The Philippines still has some unspoiled, protected natural attractions that are carefully preserved for future generations. One of them is located in the tropical paradise of Puerto Princesa, Palawan. The Underground River is nestled within a protected park, managed by the local government since 1992.
If you’re looking for a closer glimpse into the country’s incredible biodiversity and jaw-dropping rock formations, this is a place you need to add to your Palawan itinerary! Keep reading to find out more about the amazing sights of the Puerto Princesa Underground River, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999!
Where Is This Hidden River?
The Underground River is located directly underneath the St. Paul Mountain Range. Found along Palawan’s midwestern coast, it has a massive cave system stretching over 20 km. Both the caves and Underground River house a vast range of flora and fauna, thanks to a unique ecosystem that developed underground for centuries.
Before you set off for the Underground River, make sure you wear light clothes that you won’t mind getting wet. Going on a boat tour will be a must here as the local government limits the number of visitors and their activities, so you’ll have to have a permit. Keep the mandatory hard hats and vests on for your protection – you never know when the bats will decide to drop some unpleasant surprises!
The journey to the cave’s entrance is already a treat for the eyes. As you coast past towering limestone formations in the turquoise water, you should prepare for your walk into the national park. It’s surrounded by lush tree canopies that are home to a feisty group of monkeys and many monitor lizards!
A Magical Entrance To An Otherworldly Sight
Entering the river is a mystical experience – you may feel a bit spooked as you paddle in a boat surrounded by a dark environment. The occasional splash of the paddle, echoing water droplets in the caverns, and the bats will be the only things you’ll hear for a while. Apart from the bats, you’ll be able to see some fish, crabs, and even swallows living in this awe-inspiring attraction.
Once you brave your trip in the dark, you’ll be rewarded for your courage by getting to glimpse gushing waterfalls and vast cave walls. Enter the small, rocky passageway to see something truly out of this world: a massive underground room covered from bottom to ceiling in glittering crystals.
Make This Majestic Journey Part Of Your Palawan Adventure!
Because it’s so near to other spots in Sabang Beach, the Underground River is a popular destination for nature-loving vacationers in Palawan. From spotting endemic species to gazing at formidable limestone karsts, it’s an unforgettable journey through a natural wonder.
Put this incredible location on your Puerto Princesa bucket list, then have a picnic afterwards at Sabang Beach and go for a swim! If you prefer to tan somewhere chill to match the vibe of your earlier cave adventure, you can head to Nagtabon Beach instead.