There is no question that Puerto Princesa Underground River is the most popular attraction in Palawan. Having been named as one of the New 7 Wonders of the World, it is also one of the Philippines’ top tourists attraction.
This was what I had been vying for since the day I set foot in the Philippines. With so much nature, wildlife and landscapes on the islands it seemed like the perfect paradise for the outdoor lovers like me. I’d say this was one of the highlights of my trip in the Philippines.
The Subterranean River National Park
After having a breakfast at 7am, I got on the van at 8am and then headed to Sabang where the Subterranean River National Park is located.
We got off at the Sabang Port where many other tour groups, passengers, and more would stop by. This had been a popular stop over for tourists going to Puerto Princesa Underground River.
At last, my group was called back into the van. We began driving through the jungle to the Underground River Tour Station.
They had a checkpoint at the area where they would check your identification to verify reservation with your tour company or travel agency. I showed my Passport and Driver’s license and then I signed few paperworks to check in. The local government established a system and limited the number of visitors per day to protect the park and prevent it from becoming overcrowded. So, they had to verify my reservation through D’Lucky Garden Inn & suites.
After I discovered that there was queue going on, I grabbed the time to eat my lunch. They had a buffet, but they only offered chicken and rice (commonly offered across tours in the Philippines) with few selections of soda.
Finally, it was my group’s turn. We boarded our board and rode through bright blue waters to a hidden underground river connecting directly to the ocean. The boat ride was about 20 minutes. It was short, but my jaws were dropped all way down to the floor of the boat with the scenery they had. It’s impossible not to take photos of these gorgeous mountains and formations.
Puerto Princesa Under Ground River
As the shore of the underground river drew close, it looked like an innocent beach to me. I mean.. If Underground River were never discovered, I would never have known that there would be a magnificent nature wonder sitting right behind the trees.
Upon my arrival, a huge sign with “Puerto Princesa Under Ground River” was right there front of the entrance. In that moment, I took the time to look around, appreciate the outdoor surroundings and to take a selfie.
There was another checkpoint where they would check your name again at the entrance. Be prepare to have your passport checked twice in this tour.
In the entrance area, there were many monkeys roaming freely around the park. We were warned not to bring plastic bags as monkeys will often aggressively grab it thinking it contained food. Even some of them would jump over your head. Not only that, they didn’t seem to enjoy being filmed! They’d hiss at me with their claws being open in the air! Whoa! I could tell they don’t like to be bothered by people. Besides, I spotted 2-3 monkeys with adorable baby monkeys.
Boy, it was quite packed with people! They were getting themselves ready by putting suits and helmets on, etc. Some of them were walking around in the water and whatnot.
At this point, I could see the cave. The water may seem blue/green-ish from far, but actually it’s crystal clear close-up! It was almost impossible to believe at first glance.
Unfortunately, the waters were NO SWIMMING ZONE. So, you might as well drool all over the shore as you wait for your group’s turn. It was around an hour wait for me. Ugh, I just hate the idea of wasting time on waiting. That’s just me, but I managed.
After the wait, it was finally our turn to get on the boat and enter the the longest navigable underground river! I went along with my group and got on this small canoe. The boat was being rowed. The closer we get to the cave, the stronger smell it was becoming more horrid! It was from all of that bat shit.
Right when we entered the cave, we didn’t use the flashlight just yet. It became quite dark for a bit. Suddenly, the people on my boat and other boats started using their flashlights and the bats went wild!! All over us and everywhere, flying around! It could pass as a freaky light show at a dance club.
In this cave, I felt like I was in a completely new world. The cave boasted plenty of natural rock formations made of dissolved limestone. I was so fascinated with the shapes, texture, and everything that was in this cave. I was completely in awe of everything. I could see why it’s one of New 7 Wonders of the World.
I couldn’t rest my eyes on one thing. My eyes was all over the place looking at so many directions at once. Thus, taking pictures in this cave was quite challenging because it was difficult following all of the flashlights to capture the best photos, but I did the best I could.
It was about 45 minutes before I could see the light at the end of the tunnel to the ocean. That was it. After a long wait to see this attraction and it flashed before my eyes. I couldn’t believe it, but I enjoyed every minute of it.
I know it’s a cliche to say that I wouldn’t replace this experience for anything, but it’s true! I can’t help it but to emphasize that! I mean, it is one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature. My third one!
Overall, none of this would have happened if it weren’t for D’Lucky Garden Inn & Suites‘ wonderful employees! They surely did me well. I couldn’t ask for a better guide because they were very flexible and worked around my schedule according to my schedule and yet to offer accommodations throughout the whole tour program.
D’Lucky Garden Inn & Suites
- Address: P.E.O road near rizal avenue, near airport, Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines
- Room Rates:
- Couple Room – 1190 PHP
- Premium Room – 1450 PHP
- Guest Bungalow House – 1790 PHP
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/luckygardeninn