Palawan is one of the most stunning destinations that one can ever travel to. It is considered the second largest province in the Philippines and is often photographed to be the Filipino iconic landmark, including a trendy inflatable island. It is filled with lush green forests on either side of a crystal clear body of sea. In front, a dark and mysterious cave lays ahead and travelers are encouraged to explore it.
If you’re planning a trip to the Philippines, chances are you’ve heard about the province of Palawan. Puerto Princesa, a coastal city within Palawan also sees an increase in tourism for those looking for an unforgettable scuba diving adventure. On land, the famous 19th Century Immaculate Conception Cathedral can be found and ventured into with a proper tour guide. The stunningly clean boardwalk of Puerto Princesa can also be found, giving tourists one incredible day trip to Palawan.
As if the marine life and blacked out caves are not enough, Palawan is also home to the biggest wildlife sanctuary in the Philippines. Exotic animals like giraffes and zebras can be found in numbers, being cared for round the clock.
Traveling Through The 7th Wonders Of The World Takes A Lot Of Organization
It’s not every day that travelers are able to travel to and witness the 7 Wonders of the World, especially at a reasonable price. Luckily, Palawan’s very own Underground River has officially been declared on the World Heritage Site funded and run by UNESCO. Some of the other Wonders of the World include the Great Pyramid of Giza, Statue of Zeus at Olympia and the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus. It is believed that the number seven brings luck but must also qualify in beauty and ultimate experience. Today, each travel destination is chosen based on the number of votes from people all over the world. Puerto Princesa received more than 100 million votes.
In 2014, Puerto Princesa Underground River welcomed over a million tourists throughout the year. Because this destination hot spot is in such demand and sees such a great number of people, vacationers are required to book their tour to the Underground River at least one month in advance.
The Path To The Blacked Out Cave Is Breathtaking
Maybe the most incredible view you’ll ever see, the way to Puerto Princesa’s Underground River will leave a long-lasting memory etched in your mind. Upon arriving in the city of Puerto Princesa, most likely by ferry from one of the neighboring provinces, travelers are greeted with a number of fruit and vegetable stands. Once you grab your food, travelers are then grouped together and taken aboard white and blue catamarans that will bring you directly to the Underground River. Each passenger costs roughly 600PHP which is equivalent to approximately $16 USD.
On both the left and right side of the catamaran, visitors are greeted with an incredible view of the green forest around. Tall trees grow from large mountain hillsides and exotic animals can often be found swinging from tree to tree or changing colors according to their environment. The sea is crystal blue and turquoise that looks like it glimmers from the hot tropical sun. Directly in front, a dark entrance awaits newcomers that are looking to explore.
Exploring The Forests Around The Cave Will Leave Travelers Stunned
Whether travelers are hiking through the thick forest of the Palawan jungle, diving under the deep blue sea looking for colorful and vibrant marine life, or entering a dark cave on a catamaran, Palawan is nothing short of exotic animals that are extremely comfortable with tourists. In fact, there are over 600 species of butterflies that fly around the Palawan mountains and grasslands.
Among the many different species of animals and insects, some of the most memorable endemic species can be located in Palawan including the peacock pheasant, the bearded pig, and the Filipino mousedeer. Over 85% of animals can be found in Cleopatra’s Needle, a forest reserved for viable populations. What strikes travelers the most is the increased numbers of monkeys that swing from tree to tree.
Underwater, various types of marine life can be spotted. Whether vacationers are looking to snorkel or scuba dive, there’s a species of fish on every underwater level. As divers travel below, they will be able to spot up to six hundred types of fish and over three hundred and sixty species of corals. Not to mention the sharks, dolphins, whales, and sea turtles.
What lurks in the darkness of the Underground River cave is nothing short than amazing, as well. Nocturnal bats can be seen hanging from above and a large number of reptiles.
Is It A Must See Or A Must Skip?
It’s absolutely a must-see. If you’re traveling to the Philippines, Palawan must be on your bucket list. It is a view like no other in the world. And even though the excursion may not last hours on end like others, just the view is worth every penny on this adventure.
Explorers must travel through the cave in complete silence, which adds depth and an understanding for nature while traveling under and through the cave. The heads of each boat carry spot lamps in order to see any obstructions and to navigate the catamaran safely through the cave. While bats may be found asleep and upside down, bats will also fly around. Keep your helmets on ladies, you don’t want a bat getting stuck in your long hair.
When exiting the cave, travelers are welcomed onto a sandy beach extremely near to where the jungle begins. Vacationers are also welcome to drop into a sand cave and visit other creatures and animals below, before climbing a rope back to the surface.
Fly Through The Air While Ziplining 800m Across To The Next Island
At the end of your Underground River adventure, there is one excursion that is a must-do before leaving the island. A zipline spanning across 800m of ocean water and jungle is welcomed for each traveler. This excursion is completely voluntary and not part of the returning process.
For those looking for an exciting adventure, they are greeted with a path through the thick jungle forests. After a few kilometers, a safety operator will greet each traveler with a harness and a line. Ready, set, go, it’s time to kick-off and fly through the trees, above the sea, and onto the next island. Might we add that there’s something extremely liberating about being suspended over the ocean, flying through the sky to the other side of the island?