Puerto Princesa is one of the most beautiful cities in all the Philippines. Located in the western province of Palawan, it is the westernmost city in the country.
As the capital of Palawan, it has all of the activities that you would expect in a big city, but it is the least populated of all the Philippine capitals. This gives it a much more relaxed atmosphere.
There are many wonderful and exciting things to do in Puerto Princesa, and you could easily spend your entire vacation here and not do them all. From awe-inspiring landscape, fantastic scuba diving, and spectacular beaches – you will love it all.
The province is full of massive limestone caves that are amazing to explore, while the underground river in Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park offers many more opportunities to discover the unique features of the area.
Scuba diving in Puerto Princesa Bay is some of the best diving in the world. The colorful underwater world is full of turtles, dolphins, manta rays and so much more. You will be mesmerized by all of the marine life that makes this place home.
Below is listed 51 of the best things to do and places to go in Puerto Princesa. It is certainly not everything there is, but it will give you a good start to planning your vacation.
51 Best Things to do in Puerto Princesa, Philippines
1. Bask in Honda Bay
This picturesque bay is ideal for snorkeling, scuba diving and swimming. Fishing, whether for sport, commercially or for subsistence, is a major part of the bay as well. Cruise ships will show you a great time as well.
2. Snorkel at Starfish Island
This pretty little island just off the coast is one of the best places to go in Puerto Princesa for snorkeling. The colorful coral reef, beautiful marine life, and of course starfish, will thrill you for hours. We also mentioned the island in our top 101 Best Beaches in Philippines list.
3. Explore Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park
This beautiful, mountainous park is a protected area that is best known for the 5 mile long underground river. There are several caves underground as well, and several companies will take you on guided tours.
4. See a bit of history at Plaza Cuartel
This plaza was once a penal colony during World War II. Get a chilling sense of what it was like when the Japanese burned 150 U.S. soldiers.
5. Have an adventure at Ugong Rock
This amazing rock formation is home to a breathtaking zip line. They also have guides that take you on some fascinating exploration of underground caves.
6. Tour Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm
This prison is still in operation, just one of a very few that are. You will be enthralled at how the system works – and deterred from any criminal thoughts you may have had!
7. Cool off at Splash House Palawan
This water park is so much fun – and so much more than your usual water park. There are inflatable bouncers and other floating fun, as well as a diving board where you can jump in and spend time with the fish. Then dry off in one of the hammocks on the dock.
8. Celebrate mass at Immaculate Conception Cathedral
Even if you do not want to celebrate mass here, this old church is an amazing architectural design. It is rich in history and worth the trip to see.
9. Stroll along Puerto Princesa City Baywalk Park
This beautiful promenade goes right along the ocean and is lined with palm trees, giving it some nice shade. Ideal for walking, jogging or cycling along.
10. Find tranquility at Nagtabon Beach
This spectacular beach is more out of the way and isolated than others. This makes it the perfect beach away from tourists and much quieter.
11. Scuba dive off Pandan Island
This pretty little island has some great dive sites off from it. Spend time underwater with some amazing marine life and colorful coral reefs. Pandan also has one of the best beaches in the country.
12. Visit Palawan Butterfly Ecological Garden and Tribal Village
This amazing garden will capture your imagination with the beautiful tropical vegetation, wildlife, and of course butterflies by the hundreds. The Palawan village is a traditional village where you can see firsthand native life and enjoy many demos and crafts.
13. Travel with Natural Arts Travel and Tours
Whatever your travel plans may be, this family-owned business can make your dreams a reality. No matter what adventure you want to go on, they will provide everything you need to make this the best vacation ever.
14. Eat at Viet Ville
One of the best places to eat in Puerto Princesa is Viet Ville. Here you will find the best Vietnamese food in all of Palaweno, including its very popular Chowlong.
15. Have fun at Mitra’s Ranch
The views from this ranch are amazing, as you can look out over both the city and the ocean. Then take some great zip line rides down the hillside and your day will be complete.
16. Stroll through the Palawan Heritage Center
This museum is the best place to visit in Puerto Princesa for anyone wanting to learn of the history, art and culture of the area. The many interactive exhibits as well as the local art that is on display will give you a true sense of life here.
17. Visit Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center (Crocodile Farm)
This is perhaps the best zoo around for crocodiles. There are many exhibits showcasing hundreds of these amazing animals.
18. Climb Thumb Peak
This small mountain is a wonderful way to explore Palawan, and the view from the top is breathtaking. There are many trails of all levels of difficulty that will take you through some amazing scenery.
19. Take the El Nido Island-Hopping Tour
This tour is one of the best things to do in Puerto Princesa. You will get to see five different islands, and explore hidden beaches, caves and lagoons. A fantastic way to see the Philippines.
20. Unwind at the Kuyba Almoneca Meditation Garden
This relaxing garden has many religious statues and texts, along with some fish spa pools. There also a few caves to wander through, and a cold spring that comes out of them to swim in. A very serene way to unwind.
21. Browse through Asiano Arts and Crafts
This fun shop is filled with some of the most amazing pieces of artwork. You will see some amazing wood carvings and so much more from the local talent, and you will want to take home several pieces!
22. Snorkel and dive off Pambato Reef
Scuba diving in Puerto Princesa is an exciting adventure. The many colorful tropical fish and brilliant coral and sponges make this a spectacular place to dive or snorkel.
23. Go Iwahig firefly watching
This eco-tour is a very fun and unusual way to spend a few hours. It is a beautiful sight that you will be talking about for a long time.
24. Visit Palawan Special Battalion WW-II Memorial Museum
This amazing museum will take you back in time to when the war was in full swing. Learn all about how it had an affect on the culture of the area with never-seen-before artifacts.
