Puerto Princesa 3-Day Itinerary & Travel Guide

Updated January 12, 2019
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Palawan is a top Philippine destination, and as its main gateway, Puerto Princesa welcomes more and more tourists every year. It’s also home to UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Puerto Princesa Underground River.

Getting Around

Tricycle! Most hotels in the city are close to numerous restaurants so walking is the best option for dining. But to get around the city’s tourist spots, it’s best to hire a tricycle with a local driver. Prices vary on how far the reach of your tour is and how long it is.

What I did was contact a tricycle driver a few days before we arrive. I requested a whole day tour from 7AM to 9PM that includes:

  • Airport Pickup
  • Sta. Lourdes Wharf for Honda Bay Island Hopping
  • City Tour
  • Iwahig Firefly Watching
  • Hotel drop-off

We agreed to pay PHP 1,400.00 for that which I think is a fair price for my requests. Boat rentals for the island hopping and firefly watching were paid separately, which I would get to later on in this post.

Boats at Sta. Lourdes Wharf

Boats at Sta. Lourdes Wharf

Top Tourist Attractions

Puerto Princesa Underground River

A wonder of nature, this underground river is one of longest in the world. Although it is more than 24 kilometers long, only 4 km are accessible to tourists.

We reserved tickets through our tricycle tour guide, but most hotels can do that as well.

Admission Fee, Van Transfers & Buffet Lunch – PHP 1,800.00 per person

Inside the underground river

Inside the underground river

Honda Bay Island Hopping

There are beaches around the city, but the best ones are away to the sea. Honda Bay hosts islands that are home to these beaches. We went to the port without reservations and planned to rent a small private boat. But we found a tour group that’s free of 2 more people, so we joined them to save even just a little bit of cash.

The group tour we joined in already included the entrance fees for each island. We went to a total of 3 islands–Luli, Starfish, Cowrie. Lunch was included as well.

Honda Bay Group Tour Island Hopping w/ Lunch – PHP 1,000.00 per person

Here are the prices for a DIY Island Hopping w/o Lunch:

Small Boat Rental (up to 6 people) – PHP 1,300.00

Luli Island* – PHP 60.00 per person

Starfish Island* – PHP 50.00 per person

Cowrie Island* – PHP 100.00 per person

*Entrance fees may vary if paid at the port or at the island itself

Wayne at Luli Island

Wayne at Luli Island

Iwahig Firefly Watching

If touring the whole day is not yet enough, then a night tour is also available through this firefly activity! What’s nice about this is that it’s very educational. We learned a lot about fireflies, constellations, and the place of Iwahig.

Fee – PHP 900.00 per boat good for 3 people

Small boat for the Firefly Experience

Small boat for the Firefly Experience

Palawan Butterfly Ecological Garden and Tribal Village

There’s a lot going on in this place. There’s the native people, peacocks, bearcats, scorpions, and of course, the butterflies. It’s kind of a mini-zoo except there’s an area where you can interact with a native tribe from Palawan. They showcase their weapons, instruments, and local products. It felt off to me, but as long as the tribe members aren’t taken advantage of, then I guess it’s fine.

Entrance Fee – PHP 50.00 per person

A butterfly in the butterfly garden

A butterfly in the butterfly garden

Mitra’s Ranch

A nice place with good view. Activities ranges from horseback riding to ziplining so there’s something for everyone. Because of our time shortage, we didn’t stay long here. But this would be an ideal place for family picnics and afternoon activities.

Free Entrance

View from Mitra's Ranch

View from Mitra’s Ranch

Baker’s Hill

Just a short walk from Mitra’s Ranch is this little neighborhood of pastry shops and cafes. Perfect stopover for snacks and souvenirs.

