The Cave Entrance

7 Must Know Facts for Palawan Underground River Visitors

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The Palawan underground river is always a hot destination for travelers. Influx of tourists both foreign and local head to this natural wonder whole year round.

Now that Boracay is on a 6 month Rehabilitation Plan (which I 100% support) it now opens more doors for the Palawan underground river to accommodate more tourists. After all, one must find alternate summer routes to satisfy the itchy feet cravings of a hungry traveler.

However, there are still misconceptions that a lot  of first time travelers assume when they visit this natural wonder. Thus presenting to you 7 Facts for Palawan underground river Vistors

1. Puerto Princessa Aint Like Boracay

The best way to go to the Underground River is to book a flight to Puerto Princessa. That’s where your adventure  starts!

Being that I am a proud Cebuano my best route was to fly from Cebu to Puerto Princesa, Palawan. Upon landing, I expected beach and sand to  welcome me upon setting foot. But low and behold I was  dead wrong.

Puerto Princess, Palawan is like any other somber and peaceful towns in the Philippines. Surrounded by lush fauna  and flora but its not a beach haven as you may expect. Like any other  great  adventures. You have to go through  some long and spiral roads to  get too the good spots . This brings  me to my second point.

Puerto Princesa at Night
Puerto Princesas’ Outdoor Grilling Restaurant


Palawan's Boardwalk
Just like any other beautiful Philippine boardwalks

Bakers Hill

Number 2:  The Travel Time Can Be A Pain

From Puerto Princessa one must travel 80 kilometers  (50 miles) from the city proper  to  reach  the  majestic  underground river.  Hence, from my experience it was more or less  a half day  travel  heading   to the said  tourist  attraction. The tour van picked me up at around 6 am. The bus arrived  at the  boat  port  around  10 am.

Upon arriving at the port you will wait an indefinite number of minutes or hours for you to hop  on a motorized boat to take you to your destination.

In addition, the waiting game would depend on the number of tourists  who by  some  serendipitous fate decided to visit  the  natural wonder the same date as you did. Another her factor to anticipate  is how rough  the seas are.  Sometimes boat rides get delayed or even  canceled due  to rough  sea conditions.

Selfie Upon Arrival
Mandatory Selfie at the Port of Puerto

Luckily our tour guide did all the leg work on registering us for a boat ride and the day was bright and sunny thus all we had to do was wait, wait , eat and wait. For my experience I had to wait for 2 hours to hop on my  designated  boat. The good thing is there are a lot of food stalls and beach scenery in the  area so you would not  die of hunger  or  boredom.

Chilling at the port
While Waiting for my Boat Ride
The Drink with a view
Tambay mode at the port

As soon as your hear your batch number called then you can finally  jump on your designated boat and start the 15 minute (max) journey to the  the entrance of the Palawan underground  river .

Upon stepping foot on the  island one must  do a 5 minute  trek  to reach the spot  where you start the real Palawan Underground River tour.

Number 3:  Book a Tour Ahead of Time

If you want to be spontaneous in your Palawan Underground river , DON’T. Chances are it will  just be a waste of your time and money.  Like I mentioned in item no.2 my tour guide did all the leg  work and  all I had to do was wait for my van number.

Aside from that all tourists must have an environmental permit for them to visit the said attraction.  The permit will be process ahead of time by your tour guide.

I got my Puerto Princesa tour package for : Php 1540.00 inclusive of Van , Boat and Lunch buffet you can send them an email at [email protected] and address it to Romy Bacuel. They also do tour packages for El Nido and Coron aside for the package tour for Palawan underground river. 

Number 4: Travel time is Longer than the Tour itself

With all the travel and waiting time you have to go through just to reach your destination the  Palawan Underground River tour only takes about 15 minutes. Similar to the process when securing a boat ride to the island  one must wait for their turn to ride a small paddled boat that will take you to the Palawan Underground River itself.  The good thing about waiting  at this moment is you get to  take  photographs of the beautiful  scenery and dab  your toes in the cool waters at the mouth of the river.

The Boat Ride to the island
Off to the Underground River
Boat ride to the island
While waiting for the boat
On the Underground River Beach front
Foot Selfie


Number 5: Beware of Monkeys on the Islands of Palawan Underground River

Prior to stepping foot on the island your tour guides will time and again (at least  our guide did)  warn you about the  monkeys inhabiting  the forests. Mind you they are not the shy type primates.

Island arrival
The arrival

Never make  loud noises as it will  attract these primates. Always  be cautious of your  gadgets/ bags or food. They are known to  grab a hold of your belongings and not return them for obvious reasons. Despite the warning of our guide I never encountered the monkeys. That for me was a good thing.

Walking towards the Cave entrance
The trek
Arrival at the Island
Just docked and now ready to treck
Erik the Hungry Traveller at the Underground river
Welcome to the Underground River
The Monkey's Lair
The Monkey Lair

Number 6: It gets Extremely Dark When The Tour Starts

Now this one’s pretty obvious. As this is the Palawan subterranean river (a posh way of saying Palawan underground river wink) the tour is  pretty much a cruise in the dark and  I’m not  exaggerating  when I  say  it’s pitch black.!

Palawan Underground River Cave
Inside the Underground River

Inside the Underground River


In a paddled boat along with 12 victims err I mean tourists is your vehicle for the tour. The Palawan Underground river tour starts at the caves entrance  and culminates at an  open space. A far distance from the caves  mouth before heading back to the shore.

Waiting for the boat ride
Waiting for the Boat ride

Selfie Time







Number 7: Heading to Palawan Underground River Is Worth it!

You may think that I do not want you to visit this Natural wonder of Palawan Underground river but that’s not  the point of blog post at all.

Getting there will definitely consume  a full day  and yes  you need to have  of patience (a lot of it). But as soon  as you start the tour it  will be worth it.

The Cave Entrance
The Cave Entrance
The Cave Entrance
What a Beauty









Despite the  challenging realities  of getting to the  destination it was still an amazing and educational tour.  Puerto Princess government did a good job of organizing and putting everything in  order.

Inspite of the long line of tourist. There was no special treatment and every one had to fall in line to marvel at Palawan Underground River.

Inside the Underground RiverInside the Underground River








Being in the Palawan underground river/cave takes you to a different world.  A world that was  millions  of  years in the making. A world untouched by  reality and where mother nature is in the driver’s seat.

Inside the Underground River

Yes part of the  package is the  eeriness of the cave.  But as soon as your  eyes adjusts to the  place you’ll appreciate its beauty.

As an article ender my trip to Palawan underground river taught me that masterpieces take time to build. Besides its natural beauty. You get to appreciate the time heading there.

If you want to see and experience the beauty of Palawan underground river one  must endure  a days  worth  of travel via air,  land and sea.  After all  something  that  took millions of years to build  deserve all the time in the world.

About the blogger: erikjames is a lover of arts, travel, photography and of course food. Visit his instagram pages for more adventures: IG: erikjamesart, ejrequina, erikthehungrytraveller or email him at [email protected]

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Erik James aka Erik the Hungry Traveller is a Human Resource Ninja and at the same time a travel & food blogger. He uses his passion for the arts particularly with painting and photography to add more fun and color to his social media pages. He loves extreme adventures and does not back out on any food challenge. His passion for food and travelling started during his childhood years where he would accompany his parents to business trips around the Philippines. He currently focuses on writing blogs on solo travelling and trying out restaurants that are not your usual run of the mill places. To counter his extreme love for travelling and FOOD he also enjoys swimming and mix martial arts so that he can stay “relatively” fit and healthy. Instagram : Facebook: Email: [email protected]

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