See more photos here: https://flic.kr/s/aHskNF2sRS
We booked our tour of the underground River in advance through our hostel and got a good deal with Your Tours. The initial price was 1500 Pecos per person but they lowered it to 1350 Pecos.
The van picked up Franki, Ranah, and I around 9:30 am to start the journey. We drove for an hour and a half before stopping for a lovely buffet lunch included in the tour. The seafood was great, especially the mussels. Franki, Ranah, and I also decided to try “Tamilok” a wood worm. It is a long glutinous white worm that is quite slimy. You’re probably thinking that it was gross, and I can confirm that! It was not enjoyable to eat and I gagged on it. Ranah had the best poker face when swallowing it.
After lunch we took a 15 minute catamaran (pump boat) ride to another section of Puerto Princesa. Here we started the official tour and were provided earbuds and to listen to a description in English of the Underground River.
According to Go Discover Travel:
- The Underground River is part of the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park; a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- The Underground River is one of the longest navigable underground rivers in the world, with a total length of 8.2 Kilometers
- In 2012 The Puerto Princesa Underground River was awarded the title ‘7th New Wonder of the Natural World‘, which saw a significant spike in visitor figures throughout 2012 and into 2013.
- One of the distinguishing features of the Underground River is that it flows directly into the sea, which means the river is subject to tidal influence.
Once we got our hearing devices we boarded another small boat and off we went into the cave! It was great and you could see bats overhead. Some of the caverns we the size of an Imax movie theatre. The different rock formations were incredible. It felt like you were on another planet!
Upon exiting the cave area, we spotted some long-tailed macaques (a type of monkey) and monitor lizards which were not very timid. As a result, we got up pretty close to them and I got some great photos!