PALAWAN ITINERARY: Things to Do in Puerto Princesa, Tourist Spots and Places to Visit (Travel Guide Blog 2024 for First-timers)

Top Things to do in Puerto Princesa Palawan Tourist Spots Itinerary Travel Guide Blogs

Looking for top things to do in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, tourist spots and best places to visit? Read on this Puerto Princesa Travel Guide Blog with sample Palawan itinerary, where to stay (best hotels and resorts) and recommended tours to help you plan an Ultimate Palawan Adventure this 2024!

Puerto Princesa, officially the City of Puerto Princesa is the capital of the Province of Palawan. As one of the top tourist destinations in the Philippines, it is home to the Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR), which is UNESCO World Heritage Site and dubbed as "New 7 Wonders of Nature". Puerto Princesa is famous for its natural attractions, many tourist spots, exciting activities and things to do. Certainly, travelers and nature enthusiasts will have an amazing trip to Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, all-year round!

What to see and do in Puerto Princesa? From natural attractions, beaches, waterfalls, heritage sites, caves, amazing hotels and resorts, and so much more! Are you ready to explore Palawan? Be sure to read this Puerto Princesa City Travel Guide Blog!

Traveling to Puerto Princesa, Palawan?
Book bus, ferry, flight or minivan from and to Puerto Princesa City! Check out the different transportation options on how to get to Puerto Princesa on this link.

Palawan Trip Blog with Sample Itinerary

Written by Wendi Garcia

My husband Matt and I are both self-confessed workaholics. Although we try to make time for ourselves and our kids, we still end up spending more time at work and come home feeling burned out. And since we’ve never been to Puerto Princesa, Palawan, it seemed like the ideal destination for us.

2024 PUERTO PRINCESA TRAVEL GUIDE BLOG FOR FIRST-TIMERS (UPDATED) - Things to Do in Puerto Princesa, Tourist Spots & Places to Visit

At first, Matt wanted a DIY tour, but truthfully we just didn’t have the time to do more work and research. I needed a break from all that! We came across this All inclusive Package Tour from Princesa Garden Island Resort and Spa and decided to give it a go. Turned out to be super sulit (worth it) & one of the best decisions we’ve made in a long time!

It’s All In Package - The Puerto Princesa, Palawan Itinerary (4 days and 3 nights)

Day 1
11:00 AM
Arrival at the Airport
·         Complimentary Airport Transfers
1:00 AM
Puerto Princesa City Tour - See tour details here
·         Immaculate Conception Cathedral
·         Plaza Cuartel
·         Baywalk
·         Crocodile Farm
·         Binuatan Weaving Creations
·         Mitra Ranch
·         Baker’s Hill
5:30 PM
7:00 PM
Dinner at Tomato and Basil Cucina Italia
Day 2
 6:00 AM
Buffet Breakfast at Rice 
 6:30 AM
 7:00 PM
Dinner at Rice
Day 3
 6:00 AM
Buffet Breakfast at Rice 
 6:30 AM
Day 4
6:00 AM
 Buffet Breakfast at Rice 
8:00 AM
 Sandbar Tour + Non-motorized watersports activities
12:00 NN
All-In cost: P16,300 net/adult

MUST-READ: Sample PUERTO PRINCESA Itineraries for First-timers

DAY 1: Arrival in Puerto Princesa and City Tour

We arrived at Puerto Princesa International Airport at 11 a.m.‬ via Air Asia. Thankfully, our package with Princesa Garden Island Resort and Spa included free airport transfer so we didn’t have to haggle the tricycle drivers.

We arrived at the resort 15 minutes later. We were welcomed with drinks and drum beatings!‬‬‬‬‬‬

Since check-in time was still at 3:00 pm, we decided to give the city tour a go.

Our van brought us to the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Plaza Cuartel and Baywalk. According to our tour guide, the Plaza Cuartel was the site of a former penal colony, built sometime in the 1940s. If I remember it right, this was where more than 100 soldiers were burned by the Japanese during war time.

After this, we went to Puerto Princesa’s Palawan Rescue and Wildlife Center. It used to be called the Crocodile Farm, but it’s actually more of a mini zoo featuring other endemic animals.

