Top Tips for Planning Your Underground River Tour
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Ever since the Puerto Princesa Underground River became one of UNESCO’s New 7 Wonders of Nature, the site has been drawing thousands of local and international tourists. It does help that there are new hotels and other types of accommodations in Puerto Princesa available to cater to the increasing number of visitors in the city. However, only a limited number of people are accommodated at the Underground River each day. So going here on a whim, without any tour plans, wouldn’t be a good idea.
For the best possible Underground River experience, you need to carefully plan your trip by taking note of the following.
Ideal time to travel
When choosing a travel date, one of the most important factors to consider is the weather. Puerto Princesa’s dry season is from January to April while the wet season is from May to December. Scheduling your trip during the dry season is recommended, as the waves tend to be calmer and there are lesser chances that your trip would be canceled due to inclement weather.
Doing your homework
A well-planned trip calls for plenty of research about your destination, which has been made easy thanks to the wealth of information on the web. Read blogs of fellow travelers who recently visited Palawan to get ideas on where to stay in Puerto Princesa, what to eat, what to bring, and what side trips you can go on, among other things. Or check out reputable travel sites like Lonely Planet, Trip Advisor, or Virtual Tourist for recommendations and reviews.
Preparing your budget
Traveling can be costly. That’s why it helps to set a budget for the main expenses of your trip, including airfare, accommodation, food, tour permits and entrance fees, and miscellaneous items like souvenirs. Some of these expenses are fixed, while others can be adjusted depending on how much you are comfortable spending on them.
When visiting the Underground River, you can either get a tour package or go DIY. Package tours cost about P1,800 per person and is inclusive of all expenses, from transportation and the lunch buffet to tour guide fees. If you choose to plan your own tour instead, you can save as much as P600 to P900 as long as you’re resourceful and diligent.
For those with a tight budget and extra time to put together their own tour, the DIY route would be an excellent choice. But if you’d like to keep things simple and convenient, go for the tour package. The package rate is standard, so all you need to do is find an accredited travel agency in the city.
There are lots of hotels, inns, and pension houses in Sabang and in the city proper. Besides your budget, factor in your trip itinerary and tour schedule (as indicated on your permit) while choosing where to stay.
Booking your tickets
Once you have a travel plan and budget in place, you can finally book your flight!
Airfare may vary depending on the time of year. Since this will be one of your biggest trip expenses, make sure to compare prices across airlines to score the best deal.
Planning your trip to the Puerto Princesa Underground River need not be stressful. With these practical tips, you can put together your itinerary and budget fuss-free and look forward to an exciting and memorable tour.