princesa will never be complete without a tour in the famous Honda Bay area. Getting here is fairly easy: you can either go to the area via a tricycle or a multicab plying the route or you can arrange your transportation through the numerous tour operators in the city.
This island is a popular stopover during lunch time as they serve buffet lunch there for an additional 200 pesos per person. The island was named as such as probably because of the abundance of cowrie shells in the area. It has already been converted to a resort that comes with a bar, massage area, volleyball area and a shallow area for swimming.
The name is a combination of the words lulubog and lilitaw (or sinking and floating, respectively). This place is not really an island but a sandbar which becomes covered in water during high tide. The area is bordered by mangroves, has a shallow lagoon in the center and even a diving board at one end.
This is a small protected underwater reef around 15 to 20 feet below the surface. Some parts can be really deep which is why everyone is required to wear their life vests, swimmer or not.
These islands were named as such due to the abundance of brown starfish and pandan plant, respectively.
It is also possible go directly to Dos Palmas resort from Honda Bay at 1950 pesos or do an island hopping tour at 2100 pesos. You can go kayak, snorkel and tour around the property then cap it off with a sumptuous buffet lunch.
Puerto Princesa City Tour
Touring around Puerto Princesa City isn’t that difficult whether you decide to go with operators or negotiate with tricycle drivers. There are a lot of things to see within the city itself but most of them can be visited in a day.
Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center
Also known as the Crocodile Farm and Nature Park, this is the farthest place to visit in the tour. It is perfect for animal lovers as it is home to crocodiles and other wildlife unique to Palawan. Entrance fee is 40 pesos for adults and 10 pesos for children.
This place is for people who love zip lines or would just like to enjoy the view and breathe fresh, cool air.
The place is full of delicious baked goodies, including cashew tart, that you can get as snacks or as souvenir items for when you get home.
Butterfly Farm and Tribal Village
At just 50 pesos each, this attraction is one of the most beautiful places you will visit in the city. The place is, obviously, full of pretty butterflies flying all around. Right out back is the Tribal Village which will give you a glimpse of the native Pala’wan tribe and their culture. Here, you will learn more about their way of life, their daily routines and sample their music.
Found close by is where you can see how traditional weaving is done. Unfortunately, this art is a dying industry so it is good that they are showcasing this and even allowing visitors to try it out.
Although not properly maintained, the plaza has a historical significance in that it was once a garrison to Japanese soldiers during the war. About 143 American POWs were burned by the Japanese here. Entering the area is free.
Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral
This is a refreshingly cool blue church found close, a perfect place for devout Catholics to stop by.
If you are looking for something to do at night, Bay Walk has numerous dining options plus bike rentals for you to enjoy a cool and clear night by the sea.
Iwahig Penal Colony
This place serves as a backup to the Bilibid prison in Muntinlupa. Stay-out inmates from the minimum security can give you a free tour around the area. It is also possible to cruise by the river and be mesmerized by the light of the fireflies. Packaged tours cost around 1200 pesos per head.
Ugong Rock Adventure
For the adventurous spirit, is recommended as it offers trekking, zipline and spelunking activities at 450 pesos per person.
Irawan Forest Canopy and Zipline
Want to experience the longest zipline in Palawan and experience canopy walk with nature? Then Irawan forest Canopy and Zipline is a must-visit place
Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR)
And, while you are in the area, you must never miss visiting the Underground River, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature. While waiting for your boat ride to the river, you can also relax around Sabang Beach. Tours via operator’s cost around 1500 pesos including transportation, lunch and other fees.
Where to Stay in Puerto Princesa City
There are many options for accommodation in Puerto Princesa City to cater to different budget and comfort preferences. Among the top places to stay in the city include Marianne Hotel, Banwa Art House, Balay Inato Pension, Purple Fountain Courtyard, Balay Tuko Garden Inn, One Manalo Place, Holiday Suites and more.