We also dropped by Binuatan Weaving Creations. It was amazing! We met and talked with the talented weavers, and if only I had the money, I would have probably bought everything there! I couldn’t leave though without getting a couple of lovely placemats and table settings.

Our next stops were Mitra Ranch and Baker’s Hill, both situated along Mitra Road. Mitra Ranch offered spectacular views of Honda Bay.

When we got back to Princesa Garden Island, we check-in and were famishe! The package includes dinner at one of their specialty restaurant, the Tomato and Basil Cucina Italia. We had an amazing dinner there, and in my opinion, they serve one of the best pizzas in Palawan! All their pizzas are wood-fire-baked and made with top quality ingredients. My top pick is their Margherita pizza. I also recommend their hearty pasta dishes!


DAY 2: Puerto Princesa Underground River Tour

For the second day, we started off with a buffet breakfast. Matt was teasing me that this was the real reason I wanted this tour package. This was quite true, as one of my friends raved about the buffet breakfast here and I wanted to try it myself. And it didn’t disappoint. The spread was a good mix of international and local flavors.

As delicious as our breakfast was, the highlight of our day was touring the Underground River—the famous subterranean river in Palawan that made it to the New 7 Wonders of Nature a few years ago.

When we got to Sabang, we had our complimentary lunch while waiting for our turn to board the boat that will take us to the site where the underground river is located. When we reached the entrance beach, I spotted monkeys and monitor lizards roaming around. It enjoyed being so close to nature, which I had not felt in a very long time! The tour guide told us to secure our belongings, or else the monkeys might actually snatch things from us.

At one point, I think I was in so much awe that Matt had to remind me to close my mouth so I don’t end up finding out what bat poop tastes like.

At dinnertime, the package included another meal at the coffeeshop, Rice, which serves International and Filipino cuisine. Needless to say, we went back to our rooms with very happy tummies.


DAY 3: Honda Bay Tour and Firefly Watching

On our third day, we enjoyed another buffet breakfast before heading out for our Honda Bay Island Hopping Tour and Firefly Watching Tour.

After 45 minutes, we arrived at the Honda Bay port, which was brimming with people. I could just imagine how stressful it would have been if we took the DIY route. I couldn’t help but give Matt the see-I-told-you-we-made-the-right-decision look.

We waited only a few minutes to hop on our boat and see the majestic islands of Honda Bay. All had stunning white beaches lined with coconut trees. We visited Luli Island (“Luli” stands for lulubog-lilitaw, as the island disappears during high tide and reappears during low tide), Starfish Island, Pandan Island and Cowrie Island.

We went back to the port at around 4 p.m., just in time for our trip to the site of the Firefly Watching Tour. I have to admit that at first, I was reluctant to go on this tour. I was telling Matt that we can probably head back to the resort after the Honda Bay Tour. I’m just so glad that he was able to convince me otherwise. I didn’t expect it to be breathtaking, but it was.

The river tour, which lasted 30 minutes or so, provided an incredible view of fireflies lighting up trees and mangroves along the bank of the river. Every moment was picture-perfect moment! We didn’t take photos though, as the tour guide said the flash would immediately drive away the fireflies. After the tour, we had a simple but satisfying dinner along the river bank.


DAY 4: Enjoying the Resort + Departure

On our last day, after having another filling breakfast, we spent our last hours in the city enjoying the resort facilities. We went for a walk to their sandbar and was at awe with how serene the area was. The waters were crystal clear waters and the sand was powery white! I wanted to take home a starfish from their sandbar but decided against it, knowing this could harm the island’s delicate eco balance. We checked out at 12 noon‬ and headed to the airport, where we talked nonstop about how great our vacation was while waiting for our flight.‬‬‬‬‬

I don’t have to elaborate much, but obviously, we had the time of our lives. If you're wondering how much we’ve spent, we paid P16,300 per adult (P6,450 per child) for the all inclusive package which included all meals and tours as mentioned. For us, it was worth every penny for the quality of service and top class amenities we have received. Plus, seeing how family-friendly resort Princesa Garden Island Resort is (they have free art activities for kids and even a huge day care center!), I am sure that we’ll be staying there again when we visit Palawan with the kids!

