Day 2 - Underground River, UNESCO Site

Puerto Princesa Travel Blog

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After a good sleep in Casa Fuerte, this day was a highly anticipated one. I have been wanting to see the Underground River of Puerto Princesa. The hotel arranged a tour for the two of us. We were that last to get picked up so we got a front seat.

After an hour drive to Sabang, the group has been split into two for boat assignment. From Sabang, it was another 30 minutes boat ride to the Underground river site. A few minutes walk to the registration office where tourists were given a hard hat and lifejacket. And there, the much awaited moment, the boat ride to the heart of the cave. Tourist boats are only allowed up to 3.5 kilometer deep but the cave goes further than that.

As per the official website, it says - the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is one of the most distinguished biodiversity conservation areas of the Philippines. It is known lush old growth tropical forest, interesting wildlife, pristine white sand beaches and unspoiled natural beauty. It features spectacular limestone formation that contains an Underground River that is reputed to be the longest navigable underground river in the World. It is one of the few such rivers which the public can easily experience and appreciate. The cave was inscribed to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s of (UNESCO) List of Natural World Heritage Sites. Inscription to the list confirms the exceptional and universal value of the Site that deserves to be protected for the benefit of all humanity.

Though I am not into the New 7 Wonders thing, I would like to highlight that this cave is the official nominee of the Philippines and a finalist to the Search for the New 7 Wonders of Nature.

Exploring the cave was a lovely experience that I would be glad to do it over and over. Gladly the cave didn't stink like bat feces when we were there, for some it would be a minus point. After the bout ride, I also was able to interact with a very elusive local of the Underground River, the monitor lizards. They were very shy animals but with have no qualms of hitting anyone with their tail if provoked. Unlike their Komodo Dragon cousins, these giant lizards are vegetarian, Good thing they are... hehehe

After the underground river experience, the boat brought us back to Sabang for our lunch with other people from our tour group. Then drove back to Puerto Princesa, stayed in the city for few minutes in the city exploring the blue gothic cathedral and the baywalk of the city. We also dropped by their public market to buy dried fish. I love dried fish for breakfast. :)

After which I was just too tired, so we headed back to the hotel, had a round of beer, then lunch in Kinabuch, a place famous amongst tourist and they serve the famous mangrove worm, tamilok. We had that for the sake of its novelty.

Went back to the hotel, packed for tomorrow's Honda bay tour and then back to Manila.
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Puerto Princesa
photo by: tj1777