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Puerto Princesa City

Palawan Island, Philippines

The Eco-Tourism Capital of the Philippines

An aerial view of the city (click to enlarge)

Origin of the name of "Puerto Princesa"

    Legend attributes the name Puerto Princesa to the appearance of a princess-like maiden of rare beauty who would roam around the bay at night during certain times of the year. Other authorities contend that name was derived from geographical location of the place as a port-being naturally protected from inclemencies of the weather all year round with sufficient depth to allow ships of all sizes to anchor. It is truly a "Princess if Ports" or in Spanish Puerto Princesa.

    Historical records, however, show that the name was given in honor of Princess Eulalia of Spain. She was born in 1864 to the reigning monarch, Queen Isabela II and her consort Dr. Francisco de Asis. But when the princess met an untimely death, the Queen changed the name to Puerto de la Princesa. Eventually, it was reduced to Puerto Princesa as it is known today.

    Spanish colonizers founded the settlement on march 4, 1872. It was converted to a city on January 1, 1970 under Republic Act 5906 as amended by Presidential Decree 437 through the effort of then Congressman Ramon V. Mitra. The first city mayor was Feliberto Oliveros, Jr.

    Puerto Princesa City, aside from being the seat of public administration is the center of trade, commerce and education of the province.

    The city has gained the distinction of being a model city in cleanliness, environmental protection and conservation and local governance in general.

cockatoo, bearcat, kiao

Flora and Fauna

    Palawan Island is known as a GAME REFUGE AND HAVEN OF PHILIPPINE WILDLIFE. Of the thousand species of the Philippine wildlife and birds, 232 species of wildlife and 206 species of birds are found in the island.

    The Palawan Peacock Pheasant locally known as Tandikan, the official seal of the City of Puerto Princesa, is the smallest and the most beautiful pheasant in the avian kingdom.

    The Palawan Cherry in February to April

The Land

    Puerto Princesa City, one of the largest cities in the country has a land area of 253,982 hectares stretching over 106 kilometers long with its narrowest breadth of 8.5 kilometers at Barangay Bahile.

    Puerto Princesa lies in the heart of the long and narrow island province of Palawan. It is approximately 306 nautical miles from Manila, 206 to Panay Island and 250 to Zamboanga. It is 55 minutes by air from Manila via Philippine Airlines or Air Philippines. It takes 18 to 20 hours by the sea from Manila on board WG&A Superferry and Negros Navigation Ships and 18 hours away from Negros Island.

    It is bounded on the North by the Municipalities of San Vicente and Roxas. and on the South by the Municipality of Aborlan. Its western side is a coastline of the South China Sea.

    The City has a total of 66 barangays of which 35 are urban while 31 rural.

    A chain of tall mountains ranges through the entire length of the city, dividing it into two distinct areas, the east cost and the west coast. the eastern side is characterized by thin strandlines bordered by swamplands, following a series of wide flat plains to hilly terrain. The  west coast has less to offer, being pinched by craggy foothills and rugged mountains close to the sea. Generally, the terrain ranges from 10 to 10,000 meters above sea level with rugged mountain areas in the interior. Its highest peak is Cleopatra's Needle at 1,605 meters.


    The city of seldom hit by typhoon. However the best time to travel to any point in the city is during the months of March to May.

    The City has two prevailing types of climate. The type that prevails in the west coast has two distinct seasons: six months dry (November to April) and six months wet (May - October) with the heaviest record rainfall in September. The lowest or driest months occur in February. Western barangays (New Panggangan, Marufinas, Cabayugan, Tagabinet, Buenavista, Bahile, Macarascas, Simpocan, Bagong Bayan and Napsan) fall within this type. The type prevailing in the east has a short dry season with varying heavy rainfall months. Dry months have been recorded during months of January to April.

    Puerto Princesa has two prevailing winds. The Northeast (NE) monsoon and southwest (SW) monsoon. NE generally sets in October and continues until April. It blows between north and northeast with a tendency toward an easterly direction at the end of the season. It has a velocity ranging from 15 to 25 kilometers per hour at its height and an average of six kilometers per hour. Rain clouds during the NE monsoon practically lose all the moisture before reaching the southwest part of the archipelago. Thus the city and the province as a whole receive no rainfall towards the end of the NE (January to April).

    SW or the summer monsoon follows the NE after a transition period  of variable winds and calms. It prevails from June to October. It blows most steadily during July to August reaching a maximum velocity of about 35 kilometers per hour. In October or during the close of the of SW monsoon, strong winds occur in the southern part of the city. The southwest winds bring torrential rains but with uneven distribution.

    The NE and SW monsoons affect the eastern and western part of the city. When this winds blow, the seas are very rough. The calm months of the year are from April through June on both the eastern and western side of the city. 


