Take me to... magical Iwahig River

If you'd like to see a whole island glowing at night, lit up by thousands of fireflies, then book a night tour of Iwahig River in Puerto Princesa 

Photo by Oggie Ramos


Iwahig River transforms into an otherworldly place at night as fireflies light up the trees and mangroves along its bank. The river is located 20 kilometers south of the city proper of Puerto Princesa, in Palawan. Iwahig Community Ecotourism Association organizes regular river tours so tourists get to enjoy the magical place. Before the tour starts, guests are asked to put on insect repellent, life vests and salakot (native hat) before boarding the paddle boat. The first stop of the tour is for a viewing of the nilad mangrove tree, a favorite host plant of fireflies, and then on to a bunch of abandoned trees also lit up by fireflies. The tour's last stop is to view a whole island covered by thousands of fireflies, glowing in the dark, an awe inspiring end to the tour.  

The 30- minute cruise costs P600 (about US$13) per boat with up to three people. Call +63916 780 9118 for inquiries and reservations.

Originally published in InFlight Traveller April to May 2009. Updated March 2016.