Underground River Tour DIY Travel Guide – Puerto Princesa, Palawan
The Underground River Tour is the most popular tourist activity in Puerto Princesa, Palawan wherein tourists are given the opportunity to experience cruising inside the world-renowned Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park.
Puerto Princesa Underground River is idly sitting within a forest which has already been converted into a natural park. It is included in the New 7 Wonders of Nature. This prominent tourist spot boasts a spectacular limestone landscape impressing both foreign and local visitors. It is reputed to be the longest navigable underground river in the world extending up to 8.2 kilometers long that flows directly to the sea.
HOW TO GET TO THE UNDERGROUND RIVER TOUR SITE
Via a Travel Agency Package Tour
This is the most popular and easiest option. Although a bit expensive, working with travel agencies is the most convenient way to enjoy the Underground River tour. The standard rate for a package tour is Php1, 800 per person which already includes a roundtrip air-conditioned van transfer, a motorized boat transfer, a buffet lunch, fees and permits, an audio device, and a licensed, English-speaking tour guide. The tour requires one whole day.
Via a DIY or Do-It-Yourself Approach
This is a more affordable option but can be very time-consuming, not to mention too much of a hassle. If you prefer a DIY tour to the underground river, follow the steps provided below.
- Get a Visitor Entry Permit to from Puerto Princesa Underground River Office located in the city coliseum. Contact Information: Address: #350 Rizal Avenue, Brgy. Bancao-Bancao, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan. Telephone Number: (048) 723-0904. Telefax: (048) 434-2509. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com website: Puerto-UndergroundRiver.com
- Go to Sabang Port at Brgy. Cabayugan, Puerto Princesa. You can ride a jeepney, a non-airconditioned bus, or a shuttle van from San Jose Terminal. The almost 2-hour trip costs Php150 – Php200 per person. If you prefer riding an air-conditioned van, you may call Lexus Shuttle Service (vans) at 0912-100-2651 and 0917-585-9602 for their scheduled trips.
- Upon arriving in Sabang Port at Brgy. Cabayugan, go directly to the Tourist Information Center for registration. Here, you are required to present a valid ID.
- After registration, just tell the officer-in-charge in the Tourist Information Center that you are riding the boat bound for the underground river entrance. They will arrange your roundtrip boat service but you will be asked to wait for some time as they prioritize those who are under travel agencies. Boat rental costs Php600 – Php1,000 (good for 6 to 10 persons).
- Enjoy your underground river cruise. There are paddle boats at the entrance of the Puerto Princesa Underground River, just register again and you are good to go.
If you love adventure, you may opt to trek 5.3 kilometers (roughly two hours) via the Monkey Trail until you reach the entrance of the underground river. (Note: You have to do the first 3 steps above before doing this trekking activity). I haven’t tried this yet but according to our guide, trekking is the cheapest way to do the Palawan Underground River Tour. You may secure guide services from the Information Center for Php500 (good for 3 persons). If you do not want to get the service of a guide, you can just follow the trail signs that lead to the underground river entrance.
- Make sure to book your accommodation within the city proper if you will take advantage of Underground River tour from a travel agency as they charge additional (from Php250 to Php2,500) to those whose hotels are outside the city. Click here for a list of accomodation options.
- DIY is good for a group with at least 6 members. It is indeed a more affordable options and you will have more control on your time.
- We personally suggest that you take advantage of organized tour services to stay away from hassle and misfortunes, especially if you are travelling in a small group.
- Buy food and drinks at the city proper to save money because the prices of commodities while you are nearing the site become more expensive.
- Do not put your things inside a plastic bag, better yet, do not bring any kind or type of plastic bags; not only because it is harmful to the environment but also because monkeys (that was not called “monkey trail” for nothing) tend to attack people carrying plastic bags because they think they can find food inside.
- If you want to take advantage of Underground River tour package, you may get in touch with our partner travel agency, Sole Adventours.
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