Sunday, November 15, 2015

When in Puerto Princesa: Go Ziplining, Kayaking, River Jumping, Snorkeling

So you've booked your plane tickets, reserved your hotel/hostel, packed your bikinis and other essentials, but still don't have an itinerary? Don't fret, that happens to me, too -- I never planned an itinerary when I went to Bali and I still had a wonderful experience.

Puerto Princesa needs no introduction -- it's practically on everyone's bucketlist! Famous for its white sand beaches, diverse flora and fauna, delicious food, and world-class tourist attractions; the strict laws and conservation efforts in this province is certainly something to abide by, lest you want to spend 2 months in the famous Iwahig Penal Colony. But wait, I'm getting ahead of myself.

Having just been to the beautiful island of Palawan, here are some of the places I visited that I think any Puerto Princesa virgin (or frequent visitor) will enjoy.

Sabang X Zipline

Ah, I am probably the last person in the world who would give in to an activity that involves sliding down from mountain to mountain in lightning speed (I did cry on a roller-coaster in Singapore after all). But with the urging of the tour guides and my fellow travellers, I had to do it.

awaiting my fate with Edmar

For first-timers such as myself, the 800-metre Sabang X Zipline is a great introduction to conquering your fear of heights as it's not very steep, and you will literally just glide downwards. You'll enjoy the clear blue waters, the wind blowing through hair, and the warmth of the sun as you descend.


You can choose to go alone or pair up with a friend (or a cute backpacker, maybe?). It felt exhilerating and I would love to give it another go when I come back. 

Love & Peace Resort: loveandpeaceresort@gmail.com

Approximately an hour and a half away from the city, visit the secluded Love & Peace Deep Jungle & River Resort which is built beside the Maoyon River bordering the Palawan National Forest Park. 


The river stretches on and will lead you to Sabang if your endurance can take it, my arms hurt after 10 minutes :P

These two guys, travel bloggers Edgar of Eazy Traveler and Edmar Edmaration, were the funnest people I've even met in the blogging world and they readily took on the river jumping challenge. Of course, we asked Edmar to go first (LOL) just to see if it was safe. 


The river is deep enough though we also threw a life vest immediately after the jump. The water is clean with very fine silt (we swam to the other side) and a little bit of current. Rest assured that there are no crocodiles or alligators here. 

Snorkeling 
Rental cost: goggles & snorkel, aqua shoes, fins are all Php 100 each

Puerto Princesa offers a lot of dive spots though for beginners, try to go snorkeling first to get a feel of the water and to practice breathing with your mouth. The gear is available for rent when you're at the wharf but you're free to bring your own as well. 


There are other better reefs but for the purposes of going around Honda Bay, we visited Luli Island, Cowrie Island, and Pambato Reef


I tremendously enjoyed snorkeling that I went around the area 5 times and spotted a puffer fish, dory, numerous schools of fishes, and angel fishes as huge as my head!


Spelunking

One of the Community-based Sustainable Tourism sites is Ugong Rock where tourists can participate in spelunking and zipline activities. This program was spearheaded by ABS-CBN Bantay Kalikasan and managed by Tagabinet Community Tourism Association, Inc .

There's a mini orientation then you don your gear and prepare to enter the cave.


Ugong Rock is a 75-foot limestone formation, and the word "ugong" named because of the reverberating sound that stalactites produce when pounded by hand.


Once you get to the top, you can take a 30-second zipline down (in Superman position) or take another route into the cave to exit on land. Rappelling in Ugong is set to launch next year, and I'm so excited to try that!

What are your favorite activities in Puerto Princesa? 
Share them with me in the comments.

More Puerto Princesa adventures here: http://bit.ly/PuertoPrinsesa

Spelunking photo credits: Edmar of Edmaration.com and Eda Dela Pena

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