Friday, January 16, 2015

Palawan: The Puerto Princesa Underground River Experience

Puerto Princesa Underground River is undoubtedly Palawan's most popular tourist attraction. Having been named as one of the New 7 Wonders of the World, it is also one of the Philippines' top tourists draw. For these reasons, my wife and I made sure to include a visit to the Underground River during our vacation in Palawan last October.

The Underground River is situated within the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park. Jump off to the park is at Sabang Port which is about 80 kilometers away from Puerto Princesa City Proper.

After waiting for more than 20 minutes at the port's passengers area, we were finally called to board our assigned boat. After the Underground River was named among the New 7 Wonders of the World, large number of tourists visit this place each day. The local government implemented a system and limited the number of visitors per day to protect the park and prevent it from becoming overcrowded.

It was drizzling that day and the waves are a bit rough. Thankfully the boat ride lasted only for about 15 minutes. Along the way to the park, we passed by some pocket beaches bounded by mountain karst and green vegetation. The truly beautiful sights served as appetizer for what the Underground River has in store for us.

After docking at the park's beach, Peter, our tour guide listed our names in the registration area. I observed that there are many monkeys roaming freely around the park. Tourists are warned not to bring plastic bags as monkeys will often aggressively grab it thinking it contained food.

From the park entrance, it is a short 2-minute hike to the Underground River jump off, passing through a boardwalk underneath the canopy of trees.

In a little while, Malou and I were already on board the paddle boat which will take us to the Underground River. 

We plunged into darkness as soon as we enter the cave. The boatman and guide then started to narrate some facts and figures about the Underground River. 

Our guide told us to switch on the battery-powered spotlight and started pointing to the various formations inside the cave. This is where the real show began as we sat in awe staring at the amazing stalactites and stalagmites which nature formed through the years.

My cheap digital camera could not capture how amazing these formations are. In fact, words are not enough to described these natural wonders. You need to see it personally to fully appreciate its beauty.

The Underground River is 8.2 kilometers long. However, only about 2 kilometers are navigated in the tour since only researchers and scientists are allowed to explore the remaining portions. 

The entire Underground River cruise took about 45 minutes. I admit I felt kinda shortchanged as it would have been great to explore more of the river. As short as it may seem, I still feel fortunate to catch a glimpse of this world class tourist attraction. From what I have seen, I could say that indeed, Puerto Princesa Underground River is a true wonder of nature. It needs to be protected and preserved so that coming generations will continue to experience not just its pristine beauty but also its ecological importance.

(Our Puerto Princesa Underground River Tour was courtesy of Palo Alto Bed and Breakfast Hotel. Visit their OFFICIAL WEBSITE for room rates and best value tour packages in Palawan.) 


  1. Puerto Princesa is known throughout Philippines as being the most naturally conserved and cleanest city in the whole country. The Underground River was once hailed as the 7 wonders of the world for its real beauty and uniqueness.

  2. Keep up the good work , I read few posts on this web site and I conceive that your blog is very interesting and has sets of fantastic information. click here

  3. One of the country's best tourist spot! I'm excited and we're already booked in Go Hotels Puerto Princesa.

  4. Awesome post!

    If you're going to Puerto Princesa on Sep 15 - Dec 15, 2017, you should take advantage of Sunlight Guest Hotel's promo! Check it out at and :D


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