The Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park is a natural wonder of the world. Its location in the southwestern Philippines is home to a beautiful underground river in Palawan. The cavern that houses the river is 8.2 kilometers long, and it can be toured by visitors from all over the world. The Puerto-Princesa Underground River in Palawan empties into the sea. The freshwater mixes with saltwater to form a brackish sea environment. This creates an ideal place for unique species of plants and animals. This pretty site is in the island province of Palawan which includes both mountains and oceans. It is home to many species of plants, fish and animals.
Cliffs, forests and wildlife are among the pretty scenery. The Saint Paul mountains are the backbone of this beautiful, protected area. It is 360 kilometers southwest of Manila and 80 kilometers from the city of Puerto-Princesa. As a part of the Saint Paul mountains, the underground river sits beneath a mountain called the “Sleeping Giant.” As a natural wonder, it is a popular location for tourists to explore and book tours of the river. This regulated national treasure hosts approximately 1,000 visitors per day. The tours are often booked a week to a month in advance. It is important to book an underground river cruise tour well before arriving in the area.
Rock Formations and Wildlife
The underground river’s cavern offers scenic, fascinating rock formations of limestone. It includes several large caves in the interior of the river’s route. Cave formations look like icicles, and water drips from them into the river. Cave-dwelling creatures include thousands of bats and swifts. The diverse natural area includes monkeys, lizards and birds of prey, such as eagles. The tour of the river is described as nothing short of amazing. This explains why it can be difficult to get tickets for a tour of the underground river in Palawan.
Arriving to the River
A full tour of the river in Palawan will include transportation, meals, entrance fees to the site and the underground river tour. The trip to the underground river in Palawan can be a long one with winding roads. Vistors will end their trip at the town of Sabang. A buffet meal awaits visitors to the underground river before the tour begins.
Starting the Tour
The tour begins on the beach, where tourists from all over the world board a boat that travels to the entrance of the caves. While wearing a hard hat and life vest, visitors climb into a canoe that seats six to eight people. Powered only by oars, the canoe has a spotlight in the front, and it lights up the features of the underground river cavern. Each boat has a guide who speaks about the underground river and the features of the cavern.
The Visitor Experience
Visitors to the Puerto-Princesa Underground River describe it as amazing. They enjoy the water dripping from the rock formations and clear, cool water surrounding the canoe. It can also be humorous, as the possibility of bat guano landing on tourists is a real one! Tour guides joke about the possibility of flying poop. The experience is one of splendor but also includes fun and laughs. Entering a dark cavern can be intimidating for many people. The lighthearted jokes of the tour guides can make it a more comfortable experience to tour the underground river in Palawan.
Due to the tide and lack of oxygen on the ocean side of the underground river, tour guides only travel a short distance into the cavern. They then turn the canoe around to return to the starting point. Walking tours of the cavern are also available, and they extend further into the river’s cave for visitors to enjoy.
Hidden Caverns and Waterfalls
Geologists have discovered a second level to the cavern that includes waterfalls and large caves. Many hidden water holes and river channels are home to marine animals and fish. They are too deep and isolated for tours by humans. This fascinating discovery is still being explored as a part of the protected natural area.
A Visit to the Philippines – Underground River in Palawan
When visiting the Philippines, every traveler should include a visit to the province of Palawan. A tour of the Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River site means enjoying a tour of the underground river. It is a unique geographical feature that cannot be found elsewhere in the world. Traveling the river is a memorable experience that is enjoyed for a lifetime. Respecting the underground river by remembering all the rules and regulations is important. The influence of too many visitors and foot traffic can have an impact on the natural beauty of the underground river in Palawan.