Puerto Princesa Underground River is one of the popular tourist spot in the Philippines for both the local and foreigners. This underground river offers a unique experience of over-arched natural limestone in a river. This means the river is under the ground but just a little bit above the sea level.
This river is approximately 76 kilometers from (about 2 hours drive) from Northwest of Puerto Princesa city. It is located in an area known as Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (PPSRNP). As tourist enjoy their ride towards the river, along the way they can enjoy the view of the scenic Tagabinet landscape where the Ugong Rock- which has a cave formation that will provide you with a memorable experience. It is just a few meter from the concrete highway.
What is inside the Underground River?
For you to reach the underground river, you will have to cruise on a fiberglass boat as you enjoy the scenic view of the stalagmites and stalactites which are along the passageway and open halls within. The boat ride will not be complete before you enjoy the story telling from the boatman about the history of the river, the formation of the stalactites and stalagmites.
The formations which resemble a naked lady, cacao fruit, a mushroom, a holly family among others. It is, however, advisable that tourist wears a helmet because as they cruise through the walls of the river, you will hear the chatter of bats and on several occasions, they let out their poop. Also loose debris from the stalagmites might fall which might eventually cause injuries. Safety is, therefore, a top priority to all tourists visiting the river. So you need to put on a life vest and a helmet.
Puerto Princesa Underground River is believed to be 8.2 kilometers, however, only 4.3 kilometers is navigable and accepted to for tourists. The reason is because it is possible to wade through the water when you explore the inner portions and, therefore, a special permit is required. This river was reputed to be the world’s longest underground river until when the underground river in Mexico was discovered.
In the park where this river is located, more than 800 plant species have been identified. This diversity of plants does feed different animals especially monkeys, monitor lizard, and even tourists themselves. However, tourists are warned to exercise precaution because monkeys at times approach tourists and grab cameras when one is unwary.