The Puerto Princesa Underground River

Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park

Can we now proceed to UR? the driver asked us after our short stop in Nagtabon Beach. In Puerto Princesa, “PPUR” or “UR” means “Puerto Princesa Underground River” especially for those who work in the tourism industry. Palawan is really filled with wonders that’s why it’s called the Philippines’ last frontier. And speaking of pristine beaches and other wealth of wonders, there is definitely no better place to visit in the Philippines other than the island of Palawan!

Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park
Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park

Puerto Princesa Underground River – The New 7 Wonders of Nature

While in Puerto Princesa with fellow travel bloggers, We visited the famous Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park courtesy of Microtel Puerto Princesa. This is actually my second time visiting this newly recognized “New 7 Wonders of Nature”.

Inside the Puerto Princesa Underground River
Inside the Puerto Princesa Underground River

To get there, it took us more than an hour and a half drive to Sabang via a tourist van courtesy of Ellen’s Travel and Tours, all the way to the Northern side of Palawan. The park is extensive and is a huge eco-tourism destination which is home to fifteen species of endemic birds and 165 other bird species.

Facing the South China Sea
Facing the South China Sea

There are also thirty species of mammals from pigs to porcupines, bats, reptiles, and amphibians. The mountainous rain forest has unique species found nowhere else in the world, and of course, the underground river is totally incredible. The Subterranean River National Park also known as the Puerto Princesa Underground River was a finalist for the New 7 Wonders of Nature competition and after seeing it again, I think it deserves to win. Totally mind-blowing especially now that I saw a lot of improvement in the park.

Palawan Underground River Park
Palawan Underground River Park

Formerly known as St. Paul Subterranean River, Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park flows about 50 kilometers north of Puerto Princesa City. There are a lot of underground rivers in the world, but this one has over eight kilometers of navigable length in huge limestone karst caverns filled with stalactites, stalagmites, and massive columns.

Pinoy Travel Bloggers with Microtel in Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park
Pinoy Travel Bloggers with Microtel in Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park

UNESCO has recognized it as a World Heritage Site and it has the reputation of being the world’s longest underground navigable river though according to what I found on the web, it is actually the second-longest. No matter though, the boat trip through the caverns was totally surreal but I almost gave up at first with the unpleasant smell of bat poop after entering the underground river. Surprisingly, as you go along with the river tour, you will soon forget the unpleasant smell and will instead be mesmerized with the natural wonder.

Puerto Princesa Palawan Underground River Tour
Puerto Princesa Palawan Underground River Tour

The limestone shapes inside take on crazy images in the dim lighting and it’s easy to see why some have been given names like ‘The Holy Family’, ‘Face of Jesus’, and ‘Big Bacon’. The boat ride inside the underground river took about thirty minutes and was worth ten times the price of 200 pesos.

There are unpleasant things that you will experience in each journey but that is an integral part of the trip. Learning new things from each trip is an education in its highest form… Just learn how to smile and be thankful for having new friends, experiences and pictures… pictures and lots of pictures… Travel Safely, everyone:)

List of Hotels in Puerto Princesa Palawan providing Online Reservations

Puerto Princesa Palawan hotelsDeep Forest Garden Inn
Puerto Princesa Palawan cheap hotelsAsturias Hotel
Puerto Princesa Palawan affordable hotelsArdent Suites Hotel and Spa
Puerto Princesa Palawan hostelsDos Palmas Island Resort & Spa
Puerto Princesa Palawan best hostelA&A Plaza Hotel

LOOK: 25 Photos and Reasons That Prove Palawan is the Best Island in the World

  1. Aileen Apolo-de Jesus says

    Wow! Still a very nice place. Last time I was there was in 1998!

    1. melo says

      @Aileen – I saw a lot of improvements from the last time I went there.. specifically the sabang port.. its now more organized

  2. ?????????? says

    It’s wonderful to view sites with material and many thanks for the discuss which you’ve got gave. Generally, I’m very surprised, but etc…

  3. Boracay says

    Wow! What a cave.. isn’t it scary there? are there no bats around? i want to explore that cave this summer.. 🙂

  4. karla says

    how much is the boat ride going there? 2k? thanks!

  5. Davao Information Site says

    Wonderful and beautiful. It’s worthy to be part of the Wonders of the World.

  6. filipino folk songs says

    I got a chance to visit Palawan but not exactly the underground river. Sayang pero it was a fun experience, Palawan is such a wonderful place. Sulit na kahit di ako nakapunta ng underground river, maybe next time. 🙂

  7. Filipino Food Guide says

    Wow, what a nice place to go to.

    Medyo na remember ko yung movie na rougue yung merong malaki na crocodile, wla bang buwaya dyan? (takutin talaga ako hahahaha)

    Back to topic, the place is great, the only time i was in an under ground cave and there was a lake I think or was it a river, it was in bohol, that too I was afraid to take a dip in the water because its pitch dark under neath the water (malay ko pang dive ko may hihila sa akin pa ilalim, there I go again with the takutin version of me hahaha)

    Nice post by the way, and God Bless

  8. carlos says

    while in puerto princesa city on a tour of underground river please consider stayig in an aircon room with kitchen and ref and private hot and cold shower for maximum of 4 of your group at only Php 999 advance booking rate for all 4 persons….that means its about 250 each contribution. Its our way of saying thank you for making UR one of the new 7 wonders of nature. Please visit us at

  9. Rosy Wiliam says

    Wow! Still a very nice place.Thanks for sharing with us.

    City Breaks Venice

  10. sandy says


    your article is very nice and so are the photos. Is it ok for me to use your photos?

    We are trying to promote Puerto Princesa as a holiday destination and I have never been there before but i will go later.

    Pls let me know soonest,


    1. melo says

      Hello Sandy, for as long as you will put a link back to as the source of the photo then everything will be fine.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: