Guide to Visiting the Puerto Princesa Underground River
A popular tourist attraction in the Philippines, the Puerto Princesa Underground River can be found at the province of Palawan. This 8-km long subterranean river flows below a mountain range and channels its way into the various caverns and chambers. Aside from being hailed as one of the longest underground rivers in the world, it’s also among the few rivers that emerge directly into the sea.
How To Get There
There are many ways on how to get to this underground river Palawan. If you’re coming from the capital city of Manila, there are several direct flights going to Puerto Princesa City every day. The flight only takes less than two hours. You can also travel by ferry but travel time could take up to 7 to 8 hours. Upon arriving in Puerto Princesa, you can hail a tricycle going to your hotel or to wherever you want to go.
Palawan Underground River Tour
The best way to experience the Puerto Princesa Underground River is by booking a tour. If you’re travelling solo, you can save money by joining a group tour. You can book a Palawan underground river tour in advance or you can book there directly.
You first need to travel to Sabang when going to the underground river. There are plenty of buses and vans that will take you to Sabang coming from the Puerto Princesa bus terminal. Travel time to Sabang is approximately three hours.
Upon arriving in Sabang, you need to go to the tourist office where you need to pay the entrance fee, environmental fee, and an audio guide. After this, you’ll be asked to ride the jetty in front of the office so you can begin your tour.
What To Expect During the Tour
You’ll be riding a motorized boat for your Palawan underground river tour. The boat will first take you to a beach where you’ll be handed an audio device and ushered to a smaller boat that will be used in touring the Puerto Princesa underground river.
The small boat will then take you into the cave and the audio guide will explain the history and significance of the cave system. It will also describe the different rock formations inside the cave, including the stalagmites and stalactites.
The tour of the Puerto Princesa subterranean river national park takes less than two hours. It will only take you to the first four kilometres of the cave, and after about 45 minutes, the small boat will be heading back to the jetty.
Tips to Keep In Mind
Make sure you wear appropriate clothing when you tour the underground river Palawan. Wear flip-flops and other footwear that you wouldn’t mind getting wet. The tour will require you to go through knee-deep water so you have to be prepared for this. Aside from the audio guide, you’ll also be given a helmet for your tour so make sure you wear it at all times. Avoid opening your mouth when looking up while inside the cave since there are plenty of bats that could sprinkle you with their poo. Above all, bring a waterproof camera to document your Palawan underground river tour!