Puerto Princesa Underground River Tour: An Adventure in a UNESCO World Heritage Site
The Puerto Princesa Underground River is one of the must-see attractions when visiting Palawan in the Philippines. This natural wonder is a part of the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New7Wonders of Nature. It is one of the longest underground rivers in the world, stretching 24 km with the river flowing 8.2 km beneath the St. Paul Mountain Range.
Tourists can take a 45-minute boat tour of the first 1.5 km of the underground river. To explore the entire length of the river, a special permit is required. However, it is recommended to take a packaged tour for an easier experience. Packaged tours usually include round-trip van transfer, buffet lunch, motorized boat transfer, entrance fee, permit, guide fee, and the 45-minute boat tour. The pick-up time is between 7 and 8 a.m. and the drop-off time in Puerto Princesa City is 4-5 p.m.
It takes 2 hours to drive to Sabang Wharf from Puerto Princesa City, where the tour starts. The waiting time for a tour slot may take 1-2 hours, but there are optional activities to do in Sabang such as ziplining and a mangrove tour. The underground river tour is a whole-day experience and is not offered as a half-day tour due to the 2-hour journey each way.
Visitors should keep in mind that there are limited permits given daily to minimize the impact of tourism on the underground river. It is best to book a few days ahead, especially during peak season when tours may be fully booked for a month. Children under 3 years old are not allowed on the tour for safety reasons.
During the 45-minute tour, tourists will paddle their way through the underground river and appreciate the natural rock formations and wildlife. They will also experience the beauty of stalagmites and stalactites that took thousands of years to form and the eerie atmosphere of the dark cave, inhabited by thousands of bats.
The Puerto Princesa Underground River Tour is a must-visit for those seeking an adventure in a unique and breathtaking natural wonder. A packaged tour is the recommended way to visit the underground river, making it an easier and convenient experience. So, plan ahead and book your tour today to witness one of the New7Wonders of Nature.