You can find a lot of beautiful and exciting tourist spots in Palawan and among these, the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park tops the list. Popularly known as the Puerto Princesa Underground River, it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is said to be the longest navigable subterranean river in the world. The Puerto Princesa Underground River is the official finalist of the Philippines to the search for the New 7 Wonders of Nature? So do I think it deserves a spot in the New 7 Wonders of Nature? Definitely yes!
Getting to Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park:
The Puerto Princesa Underground River is located 76 km northwest of Puerto Princesa City, facing the South China Sea. It lies within portions of Bgys. Cabayugan, Marufinas, and Tagabinet. To get to the Puerto Princesa Underground River you need to travel by land from Puerto Princesa City to Sabang for about two to three hours. There are jeepneys and buses that have a Puerto Princesa City Proper – Sabang route daily. Then from Sabang you need to take a boat ride to the underground river station. The Puerto Princesa to Sabang ride is an adventure in itself where you can see the beauty of Palawan.
For a more convenient trip, there are also tour operators in Puerto Princesa that offer day trip packages to the Park which includes land transfers, lunch at Sabang beach resorts, boat rides, entrance fees, permits, and well trained guides that are not only knowledgeable about Palawan but funny as well.
What Makes Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park extraordinary?
The area where the Puerto Princesa underground river is situated is a wonder in itself. It is surrounded by a diverse collection of plants and animals. The park has even developed a Monkey Trail, a system of trails that take hikers through the different forest types present in the area. Along the way you can find monkeys, monitor lizards and other forest creatures.
Note: Bring some insect repellant.
The park has a limestone karst mountain landscape with an 8.2 kilometer navigable underground river. A distinguishing feature of the river is that it winds through a cave before flowing directly into the South China Sea. At the entrance of the cave is a clear lagoon and waiting for you are fiberglass paddle boats with the friendly boatmen/guides.
Once you enter the cave you will be welcomed by the sound of the birds inhabiting the cave. These birds are famous for making the edible birds nest which is used to make the Chinese Bird’s Nest Soup. There are also hundreds of bats sleeping near the entrance of the cave which explains the not so nice smell. Then you start seeing different rock and limestone formations; a dinosaur, The Holy Family, the three kings, a vegetable garden, and so much more. Really magnificent! It feels like I was in another world. It was so amazing and to think what I saw was just a small portion of the underground river. There was still so much more in there but tourists are just allowed to navigate up to 2 kilometers of it. To navigate the whole underground river will take around 3 hours and you need to have a special permit from the Puerto Princesa city government.
The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is truly something we should take care of. One of the must-see tourist spots in Palawan that will surely make you feel proud of our country, The Philippines.
Vote for Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park to the New 7 Wonders of the World!
To vote for Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park to the New 7 Wonders of the World you can visit www.n7w.com or text PPUR and send to 2861 (Smart,Globe and Sun subscribers).
For more information about tourist spots in Palawan click here.