The Puerto Princesa Underground River is a must-visit destination for those who are exploring Palawan in the Philippines. This underground river is part of the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New7Wonders of Nature. The length of this underground river is remarkable, with the cave system stretching for 24 km and the river for 8.2 km.
Regular tours cover the first 1.5 km of the underground river, and the entire length can only be explored with a special permit. To make the most out of this experience, it is recommended to book a packaged tour, which is the easier choice. Packaged tours typically include round-trip van transfer from/to your accommodation, buffet lunch, motorized boat transfer, entrance fee, permit, guide fee, and a 45-minute boat tour of the underground river.
It takes 2 hours to drive to Sabang Wharf from Puerto Princesa, where the tour starts. The tour is a whole-day experience, and children under 3 years old are not allowed on the tour for safety reasons.
Before embarking on the Puerto Princesa Underground River tour, it is crucial to book a few days ahead as limited permits are given to visitors daily. Peak season can fully book the tour for a month, so it’s best to plan ahead.
Upon arrival at Sabang, your guide will secure a time slot for your group, and the waiting time may sometimes be 1-2 hours. There are optional activities you can do while waiting, such as ziplining and a mangrove tour.
The tour lasts approximately 45 minutes and takes you into the first 1.5 kilometers of the Underground River cave. You will witness the stunning natural rock formations and wildlife and experience the beauty of stalagmites and stalactites that took thousands of years to form. The clear water outside and the eerie yet interesting atmosphere inside the dark cave create a memorable experience.
The Puerto Princesa Underground River tour is a whole-day experience that offers visitors a glimpse into one of the world’s longest underground rivers. With stunning natural rock formations and wildlife, this tour is a must-visit for those exploring Palawan in the Philippines.