The Puerto Princesa Underground River is one of the top natural attractions in the Philippines. This amazing subterranean waterway is part of the larger Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, which has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The island province of Palawan is where you will find this national park, which not only features an underground river of high repute, but a breathtakingly beautiful mountain landscape as well. The river is the park's main calling card, and it passes through a mystical limestone cave before emptying into the South China Sea.
The underground river in Palawan is about five miles long, and the cave that it passes through is one of the longest navigable tunnels in the world. Numerous adjectives could be used to describe the Puerto Princesa Underground River, and wonderful and magnificent are just two of them. The mineral formations in the cave are stunning, and they include both stalagmites and stalactites. The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park offers park-operated paddle boats that carry visitors down the river, and the trip takes about one hour. While the paddle boats are equipped with spotlights, bringing extra lighting is recommended. When admiring the limestone cave on a trip down the underground river in Palawan, visitors will want to remember to keep their mouths closed when looking up. The cave is home to bats and swiftlets, in which case guano often falls from the upper reaches. It's also worth noting that the cave tends to be relatively cool, so warm clothing can come in handy.
Philippines travelers who are interested in cruising down the Puerto Princesa Underground River will have to get a special permit before they are allowed to board a boat. These permits can be purchased at the tourist information center that can be found at the pier in the town of Sabang. It's about a two-hour car ride to Sabang from the Palawan province's capital city of Puerto Princesa, and once in Sabang, visitors usually jump in boats to get to the river. Trips on the river can also be arranged in Puerto Princesa itself. All visitors will have to do is stop by the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park Office. This office can be found on the second floor of the Basaya Building on the National Highway.
Cruising down a beautiful underground river is just one of the things that visitors to the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park can enjoy. Viewing wildlife, doing some jungle trekking, and hanging out at the beach are some of the other options. Birdwatching is especially popular when it comes to wildlife viewing, as the park is home to a number of fascinating species, including parrots and herons. Hiking through the jungles is a rewarding endeavor for those who consider themselves nature lovers, and there is a trail that leads to the river cave that can offer a unique way in. As for hanging out at the beach, the shoreline at the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park boasts white sand beaches that are stunning. When visitors aren't swimming in the cool, crystal-clear waters at beaches like Marta Fe Beach, Sabang Beach, and Panaguman Beach, they can kick back and soak up some rays.
A trip down the underground river in Palawan Island is a must when visiting the Palawan province. A local campaign aims to establish the river as one of the new "seven wonders of the world," and it's easy to understand why this campaign was adopted. Few rivers in the world rival the Puerto Princesa Underground River, at least in terms of uniqueness, which is why this attraction sees a healthy number of annual visitors. There are a number of attractive Palawan hotels to choose from, so finding a good place to stay within reach of the river is a relatively easy pursuit.