Five Beautiful Reasons to Visit Palawan

Written by: Adriann Caldozo/Tuesday, Aug 04, 2015 01:57 PM

Puerto Princesa is composed of over 2,000 square kilometers of lush forests and verdant mountains. It sits on the island of Palawan, the so-called last Philippine frontier, which means it remains rich in biodiversity and rugged charm. But at its heart is a city – often dubbed the cleanest and greenest in the country – that offers all the comforts and conveniences for a stress-free family vacation.
 
Why it’s great for the family:
Apart from the fact that everything - both the city and nature attractions - is accessible, the beauty of Puerto Princesa is in the way it organizes tours. Monica Copuyoc, co-founder of the online travel agency Bookie, says, “Puerto Princesa, by far, is the most organized destination I've gone to in terms of local tourism. The city has come up with a systemic way to regulate the touring scheme around and beyond the city. That makes it a suitable vacation spot for families since the said travel group normally prioritizes convenience.”
                                       
What to do:
According to Monica, the ideal length for vacation in Puerto Princesa is four days and three nights, and anytime from December to May is a good time to visit. “The place offers a broad range of sights and activities,” she says. “Most families enjoy doing the Honda Bay Island Hopping Tour and Underground River Tour.”

 

Be Mesmerized by the Underground River

Arrange for an underground river tour and have a glimpse at one of The New Seven Wonders of the World. The ride along the 8.2 km river will last about 30 to 45 minutes with the guide enlightening you on the different rock formations you will pass by.

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Go Beach-Hopping!

The Relaxed Route: Take a day tour to Dos Palmas Resort, a luxurious resort located in a picturesque island perfect for fun and relaxation. The day package costs P1,800, which covers snorkeling, kayaking, cycling, beachside cabanas, a seafood buffet lunch, as well as boat rides going to and from the resort.

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The Adventure Route: Visit three beaches in the tropical waters of Honda Bay and enjoy a mouthwatering lunch on one of the stop-overs. Experience a whole day of beach-hopping from Starfish Island to Luli Island to Cowrie Island.

 

A Cultural Experience of the City

The city holds just as much allure as the natural attractions. Arrange for a tour around the city and discover what makes these places interesting. You'll be visiting Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Crocodile Farm and Nature Park, Mitra’s Ranch, Baker’s Hill, and Binuatan Weaving Creations.

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Eat Your Way Through Puerto Princesa

For the foodies searching for great food, the city does not disappoint. Head on over to Badjao Seafront Restaurant for fresh and mouthwatering seafood, or to Kinabuchs for a sample of exotic dishes coupled with good beer. Ka Lui is also an absolute must; not only does it have an exquisite menu, it also boasts of a gorgeous interior with an impressive gallery at the back showcasing different artworks.

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"It's also worth mentioning that there are several authentic Vietnamese restaurants in the city since the area was once inhabited by the Viets who took refuge to the island during the Vietnam War," says Monica.

Special Treat for the Kids

Take the whole family to Sicsican (for groups of less than 6 people) or Iwahig River (for groups of 6 or more) for firefly watching under a starlit night sky. Before setting out for the mangroves, you will be treated to a delicious buffet dinner. Afterwards, the group will ride a boat through an opening in the forest and see the trees twinkle as if decked with Christmas lights.

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How much it would cost:
From Monica: “For a four-day stay, packages that come with a mid-range hotel and tours cost around P8,000 - P10,000 per person. If opting for a lower range hotel, packages can be as low as P6,000 per person.”

Planning a trip with your family? Read up on Angel's story and her tips for travelling with a large family ->

About Adriann Caldozo
Adriann Caldozo is currently working for the Philippines National Commission for UNESCO. He is busy finding more ways of doing cultural and natural heritage conservation in the Philippines so that next generations may live to see it. 
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