DIY Travel Guide: Explore Puerto Princesa City Easily

Wanted to visit the usual tourist spots around the area with a low budget? Better include and consider these conventional places yet historically educational tour on your Puerto Princesa, Palawan travel itinerary. Let’s go explore and start the Puerto Princesa City Tour!

This post is a part of  Puerto Princesa, Palawan: A Walk-through to the City of Living God article. Go back to the main article to see more of Puerto Princesa.

The Story

So where shall we start? This might be your question while planning for a tour. Sonny and I already went to several places together and one thing is what we both noticed. We always visit a church whenever we go to a different place. So why not start this tour by visiting a church here in Puerto Princesa?

Usual City Tour

Various travel agencies, tour guides and even tricycle drivers around the city will offer you what they called Puerto Princesa “city tour” for a typical rate of P700 to visit the following tourists spots:

And some, who are kind and generous enough will include a brief visit to Palawan Butterfly Garden. This buterfly garden houses various species of butterflies, other animals and insects that are mostly native in Palawan. One of the welcomed additions in here is that you can also visit the Palawan Tribal Village where you can talk to the primitive villagers of Palawan, called “Palaw’an“.  You need to have the interpreter around since they have their own dialect.

And for us, the Feetpillars, wanted it to do all by ourselves! We opted to tour all of the places above, DIY or (DIO, Do It Ourselves?). 😀 This first installment will walk you through the first three tourist attractions listed above.

So, let’s start?

Immaculate Conception Cathedral

The Immaculate Conception Cathedral is located along Rizal Avenue, known as the street of downtown proper. This church, relatively small compared to other cathedrals, started as a chapel during the Spanish expedition. This is the church wherein the first ever Catholic mass in Palawan was conducted in March 1872.

Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Rizal Avenue, Puerto Princesa City
Noticed the floor area of the cathedral?

One more thing that separates the cathedral from the others is its blue-colored structure. It has pointed symmetrical arches that can be remind you of the craftsmanship style during Europe’s medieval period.

Plaza Cuartel

Up next, just beside the left gate of the cathedral is Plaza Cuartel. Despite of the peaceful look of the place, something terrible happened before in this area. The place, originally a haven of American and Filipino soldiers sadly turned into a prison.

Plaza Cuartel entry point.
Some information about the site.

During the Japanese era in 1940s, invaders overrun the place. They put hundreds of American soldiers behind the iron bars and literally below the ground, with limited air flow and very narrow area for them all. You can tell that they greatly suffer with these circumstances but it’s not the only thing that happened. On December 1944, few days before Christmas, soldiers from the Japanese Army poured fuel onto the prisoners setting them all on fire. Out of hundreds, only 11 survivors successfully escaped. The exact number was not really document but most historians believed there were 143 that were burned alive. Philippines was indeed a big horror theater during the World War 2.

Plaza Cuartel houses many of these “museum” like things that will make you better understand the place.

On this date, the whole place was converted into a haven for tourists and locals alike, housing some of the facts and history of our heroes.

Puerto Princesa Baywalk

Several hundred meters away, the Baywalk can be visited by feet coming from Plaza Cuartel. Wanted to have a scenic sunset? Baywalk will be a great choice while eating, talking and walking around the large seaside.

Almost sunset.

Many streetfoods (and seafoods) are being sold here. Dinner is also being served and you can select from many carinderia-restaurant hybrid food stalls. We personally had our dinner here during our last day in Puerto Princesa. Cheap but tasty = happy pocket and full tummy!

A quick pose by Raz this time.

You can also rent a bike to explore the area if you opt not to go by feet.

The place is starting to be filled-up by tourists and locals alike.

End of Puerto Princesa City Tour, Day 1

These three places can be easily visited in 1-2 hours. For us, it is walking distance from our accommodation. So, we actually spent nothing in here (except food, of course). We went back after for our Ihawig Firefly Watching.

If you’re tight on budget, consider having your dinner at the Baywalk instead of the restaurants in the city center, just like what we did. Prices are affordable and you can enjoy a great view of the sunset along the lane of palm trees.

To know more about the other places included in the city tour, follow the links below:

Day 2

A Brief Tour: Palawan Butterfly Garden and Tribal Village
An Ex-Situ Adventure: Palawan Crocodile Farm

Day 3

Mitra Ranch: Overlooking the Islands of Honda Bay
Baker’s Hill, Palawan: Not Just Baked Goodies for Pasalubong

You might be wondering why we spent 3 days for city tour alone, where in fact, you can do it in just a whole day. We did it this way to maximize our time in Puerto Princesa. We wanted to visit many places as much as possible, so we ended with this itinerary. It is effective as we were also able to go on a Honda Bay Island Hopping and a stunning visit of Underground River. We even spent a 1 whole night in Sitio Sabang too (drop off point to PPUR)! All of these in just a matter of 2 1/2 days and 2 nights. Are you having the same flight schedule? Check out our complete itinerary here.

Guide Map

To help you better plan your tour, see the map below. Places to visit, where to eat and other areas in Puerto Princesa is pinned on this map.

To have more detailed information, visit the links provided above.

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