25. Enjoy the sand at Ulugan Bay
This is one of the prettiest beaches in Puerto Princesa. It is famous as being one of the eco-tourist locations and a great place to enjoy the sun, sand and surf.
26. Hike or fly through Irawan Eco Park
This park has many hiking trails that will take you some of the best tropical hills around. It also has some great ziplines that will send you flying over the top of that same vegetation.
27. Scuba dive with Divepuertoprincesa Dive Center
Diving in Puerto Princesa is made perfect by this company. They will take you to the best dive sites, or will give lessons to those that have never dived before or to anyone wanting more advanced certifications.
28. Tour the Palaweno Brewery
Not only will you be on the first microbrewery tour in the Philippines, but the only microbrewery in Palaweno. You will enjoy food pairing, crafts and learn more of the culture.
29. Go caving at Hundred Caves
There are so many caves around Puerto Princesa, many of them underwater. These guided tours will take you exploring deep in some of the best. You can see more like this is our list of Top Places to Visit in Philippines.
30. Get away to Dos Palmas
This island get-away is an ideal place to go in Puerto Princesa for anyone seeking solitude for a couple days. There are many activities to take part in as well as places to simply relax and recharge while getting pampered.
31. Learn the heritage at Palawan Museum
This amazing museum is dedicated to Palawan’s cultural heritage and history of its people. You will see a wide variety of exhibits depicting the every day life and rituals of the country.
32. Stay at the Heideland Bar, Cafe & Kitchen
Not only is this a great hostel, but it has wonderful home-cooked food. After you fill up on that, enjoy a nice cocktail while listening and singing along with the owner as she plays her ukulele.
33. Relax at Mendoza Park
This city park is a great place to read a book under a tree, have a picnic and stroll through the beautiful public art and sculptures. There is a playground for the kids, and a covered amphitheater where they hold various events.
34. Enjoy the sunset at Puting Buhangin Beach
This quiet little beach is a perfect way to spend the day. Swim, splash and play all day and into the evening.
35. Join the locals at Sabang Beach
This little beach is one of the favorites with the locals. With the jungle surrounding it and spectacular views of the mountain you will feel as if you are in a tropical island paradise.
36. Rent at Palawan Peter Motorcycle and Car Rental
The best way to travel around the area is by either motorbike or bicycle, and you can rent either one here. With wonderful customer service, they will help set you up so your vacation is the best possible.
37. Learn alot at Palawan Environmental Enforcement Museum
This fascinating museum is dedicated to showing how the country has progressed in its ecological endeavors. Protecting the environment, natural resources and wildlife is a very important concern for them, and they have done a great job of it.
38. Head underwater with Let’s Dive
Not only will you be able to go to the best dive sites in Puerto Princesa or get PADI certified, but this is the biggest and best dive shop in the area where you will find everything you could need or want.
39. Recharge at The Face & Body Wellness
After a busy few days of diving, touring and playing in Puerto Princesa, there is no better way to recharge than at this shop. This full mind, body and soul wellness experience will be just what the doctor ordered.
40. Be in awe at Mt Salakot Falls
Different than the smaller Salakot Waterfalls, this beautiful mountain was once an old military communication base. It is a fascinating, and with a special permit you can hike to the top of the peak for an awe-inspiring view.
41. Play at Monkey Beach
Located in Puerto Galeras, this lovely beach is a great place to swim and snorkel. An easy walk to the beach is well worth the effort for an ideal place to spend the day.
42. Tour the Sabang Mangrove Forest
This preserve is full of huge, old-growth mangrove trees that are hard to find anywhere else in such majestic fashion. Boat tours will take you through them and give you the best view and stories about them.
43. Visit the Ethnographic Museum
This is a wonderful museum for all history buffs and anyone interested in learning more about the history of Puerto Princesa and the surrounding region.
44. Hike to Binduyan Falls
This relatively easy hike also includes some rocks to climb over, bridges to cross and a couple of steeper sections on you way along a spectacular trail. It will take you to a beautiful waterfall with its cool water to swim in.
45. Go on a Puerto Princesa Dolphin Watching Tour
There is nothing like spending a few hours watching these amazing creatures. They will entertain you with their antics and their grace through the water.
46. Spend the day at Talaudyong Beach
This beach is located at a fishing village and is a little more remote to get to. Rent a motorbike and get yourself here and enjoy freshly caught fish and even rent a bungalow to stay in while you enjoy the magnificent sand and sea.
47. Spend the day with Shark Diving Palawan
Some of the most exciting diving of your life will be with this group as you spend the day with them. You even get to pick your island to dive around to make it even more perfect.
48. Have fun at Triple 10 Indoor Archery & Cafe
For a very fun thing to do in Puerto Princesa, try shooting some archery in the only indoor range the city has. Great for everyone, from beginners to the most advanced.
49. Kiteboard with Kite Club Palawan
If you have ever wanted to kiteboard or windsurf, this is the place for you. They offer lessons as well as rent all the equipment you need, and they have a wonderful bar and restaurant where you can refresh yourself after a day on the water.
50. Enjoy Papawyan Falls
This quiet little set of waterfalls is a great place to spend time away from the crowds. You can climb onto the rocks and jump into the pool of cool, refreshing water, and then it is just a hop and a skip away from Papawyan Beach.
51. Visit Baker’s Hill
This beautiful and fun theme park is full of amazing places to take pictures and enjoy the day, including whimsical spots and amazing landscaping. Wonderful snacks and a great restaurant makes this an ideal place to visit in Puerto Princesa.
A vacation to Puerto Princesa will be one of the best things you ever do. As you plan your vacation, be sure to include as many of the places on this list as you can, and you will not be disappointed.