I decided to have a short vacation and since I’m in Palawan and my friends are frustrated when people ask them that they are from Palawan and have yet to enter the Underground River (1,500 Pesos/person), we decided to end that frustration.
We booked with Northern Hope Tours a week in advance just to be sure that we get slots to enter the Underground River. I do not want to risk traveling all the way to Puerto Princesa just to be rejected entry.
They adviced us that pick-up will be from 7AM to around 7:30AM, so we had breakfast around 6AM for us to be able to have breakfast and get ready for the tour.
7:00 AM We were picked up in from our accommodation, Kuhl-in Pension. When we boarded there were other groups inside the van and since we were the last group to be picked up the van was now headed straight to Sabang, or so I thought.
The guide was very pleasant inside the van. She was informative and she had lots of jokes and witty remarks for the group to be awake and excited for the trip.
She informed us that from Puerto Princesa Town Proper it would take almost 2 hours to get to Brgy. Sabang where we would still need to ride a 20 minute boat just to get to the mouth of the Underground River. But first we would be taking the sidetrip to Ugong Rock Adventure, which is actually a very good and highly recommended sidetrip for adventure seekers like me. 🙂
But before we go any further with the chat with the guide, she asked us for our IDs. This is required for the staff at Sabang to verify our identities if we were the ones in the permit.
8:05 AM – 8:15 AM (10 minutes) Our first stopover for some snacks, drinks, release of liquids and a view of the sea.
8:33 AM-10:27 AM We arrived at Ugong Rock Adventure for our sidetrip. You can read about our adventure there here.
10:42 AM We arrived at Brgy. Sabang and while our guide fixed our permits for entry, our driver brought us straight to the restaurant where we had a buffet lunch. Ugong Rock Adventure has that way of removing all signs of breakfast from our stomach.
11:20 AM When we all were finished eating and had a little rest, we were guided to the wharf on where we would be riding a motorized banka to where the mouth of the Underground River is located.
It was weird for me, because when we arrived at the wharf we were the only people there and we got to ride the boat immediately. Usually there was a long line of tourists waiting for their turn. I’m not complaining.
Here’s a video of the boat ride from the wharf to the beach where we will walk to the entrance of the Underground River.
If you cannot see the video above, click here.
11:46 AM (20 minute boat ride) We arrived at the beach and started walking to the mouth of the cave.
But we had to first take pictures of ourselves on the famous Underground River sign.
12:00 PM We arrived at the entrance of the cave. We’ll wait for our turn to ride the paddle boats. There I saw my much awaited line. We had to wait for about 36 minutes just to get on a boat and based from my previous experience that wait is already fast. Worst I had was when we waited for 1.5 hours.
12:36 PM It was now our turn, we were required to wear helmets before we rode a paddle boat.
One was designated as the light bearer and since I’ve already been the light source a lot of times I decided not to do it to have a different experience.
Here’s a video of us boarding the boat up to us entering the cave.
If you cannot see the video above, you can click here.
Here’s another video, this time inside the cave.
If you cannot view the video above, click here.
Some jokes are repetitive but I’m glad that on my 6 times that I have been in the Underground River with different paddle boatman, each one have their own set of unique jokes.
1:18 PM (42 minutes inside the Underground River) We were now outside again. We deposited our helmets and we decided to take a more scenice route around the beach instead of going back the way we came from.
Check the video below to see what’s in the alternate route.
If you cannot see the video above, click here.
Then a little wait for our boat to dock.
1:36 PM We boarded our boat back to Sabang Wharf.
1:57 PM We arrived back at the Wharf where we waited for the others on a different boat and we boarded the van back to Puerto Princesa Town Proper.
But before that, I had a fruit shake/smoothie for 50 Pesos.
2:15 PM A quick stopover at the Karst Mountain (Elephant Cave) for some pictures.
3:19 PM Another quick stopover at the Vietnamese Village. Somehow I am glad that most of the Vietnamese had moved on from the village. Wherever they are I hope they would achieve the life that they deserve or wanted.
4:00 PM We were asked where we wanted to be dropped off. Our group discussed whether we would be dropped off at Kuhl-in Pension or we be dropped off at Robinsons Puerto Princesa. We decided to be dropped off at Robinsons Puerto Princesa since it has been months since we last saw a mall. Disadvantage of living in a municipality away from the normalities of city life.
If you’re planning to visit the Underground River you can book with Northern Hope Tours for 1,500 Pesos/person. This includes the airconditioned van, lunch, guide, fees. Does not include the sidetrips, you will need to pay for the sidetrips directly when you get there.
Northern Hope Tours
- Mobile Numbers: +63-939-902-2216, +63-927-735-3221
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Have you been to the Underground River? Tell me your story on the comments section below.