How to travel responsibly at the Puerto Princesa Underground River
The Underground River in Puerto Princesa is probably the most heavily guarded natural destination in Palawan.
Without a permit, visitors cannot go inside the Underground River. The permit is mandatory, plain and simple.
This keeps tourists within the site’s daily allowable capacity of 1,200 visitors, which ultimately regulates its environmental impact over time.
Whether you’re visiting the Underground River or other destinations in Puerto Princesa, it’s always best to conserve all these destinations by following a few simple tips:
1. Bring your own refillable bottled water.
While plastic bottles are not yet completely banned in Puerto Princesa as they are in El Nido, we encourage you to refrain from bringing plastic to the Underground River. Unseen plastic discarded in the sea degrades into microscopic particles that fish eat, which in turn are eaten by locals and visitors in the area. Totally not cool!
2. Read up before you go.
It only takes a few minutes to arm yourself with things to do, when best to visit, what to wear, etc., when going to the Underground River. You wouldn’t want to ruin a pair of newly bought shoes, for instance, when traveling by boat in the Philippines. Do plan ahead and prepare to minimize risks as well as your carbon footprint in the site.
3. Dispose your trash properly.
Whether it’s just a little tear from a pack of chips or a tiny cigarette butt, many of these little things get blown away into the ocean. Do keep your trash in your pocket or bag until you find a trash bin. After all, who wants to see an eyesore piece of garbage in a cool and green National Park? That’s right–nobody!
4. Trek along designated trails.
Wherever you’re going, always have a local guide with you and stay on the trail. The National Park is about four-fifths the size of Honolulu, Hawaii; it’s just massive. You can get lost easily! Stay on the trails not just to keep yourself from getting lost, but also to minimize your impact on the untouched areas in the park.
5. Leave what you find.
Whether it’s an exotic flower, a colorful insect, or a pretty seashell, leave whatever you find. This also includes the crystals and minerals found inside the Underground River. Avoid touching these precious glittering things to keep their pristine condition. This way, other visitors can also enjoy them in the future!
6. Respect wildlife.
There are over a thousand species of animals and plants in the National Park. Regardless of what you encounter, we encourage you to keep your distance, avoid following animals, or disturbing their habitats. Most importantly, don’t feed animals, including the monitor lizards and macaques, as this alters their behavior and makes them dependent on people.
7. Be considerate of other visitors.
Whether you’re talking on the phone, munching chips loudly, or smoking a cigarette, be considerate of the other people around you. After all, they came here to enjoy nature, serenity, and beauty. And we do want to keep it that way! Be courteous and respect other visitors. Let nature’s sounds prevail instead.
Are you excited to experience the Underground River? We’re the first and oldest tour service provider in Puerto Princesa and in the whole Palawan. Booking with us is affordable, secure, and hassle-free!