Puerto Princesa, the capital of Palawan, is known as the Eco-Tourism Center of the Philippines. A popular tourist destination for many due to its beautiful beaches, amazing islands, kind-hearted Filipinos, and distinct restaurants offering delectable foods.
Tourists usually go to Palawan to visit the Underground River, El Nido, Coron, and the emerging town of Port Barton. Luckily, we have been to these places but there are still more like Calamian Islands, Culion, Calauit, Narra, Linapacan, Balabac, and the Tubbataha Reefs National Park.
We stayed at Mariafe Inn (Deluxe Room), a newly opened budget hotel, located at Lagan Street, Puerto Princesa City, just 5 minutes away from the airport. We arrived late in Puerto Princesa City, probably around 8:30PM, on our 2nd day from Port Barton but we have not experienced any problem from getting a trike to our hotel check-in. Our booking includes breakfast and airport transfers, too.
Although you still need to walk a bit to get to the main street, the hotel is near Palawan Provincial Capitol and walking distance to Tiki Restobar, Balinsasayaw Restaurant, Kinabuch Grill and Bar and Kalui Restaurant.
OUR FOODTRIP EXPERIENCE
KaLui – a must-try popular restaurant in Puerto Princesa. Make a reservation if you can to avoid the long-wait. Aside from their great food and dishes there are other things you can see here like handicrafts and beautiful paintings. Really lovely and a unique restaurant. A reason why it is ranked the #1 in TripAdvisor. KaLui had a native setup, cool and cozy ambience, and hospitable staffs. You will go barefoot to feel the authenticity of the place but do not worry they have shoe boxes for you.
Kinabuch Grill and Bar – another highly-recommended and popular restaurant in town. They also have a native setup and unique sports bar design. Their “tamilok” and “crocodile sisig” is the best, a must-try when in Palawan. If you want some cold beers and enjoy the night, go here.
Badjao Seafront Restaurant – Oh! This will be included in my next blog. Will give you a separate entry for this one since our foodtrip experience here will be sponsored by my brother, none other than Rey Anthony (hahaha). So, stay tuned!
Day 1: Puerto Princesa to Port Barton
10:30am – departure from Manila (with delayed AirAsia flight)
11:30am – arrival at Puerto Princesa
01:30pm – at Recaro Van Terminal
02:00pm – left terminal, going to Port Barton
04:30pm – at Port Barton, Palawan
05:30pm – at San Isidro Labrador Church
07:00pm – dinner at Bamboo House
08:00pm – beach stroll
09:30pm – lights off
Day 2: Port Barton Island Hopping
07:00am – breakfast
09:00am – left hotel for island hopping
09:30am – Twin Reef snorkeling
10:45am – at Inaladelan Island
02:00pm – at Paradise Island
03:00pm – Fantastic Reef snorkeling
03:45pm – Starfish Island / Sandbar
04:15pm – back to Summerhomes
05:00pm – going to Puerto Princesa
08:00pm – arrival at Puerto Princesa
Day 3: Puerto Princesa Underground River
06:15am – breakfast at Mariafe Inn
07:45am – van pickup for Underground River Tour
10:00am – Buenavista viewdeck
10:30am – at Sabang
10:45am – Mangrove paddle boat tour
11:30am – end of paddle boat tour
12:35pm – going back to Sabang for lunch
01:00pm – going to Underground River
03:30pm – end of Underground River tour
05:00pm – at Pasalubong Center
06:30pm – going back to our hotel
07:45pm – dinner at Kalui
09:00pm – back to hotel
Day 4: Puerto Princesa Honda Bay Tour
06:30am – breakfast
08:00am – pickup for Honda Bay Tour
09:30am – at Starfish Island
11:00am – at LuLi Island
01:30pm – at Cowrie Island
03:00pm – end of tour
05:30pm – at the airport
07:40pm – departure from Puerto Princesa
BUDGET / FEES / EXPENSES
|Particulars||Total Cost||Cost Per Pax|
|Fare – Tricycle from airport to Robinsons for lunch (3 pax)||70||23|
|Meals – lunch at Robinsons (3 pax)||315||105|
|Fare – Tricycle from Robinsons to Recaro Van Terminal (2 pax)||70||35|
|Meals – dinner at Bamboo House (2 pax)||600||300|
|Meals – dinner day 2||290||145|
|Fare – Tricycle from Recaro to Mariafe Inn||150||75|
|Hotel (Mariafe Inn for 2 nights)||2,400||1,200|
|Meals – Avocado shake||100|
|Pasalubong (various items)||3,300||1,650|
|Dinner at Kalui||930||465|
|Fare – tricycle to hotel||20||10|
|Aqua shoes rental||150|
|Snorkeling gear rental||150|
|Meals – early dinner at Kinabuch Bar and Grill||845||423|
|Accomodation – Summerhomes at Port Barton||2,000||1,000|
|Port Barton Island Hopping Tour||1,000|
|Van to Port Barton from Puerto Princesa||400|
|Van to Puerto Princesa from Port Barton||400|
THINGS WE DID / PLACES WE VISITED
Your stop-over going to Underground River, offering a stunning panoramic view of Ulugan Bay, a deep channel in the midwestern coast of the city. There is a lot of cheap souvenir items here, so we grabbed one.
Sabang Mangrove Paddle Boat Tour
One of the sidetrips available on your tour. An estimated 45-minute boat ride into Sabang River and its century old mangroves. Aside from this, they also have zipline here.
Puerto Princesa Underground River or Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is located north of the city center of Puerto Princesa, Palawan. It was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and voted as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature. Also, it is considered as one of the world’s most complex cave systems and the world’s longest navigable underground river.
From our hotel, we travelled 2 hours to get to Sabang, your jump-off point to underground river. Included in the tour package is a buffet lunch but we arrived early so we went first for a sidetrip, the mangrove tour. After mangrove paddle boat tour we took our lunch and waited for the start of our tour.
Honda Bay Island Hopping
This is our first time to experience Honda bay island hopping tour and still lucky to have it on our last day. From the city proper, you need an estimated 30-minute van ride to get to Honda Bay jump-off point. You will be required to have aqua shoes and if you do not have you can rent one, rent snorkeling gears too. Also, buy some bread for fish feeding/snorkeling.
We visited Starfish Island, Lu-Li Island, and Cowrie Island. Our buffet lunch was served on Lu-Li island. The tour and itinerary is a bit short but still fine, probably due to privatization of the other islands in Honda Bay.
1. Go to Port Barton if you want to see beautiful corals and a more enjoyable snorkeling activity.
2. If you have limited time and do not want to travel for more than 3 hours to get to Port Barton choose Honda Bay.
3. Underground river tour is a must when in Puerto Princesa and there are changes and developments on the tour compared before.
4. Do not forget your sunblock.
5. If you have your own aqua shoes and snorkeling gears bring it on your Honda Bay tour.
6. MCA Market Mall Pasalubong Center which is near the airport offers cheaper souvenir items, shirts, cashews, and others.
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