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Destination inspiration: Puerto Princesa

Puerto Princesa is home to a wealth of diving spots

Puerto Princesa is home to a wealth of diving spots

Why go?

As captivating as Puerto Princesa is from dry land, its underwater playground is what sees travellers flock to its coral-lined depths, donning snorkels and scuba diving gear as they go. Hailed as the Philippines’ eco-tourism capital, below the waves is where the fun is found in scenic bucketloads.

Beaches are tucked into enclaves, while boat tours drop anchor off a medley of unspoilt islands which appear like they’ve been plucked straight from a postcard. Honda Bay is awe-inducing to all who embark upon its shores – with crystalline sands and water so translucent you feel you could reach down to the ocean floor.

One of the best ways to see the area is by boat

One of the best ways to see the area is by boat

Intrepid water-goers can cruise along Sabang’s renowned, eight-kilometre-long subterranean river – the second-longest of its kind in the world. Beginning at a glassy-hued lagoon, it weaves its way through caves to the South China Sea. If you want a break from the waves, join a jungle trek as monkeys, lizards and fireflies scramble through the branches overhead.

As an energetic day closes in, take in some of the area’s sunsets from City Baywalk Park’s sprawling spaces. The spot overlooks the sea as it shimmers below a watercolour of lilac, amber and crimson.

Spring sees the temperatures and the sea at their most enticing

Spring sees the temperatures and the sea at their most enticing

When to go?

To make the most of Puerto Princesa’s water-based wonders, it’s best to avoid rainy season – which varies in intensity from August until the end of the year. April, May and June, however, see the temperatures sit at a comfortable high, while the sea stays calm and inviting.

Best Western Plus The Ivywall Hotel

Best Western Plus The Ivywall Hotel

Where to stay?

Best Western Plus The Ivywall Hotel – Puerto Princesa, Philippines

This smart hotel provides the ideal crash pad after a jam-packed day on the water. Large rooms are smart and comfortable, and there’s a restaurant and bar on site. If you fancy a gym session, you can cool off in the indoor pool afterwards, or sprawl on a lounger.

Panja Resort Palawan

Panja Resort Palawan

Panja Resort Palawan – Puerto Princesa, Philippines

The rooftop pool and terrace of this Barangay Tagburos resort has an enviable outlook over the greenery of Puerto Princesa, as it stretches out to Honda Bay. You can soak up beautiful sunsets from up here, or from your room’s balcony. The hotel’s restaurant dishes up a selection of Asian fusion dishes.

Blue Palawan Beach Club

Blue Palawan Beach Club

Blue Palawan Beach Club – Puerto Princesa, Philippines

Blue Palawan’s delightful huts are set alongside Hidden Beach’s tranquil shores, perfectly primed for paddle-boarding and kayaking. Booking.com guests loved lounging by the outdoor pool and enjoying local cuisine. Each hut has a terrace, and is bright and well-equipped. The dazzling shores of Honda Bay are just three kilometres away.