NOTE: The article above was written by Wendi Garcia, one of our contributing writers.

Top Things to Do in Puerto Princesa City, Tourist Spots and Places to Visit 2024

What to do in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan? Here are the top things to do, tourist spots and attractions you should add in your Palawan Adventure itinerary!

Top Top Things to Do in Puerto Princesa City Tourist Spots and Attractions in Palawan
Photo from Klook.com

Puerto Princesa Underground River Day Tour

A visit to Puerto Princesa City is not complete without exploring one of the "New 7 Wonders of the World" and a UNESCO World Heritage Site - the Puerto Princesa Underground River National Park. It is once considered as the longest navigable subterranean river in the world and a top tourist drawer of Palawan. When visiting the Puerto Princesa Underground River National Park, you'll also get to see wildlife and do some birdwatching which will surely be enjoyed by the whole family.

As it is away from the city center, getting a packaged tour (see package inclusions here) when visiting the Puerto Princesa Underground River is the most recommended way to get there. Included in the packaged tour is the hotel pick up and drop off that will bring you to and from your adventures safely and hassle-free! More to that, a delicious buffet lunch await after the tour or before going back to downtown Puerto Princesa City.


Top Top Things to Do in Puerto Princesa City Tourist Spots and Attractions in Palawan
Photo from Klook.com

Puerto Princesa City Bay Cruise

See Puerto Princesa at its most natural with this tour of the city bay! Witness a stunning view of Palawan's sunrise/sunset as you take a boat ride across Puerto Princesa City Bay. Meet people from the Badjao Tribe, a community of sea nomads who live in house boats called vintas, where you’ll be able to watch their daily tasks such as traditional fishing, gleaning shells and diving for pearls. This is followed by a stop to the mangrove trees in the area, where you can learn about their importance in protecting Palawan from environmental disasters and maintaning the aquatic ecosystem. Lastly, you'll also get to visit a research facility for grouper fish, where you can learn about their sea-ranching program as well as take a boat up Iwahig River. This tour is perfect mix of sightseeing and learning about Palawan!


Top Top Things to Do in Puerto Princesa City Tourist Spots and Attractions in Palawan
Photo from Klook.com

Puerto Princesa City Heritage Tour

On this city tour, you'll get to visit the top tourist spots and attractions in Puerto Princesa City. This includes a visit to the Roman Catholic Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral, Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center and see Philippine crocodiles, visit Binuatan Creations Traditional Weaving Center and see how the locals make hand-woven products, get a panoramic view of Puerto Princesa City at the Mitra's Ranch, visit Baker’s Hill that is famous for its baked goodies and treats, and lastly, visit Plaza Cuartel and listen to the fascinating history and events that happened there.


Top Top Things to Do in Puerto Princesa City Tourist Spots and Attractions in Palawan
Photo from Klook.com

Puerto Princesa Chasing Waterfalls Tour

Discover this once-hidden waterfall of Puerto Princesa in this half day tour! This waterfall exploration tour begins with a short trek through the lowland forest that lead to the falls - the walk won't be extreme, but it's better to wear sturdy shoes just in case. Once you arrive at the Bacungan falls, you are free to choose how to spend the rest of your time there: you can choose swim in the cool and clear pools of water that come from the falls, take photographs of the beautiful falls themselves, or maybe even climb up the rocks for that perfect selfie! Whatever you choose to do, one thing's for sure: this will be a tour that you'll be glad you went on!


Top Top Things to Do in Puerto Princesa City Tourist Spots and Attractions in Palawan
Photo from Klook.com

Honda Bay Island Hopping Tour

In this island hopping tour, you'll get to see, explore and enjoy Honda Bay's white-sandy beaches, beautiful waters, and great attractions. This includes a visit to the rich underwater gardens, bat sanctuary, picnic groove, and enjoy some water sports activities. Go on an island hopping adventure around Luli Island, Cowrie Island and Starfish Island that your family and friends will surely enjoy and have an unforgettable Palawan experience.


