Palawan Bliss – little snippets in travelling to Puerto Prinsesa, Palawan

Hailed as the best Island in the World by Conde Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards for 2014 and the last Ecological Frontier of the Philippines, Palawan is indeed a magical place worth visiting.

For me, it was indeed a dream come true to travel Puerto Prinsesa, Palawan where people are kind and accommodating. Just a little warning, do not throw your garbage anywhere in Palawan, Mind you, they do not tolerate littering. I think the fine for littering is 500 pesos. Seriously, in my 3 day stay in Palawan, there are no to little garbage I saw scattered on the sidewalks or in open areas which is big Horraayyy for Litterbugs Sensitive people like me 🙂

Anyway, I will be giving newbie travelers, ehem like me, a guide on how I made my Palawan Trip!

First of all, do your research J Palawan has always been my dream vacation, so when I finally save enough money for a trip to Palawan I decided to do some research about it. I contacted about four travel agencies about my trip and voila! They are expensive! I know a lot of travel agencies posts cheap packages but be wary of the inclusions, yes it is cheap but most of them do not include airfare… And it’s the most important when travelling. You can’t visit Palawan without catching a plane hehe.. Based on the travel agencies I visited, the cost of a Palawan Trip for 2 people is between 18,000 – 25,000 including airfare. After the fourth travel agency I communicated with, I decided “to heck with it, I’ll make my own itinerary and arrange everything by myself.”

At first, I thought booking flights is hard but it was not, you can directly book online. Airasia has a very easy booking platform. Trust me! it has a step by step procedure and you don’t have to own a credit card to pay. They have accredited payment centers where you can pay. We paid our tickets at Payment Center of SM Store. http://www.airasia.com/ph/en/home.page

You may now ask, what about the accommodation? Well for that you can visit Airbnb, tripadvisor and other online sites about the best hotels in Palawan. AS for me, I use tripadvisor in scouting the best and cheap hotels in Palawan. You can use their online booking but if you are wary on booking online using online booking sites, you can just do what I did. I personally contacted different hotels via email about their rates and thankfully all of them replied within a two. I chose Tres Pension Inn, It is quite small but very nice and of course the cheapest among the others I contacted. You can check their site here: http://trespension.com/

Note: Most hotels in Palawan have their own travel agency partners so you can ask for their assistance if you want a guided trip to Puerto Prinsesa, especially if you want to go to the Underground River because you have to book a slot to visit it. For the City Tour, you can use the guided tour or hire tricycles and haggle away. For me, I preferred the guided city tour for less hassle because they will pick and drop you off at your hotel 😉

The good thing about this is that Palawan Tour Rates is being regulated by the local government. No matter what hotel you go too, the same tour rates apply, the rates can go lower depending on the hotel package or discounts, but the rates cannot go higher than what is stipulated by the local government. Currently, these are the Puerto Prinsesa Tour Rates:

Puerto Princesa Tour Packages

  1. Underground River – PHP1,500/person

–          Whole day tour (6:30am-5:30pm)

–          Includes van & boat transfers, permits & entrance fees, picnic lunch

  1. Honda Bay Island-Hopping – PHP1,500/person

–          Whole day tour (6:30am-5:30pm)

–          Includes of van & boat transfers , entrance fees, and picnic lunch

–          Cowrie Island, Luli Island, Starfish Island

  1. City Tour – PHP600/person

–          Half-day tour (1:00-5:00pm)

–          Includes of van transfers and entrance fees

–          Crocodile Farm, Butterfly Garden, Mitra Ranch, Bakers Hill, Pineapple Weaving, Iwahig Penal Farm

*Underground River Tour must be booked at least one (1) month in advance and is subject to availability.

Our tour guide gave us a sidetrip bonus to Ugong Rock Adventures and Kalugong Mountain, I think it has a different package tour but I don’t remember how much. We paid 200 for the caving/trek to the summit of Ugong Rock, you can even use the zipline but we did not avail it. Anyway, here are the rates for the Ugong Rock Advantures:

200 –Caving

+ P250 – going down via zip line
+ P200 – going down via rappelling

I did not pose many pictures because my face is plastered in most of them hehe 😛

 

In conclusion, here is the summary of me and my boyfriend’s Palawan Trip:

Category Cost Per head Total Expenses
Tress Pension Inn 1,000 per night (good for 2 persons) 2,000.00 for two nights
Roundtrip Airfare 2,528.48 per head 5,056.96 (2 persons)
City tour 600 per head 1,200.00 (2 persons)
Underground River 1,500 per head 3,000.00 (2 persons)
Pocket Money (rough estimate regarding this one, I think, we both spent less than 2,000 each, including Ugong Rock Adventure climb) 2,000 4,000.00
Total 15,256.96 or 7,628.48 per head

With regards to pocket money, there are a malls, restaurants and fast-food chains where food is cheap so we were able to squeeze 2,000 or less per head for food, local transportation and pasalubongs :).

So there you have it guys, I hope this post can help you get started on your travelling adventures… 🙂 🙂

Disclaimer: the rates posted are based on our November, 2014 Trip. For latest information and tips, you may check Palawan’s official website:  http://www.palawan.gov.ph/index.php

 

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