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22 BEST PLACES to visit in Puerto Princesa + THINGS TO DO

Puerto Princesa is famous for its natural attractions and as a gateway to Palawan Island, particularly to popular destinations like El Nido and lesser-known spots including Balabac, Tabon Caves, Taytay, Port Barton, and San Vicente.

As the Philippines’ second largest city in terms of land area, there are many interesting places to see and things to do here. The urban center is compact and easy to navigate, while the vast majority of Puerto Princesa is occupied by verdant forest, soaring mountains, and a coastline fringed by vast mangrove forests, remote beach coves and scenic bays dotted with beautiful islets.

Headed to Puerto Princesa soon? Check out these top tourist spots and off-the-beaten-path adventures not yet discovered by tourist crowds. Many of these places, especially those found within the City Proper area can be reached on a half-day or 1-day city tour. If you want to add more sights to your itinerary, consider spending at least 2-3 days in Puerto Princesa.

1. Puerto Princesa Underground River

Puerto Princesa Underground River

Puerto Princesa Underground River

Puerto Princesa Underground River

Location: Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, Sabang. Save on Google Maps.

The Puerto Princesa Underground River is the most famous attraction of the city. It is included in UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites for its spectacular limestone karst landscape and remarkable biodiversity. It is also reputed to be the world’s longest navigable underground river. A paddle boat ride takes you to a section of the underground river, where you can enjoy views of massive stalagmite/stalactite formations and cave chambers. The Puerto Princesa Underground River is located in the quiet coastal village of Sabang.

Underground River tour package

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How to go:

The underground river is typically reached by joining a day tour from Puerto Princesa. Tour packages include round trip land transfers to Sabang, picnic lunch at Sabang Beach and mandatory park permit/registration/fees. Sabang Beach is approximately 74 km northeast from Puerto Princesa city center. Travel time is around 1 hour and 40 minutes by car. The boat ride from Sabang Beach to the underground river entrance takes around 30 minutes.

See alsoPalawan Tourist Spots | Best Places to Visit in the Philippines | Top Philippine Beaches | The Philippines’ Most Beautiful Waterfalls.

To help with your trip planning, I’ve added links to the locations on Google Maps. Feel free to click/tap on the links posted. Then, use the “save” feature on the Google Maps app for easy reference. I’ve also shared photos from my Instagram feed. Use Instagram’s save feature for quick access to your travel/feed goals.

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2. Sabang

Sabang Beach near Puerto Princesa Underground River

Monkey Trail to Puerto Princesa Undergournd River

St. Paul Mountain Range, Puerto Princesa

Location: Sabang Beach, Barangay Cagayugan. Save on Google Maps.

During my first trip, the biggest reason why I spent a night in Sabang was to go on the forest trek to the underground river entrance via the Monkey Trail. It was an interesting off-beat experience for sure! Sabang has a lovely beachfront too. It gets pretty busy around noontime, but when all the day trippers are gone, you can enjoy the peaceful atmosphere without the crowds. When in Sabang, also check out the Sabang X Zipline, trekking to Sabang Waterfall, and paddle boat tour around the mangrove forest.

Where to stayTours + discounts

Sabang shuttle van fare

Airport to SabangPP Hotel to SabangEl Nido to SabangPrivate charter

3. Honda Bay Islands

Pandan Island in Honda Bay, Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines

Snake Island in Honda Bay, Puerto Princesa

Starfish Island in Honda Bay, Puerto Princesa

Location: Near Santa Lourdes Wharf. Save on Google Maps.

Honda Bay is another famous tourist spot in Puerto Princesa. Here, you can find beautiful islets, reefs, white sand beaches and inviting waters perfect for swimming. While not as impressive as El Nido or Coron, Honda Bay is an excellent alternative if you plan to go island hopping near Puerto Princesa. The drive north from the City Proper to Santa Lourdes Wharf (the jump-off point to Honda Bay) only takes around 30-45 minutes. The most convenient way to go is by joining an island hopping tour package, which should include a visit to at least 3 islands, picnic lunch at the beach, land/sea transport and environmental/boat fees.

