Palawan never ever fails to enchant me… and in times when I feel the need to get away for a while to find myself again, Palawan has always been THE place that fills me with all the inspiration I need… like a treasure chest of priceless experiences awaiting to be savoured and appreciated.
A few months ago, I was blessed once again to travel with my buddy Frank and visit Puerto Princesa for a couple of days off. It was his first ever time to visit Puerto Princesa City, so I was eager to show him around town and try out various activities that the capital of Palawan is famous for.
Before I forget, allow me to tell you first, on how to get there…
How to get to Puerto Princesa:
We were fortunate to book a super cheap Cebu Pacific flight from Manila to Puerto Princesa as they’re offering special summer promos….
It takes about only less than an hour to get to Puerto Princesa, so I believe you don’t really need to bring any travel pillow with you. I also highly recommend you wear comfortable summer clothing as the weather in Puerto Princesa is pretty hot.
If you book your hotel ahead (which I highly recommend), they usually include free airport transfers, so all you have to do is go to the transport service terminal and look for the name of your hotel and approach the assigned staff, so they can help you with your luggage and van service.
As for our hotel-of-choice, we decided to stay at Hotel Centro because its location is so convenient and close to all the places we wanted to go to. Hotel Centro is located right along the highway, so guests can easily commute by either riding a local jeepney or a tricyle to go anywhere they please.
We simply couldn’t resist their Ultimate Palawan Escape package so we gave it a go!
Hotel Centro is just less than 5 minutes away from the local market and less than 10 minutes from the airport. It’s also just a few blocks away from Robinson’s mall, so you don’t need to worry if you need to buy something or decide to watch a movie perhaps. The hotel is also near banks and atm machines, so you can withdraw cash anytime. Furthermore, Hotel Centro also has a spa and wellness center beside it called Mayana Spa, to attend to your pampering needs.
Here are some photos we took during our stay at Hotel Centro….
complete with all the standard hotel amenities
Our room seemed a bit small, but their beds were ultra comfortable, that we ended up always waking up late and still wanting to sleep. Just being here, tucked-in comfortably in our beds felt so invigorating. The overall sleep experience for me was so superb, I couldn’t help but compare it to 5 star hotels I’ve been to. Our room is complete with a mini ref, coffee & tea making facility, hair dryer and all the other amenities that every good hotel needs to have.
Pizza and fruit shakes!
We also enjoyed in-room dining and loved their signature vegetarian pizza plus fresh fruit shakes while watching tv. We find it even more delicious than the local pizzeria we visited before flying back home. Next time, I promise to go back to try their other flavors.
Hotel Centro is also known for having function rooms ideal for business meetings, conventions and events of all sorts.
There’s so much to see in Palawan so seriously, I advice you to stay for at least a week, to truly relax. You may visit their website at HotelCentro.ph for more info.
We spent relaxing afternoons by their pool area and also enjoyed each and every meal at their restaurant. I remember spending at least 2 hours during breakfast time, since we really loved the local dishes they prepared. It’s a MUST to try their adobo, crispy danggit lamayo and their seafood specials when you stay at Hotel Centro!
Their staff also made sure we were all comfortable and safe during our trip. They were all very approachable and never hesitated to give us recommendations whenever we asked. I believe most of their staff is from Palawan, so they know all the must-go-to places. Their signature hospitality is truly something I will never forget.
So thankful for the heart-felt hospitality
What to do
There are actually countless things that can be done here in Puerto Princesa, so staying here is super “sulit.” Best if you arrange your trip ahead, so you can reserve your slots especially if you plan to visit the Palawan Underground River. During our trip, we booked with Seasons 12 Phils Tourist Transport Services, their in-house travel agency as they offer really good deals plus, they have their own tour desk inside Hotel Centro, so it’s super easy to arrange tours. All package tours are inclusive of transpo services, so all you need to do is wait in the hotel for the van and tour guide to pick you up.
Here are the MUST VISIT places in Puerto Princesa….
The Pride of Puerto Princesa- the Subterranean River (or Underground River), a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature.
Palawan Underground River Cruise
Of course, to further appreciate the world’s best island, it’s a MUST to go island hopping!
Honda Bay Island Hopping tour
every island hopping tour is also inclusive of lunch
Where to Eat
When at Hotel Centro, you wouldn’t really wanna go out anymore, since you can enjoy pretty much all your favorites readily available inside their restaurant.
Experience the best Palawan seafood at Expressions Cafe
Their vegetarian pizza is truly a MUST TRY!
I really like the way on how they cook their danggit lamayo. Crispy yet juicy on the inside.
But if you insist on touring around town and trying local Palawan flavors, I recommend you visit Rizal Avenue since you can find lots of good eats along this area.
My most favorite of all, would be Noki Nocs since they serve the BEST HALO HALO in the world! No Kidding!! It’s a super must try when in Palawan!
Halo-halo at Noki Nocs! World’s Best Halo-Halo!
For pasalubong, I recommend you take a tricycle ride (10 pesos per head) to their local market, as the prices there are cheaper than other commercial areas.
Our trip may have been short, but for me, it was truly meaningful… Enough to fill our minds with fresh ideas and our souls with a magical sense of awe and inspiration to face the world anew… I guess we all need that from time to time. Agree?
Getting that Ultimate Palawan Escape package was a really good decision, because we didn’t spend extra on transpo since Hotel Centro‘s location was near the places we wanted to go to. Really convenient and ideal especially for 1st time Puerto Princesa travelers. I also loved the fact that the tours were so organized and we were well informed about the additional costs we needed to prepare (like snorkeling gear rental). They were also super prompt with the pick-up times.
So yeah, if you’re planning to visit Puerto Princesa soon, we highly recommend you stay at Hotel Centro.
San Pedro National Highway, Puerto Princesa City 5300
Manila: (02) 555 1749
Palawan: (048) 434-1110/ Mobile: (0917) 599-1912
Like them on Facebook: www.facebook.com/HotelCentro
For affordable Palawan tours, check out
Seasons 12 Phils Tourist Transport Services
(048) 434-1937 / 0917-547-0166 / firstname.lastname@example.org