Around Puerto Princesa: A City Tour
Puerto Princesa offers tourists and locals alike a slew of activities to make every traveler’s itinerary more fun and memorable.
Besides island hopping, one may venture around Puerto Princesa City to discover its rich history and well-preserved ecological wonder. Today’s post is a second and final installment of our 5-day trip in Palawan.
To read about our previous trip in El Nido, Palawan, click on this post: El Nido: Basking in Palawan’s Picturesque Paradise
If you’re looking for things to do or places to go for your day tour in Puerto Princesa, this post will shed some great ideas. This is by no means comprehensive, but if you’re strapped for time (just like us), this is more than enough to keep every sane traveler in Palawan sane and happy.
To start of, one can simply hail a local tourist-accredited tricycle or jeepney anywhere in Puerto Princesa to take you to any of the city’s main tourist attraction. It costs about P8-10 for each destination so make sure to haggle and find the right tricycle driver for this specific tour.
However, we decided to book a van in advance since we were a group of 8 people. It would probably cost the same if we were to ride a trike. Find whatever makes sense for your budget and convenience.
A City Tour in Puerto Princesa
Baker’s Hill is known for its delicious pastries and breads, particularly its best-seller, the hopia. Their hopia comes in different flavors–ube, monggo, and baboy. My favorite is monggo and I bought a few boxes as a pasalubong for my family.
Enjoy the panoramic view around the bakeshop-slash-theme park while stuffing yourself with all its baked goodies. There’s also a snack bar that offers snacks and meals for the hungry tourist. Sprinkled around the park are life-size characters and boutique shopping centers, too.
Located in Sta. Monica, Puerto Princesa is a sprawling scenic tourist spot, the Mitra’s Ranch or Rancho Sta. Monica. It is owned by the late Senator Ramon V. Mitra, Jr. Here you can unwind and have a great view of the city from the top of the hill. If you want a little more adventure, you can try out their zipline for some great dose of fun.
Palawan Rescue and Wildlife Center
Formerly called Crocodile Farm, the Palawan Rescue and Wildlife Center houses endemic crocodiles and other endangered species. To get in, you have to pay P40 entrance fee and that includes a quick educational tour hosted by their tour guide. The tour starts at the main hall and ends in the conservation center where the crocs grow and breed. The biggest crocodile is Mac-Mac which was captured and cared for since the 90s.
After the quick tour, you can see other animals around the center and have your picture taken with a baby crocodile. I paid P180 for a printed copy of my photo with the baby croc. If you’re up for something exotic, their canteen offers a crocodile sisig for only P80.00
One look at it and you would think it’s an ordinary park near the Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral. But, Plaza Cuartel was an unfortunate fortress that saw the gruesome murder of some of the prisoners-of-war (POWs) during World War 2. In the middle you’ll find a bronze statue of a man on top of what used to be an underground prison.
The words engraved on the bronze statue said that on December 1944, around 150 American POWs were starved, tortured and burned alive by the Japanese soldiers. The 11 soldiers who survived swam their way to safety to Iwahig and narrated this story. I shudder at the thought of what these poor soldiers went through. Stories about wars give you a better perspective about the freedom and independence that we are blessed to have today.
Near Plaza Cuartel and the Immaculate Cathedral is Baywalk, a public place where one can just relax and watch the sunset. By the time we arrived here, it was filled with many people strolling, biking and just sitting by the esplanade looking across the Iwahig river.
As night fell, we were so famished from our day tour. Good thing, there’s a long line of food stalls and beer houses to choose from. We had a delicious “Boodle Fight” dinner (rice, grilled fish and other viands lined up on top of banana leaves) good for 4-8 people. I believe we paid around P1000 which was worth it and I recommend you try it if you haven’t already.
Since we started late in the afternoon, we were not able to go other places like Iwahig Penal Colony. Perhaps, we can go back and visit again some other time and include them in the itinerary. All in all, we thoroughly enjoyed our short city tour andI hope this post has inspired you to also go visit Puerto Princesa soon.
©Cebu Spa and Wellness Guide. All rights reserved.