Exploring Palawan’s Underground River

The Puerto Princesa Underground River is situated inside the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park. Both the park and the Underground River today are considered to be a “must see” tourist destination. Aside from the famed underground river, the inside of the national park features incomparable and impressive cavern systems which contain spectacular limestone karst landscapes. The underground river which is 8.2 km (approximately 5 miles) long is the main highlight and perhaps the only reason why thousands of local and foreign tourists visit the park.  The tourist attraction acquired an additional tourism boost in 2012 when the Underground River was declared by UNESCO as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature along with Halong Bay in Vietnam and the Amazon Rainforest. The underground river as being declared as one of the New Seven Wonders Of Nature and a World Heritage Site declaration for the whole of Puerto Princesa National Park, the whole island have started to get more than its share of tourists originating from all four corners of the world.

The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is located in the western coast of Palawan Island and approximately 76 km northwest of its capital city, Puerto Princesa. The entrance to the underground river is about 2 hours walk or 30 minute boat ride from Sabang town, the jumping off point to the underground river. The river flows through a huge cave system before flowing directly out into the South China Sea. Although the river is about 8 kilometers long, the navigable area is only about half its length but for security reasons, the river tour itself will only cover a stretch of about 1.5 to 2 kilometers only. Since the underground river still have so many areas that need to be explored, the underground river management group saw it prudent to only bring visitors to areas that has been fully secured and explored by geologists. The underground river caverns showcases major rock formations of stalactites and stalagmites and several large chambers with dome ceilings reaching to almost 300 meters from the water level. This includes the 360-meter-long chamber called “Italian’s Chamber“. It has an area that covers about 2.5 million square meters in volume making it one of the largest cave chambers in the world. The whole river and cave system contains a full mountain-to-sea ecosystem that is notably ideal for almost all form of wildlife. Most people visit the Underground River on a tour from Puerto Princesa. The drive from Puerto Princesa to Sabang takes around 2 hours on very rough roads with only one short stop. Upon arriving at Sabang which is the jump off point for the underground river, you will need to confirm your tour waiting time at the registration counter. The waiting time usually takes about 1 to 2 hours but longer on weekends. However there are a lot of things that you can do while waiting for your turn to cruise the underground river. There are amusement parks in Sabang where you can go zip lining or swim and do some snorkeling on the white sand beaches that abound the place.

As soon as your turn is up to take the cruise, you will be instructed to go up the tourist information center and wait for the boat that will take you to the Underground River Tour Station. Here, you would have to wait for about 15 to 30 minutes for the actual boat that will take you inside the underground river. While waiting at the Underground River Tour Station you will get a headset plus other security accessories such as helmet, life vest and flashlight. As soon as the boat arrives, you will board the vessel along with 7 to 8 other people.  Immediately after the cruise starts, the river guide will start to tell you about the eco-system of the underground river. The guide will try and give as many details as he can about the underground river but the short amount time allotted for the tour may not be enough to give you a full description of the wonders of the tourist spot.

One of the most exciting and thrilling part of the tour is when you start to enter the river cavern which is a dark tunnel where the only lights available will be coming from your flashlights or from the headlamps of the guides. Once inside, the guides will be focusing their lights to the magnificent rock shapes and formations. You will then be entering large chambers with very high dome shape ceilings. You will also be encountering a variety of life forms such as bats, monkeys and insects that frequents the cave. The whole tour would normally last for about 45 minutes to an hour, but the experience of the river tour will permanently stay with you for the rest of your life. The following are some fun facts that you will learn once you are done exploring the underground river of Palawan.kahovka-service.ru

Leave a Comment:

All fields with “*” are required

Leave a Comment:

All fields with “*” are required