Iwahig Firefly Watching | Things to do in Puerto Princesa City-Palawan

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The one-hour banca cruise along the pristine Iwahig River provides an enchanting encounter with thousands of fireflies. These fragile insects only thrive in healthy environments, away from pollution and noise, and usually come out at around 7 o'clock in the evening. Given the site's remoteness (roughly 45 minutes away from the city proper), far from the blinding city lights, the guides also take the time to tell travelers to look up and admire the starry sky, and even help them in identifying various constellations. The boat tour costs P600 and accommodates three people aside from the tour guide. Furthermore, there are souvenir shops, a modest buffet restaurant, and a big parking space on site. The operation of this low-impact, educational activity is handled by the locals of Barangay Iwahig as another Community-Based Sustainable Tourism initiative of the city.
Open: Open daily, 6:00pm onwards
Address: Iwahig, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan
Fee: 600php/boat, maximum of 3 persons
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Nearby attractions

Iwahig Penal Colony and Farm
2.84 km away

There are only seven penal colonies in the Philippines, and the largest in the world is the Iwahig Penal Colony and Farm in Puerto Princesa City. The colony represents a more decent approach to "paying one's time" without being incarcerated behind bars. Established in 1904, the open complex consists of several American heritage buildings in various states of repair. Fortunately, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines is scheduled to rehabilitate them before the year ends. Open from 8am to 5pm, visit is free, but it is encouraged to extend a donation. On the way in, security prisoners in brown uniforms can be seen working on the adjacent farms. Inside the Recreation Hall, which was built in 1924, several crafts and souvenirs made by the inmates are also on display and are being sold.

Plaza Cuartel
5.16 km away

The iconic brick gate facing the cathedral square is what remains of the structure that used to be a former military base. Plaza Cuartel is notorious for being the site where 143 American prisoners of war (POWs) were burned underground in December 1944. Transformed into a public park, the trees offer a quick and easy refuge from the tropical heat, while the rear end provides a good view of the city bay. Several information panels inside explain the bigger role that Puerto Princesa played during the World War II. An artwork is also featured in the park that was made by one of the 11 American soldiers who made it out alive from the cuartel.

Immaculate Conception Cathedral
5.23 km away

This cathedral is a historical landmark where Puerto Princesa's first mass was held in 1872. At that time, the Spanish expedition also proclaimed that the Immaculate Conception of Mary is the patroness of Puerto Princesa. Painted light blue, the cathedral has pointed symmetrical arches redolent of Gothic architecture. A parish was initially erected here, followed by the current structure built in 1961, almost a century later. The cathedral houses some of the finest examples of wood carvings found on the island, which were made by the craftsmen in the Iwahig Penal Colony.

Things to do nearby

Wild Expeditions in Palawan
Local sightseeing
5.79 km away

WILD Expeditions in Palawan is a local tour operator that specializes in nature-themed activities from simple trekking tour to more complex expeditions trips and wildlife documentaries including birdwatching, marine mammals search, herpwatch, wildlife photography (macro, birds, mammals, etc.), remote wildlife expedition trips and more.

Exploring Puerto Princesa from Dawn 'til Dusk
Local sightseeing
7.46 km away

Dedicate a day experiencing rich Palaweño culture, and enjoy a hearty lunch in the middle. This full-day Puerto Princesa tour will bring you to several landmark Palawan museums, the biggest and oldest Catholic Church in the city, and the enchanting Butterfly Garden and Tribal Village. Here in Explora, our partner travel and tours are screened to deliver the top services we can find in the Philippines. Secure your slots in advance for these can soon become fully-booked!

Where to stay

Puerto Pension Inn
Hotels and homes
5.34 km away

Puerto Pension Inn has comfy aircon rooms and it's in Puerto Princesa city, Palawan, Philippines. Its charm & hospitality brings true Palawan culture. 

D' Lucky Garden Inn
Hotels and homes
5.77 km away

Quietly nestled at the heart of Palawan's Tropical Paradise, Puerto Princesa City. D' Lucky Garden Inn and Suites will delight you with it's unique charm, tranquil gardens and friendly atmosphere. Accredited by the Philippine Department of Tourism. We are committed to providing our guests with the highest standard of hospitality service possible; affordable accommodations, superior cleanliness and a quiet, traditional guest house atmosphere. 

Believing that everyone is a familiar face, the staff at D'Lucky Garden Inn & Suites welcomes all guests with superior level of courteous service and personalized attention to details. The house features wireless internet access, comfortable guest rooms, beautifully decorated with character and color. Superior housekeeping, soap and fresh towels are provided. 

Skylight Hotel
Hotels and homes
6.14 km away

At the center of Puerto Princesa City, Palawan is one of the Philippines' famous landmarks. Located 10 minutes from Puerto Princesa International Airport, and a stone's throw away from the city's financial district and best attractions, Skylight Hotel Palawan is the place to go and stay. The hotel is surrounded by Palawan's culturally rich and well preserved historical points of interest, such as Iwahig Penal Colony, Baker's Hill, Mitra Ranch and many more! Skylight Hotel Palawan has forty-one (41) elegantly furnished guestrooms. All guestrooms are equipped with air-conditioning system, cable television, hot and cold shower, NDD telephone and Wi-Fi connection for free. Skylight Hotel Palawan's restaurant and Veranda serves Orientel and International cuisines. Its natural ambiance makes guests comfortable and enjoyable during parties with different occasions (weddings, debuts, birthdays and conventions).

Getting there and around

Iwahig, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan

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