The tropical paradise that is Puerto Princesa, Palawan is too rich in travel treasures for everyone. With the lush greenery, crystal waters and awesome tourism landscape, what more could Puerto Princesa offer? The Underground River is the brightest charmer, and the island hopping,
The Underground River is the brightest charmer, not to mention the island hopping, dolphin watching, and endless water adventures are just as delightful. But did you know that there is also firefly watching in Puerto Princesa Palawan? When you think the place couldn’t get any better, well it does. Read on for an
Read on for an Iwahig firefly watching the review and other essential info.
How to Get There
The Iwahig Firefly Watching Ecopark and Wildlife Park at Barangay Ihawig is just about 30 to 45 minutes away from the Puerto Princesa City proper. From your hotel, you can rent a tricycle that can accommodate 5 persons for P500 to P700 (depends on how good you bargain). From the city, the tricycle will directly drive you to the place. Aside from having a packaged tour that comes with a van transportation, there is really no other way to go there. The road to Iwahig is unlit, yet the cold night air would be very cool and very relaxing. So, no worries.
The eco park is open from 7 pm and stays up even until 1 am, depending on the number of visitors. So be sure to come in between these times. Remember, the earlier, the better.
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Firefly Watching Package
If your Puerto Princesa trip is a do-it-yourself one, usually the firefly watching experience would cost less. However, if you opt for a packaged tour to Iwahig, it would cost P1200 per head. This includes transportation wherein the service will take you there from your hotel to the location.
Pro-tip if you are not availing a packaged tour: pre-book your firefly watching. People actually schedule their Iwahig trip by reserving a time slot. You may contact the admin at 09167809118 or 09206165990.
When you get to Iwahig, you have to rent a boat at the information counter. This equals the entrance fee to the park. The tiny banca accommodates 3 persons only for P600. After rentals, proceed to the Waiting Area at one of the three huts there. They would give you a number then you wait for your turn to have the tour. If ever you’re a walk-in because you haven’t pre-booked you might just get lucky. When other people who reserved don’t make it on time, you may be able to take their spot.
Once your number is called, you would wear a life vest and an optional salakot. Then off you go to the boat to see the wonderful fireflies!
Here’s a video about this awesome experience!
Things To Do
Don’t be surprised if, before you ride the boat, a photographer would ask you to pose and snap pictures of you with your boatmates. There really is a picture-taking session around that time that you may or may not choose to claim later on as a souvenir.
You would be boarding the boat with a professional boatman whose knowledge about everything in the trip is simply everything. The trip would last for about 45 minutes. This is ample time for you to enjoy the company of fireflies, plus two more pleasant surprises. The boatman, aside from teaching you many things about fireflies, would also show you the magical bioluminescent phytoplankton. Also, the boatman would talk very well about constellations. He would definitely point out at them through the sky with very strong laser light. How cool is that?
One thing to remember about the trip: flash photography is not allowed. And photographing and taking videos of the fireflies pose to be difficult. So do not be frustrated if you don’t get anything near okay pictures or videos.
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The trip would be filled with very delightful and highly informative stories from the boatman. Kudos to that! However, the glowing creatures really captivate the awe of visitors. At one portion of the tour, there will be an on cue show of lights from all the fireflies that belong to one mangrove. You totally have to see it for yourself. The show is really stunning.
The fireflies would be beautifully perched on the mangroves all around the river. You would see that they would shine with their adorable lights on the mangroves just as Christmas lights would light up a Christmas tree. But behind the apparent beauty that they have, they have more admirable qualities that you will learn as you course through the river.
Furthermore, it turns out that the Ihawig River, as brackish water, is habitable for phytoplankton. Stroke the waters, and you will definitely watch them glow. Amazing, right? The experience is just too magical and beautiful that you might end up having your hand in the water all night.
Dining While Watching
The middle hut of the three huts that can be found there actually serves as a turo-turo restaurant where visitors could eat. You could also choose to bring your own food there. However, it is also advised that you grab dinner before heading to the park for a smoother trip.
Other tips on firefly watching in Puerto Princesa Palawan:
It is advised that you go during the darker sides of the moon where the night is blacker. This would allow you to see the fireflies, phytoplankton, and stars better. Moreover, the best time to go firefly watching is December. It is the season when the mangroves are abloom which greatly attracts the fireflies.
Firefly watching at Iwahig must surely be part of your tour in Puerto Princesa. It’s a full package – very educational, calming, romantic and endearing to nature. Most especially, it’s a magical and memorable experience to have. Don’t miss it the next time you go to Palawan!
Have you tried it? Share your stories below. Or, if you’re still planning, don’t forget to tag as and we would love to hear your stories.
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