Take a river trip into caves with some of the largest cave rooms in the world, travel through rain-forests and maybe catch a glimpse of a monitor lizard or a blue-naped parrot. Recently chosen as one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature, the Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park in the Philippines offers a glimpse at a unique environment, with tours available to take you through the river as it travels underground through the park's caves. The area that the park covers is special, in that it spans the full range of ecosystems from mountains to sea. With some of the most important forest areas in Asia among the park's holdings, you can see a great example of some of the most beautiful and carefully protected wildlife in Asia.
A trip to the subterranean river national park is absolutely worth the effort if you're visiting Palawan. It's an otherworldly experience as you paddle through the dark. The clicking of bats and the echoing drips of water are the only sounds you hear. You'll glide through cavernous rock cathedrals and past stalactites into the centre of the earth.
Most tours will take you 4 km (2.5 miles) along the river. Some tours with special permits organised in advance can explore all 8.2 kilometres (5 miles). That far into the cave, boats can no longer pass and visitors have to swim between the rock walls.
Conquer your fears of small, dark spaces however, and you’ll be treated to the rare sights of waterfalls gushing through the cave walls, a unique 20 million-year-old fossil of a sirenia or manatee, and a tiny rock passage that leads into a vast room, carpeted from floor to ceiling in glimmering crystals.
Even the journey to the cave itself is worth it: you’ll enjoy a scenic 20-minute boat ride across the sea, past towering limestone karsts and walk through the national park, home to monkeys swinging through the tree canopies and giant monitor lizards slinking their way through the undergrowth.
Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park
This park features a spectacular limestone karst landscape with an underground river. One of the river's distinguishing features is that it emerges directly into the sea, and its lower portion is subject to tidal influences. The area also represents a significant habitat for biodiversity conservation. The site contains a full 'mountain-to-sea' ecosystem and has some of the most important forests in Asia.
Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park encompasses one of the world’s most impressive cave systems, featuring spectacular limestone karst landscapes, pristine natural beauty, and intact old-growth forests and distinctive wildlife. It is located in the south-western part of the Philippine Archipelago on the mid western coast of Palawan, approximately 76 km northwest of Puerto Princesa and 360 km southwest of Manila.
Arriving at Shabang Pier, all guests who go to the underground river will take a crab boat at the pier to reach the island where the scenic spot is located.
Sao Paulo The Underground River National Park implements strict visitor count management every day, so it is necessary to make an appointment in advance.
After the crab boat is to be distributed, the tour guide will marry us and must remember the number of the crab boat you are sitting on. Because the boat is in the scenic spot, you have to take a few boats to come out after the tour.
From the pier to the scenic spot, the boat will take about 30 minutes, and along the way you will see the steep karst limestone mountain wall, and the mysterious underground river is hidden in the bottom of the mountain. The sea is a dreamy emerald blue, and our crab boat will eventually park on a shoal~