Puerto Princesa, located in the Philippines on Palawan Island, is home to the world-renowned Puerto Princesa underground River. This natural wonder has been named one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature.
In this article, we will take you on a journey through the underground river, showcasing its stunning beauty and the unique ecosystems that thrive within it.
We will also explore the other underground wonders of Puerto Princesa, from the unique cave formations to the secret lagoons that can only be accessed through underground tunnels.
Puerto Princesa is a coastal city located on the island of Palawan in the western Philippines. It is the province’s capital and is known for its pristine beaches, stunning limestone cliffs, and vibrant marine life.
Travelers worldwide visit Puerto Princesa to experience its natural beauty and immerse themselves in its rich cultural heritage. The city has become a popular tourist destination thanks to it main underground attractions.
In addition to its stunning landscapes and natural wonders, Puerto Princesa boasts a lively nightlife scene with bars, restaurants, and clubs that cater to tourists and locals alike. Whether you’re looking for adventure or relaxation, this city is a great place to start your journey.
Discovering the Underground River.
The Puerto Princesa underground river features an 8.2-kilometer navigable river that winds through an incredible cave system before flowing into the South China Sea. The caves exhibit beautiful stalactites, stalagmites, and gigantic limestone rocks that will leave you in awe.
The cave stretches for over 24 kilometers and boasts impressive stalactites, stalagmites formations, and several large chambers that will leave you breathless with awe. It’s a great place to visit if you’re into nature or are looking for something different.
Experiencing the Thrills of Underground Adventures.
As you enter these mystical caves, you’ll be transported to a world filled with stalactites and stalagmites formed over thousands of years. The intricate patterns and shapes will captivate your imagination and make you feel like you’ve entered another realm.
You’ll also come across underground rivers where you can paddle through narrow passages as darkness envelops you. It’s an unforgettable journey that will test your courage and push your limits.
In addition to exploring the natural wonders, there are also opportunities to learn about the history of these caves.
Unique Geology: Karst Environment
Karst landscapes are shaped by the eroding power of acidic water on soluble rock such as limestone, and Puerto Princesa has one of the most well-preserved examples of this geology. Its karst environment is dotted with a limestone cliff and cave formations that tell a history of the complex geologic evolution of the island.
The most famous attraction in Puerto Princesa, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is the Underground River. This river flows through a cave system so tourists can take a boat ride through its impressive interior and see the fascinating limestone rock formations up close.
Another must-visit attraction in Puerto Princesa’s karst environment is Ugong Rock. This rock is made up of limestone and surrounded by lush vegetation, which makes hiking to the top a bit challenging but worth the effort.
When you reach the top, you’ll be rewarded with a stunning view of the city, as well as the surrounding countryside. Visitors can also try their hand at caving through one of the many cave systems around and under the rock.
Explore Mount Bloomfield
For the adventurous tourists, the challenging Mount Bloomfield is a fun-filled yet gruelling climb that showcases Puerto Princesa’s unique geology. The climb offers the best views from the summit, which are truly unforgettable.
The breath-taking scenery includes formations such as the Elephant Mountain and Cleopatra’s Needle. You can take a guide or try the climb on your own, but remember this is not an easy climb, so be sure to bring the right gear for the occasion.
The karst environment isn’t just revered for its unique and stunning geology; it’s also home to a diverse range of wildlife. The province is located in a lush tropical paradise of flora and fauna that is a treat for nature enthusiasts.
From sea turtles, apes, and giant clams to the more exotic, bat-eating plants; Puerto Princesa’s wildlife is truly exceptional.
The area is home to the Palawan Bearcat, a fascinating breed of carnivore species known for its agility and curiosity.
Caverns and Caves: Bat Caves and Stalactites
The city is home to some of the most unique and awe-inspiring caves in the world, attracting visitors from far and wide. Here are three:
The Ugong Rock Cave
The Ugong Rock Cave offers a different and more adventurous experience than the underground river. The cave is located in the middle of a protected forest and can be accessed through a fun zipline ride over a vast expanse of limestone cliffs.
The cave itself is well-lit, and visitors are led through a winding path deep into the mountain. The tour ends with a climb to the top, where you’ll have an unobstructed view of the park’s lush scenery.
The Tabon Caves
The Tabon Caves are another fascinating place you need to see. The caves are located in Tabon Island, about two hours away from Puerto Princesa. They are famous for their unique archaeological discoveries, including ancient human bones believed to have been from early settlers in the country. These caves have been declared as Archaeological Parks and are home to a museum that showcases the rich history and culture of the Philippines.
The Bat Caves
Puerto Princesa is home to a few bat caves that are well worth exploring. The Palawan Bat Cave, for example, is home to millions of bats that fly out of the cave right before sunset.
At this time, you can see the sky turn black as the bats fly to start their nocturnal activities. It’s a truly surreal sight and one that you would not want to miss.
Beyond the natural beauty and scientific value of Puerto Princesa, lies a deeper connection to Filipino culture and history. For the indigenous Tagbanua people who live around Puerto Princesa’s underground river system, this place represents a sacred site imbued with spiritual meaning. They believe it is inhabited by spirits and gods who play an essential role in their daily lives.
Puerto Princesa in the Philippines, is a destination that should be on every traveler’s bucket list. This beautiful city offers much, from breathtaking natural wonders to a rich cultural heritage. Whether you are an adventure seeker, a history buff, or simply looking for a place to relax and unwind, Puerto Princesa has something for everyone.
One of the must-visit places in Puerto Princesa is the famous Underground River. This natural wonder is one of the new seven wonders of nature, and it’s easy to see why.
The cave system is extensive and features stunning rock formations such as stalactites and stalagmites formed over millions of years. Visitors can take a guided boat tour through the river while learning about its fascinating history and geology.