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Honda Bay island hopping tour package

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Honda Bay islands and attractions

Pandan Island

Starfish Island

Snake Island

Luli Island

Pambato Reef

Arrecife Island

Dos Palmas Resort, Arrecife Island

Cowrie Island

Makesi Island

Frazer Island

Barlas Island

Canon Island

Ramesamay Island

4. Dos Palmas Resort

Location: Arrecife Island, Honda Bay

Dos Palmas is a stunning island resort that exclusively occupies Arrecife Island. It’s the best place to go if you’re set on a splurge and you want to spend the night in Honda Bay. The luxury resort also provides day tours with convenient pick-up/drop-off from Puerto Princesa City Proper.

Book room discounts

Puerto Princesa city tour

If you have a few hours or a full day in Puerto Princesa, check out these places found within or near the City Proper area. Many of these tourist spots are included in standardized half-day city tours. These join-in tours are popular and affordable, priced at only around P600 per person.

Puerto Princesa city tour package

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5. Baker’s Hill

Baker’s Hill, Puerto Princesa City

Baker’s Hill, Puerto Princesa City

Baker’s Hill, Puerto Princesa City

Location: Mitra Road, Brgy. Sta. Monica. Save on Google Maps.

Baker’s Hill is famous for its freshly-baked and delicious local delicacies, perfect gifts/pasalubong for friends and family back home. Featuring well-maintained gardens (a sort of mini-theme park), Baker’s Hill is also a beautiful location to take photos for your Instagram and Facebook feed.

6. Mitra’s Ranch

Mitra’s Ranch, Puerto Princesa

Location: Mitra Road, Brgy. Sta. Monica. Save on Google Maps.

Located near Baker’s Hill, Mitra’s Ranch offers a scenic view overlooking the green landscape of the surrounding valley. It’s also a popular place for horseback riding and ziplining.

7. Palawan Tribal Village and Butterfly Farm

Palawan Tribal Village

Butterfly Farm and Palawan Tribal Village , Puerto Princesa

Location: Palawan Butterfly Ecological Garden and Tribal Village, Brgy. Sta. Monica. Save on Google Maps.

Popular among tour groups, this is one of the interesting tourist spots in the city. It is divided into two sections: the Tribal Village, which offers a cultural interaction with members of the Palaw’an tribe; and the Butterfly Eco Garden, which showcases the variety of tropical butterflies and other insects from the southern region of the Philippines.

8. Puerto Princesa Baywalk

The Baywalk in Puerto Princesa

Location: Sandoval St., Puerto Princesa City Proper. Save on Google Maps.

This lovely promenade is the perfect place to watch scenic sunsets. There’s also a food park, where you can sample local Palaweño and Filipino dishes.

9. Plaza Cuartel

Plaza Cuartel, Puerto Princesa

Location: Taft St, Puerto Princesa City Proper. Save on Google Maps.

Historic Plaza Cuartel is the site of a ruined garrison and tunnels, which now serve as a grim reminder of World War II atrocities.

10. Immaculate Conception Cathedral

Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Puerto Princesa

Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Puerto Princesa

Location: 58 Rizal Ave, Puerto Princesa City Proper. Save on Google Maps.

A short walk away is the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, a Gothic-style church painted in lovely pastel blue. This historic place is the site of the first mass in Puerto Princesa.

11. Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm

Location: Barangay Iwahig. Save on Google Maps.

Going to prison is not something you ordinarily imagine doing during your holiday. The Penal colony in Iwahig, however, might change your mind. This open-air prison is one of the top tourist spots in Puerto Princesa. Here, you can find inmates freely roaming the grounds, tending the farm and going about office-related work.

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12. Iwahig Firefly Watching & Mangrove Forest

Location: Iwahig Firefly Watching Mangrove Ecotourism And Wildlife Park, Barangay Iwahig. Save on Google Maps.

Iwahig is also home to a vast mangrove forest. A paddle boat night cruise along the Iwahig River offers a close-up view of glowing fireflies swarming around the mangrove trees.

