Category: Uncategorized

Puerto Princesa Underground River: True wonder of nature

Caving is not new to me, but caving on a canoe is a completely different story, thats why visiting the Puerto princesa underground river is quite an experience. Now I’m about to give you a walkthrough of my PPUG experience.

It started at Sabang port, the jump off point to the PPUG. We kinda arrived there intentionally late so that we can skip the long lines of waiting in the morning when most of the tourists flock together. So we basically started with our lunch, Its a part of the PPUG tour package that I booked through although I think its really included in all tour packages regardless of wherever you may have booked your tour from. It was a very satisfying lunch, great food especially seafoods.

After having lunch, we immediately went to the dispatching area and hopped on the boat that will bring us to the other part of sabang which at first I thought was a separate island because why do we need to take a boat ride? Right? But I learned that its actually still part of the main palawan island just that its really hard to reach by land because of the moutain ranges which naturally isolates the PPUG from exploitation keeping it away from those who plans to ruin it. So moving on, we reached the area of the PPUG, it was like the facade because we still have to walk through a forest which is very nice actually. The facade I’m telling you about is where the pictorial always happen because the view here is stunning with the nice beach and the limestones in the background.

After the forest, we reached the PPUG dispatching area, we were then given audio guides, put on some safety gears and finally hopped on to the canoe. Everything was really organized.

Into the river…. it was nothing like any other, we saw numerous stone structures which the audio guide will talkabout as you go through the river cruise, the audio guide by the way makes the experience better because there is a background music kind of thing that you will be listening all through out the cruise. We were amazed by the massive chambers within its cave system, they were chambers identical in height to ceilings of cathedrals which really shows the massive size of the cave. Every area has a name depending on the rock formations that are seen there, like for example there was a market where rock formations shaped like vegetables could be seen, the cathedral because of its really high ceiling and stone formations that forms like mary, jesus, and even the holy family. In addition to that, another must see inside are the flocks of bat flying everywhere or just hanging on the walls and ceiling of the cave. Disclaimer about them though, they stink! Lol. Also, for hygienic purposes, the earphones are given to you after using it.

Explorations of the cave has unearthed fossils from millions of years ago, newly discovered minerals, more rock formations and rich biodiversity. Note that of many years of explorations done in its cave system there are still untouched areas because of the complexity of the cave. So who knows? There could be fossils of human bones in their, or rare animals, rare crystals and minerals etc. there is no limitation of possibilities.

The PPUG was a unique experience that showcases the best of what nature had done, what it is still doing and what could it still do in the next generations. Indeed it was one of nature’s wonder.

Puerto princesa: The gateway of Palawan

If you’re planning to go to Palawan’s most pristine places you would most likely have to go through Puerto princesa city. Unless of course you’re willing to proceed directly to El nido and Coron without seeing the city.

There are some tour packages that actually picks you up upon arrival at the airport and proceed to El nido, these tour packages exclude the city tour in puerto princesa. In our case, we also wanted to see the city so we decided to have an extra day in the city before leaving for El nido.

PPC is not as big as a city like Cebu or manila, almost everything could be accessible by a tricycle ride.

Puerto princesa city tour itinerary:

  1. Iwahig Firefly watching – a very beautiful experience. You get to see mangroves light up with fireflies while you cruise around the iwahig river. Usually takes about 30 minutes. Fee for the canoe is 600 pesos good for 3 persons. This one is quite far from the city so you will have to arrange your visit with a tricycle driver which usually cost Php 600-800. We were actually offered 800 pesos but managed to haggle it to 700. This is cheap if you’re a group of 5-6 which can all fit in one tricycle. Note that this is more like a “for your eyes only” experience because its really hard to capture the tiny glowing fireflies much more to capture your face on a dark night. Its best to take your photos before the canoe leaves the dispatching area or within the dispatching area.
  2. Palawan wildlife rescue and conservation center/ Crocodile park – Entrance fee here is at 40 pesos per adult. Fee is cheaper for senior citizens & children. So this is basically a zoo which highlights crocodiles. Depends on how you see it the deeper parts of the zoo is actually nice for me because it looks like an abandoned park like jurassic park. Lol. I think its actually a zoo within a forest with so much vegetation around even growing on bridges and cages.
  3. Butterfly garden – this is an interesting place because you get to meet the Palaw’an tribe.Basically, its a butterfly park but the highlight was meeting the Palaw’an tribe because they have a small community here. You will learn about their living and culture.
  4. Plaza cuarteljust an old Japanese garrison
  5. Mitra’s ranch– an estate of the late senator Ramon Mitra, a must visit in palawan also its just near baker’s hill. You can enter the house for a fee of 20 pesos just make sure to be cautious because the house is full of glasswares.
  6. Baywalkto set your expectations, there’s nothing special here although you’ll find the famous puerto princesa fish artwork here which by now is a little dilapidated already. At night there might be some food stalls like in Dumaguete’s rizal boulevard.
  7. Baker’s hilla nice park and a zoo with restaurants and great for pastry shopping also. Dont miss the baker’s hill hopia while here because its expensive to buy it at the airport.
  8. Immaculate Conception Cathedral– the cradle of catholicism in PPC. The church’s interiors were beautiful and the altar reminds me of the Calbayog cathedral.
  9. Palawan heritage center
  10. Ugong Rock Adventurean adventure near the underground river. You can actually visit this place on your way to the underground river. You start with a briefing of the entire adventure and also the place, you start with a caving and end up with a zipline which is optional. I had a fun time there.

Where I ate:

  • Kalui’s – quite a restaurant. Best for pictorial. Very nice old fashioned filipino style interiors. Although its a bit pricey, its great for a fancy dining experience in puerto princesa city.
  • Kinabuch’s – a more affordable way to dine in PPC. Here you’ll find the best of palawan’s delicacies, the crocodile sisig and the tamilok or woodworm.

How to get around:

  • Major means of transportation are tricycles and fare may vary depending on your destination.

Where I stayed:

  • This part is quite a steal. We stayed at Go Hotels Puerto Princesa which I booked directly from their website. Very nice and comfortable. Very clean. Just next to robinson’s mall so food is not a problem. Now, its quite a steal for us because we got the room at a promo rate of 588pesos per night. Normally it cost like 1000-1300 per night.
  • For our last night in this city before we headed back to Cebu, we stayed at a different hotel. Julieta’s pension house is a nice and comfortable place also. Very kind staff.
  • Generally, most of the hotels in Puerto princesa city offers free shuttle to and from the airport so make sure to check with tour hotel and arrange your arrival.

How to get there:

  • Philippine airlines flies to PPC from Clark, Manila, Cebu, Taipei
  • Cebu pacific air flies to PPC from Cebu, iloilo and Manila
  • Airasia flies to PPC from Cebu, Davao and Manila

Thanks for reading. Enjoy the ride! 😘<<<<

El Nido: Nature’s gem

Who would never know El Nido? It’s all over the internet, magazines, televisions, featured on movies, blogs, etc. It has always been described as a paradise. But to people like me, it isn’t just a destination but also a dream. Most people see El nido the way I see it, An expensive goal and something really hard to achieve.

All of my doubts has finally come to an end when I finally got to visit this beautiful gift of mother nature.

It wasn’t planned for so long, we only had like one month from the time we decided to book a ticket to Puerto princesa and the actual trip. Basically, El Nido’s island hopping tours are grouped into tour A, B, C & D. This I actually find very nice and organized because you have the option of choosing whats best for your budget and what areas or islands would you really want to visit. Its like choosing the perfect mobile plan. Lol.

Anyway, here are the different tours and its corresponding inclusions:

Tour A:

  1. Shimizu Island
  2. Seven commandos beach
  3. Secret Lagoon
  4. Big Lagoon
  5. Small lagoon

Tour B:

  1. Cudugnon Cave
  2. Pinagbuyutan island
  3. Snake island
  4. Cathedral cave
  5. Entalula island

Tour C:

  1. Helicopter island
  2. Hidden beach
  3. Talisay beach
  4. Matinloc shrine
  5. Secret beach

Tour D:

  1. Paradise island
  2. Ipil beach
  3. Bukal beach
  4. Pasandigan beach
  5. Cadlao Lagoon
  • All tours includes: picnic lunch by the beach & snorkeling gears, life vest and tour guide
  • For the prices, No exact price is stated because prices vary depending on where you book your tour with or it depends on your haggling skills. For my experience, I booked my tour with klook although its not really hard to do the booking upon arrival in El Nido because almost everyone there offers the tour from the tricycle drivers to your own hotel. Although I booked ours way cheaper than the usual prices we saw in El nido.
  • NOTE that this is a joined tour which means you will be together with other people but its actually fun because you get to meet people from different parts of the globe who come together to witness the beauty of El nido. Private tours may however be arranged especially if you’re with a large group.

Land tour itinerary:

  1. Nacpan beach – a long beach located north of El nido town.
  2. Twin beaches – basically just an extension of the nacpan beach and another beach facing the opposite side of the one on the side of nacpan beach. This part is actually no that worth the visit because you will just find a bunch of boats and canoes parked there and some rubbish scattered.
  3. Nagkalitkalit falls
  4. Las cabañas beach – best for sunset watching. There are bars along this beach also where you can chill.
  5. Canopy walk
  6. Random viewing deck our tricycle driver showed us, its located before reaching Las Cabañas. This is actually a nice place where you can see many of the islands of El nido also great for sunset watching.

How to get around:

El nido is a really small town, and the major means of transportation is the tricycle which usually cost 50 pesos per way. But if walking is your thing like me, then better because you can litterally just walk around the town if your looking for pasalubongs, souvenirs or food.

Some destinations may require you a tricycle ride though, like Nacpan beach and Lac Cabañas beach which are quite far from the town. Its actually better to do the land tour so that you get to visit all destinations in el nido that isn’t on the island hopping tours.

How to get there:

There are many means of transportation to get to El nido, Depending on your budget.

  • If you’re coming from Puerto princesa, just proceed to San jose terminal to take the bus. There’s a trip almost every hour so if you don’t have a fixed time then no problem. Vans are also available but more expensive (around Php600 per way). Trip is about 5-6 hrs
  • If you wanted to skip the long trip from Puerto princesa and you don’t have any business in the city then you can actually fly directly to El Nido. AirSWIFT flies to El nido from Cebu, Manila, Clark, Caticlan. Although prices may get really high at times.
  • If you’re coming from Coron, there are actually boats the sail between El nido and Coron.

Where I stayed:

We stayed at Dayunan Tourist inn we booked it through agoda. It was a nice and comfy place, very kind staff and location is just near the shore where island hopping tour groups are picked up. And oh they also have a great view of the lime stone formations of el nido in their roof deck.

Thanks for reading, Enjoy the ride! 😘