5D/5N in Puerto Princesa Palawan - Travel Guide, Budget, and Itinerary

As you might have noticed, my favorite province here in the Philippines is Palawan. To complete my Palawan adventure I was able to spend days in Puerto Princesa Palawan for 5 days and 5 nights.

We’re actually there for 5 nights but on our first day we arrived there late at night, so basically our first day in Puerto Princesa is a trip going there and checking in the hotel plus getting a good night sleep for our first day of exploring Puerto Princesa Palawan!

But let me tell you right away, Puerto Princesa is my least favorite but I can totally live there, and I’d love to keep coming back there. People there are like people from Visayas, they’re friendly, and they don’t take advantage when you get lost or if you’re a tourist they don’t over price.

Puerto Princesa Palawan is called the city within the forest because there are a lot of trees in the city and their aim is to preserve it that way – which I totally love the idea by the way.

So though it’s my least favorite, complete your Palawan experience with Puerto Princesa, and let me share with you the details I’ve gathered.

But before anything else, let me warn you that my Puerto Princesa itinerary will just be very basic and not like others that are to the minute since the tours are with travel agencies and not like DIYs – I did have a DIY Puerto Princesa city tour but wasn’t able to finish it so I can’t provide details as of the moment but will update this post if I am able to take it again. Still hopefully this Puerto Princesa travel guide will still be helpful for you to get the best out of your trip.

5 days 5 nights in Puerto Princesa Palawan - Travel Guide Budget and Itinerary

How to get to Puerto Princesa Palawan?


Flying to Puerto Princesa is the most common way to get to Puerto Princesa Palawan. If you’ll watch out for the seat sale, you can save hundreds or thousands of pesos. My ticket was for free since I get points, and the points can be used to claim free flights. So I only paid for the booking fees. I suggest if you fly often with an airline, to check out their membership.

We flew from Cebu to Puerto Princesa city, but if you're coming from Manila there are also flight from Manila to Puerto Princesa Philippines - Manila got a number of flights to other airports in the Philippines comparing to Cebu. Also if you want to catch a cheap flight to Puerto Princesa Philippines then do book in advance or follow the airlines that fly there (Philippine airlines, Cebu Pacific air, and even AirAsia) and get updates on their promos.


Since you can fly directly from El Nido, and if you choose to go there first, you can go for a land trip from El Nido Palawan to Puerto Princesa for 4 – 5 hours of land trip. There are v-hires (van) and buses you can take, where vans can pick you up at your hotel.


If you’re coming from Coron, you can go for a shipping line doing trips from Coron Palawan to Puerto Princesa.

How to Get Around?


Going around in Puerto Princesa city is easy, you can take the tricycle which are everywhere. If you don’t want to share you can go for a “pakyaw” (pronounced like Manny pacquao’s last name) where you’ll pay for the remaining seat. But if you’re in a budget you can pay for the minimum fair, just make sure you clarify this to the driver.


If you have a license and is confident in driving in the Philippines then you can rent a motorcycle in Puerto Princesa which is what often done by foreigners especially for a pair of two. There are motorcycle for rent near the airport, but as of now I can’t recommend any rental company for that since I haven’t rented any yet but that’s the plan when I come back.


I’ve only seen a few taxi in Puerto Princesa, and was able to ride 3 times and I have to pay a fixed rate since the hotel we’re staying is in the mountain which I don’t mind as long as I get to where I need to go safely. But don’t rely on this transportation much because there’s only few of them as what I’ve noticed.

What to do and Where to go - Puerto Princesa Tours

The following are the activities we’ve done in Puerto Princesa Palawan. The first set is what we’ve done there and have checked out for you, but there are more tours available that we haven’t tried yet and I’m planning to go back to try these tours that we haven’t done.

Basically, the lists below are tours for the Puerto Princesa tourist spots. here are the top tours in Puerto Princesa Palawan that we’ve tried so far during our 5 days and 4 nights visit there.


Pick up time: 6am – 7am
Tour Duration: 7am – 5pm

The Subterranean River Tour or also known as Underground River tour is where you'll be visiting the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park which is about 2 hours away from the city and you’ll be picked up by your travel agency around 6-7am to arrive there early and avoid the crowd. Since this is what usually tourist’s reason to go in Puerto Princesa, there can be a huge crowd. The travel agency we’re with have great tour guides and they take you there as soon as possible for you to avoid what other foreigners complained about this tour – the 1-2 hours waiting time. To check our experience, watch the vlog I made below.

