Tour companies offer trips in Puerto Princesa Bay o watch dolphins at play. Half day trips cost in the region of 900 pesos per person and although i have never taken the trip i have heard that there are plenty of dolphins to see.
There are two information centres in Puerto Princesa, one is just 50 m on your right as you exit the departure hall and the other is situated in the Capital building. Both are very helpful and have several brochures about the island.
IWAHIG PENAL COLONY
Iwahig Penal Colony was established by the Americans near the turn of the 19th century for Filipino prisoners that couldn't be housed in Manila. Now the prison holds around 100 inmates, mostly murderers and drug dealers that have been sent from the notorious prison (Mantalupa) in Manila. The dangerous prisoners are placed in maximum security until they are trusted to join the work gangs on the farm, or they even involved in carpentry, or other types of agriculture. You can even hire prisoners to work for you in construction or your land if you transport them and pay the guard for the service. After some years in the colony they are given an opportunity to build a native house and bring their wife and children to live a normal life together. In the olden days it as difficult to escape because of the thick jungle, diseases such as malaria and the problem of feeding themselves. Nowadays there are a few escapes but most are apprehended, but some are released, feel insecure with the outside world so they commit a crime so they can come back to their "prison home". the total area of the colony is immense stretching from around km 15 on the highway south to perhaps km 50 or somewhere around there. There are also several sub-colonies scattered around with groups of prisoners occupied in different projects. At the main prison you will have to sign in as you enter, then it is 3 or 4 kms to the HQ where you find the administrative centre, snack bar, souvenir shop and a grassy quadrangle. Prisoners will perform disco dancing for you with the hope of receiving a small donation. You can reach the prison by jeepney or tricycle on the road south about an hour out of town.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN POOL
Rocky Mountain Pool Resort is 12 kms from town on the northern highway, just before you reach the turn off for Honda Bay boats. It consists of a swimming pool, picnic huts and a few bungalows for overnighters. The whole place has been constructed on a hillside, ot a bad place to swim if the local customers turn off their boom boxes. Bungalows a/c 1000 pesos, fan 700 pesos, swimming pool 30 pesos.
KIM'S HOTSPRING RESORT
We enjoyed a pleasant afternoon here where we rented a hut with a private tub for 4 hours, costing 500 pesos. although we were only two persons the price was good for up to 7 people.There are 5 or 6 tubs and a few overnight bungalows with sleeping quarters upstairs and a private tub downstairs, ranging from 750 pesos to 1,200 pesos. There was also a restaurant selling Korean and local food at very reasonable prices. There is a public hotsprings next door which appeared to be closed judging by the state of the property, and there was Marcos hot spring on the other side but it was crowded and loud music was booming. All are located around km 12 on the northern highway, just after the turn off for the boat trips to Honda Bay.
BEACHES IN THE CITY
There are several beaches within 5 kms of the centre but most are shallow water, but they are very busy especially at weekends or holidays. There is usually a small charge(10 pesos) to enter and then you can rent a bungalow for something like 200m pesos. Pristine Beach and White Beach are probably the closest but BM Beach is also good, but only at high tide as there are bungalows in the water which is around 3 feet deep. Alcohol and snacks are available at all the beaches. Good place to meet locals especially if you bring a bottle of Tanduay rum! There are three resorts that are on the beach but a little more expensive, Microtel, Dankayan resort and Puerto Aventura Resort. All offer accommodation.
- Budget Travel
If you are going north there is a view deck along with a cafe, souvenir stand around 30+kms out of town. This will be on the left hand side of the road and offers you a view of tghe islands in Honda Bay. the site was a project of Mayor Hagedorn.
The museum is next to Mendoza Park and has some displays of the Tagbanua, Tau Batu and Bataks, some of the original inhabitants of the island. Small but interesting, anyway it's only 20 pesos to enter, except on Sundays when it is free
- Museum Visits
The crocodile farm is located around 12kms out of town on the southern highway. It is a bit commercial now with a few souvenir shops and a snack bar where you can try eating tasty crocodile dishes, even though there is a sign stating that the money goes towards conserving the crocs. You can get your photo taken holding a young croc (30 pesos with your own camera) or up to 350 with frame and card with their camera. Entrance 40 pesos
CANOPY ZIP LINE AT IRAWAN FOREST
The new Eco Park is located at Irawan, just over the bridge before the crocodile farm. Just take the first right after the bridge and follow the road for 2 kms to you reach the check point where you can park your car and sign in. Drive another 4 kms through the forest and you will pass another checkpoint where they will inspect your paperwork before arriving at the staging area. There is a big native building where you can rest, take a refreshment while the instructors fill you in on safety procedure. There are 3 zip-lines, 100m, 300m and 900 km, costing around 800 pesos. It is supposed to be the longest zipline in Asia. There is also a massage hut, bird feeding station, skywalk and several other interesting attractions
WATER ORB, ATV AND ZIP LINE
At Sicsican you will find the Palawan Eco-Adventure Zone where you can roll around in a huge plastic ball with water inside (orb), whisk down a zip-line and ride an ATV (4 wheeled all terrain vehicle). This is located on the corner of the southern highway (km 9) and Rampano Rd. I believe they give a special deal if you ride all 3 Take multicab from the capital that are going to Sicsican or Irawan (Around 20 pesos).
1944 AMERICANS MASSACRED
Behind the cathedral you will find Plaza Cuartel where around 150 U.S. military were massacred by Japanese forces in Dec 14th 1944. Th e Japanese were under the impression that U.S. forces were heading for Palawan so they herded the prisoners into the shelters. The Japs proceeded to douse the shelters in petrol and set them alight. Then they threw grenades in to try and prevent any from escaping, but 11 managed to escape and now there is a small bronze plaque with the names of the 11 survivors. There is a movie, can't remember exactly the name of it, perhaps "The Raid", which is about the successful rescue of several hundred American prisoners in Cabanatuan, Luzon, and at the beginning of the movie it shows what happened to these unfortunate prisoners in Palawan.
IMMACULATE CONCEPTION CATHEDRAL
Walk along Rizal Avenue towards and you will find the cathedral 200m before you reach the port. On Sundays the worshippers fill the church to capacity (standing room only). The church was erected during the Spanish time in 1871 and was reconstructed in 1961 to become a cathedral.
The Baywalk was constructed a few years ago after a fire destroyed many illegal settlers/squatters that had built their wooden huts over the ocean. You will find the Baywalk just behind Puerto Pension House, there is a promenade and many food stalls are set up in the evening. It is well lit up, and many locals wander around here in the evening. Good place to view the sunset. Xmas time you can see a huge xmas tree with many lights. Outriggers leave for various destinations from here (to the right if you are facing the bay).
Travel tom km 20 on the highway south until you reach Iwahig River, cross the bridge and you will find some bungalows on the right where you can hire a boat with boatman, spend an hour on the river and be mesmerised by the 1000's of fireflies. Not for me but some people find this interesting.
- Save Up To 50% On Hotels
- Orbitz.com Find great deals on Orbitz & pay no hotel change or cancel fees
- Plenty of choices
- Agoda.com Save up to 75%, Don't miss! Live support, Instant confirmation.