Puerto Princesa

Understand

Puerto Princesa is the capital of the island province of Palawan. The city has been acclaimed several times as the cleanest and greenest city in the Philippines. It is said it's thanks to mayor Edward S. Hagedorn - politician that locals seem to love and admire (and mention in every occasion). With a wide range of attractions ranging from beaches to wildlife reserves, Puerto Princesa is a nature lover's paradise.

There is a useful tourist information office at the airport next to the arrival hall which hands out maps and gives information about current events in the city. They do not book accommodation though.

Get in

By plane

Puerto Princesa is slightly more than an hour away by plane from Manila. Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, PAL Express, Air Asia, Tiger Airways all have daily flights from Manila to Puerto Princesa. Air Asia, PAL Express and Cebu Pacific also operate flights to and from Puerto Princesa to other major cities such as Davao, Cebu City, Iloilo.

The airport is practically in the city centre so you can ignore the overpriced tricycles waiting in front of the arrival and catch a tricycle on the main road for a fare of 7-10 pesos per passenger.

The airport is small and can be closed at certain points in the day (e.g. between 2PM and 3PM) and there are only 2 cafes and some local eateries outside the airport, therefore don't plan to kill any time here.

By ferry

2GO TRAVEL have a weekly ferry to Puerto Princesa from Manila. The ferry trip is about 22 hours long.

Milagrosa Shipping has a weekly ferry that sails between Puerto Princesa - Cuyo Islands - Iloilo. It departs Iloilo at 7PM on Thursday, arrives at the Cuyo Islands at 8AM Friday, departs Cuyo Islands 3PM Friday and arrives in Puerto Princesa at 8AM on Saturday.

Get around

MultiCab and tricycles are the most common means to get around Puerto Princesa. As in Manila, jeepneys usually have standard routes which they ply. Tricycles on the other hand are fairly limited to certain areas and would not be able to go very long distances. Standard tricycle fare around the city is 7-8 pesos per person.

The bus terminal is located a few Km outside the city centre. A tricycle from the station to the town centre should cost around 50P

For touring, it would possibly be a good idea to arrange special transport whether it be a jeepney or, for more comfort, air-conditioned vans or AUVs. This way, you will not be subject to the hassles of public transport availability.

Although "clean and green" Puerto Princesa City has a bold plan for introducing electric vehicles, the city has no published or announced plan that addresses the urgent needs of pedestrians and bicycle riders. There are few pedestrian "zebra" crossings in the city and most PPC drivers do not yield to pedestrians, leaving them stranded dangerously in the middle of the street. If, in order to protect yourself from the vehicles and smoke, you take an air-con van, you only add to the overall traffic and pollution problem. Tourist vans and other vehicles are often parked along Rizal Avenue and other main streets blocking where pedestrians and bicycles could once safely move, but no longer can. If you wish to walk or bike in a clean, green, and safe environment in the downtown area, you should ask at the tourist office (at the airport) where such an area exists, and see what they say.

See

A trip to the subterranean river

Note. A permit is now necessary to visit the underground river and only available in Puerto Princesa, though an online system is in construction.

Sabang Beach
Dos Palmas Resort
Ethnographic Museum

Do

Buy native products at the Tourism Association of Souvenir Shops, they offer handicrafts made by the native tribes like manunggul or wooden jar, bulol or tisot, good harvest and carved animals. Others are tingkop (rice baskets), fish baskets, bags made from bark of a tree, native accessories, weave curtains and table mat, rattan floor mat and other assorted cashew nut delicacies.

Puerto Princesa offers good diving and is a fairly good place to take a PADI course if you plan to dive at some of the larger sites in El Nido or Coron. Moana dive centre, run by Paolo, offers PADI Open Water for 17500p. Good equipment, and pleasant instruction, with confined water dives taking place in the shallow parts of Puerto Princesa bay. Possible to see sea turtles, eels, lionfish, porcupine fish, batfish and snapper amongst others.

Eat

Drink

Sleep

Puerto Princesa has a wide range of accommodations that suit most budgets - from quaint lodges to high-end hotels and resorts.

Stay Healthy

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Thursday, March 24, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.