Top Top Things to Do in Puerto Princesa City Tourist Spots and Attractions in Palawan
Photo from Klook.com

Puerto Princesa Firefly Watching

Enjoy a night of watching thousands of fireflies glowing in the dark in a rich mangrove ecosystem in Nagsaguipi River in Puerto Princesa City. In this tour, you'll get to witness one of nature’s spectacles as you embark on a paddle boat and cruise along the river. Included in the tour package a delicious buffet dinner before the river cruise and a hotel pick up and drop off to make traveling to and from Nagsaguipi River convenient and hassle-free!


Top Top Things to Do in Puerto Princesa City Tourist Spots and Attractions in Palawan
Photo from Klook.com

Puerto Princesa Chasing Waterfalls and West Coast Beaches

Discover some of the hidden secrets of Puerto Princesa in this one day tour, which will take you to secluded waterfalls and the quiet beaches of the west coast. Start your day off with a short trek to the newly-discovered Pupunton Waterfalls in Bacungan, where you will pass through the lowland forest leading to the falls - the walk won’t be tedious, but remember to wear comfortable shoes to make it easier! You’ll be able to relax in this peaceful area and take a dip in the cool, natural pools the come from the cascading waterfalls. After a couple of hours, you’ll go on a short boat ride going to the beaches of Talaudyong and Nagtabon, where a a delicious picnic lunch awaits you. The rest of your afternoon will be spent swimming, exploring, and taking photos of this picturesque beach. Surfers are also in for a treat when they get to the beaches, because this is a popular spot for surfing because of the big waves(don’t forget to bring your own surfboards!) This trip is perfect for everyone: adventure-seekers will spend a day discovering new places and surfing the waves while those seeking a day of relaxation get a chance to enjoy the tranquility of these hidden spots.


Top Top Things to Do in Palawan Puerto Princesa City Tourist Spots and Attractions in Palawan
Photo from Klook.com

Puerto Princesa Tabon Cave Excursion

Travel back in time with an exploration of the Tabon Caves in Puerto Princesa, a site known for its great historical value! Dubbed as the "Cradle of Civilization," the caves contains a large number of archaeological finds, including a skull cap that dates back thousands of years ago, as well as the Manunggul Jar, a burial jar listed as a national treasure. The tour starts with a pick up at your hotel, followed by a scenic drive outside of mainland Palawan and a boat ride through tranquil waters. Enjoy a delicious lunch once you get to the island, which will refresh and reenergize you for the tour of the caves! You'll then learn about the cave's historical significance as you explore the mysterious caves with your tour guide, where you'll see impressive limestone formations as well as burial sites, right before you start your trip back to your hotel in Puerto Princesa.


Top Top Things to Do in Palawan Puerto Princesa City Tourist Spots and Attractions in Palawan
Photo from Klook.com

Puerto Princesa Balsahan River and Trail

Indulge in the quiet but majestic beauty of nature in this one day trip to Puerto Princesa's Balsahan River and Trail. Start your day off by trekking through the trail of Thumb Peak (don't forget to wear hiking shoes!) where you'll encounter butterflies flying about and listen to the melodious sound of birds chirping in the morning. Your guide will not only help you with the trekking aspect, they will also teach you some forest secrets! This includes how to lure birds like the Palawan Hornbill and the Flameback Woodpeckers and also help you how to identify the Palawan Rock Frog by the river side. The delicious picnic lunch at Balshan River Cottage will rejuvenate you for the rest of the trip - enjoy a meal made of grilled meat, fish, fruits and local vegetables! You'll also visit some of the local coffee plantations and check out how local coffee is grown and harvested, as well as explore the lowland forest by the trail. Don't worry about the day possibly getting too hot, because a dip in the river will cool you off right away. This trip is surely something any traveler shouldn't miss, especially those in love with nature.


Planning a trip to Puerto Princesa City, Palawan but you don't know where to start? Check out these SAMPLE PUERTO PRINCESA ITINERARIES for 3, 4, 5, 6 Days Tour or More that will serve as your guide in creating your own Palawan itinerary.


I hope this list of top things to do in Puerto Princesa, tourist spots and best places to visit in Palawan help you in planning an amazing Puerto Princesa Palawan adventure! Enjoy and have fun in Palawan!






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