Puerto Princesa Underground River: Subterranean River National Park, The New 7 Wonders of Nature

Monday, March 19, 2012

I was really inspired to experience Palawan even before I have casted my votes for the Subterranean River for the New 7 Wonders of Nature. Subterranean River National Park, otherwise known as the Underground River, is said to be the longest navigable underground river in the world. Considered as one of the most biologically diversified conservation areas in the Philippines, this river is located on the mid western coast of Palawan. I've been really longing to go to Palawan for as long as I can remember, I've heard a lot of wonderful stories about people that I know who visited this amazing place. This time, when we get to visit it, I enjoyed every minute of it, it really made me proud once I finally set my eyes on the Underground River. 

The park is open to visitors all year round. According to the locals there, the best time to go is between January and May - when the weather is drier and the seas are more serene. Before going to the park, you have to get first a permit as the park strictly enforces a "No Permit, No Entry" regulation. We experienced this as well, they are very strict when it comes to rules & regulations. If you choose to go by yourself, don't forget to drop by the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park Office to secure your park entry permits. So, a day before, you really have to plan everything before you go to Underground River. 

From the city, prepare yourself for an approximately 2-hour rough road travel to Sabang Beach. And when I say rough road, it is really rough road. Long winding road, plus it is really rough. It's like riding a roller coaster. Good thing I'm prepared for that experience and I know that it is really worth it. 
Sabang Port. You can get here by riding a van or a bus at San Jose New Market. Here are the trip schedule from Puerto Princesa to Sabang: 7:00 am, 9:00 am, 12:00 nn, 2:00 pm. Remember that these jeepneys/buses are the only means of public transportation.

Sabang beach is the jump off area where you have to visit again the park office to get a permit and book your boat to the river entrance. This boat will also tour you to magnificent views of limestone and karst landscapes, luscious green forest, and crystal clear water. Indeed, priceless wonder. 

Once you get at the main entrance to the Underground River, they'll be giving you head gear and life vest. The park operated bancas to take visitors for a tour inside the cave.

The tour inside the cave lasted about 30-40 minutes. Underground river is a total of 8.2 kilometers but only 4.3 are navigable. Tourists like us are limited to 1.5 kilometers. If you wish to explore the rest of the river, you have to get a special permit from the park's office. It's a long river, if you have all the time, then you may opt for this tour.

Aside from seeing the cave, you can also do adventure caving, wildlife watching, mangrove paddle boat tour, jungle trekking, and even enjoy swimming and snorkeling on the white sand beach.

And you will see them as well :)

It was really a close to nature encounter! Simply breathtaking! And it made me so proud of the Philippines for having such amazing place! God must have really blessed us with nature's wonders. If you have not been to Palawan, I really encourage you to start planning your trip now. It's really more fun in the Philippines! 

As the old cliche' goes, 'Don't be a stranger in your own land'. Palawan is a stunning place. 
Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park Office  
No. 11 National Highway, Junction 1
Brgy. San Miguel, Puerto Princesa City 5300, Palawan, Philippines
Tel: 048-433-2409 Fax: 048-434-2509
Email: admin@puerto-undergroundriver.com or reservation@puerto-undergroundriver.com
For more info, logon to: http://www.puerto-undergroundriver.com/ 

You Might Also Like