Puerto Princesa is the capital of Palawan, Philippines, located 306 nautical miles southwest of Manila. It is said that the city was named after a mythical young woman, and Puerto Princesa certainly lives up to her legendary splendor with miles of pristine beaches and lush wilderness. Be sure to visit the underground river — the longest in the world deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Beachgoers should head to Honda Bay, consisting of several islets that are the best location for snorkeling and island hopping.
- Airlie Beach
- Kingfisher Bay (Fraser Island)
- Norfolk Island
- Penneshaw (Kangaroo Island)
- Perth (Fremantle)
- Phillip Island
- Thursday Island
- Whitsunday Island
Most Active or Strenuous
Minimal Activity Required
Tour the city by tricycle, one of the means of public transportation and popular transport in small towns and cities, and discover Puerto Princesa as a local.
After a short transfer from the pier to the city center by minivan, your tour will start at Plaza Cuartel – This small park is considered a national historical site, with the restored ruins of an old garrison where, in the evening of December 14, 1944, Japanese soldiers burned the 150 American prisoners of war, in a tunnel found beneath the park’s portals, which now stand as a grim reminder of World War II atrocities. The remains of those who died were buried at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis Missouri, in 1952. Only 11 of the 143 prisoners survived to tell the story.
Across the street is the eye catching neo-classical Immaculate Conception Cathedral, where you will stop for photos. During the Spanish occupation in 1872, a small church was built in Barangay Liwanag, along Rizal Avenue. In 1961, the small church was renovated and turned into a cathedral. The original architectural design of the church has been excellently preserved.
Continue with a visit of the World War II Special Battalion Museum. Built around a personal collection of military memorabilia, it features equipment, vehicles and weapons used during WWII as well as photographs and other items depicting the cultural heritage of Palawan.
Leaving the museum proceed to a local souvenir shop for some free time and visit a local market where you can see a freshly catch seafood and other local products. You will also stop at Baywalk, a tree-lined promenade, popular with locals and visitors alike.
Please note: Tour has very limited capacity. Non- air -conditioned tricycles seat 2 to 3 guests and ride can be loud from the engine noise. Your guide will provide commentary only during the stops. Although this tour requires minimal walking during the stops, and a few steps to negotiate at the local market, it is not wheel chair friendly. Lightweight, comfortable clothing, flat shoes and sun protection are recommended.
Experience one of one of the world's longest underground rivers and Puerto Princesa's most renowned destinations during this unforgettable, full-day excursion to the St. Paul Underground River.
Depart the pier for the scenic, approximately 2-hour drive through the picturesque countryside en route to the Sabang Wharf. Upon arrival, a comfort stop is made before embarking a local outrigger boat for the picturesque, approximately 30-minute ride to Sabang Beach.
From Sabang Beach, a short walk takes you to Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park. One of Puerto Princesa's most renowned destinations, this national park is a model of biodiversity, with more than 800 plant species, 300 tree species, 195 bird species, 30 mammals, 19 reptiles, and eight bat species. Once at the park, embark a smaller outrigger canoe for the journey along the underground section of the Subterranean River, an UNESCO World Heritage Site and voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the Natural World in 2012.
The boat travels approximately two miles (about 3.2 kilometres) into the cave. Along the way, you are treated to a spectacular display of rock formations and cathedral-like chambers, which nature has sculpted over millions of years. Following your approximately 45 minute Subterranean River-cruise, walk back to Sabang Beach, then embark your outrigger boat for the approximately 30-minute ride back to the Sabang Wharf.
Before the return drive to the port, you will enjoy a buffet style lunch at a leading beach hotel.
Please note: This tour involves a moderate amount of walking for approximately 875 yards (about 800 metres), at times on uneven surfaces, with a few steps to negotiate to get on/off the coach and embark/disembark the boats, (expect a wet landing at Sabang Beach). This tour is not suitable for guests prone to motion sickness, guests with limited mobility and guests who utilise a wheelchair. Lightweight, comfortable clothing, flat shoes that can get wet and sun protection are recommended. Due to limited number of boats allowed inside the cave, there might be some waiting time before entering.
Experience some of the many highlights of Puerto Princesa during this scenic, half-day sightseeing excursion.
Depart the pier for the short transfer to the Immaculate Conception Cathedral. The first mass was held here in March 1872, a few days after the Spanish expedition arrived in Puerto Princesa. Following your visit, cross the street for a visit to the Plaza Cuartel, a National Historic site where Japanese soldiers burned the garrison, killing 150 American prisoners in the tunnel below the portal in December 1944. Only 11 prisoners survived to tell the story of the atrocities that took place here during World War II.
Next, re-board your coach and drive to the Palawan Heritage Centre. This educational, highly-informative and interactive museum, designed and operated by the provincial government, preserves and promotes the rich cultural heritage of the province. Afterward, proceed to the World War II Battalion Museum, which features a display of tools and equipment owned by World War II veterans. Leaving the museum, continue on to the Iwahig Penal Colony.
The Iwahig Penal Colony is a unique prison without bars established by the Americans in 1904. The inmates tend vast tract of land rather than remaining imprisoned inside cells. The more enterprising inmates earn a living by making handicrafts, which are sold at the souvenir shop.
Please note: This tour involves a approximately 2-hours of walking/standing, at times on uneven surfaces, with a few steps to negotiate. There are 26 steps at the Iwahig Prison Colony and a few steps at other sites. This tour is not suitable for guests with limited mobility and guests who utilise a wheelchair. Lightweight, comfortable clothing, flat, closed-toe walking shoes and sun protection are recommended. The tour sequence may vary.
Relax and unwind amidst one of the most beautiful locales on Honda Bay during this delightful, half-day getaway to Pandan Island.
Depart the pier for the scenic, approximately 30-minute transfer to the Sta. Lourdes Wharf on Honda Bay. The Honda Bay Islands are located off the mid-eastern coast of Puerto Princesa, and renowned for their emerald-green waters, abundant reefs, and superb diving and snorkelling. Upon arrival, embark a local boat for the approximately 30-minute boat-ride to Pandan Island.
Named after the giant pandan plants all around the island, Pandan Island is home to good reefs abounding with coral and tropical fish. Enjoy approximately 2-hours for relaxing, sunbathing and beachcombing, along with swimming, snorkelling (snorkel and mask provided) in the crystal-clear waters of Honda Bay. At the conclusion of your visit, embark the boat for the approximately 30-minute ride to the Sta. Lourdes Wharf, and then re-board your coach for the approximately 30-minute transfer back to the pier.
Please note: There are approximately 8 steps to negotiate at Sta. Lourdes Warf and at Pandan Island. Guests must be able to get in and off the boat without or limited assistance. This tour is not suitable for guests prone to seasickness, with limited mobility or who utilise a wheelchair. Amount of walking and level of exertion during free time at the beach are at guests’ discretion. Pandan is a public beach with basic restroom facilities and a café where food and drinks can be purchased. A limited number of beach chairs are available for rent from a local concession. We suggest you wear your swimsuit under clothing and beach shoes or sandals, bring a towel from the ship and use suitable sun protection. Those who participate in water activities do so at their own risk and responsibility and must know how to swim, be comfortable in the water and able to cope with occasional currents. Operation of this tour is subject to weather conditions.