Must See Tourist Spots in Puerto Princesa (Aside from the Underground River)
Puerto Princessa is more than just a gateway to the magnificent Underground River. In fact there are many tourist destination that are within the city limits. Tourist spots that does not require you to travel far. Thus here is a list of other tourist spots in Puerto Princesa Palawan. That is aside from the Underground River.
Before presenting the list of the must see tourist spots in Puerto Princesa. Let us first address the how to get there question. For my travel in Puerto Princesa I tried two options.
One hiring a travel agency for my tour and two was a solo tour via a motor bike.
Option 1 : Travel Agency initiated Tour- Group Tour
Price for the Half Day tour: Php 500.00
Pros of joining a City Tour:
- A van will pick you up at your hotel
- You have a tourist guide that will discuss all facts about all the destinations you will visit.
- You get to meet and interact with other tourists.
- All you have to do is sit back, relax and wait until you arrive to your destination
Cons of joining a City Tour:
- Your time is dependent with the other tourists.
- Tour itinerary is made by the travel agency.
- All you have to do is sit back, relax and wait until you arrive to your destination. (#Boredom)
Option 2: Renting a Motorbike Solo tour
Price for the tour: 500 Php ( you can haggle with the price)
Pros of going on a solo tour
- The destination is your choice
- You own your time
- You have your own motorbike driver
- Discovering hidden tourist spots
Cons of going on a solo tour
As a solo traveler and as an Introverted person the city tour from the travel agency was not exactly my cup of tea. Thus, I made my own Erik the Hungry Traveller Tour and rented a motor bike.
Thus I can not think of any Cons of going on a solo city tour as I gravitate more into self reflection and solo travels. No brainer right?
But whichever you choose you would still get to your destination for all the tourist spots in Puerto Princesa.
Here they are! The Must See Tourist Spots in Puerto Princesa Palawan :
Located within the city proper. Plaza Cuartel is a World War II memorial site for the Prisoners of War. A site where 143 American soldiers were burnt alive by the Japanese army.
Before the tragic events. Plaza Cuartel served as a base camp/ garrison for the American and Filipino soldiers during World War II.
Japanese soldiers locked up the American prisoner of wars (POW) in the tunnels of Plaza Cuartel. In the tunnels the captors tortured and starved these POW. Eventually 143 American POW died through burning during December 14, 1944. However, there were 11 American soldiers who survived the mass killing.
A memorial shrine can be found in Plaza Cuartel listing the names of the 143 soldiers who died and the 11 who survived.
Erik the Hungry Traveller (EHT) Approved: This is a must see tourist spot in Puerto Princesa for EHT because it has a strong history to it. The place is an empire of both despair and hope. How a now peaceful and tourist filled site was a former Garrison for pain and murder.
Plus I am all about immersing in the culture and history of a town. If you are like me then you should make this destination as a top priority of yours.
Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral
Another must see tourist spot in Puerto Princesa located just across Plaza Cuartel is their city Cathedral. This historical landmark was the venue of the first mass in Puerto in 1872 . The Spanish army proclaimed the Immaculate Conception of Mary as the patron of Puerto Princesa.
It stands out from the rest of the Philippine cathedrals as the whole facade is in a shade of blue.
Moreover, if you are quiet an observer just like me. You would notice In the church grounds Philippine cherry blossoms. Yes, they just do not grow in Sakura, Japan.
EHT Approved: Mainly because I love anything that relates to art. Seeing the huge structure of the church is just a site to marvel at. The architecture both inside and out is both medieval and modern. Plus I have never been to Japan. Thus the Philippine cherry blossoms is definitely an added bonus.
Now this place could not be any more literal. Yes it is a bakery on top of a (wait for it) hill.
This place started as a small bakery/ pastry shop which later grew and became a baker hodgepodge in Puerto Princesa. This is the farthest among all the destinations that I will feature in this blog.
Aside from getting your dose of breads and pastry. Bakers hill is also a zoo/ park and a restaurant. Here you can check out different type of birds and cool statues of famous cartoon characters like Shrek.
EHT Approved: This is a famous tourist spot in Puerto Princesa and definitely a must go especially if you love pastries and food. Like I said above its a hodgepodge of restaurants ranging from America, European and Filipino staples.
If you are not a huge foodie you can always stroll around the area and take pictures of their unique establishments and creative structures. The whole place is whimsical and fun. It is similar to places you will find in Alice’s adventures in Wonderland.
Palawan Butterfly Eco Gardenn
Man I am so into places that are literal. So this Eco Garden focuses on (you guess it) Butterflies. It is a huge place where you can get to interact with thousands of butterfly species. And if you are lucky they land on your head.
I do not know if that is good or not but there is a higher percentage that these lovely insects definitely will do that.
EHT Approved: Now this was a destination that was not part of my tour package. I am so glad I did a solo tour because this and the last destination are for me the Must go to when your are in Puerto Princesa.
Being in the Butterfly Eco Garden releases the inner kid in you. Roaming around the garden is magical (Disney style). That meeting Bambi or Snow White is a possibility while your in the Garden. Plus it is also educational as the tour guides explain to you the life cycle of a butterfly along with other fun insect facts.
And oh if you are the adventurous kind you can also hold a scorpion with your bare hands.
I saved the best for last. Located inside the Butterfly Eco Garden. The Tribal Village is a place of cultural immersion with the indigenous people living in Palawan. Because the ecosystem of Palawan is diverse. There are still many indigenous people living in the mountain and coastal regions of the island.
In the tribal village you get to interact with them as they teach you their hunting skills, day to day living and their music. Furthermore, it is a legit quick culture immersion and appreciation of how basic their lives are.
EHT Approved: I am all about culture diversity and immersion. Thus, being at the Tribal Village made me appreciate how creative and simple their ways are. Seeing them shoot blow darts at a target was awesome. How they create fire out of dried wood was fantastic. That they make their own music out of musical instruments they made themselves. They harvest Amber from wood saps (it was the first time I saw how an amber looks like.)
Man I could rave praises about the tribal village on and on. But I guess you just have to see for yourself to completely understand why I am all praises about the place.
There are still many tourist destinations in Puerto Princesa that is not part of this list. Like Mitra Ranch, Crocodile Farm and Nature Park and the Iwahig Firefly river cruise.
Iwahig penitentiary was a destination I wanted to go to. However, locals discouraged me to go there alone. Not for security reasons but they said it is more strict if you go there alone than in groups. Moreover, it is a unique prison camp where the offenders are not in bars. They are in an enclosed community where they farm, create handicrafts and are with their families. On my next visit to Puerto Princesa I will make this a priority.
We never know, there may be a part 2 of must visit tourist spots in Puerto Princesa. (wink)
The List is Complete!
So there we have it folks! My recommended must visit tourist spots in Puerto Princesa Palawan. I hope you enjoyed reading this article. I encourage you to visit The Philippines whether your a Pinoy who wants to travel to Palawan or a foreigner who wishes to visit the island.
Till the next Erik the Hungry Traveller solo travel adventures!
About the Blogger: erik the hungry traveller is a lover of arts, travel, photography and of course food. Visit his instagram pages for more adventures: IG: erikjamesart, ejrequina, erikthehungrytraveller or email him at [email protected]