Puerto Princesa Underground River - Palawan

Located 80 kilometers north of the city center of Puerto Princesa in Palawan, the Puerto Princesa Underground River is part of Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park. It is a protected area that had recently brought not only Palawan but also the country into the International spotlight. 

Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park

Puerto Princesa Underground River Details

Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park - Puerto Princesa City, Palawan

Famously known as Puerto Princesa Underground River (due to the shorter and easier to memorize name) or PPUR, this national park is actually found on the western coast of the Saint Paul Mountain Range, hence its other name St. Paul's Underground River Cave.

Here we go!

Dispatching Area - waiting for the boat that would ferry us to PPUR

Team Nicerio enjoying the boat ride (gets rough at times)

This is the drop-off point...

Puerto Princesa Underground River

Team Nicerio visits Puerto Princesa Underground River

Our boatman would wait for us to finish the tour.

Register here first before proceeding to PPUR

Be careful, these monkeys would love to steal your stuff...

Puerto Princesa Underground River - New 7 Wonders of the World

Let's go explore the Puerto Princesa Underground River
Check out the blueness of the water

Can you spot the bats?

As I have mentioned, the Puerto Princesa Underground River brought great pride and joy to the nation when it became part of the New 7 Wonders of Nature. Prior to that though, it was also declared as a World Heritage site by UNESCO on December 4, 1999.

Now, spot the swiftlets...

There they are

I got to visit Puerto Princesa Underground River with my family during our 5 Days in Palawan last 2016. We went there straight from our 4-hour van ride from El Nido. We had to endure an additional 1 and half hour van ride and when we arrived about half-past noon, I was shocked to find that there were still dozens of tourists waiting to board boats to the beach near the mouth of the cave entrance of PPUR. 

What object does this resemble?

We had to detour and try the nearby Mangrove Paddle Tour just to kill time (I will write about that experience in my next blog article). When we got back, we ate in a buffet restaurant near the port first before proceeding to PPUR. After eating, I was happy to find out that we got the port all for ourselves.

Met foreign tourists going on their way out

Going to the beach near Puerto Princesa Underground River by boat is a memorable experience but being splashed wet by seawater from the few big waves is an even more memorable experience. Before boarding the boat, we were briefed and warned about the free-roaming monkeys in the area near PPUR. They are said to be notorious for stealing colorful things and also bottled juice. I have kept this in mind however, I stupidly failed to hide the milk bottle of my daughter which I placed in the side pocket of my backpack... In the end, it ended in the hands of one of the monkeys. 

Saw a school of fishes swimming near the mouth of the cave!

The cave entrance and also exit

My mom and dad enjoyed the trip

What I love about Puerto Princesa Underground River is its boat ride tour. You get to wear these pre-recorded tour guide piece that bombards you with information (in English) about Puerto Princesa Underground River. Despite having that guide piece plugged to your ear, the boatman would still talk and share his own version of the info injected with well-timed humor which for me is better than the recordings. However, I do suggest that foreign tourists be spared from the boatman talks due to the fact that they would not understand the context of most of the jokes plus it's mostly in Filipino. The Singaporean woman who was in our group actually complained that she couldn't understand the recordings because her boatman kept on talking.

Careful! Monkeys ambush tourists walking this path

The Backpack Adventures visits Puerto Princesa Underground River

Overall, you won't actually go the full 24-kilometer length of the underground river. The tour would last about 30-40 minutes and would probably cover only 3-4 kilometers. Despite this, one would still learn a lot about the Puerto Princesa Underground River by joining this tour. I would highly suggest that visitors should not miss visiting this beautiful place. 

Puerto Princesa Underground River Rates

Here are the mandatory fees that you need to pay at the Underground River Office:

Entrance Fee: 500 pesos per person
Audioguide: 85 pesos
Environmental Fee: 150 pesos per person
Terminal Fee: 5 pesos per person

Senior Citizens and children are given discounts
Foreigners are charged more than locals.

Keep in mind that from the dispatching area, you need to ride a boat so there would be some waiting time here for the boats to fill up with (unless you rent the whole boat). The boat will wait for you to finish your tour.

Boat Fare: 180 - 200 pesos per passenger (round trip)
Rent for the whole boat: 1000 -1500 pesos depending on boat size and boat capacity

Puerto Princesa Underground River Operating Hours

Puerto Princesa Underground River accepts tourists from 8AM - 4PM every day

Why visit Puerto Princesa Underground River?

Being a UNESCO World Heritage Site and also being declared as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature is enough reason to visit Puerto Princesa Underground River.

Getting to Puerto Princesa Underground River:

From Puerto Princesa City, you can ride UV express vans that would bring you to the port. You may also opt to rent the van to wait for you to finish the tour and bring you back to the city. 

Tricycle (to San Jose Bus Terminal): Php 80.00
Van fare: Php 140.00
Boat fare: Php 185.00

From the port, ride a boat that will bring you to the beach near the mouth of the river. From there boat rentals complete with guides are available.

Overall ratings


  1. Years ago, I heard that we have to register our name to the local tourism office nearby before entering/joining the tour to this one of 7 wonders. Is it right, Neil?



    1. Hi there George.
      Yes that is sort of a visitor's log.

  2. Very nice place looks enchanted proud Filipino here truly Philippines is the lost garden of Eden

    1. Thank you Giovanni. Please do visit Puerto Princesa Underground River. =)


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