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Puerto Princesa

Palawan’s bustling capital is mainly a gateway to El Nido and the beaches of the west coast, but “Puerto” does have enough diversions to warrant a day or two if you’re passing through. A rising food scene, some nightlife along main drag Rizal Ave, and a growing number of boutique hotels increase the appeal.

The city is geographically immense. The underground river in Sabang, some 37mi (60km) away to the northwest, technically lies within municipality limits (hence the official name: Puerto Princesa Subterranean River). Filipinos arrive in droves to book overpriced day trips to the underground river out of Puerto. You're better off staying in idyllic Sabang and launching your trip there.

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Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Puerto Princesa.

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