Free Entrance

Snacks at Baker's Hill

Snacks at Baker’s Hill

Other attractions we didn’t get to visit:

  • Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center (Crocodile Farm)
  • Binuatan Weaving Creations
  • Kuyba Almoneca

Itinerary

Day 1

  • 7:20 AM – Arrive at Puerto Princesa International Airport via Flight Z2-426
  • 7:40 AM – Start of Whole Day Tricycle Tour
  • 8:00 AM – Drop off bags at Acacia City Garden Hotel
  • 8:30 AM – Sta. Lourdes Wharf
  • 9:00 AM – Start of Honda Bay Island Hopping
    • Luli Island
    • Starfish Island (Lunch here)
    • Cowrie Island
  • 3:30 PM – Start of City Tour
    • Palawan Butterfly Ecological Garden and Tribal Village
    • Mitra’s Ranch
    • Baker’s Hill
  • 6:00 PM – Arrive at Iwahig Firefly
  • 7:00 PM  – Start of Firefly experience
  • 9:00 PM – Back at Acacia City Garden Hotel
    • Dinner at the hotel

Day 2

  • 6:30 AM – Van pickup for Underground River Tour
  • 8:00 AM – Stopover at Buenavista Viewdeck
  • 8:50 AM – Arrive at Sabang Port
  • 9:00 AM – Boat ride to underground river park entrance
  • 9:20 AM – Arrive at the park entrance
  • 9:40 AM – Start of Underground River Tour
  • 10:20 AM – End of Underground River Tour
  • 11:00 AM – Back at Sabang Port
  • 11:10 AM – Lunch at Penau Restaurant
  • 11:40 AM – Sabang Beach
  • 12:00 PM – Van back to hotel
  • 1:40 PM – Back at the hotel (rest and swim at the pool)
  • 4:00 PM – Snacks at the hotel
  • 7:30 PM – Tricycle to MCA Market Pasalubong Center (PHP 80.00)
  • 8:00 PM – Buy souvenirs at MCA Market Pasalubong Center
  • 9:30 PM – Dinner at Coning’s Ribs & Noodles

Day 3

  • 5:30 AM – Breakfast at the hotel
  • 6:00 AM – Tricycle to Puerto Princesa International Airport (PHP 150.00)
  • 6:30 AM – Check in for flight
  • 7:50 AM – Flight Z2-427 Puerto Princesa to Manila
Puerto Princesa International Airport Departure Hall

Puerto Princesa International Airport Departure Hall

Expenses

Flight Z2-426 Manila to Puerto PrincesaPHP 922.40
per person
AirAsia ASEAN Pass
PHP 277.40 (fees) + 1 Point
Flight Z2-427 Puerto Princesa to Manila PHP 937.40
per person
AirAsia ASEAN Pass
PHP 292.40 (fees) + 1 Point
Acacia City Garden HotelPHP 4,409.72
for 2 Nights
Queen-size bed
w/ Breakfast
Tricycle Whole Day Tour (7 AM to 9 PM)PHP 1,300.00 PHP
per tricycle
Kuya Ernesto (?)
+63946-531-1321
Honda Bay Island HoppingPHP 1,000.00
per person
3 Islands
w/ Lunch
Palawan Butterfly Ecological Garden and Tribal Village AdmissionPHP 50.00
per person
Part of City Tour
Baker’s Hill SnacksPHP 70.00
per person
Part of City Tour
Iwahig Firefly WatchingPHP 900.00
per boat
Each boat is good for 3 people
Dinner at the hotelPHP 280.00
per person
Grilled Squid, Chicken Tinola, Garlic Rice
Snacks at the hotelPHP 190.00
per meal
Pasta (shared by 2)
Dinner at Coning’s Ribs & NoodlesPHP 200.00
per person
Seafood Sinigang, Buffalo Wings, Ribs
SouvenirsPHP 350.00
per person
Daing, Cashew Barquiron, Cashew Polvoron, Magnets
TOTALPHP 7,309.66
per person

Our flights were purchased together with AirAsia ASEAN Pass. We still had remaining points from our Laos-Myanmar Trip (check it out here) so we spent them on local destinations. Each point costs for about PHP 645.00 and both flights (MNL-PP & PP-MNL) are only 1 point each way. We only paid for the airport taxes and fees after the points were deducted in our ASEAN Pass. Click here to read my complete review on AirASIA ASEAN Pass!

Signage at Luli Island

Signage at Luli Island

~

This short 3-Day trip (basically 2 days) to Puerto Princesa was a great life-breather to our corporate lives! This city proved to me that not all touristy places in the Philippines would just want to rip off your money. The local government does an amazing job of maintaining the tourism and making it fair for both the local workers and the tourists. If it’s your first time to travel in the islands of the Philippines, I highly recommend Palawan. They will take care of you as much as they take care of their island!

Our Tricycle Driver/Tour Guide Contact: 0946-531-1321

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