The Puerto Prinsesa Subterranean River National Park has always been on top of my bucket list ever since I started traveling. Few years ago, it was voted internationally as one of the new 7 wonders of nature and was also declared as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
It is considered as a protected sanctuary rich in biodiversity and home to more than 800 species of plants, 300 trees, 195 bird species, 30 mammals, 19 reptiles, and eight bat species.
The local government of Palawan requires all tourists to register and make a reservation one month prior to their visit.
Finally, the moment that I’ve been waiting for has finally arrived! 🙂
We were picked-up at our hotel as early as 8:00 AM and we traveled less than an hour to reach the jump off point where the motorboat is waiting for us.
While on our way, we passed by several islands and islets. The sight was very refreshing! It took us another another 20 minutes before arriving at our destination.
In front is the passageway to the underground river.
Why it’s called underground river?
The river runs underneath the mountain range through the St. Paul underground river meeting the West Philippine sea on the other end. Based on studies, it was recognized as the longest navigable underground river in the world which measure at 8.2 kilometers while the whole journey through the cave system is approximately 24 kilometers long.
We were riding a paddle boat when we cruise the river. The only light inside the cave is our flashlight.
As soon as we entered the cave, we were greeted by the different formations of stalactites and stalagmites.
How long does it take for stalactites and stalagmites to form?
Stalactites form slowly at a rate of less than 10cm every thousand years. So this means that these lime stones could be more than tens of thousands year old by now. Just imagine that!
There’s always a light at the end of the tunnel and this concludes our wonderful journey of exploration and wonderful discoveries.
Sadly, my camera started to malfunction even before we enter the underground river. Too bad, I wasn’t able to take more pictures but in the end, it was a very memorable experience. 🙂