Palawan is known as the Philippines’ Last Frontier and as the Philippines’ Best Island. It is surrounded by stunning beaches and it is the home to Puerto Princesa, it’s capital city, a highly urbanized but still maintains their old world charm.
Now that you are in Palawan, in Puerto Princesa in particular: What do in Palawan? Where to in Palawan? Where to go in Puerto Princesa? Before you go to El Nido or Coron, why don’t you explore Puerto Princesa City first. While Palawan is known for their beaches and the Subterranean River National Park or the Underground River, completely giving justice to its slogan of “Where nature begins and never ends.”, there are still a lot of colorful and historical places that you can explore here in Puerto Princesa City.
Here are ten places where you can go to when in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan:
1. Plaza Cuartel
A tour of the city would not be complete without any historical place added into their itinerary. This place used to be a garrison built by Spaniards to protect the city from attackers. What makes it more interesting is that the Japanese military turned it into a prison where they kept American soldiers who were prisoners of war and eventually massacred when the Japanese were slowly losing the war.
Don’t worry because their remains were sent back to America and all that are left are the dark tunnels and old walls which contains markers to remind everyone of this place’s quite gruesome past.
Now, the Plaza Cuartel is a beautiful park with a scenic view of the sea. A perfect place to rest and take pictures.
Address: Taft St, Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines
2. Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral
The Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral is not only of religious importance but also of historical importance since the first mass in Puerto Princesa was held here by Fr. Ezequiel Moreno of the Augustinian Recollect order.
It has a very interesting angular almost triangle-like structure which is of quite similar to the Gothic churches which were build during the medieval period in Europe. From a small church, it was restructured to be a cathedral .
Now, this is the perfect place to pause and stop for a while and reconnect with God and find peace and solace before or after your city tour.
Address: Rizal Avenue, Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines
Contact#: +63 939 923 7212
3. Princesa Eulalia Park
It features the statue of a princess whom the park was named and a memorial marker as a eternal remembrance of the founders of Puerto Princesa. It is the site where the decree of the foundation of Puerto Princesa was proclaimed. It is also the origin of the town’s name, Puerto Princesa.
Now, it is a small park full of shady trees where you can take a good rest while revisiting a little history of Puerto Princesa.
Address: Rizal Ave., Puerto Princesa City, Palawan
4. Puerto Princesa City Baywalk Park
The sea really is inviting and instantly spells good vibes for more most of us. And this is what Puerto Princesa’s very own Baywalk Park is what is exuding, all invitingly-good great vibes.
The park is good for a morning jog or an afternoon walk because this park is filled with seafood restaurants, food peddlers, and shops which you can all try out according to your heart’s desire.
It can also be a place for rest and respite with a beautiful view of the sea.
Address: Sandoval St, Puerto Princesa, Palawan
5. Butterfly Eco Garden and Tribal Village
Butterfly Eco Garden
Spread your wings and prepare to fly, for you have become a butterfly… a wonderful song that reflects the free-nature of the butterfly.
It is only fitting that the last frontier of the Philippines is the home of to one of the beautiful creatures in the planet, the butterflies.
This Eco Garden promotes public awareness by showing guests tropical butterflies and insects like scorpions, lizards in their different life stages and natural habitat. With this, the guests will be aware on how to protect them and their home.
At the end of the tour, guests may be able to bring home Palaw’an made crafts and other souvenirs.
Address: Santa Monica, Puerto Princesa, Palawan
Contact#: +63 48 433 0736
6. Mitra’s Ranch
Owned by the family of the late Senator Ramon Mitra, this is a popular tourist destination due to its lovely natural backdrop. Located in Sta Monica Heights, this piece of paradise offers a stunning view of Puerto Princesa City. There is a viewdeck on top of the hill and it’s open to everyone who wants to have a relaxing time.
You will also be able to take a visit inside the house and be given a glimpse of how the Mitras live.
The home gives you a comfortable rustic ambience, all plain and natural with some of the family’s pictures and memorabilia.
The ranch showcases of the Mitra family’s love of nature, animals, and the simple life which is evident with their wide and spacious lawn. This is where you can relax, play a game with your friends and family or even get a horse ride.
Address: Mitra Rd, Puerto Princesa, Palawan
7. Baker’s Hill
It’s a private property that became a tourist destination as they built a park, bakeshop, and a restaurant for the public to enjoy.
The ambience is like a flamboyant Alice in Wonderland attraction park full of colorful statues and lots of places for rest, bonding and a lot of instagrammable nooks!
You will not run out of options for your selfies. They also have a place with beautiful peacocks which also resembles flambouyance, so perfect for the Baker’s Hill theme.
But the best out of all is their food and pasalubong center, a total haven for foodies. You should not go out of here without taking home some of their breads and pastries, specially their hopia and hokkaido, a creamy and milky pastry that will be loved by sweet tooths like me.
Address: Mitra Rd, Puerto Princesa, Palawan
8. Palawan Wildlife Rescue And Conservation Center and Nature Park
This is also known as the crocodile farm, the only wildlife rescue center in Palawan where you go on tour to check out the crocodiles and other animals and learn a thing or two on how to take care of them and their habitat.
The tour starts in an exhibition hall where you’ll see a huge and long croc skeleton and its skin. This is one really big and scary crocodile and it was not Lolong but Rio found at the south of Palawan last August 4, 1990.
Next was the baby crocodile hatchery where the baby crocodiles are bred and nurtured. There are a lot of baby crocs placed in white tubs where they’re being fed and kept. As you walked further, you’ll notice that the shape and size of these crocs grow further.
The croc tour ends with the adult crocodiles who are even bigger than humans. Guests walk on an iron trail above the crocodiles where they’re caged and fed.
But aside from crocodiles, you may continue on to the next tour beyond the croc enclosures. There are other species you get to see such as birds, reptiles, Palawan Porcupine, Palawan Bearcat and other endangered species.
The guests are treated with a once in a lifestime experience of getting close, but not too close to these wild and endangered animals and somehow learn on the need to preserve them however scary and big they are because they are all part of the balance of nature.
Address: Mitra Rd, Puerto Princesa, Palawan
Contact#: +63 995 033 8967
9. Cleopatra’s Needle
Address: Northern part of Puerto Princesa, near the world-renowned Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park
10. Subterranean River National Park or the Underground River
The last and definitely not the least is to visit this UNESCO World Heritage Site. You should not forget to visit 1 (one) of the 7 (seven) Wonders of Nature! It’s a totally different experience where one paddles in the dark and hear only the sound of the bats and water (or bat/bird poop or urine) dripping from the ceiling.
Check out my experience here:
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Enjoy a limited but unobstructed view of the world inside the natural limestone formations, around 8.2-kilometer-long underground river boasts jaw-dropping cave formations, and stunning limestone cliffs. However, only a portion of the river, around 4.3km, is allowed for tourist explorations.
Boat riders act as tourist guides inside the cave. They point to different limestone formations that form a certain image: vegetable, fruit, and even some religious persons. It’s just so difficult to fathom how nature was able to this on its own but I surrender to the beauty
Address: Saint Paul Mountain Range on the western coast of the island of Palawan, about 80 kilometers north of the city of Puerto Princesa
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