10 Tips When Touring the Puerto Princesa Underground River
Repeatedly hailed by travel and leisure websites and international publications as the “World’s Best Island,” Palawan offers much more than El Nido’s and Coron’s famed turquoise lagoons, white sand beaches, and breathtaking rock cliffs.
The Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR) is a 8.2-km-long cave system that contains water flowing from Cabayugan River. With lush forests and amazing wildlife just outside, and impressive rock and crystal formations inside, the PPUR is a nature lover’s paradise.
If yu haven’t booked this yet, you may do so with the oldest and leading tour service provider in Puerto Princesa. Booking is easy, secure, and hassle-free!
Acknowledged as a UNESCO World Heritage Sitein 1999 and one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature in 2012, the PPUR is a must-visit when in Palawan. We have 10 interesting reasons why you should! Here are some travel tips for first-time visitors:
1. Book your tour with a reputable tour service provider.
PPUR is in Sabang, a village that’s 80km away from Puerto Princesa’s city center. It’s a two-hour land trip followed by a 20-minute pumpboat ride to the mouth of the cave. Instead of handling the land transfers, boat rental, and Local Tourism Office arrangements yourself, just book with an established island-based tour operator in advance. The operator will take care of all the details for you so you can have a hassle-free vacation.
2. Schedule the tour between March and June.
Strong amihan winds from November to March may affect the tides and cause the cancellation of tours. Do the tour during the hot and dry months from March to June. Note that the local authorities are regulating the number of visitors per day so your tour reservations should be finalized three to seven days before your chosen date.
3. Have a Plan B in case the tour is cancelled.
Check weather forecasts for the days or weeks leading to your PPUR adventure. If the cave tour is called off for some reason, go explore Sabang anyway. There are many things to do in Sabang or you can explore the city. Get to know the city’s history, crafts, sights, and friendly people by touring Plaza Cuartel, Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Baywalk Park, Crocodile Farm, Rancho Sta. Monica, Baker’s Hill, and Binuatan Creations Weaving Center.
4. Wear light clothing and water shoes, flip-flops, or trekking sandals.
Prepare to get wet. Wear thin, easy-to-dry, and comfortable clothes and waterproof footwear, and stash your valuables inside a dry bag. Be warned that bats pee everywhere inside the cave so better wear clothes and accessories that are easy to wash and dry after the tour.
5. Put on sunblock.
Although it is cool and dark inside the cave, the long boat ride going there could be hot. You won’t be able to use an umbrella or a broad-rimmed hat (you’ll be wearing a skullguard provided by the tour operator). For a more enjoyable and fuss-free tour, slather on sunblock to protect yourself from the sun while navigating the river.
6. Bring drinking water.
The PPUR tour lasts for 45 minutes. Hydrate before going on the tour. And should you get wet from the bats’ pee inside the cave, you can use your water to wash and freshen up after the tour.
7. Pack a nose and mouth mask.
The stench of the bats’ urine and waste inside the cave could be overpowering. If you’re sensitive to smells, use a mask to cover your nose and mouth.
8. Enjoy the silence.
Keep your voice down and minimize noises and sudden movements. You don’t want to scare off the wildlife in and around the cave like bats, monkeys, and monitor lizards.
9. Do not touch walls or cave formations.
Take photos, bring binoculars if you have to, but for your own safety and the people sharing the boat with you, avoid touching the walls and the rock formations in the cave. Do not lean over or tilt the boat.
10. Do not litter.
Do your part in keeping PPUR safe, clean, and beautiful. Take your trash, if any, with you.
Are you ready to see the Puerto Princesa Underground River? Book your tour with Palawan’s oldest and leading tour service provider today! Booking is a breeze, not to mention, secure and hassle-free.