Our Underground River tour did not push through on our first day so it was moved on our last day after our El Nido tour. This time, it’s sunny in Sabang so no more cancelled tours. Though the ocean was still a little rough, yet manageable. We left El Nido early in the morning at around 3am to catch the morning schedule since our flight back to Manila was 3pm.
See also: Island Hopping Tour-A, El Nido, Palawan
Puerto Princesa Underground River
At 8km in length, the Puerto Princesa Underground River is one of the world’s longest navigable underground river. This protected area in Sabang is a major tourist attraction in Puerto Princesa, Palawan. It is also one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Meaning, you absolutely cannot miss this when visiting Puerto Princesa!
Our Journey to Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park
From Puerto Princesa City proper, land travel to Sabang Port takes about 2 hours (but since we came from El Nido, we did not have to go to the city proper). From Sabang Port, there are boats that will take you to Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (you will be disembarked at a beach). Then another boat ride that will take you inside the cave (but this time it’s motorless).
- Land travel to Sabang Port (2 hours)
- Boat ride to Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (10 minutes)
- Motorless boat tour inside the cave (45 minutes back & forth)
Motorless paddle boats are being used to take tourists inside the cave. Tourists are only allowed to go up to 1.5km of the underground river. Audio guide with headsets are provided for each tourist to minimize human sounds inside the cave so expect a quiet yet enchanting tour. Helmets and life jackets are also provided and should be worn for the whole duration of the tour. Each tour lasts around 45 minutes.
There was a huge line of visitors consisting mostly of foreign tourists. But despite the influx of visitors, peace and order were still apparent. Although we waited for about 15 minutes before our turn, but it wasn’t too long thankfully.
Here are some of the photos we took inside the cave.
The water surrounding and inside the cave was very calm, unlike the water at the beach that was a bit moody. The color is in the shades of green and emerald green. And it’s not the typical river having raging waters that we usually see. It’s an underground river with very quiet waters.
There’s so much amazing things to see inside. It’s so amazing that you will be unable to take lots of decent photos because you’re just in deep awe. Not to mention it’s really dark inside which requires dark photography skills and gears. The only sources of light inside are the tour guides’ torches and tourists’ camera flash.
The helmets are necessary not only for unforeseen accidents. It also covers your head from bat waste droppings while inside the cave. You know, it could be messy and nobody wants the hassle of washing hair while on tour. We were also advised not to open our mouth when looking up, which means we had to be amazed in silence.
After the tour we had our early lunch at a restaurant in Sabang Port (forgot the name), which is also included in the tour package. We went straight to the airport for our 3pm flight back to Manila. However, the flight was delayed. Later on we realized it was a blessing in disguise as we got an opportunity to watch sunset above the clouds. How wondrous! Can’t help but adore its Grand Artist: God.
See also: 5D4N Palawan Itinerary
While writing this post, I was reminded that in good times or bad times, God is still good and faithful. Our lives are not meant to be on mountaintop all the time. It’s only through the “valley” (low) times that we have the chance to offer the most fragrant form of worship to God.
To worship Him in good times is great. But to worship Him in difficult circumstances, it’s the most beautiful and sweet-smelling offering for God!
I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul shall make its boast in the Lord;
The humble shall hear of it and be glad.
Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
And let us exalt His name together.
Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’