Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park: A Majestic UNESCO World Heritage Site

When you think of tourism spots in Palawan island in the Philippines, the first things that will probably come to your mind are the crystal clear sea, white-sand beaches, and the Gatorade blue lagoons. But one particular tourism destination that holds the best title among all is the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park or also known as the Puerto Princesa Underground River. The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park holds a place in the New 7 Wonders of Nature and is also included in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1999.

The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is a conservation and protected area of the Philippines that has jaw-dropping and beautiful mountain cave formations, towering limestone cliffs, and pristine waters. Its ginormous area has rich biodiversity but only a portion of the river which is around 4.3 kilometers is open to tourists.

Many of the species found in the cave are endemic to the underground river system which includes bats, giant spiders, snakes, swallows, fishes, and more. In order to experience these natural wonders, visitors can book Palawan island tours which include tours to the Puerto Princesa Underground River. Going to these areas can be done on a day trip if you only have one day to explore. There are also many mountain and water activities that await you in nearby areas.

Tips before visiting the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park

  • Make sure to call the Tourism Office management before you embark on any trip or activities as the management only allows a limited number of people inside the river. This is for the conservation of the natural ecosystem inside.
  • Plan the trip ahead and get there ahead of time to ensure your spot.
  • Bring extra clothing and waterproof bags to put your items in since water drips from the walls of the cave.
  • Respect the management and local environment laws protecting the conservation of this destination.
  • Don’t move around the boat the entire tour to avoid falling into the water in the underground river.

How to get to Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park in Palawan, Philippines

To reach the Puerto Princesa Underground River site, you need to travel to Puerto Princesa, Philippines via air, land, or sea. There are flights from Manila to the Palawan island with less than 2 hours of travel time. Once you are in Puerto Princesa, travel time to Sabang is also around 2 hours by van, jeepney, or bus transfer. Look for the jeepney or bus terminal information at the airport. If you book this experience through tours, van transfer is usually the best option. Once you arrive at Sabang Port, you will board a small boat to get you to the entry point to the natural river site and cave.