Underground River Tour and Ugong Rock Formation

The moment I read that the Puerto Princesa Underground River were one of the nominees for the new seven wonders of nature, I did not hesitate in participating in the online voting.  Soon my efforts (and I am sure many other Filipinos’) were not wasted as it became officially part of the list last November 11, 2011.

I still have post El Nido-trip depression when Marx and I reached Sabang port in Puerto Princesa after two hours of travel time with one stop-over.  We waited for our banca, boat no.53, for our transfer to the Puerto Princesa River National Park. There were only six of us in our group plus Noris our tour guide.  I observed that they were very strict, we had to have our permits before boarding.  

Panoramic view of Sabang port



I failed to bring my SLR camera since it was broken.  I am sorry for the few and ugly photos taken inside.
Nevertheless, it was a rich learning experience for me.  If not for our boatman/tour guide, 
the 1.5 km journey inside would have been very quiet, monotonous and boring.  

The wait time was a bit long but I must say that it was very organized.  Travelers just need to 
wait for their permit before boarding on their assigned boats.  Once on the park itself, we waited again 
so we roamed around interacted with the local wildlife. Monitor lizards and monkeys roam 

We were actually warned regarding those monkeys being naughty thieves!  They were attracted 

to plastic bags so we made sure we did not bring anything that will catch their attention.

Entrance to the cave

Wearing of helmet and life vest is a must
The river is about 8.2 kilometers in length and could take hours to navigate.  It has brackish waters
(combination of fresh and salt water).  Only the first 1.5 km is accessible for tourists. 
A special permit is needed for those seeking to explore the length of the river.  
Most who go beyond are biologists, explorers, archaeologists and the like.

While waiting for our turn, I ‘discovered’ this empty beach not far where tourists are congregating

We paid P 1500 each (deposited in advance) for the underground tour which was arranged by our host.  
This rate includes all transfers, permits/entrance fees and buffet lunch.
After the almost hour-tour, we walked along the beach towards Taraw Vista Lodge and Restaurant where buffet lunch was served. Even the name of the restaurant played a joke on me! Reminding me of Taraw Cliff, making me miss EL Nido again.  ðŸ™

Karst Mountain Elephant Cave
It is said that an episode of the Amazing Race
Philippine Edition was shot here
After lunch, our tour guide animatedly invited us to visit Ugong Rock Formation.  Before arriving there, we dropped by a bit at the Karst Mountain Elephant Cave to take some photos.

Our tour guide said this platform is called Plaza Miranda since it
resembles the stage of the famous, historical plaza of Manila

Dare to take the Superman Zipline ride?

Cave exploration is at P 200 while zip-line is at P 200 for sitting position
and P250 for the Superman ride
Tourists patiently listen during the orientation
Marx smiling for a shot
This rock formation used to be underwater.  Water markings are evident in the cave walls.  Sparkling stalactites can be seen inside though not as grand as you can imagine.  We did a little bit of rope-climbing and rappelling.  For travelers’ convenience, management has already installed ladders.  Going up inside is the only way to reach the zip-line platform.  I say be ready for deep breathes!

Other parts in this series

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