(Last Updated On: September 23, 2017)

PUERTO PRINCESA is a slice of heaven which is not limited to the delectable dish served in a platter but extends farther beyond imagination. Choosing what to do and where to go first can become really mind-boggling especially when you’re on a limited time. “So many places. So little time.” fits perfectly to this kind of situation which is pretty much the same wherever you go in Palawan or anywhere in the entire Philippines.

To make it easier the next time you head to Puerto Princesa, I narrowed down all the most interesting things there is to this beautiful city into a list of 12.

1. See the Puerto Princesa Underground River

Considered as one of the 7 Wonders Of Nature, the Underground River is one of the reasons Puerto Princesa city is flooded with tourists from all walks of life of different ages coming from anywhere in the world every year. And why wouldn’t they? It is one best example of nature’s mystique. A journey to the underground river will tell you of a story that was molded for hundreds of years. Although the stalactite and stalagmite formations within the cave aren’t glowing like crystals, each of them has a fascinating story to tell. Added to that is the guide’s quirky manner of presenting his figment of imagination which most of the time will make you burst with laughter.

While waiting for your turn to do the tour, take some photos and time to appreciate the beauty of the environment outside the Underground River

Price: P1100 – P1500 (Agency) P800 (DIY) per head.

How To Go There: Go to Sabang Port which is 2 hours drive from the city. Make sure that you already have a confirmed slot from the city’s local council to avoid inconvenience. From Sabang Port, ride an outrigger boat going to the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River Park. Travel takes 15-20 minutes. Another option is to take the 1-2 hours Jungle trail to the Underground River Park which would start in Sabang Beach.

Tips: Book your slots at least 2 weeks before you fly to Puerto Princesa. If you fail to do so, you might still get one if you would personally go to the council’s office and present your departure flight details. They usually grant slots to tourists leaving Palawan the same or the following day. If you want hassle free transaction, you can book an underground river tour with any of the local tour agencies there.

2. Island Hopping

Within Honda Bay scattered various small islands and each is gifted with some rare species of fish and other marine animals. Head to Starfish Island and see starfishes of different colors and sizes. Snorkel and get a chance to discover paradise underwater. Afterwards, take time to see Luli Island. Named after the Filipino slang “Lulubog Lilitaw”, this some 2-kilometer sandbar disappears during hightide and reappears during lowtide. Lastly, relax next to a glass of mojito or mango shake in Cowrey Island. Meet and get to know some tourists and ask them to play beach volleyball with you. Have a great time and head back to the city before dusk.

Price: P1000/person (Agency)

Tips: You can rent small boats which is normally for P1500 and divide the cost with the number of people in your group.

This adorable creature though

3. Go to Dos Palmas Island

Still within the expanse of Honda Bay, fronting the Sulu Sea is a 20-hectare private island Dos Palmas. Surrounded with white sandy beaches and turquiose waters, this can be your perfect alternative over the very touristy Honda Bay Island Hopping tour. Hop on one of the native outrigger boats en route to the island and discover the intoxicating combination of nature and luxury in a one ultimate tropical paradise experience.

Price: P1800/person (Agency) 

How to go there: Hop on one of the shuttle van going to Sta. Lourdes wharf. From there ride one of the outrigger boats going to the island. Tricycles are also one form of transportation going to the wharf.

4. Firefly Watching

Another very interesting experience while in Puerto Princesa is to watch thousands of fireflies lit mangroves under a starlit sky in Iwahig. Enjoy an hour filled with insighful learnings courtesy of your boatman who will take your journey from one constellation after the other, from mangroves to plankton and to every interesting detail there is to fireflies. Price: P1000/person

5. City Tour & Food Search

Wrapping Puerto Princesa city are amusement and wildlife parks, cathedrals, and great restaurants. Best known to be the Philippines city which has the richest wildlife habitat, Puerto Princesa did themselves well with preserving various endangered wildlife species. There they have the Butterfly Garden which is a sanctuary to different kinds of butterflies and other animals. Not far from the Butterfly Garden is the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center (formerly known as the Crocodile Farm and Nature Park) which houses the Philippine freshwater crocodile with Mac-mac the biggest croc in the city as the main star. While in PWRCC, you may also want to give the infamous crocodile sisig a try. Couple of miles away is Baker’s Hill where you can get tasty pastries at such inexpensive prices and Mitra’s Ranch which offers a scenic view of the surrounding valley. Head back to town and drop by the Immaculate Conception Cathedral and Plaza Cuartel to know a little history about the city. Stroll along Puerto Princesa Baywalk at sunset then enjoy the city’s lively night life after 6PM.