    The City has a uniform high temperature. Generally, the warmest months area March, April and May. The coolest are November, December, January and February. It has more or less uniform as well as high relative humidity. The range is from 79 to 86 percent with an annual mean of 84 percent.


    Puerto Princesa is a melting pot of people with different cultures. This is attributed to the influx of migrants from other Philippine provinces. One of the reasons for the city's high annual growth rate at 6.6 percent. The predominant local tongue is Cuyuno. However, other languages like English and Tagalog, and dialects such as Bicolano, Cebuano, Hilgaynon, Ilocano are widely spoken.



    One of the most fascinating hill tribes in the Philippines found in the mountains north of Puerto Princesa City. They are literally a vanishing tribe spread out in eight settlements between the Babuyan and Langogan Rivers. Among their rituals is sagda which the Babailan perform in thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest or to drive away or appease the evil spirits. It is also performed  to cure the sick. The rhythm of the tarek, the ritual dance depends on the mood of the dancers. Some are imitative of their occupation such as hunting wild boar. They use strips of unique palm leaves called palaspas. The most colorful among the hill-tribes their womenfolk are fond of wearing flowers on their hair, beads for necklace and bracelets and squirrels tail on their back.


    Considered the original race of the people inhabiting the province. They are most cultured of the hill tribes because they have an alphabet of their own. A ceremonial dance of the Tgbanuas is the Pagdiwata, religious rite perform either for thanksgiving or for healing the sick. This is adopted by the Bayanihan Dance troupe of the Philippine Women University, Manila. For stage performances and had been popularized not only here in the Philippines but also abroad.


    Among the original inhabitants of Palawan Island, the Cuyonons are the most developed group. They possess a rich legacy of folklores and traditions. Their music, songs and dances are refined and show influence of their western conquistadores.

Pista y ang Kagueban

    Otherwise known as the Feast of the Forest, the program was first launched in June 1992 by the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development Staff. It is celebrated every third week of June. Its main objective is to reforest and rehabilitate denuded forest areas in the city. Today over a million threes has been planted in its old site at Barangay Irawan Watershed and over 100,000 tree seedlings on its new site at Sitio Magarwak on June 24, 2000.

    One of the main features of the Pista y and Kageban are the environmental messages relayed in the form of cultural songs and dances by the Sinika and Pangkat Kalinangan.

Oplan Linis Program

    Launched on August 11,1992, the Oplan Linis Program is top on the list of the city's crowd drawers. Puerto Princesa in 1894 was cited as one of the most beautiful towns in the country with its streets, building and houses arranged in an orderly manner. Its surroundings were kept clean and green by its constituents. One hundred years later, on December 14, 1994 it received it received and award of excellence as the cleanest and greenest component city in the Philippines and the Hall of Fame award on December 15, 1996.

    People from all walks of life and from all parts of the country be it under the Lakbay Aral program of the Local Government Unit they represent or private groups come to visit the city. To study and learn lessons on how Puerto Princesa City has transformed from a city to be haven of prisoners and malaria causing mosquitoes to be come the country's model in cleanliness.

Places to visit in Puerto Princesa City

Mendoza Park

    Located along Rizal Avenue, in the heart of the city, the park is named after Dr. Higinio Mendoza. He is the war hero of Palawan. Dr. Mendoza is known for his bravery for resisting Japanese rule. This led to his execution at Canigaran Beach, Puerto Princesa on January 24, 1944. His remains together with other unknown soldiers were interred into the memorial shrine found at one side of the park.

Immaculate Conception Cathedral

    In 1872, a Spanish expedition proclaimed the Immaculate Conception of Mary as the patroness of Puerto Princesa. That same year, the first mass was celebrated here. But it was in 1961 for that Cathedral was under Bishop Gregorio Espiga. The Angular structure departs from the most churches in other parts of the Philippines, providing visitors with an interesting glimpse of unconventional religious structure.

Rizal Park

    Located along Rizal Avenue, in the park features the statue of the Philippines' National hero Jose Rizal.

Plaza Cuartel

    Located along Taft Street, beside the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, the park is the restored ruins of an old garrison. Where Japanese soldiers burned 143 prisoners of war inside a tunnel. It stands as a grim reminder of the World War II atrocities. Only 10 prisoners survived to tell the story of what happened inside the tunnel.

Eulalia Park

    Located along Quezon Street, the park features the statue of the princess after whom the park was named and a pocket forest. The statue faces Puerto Princesa Bay.

Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park

    Inscribed in the prestigious UNESCO World Heritage list in on December 4, 1999 on the merit of it as magnificent subterranean river with unique formation that empties into the sea. The watershed areas of the river within the park is covered by primary forest which is home to many endemic species of animals and plants. It encompasses of unequal variety of ecosystems, making it high scientific and conservation interest. The only park in the country situated within the city boundaries. The Puerto Princesa Subterranean river National Park's main feature is the Cabayugan river which flows in an easterly direction for over eight kilometers under a spectacular massif limestone karst toward the south china sea. The lowest four kilometers of river is navigable by small boats.

    Located at Barangay Cabayugan reputed to be the world's longest river winding to a spectacular cave emptying into the south china sea. Cathedral-like chambers, wide corridors and interesting geological formations led the wide-eyed visitor to groto hidden beneath St. Paul mountain. At the entrance of the rivers mouth is a clear lagoon, a wide sand beach clumped by ancient trees growing at the water's edge. Monkeys. large monitor lizards and squirrels find their niche on this trees. Visitors may also bird-watch, mountain trek and explore the deeper part of the forest .

    The park information center at Sabang may organize park tours for visitors. Pump boats (motorized small boats with outriggers) ferry visitors from Sabang to the park for 20 minutes or visitors may try the monkey trail, a two hour hike from Sabang to the underground river.

Click here for to view brochure

Crocodile Farming Institute

    Located at Barangay Irawan, a joint project of the Philippine and Japanese governments, the Crocodile Farm is a showcase of successful conservation project. The farm breeds two endangered species found in the country including the endemic Philippine crocodile. There is also a mini-zoo where the colorful Nicobar Pegion, the raucous talking mynah, the elusive bearcat and other animals found in Palawan are sheltered.

Balsahan River Swimming Resort

    located at Barangay Iwahig, this tiny resort is favorite picnic area of local residents. Huts line the bank of a river where clear water falls from the mountain springs.

Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm

    The Iwahig Prison and Penal farm was established by the Americans in 1904 to supply food to other prisons all over the country. A prison without walls, inmates ten vast farms and engaged in handicrafts and other souvenir items.

Salakot Waterfalls

    A popular tourist spot located midway to Napsan about 50 meters from the main road. Three layers of waterfalls plunge into the deep pools. Rare species of butterflies can be found in the area. Picnic huts and two cottages are available for overnight stay.

Napsan Beach

    Located at Barangay Napsan on its shores are long stretches of sand punctuated by rocky promontories. Nestled on the Western Coast South of the City proper. Napsan offers a tranquil and rustic setting. The place is perfect for quiet vacation where one can unwind amidst its pristine surroundings. Beautiful sunsets can be viewed from this side. Food and accommodation is offered by a sea side lodge.

Sta. Lucia Hot Spring

    Located at Barangay Sta.Lucia, an alternative destination for those who are tired of the sand and the sea. A series  of Pools, picnic huts and tables, dressing rooms are among the basic amenities of the area. The place is landscaped with trees, ornamentals and flowers that provides a perfect setting for the spa resort.

Sta. Lourdes Hot Spring

    Located at barangay Sta. Lourdes, this hot spring is very accessible from the city proper.

Facilities and Services

Note: Philippine Tel. Code is 63, Palawan Tel. Code is 48. When dialing for Palawan (++63-48-local number). Please tell them you found their telephone number or email address in this website. ( Thanks!

Travel Agencies and Tour Operators

  1. Blue Dolphin Travel Agency    4338002
  2. Circle of Friends Travel and Tours    4344475
  3. Dragon Heart Tours    4338688
  4. Finest Travel Agency    4335399
  5. GO Travel and Tours    4334570
  6. Floral Travel and Tours    4332540
  7. Last Frontier Dive    4332566
  8. Palawan Ecology Guides Tours   4333312
  9. Palawan RACS Travel and Tours    4344424
  10. Palawan Tourist Travel and Tours    4333877
  11. Princesa Tours Agency    4335725
  12. Puerto El Mundo Tours    4343544
  13. Puerto Travel and Tours    4342110
  14. Sanctuary Travel and Tours    4344787
  15. Topstar Travel and Tours    4344089

Car/Motorcycle Rental

  1. Akame Rent-A-Car    4333940
  2. CLDC Rent-A-Car    4336084
  3. Dr. Ben Carlos Car Rental    4332663
  4. ElmaCris Rent-A-Car    4333589
  5. Etzee Rent-A-Car    4334307
  6. F. Tan Rent-A-Car   
  7. Jazzent Rent-A-Car   
  8. Marical Rent-A-Car    4334053
  9. Palawan RACS Car Rental    4344424
  10. Puerto Travel Rent-A-Car    4342110
  11. Queen Ann Rent-A-Car    4342956
  12. Joyride Motorcycle Rental    4343412
  13. Hidalgo Riders Rent-a-Motor    4337721

Air and Sea Transportation

  1. Philippine Airlines    4334565
  2. Air Philippines    4337007
  3. Seair    4332540
  4. WG&A Super Ferry    4334875
  5. Negros Navigation    4337204