One of the misconception though about the Puerto Princesa Underground River tour is that you’ll literally go caving and climbing or go for a caving adventure. They won’t allow you to touch the rocks there even, and you’ll be on the boat and see the rock formations within the cave and even take pictures. But again, touching the rocks is not allowed since some kind do die when they are being touched.

The Underground River tour can actually just take a half day but if you have more time and more budget you can try these following sub-tours there where your travel tour guide will do wait for you, or if you don’t want to do any of these, you’ll join your tour guide in waiting for the others. So I suggest you try 1 or 2 of these sub-tours.

Mangrove Tour

I’ve been to a mangrove tour here in Cebu Philippines but I’m glad I’ve tried this tour. It can be boring since its only sightseeing and learning more about the mangroves, but you’ll be helping the locals who do the Mangrove Tour in Sabang Puerto Princesa there who are helping in preserving the mangroves plus, their mangroves are humongous!

Check it out on this vlog…

Sabang Zipline

I couldn’t say NO to this. But I have to be honest, when I saw the long zipline, the height of it and the rocks. I want to back out but I don’t want to regret not trying it. So, I throw out my fear and climb the 300 meters going up the hill and ride the 800 meters zipline going down of Sabang X Zipline . Watch it in this vlog…

Ugong Rock

This was not offered that day since the Ugong rock is on a different location but there will be times that instead of this spot which have a zipline they’ll offer the other 2 (above). So, I don’t have anything to share about this. Sorry!


Pick up time: 6am – 7am
Tour Duration: 7am – 4pm

The only island hopping tour in Puerto Princesa is Honda Bay tour! Where you’ll be visiting 3 islands in the Honda bay area which are Cowrie Island, Starfish Island, and LuLi Island. So for those who wants to go swimming and a beach addict, this is your only choice! As for our experience, check out the video blog below.


Pick up time: 5pm – 6pm
Tour Duration: 6pm – 10pm

One of the things that I love now doing if a destination offers firefly watching is this! There’s magic with fireflies, especially if they come to you and are curious about you – that happened to me in Bohol Philippines.

So this is what I am excited for on the day we’re scheduled to go to the Iwahig firefly watching in Puerto Princesa, and if you haven’t seen any fireflies yet, I suggest you try it here. Sadly, I wasn’t able to catch the firefly on my GoPro, I tried my best but really GoPro is no good for it. Flash is not allowed and not good for the fireflies so if you plan to catch it in your camera, you should do some research on how to get it on cam.

I was able to make a vlog about our experience but again, I failed in catching the firefly on my GoPro.


Beach addicts! I found another destination for you to go but it’s about an hour away from the city (we took the tricycle and paid for the whole trip) but if you love the long stretch of beach, then look nowhere else! Go to Nagtabon Beach!

Here’s our experience…


Pick up time: 9am – 10am
Tour Duration: 9am – 3pm

For adventure seekers like us! If you’re easily bored with sightseeing then check this new activity you can do in Puerto Princesa Palawan! Max Palawan is about an hour away from the city but the whole trip will be worth it. No worries your transportation from your hotel to Max Palawan is already included.

We’ve tried their most extreme ATV ride which is muscle pain activity but worth it. But if you’re with kids or family, they have a kid friendly ATV rides for you. Here’s our experience…
Here are the tours that we haven’t completed or haven’t tried yet. I’m planning to go back there to try it myself and for me to share and talk about the tour to you guys for more information.


Pick up time: 8am / 1pm
Tour Duration: 8am – 12nn / 1 pm - 5pm

This is the tour that we haven’t completed since we’ve done this on our last day and we have to catch our flight out. This tour can be done in 4 hours, and travel agencies usually start at 8am to 12noon and another batch at 1 or 2pm but if you’ll be leaving you can just ask your favorite tricycle driver if he can tour you around.

We’re able to visit a few tourist spots in Puerto Princesa city but not the entire list of what’s included in the tour. So I haven’t made the video for this, but will do soon. So subscribe to my YouTube channel if you’re a fan of watching it moving instead of just photos, or follow me on social media sites since I do update those live.


Pick up time: 5am – 6am
Tour Duration: 6am – 7pm

This tour will require that you’ll be picked up around 6 or 7am since you have to go for a road trip and a boat trip to go to a cave.


Pick up time: 7am – 8am
Tour Duration: 7am – 6pm

Is a day trip tour to Dos Palmas island resort and spa that is nestled in the waters of Honda Bay.

We Book our tours with:
Northern Hope Tours
Check their Puerto Princesa tours here: http://www.northernhopetours.com/puerto-princesa-tours/

Where to Stay?

There are a number of choices of places to stay at in Puerto Princesa, it will just depend on your budget and preferences of your accommodation that you want. As for me I prefer to be comfortable, secured, and because I have problems with dust I want my room clean!

So if you’re like me, then check out these following accommodations that I’ve checked out and stayed at while we were in Puerto Princesa City.


It is a bed and breakfast where they only have 2 villas available but have a swimming pool. The whole place is actually a private home of a family, and they’re just opening their homes to people like us who is visiting Puerto Princesa. Not all know tricycle drivers know the place, so make sure you get the owner’s number and ask for directions.

Villa Kalachuchi is actually one of the accommodation near in the Puerto Princesa city airport but there are only few tricycles pass by it. Check out my room tour!

But if you love privacy and prefer to see less people in a place you stay at, then this would be perfect!


I’d say this is my favorite during our stay in Puerto Princesa city but again access is difficult since it’s on the top of the hill, it’s near the known Baker’s Hill but further away. This is by the way one of the Palawan island luxury hotels.But the view, their service, the facility is totally worth it! And I've got to say, Panja Resort becomes my favorite place in Puerto Princesa city so far.

Check this out…


If you want a place to stay at that has a beach, has a pool, and has activities within the resort then this is it! They have kayaking, kite boarding (which I wanted to try but the wind does not love me to be present), plus the ATV adventure is the same owner as theirs so you can easily book the experience with them. Here’s a quick tour around Blue Palawan

But then if these accommodations in Puerto Princesa city is not within your budget or type then you might like my list of Puerto Princesa city hotels. There are a lot of options in the city but the ones I’ve listed are the ones that I saw or can verify that is at least near the airport.

26 Hotels in Puerto Princesa city

I’ll try to make more list of Puerto Princesa hotels for you if there are more I can add, but feel free to recommend any below the comment section.

Where to Eat in Puerto Princesa City?

I don’t usually include this part in my travel guides but because one of the trouble we have there is deciding where to eat – that we have to ask our tricycle driver for a recommendation. So I decided that to help you out or at least give you an idea on which we’ve tried and worth it to go to.

Captain Ribs

This place is open air, chill actually and has a bar where you’ll also see a number of foreigners here, and the owner is I believe a foreigner too. But I love grilled foods, and I’ve heard that this place have the best grilled pork in town (I actually forgot what it’s called in their menu) and even the staff at Villa Kalachuchi who also works there promise me the place has good food, and we did not regret it.

Kinabuch Grill and Bar

We had our dinner here and I also have heard this is one of the restaurants you must go to so on our last night there, though we were so tired to eat out and I wasn’t feeling well, we did try this place.

If you want to try Puerto Princesa’s exotic food, the shipworm then this place have it they also have the crocodile sisig and even the crocodile Bicol express but the next restaurant is more known for the crocodile sisig.

The video below is not at Kinabuchi when we ate the shipworm, but in Sabang – the area where the Underground River is. This just to show you what the shipworm looks like.

But at night there are a lot insects that they have this lamp that hopefully kills it, but they’re too many and they kept coming. So if insects bother you, don’t come here at night but I haven’t checked other spots or table there that have less insects at least.

Ugong Rock Grill and Seafood Bar

I’ve also heard of this place but a number of locals recommended the place, they say they have the best crocodile sisig and since our driver recommended the place, we went there and had our lunch.

I got to say, the crocodile sisig was good. I was concerned that it will be chewy but I can’t tell the difference with it to a real pork other than they made it spicy. If you ask if they have other dish, yes they do, there are locals there who also dine, so let’s eat where the locals eat.

Badjao Seafront

Our driver recommended this place because it’s a floating restaurant and says it’s unique comparing to other restaurants. The service is slow here so don’t eat here if you’re super hungry, the food is not something you wish to go back for too. Will I recommend the place? Not really, unless you’re craving for seafood and a good place.

Kalaui Restaurant

This is the restaurant that I did want to try but wasn’t able to since I found out that you need to book or reserve a table before going here. So I haven’t got anything to say about the place or share, but it makes me wonder why this place seems to be that in demand.

