Palawan’s Underground River: What you need to know

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With the Philippines made up of about 7,641 islands, tourists from all over the globe come trotting to this archipelago looking for a tropical vacation to remember. Out of those great number of islands, 1,769 belong to the globally-recognized, award-winning island of Palawan. In fact, the beauty of this paradise has earned it, for the second consecutive year, the title of being the “Best Island in the World” by Travel + Leisure.

But besides the pristine white sand and crystal blue waters of the breathtaking beaches in Palawan, another must-see place that the whole world has taken a liking to here in Puerto Princesa Subterranean River, National Park. which was officially named as one of the New7Wonders of Nature on January 28, 2012.

This place is not for the faint-hearted, we tell you, after all, it is a dark underground river. However, once you let the adventurer in you take the wheel, you will be left in awe of how much magnificence this river holds. Get ready to witness majestic rock formations, awe-inspiring caves, all sculptured by Mother Nature. The most impressive is the mountainous limestone plateaus, geologically called karsts, that form the rugged landscape of the Saint Paul Mountain Range with elevations ranging from sea level to a maximum height of 1,028 meters. The limestone karst mountain landscape is home to the 15 miles long Saint Paul Mountain Range as well as the 8.2  kilometers underground section of the Cabayugan River. Encompassing one of the world’s most striking cave systems, you can expect nothing less than stunning stalactites and stalagmites. It is also home to a number of large chambers one of which is named Italian’s Chamber, a 360-meter-long chamber and is considered as one of the largest cave rooms around the globe.

Remember how we told you it’s not for the faint-hearted? The extensive rainforest of the Park is the habitat of diverse endemic and endangered species of flora and fauna. The mouse deer, calamian deer, Palawan bearcat, porcupines, skunks, wild pigs, flying squirrels, rats, bats, and monkeys are among the animals that inhabit the Park. Cave-inhabiting forms of reptiles, birds, and mammals dominate the animals. All of these endemic to Palawan: they exist nowhere else on earth. Well, you will hear nothing but deafening silence as well as the occasional fluttering of flying bats (most of them are hanging upside down, sleeping). No worries, though, tours on this underground river are usually done by a local and you could always go about it in groups or pairs.

If you want to finally give this tropical island a try and turn your dream vacation into a reality, then we suggest you go on a cruise and land directly at Puerto Princesa port by visiting this page: