Palawan Escapade: Canoeing in the Underground River

Continuing our Palawan escapade, from El Nido, we travelled back to Puerto Princesa and visited the UNESCO world heritage site and one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature, none other than the Palawan’s pride, the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River. We’re lucky enough we got a permit in an instant, upon arrival in Puerto Princesa airport.

If you’re planning to go here you can book your tour at

The tour includes: a round-trip, air-con Van transfer(2 hours each way); a complimentary buffet lunch; motorized boat transfer; all entrance fees & permits; a tour guide; and 45 minute canoe tour of the Underground River.


The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, which is also called Puerto Princesa Underground River, is located in the Saint Paul Mountain Range on the western coast of the island.  It is bordered by St. Paul Bay to the north and the Babuyan River to the east. On November 11, 2011, Puerto Princesa Underground River was provisionally chosen as one of the New7Wonders of Nature. This selection was officially confirmed on January 28, 2012.

An almost 15-minute ride from Sabang to Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park. Upon arrival, someone will take a picture of your group which you may want to purchase with them at the end of the tour. Visitors are required to wait for the slot and this may take 1 to 2 hours. While waiting for our number to be called, we took the opportunity to capture photos around the beach of PPSRNP and entrance to the St. Paul Underground River Cave, or you may want also to go the Jungle Trail to look for monkeys or bayawak if you have enough time before your group’s turn.


The boat has a capacity of 11 people including the tour guide. A lifevest and helmet will be provided. The tour guide gave us a few reminders while entering the cave. Don’t say “Wow” when you look up or else bat’s poop or some waterdrops coming from stalactites might shoot into your mouth.


Puerto Princesa Subterranean River

As we went through, guide told us some interesting facts about the cave with bits of rib-tickler punchlines pertaining to the underground river’s history, recognition, and all about rock formation; jocular yet informative.11358790_1583206741946777_1302455109_n

If you’re going to sit in front of the boat, be sure to listen on the guide’s queue. Front seater is the one who will navigate the flashlight, the guide will tell whether the light should turn left or right, up or down, depending on his spiel.

The rock formation is very interesting. It forms a lot of similarity to a thing depends on how you will work with your imagination.

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The tour lasted about 30-45 minutes. This 8.2-kilometer river is the longest navigable underground river in the world, but the tour will only cover 1.5 kilometer. The journey through the whole cave system is 24-kilometer long, which goes out into the South China Sea.

Some of the stalagmites and stalactites are perfectly formed unusual variety that appears to look like some of the famous religious figures. There’s a lot more to be seen which are not posted in this blog. It’s about you for now to discover it when you come here. You might find yourself busy taking photos or video, try also to observe and see the stunning rock formations in your naked eye. The human eye has a lot more pixels than your camera after all.

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