There are a number of restaurants already in Puerto Princesa that locals there are not even sure which one they’d recommend.

Itinerary and Expenses

Majority of the tourists in Puerto Princesa only stays for 3 days and 2 nights, but Puerto Princesa got more to offer especially with the new tours and attractions that you might enjoy. So if you only have 3 days, feel free to choose one of the days below.

As for the meals, if you’ll notice I usually include 1 meal and a snack, this is assuming that the hotel that you’ll be staying with includes free breakfast, and tours already include a free lunch or dinner.

If you’re new in this blog, I don’t’ usually keep track by detail (on hours) on what is done on that certain period of the day. So the Puerto Princesa itinerary I’ll be sharing will not be like others that are very much detailed by the minute. But hopefully the Puerto Princesa guide stated above for the tours will be helpful for you on what time it will start or you’ll be picked up at your hotel.

For this Puerto Princesa budget itinerary I won’t be sharing the details by the minute but what tours we took and expenses made on that day.

Day 0 - Arrival in Puerto Princesa

200 - Dinner in Cebu Airport
50 - Transportation to hotel (P100 / 2)

Day 1 – Underground River Tour

2,000 – Underground River Tour (includes lunch)
350 - Mangrove Tour
550 - Sabang X Zipline
500 - Food budget of the day (Dinner + Snack)

Please note that the Mangrove Tour and Sabang X Zipline is the side trip of the Underground River tour, so it is offered to you to do but optional.

Day 2 – Honda Bay Tour

1,300 - Honda Bay Tour (includes lunch)
500 - Fin, Snorkel, or Towel Rentals (optional)
500 - Food budget of the day (Dinner + Snack)

If you want to see the fish at Starfish Island of Honda Bay Puerto Princesa then rent the snorkel at least. Life jackets are provided by the tour company.

Day 3 – Nagtabon Beach + Firefly Watching

300 - Tricycle with driver rental to Nagtabon (600/2)
150 - Nagtabon Beach Cottage (300 / 2)
1,200 - Iwahig Firefly Watching tour (includes dinner)
500 - Food budget of the day (Lunch + Snack)

Day 4 – ATV Adventure

600 - ATV Extreme Adventure (includes lunch)
500 - Food budget of the day (Dinner + Snack)

Please note that they have cheaper ATV adventure and less extreme.

Day 5 – City Tour and Exit

300 - DIY City Tour with Tricycle (600/2)
500 - Entrance Fees (estimate only)
800 - Food budget of the day (Lunch + Dinner + Snack)
50 - Transportation to airport (100/2)
200 - Airport terminal fee
200 - Uber from Cebu airport to home

Please note that the entrance fees are just estimate for per person since we haven’t really finished the tour since we’re in a hurry to catch our plane ride going home.

Summary of the Expenses

250 - Day 0 Expenses
3,400 - Day 1 Expenses
2,300 - Day 2 Expenses
2,150 - Day 3 Expenses
1,200 - Day 4 Expenses
2,050 - Day 5 Expenses
2,500 - Accommodation (estimate –P1, 000/night [5 nights] divided by 2)

Please do note the total expenses declared here does not include other extra expenses like going to clubs, bar, or even the pasalubong. So for your Puerto Princesa budget itinerary your P15,000 would be enough but if you want to make sure that just in case you over spend you’re still safe you may budget P20,000 – which is my usual budget for each trip I go.

Why Visit Puerto Princesa Palawan?

One of the main reason that people visit Puerto Princesa Palawan is because of 2 things, 1 is because of Baker’s Hill that have the best hopia in the Philippines, and of course the Underground River.

Honda Bay is not that beautiful (anymore they say) but if you just want to tick off that bucket list that you’ve done it, then why just not just enjoy the islands. But I honestly think Puerto Princesa has got more to offer, they have secrets and we must find out about them – and probably that would be my mission on the next visit.

But then if you love that Instagram colors, and that white girl’s dream kind of thing head to El Nido Palawan and you won’t regret it.

Will I come back to Puerto Princesa? Yes! Because of the hopia and I know there’s more in Puerto Princesa Palawan and hopefully when I come back there I can add more in this Puerto Princesa travel guide for you to enjoy the best of what they can offer. There’s also a few tours that I want to try and maybe head south since a number of locals says there’s something there too!


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