Sizzling mixed seafood! Yum!

Price: P500

Tips: Rent a motorbike to do the city tour. Automatic scooters are rented for P400. Drive yourself around city and discover off beaten tourist spots.


6. Chase Waterfalls

Do you feel like chasing waterfalls? In Puerto Princesa it best done in Estrella falls. Enjoy its cold and refreshing waters. Relax, be one with nature and oblivious to world. Other interesting waterfalls you might want to check are Salakot and Bonton.  Price: P300



7. River Kayaking & Cruise

Enjoy a hearty and delicious meal while entertaining yourself with the tranquility and beauty of nature. Get to learn something new about mangroves and its importance not just to the organisms who take shelter on it but to humanity as well. Price: P250 – P500

8. Zipline, Trail Walk & Spelunking

If you are looking for some rush of adrenaline and love jaw-dropping adventures then you might enjoy caving in Ugong Rock. Marvel at some awesome rock formations while climbing your way to the top. Finally, fly your way down through a zipline. This can be another activity to fill in your itinerary after your Underground River tour. Price: P500

Some creativity and art courtesy of the young locals


9. Climb a mountain

Surrounding the “city in a forest” are range of some spectacular mountains. Inexperienced or pro mountaineers will find Mount Bloomfield worth adding to their bucketlist. Overlooking Sabang, this can be another reason why you should spare this side of the city a couple of days in your itinerary.   Price: P400  How to go there: Ride a shuttle van going to Sabang. Register at the local tourism office, get information and other tips. Hire a guide if need be.

10. Dolphin Watching

Dubbed as one of the most adorable of sea creatures, who wouldn’t want to get a glimpse of this friendly homies in Puerto Princesa Bay. Watch them take your breath away as they dance, fly and swim in the middle of the ocean. Price: P500

11. Go to Arena Island Turtle Sanctuary.

Thinking about avoiding the tourist beaten path? Head to Arena Island where serenity is at its best quality.Have a sumptuous dinner by the shore under the moonlit sky. Worry about nothing else as you have the place all to yourselves or shared with some few tourists also seeking peace and quiet. Price: P800

12. Drop by Port Barton

2-3 hours drive away from Puerto Princesa is Port Barton, home to some breathtaking sunsets and sanctuary to colorful and rich coral reefs filled with various marine species. Whether you’re in it just to witness its unsung beauty or dig deeper into its unknown hollows, this place is definitely worth a visit. Price: P500 – P1500

This beautiful Immaculate Conception Cathedral

How to go there: Ride a van or a bus going to El Nido. Alight the bus at the intersection/junction going to Port Barton. Ride a tricycle to take you to Port Barton. Tips: Make sure to ask how much are you gonna be charged for the tricycle service for you to avoid being rip off. P300 may seem to be a fair price which you can share with 2-3 other people.

There you go folks. The next time you visit PUERTO PRINCESA, make sure to have done one or two things in this list and I guarantee your stay in the city is one you would always cherish and remember. Anyhow whichever you choose to do, the locals in the city is sure to deliver quite an amazing experience to its visitors. They certainly took the time and effort be proficient in what they do through proper training. They may not be very conversational in English as one can truly be but they sure know how to try. . . 🙂 Also do check my Budget Travel Guide To Puerto Princesa for other ideas. Thanks. See yah. 🙂



Hi There!

Watashi no namae wa Kezu desu!

“A wanna be. Wanna do everything kind of badass”


Hmm. I’m wondering what I should tell you since I really don’t wanna oversell myself. Let’s see.. Just like any other girl, I’m just ordinary. I love to travel, take photos, share stories and write. I’m an anime otaku and my favorite country is Japan although I haven’t been there yet. I have a 9 by 5 job but I hope to travel full time someday. And I’m also a blabbermouth since birth. Me blogging and writing stuff online is just some sort of therapy so I don’t get myself in trouble. You know, me and my big mouth. Lol


  1. Abhimanyu Vashist Reply

    Hi Keza,
    This is a highly helpful article indeed. I’m planning on visiting PPS in the last week of December and would spend about 2-3 days there. Could you let me know if the prices you’ve mentioned here for the activities would remain the same or do the operators tend to increase them due to holiday season?
    I’m a budget traveler so just don’t want any last minute surprises 🙂

    Also any hostel there that you would recommend?

