Red Butterfly Travel Series: Palawan – Puerto Princesa

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The last time my friends and I went to Puerto Princesa, people can still go to most of the islands there. That was around 2002 or 2003… I think. I’m not sure. When we went back this year, you can now only go to 2 islands – Pandan and Snake. All the other islands are now privately owned and if you want to go to any of them, you have to pay a certain amount according to the locals.

It was our first time to book a domestic trip through a travel agency (East Avian Travel and Tours). Normally, we do everything ourselves. But since we’re all busy. We decided to let other people handle the stress (LOL). We spent 5,000 pesos (106 USD, airfare not included) each for a 4days/3nights package tour. Not a bad deal considering it includes:

  • Airport transfers
  • Licensed tour guides
  • Land transportation
  • Boat transfers
  • Permits
  • Daily breakfast
  • Entrance fees
  • Room with A/C, hot and cold shower, cable TV and Wi-Fi.
  • Underground River tour with buffet lunch by the beach
  • Honda Bay Island Hopping tour with picnic buffet lunch by the beach
  • City Tour

We stayed at Casa Fuerte Bed and Breakfast. It’s located in the city which was a bummer because we thought it’s somewhere near the beach. But it’s still a nice and cozy place to stay in. Not to mention cheap! A single room good for two only costs 900 pesos (20 USD) per night.

Casa Fuerte Bed and Breakfast
No. 14 Libis Road, Puerto Princesa City
Telefax: (048) 434-1588/(048) 434-1642
+639052883725/ +639089440366

WHERE TO GO:


Day 1: City Tour

  • Immaculate Conception Cathedral
  • Crocodile Farm
  • Butterfly Garden
  • Iwahig Penal Farm
  • Mitras Ranch
  • Bakers Hill
  • Binuatan Weaving
  • Plaza Cuartel
  • Baywalk (not the one in Roxas Blvd.)
  • Tiange-tiange

Day 2: Honda Bay Island Hopping Tour (according to the locals, the right way to pronounce it is Hunda)

  • Pandan Island – This is where we had our very delicious buffet lunch. We swam, ate, swam some more and took a lot of photos.

  • Snake Island – We snorkeled here and saw schools of fish.

Day 3: Ugong Rock Spelunking, Underground River Tour and Mangrove Paddle Boat Tour

Since we only had the Underground River Tour scheduled this day, we paid an additional 350 pesos (8 USD) for 2 more tours: Ugong Rock Spelunking and Mangrove Paddle Boat tour. We stopped by the Buenavista View Deck before heading to Ugong Rock.

  • Ugong Rock Spelunking and Summit View Deck – Usually, it only takes around 30-45 mins to climb all the way to the top and back. But since we were so slow and took photos every stop, it took us more than an hour. An hour and a half maybe (LOL). We were very careful because the only safety gear we were wearing were hard hats and gloves. No cables or harnesses to break one’s fall.

After this tour, we went to Taraw Beach Resort for lunch.

  • Mangrove Paddle Boat Tour – It was very quiet there and very creepy. There were a lot of snakes on the mangrove trees. I was trying not to look too freaked out. I probably looked stupid. Thank God I always had a camera covering my face (LOL). This area is where the locals get the Tamilokย  (a local delicacy). It’s actually a mollusk that looks like a long icky worm. They say it’s an aphrodisiac and they eat it raw. Eeeww.

WHERE TO EAT:

  • KaLui Restaurant – You have to have a reservation before dining here. They’re almost always full. They serve Filipino cuisine. The food’s ok, considering the cost. The ambiance is great though. Oh! And you must remove your footwear before going inside.

We laughed so hard when one of the wait staff served this dessert to my gay friend.

  • Kinabuch Bar and Grill – Locals say this is a good place to drink. The food’s cheap but the drinks are a little expensive.
  • The Lotus Garden – They serve All-You-Can-Eat Sushi for only 370 pesos (8 USD). Damn! Why didn’t we go to this place when we were there?
  • Badjao Seafront Restaurant – This was recommended to me by a local who happened to be sitting next to me on the plane going to Palawan. She said the best time to go there is right before sunset.

