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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Puerto Princesa: Underground River Tour

Puerto Princesa City Tour here and here.

Serenity (not the milk tea)

Our third (and last day) at Puerto Princesa is devoted for the Underground Tour. Our departure time back to Clark is 1:45PM so we had to be at the airport a little after lunch. Our tour agency, La Tiara, arranged that our tour van fetch us from the pension house at 5:30AM.


Took this while the van was moving. Sorry. :(

Interestingly, our tour guide for the day made us watch a short video on how the Underground River was discovered and why was it considered a natural wonder.

After more than 2 hours, we finally made it to Ugong Rock Adventures.

Short stop before the actual tour

Ugong Rock Adventures is a a short stop before getting to Sabang Beach. It's a spelunking (or simply "caving") and zipline area. Since our group is a bunch of killjoys (and we don't want to spend whatever cash we have left to save a trip to the bank). We happily skipped the activities there and headed to Sabang Beach.



Boats at Sabang Beach
PPUR Office

One of the things why I highly recommend that you get a tour package for Puerto Princesa is for the Underground River Tour. The Underground River has a limit of 900-1000 guests a day so it is REALLY IMPORTANT to have your permits in advance. Of course, our tour agency (La Tiara) already did that for us. However, you should bring your ID for the checking of the permits.

They had to check our plane tickets too (maybe to figure our why should we be prioritized).

Unfortunately, the other group who was with us wasn't as ready as we are: one of them didn't bring her ID and they completely forgot about their plane ticket back to the hotel. Hence, we had to wait for the tour guide to help them settle with the PPUR office. I must commend the tour guide for being so professional, though I think she was as pissed as I was.

While we're waiting, we had some ice cream from the nearby store. Expect it to be overpriced though. :)

Ice cream!!!!
Lovely view from Sabang Port

Our bangka has arrived to take us to the Underground River. Mind you that this is not the only bangka that you'll ride to the Underground River. The first bangka has a limit of 6 passengers, so 4 of us + our tour guide rode the bangka.

Our boat to the Underground River
Awesome!


The travel time from Sabang Beach to Underground River is around 20 minutes. As soon as we arrived, we were asked to sign the guest book. We were already given life vests too. Also, it is strongly suggested not to bring chips, or if you're bringing some snacks, it should be kept in your bags because the monkeys might attack you, seriously.

A family of monkeys at the Underground River Park

After a short walk in the trail, we finally saw the Underground River. We had to wear hard hats before we toured the underground river. The boats used for the tour can sit up to 10 persons, hence the other group (yes, the same group that pissed me off) had to join us. My friends and I went for the 1st and 2nd rows since we volunteered to hold the lights for the boatman.



Entering the cave

The boatman was very engaging, and very humorous. He expertly pointed out formations that resemble cartoon characters or certain objects. With this tour, you should really use your imagination. Be careful with your gadgets though because of the water drips from the cave itself.

Some shots inside the cave

After almost 40 minutes of darkness, we saw light. It's actually my favorite part of the tour. :)


Light. Finally!!!

We were dropped off at the "exit" area, where we also left our hard hats and life vests.

Before we leave the Underground River, we had a quick group shot. The view is breathtaking, I can't help myself from getting amazed on how beautiful our country is.

Our little group :)

Here's a quick summary of the things you should remember when visiting the Puerto Princesa Underground River:

1. Book in advance for the PPUR Tour.  
- It's best if you have a travel agency do it for you, if not, contact the PPUR office directly.

2. Waterproof your things, especially your gadgets.

3. Wear comfortable clothing. 
- I highly suggest wearing flip-flops. (I find it weird when people wear sneakers or rubber shoes to the beach, seriously).

4. Bring at least 1 ID and a copy of your plane ticket (should you be flying the same day).
 
5. Be responsible. Throw your garbage at the trash cans. 

6. Listen to your tour guide 
- I could say our little group was very disciplined as we didn't cause any delay for the whole tour group. Shame on the group who was with us. I was really annoyed about the fact that our tour group's following a strict schedule but the other group wasn't even thinking about it. Good thing our pension house is just beside the airport though. :P


Overall, our experience was really fun. It was amazing how the people of Puerto Princesa was able to maintain the cleanliness of this natural wonder. I just hope that they would be also able to retain the system for the tourists.

Hope I could bring my kid siblings here someday. :)

Standard rate for PPUR: Php 1500 / pax

----------------------

La Tiara Tours & Convention
Manalo Street
Puerto Princesa City
Palawan
Contact Nos. 09178414510 / 09178094509
Email Address: latiaratours@yahoo.com

24 comments:

  1. yung totoo? inggit ako sa mga pinupuntahan mo ate! hehehe.. nung huling punta ko jan sa batcave bata pa ako ih.. kaya sunod sunuran lang ako sa matatanda nyaha! hindi ko enjoy ^^,

    ngayon babalik ako jan hahaha! pag may pera ^_^

    keep on blogging!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Mura lang naman magtravel kaya go na! ;)

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  2. sana you took pictures na rin of the bad group LOL. i'll remember not to bring chips to the park. and why is it nga that some beach-goers prefer to wear sneakers?!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I somehow did. :P I dunno. It's bigger trouble to clean those sneakers if it gets sand inside.

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  3. I'm not a fan of caves but I'm sure the underground river of Puerto Princesa is well worth it :) Ang cute ng monkeys! Kahit nang aagaw sila ng food :)

    Natatawa ako imagining how pissed you were with the other group haha :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just think it was just unfair for our group. Nakakainis talaga kasi parang lutang silang lahat.hahaha!

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  4. Looks fun! I am a little envious because we won't get to experience the underground river in our upcoming trip to Palawan. If I ever get a chance to go to Puerto Princesa though, I'd make sure this will be included in the itinerary.

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  5. Hmmn. My friends and I didn't really enjoy the Undeground River when we went there two years ago. The travel time bored us to death. We weren't also amazed at the formations inside the cave. On my part, it didn't also help that I was the one in front of the boat holding the light. I was freaking out whenever a bat flies near us. Haha. That was just us, though. Good thing you enjoyed the tour despite the delay. :)




    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To each his or her own. :) Glad you were able to visit PPUR. :)

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  6. WOW! WANNA GO UNDER THE CAVE, TOO! PPUR IS DEFINITELY WONDER-FUL!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was Winzton! Hope you'll visit PPS soon! ;)

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  7. this place is in my bucket list. i'll get there someday. :-)

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  8. Cool! May video pa. Ours didn't have that, but that was in 2006 pa so wala pa talaga siguro ganun noon. =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the video's fairly new. Less than a year yata. :P

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  9. That Underground River remains elusive to me :( Waiting for that "one day".

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love the cave photos! Beautiful shots :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Carmi! :) It was kinda difficult to take photos inside the cave.

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  11. kelan kaya ako makakapunta sa palawan? ehehe

    ReplyDelete
  12. Don't open you mouth when looking up... You bat's pee may drop in it... :P

    ReplyDelete

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