Iwahig firefly watching tour package

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13. Puerto Princesa Bay cruise & dolphin watching

Puerto Princesa, Palawan

Puerto Princesa Bay is a playground of dolphins and other marine creatures. Dolphin watching tours are popular between the months of April and October when sightings are more common. A cruise around Puerto Princesa Bay also offers a chance to enjoy scenic sea views and meet the Badjao Tribe (a community of sea gypsies).

Puerto Princesa Bay cruise package

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14. Go on a food trip

Badjao Seafront Restaurant, Puerto Princesa

Kalui Restaurant, Puerto Princesa

Kalui Restaurant, Puerto Princesa

Kalui Restaurant, Puerto Princesa

With vast open seas surrounding Puerto Princesa, you can look forward to indulging in fresh and affordable seafood. Don’t miss the tuna steak/special of the day set at Kalui and local specialties at other native-style restaurants in the city including Badjao Seafront and Kinabuch’s.

Where to eat and drink in Puerto Princesa (top seafood restaurants and bars)

15. Try Chao Long

Bona’s Chaolong, Puerto Princesa

Chaolong at Rene’s Saigon, Puerto Princesa

Chao Long is a Vietnamese-influenced delicacy that you should try in Puerto Princesa. This noodle dish was introduced by refugees who found their way to Puerto Princesa during the Vietnam War. The most popular places to try it is Bona’s Chaolong Haus and Vietville. Restaurants like Rene’s Saigon serve variants of the dish including seafood Chaolong.

Top Chao Long restaurants in Puerto Princesa

16. Puerto Princesa museums

Palawan Museum, Puerto Princesa

Museums in Puerto Princesa

Palawan Museum — Houses exhibits devoted to Palawan’s cultural heritage. It is one of the best places to learn about archaeological findings related to the Tabon Man, one of the earliest settlers in the Phillippines.Location: Valencia Street, Puerto Princesa City Proper. Save on Google Maps.

Palawan Special Battalion WW-II Memorial MuseumLocation: Rizal Avenue, Puerto Princesa City Proper. Near Old Passenger Terminal Building of Puerto Princesa Airport. Save on Google Maps.

Palawan Heritage CenterLocation: Fernandez St., Puerto Princesa City Proper. Near Palawan Provincial Capitol. Save on Google Maps.

17. Trekking and outdoor adventures

Experience exhilarating adventures at Ugong Rock including spelunking and ziplining. Explore Hundred Caves, a new eco-tourism site in Palawan.

Ugong Rock adventure + zip line package

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Hundred Caves day tour package

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Mt. Magarwak sunrise trekking package

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Puerto Princesa Balsahan River Trek

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18. Puerto Princesa waterfalls

Bonton Falls, Puerto Princesa

Though not as grand as other waterfalls in the Philippines, there are several waterfalls in Puerto Princesa that might be worth a visit.

Bacungan Waterfalls trekking package

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Bacungan FallsLocation: Barangay Irawan.

Bonton FallsLocation: Barangay Irawan.

Irawan FallsLocation: Barangay Irawan.

Sabang FallsLocation: Sabang Village.

Tibag WaterfallsLocation: Barangay Bacungan.

Olangoan FallsLocation: Barangay Binduyan.

Salakot FallsLocation: Barangay Napsan.

19. Puerto Princesa waterparks

Waterparks are a relatively new attraction in Puerto Princesa. If you’re traveling with friends and family, here are places to go for a day of fun.

Waterparks in Puerto Princesa

Kamia Bay resortLocation: Binunsalian Bay, Barangay Luzviminda. Save on Google Maps.

Astoria Palawan WaterparkLocation: Kilometer 62, North National Hwy, Barangay. San Rafael. Save on Google Maps.

Astoria Palawan Waterpark admission ticket

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20. Nagtabon Beach & West Coast Beaches

Location: Brgy. Bacungan. Save on Google Maps.