All in all, it was a very enjoyable experience. I’d like to come back and try the All-You-Can-Eat Sushi at Lotus Garden. Haha!

East Avian Travel and Tours
Telefax: 046-4896752
Mobile: 09086601050
Email: eastaviantravel@yahoo.com

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22 thoughts on “Red Butterfly Travel Series: Palawan – Puerto Princesa

  1. Puerto Princesa is one of the most visited destinations in the Philippines. I think it gained its popularity because the Subterranean Underground River is nominated for the 7 wonders of nature… though it is really worth visiting for.

    Thanks for sharing and you got great pictures. The set dessert is cool. hehehe =)

  2. ED

    i BEG TO DISAGREE THAT SEAFRONT IS BEST AFTER SUNSET…..THE BEST TIME IF LUNCH OR IF NOT AROUNG 4-5 PM BEFORE DINNER TIME TO APPRECIATE ITS SORROUNDINGS THE SEA AND THE MOUNTAINS.

  3. Candice

    Hi, Thankyou for the nice blog regarding palawan. My friends are going to palawan this coming March, and i’ve seen your blog regarding Casa Fuerte. If you dont mind, is casa fuerte good place to stay? (bed, bathroom, facilities,etc) Thankyou.

    • Yes, the rooms are nice. Each room has its own bathroom with a cool design. Just to give you an idea, the whole place is not that large. They probably only have around 10 or 12 rooms. They don’t have a pool and it’s not near the beach. It’s in the city so you have to rent a jeep or a van to go to the beach. I think they offer tours so you might want to check that out. ๐Ÿ™‚

      I have no idea though how the place looks like now but it was ok when we went there last year. Very cozy and clean ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Mavic

    Thanks for sharing this. We are going to Palawan for a convention in a few months & are considering checking into Casa Fuerte. I read your review & you mentioned that the beach is far from it. Just how far are we talking about (approximately how many minutes away) if we want to go to a nice, clean & (hopefully) not a crowded one….that is, if there are any, without having to go island hopping? We have 3 kids in tow, & we don’t want to have to lug them miles away just to get there on a whim.

    Your pictures of Pandan & Snake islands are uber gorgeous! I’m sure you had to take a banca to get there. If so, how long was the ride from the city? Is it possible to hire a local to take us there instead of joining a package tour?

    I’d appreciate your advise since we are newbies to the place. Thanks a lot & hope to hear from you.

    • Hi Mavic, I forgot how long it took to get there from the city. Maybe around 30-45mins? I’m not really sure. But it was really far that you have to hire a jeep or a van then ride a boat. I suggest you ask Casa Fuerte if they can bring you to the port where you can hire a boat to go to the beach area. Or, you can ask the locals and compare the rates.

      Oh and I suggest you bring your family to Pandan beach. It’s better than Snake island in my opinion (especially for families) ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. my friend and i have a scheduled tour in palawan on oct 3 to 6 can you give us an idea on how we can enjoy this trip not too expensive actually one of the day of this 4 days we plan to make it a free time thanks so much

    • Hi Melody. When you book tours (with a travel agency or through your hotel), usually lunch is already included and everything is already paid for so you donโ€™t have to pay for anything else wellโ€ฆ except if you want to buy souvenirs or if you want to do extra activities ๐Ÿ™‚ If you donโ€™t want to book a tour and you just want to go to certain places, just talk to any of the locals (preferably a tricycle driver or a jeepney driver) and they can you hook you up with someone. Theyโ€™re very nice people ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. cheng

    Hi Ms.Toni though it was so so late..thanks for your wonderful blog..by the way if you still have other travel inquiry you can still contact us through same email and mobile #. Thanks again! God bless! More exciting travel for you:) -EAST AVIAN TRAVEL AND TOURS

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