Puerto Princesa Palawan Underground River - Guide and Tips

The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (PPSRNP) is found in the Midwest coast of Palawan approximately 365 nautical miles south of Manila. It is located some 76 km northwest of Puerto Princesa City, facing the South China sea. It lies within portions of Bgys. Cabayugan, Marufinas, and Tagabinet, Its geographic coordinates are 10′ 10 north, 118′ 55 south.

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First of all, the PPUR is literally "packed" with hundreds, if not thousands, of tourists everyday. Make sure you get registered early as they do not allow walk ins even to foreigners.The road from Puerto Princesa is quite a long ride but we were blessed with a very knowledgeable and funny tour guide who kept us entertained throughout the ride. Most of the tour packages include a meal package in Sabang beach, which is not really one of the best beaches in Palawan. 

Tip#1: We had to wait for our turn in the boats which took a couple more hours so make sure you've got enough to not get bored. There are also some sari-sari stores near the port where you can buy refreshments and chips for the wait. Bring out your MP3 player/iPad if you have one.

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The boat ride from Sabang beach to PPUR is quite enjoyable. Nothing much to do here but take photos of wonderful rock and mountain formations. Alternatively, you can take the 5.3 km hike from Sabang to the Underground River if you have the time (and guts) for it.

Once you get off the boat and enter the national park, you have to register again for your turn in the underground river. Depending on the season, this could take another 2 hours or so. While waiting, you can go bird watching or even spot some monitor lizards just along the ground. Mischievous monkeys flock the 'jungle.' Make sure you don't leave anything (not even your thrash) anywhere because all these monkeys do is to grab, grab, and grab stuff. I've seen them grab water bottles, plastic bags, socks, and even a camera on the waiting area.

Tip#2: There's a good spot for photography on the open side of the river leading to the sea. White sand, blue skies, rock formations and some mangroves. Swimming not allowed though.

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To the Cave. Once you enter the cave, you can let your imagination flow. But then again there's the boatmen touring you with their creative antics. I've heard that all boatmen here are funny. I like it that they're funny. It can get boring if no one's talking. 

Tip#3: Make sure the person holding the torch light knows his left and right. Ours was a little disoriented so we kinda missed out on some rocks. Better yet, volunteer to bring the torch light if you're confident with your left&right and is not planning to take photos.

Tip#4: Keep your mouth shut. It's a bat cave. 'Nuff said.

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