colton strickland 1JU0XckbyQ8 unsplash scaled

Exploring the 8.2km Underground River of Puerto Princesa: A Guide for a Full-Day Trip

Experience Adventure Like Never Before: Book Your Tour Today!

Exploring the 8.2km Underground River of Puerto Princesa: A Guide for a Full-Day Trip

The Subterranean River National Park, located in the west of Palawan Island in the Philippines, is officially a UNESCO World Heritage Site and features an 8.2km underground river and limestone karst mountain landscape that’s captivatingly beautiful. The underground river is home to some of the world’s rare and endangered species, including eight different bat species and some rare species of birds.

One of the most popular attractions within the park is the Puerto Princesa Underground River, which has been referred to as one of the world’s top tourist attractions since 2012. To ensure that visitors have a safe and memorable experience, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) provides a full-day trip to the underground river.

In this guide, we’ll answer all your questions about taking a full-day trip to the Puerto Princesa Underground River. Most importantly, we’ll also provide you with helpful tips, as well as resources to help you plan your own full-day trip for an unforgettable experience.

Getting to the Puerto Princesa Underground River

The Puerto Princesa Underground River is located in Puerto Princesa city, which is around two hours away from Narra, the municipality where Puerto Princesa Airport is located. The best way to get to Puerto Princesa is by taking a bus from the airport to the city.

If you are looking for a more convenient option, you can book a private transfer service online. To ensure a smoother journey, many travellers opt for a private van or car service that typically comes with a professional driver.

Once you reach Puerto Princesa city, you will have to make your way to Sabang town, which is the closest port to the Puerto Princesa Underground River. The journey will take around 45 minutes, depending on road conditions and traffic. If you prefer not to take a bus or van, then you can also book a boat ride online.

Planning Your Trip

When planning your full-day trip to the Puerto Princesa Underground River, it is important to keep in mind that visits are only allowed from 6:00am to 2:00 pm. Additionally, it’s important to note that DENR only allows a maximum of 60 visitors into the park each day. Therefore, visitors are encouraged to book their tours in advance in order to secure their spots.


The cost of visiting the underground river depends on the tour package you choose. Generally speaking, tour packages typically start from $20 USD per person and vary based on group size, amenities and other services included in your package like meals and transportation.

For example, GetYourGuide offers various tour packages that include pick-ups from your hotel in Puerto Princesa, comfortable transportation to the destination, meals and snacks throughout the day, entrance fees and return transfers by boat plus a life vest and helmet if needed.

What To Expect On Your Tour

When you embark on your full-day tour of the underground river, you will be taken by boat to the lagoons of Sabang Beach and can expect to see huge karst formation-filled scenery along the way. Once you reach the “mountain trailhead” entrance to the caves and underground river, you will need to take off your shoes for the hike through the tropical rainforest up to 350m above sea level.

It takes about 15 minutes to walk from the mountain trailhead entrance to the mouth of the underground river before embarking on your 8-10km boat tour inside the caverns and caves of the underground river. During your boat tour, expect to see stunning rock formations inside this limestone cave and admire the colonies of bats living inside its walls.

The tour usually lasts around 2 hours before you head back to land with beautiful memories and insights about this unique nature treasure which took 3 million years in the making.

What To Bring

To ensure that your full-day trip is enjoyable and safe, it’s essential that visitors bring proper attire and items suitable for outdoor activities such as:

  • Hiking shoes
  • Raincoat
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellant
  • Hat
  • Snacks
  • Bottle of water
  • Camera (waterproof or underwater)
  • Extra dry clothes

You can also opt to book your tour with an organized package which typically includes all necessary items and additional items like helmets if “spelunking’ (cave explorations) is part of your itinerary.

Additionally, it is highly recommended that all visitors watch an educational video about safety regulations and etiquette near biodiversity areas provided at DENR before beginning their tour for a trouble-free trip.

Plan The Perfect Trip With GetYourGuide!

Ready to explore and discover one of the world’s longest underground rivers? Check out this link from GetYourGuide, where you’ll find everything you need to book an unforgettable full-day trip of Puerto Princesa Underground River! Whether you are looking for a guided educational tour or just an easy-to-access entry point without having to worry about transportation or equipment, GetYourGuide has it all! Plus, with their easy booking process, great customer service and helpful tips and advice, you can be sure you’ll have an unforgettable underground river experience!

All in all, visiting the Puerto Princesa Underground River is one of those must-do activities when planning your vacation in Palawan – so make sure you take advantage of this unique opportunity for one of those truly unique experiences during your stay!

colton strickland 1JU0XckbyQ8 unsplash scaled

Exploring the 8.2km Underground River of Puerto Princesa: A Guide for a Full-Day Trip

Experience Adventure Like Never Before: Book Your Tour Today!