Puerto Princesa – They call it ‘the city in a forest’. And true it is. If you take a plane from Manila, in less than an hour, you will see this tiny piece of inhabited land in the middle of the wilderness. You can reach via waterways too, but the sight from the top is breathtaking.
When you land, the smell, the sight and the sound invite you to an irresistible journey amidst nature. This underrated town actually has a lot of decent places to stay, eat and hang out. You can find them here.
Talk to a local about the places you can visit here, and you will be stunned. The city has it all—from hills and cliffs to hundreds of miles of white sanded beaches to underground caves and rivers to the wildest possible animals. You can island-hop from Honda Bay for lunch picnics, snorkelling and non-stop swimming. Pssst. Some beaches and islands are so virgin that no one will notice if you skinny dip!
But the star of the “Puerto Princesa show” is the Underground River. A few hours’ drive will take you to this completely God-made wonder. It has actually been awarded as one of the ‘Seven Wonders of Nature’. The entrance itself will paralyze you to gawk at it. The complete boat ride through the dim-naturally-lit caves under unbelievable rock formations is definitely worth the trip.
This is probably one of the few places in the world, where we will recommend a tour guide. Not because you’ll get lost, or won’t do without one—but just because the guides here are famous for being witty, amusing and very knowledgeable.
Then there is “Firefly watching” at Iwahig River. It’s like a natural light show. You go on a boat ride to this perfect spot to first witness the sunset and then nature’s way of lighting the world at night.
At the end of the day, you can visit the City Baywalk—a street dedicated to mellowed nightlife and great eating joints. Take a walk, feel the night breeze and enjoy your dinner.
What better way to spend a week like this in Puerto Princesa? Snorkel, jump off cliffs, visit Baker’s Park—the amusement park, try your first delicious crocodile and their special shipworm delicacy ‘tamilok’ and live like pampered royalty.
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