Puerto Princesa Underground River Tour

My Puerto Princesa post is far from over yet. In addition to this, I still have a couple or so posts about our recent Puerto Princesa trip. This time I will be talking about our tour of the famous Puerto Princesa Underground River, the longest navigable underground river in the world.

Based on my extensive research aka blog-hopping, permit from the local government is necessary for one to be allowed to enter the cave and that arrangement must be done weeks before the scheduled trip. Additionally, I also know people who weren’t able to experience the tour because of permit issues so the worry-freak me booked the tour five months before our schedule. :D This is the only tour I am too scared to DIY because I do not want to miss the opportunity of getting inside the cave so I availed the package tour offered by the pension house.
Cave entrance
The package which costs Php 1500 per head includes van transfer from the hotel to Sabang Wharf and from wharf back to hotel, boat transfers and lunch. Environmental fee of php 40 is shouldered by the guest.

The night before the tour, the front desk informed us of the time the van will pick us up and surprisingly, the van picked us a few minutes before the said time. *clap hands* We then proceeded to pick up other tourists who are staying in other hotels/pension houses. There were 14 of us in the van including 1 driver and one tour guide. As we travel the winding road towards Sabang Wharf, the tour guide is busy doing her job giving us information about the Underground River, the animals found there and many other things about Puerto Princesa and Palawan in general.

Drop off point from Sabang Wharf
After an hour or so drive, we stopped for sightseeing and bathroom break at a souvenir shop (I forgot the name) which also has a viewing deck wherein the stunning islands of Palawan can be seen. After a brief stop, we were brought to Ugong Rock for side trip since our schedule for Underground River is 3 pm. Activities one can enjoy in Ugong Rock include caving and zip line ride. Considering that we have tried caving and zip line rides before (in other places though), we decided that we will not join the others. We just took pictures and ate while we were waiting for them. Rate for caving is Php 200 and Php 250 for zip line.
After less than two hours of waiting, we were then brought to Penao Restaurant near the Sabang Wharf. This is where we ate our buffet lunch along with so many other tourists. After feasting on seafood and other dishes, we were instructed to proceed to the waiting area. Our scheduled tour is at 3 pm but fortunately, we were able to go an hour earlier.

Travel time from wharf to drop off point is around 30 minutes and the tour took approximately 45 minutes. At 3:30 pm, we were already back in Sabang Wharf and preparing to travel back to Puerto Princesa City.
Sabang Wharf waiting area
Sabang Wharf
Tips when going to Underground River:
  • Wear comfortable clothing. T-shirt and shorts would do but you may want to have extra shirt with you. It may come in handy when the need arise as there are areas in the cave wherein water drips from above. Swimming attire is not necessary unless you plan to swim before or after the tour. Slippers are okay but for me, strappy rubber sandal is preferable for it makes getting on and off the motorboat easier especially when the waves are tough.
  • Bring drinking water and even snacks but avoid putting them inside a plastic bag. Monkeys roaming around the area tend to grab plastic bags from tourists since they learned that plastic bags often contain foods.
  • Avoid putting your valuable inside the plastic bag too.
  • Don’t forget to take your bathroom breaks at the wharf or at drop off point. There is no toilet near the cave entrance.
  • You may want to bring your own flashlight to give you more freedom to look around. The management provides only one light per paddle boat so what you can see is limited only to where the guide is directing you.
  • If you are particular about the lecture, sit near the guide/boat man.
Lastly, enjoy! Don’t think about sharks or crocodiles. There is none!
One of the many monkeys roaming around freely.

Check out my posts about Firefly Watching and DIY City Tour. Also, here's my post about Puerto Princesa Itinerary and Travel Expenses.

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