Dining and Entertainment

  1. Airport Hotel and Sushi Bar
  2. Badjao Seafront Restaurant    4333501
  3. Backpackers Cafe
  4. Baga-Baga Grill
  5. Bavaria Restaurant    4332388
  6. Bilao at Palayok Restaurant    4336910
  7. Cafe Arturo    4334146
  8. Cafe Plaza
  9. Edwin's Food Palace    4332338
  10. Giacamino's Pizza    4333036
  11. Haim Chicken Inato    4332261
  12. Hub's Rodeo Grill Kamayan Restaurant    4334773
  13. Hungpang Restaurant    4335727
  14. Ignacio's Restaurant
  15. Ihaw-ihaw Restaurant    4335125
  16. Island Samurai KTV
  17. 1-W's Filipino-Thai Restaurant    4332759
  18. Jollibee Food Express    4344025
  19. Kalui Restaurant    4332580
  20. Kamarikutan Cafe and Galleri    4335182
  21. Kampochea Restaurant     4332761
  22. King's Court Food Parlor    4334583
  23. Lola Itang Restaurant    4332990
  24. Marina de Bay Restaurant    4337435
  25. NCCC Fast Food    4332620
  26. Old Granma's Bakehouse    4332967
  27. Ong's Maki House    4332999
  28. Pescado's Restaurant   
  29. Palawan Garden Restaurant    4332904
  30. Pho Vietnamese Restaurant    4333576
  31. Phoenix Restaurant    4334108
  32. Puerto Aventura's Cocoville   
  33. Redezvouz Restaurant    4343136
  34. Rengel Rooftop Restaurant    4339899
  35. Roadside Pizza Inn    4332214
  36. Sari's Baryo Restaurant    4334899
  37. Seven Dragon Restaurant    4332212
  38. Saigon Vietnamese Restaurant   
  39. Suma Ching Hai Vegetarian Restaurant    4339248
  40. Sweet House    4332618
  41. Swiss Bistro    4332719
  42. Trihaus sa Libis    4348051
  43. Vietnamese Village Restaurant   
  44. Washi Sushi Bar    4334733
  45. Fisherman's Wharf Cafe and Sing-Along    4332217

Hotel / Pensions / Inns

  1. Asturias Hotel    4343851
  2. Bulwagang Princesa    4343572
  3. Cocoy Beach Resort    4336449
  4. Dos Palmas Island Resort    4343118
  5. Duchess Pension    4332873
  6. Duchess Beachside Cottages    4342173
  7. Legend Hotel    4339076
  8. Hillside Resort    4337318
  9. Hotel Fleuris    4344338
  10. Lola Itang Pension    4336991
  11. Airport Hotel    4332177
  12. Manggahan Pension    4335286
  13. Marina de Bay    4337345
  14. Rengel Hotel    4332584
  15. Tarabanan Beach Resort   
  16. Tropical Sun Inn    4336493
  17. Island Palawan Hotel    4332326
  18. Puerto Aventura Resort    4343526
  19. San Rafael Beach Resort
  20. Villa Princesa Resort    4337820
  21. El Rey Pension    4338017
  22. Puerto Pension    4334149
  23. Admiral Hotel  4334561
  24. Royal Oberoi Hotel


  1. Allied Bank    4336617
  2. Banco Filipino    4332041
  3. BPI Family Bank    4332083
  4. Cooperative Bank of Palawan    4333831
  5. Development Bank of the Philippines    4332538
  6. PCI Equitable Bank    4332491
  7. Far East Bank & Trust Company    4332785
  8. First Consolidated Bank    4339893
  9. Land Bank of the Philippines    4332820
  10. Metrobank    4332238
  11. Philippine National Bank    4332321
  12. Philippine Veterans Bank    4337842
  13. Palawan Bank    4332489
  14. Prudential Bank    4333661
  15. Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation    4332091
  16. Rural Bank of Narra Palawan    4334591
  17. UCPB Rural Bank    4332066

Money Changers

  1. A.S. Money Changer    4335105
  2. Bavaria Money Changer    4337695
  3. Palawan Money Changer    4344068

Souvenir Shops

  1. Cocky Rooms Souvenir Shops   
  2. Culture Shack   4332566
  3. Gladys Handicraft    4334706
  4. Kamantian Handicraft   
  5. Mozo Shell Craft    4339866
  6. Palawan Treasure & Gift Shop    4335157

Important Telephone Numbers

Credits: Text and Image Contents are prepared by EDNA PONCE DE LEON-DARJUAN and ZORELLE ALANIS of City Tourism Office

Digitized and Web Design by: Elysian Field Realty Service for the People of Puerto Princesa City and Palawan Province.