The adventure into the underworld river – Puerto Princessa Subterranean River

 

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Puerto Princessa is a quiet and calm city with population around 200,000 the city have so much natural heritage to offer, you can already see the view above the plane this place surely have more green trees and eco tourism therefore a place for world-class tourist attraction. I stayed in a nice affordable hotel in Puerto Princessa, you can find many hotels/motels along the Rizal avenue in Puerto Princessa, and if you want to travel around the city then tricycle is the best way to travel, with only 8-10pesos per person they can take you around the city for souvenir, dining or even bar hopping if you are interested.

The most famous tourist attractions here are the underground river it is one of the nominee of the 7 wonders of nature.When I left manila flying to Puerto Princessa a bad weather was going on the typhoon Nesat was already signal 2 in Manila, we were told that the flight might be delayed or cancelled, but it didn’t. At the airport boarding towards our plane we can already hear and feel the strong wind moving the plane while it is still parking in its position. I was nervous getting into that plane, as the pilot told us to sit back and enjoy, we waited quite long inside the plane before we took off due to the bad weather conditions. I have to admit it was the scariest flight experience ever, but the pilot did a very good job anyway and we finally landed safely in Puerto Princessa airport.

 

 The Nesat typhoon was more concentrated in the north of Philippines as Palawan is located in the south, but still when we arrived in Puerto Princessa it was still raining and heavy clouds.

But luckily the weather improves and turns out to be sunny the next day. There are many tours to choose from, and you can find many local travel agencies there and ask for hotel for recommendation they normally have the list or brochure of the travel agencies that provides tours there. Island hopping is also another must travel tours, here you will be travelling by boat from one islands to another, this one is located in Honda bay, here you can enjoy a lot of water activities such as snorkelling, swimming etc. Island hopping gives u the perfect beach experience, just watch out when you are swimming or snorkelling as there are many sharp corrals in one of the islands so use your sandals while walking. You will enjoy spectacular scenery on your boat while heading from one island to another.

 Most of the tours take half day around 5-6 hours starting from morning around 7-8am to 4-5pm, so you will spend most of your day outside don’t forget your sun cream and sunglasses. The travel agencies will pick up in your hotels and most of the tours price are all inclusive so don’t worry you’ll have lunch as well. As the weather improves and gets better, we had the permit to do the Underground River, previously our tour was cancelled to due to the typhoon that causes high tide in the river. But again luckily, the weather was so sunny.

                It takes you approximately 1,5 hours to travel from Puerto Princessa to Sabang this is where the underground river is located, you will pass through beautiful scenery it is a must for you to stop and take pictures of the amazing view.

On your way to Sabang I had the chance to stop by Ugong rock it’s a limestone pedestal jutting up from the rice fields an eco-tour, here you can do adventurous activities such as caving and zip line with 380mlong, when you do caving and reach the top of the rock the view is spectacular.

 Arrived in Sabang, you can already see many people lining up to get into the boat as you know the underground river is part of the Puerto Princessa Subterranean River National Park. In Sabang you will travel by boat to cross to another Island around 15-20 mins, as you arrived in the underground river you will line up again to get into a more smaller boat with 6-8 person capacity plus a tour guide you’ll have to use safety vest and safety helmet and don’t forget flashlight, because it gets pitch black inside and you won’t be able to see the rock formations, but they will provide one flash lights.

 

 The Underground river is 8,2 km long, but we were only allowed to go as far as 1,5 km inside the cave you’ll get to see amazing rock formations , our tour guide was fun to be with he was pretty funny actually and we enjoyed our underworld adventures into the darkness, you’ll spend around 45mins inside the cave. There are many wild animals here as well, such as tarantula, snakes and millions of bat’s when we walked to line up for the boat a big monitor lizard passed by. The caves is mind-blowing you’ll see major formations of stalactites and stalagmites; I heard that their latest discovery was a fossils of a dugong and some crystal caves, amazing.

This journey is surely a lifetime experience, witnessing the beauty of the underworld and its limestone caves formation, totally worth it!

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