March 19, 2010

Our Palawan Underground River Experience

(Note: This is a long overdue post. Our trip to Palawan was taken February 8-10, 2009. A major part of this post is my entry in my virtual tourist page.)

The highlight of any trip to Palawan is the tour to the Subterranean River. Touted to be the longest navigable underground river in the world, this tourist destination is currently vying for a spot in the New 7 Wonders of the World.

Our hotel made arrangements for our tour. For P 1,500 per person, the guided tour package includes a 2-hour van ride to Sabang port, a 15-minute motorized banca ride to the Underground River Park, the boat ride inside the Underground River and lunch in Sabang Beach.

Our tour began as early as 5:30a.m. when we were picked up from our hotel/resort. The ride took about 2 hours with almost half of it on rough roads. We got off at Sabang port and lined up to take a short ferry ride to get to the Underground River Park.

The short banca ride accorded us majestic views of limestone formations.

After 10 minutes, we docked at the Underground River Park. From there, it was a short walk on a trail

to get to the mouth of the cave/river.

There was already a long line of tourists waiting for their turn to get on another banca which would take them inside the underground river. We fell in line and whiled away the time by taking pictures of the girls making silly poses. After about 1 1/2 hours, it was finally our turn.

Our boatman/tour guide took us on a canoe-type boat. Motor-powered boats are banned inside the cave to preserve nature in all its glory. Our guide injected humor in his narration and pointed out the various stalactite and stalagmite formations.

stalactite formation called "Dory" (a character from the Disney movie, Nemo)

stalagmite formation called "holy family"

The trip inside the underground river lasted about 20 minutes. Upon exiting the cave, this view came into sight.

where freshwater meets saltwater

It was a one-of-a-kind and truly memorable experience. We witnessed nature at its best.

our souvenir shot

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