Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park in Palawan - Philippines
The National Park of the St. Pauls Subterranean River can be found fifty kilometers of Puerto Princesa, Palawan. The park is located in the Mountain Range of St. Paul on the northern part of the island. It is between the Saint Paul Bay and the Babuya River. Puerto Princesa City has operated the national park since 1992. The entrance to the river is a short climb from Sabang. It is a nominee for the New Seven Wonders of Nature contest.
The landscape of the national park is made up of limestone karst with an 8.2 kilometer underground river. A unique feature of the subterranean river is that it flows through a cave before going into the South China Sea. It features interesting stalagmites and stalactites formation. Until the discovery of a subterranean river in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, the Subterranean River of Puerto Princesa was believed to be the longest underground river in the world. It was proclaimed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO on December 4th, 1999.
The Subterranean River National Park features 8 of 13 forest formations found in Asia like freshwater forest, evergreen forest, limestone forest and others. Environmental researchers identified more than eight hundred plant species from three hundred genera and one hundred plant families.
Enjoying the Underground River
Tour boats take tourists for a one hour exploration inside the subterranean river to enjoy one of the most beautiful natural treasures of the world. Visitors can enjoy the different limestone formations and the bats flying above the cave.
The national park offers different cave systems that have one-of-a kind natural features. Ugong Rock allows tourists to see the limestone karst formations that surround the park. Other caves that can found inside the park are Daylight Hole and Lion Cave.
Another interesting activity that tourists can enjoy inside the park is observing different birds like parrots and herons. Bird watchers should bring their own binoculars to see the birds.
The general entrance fee for the park and the cave entrance fee is thirty pesos.
Subterranean River Documentation
Visitors bringing a commercial video camera are required to pay three thousand pesos. For a video camera and SLR camera, visitors are required to pay fifty pesos.
All visitors are required to acquire an entry permit from the booking office of the national park. Permits will be issued upon the payment of entry costs. Park management strictly enforces a no permit, no entry rule.
Visitor reservations will not be finalized unless fees are paid up. Reservations must be paid by park visitors for at least twenty-four hours before their visit or it will be cancelled by park officials. Permits can only be used by the person that reserved it. Visitors can only request for a refund after payment of a ten percent surcharge of the amount paid by the visitor. Park tourists can only access the areas that are allowed by their permit.
The National Park does not offer any overnight accommodations but there are resorts in the parks area that offer accommodations and food at good prices. The Subterranean River Park is open to tourists for the whole year. But the best time to enjoy the park is from January to June before the rainy season comes in.
The City of Puerto Princesa is easily accessible by air with at least 3 airline companies offering flights from the Philippine capital and three times weekly from Cebu. Puerto Princesa is also accessible by sea.
Anyone that wants to visit the park can reserve at Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park Booking Information Office at 2nd floor, Basaya Building, Junction One Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, 5300 Philippines. Interested individuals can also call +63(48)4342509 or fax +63(48)4332409. They can also send inquiries at firstname.lastname@example.org and make an online booking at email@example.com.