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Saturday, 29 June 2019

Celebrating Puerto Princesa Underground River

The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is a protected area of the Philippines. The park is located in the Saint Paul Mountain Range on the western coast of the island, about 80 kilometers north of the city center of Puerto Princesa, Palawan, and contains the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River.


  • Address: Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines
  • Area: 222 km²
  • Established: 12 November 1999
  • Phone: +63 2 523 6023
  • Management: Department of Environment and Natural Resources


Google Doodle Celebrating Today

Sunday June 30, 2019

Something strange happens on the Philippine island of Palawan when the Cabayugan River reaches the 1,000-meter (3,280.8-feet) high limestone mountain called Saint Paul: the flowing water vanishes under the earth. Today’s Doodle celebrates the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, a Philippines National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site protected by the Ramsar Convention on this day in 2012.

An international body created for the conservation of important wetlands, Ramsar designated this underground river as “unique in the biogeographic region because it connects a range of important ecosystems from the mountain-to-the-sea, including a limestone karst landscape with a complex cave system, mangrove forests, lowland evergreen tropical rainforests, and freshwater swamps.”

The river is one of the world’s longest underground waterways at 8.2-kilometers (5.1-miles)—and one of the few that flows into the sea, creating the largest subterranean estuary in the world. Small boats carry sightseers underground to marvel at dramatic stalactite and stalagmite formations.

The 24-kilometer (14.9-mile) matrix of caves—including the 360-meter (1181.1-feet) long, 80-meter (262.5-feet) high Italian’s Chamber, one of the largest cave halls in the world—is home to some 800 plant species as well as many animals found nowhere else, including giant spiders, crabs, fish, and snakes, as well as bats, swallows, and fossils dating back millions of years. The critically endangered Philippine cockatoo and Hawksbill turtle, and the endangered Green sea turtle and Nordmann’s greenshank are just a few of the protected species who survive in this one-of-a-kind habitat.


Puerto Princesa Underground River Tour

Discover one of the new 7 wonders of nature with the Underground River Tour departing from Puerto Princesa!

This tour include:

  • Van transfers (air conditioned)
  • Lunch buffet
  • Boat transfer
  • Entrance fees
  • Presence of your tour guide
  • Use of tour audio material

Choose the number of participants, the hotel where to pick you up and to drop you off, and the date for your Underground River Tour in Puerto Princesa. You’ll only pay a P650 per person confirmation deposit today and will be able to settle the remaining balance directly to your tour guide upon pick-up.

Puerto Princesa Underground River Facts

The Puerto Princesa Underground River is an 8.2km long underground river. The river is located within the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park in the Philippines, approximately 30 miles north of the city of Puerto Princesa. To reach the entrance to the river you only need to take a short ferry ride from the town of Sabang. The river flows right into the sea, after passing through some of the most beautiful rock formations in the world. The river has gained worldwide admiration and attention, leading it to be included as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature in 1012.

Interesting Puerto Princesa Underground River Facts:

  • The river is 8.2km long and flows underground through natural rock formations such as caves, stalactites, and stalagmites.
  • Only 4.3km of this are easily traveled by tourists. If tourists wish to travel the other 3.9km they have to obtain a special permit. In some of this 3.9km it is possible to wade in the river.
  • Some of the rock formations look similar to objects and images such as a horse, cacao fruit, a mushroom and the holy family.
  • One of the rock formations in the cavern that the river flows through looks like a naked lady.
  • The river is also called the St. Paul Underground River.
  • St. Paul Bay is to the north of the river and the Babuyan River is to its east.
  • Tourists can travel the river on a fiberglass boat.
  • Geologists and environmentalists discovered a second floor to the river in 2010. This led them to believe that there are waterfalls in the cave as well.
  • The geologists and environmentalists also discovered that there is a dome inside the cave which reaches 300 meters above the river. They also found large bats, additional river channels and marine creatures among other things.
  • The lower half of the river has brackish water, which means it has more salt than fresh water, but not enough to be considered salt water.
  • Even though it is called an Underground River, it is actually above sea level. Its water flows into St. Paul Bay.
  • It would take an hour and a half by vehicle from downtown Puerto Princesa to reach Sabang. From there it's only a short ferry ride from the nearby town of Sabang.
  • The monkeys in Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park are so used to being fed by people that they will now grab food from visitors.
  • Inside the open chambers of the trip down Puerto Princesa Underground River, it's common to hear the bats chattering. Tourists usually wear helmets as the bats also have a tendency to poop on them.
  • The helmets that the tourists wear are also important to protect them from loose stalactite falling from above. Stalactite is a type of cave formation, a mineral that hangs from limestone caves.
  • Stalagmites are also a common site along the river. Stalagmites rise from the floor. They are cave formations, formed from the dripping of minerals above.
  • Puerto Princesa Underground River was once believed to be the longest Underground River in the world. This was proven false when a longer Underground river was discovered in Mexico.
  • Puerto Princesa Underground River was designated as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature on January 28, 2012.
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