For most tourists, Palawan is the home of Honda Bay, the Underground River, Sunken Japanese Wrecks, Tabon Caves, the Crocodile Farm, the Safari Park, Coron Island and the Calamian Islands. But about 96 kilometers away from Puerto Princesa City is a place that is equally charming but less frequented: Narra.
Narra is an acronym for National Resettlement Rehabilitation Administration. The program was established in 1954 as an effort to resettle the landless in Luzon. Known as the Rice Granary of Palawan, Narra is the main producer of rice in the province. An annual festival celebrating their main crop is also celebrated every October, the Palay Festival (formerly known as the Anihan or Reaping Festival).
Things to See and Do in Narra
The natural wonders of Narra are abundant and worth a visit. It’s home to over 70 species of bird, including the endangered Philippine cockatoo. Here are some of the must-see attractions in Narra:
Places to See
- Rasa Island. This is one of the main attractions in town and is where you’ll find the Philippine cockatoo as well as other bird species. The island is a thirty-minute boat ride from Panacan, which is just a short distance from Narra.
- Isla Arena Turtle Sanctuary. This is where green turtles nest before they head out into the wild.
- Estrella Waterfalls. Located 15 kilometers from Narra, this 20-foot wonder is one of the most accessible ones of the 64 waterfalls found in southern Palawan. Monkeys inhabit the area so get your camera ready should one pop by.
- San Isidro Hot Spring. It doesn’t cost that much to enjoy an entire day here. Located along the National Highway in Barangay Bato-bato, this place offers huts for your comfort. The peaceful atmosphere contributes to a really relaxing day.
Things to Do
- Island hopping. Given the many islands of the Philippines, this activity is clearly a very popular one in the country. Almost everywhere you go you’ll find offers for tours around several islands. That same is true here in Narra. While island hopping, you can also go snorkeling to see the beautiful marine life in the area.
- Food trip. Not surprisingly, being the rice granary of Palawan, the food that you must try is kakanin. Locals have developed different kinds and it’s worth the try.
- Visit the Tagbanua tribe. Narra is a diverse town but it’s also home to the Tagbanua, one of the oldest ethnic groups in the country. You can learn a lot about their culture
Getting to Narra
Palawan can be reached by boat or by plane. Here’s how to get to Narra through the latter:
- Fly from Manila to Puerto Princesa. The flight takes about an hour and a half.
- Board a bus or van to take you to Narra. The trip is about two hours long.
Narra may not be that much popular – yet – with a lot of tourists, but it does offer an alternative to other much frequented attractions around Palawan.