Puerto Princesa City Tour

August 29, 2010

Puerto Princesa City Tour
These are the places to visit for the regular tour: Palawan Museum, Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral, Plaza Cuartel, Princess Eulalia Park , Butterfly Garden , Crocodile Farm, Iwahig Penal Colony, Mitra’s Ranch and Baker’s Hill.

Since we're flying out of Puerto Princesa in the afternoon of the same day of the city tour, we only had the morning to take the tour. The tour lasted for only three (3) hours. From the list above, we only stopped and visited the following. The rest we just passed by but didn't go down the van to see.

First Stop: Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm

Why see Iwahig: It's the country's largest open prison. Some call it prison without walls. It's worth seeing this place because it's a completely different prison from the ones we normally see. It looks more like a village farm than a prison.

How to go there: It's a 30 minute ride from the city proper. You can go there by hiring a tricycle or by taking a jeepney along Valencia Street.

Entrance fee: None. There's no other cost, unless you buy souvenirs from the prisoners near the gate. We bought wooden keychains of assorted animals.

My tip: Get the tour so you have a guide explaining things to you and a van to bring you around the 37 hectare facility.

This gate is the only barrier to the rest of the world

The recreational hall of Iwahig

The farm of Iwahig where prisoners work daily

The prisoners working the farm

 Second Stop: Crocodile Farm

What Kids will like
1. They can see the skeleton and skin of one of the largest crocodile captured in the Philippines.
2. The tour includes seeing the small museum and the breeding tanks for crocodiles.
3.  They can hold a baby crocodile and have photos taken.

How to go there: It's a  5 minute tricycle ride from the city proper.

Entrance fee: 30 pesos including the tour
The skeleton of the largest crocodile captured is displayed at the lobby

While waiting for the crocodile farm tour to start, our tour guide explains the background of the farm to the kids.

The bones of the sperm whale as explained in the photo above

The farm tour started with a tour of the small museum.

Baby crocodiles bred in captivity in a small warehouse.

The crocodiles are brought outdoors once they grow larger.

At the end of the tour, we are allowed to hold and take photos of small crocodiles for a small fee.

 Third Stop: Baker's Hill

Baker's Hill is actually a bakeshop situated on top of the hill. They sell a lot of pastries, etc. Their garden is like a mini playground.

What kids will like: If you have young kids, they will enjoy the mini playground. But if not, you can choose to miss this stop.


Fourth Stop: Palawan Weaving

What kids will like: 
They were taught hands-on how to weave.They discovered how difficult and tedious weaving is.

My Tip: 
The rate for the city tour is standard in Puerto Princesa at 600 per head. It's available at the same rate even if you book it with your hotel or resort. Whether you travel alone or in a big group, the cost will be the same. But if you travel in a big group like us, it's better to hire your own tour guide who will cover everything from transportation to the fees for the ff reasons:
1. You can request that the van be exclusive to your group.
2. If you book it direct with the tour guide rather than thru your hotel or resort, he can give you further discounts. In our case, Joseph Hidalgo gave us a 10% discount and free airport transfers. See his rates