Recommendations on when to go to Puerto Princesa are extensive throughout Palawan:
- Climatology: Palawan has an excellent climate as far as temperature is concerned, practically all year round we will spend it in flip flops and shorts given its usual annual temperatures between 28 and 32ºC (82-89F) maximum and 24 to 26ºC (75-79F) minimum, although the extreme humidity increases the thermal sensation and sultriness. The problem here is the rain; in February and March it barely reaches a daily probability of 5%, in January and April it increases to 10%, and from there it shoots up; In May, June, October and November we will find rain half of the days and from July to September, the odd thing will be that it does not rain, we will be in full monsoon, with high probabilities of typhoons. It is true that precipitations tend to be in the form of generally morning storms, which come to last minutes or hours, leaving the sky clear in the afternoon, but outside the months of December to March it is very likely that the rain spoils the trip.
- Diving: Tubbataha Reef is considered one of the best in the world, and Puerto Princesa is the base to reach it, but currents are so strong that diving is only allowed from mid-March to mid-June.
- Number of tourists: The Philippines is very, very on fashion, and Palawan is the island that has won the most international fame; In the last 9 years the number of foreigners visiting the country has increased by around 10% per year. High season coincides with the best season in terms of weather, increasing the prices of hotels and transportation up to triple compared to the rainy season. In any case, Puerto Princesa is usually a transit point to El Nido, and most tourists do not spend more than one or two nights in the city.
The city is a hustle and bustle place, and considering the cost of trips by tricycle, we strongly advise against downtown to stay. There are good clean and quiet hotels in the north area. I do not remember where we stayed, but it was close to Robinson’s Place, a very Western-style shopping center, which was appreciated after two weeks of deep immersion in the Southeast. In addition, about 100 meters south of the building, on the main avenue, there is a small laundry with delivery service to our accommodation that worked very well.
The restaurants / beach bars at the seafront, near the Ferry Terminal, are the only interesting contribution in this city. A long line of restaurants, mainly barbecued fish, served in traditional style, with multiple dishes on banana leaves. It’s the only thing we really recommend about the city itself. Complete menus for two people cost around PHP 500 and include rice, various types of fish, prawns and other crustaceans, different types of pinchos (including crocodile meat) and various types of vegetables and seaweed, more than we can eat.
DANGERS AND ANNOYANCES
General recommendations are similar to the rest of The Philippines:
- With the exception of Manila, most of the usual destinations visited by tourists are not dangerous in terms of violent crimes, there may be scams and attempts to steal unattended belongings, or pickpockets. Puerto Princesa, despite being a relatively large city for Palawan, can not be considered unsafe by applying the usual precautions.
- As for health, the same cautions as in the rest of the country. Special attention deserves traveler’s diarrhea; for details check the post DANGERS AND ANNOYANCES IN EL NIDO.
- Traffic can be a real nuisance and even a danger in this city. Although generally slow due to habitual congestion, accidents can occur.
- Southern Palawan has a bad reputation for foreigners having been kidnapped in recent years. The risk is supposed to be minimal, but it is true that more unpleasant circumstances have occurred than in the northern half of the island.