Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Family's Great Palawan Escape: Puerto Princesa (Part One)

We are officially in love with Puerto Princesa.

The island was absolutely stunning in every single way that being "in love" doesn’t seem to quite encompass our feelings about one of the most friendliest and cleanest city of our country- Philippines.  Its dense green jungles planted alongside jagged limestone cliffs that protrude out of brilliantly turquoise water is nothing but breath-taking.  I’ve been trying to come up with a blog post that could adequately describe this tropical paradise for weeks now, but alas, my writing skills are just not up to par for a task as great.

So, allow me to start off with my planned itinerary for the whole family.  Mind you, we are a family of six, with two teens, and two young girls, one of which is a diabetic, and of course us, parents.  My husband and I doesn't know what to expect having our four kids with us (all very diverse in personalities and needs) as we explore part of the island and its culture.

We prepared the family tour since November of 2013, with a spontaneous decision of purchasing promo tickets from Air Asia at the event -CINEMA JAM.  A month after that, we booked our tickets for a three-day and two nights accommodation at Deep Forest Garden Inn from Agoda.com.   Then we inquired from their partner tour agency about the Underground River packaged tour.  The following month, January we booked our tour through an email with Tourister Travel and Tour.  The regular rate for that was P1,540 nett each person.  Since we are six with two kids we were given discounts.  The following episodes are saving up for the Puerto Princesa city tour, meals, transportation fees, and entrance fees to parks and museums, add to that pasalubong and trinket-buying.

Here now is our detailed travel plan:

DAY 1 (Here is our concise adventure)

7:00  am   Departure from Manila
8:15         ETA Puerto Princesa Airport
9:00         Drop our baggages off at Deep Forest Resort
                Look for a place for breakfast
9:15         Breakfast at Haim Chicken Inato
10:30       City Tour starts
                Booked packaged tour to Honda Bay
                Plaza Cuartel
                Immaculate Conception Cathedral
                Mitra Ranch
                Baker's Hill
                Crocodile Park/ Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center
1:00 pm    Lunch:  Crocodile meat lunch at the center cafeteria
2:00 pm    Hotel Check In
4:00          Swimming at the hotel pool
6:00          Grocery Shopping and Puregold
7:00          Dinner at Baywalk "Seaside Paluto"
9:00          Back to the hotel and rest


6:00 am    Subterranean Underwater River Tour bound
8:30          ETA Sabang Port
9:00          ETA Underground river tour jump off
10:00        Underground River tour
12:00 pm  ETA back to Sabang Port for lunch
3:00          ETA to city
                Pasalubong shopping
                Coffee pit stop
4:00         Back to the hotel
6:00         Dinner/explore other dining sites around the airport
8:00         Back to the hotel for rest

DAY 3 (Here is our blog post on that)

6:00 am    Honda Bay Tour bound to Honda Bay
7:00          Stop-over for breakfast and snorkeling gear rental
8:00          Luli Island
10:00        Starfish Island
11:00        Lunch at Starfish Island
1:00 pm    Cowrie Island
3:00          ETA back to city
                Pasalubong shopping
               Check out from the hotel
5:00        Snack at Bona's Chao Longan
8:00        Departure from Puerto Princesa Airport
9:30        ETA Manila

We missed a lot from our other plans, we were supposed to check out the Butterfly Sanctuary, Irasan Jail, Ugong rock, Vietnam Ville and a lot more.  We even wasn't able to enjoy our first night, for it rained so hard, we ended up ordering McDonalds' drive-through meals on a tricycle (how cool was that!), it was "Manong" driver's first time to order a drive-through, btw.

Our visit was partly a blessing to Palawan, since according to Mang Eddie, it hadn't been raining for two months already which explains the dryness of the the soil and the high humidity of the environment.   It also rained so hard while we were having our lunch at Sabang port, which was harder for the other tourists on our van to get back from the Underground river tour, and we have to wait for them until they have finished eating lunch.

Some best tip though when traveling with kids:

1.  Make sure you get a reliable and trustworthy tour guides from DOT accredited tour offices and agencies.
Back-packers can do a DIY tour to Honda Bay and Underground river, but they might miss educational guided tours, and guides taking care of your belongings as you enjoy swimming and exploring the different islands and travel spots, also you need a lot of patience when doing so
2.  Bringing sick patients can also be a challenge, in our case, since we have a diabetic child with us, we make sure we keep her glucose monitor on a water-resistant keeper inside the bag.  Always bring along medicines for head-ache, tummy-aches, or other important medicines on a water-resistant case.

3.  Make sure to bring along lots of bottled water and handy snacks like cookies and crackers.

4.  The ride to Sabang port from the city is a long and a bit horrendous one.  If you can not take long, winding road trips, make sure to take "anti-hilo" (anti-dizzy) pills such as Bonamine.

5.  Take light breakfast before every tour.

6.  Never forget your shades, large brim hats, caps and water-resistant UV protection lotion.

7.  Never fret, there would always be something awesome in the sceneries, company that you can always enjoy to.


Address : Abueg Rd., Bancao-Bancao, Jacana
5300 Puerto Princesa City
Palawan, Philippines
Landline : +63 (48)4341-702
Fax No : +63 (048) 434-1702
Mobile : 0905-282-3129 / 0920-946-7828
Email : deepforest_reservations [at] yahoo.com

Tourister Travel and Tours: 
Inquire HERE



  1. My uncle just asked to plan a quick Palawan trip for them next week. So this is very helpful since the last time, I was in Palawan was years ago.

  2. I went on a tricyle city tour, too! We just hailed a random trike. Every tricycle driver in Palawan can double as tour guide. Galing.

  3. Wow what a lovely escape for your family! The itinerary sounds amazing and the photos are lovely. This is the type of vacation I need, LOL

  4. i love tours i think you people had enjoy alot, had Fun thats great escape cheers
    Top post :D

  5. one of my dreams is to visit palawan but airfare is too costly just like boracay...

  6. Palawan is just so awesome on every level! I honestly feel like it's a lot better to go to than Boracay because less people ambush it every time of the year :(

  7. palawan is one of my dream destinations! thanks for sharing your experience!

  8. Ang dami niyo pala Ate Joy! Anyway, I am dreaming of going to this place someday to experience how paradise it is too!

  9. Nice bonding with the family, Palawan surely is a good destination to hang out.

  10. A very awesome place to discover and to find some rare moments with your family.

  11. Love visiting Palawan and I can see your family enjoyed the trip. You did a great time planning the trip and even if some things fall through the cracks I can tell you guys still managed to have fun, proceed to Plan B and create long lasting memories!

  12. I have always wanted to go to Palawan, I just never had the opportunity. Will keep your itinerary in mind though.

  13. If it is ok may i know how much you spend on. is trip per person

    1. Hello Bhuboy:) We approximately spend P40k all in all...We are six so, so roughly P 6,600 to P 7000 each.

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