Travel in the Philippines

A Day in the City of Puerto Princesa - Philippines
By:Peter Garant

Known as the capital of Palawan, Puerto Princesa serves as Palawan's center for tourism and trade. Puerto Princesa is located at the middle of the long strip of Palawan Island. Its eastern coastline is surrounded by the South China Sea and on its west is the Sulu Sea. Puerto Princesa is bestowed by deep waters that can accommodate huge sizes of shipping, thus the city is virtually a princess of ports.
As it is situated on the tropical region, Puerto Princesa experiences two types of climates, which is the dry and wet season. The dry season occurs from November to April, while the wet season occurs from May to October.

As ecotourism has become the buzz among today's travelers, Puerto Princesa welcomes the arrival of tourists who want to immerse themselves with the natural beauty of Palawan. Because of this, Puerto Princesa has become the center of many tourist activities, from shopping to dining, from hiking to swimming or diving to the depths of its magnificent seas.

What to do in Puerto Princesa
Bestowed with a diverse and rich cultural heritage along with a natural beauty, Puerto Princesa is home to many activities in line with the tourists' desire for cultural and ecological immersion.

City Tour
Puerto Princesa accommodates city tours for guests. The city tour is ideal for tourists who want to experience Palawan's rich cultural heritage. Tourists are to assemble at seven o'clock in the morning and head towards Iwahig penal Colony, a wall-less prison colony that functions as a rehabilitation group for convicts. They are also to visit the Crocodile Farm, Butterfly Garden and Mitra's Ranch. Lunch is to be served in Vietnamese Village, a community that has served as a settlement for Vietnamese refugees. After lunch, guests are taken to the Palawan Museum and for some shopping at the Public Market, after which they will head towards the Eulalia Park, Rizal Park and the Plaza Cuartel. The tour ends at five o'clock pm right after they have visited the Immaculate Concepcion Church.

Island Hopping
The Sta. Lourdes wharf serves as a port for tourists who want to go island hopping around the islands of Palawan. Guests take their pick among the rented boats to take them for a fixed tour or anywhere they like. Almost all islands contain pristine white beaches perfect for swimming and snorkeling. At around five o'clock pm, guests are to return to Puerto Princesa to rest in their respective hotels.

Underground River
Guests can also opt to travel to on of Palawan's most esteemed wonders-the Underground River. From Puerto Princesa, guests are to travel by land to Sabang Wharf where they are met with boats that are ready to take them first to a Mangrove Boat Paddle Tour and then to the Underground River. The tour ends at around 2 o'clock pm as they return to Sabang Wharf to head back to Puerto Princesa.

White Sand Beaches
The islands nearby Honda Bay in Puerto Princesa serve as a haven for beach lovers as dozens of crystalline, white sand beaches stretch on their coastlines. Travelers may choose to dive towards the wonders beneath the seas, snorkel on the surface of the emerald waters or just relax and enjoy the tropical sun. The most popular islands off Honda Bay are the Snake Island, a long sand bar that stretches towards the sea, and the Bat Island, where a thick group of bats are seen at sundown.

There are also white sand beaches that can be accessible by land, such as the Nagtabon beach and the Napsan Beach. The Nagtabon Beach is forty-five kilometers from Puerto Princesa, and can be accessed by jeep or buses departing from the city terminal. The Nagtabon Beach is a lovely stretch of white sand beach ideal from swimming, snorkeling and many other water sports. The Napsan beach is two hours from the city proper and is perfect for those who prefer a vacation with a more rustic setting.

How to Get to Puerto Princesa
Puerto Princesa can be reached through air travel from the Manila Domestic Airport via each one three major airlines. For sea travel, it takes between eighteen to twenty-two hours from the Manila harbor to Puerto Princesa via two major shipping lines.

Peter is writing articles for a travel site called Palawan board, and it's sister site about Puerto Princesa. Both sites are about the Philippines where he has been residing the last 8 years.

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