Palawan has always been my dream destination and of course still stood number one on my bucket list for local travels. I have always been hearing beautiful stories and great testimonies about the paradise whether from a friend or from a foreigner. I also wanted to experience how breathtaking it is whenever I see stunning vacation photos in Palawan from my favorite bloggers and celebrities enjoying the paradise. Those are some of the many reasons why I wanted to visit the island.
Last January, that mini dream of mine was granted! I was able to fly and travel to Puerto Princesa Palawan and experience the island for the first time. What made the trip even more memorable is when exploring it together with my parents and my sister.
To get to Palawan, you’ll need to fly into Puerto Princesa which is accessible via daily flights from Manila for under Php 2,500 or less for a one way flight. For this adventure, we booked ours with Philippine Airlines and it took us 50 minutes or less to get to our destination.
I always love flying with PAL either it’s for work or pleasure. I actually had some trips to local and international destinations last year and glad that I have never experienced delays or any problems flying with the airline. Every time I step in their plane, I couldn’t help but appreciate their clean aircraft, comfy seats with the best leg room and of course their professional cabin crew. The best part of the flight was the safe and smooth landing and of course our on-time arrival. We arrived at our destination feeling relax even though it’s an early morning flight.
Hi father dear!
Airport OOTD at Puerto Princesa International Airport
We headed straight to our hotel located at B.M. Road for approximately 15 minutes away from the airport. Ala Amid Bed and Breakfast is in the heart of Puerto Princesa, with easy access to city gems like beaches farms and man-made attractions. It features a great location since it’s near the airport and just a kilometer away from the largest malls in Palawan.
We booked our 3 days and 2 nights stay via Zen Rooms. Through their Zen Rooms’ app or website, they can help you find exactly what you are looking for by filtering price and location. It is a fastest growing budget hotel chain that caters to travelers with all sorts of budget and all of the lodging options from a cozy Bed & Breakfast to a traditional hotel. Aside from the Philippines, they also have hotels in different parts of Southeast Asia like Bangkok, Bali, Hanoi, HongKong, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and many more.
We were a bit disappointed when it started raining hard the moment we arrived to our hotel. But that didn’t stop us to go out and take the opportunity to experience ourselves the beauty of the island. For our first adventure, we stopped by to a nearby beach called Costa Palawan Resort just a few minutes away from our hotel. Although it rained in the afternoon for the first few hours we still had a great time.
Our agenda for the second day was to do Honda Bay Island hopping. We rented the boat all by ourselves so it was a small group of six of us including our two boatmen. We had stops in three different islands where we all enjoyed swimming, snorkeling and boating.
Our first stop was the Starfish island.There were countless existence of small and big starfishes in the clear blue waters of the island. There were few cottages that are available for travelers who like to eat or relax. According to our boatmen, it is the best for snorkeling and too many corals underneath.
Our second stop was in Luli Island where we enjoyed our unlimited lunch buffet. Luli island is a huge sandbar, its called Luli meaning “lulubog lilitaw”.
Cowrie Island is mainly for swimming but you can also enjoy water activities here like banana boat, kayak and you can even rent jet skis. You can also play beach volleyball with friends or treat yourself to relax with a massage. It was the last stop of the tour, so we took a shower and change clothes in their mini bathrooms.
One of the highlights of our trip to Puerto Princesa was visiting the Underground River. The Puerto Princesa Subterranean National Park, where the Underground River is found, has been a Unesco World Heritage Site and it has also been chosen as one of the modern Seven Wonders of the World. So who doesn’t want to see the great sites in the Philippines.
We booked our tour with KKday the night we arrived in Puerto Princesa. The booking process of KKday was hassle-free and easy, payment can be made via PayPal and Credit Card. We received the voucher soon after we booked the tour online. The day tour costs only Php 2,462 per head inclusive of shuttle and boat transfers, tour permit, entrance fee, environmental fee, lunch buffet. Not to mention it also includes one licensed tour guide from Department of Tourism and most importantly the accident insurance. The price is much affordable and best value for money compared to other travel agencies. Our pick up time was very accurate plus everything that was mentioned on KKday’s website and app about the tour. It is complete with details from itinerary to tour information that we needed to know for before, during and after tour. I highly recommend to book your tour with KKDay PH if you’re planning to visit Palawan.
On our last day, finally the radiant weather allowed us visitors to see the river. According to our KKday Tour Guide, some trips the other day were postponed due to the bad weather. He told us that it wasn’t safe for the travelers to tour around the river ‘cos of the massive waves and heavy rains. So we were blessed to have an opportunity to see the river in a good weather during our final day.
Travel time from the city proper to Sabang Wharf is about 2 hours then a short boat ride from the wharf to the entrance of the Underground River. Then wait for an hour for your turn and ride actual boat ride going inside the cave.
We were surrounded by jade-colored lagoons, breathtaking limestone cliffs, turquoise-green waters and stunning inlets. This is just a glimpse of the beauty around Puerto Princesa’s Subterranean River.
Each group is assigned a boatman with paddle boat equipped with a flashlight. The boatman gives a fun and informative of commentary while viewing the formations inside the pitch-dark cave. The tour was also in decent sync with the audio in our earpiece if you’d prefer it.
I get to capture stunning photos of amazing uniquely-shaped stalagmites, stalactites and stunning limestones. I was so mesmerized by cathedral-like ceilings and caves full of natural rock foramtions made of dissolved limestone as we sail silently along the river.
Truly Puerto Princesa Underground River is undoubtedly deserving to be part of the 7 Wonders of The World. I just hope and pray that visitors and tourists will help to protect and maintain so that the coming generations will continue to experience not just its impeccable beauty but also its ecological importance.