Attractions

Puerto Princesa Underground River

Written by Patrick

Puerto Princesa Underground River in Palawan offers a unique and awe-inspiring experience for nature enthusiasts, adventurers, and those seeking to appreciate the beauty of the Philippines’ natural wonders.

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OVERVIEW

Puerto Princesa Underground River

Caption: Tourists inside the cave.

Officially called Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR) is known for its stunning limestone karst mountain landscape and 8.2 kilometer underground river, 4.3 kilometers of which is navigable by a paddle boat only. The park boasts of its stalactites and stalagmites formations, and several large chambers, one of which is considered as one of the largest cave rooms in the world. It also has a rich flora and fauna making it an ideal habitat for biodiversity conservation. It has a variety of forest formations and is inhabited by almost a thousand plant species, about 250 bird species, 30 mammal species, 19 species of reptiles, and nine species of bats. Long-tailed macaques, the only primate in the area, can be found wandering around freely.

PPUR is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and voted as a New7Wonders of Nature.

Fast Facts

Attraction:
Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park
Type of Attraction:
Cave | National Park | Natural Attractions | River
Phone:
(48) 434 2509 | (48) 723 0904
Hours:
Monday-Sunday 6:30-15:00
Closed:
During bad weather
Best Time to Visit:
December to May
Food & Drink:
YES
FREE WiFi:
NO
Cost:
$15+ per person
Payment Type:
Cash
Fees:
Entrance fee (including paddle boat fee, hard hats, and life vests):
P100 ($2 USD) – minors 3 to 12 years old
P150 ($3 USD) – minors
P250 ($5 USD) – adult
P100 ($2 USD) – Senior Citizens and disabled

Palawan resident rates:
P175 ($3.5 USD) – adult
P75 ($1.5 USD) – minors (3 to 12 years old)
P100 ($2 USD) – minors

P3000 ($60 USD) – commercial video fee
Notes:

No permit, no entrance policy is strictly enforced.

Children 2 years old and below are not allowed inside the cave.

Hiking shoes, drinking water and insect repellant are recommended.

Feeding or teasing the wildlife is strictly prohibited. Bringing a plastic bag is discouraged as the monkeys have the tendency to grab it thinking that it contains food.

You can find tour packages which include land transfer, boat transfer, buffet lunch, entrance fee, tour guide, and processing of permits.

MAP

This attraction  is located on Palawan Island in Puerto Princesa City.

Puerto Princesa Underground River

 

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NEED TO KNOW

How to get to Puerto Princesa Underground River?

Getting a complete tour package is the easiest and stress-free way to get to Puerto Princesa Underground River, however if you prefer to do it on your own, here’s the step-by-step guide to get there.

By Air

Step 1
Book a flight to Puerto Princesa City.  Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines have multiple direct flights everyday from Manila to Puerto Princesa while one or two flights from Cebu.

Step 2
From the arrival area, walk to the gate of the airport and hail a tricycle that can take you to San Jose Terminal.  Travel time is around 10 minutes and the fare is P120 ($2.4 USD) which can be split if you are in a group.

Step 3
At the terminal, you can ride a van, bus, or jeepney to Sabang.

Lexxus van leaves Puerto Princesa to Sabang at 7:00 AM and 4:00 PM while the Sabang to Puerto Princesa schedule is at 8:30 AM and 3:00 PM.  Travel time is about two hours and the fare is P400 ($8 USD) per person.

Meanwhile, the schedule for bus departures are 7:00 AM, 9:00 AM, 12:00 NN, and 2:00 PM.  Travel time is between two to three hours depending on the number of stopovers to pick up or drop off passengers along the way.

Step 4
Alight at Sabang and proceed to the information center/tourism office.  Pay the permit fee of P250 ($5 USD), environmental fee of P150 ($3 USD), and terminal fee of P5 ($0.1 USD).  Once everything is paid, proceed to the wharf and arrange your boat transfer to Sabang Beach, the entry point to the cave.  Tourists enter the cave by batches so be patient and wait for your turn.

By Sea

Step 1
Take a boat from Manila to Puerto Princesa through 2Go Travel.  Currently, there is only one trip per week.  A ferry leaves Manila every Tuesday at 1:30 PM and arrives Puerto Princesa at 6:00 PM the next day.  Take note that before arriving in Puerto Princesa, the ferry makes a stopover in Coron at 2:30 in the morning.

The fare ranges from P1790 ($35.80 USD) to P5550 ($111 USD) depending on the type of accommodation.