If you explore Puerto Princesa on Google Maps, you’ll see a lot of secluded beach coves, especially along the western coast. These beaches remain undeveloped because of their remote location. Nagtabon Beach is one of the more accessible options, reached within a one hour drive from Puerto Princesa city center. It’s a great place to go if you’re looking for a beach with a local vibe.

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West Coast Beaches + Puerto Princesa Bacungan Waterfalls tour package

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Puerto Princesa west coast beaches

Nagtabon Beach

Talaudyong Beach

Kalaodion Beach

Buksayan Beach

Tagcawayan Beach

Maratapi Beach

Sabang Beach

Manlipien Beach

Arkadia Beach

Panaguman Beach

Ipatdan Beach

Napsan Beach

Nagtabon Beach or Talaudyong Beach Car Charter

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Puerto Princesa scooter rental

Good option if you want to explore these beaches and other Puerto Princesa sights independently.

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21. Puerto Princesa beaches and coastal views

Silica Beach, Puerto Princesa

Marina de Bay Resort and Spa sea view, in Puerto Princesa City

Here’s a list of beaches and beachfront resorts within or near the city center.

22. Palawan Cherry Blossoms

Palawan Cherry Blossoms at Balayong Park, Puerto Princesa

Location: Balayong Park, Brgy. Tiniguiban. Beside Ramon V. Mitra Sports Complex. Save on Google Maps.

On my summer trip to Puerto Princesa, I was really excited to see Palawan cherry trees, locally known as Balayong, in full bloom. The best area to see the beautiful pale pink blossoms of Palawan cherry trees is the area surrounding the Palawan State University campus, in the area of the planned Balayong Park.

Other places of interest in Puerto Princesa

Freedom Park and Puerto Princesa City Coliseum

Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center (Crocodile Farm)Location: Barangay Irawan. Save on Google Maps.

Binuatan Creations (Weaving Loom Center)Location: Puerto Princesa South Road. Save on Google Maps.

Freedom Park at the City ColiseumLocation: Peneyra Rd, Barangay San Pedro. Save on Google Maps.

Beyond Puerto Princesa

El Nido

Location: Palawan province, west central Philippines. Save on Google Maps.

El Nido Travel Essentials

Where to stayTours + discountsCheck Fares

Port Barton

Location: Palawan province, west central Philippines. Save on Google Maps.

Port Barton Travel Essentials

Where to stayTours + discountsCheck Fares

San Vicente

Location: Palawan province, west central Philippines. Save on Google Maps.

San Vicente Travel Essentials

Where to stayTours + discountsCheck Fares

Manila

Location: Metro Manila, Luzon, northern Philippines. Save on Google Maps.

Manila Travel Essentials

Where to stayTours + discountsCheck Fares

What places have you added to your bucketlist? Have you been to beautiful places in Puerto Princesa that should be on this list? Feel free to share your thoughts!

Places to visit in Puerto Princesa

Puerto Princesa tourist spots, things to do in Puerto Princesa, where to go in Puerto Princesa & more.

Note: Destinations featured above are not listed by rank.

Book your way to Puerto Princesa

How much does it cost to travel to Puerto Princesa? Click below to compare flight, ferry & buses fares posted on these booking sites:

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Where to Stay in Puerto Princesa

Click below & search recommended Puerto Princesa hotels/hostels/home rentals within your budget. Remember to set your min/max price, travel dates, and sort by review ratings. I often book online with these trusted booking sites below for rock-bottom prices & convenient bookings.

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Book sooner rather than later if you already have your dates set. Cheaper-priced rooms and hotels with high reviews tend to get fully booked faster, especially during busy days like weekends, holidays & peak tourist seasons.

Puerto Princesa Essentials & Top Discounts

Philippines Mobile Data SIM card/Pocket WIFI

Travel with ease & confidence throughout your trip. Get a data SIM card or pocket WIFI device! Access Google Maps and all your favorite travel apps. Share your travel stories instantly with all your friends. Click below and choose your pick-up location:

Philippines 3G/4G SIM cardPocket WIFISee all discounts

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