It’s a dream come true to visit one of the new seven wonder of the world that is luckily located in the Philippines, the Palawan Underground River. Included on my bucket list for the year 2013, I pursue to book a flight from Manila to Palawan and it have been really a great pleasure that my former co-workers decided to join me in this 3D3N tour in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan. Though we experienced a four hours delayed in NAIA Terminal 4 from ZESTAIR, we manage to enjoy the long wait while anticipating the minute we reach the famous City in the forest.
Booked in a transient house near the airport of Palawan, our host offered us their free airport transfer and since the plane land around eight in the evening, he guide us to our first dinner destination at UGONG ROCK BAR located in the heart of Puerto Princesa City. This is just after their municipality building and treasury Hall. Delicacies in affordable prices are served in this bar including their famous TAMILOK in different viands. It’s just that I’m really not into exotic foods so I can’t share anything about this white worm-like creature.🙂
Reading blogs and coordinating with our landlord in Palawan months before our tour really helps us to manage and plan our getaway. Take note that having a permit is very limited and hard to achieve on the day you decided to visit Undergrond River. Better to have a package tour for Underground River if your planning to have a DIY and you don’t know someone to process your permit in Palawan. Since our Underground River permits are already available the following day, we didn’t waste our time to prepare ourselves while waiting for the hired van who will lead us to Sabang port.
After almost an hour of smooth road travel and listening to our guide talking about the City of Puerto Princesa, we made a short stop over this store where you can buy some native products, food and drinks, and make use of washrooms and bathrooms.
After the short rest, everybody in the van decided to continue our way to Sabang port. Since our group have a number of seven people, we have our own motorboat separate from our other companion in the van together with another tour guide. Smooth waves leads us to a shoreline and in that very moment, we all knew that we’re closer to the Underground River.
The boat that will lead the tourist inside the Underground have a capacity of eight passenger so one of the foreigner in our van joined our group, and take note, he’s my seatmate! Hahaha…
Tour inside the Underground River will take you about 30-45 minutes. Listening and learning the stalagmites and stalactites formation from the boat men and at the same time your guide, every passenger will surely have an entertaining and informative journey. In the duration of the tour inside, make sure to keep your mouth shut to avoid tasting bat’s manure! LOL…
Going back to the motorboat that takes us to Sabang port for our late lunch, we’re lucky to take a closer look with group of monkeys and BAYAWAK (monitor lizards) along the way. Take good care of your belongings and remember that plastic bags are strictly prohibited in this area because these monkeys have the habit of snatching personal belongings from visitors. KULETS!
Everyone shared the late lunch our guide served (included on the package). We had our siesta after having our lunch and decided to take pictures with a native photographer doing camera tricks along with his available props. We even had a group picture with a python for a discounted price.😉
Underground River tour will never be completed without doing the caving, spelunking and climbing the famous UGONG ROCK and experience the zip line adventure in Sabang. All our group members decided to do it and so the other groups or couples in our van agreed with our plan, so the driver lead us to the jump off point immediately.
Having our tour guide leading our way up to the summit, we was informed of the history of Ugong Rock. They also pointed out the different rock formation, stalagmites and stalactites area inside the cave. On the summit, we see the spectacular view of the green ground below us, thanks for the good weather that day!
Since that is my first zip line experience, I’m hesitant to do it at first but my eagerness to finish it and the anticipation to be in the air is so powerful that I feel so relaxed as soon as I was released by the rope masters. Heaven!
We printed out one copy of our zip line experience in the photo booth located at the end of the zip line in agreement with the owner that we will have all the soft copies of our photos. All in all, four different posts per head!😉 After our deal, we headed back to city proper and bid our goodbyes with the other groups. Our van drop us directly to our transient house to wrap our day one tour. An awesome experience we will ever forget!
Below is our itinerary for day one and the standard expenses:
0700HR – 0915HR Leave transient house and head to Sabang Port
0915HR – 0930HR Sabang Port (Secure permits for Underground River)
0930HR – 1000HR Motorboat ride to Underground River
1000HR – 1130HR Underground River Tour and photo captures
1130HR – 1200HR Motorboat ride back to Sabang port
1200HR – 1330HR Lunch and siesta at Sabang port
1330HR – 1345HR Ride from Sabang port to Ugong Rock jump off point
1345HR – 1530HR Short briefing, start caving, spelunking, climbing and zip line
1530HR – 1800HR Ride back to city proper
Underground River Tour Package – PHP1,500.00
Underground River permit
Van transfer from hostel to Sabang port and vice versa (includes side trip, ride to Ugong Rock)
Ugong Rock Caving/Climb – PHP200.00
Zip line adventure at the summit – PHP250.00
Python photo (unlimited shots) – PHP100.00 (Group photo)
Camera trick photo (unlimited shots) – PHP50.00 (donation)
Zip line photo booth print out – PHP100.00 (per shot)