Step 2
Ride a tricycle to San Jose Terminal.

Step 3
At the terminal, you can ride a van, bus, or jeepney to Sabang.

Lexxus van leaves Puerto Princesa to Sabang at 7:00 AM and 4:00 PM while the Sabang to Puerto Princesa schedule is at 8:30 AM and 3:00 PM.  Travel time is about two hours and the fare is P400 ($8 USD) per person.

Meanwhile, the schedule for bus departures are 7:00 AM, 9:00 AM, 12:00 NN, and 2:00 PM.  Travel time is between two to three hours depending on the number of stopovers to pick up or drop off passengers along the way.

Step 4
Alight at Sabang and proceed to the information center/tourism office.  Pay the permit fee of P250 ($5 USD), environmental fee of P150 ($3 USD), and terminal fee of P5 ($0.1 USD).  Once everything is paid, proceed to the wharf and arrange your boat transfer to Sabang Beach, the entry point to the cave.  Tourists enter the cave by batches so be patient and wait for your turn.

Enjoy Puerto Princesa Underground River with a guide!
Or plan your vacation to Puerto Princesa through Klook
Klook

Airport closest to Puerto Princesa Underground River

Puerto Princesa Airport (IATA: PPS), the airport closest to Puerto Princesa Underground River, is located less than 75 kilometers away.

Find flights to Puerto Princesa Airport

Alcohol

Consuming alcohol is not allowed at this attraction.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit this attraction to avoid crowds is early in the morning usually before 10:00 AM.

Closures

This attraction is open everyday except when the weather is bad.

Fees

Fees require payment in cash.  Credit cards are not accepted at this attraction. 

Food & Drink

Food and drinks from outside the attraction are not allowed at this attraction.

Pets

Pets are not allowed at this attraction.

Smoking

Smoking is not allowed at this attraction.

Trash

Please dispose of your trash properly or take it with you.  Don’t Trash the Philippines!  

The Philippines are beautiful islands … let’s all ensure they remain this way. 

WHERE TO STAY

The following are hotels nearby:

Find best places to stay near Puerto Princesa City

TIPS & HACKS

The following are recommended items for this experience: 

RECOMMENDED PRODUCTS

CamelPack

I always carry a Camelbak Hydration Pack with me when traveling. Not only does it allow me to pack all my daily gear and snacks, but it also has a 3-liter water bladder which holds enough water to get me through the entire day.

Bluetooth Speaker

Compact yet mighty, a bluetooth speaker setup is a breeze, and the sound quality it delivers for its size is nothing short of impressive. Beyond its audio prowess, it boasts exceptional durability, making it an ideal companion for outdoor adventures.

UV Shirt

UV Shirt is an essential when travelling in a tropical country. Providing reliable protection during long hours in the water, not only comfortable but also ensures a secure shield against the elements.

Snorkel Gear

For my island-hopping escapades, a snorkel gear set has become indispensable. Designed to enhance the joy of snorkeling and free diving, each piece ensures comfort and functionality. Together, they create an immersive and enjoyable underwater experience.

Adventure Camera

As a long-time enthusiast of GoPro cameras, I can attest to their user-friendly nature, excellent image stabilization, and impressive footage quality. Waterproof and rugged, the GoPro is my reliable companion for capturing adventures in any environment.

Aqua Shoes

When it comes to beach footwear, aqua shoes offer exceptional support, breathability, and overall comfort. Well-crafted and sturdy, it provides effective protection against rocky terrain, quick drying for added convenience, and easy maintenance. A must-have for any outdoor enthusiast.

CLICK FOR MORE TRAVEL GEAR

Photos

The following are some photos of this attraction.

Videos

The following is a video of this attraction.

NEARBY

The following are other points of interest nearby:

  • Sabang Mangrove Forest 
  • Ugong Rock Adventures 
  • Karst Mountain Elephant Cave
  • Sabang Beach 

READ MORE: Puerto Princesa City Visitors Guide | Palawan Island Visitors Guide

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Have you ever visited this attraction?

About the Author

Patrick

Patrick is an entrepreneur, digital nomad, explorer, and photographer. Patrick is always in search of fun and adventure. He is well travelled throughout the world, and although location independent, his home base is Phoenix, Arizona in the USA. Patrick loves island lifestyle which is no wonder why he is so interested in spending time in the Philippines with it’s over 7,000 islands. Patrick created this site to share his knowledge of and experiences in the Philippines with Filipinos as well as other foreigners.

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