In the heart of Palawan lies the city of Puerto Princesa, a tropical paradise with a bustling urban center perfect for business with leisure trips. Lush rainforests and white sand beaches are simply hours away from the city proper, where a banking and commercial boom has made life easier for workaholics who can never run away from the office.
Puerto Princesa is a relatively young settlement. It was established as a city only in 1970. The first settlers arrived here almost a century earlier though, on March 4, 1872, celebrated every year hence as the foundation day of Puerto Princesa.
Puerto Princesa sprawls across 253,982 hectares of land stretched over 106 kilometers, making it the country’s largest city. Its narrowest breadth is in Bahile, where only 8.5 kilometers of land separate the east and the west coast.
It has 66 baranggays, majority of which are rural settlements scattered in underdeveloped land. Inhabitants number about 211,000; most of them engaged in agriculture and fishing. A third of the population resides in the city proper, an urbanized settlement on the shores of Puerto Princesa Bay. With its huge trees and fresh air, the city has managed to retain its frontier ambience despite the onset of modern trends and structures.
Tourists will be glad to know that typhoons seldom hit Puerto Princesa. Like most of Palawan, the city’s climate consists of pronounced wet and dry seasons equally divided throughout the year. The wettest month is September while the driest month is February. From October to April, the northeast monsoon whips up waves on the coast facing the South China Sea. The southwest monsoon blows from April to August.
The best time to visit Puerto Princesa would be the summer months from April to June, when seas are usually calm. Humidity is high but annual average temperatures are comfortable at 27 degrees Celsius. Nights may be chilly during rainy days, especially in forested areas, so it is advisable for visitors to bring warm clothing at all times.
Air transportation from Cebu and Manila is available daily, while ships ply the route on weekly basis.