Your Quick and Easy Guide to the Underground River in Palawan

Your Quick and Easy Guide to the Underground River in Palawan

The Puerto Princesa Underground River is today considered to be the second longest underground river in the world. Situated in Puerto Princessa Subterranean River National park the underground river and the park itself have been declared as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature and a protected World Heritage Site by UNESCO making Puerto Princesa subterranean river a major tourist destination for global travelers.  The ideal time to visit or take a Palawan underground river tour package should be within the months of March to June considered to be the summer season in the Philippines. It is during these months that visitors can really appreciate the beauty the tourist site has to offer. It’s the right time to enjoy, appreciate and learn from the surrounding Flora and Fauna that encompasses the river area. There are various river tour packages available in Puerto Princessa and most of these tours usually come with a variety of events and activities like island hoping where you can swim in sandy white beaches. Most of the tour packages also include a visit to several scenic sites of the island where you can experience the serenity amidst various rainforests. You will surely enjoy mingling with exotic and rare species of various life forms that abound the place. The cost for these tour packages varies depending on the kind of hotel and transportation accommodations or the type of tour that you would prefer.

If the tour cost would be a bit heavy on the pocket, there are ways and means to trim down the expense. For instance, if you have previously taken an underground river and island tour, you probably are already familiar with the location of the various tourist sites. Knowing this will definitely lower your transportation cost. You can even create your own tourist group with people whose budget is quite limited. With your knowledge of the ins and outs of visiting a particular area you can easily manage your travel expenses to suit the financial resources you and your group have in hand. You can even plan the tour by making arrangement with tour guides to take you around the island, rent your own boat and other requisites that will help you maximize your tour and at the same time save you money. But for first time tourist, it is best to invest in the island and underground river package tour . Generally, whether it is your first time or not in visiting the underground river, there are still some basic things you need to learn and follow to maximize your tour of the island.

First, you need to know that the local government Puerto Princessa has set a limit of only 900 tourists that can enter the park each day. This is to make sure that park administration looking after the resort will be able to control the number of people that will come for a visit but more importantly to ensure that the visitors will not in any way destroy any of the park’s surroundings. Since visitors to the site are quite limited, it is necessary for you to book your visit at least a week in advance. Second, remember that the tour can be cancelled at any time and this will on the discretion of park officials. Cancellation is usually caused by bad weather so it is best for you to visit the place during the summer season. Finally, the park officials have strict rules on mingling with the animals. You are not allowed to feed or tease them in any

If your main goal is to visit the underground river, the first thing you need to do is to proceed to Sabang Port, where you will secure tour permits from the town’s Tourist Information center. The permit will allow you and your group to tour the underground river but with the condition that you hire a professional river guide to take you around. Securing a tour permit is never easy especially if you are not part of an official tour group sanctioned by the city government. If you are a walk in tourist and not part of a tour group, it is advised you secure your permits weeks prior to your intended visit date.  After securing your permit, you will process to a 15 minute boat ride from Sabang port to the entry of the underground river. From the here, you will still have to travel by foot through a jungle trail whose end is the docking area of the underground river. The walk on the jungle trail alone will already be some kind of an adventure considering that you will surely encounter various types of rare and wild life species that lives on the site. Reaching the Palawan Subterranean River dock area, you will be asked to register and wait for your turn to tour the river. You will be provided with a life vest and a helmet once the river cruise guide arrives with the boat that you will take. This is simply a precautionary measure to ensure your safety inside the river cavern. As soon as the river cruise begins, the river guide will start to orally give information relative to the features and sites inside the Underground River including its surrounding areas. The boats are only allowed to ferry 9 passengers at any given time and that there are only 10 boats that alternates in ferrying tourists in and out of the river caves.

Once inside the pitch black caves, your first stop is a section called the “Cathedral”. Here the water passes through a large opening where a candle like stone structure is seen. The dome like ceiling in this section of the river is about 65 to 300 meters high similar to a grand cathedral that you see in urban areas. It is also here where you will see various rock formations naturally constructed in such a way that they resemble images of saints, the Holy Family, animals, plants fruits and other life forms. Tourists are only allowed to tour the first 1.5 kilometers of the underground river. The main reason for this is that there are still wide areas of the river that needs exploration. Geologists feel that the underground has a lot more to offer and this is the reason why up to this day, continuous explorations are still ongoing on various parts of the underground river.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *