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
- 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
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.)
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.
- Underground River Tour – This place is also known as the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park. It’s a finalist in the search for the New 7 Wonders of Nature. To vote, just click on this link: New 7 Wonders. There were a lot of large monitor lizards roaming around the island.
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 Tamilok (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