What Kids Will Like About the Puerto Princesa Underground River Tour

September 2, 2010

What Kids Will Like About the Puerto Princesa Underground River Tour

Why see the Underground River
The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is one (1) of only five (5) World Heritage Sites in the Philippines. It has only been recently inscribed as a World Heritage Site in 1999. Everyone must see why it's worth the inscription.

The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River Park shows a limestone karst with an underground river beneath. The river flows into a cave (which is the limestone karst) and then flows out to the South China Sea. The tour boat enters the cave and explores the rock formations inside the cave while traversing the 8.2 kilometer area of navigable river.

It used to be the longest underground river in the world until the discovery in 2007 of the underground river in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.

What kids will like

The adventure and mystery of riding a boat and going into a dark cave. The boatmen guides make it interesting and mysterious with their narration and warning before going inside the cave. You experience the eery quiet, the unusual smell and the coolness of the cave and the encounter with sleeping bats on the cave ceiling.
The rock formation inside the cave. The guides let their imagination roam as they describe what the rock formations seem to look like.

They encounter animals like monkeys, monitor lizards and squirrels roaming freely inside the park grounds.
Swimming and building sandcastles at Sabang Beach. It has the same fine white sand but with calmer waters than Honda Bay, which is the other place in your Puerto Princesa trip where you can swim at the beach.
My tip: 
1. Get the tour. Why?
  • The rates are reasonable considering that you don't have to worry about transportation, meals, and getting government permits to go inside the Underground River. 
  • You are sure of getting inside because the tour operators know people from the pier management and lines up for you and makes sure you get in.
  • The tour operators know when the park is closed to visitors. One time, my sister-in-law was not able to visit the Underground River because the tour operator advised them that the Park Management closed it for the shooting of scenes for the Miss Earth Pageant. In the Philippines, it's hard to get that kind of information unless you specifically ask the locals. They are not announced in the newspapers or the information made accessible to the public.
  • But if you still wish to go to the underground river on your own, see information on how to do it here
2. Give a whole day for it.
  • Never think that you can go to the Underground River and hope to catch your plane on the same day. The guides do not know your number in line for the use of the boat to go to the Underground River Park until you arrive at Sabang Beach. They also cannot predict how long you will line up for the boat tour itself once you arrive at the site where you take the boat that goes inside the cave. They can promise your tour will be complete. But they cannot promise what time the tour will end.
For a detailed narration of our trip, see Our Day with the Kids at the Underground River