Must-try Places to Visit in Puerto Princesa

If you are planning to go to Puerto Princessa, Palawan as soon as the COVID-19 pandemic is over, I have listed some great places here as a suggestion. There are so many places to visit in Puerto Princesa. Some were offered by the tailored tour packages by travel agencies and tour operators. And since we had a unique itinerary, here are the list of must-try place to visit when in Puerto Princesa, Palawan which will make come back, for sure:

1. Isla Felomina Snorkeling and Diving Site

One of the countless virgin islands in the Philippines and in Palawan, Isla Filomena is the newest snorkeling and dive site in Puerto Princesa.  An hour boat-ride from Sabang beach, you can enjoy this unspoiled place. You could have it yourself since it's not yet known to many. It was just opened to the public last March 2016.  A virgin white beach, crystal clear waters, and hospitable locals that take care and managing the activity on this island.  There are so many fishes even just in the shoreline, you could readily see them swimming around. 

The entrance fee is Php 160.00 You can add Php 200.00 for food (lunch and merienda/snack: includes rice, catch of the day fish, veggie dish, and local desserts such as suman or bibingka and fresh buko/coconut.)

Person to contact: Brgy. Captain Hipolito Lebios - +63 950 297 2477

Location: Barangay New Pangganan, Puerto Princesa, Palawan

2. Underground River

And of course, when you're in Palawan, you should never miss visiting the famous The Puerto Princesa Subterranean National Park: Underground River. This natural world heritage site is also included in the New 7 Wonders of the world. Before this, it has also been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. 

You can avail of the Underground River Tour to any travel and tour agency which usually costs Php 1,500.00 (USD32.00) and up.

3. Nagtabon Beach

Another unspoiled and undiscovered beaches in Puerto Princesa is the Nagtabon beach, it boasts its long white-sand shoreline. This beach is only known to locals which made it uncrowded even on weekends. There are moderate waves on the beach most of the time which is kind of good for surfing according to the locals. The beach is so clean that you can safely go to the water on your bare feet, and only feel sand with no corals or seaweed. 

The entrance fee is only Php 20.00 (USD 0.50), the cottage is only Php 100.00 (USD 2.20) and if you have a car, the parking fee is only Php 50.00 (USD 1.10.) 


4. Firefly-Watching in Sicsican River
A firefly-watching activity is one of a kind since it's unusual for us to see so many fireflies especially here in the metro. The Sicsican river is a fifteen-minute boat ride from Baybay (Baywalk) and the fee for the firefly-watching activity is Php 1,100.00 (USD 24.00) which lasts for an hour and a half or two where your dinner in eat-all-you-can buffet style is also included at their floating restaurant where you'll be serenaded by a band while eating. 

Cruising in the bay going to the river is sullen and gloomy since it's very dark and quiet but thanks to our tour guide, Edison Dalanon (yes, he deserves a mention because he's so good) for making the trip enjoyable and fun. 

Edison is a radio jock in the local FM radio station by day and tour guide by night which explains why he was so eloquent and fun way of presenting the well-researched information about the tour. And lo and behold, aside from the firefly-watching we also had stargazing since the sky was clear and literally you'll sing "sky full of stars". The most amazing thing I saw, so full of stars right before our eyes which is surreal. Edison showed us different  constellations, planets, and stars with his amazing laser (flashlight) that can point those things out in the sky (very cool, I want one!)

The Sicsican River Firefly-Watching Tour is offered by Dolphin and Whales Travel and Tours. They also offer dolphin and whale watching. For inquiries, you may contact them at +63 915 263 2105 or reach them on Facebook: Dolphin and Whales Travel and Tours.

5. Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm
And since we've been into such adventures and like exploring places. A visit to Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm is a must-try and shouldn't be missed. Situated in Barangay Iwahig, 30-45 minutes away from Puerto Princesa City, Iwahig is unique among penal institutions. The inmates here live dormitories and work on one of the many agricultural projects. The prisoners here are free to roam around the vast farms and not locked out in prison cells.

Iwahig was originally set up in 1902 by the United States to house Philippine prisoners who had fought against the American colonization. And today, it still stands as a settlement for prisoners who wish to change and offers them vocational and recreational activities such as farming, fishery, forestry, carpentry, and even medical work.

You can also avail souvenirs at the souvenir shop that is made by the inmates (some will offer you also to buy their stuff while walking around). These handicrafts are also their way of making some money for their families while they are in prison.

It's nice to visit in Iwahig since you'll experience and get to see the very laid back country-side where gadgets can't be seen and everyone is physically active. And appreciate the nature of course. The place was very serene and comfy though you're literally in a prison.
FYI, Iwahig also offers firefly watching.

Location: Baranggay Iwahig, Puerto Princesa Palawan, Philippines

Although most or some people think that Puerto Princesa is boring, nothing to do... I don’t believe them, it has a lot of offer but most need to be discovered and developed first. Don’t forget to include these places on your itinerary next you’ll visit this beautiful city. 


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