    • Hi. Prices may be about the same or if they have increased, it should only be minimal even when you’re going on a holiday season. As for hostel, I would recommend Sunflower Royal Pensionne or you can check out Agoda for more options.

  2. Hi, I would like to know if we can still do Honda Bay Tour if our flight arrival is 1445? Will only spend that day in PPS and heed to El Nido the following day. Any suggestion? Thank you.

    • Hi Flor. Unfortunately no. Honda Bay Tour normally start as early as 8AM for safety reasons and for visitors to maximize exploring the islands. You can do city tour instead and restaurant hopping or if still available, firefly watching. 🙂

  3. Hey this is a very helpful article. I have a quewtion thiugh, do you happen to know if the agencies in the airport is open at night. We are planning to book activities there as you suggested but our flight arrival is around 7 pm. Thanks.

  4. Hello po! Plano po naming pumunta ng PP by june at malaking tulong po itong mga guidelines na binigay nyo kasi we’re planning DIY din para mejo makamura hehe. may marerecommend po ba kayo na hotel na pwede ding mag accommodate ng mga pupuntahan at yung site na din po nila? Salamat po =)

  5. Hi. I want to know if Villa Travelista Travel Lodge can arrange my trip to Underground River and Honda Bay? I have red your PPS blog that you stayed there before. Thanks! 🙂

  6. Hello. I’m planning to try at least half of your list here on a DIY. Nice write-up by the way. Anyways, I’ll be flying to PP next month and I’m wondering if I could do all the bookings (take the airfare and hotel out of the list) while I’m still here in Manila? I’m not quite sure if the guest house I booked has those services you’ve mentioned. I’m not even sure how near or far they are from the airport. I booked it via booking.com. I want everything organized before my flight so I’d be able to maximize my time while I’m there. Do you think it’s possible? Can you provide guidelines on how to do the DIY while I’m still here in Manila? I hope what I’m asking isn’t too much though it would really be helpful. Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Cazey.

      Can you tell what activities would you like to do in Pps so I can further assist you

      • I hope my time is enough for these:
        -arena island turtle sanctuary
        -honda bay island
        -underground river
        -firefly watching
        -immaculate conception cathedral
        -butterfly sanctuary
        -crocodile farm
        -Estrella falls

        • How many days to you wanna stay in PPs?

          Arena Turtle Island should be alloted 2 days ask your hotel if they do arrange this tour,
          Honda Bay is 1 day you can book a tour if you’re alone to save money then at night maybe go firefly watching, you can just hire a tricycle to take you to Ihawig,
          immaculte conception cathedral, butterfly sanctuary, croc farm, estrella falls can be clubbed in 1 day and you can just hire a tricycle to go to these places.

    • Hi Jayssa. You can ask the local tourism office about it. They can make better recommendations on where to get the tours..

    • Hi Lady. Yes you have cause you need to get permits and guides. Just ask your hotel or any tour agency for this kind of tour.

  7. Hi Keza, we do like luxury accommodations and want to try a several of your list of 12 things to do during our quick stop to Puerto Princesa this time. Can you recommend a great hotel central to these activities you recommend? We definitely like to go to underground river and firefly watcgubg. Would also like to see Estrella falls and take in some dolphins & turtles. Thank you for all your information!

    • Hi Marie. Thank you for reaching me. Unfortunately I only know Sheridan Hotel & Spa as something that might meet your standards. It’s located in Sabang so your just minutes away from the Underground River but is 2 hrs away from the city and Iwahig for the fireflies. Sorry. I can’t really make recommendations for luxury hotels since I’m more of a budget traveller. 🙂

  8. hi.. good morning. is it really possible to have a DIY tour in underground river? thanks in advance.

    • Hi Laicel. It’s possible but you will have to be the one to go through with the tedious process of getting a permit for your tour. Better to just book it with an agency to avoid the hassle. Anyways they offer the tour for P1200-1500 per person. 🙂

  9. Hi! I’d like to ask if the river kayaking & cruise activity you mentioned is in honda bay?

Hey Guys! Care to share me your thoughts? 👇👇👇

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