Underground River is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Philippines, but often travelers ask about when to go and where to stay.
We hope that this article will help you to plan an enjoyable trip to Underground River.
When to go:
Underground River can be visited all year round.
The most popular period is from November to early June
Christmas, New Year and Easter are the most important holidays in the Philippines and accommodation may be fully booked.
Due to the limited number of hotels in Sabang, it’s advisable to book the rooms well in advance.
Underground River is not on the direct path of the typhoons, so it’ safe to visit year-round. The wet season is usually from June to September.
Adverse weather can prevent travelers going to Underground River.
It may be temporarily not available to visitors in situations like strong wind, rough sea, and incessant heavy rain.
If the tour is cancelled due to the adverse weather, you will be fully refunded. If the cruise is cancelled last minute when you are already in Sabang, there will be no refund.
Average rainfall days Underground, Philippines
- Rainfall days
- Rainfall days
Attractions You Should Consider Visiting:
- Underground River
- Monkey Trail/Jungle Trail
- Mangrove Forest
- Ungong Rock
- Zip Line
- Karst Mountain Elephant Cave
Classic Underground River Tour Options:
- Tour Underground River: Full day from Puerto Princesa
- 2-Day Underground River Adventure: Underground River Cruise, Mangrove Forest Cruise, Monkey Trail, Sabang Beach and stay one night at the Sheridan Beach resort
Join a group tour or book a private tour?
The group tour is the most popular choice among our customers as it gives the opportunity to visit the Underground River at an affordable price.
With the group tour, visitors share the same van and the same boat. In our van can seat up to 12 passengers plus the driver and the DOT licensed tour guide. The river is explored by park-operated canoe for up to 4.3 km (2.7 mi) from the sea.
Private tour can be arranged with a private van and private canoe, however, the price is a bit high for a minimum of 2-3 passengers.
The underground river is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Philippines and only a certain number of people are allowed to enter the cave at one time.
In peak season visitors can wait up to 4 hours at Sabang wharf for their turn to take the boat to the entrance of the park. Then at the park, there is another 30-minute queue to enter the cave.
Unfortunately, there is no way to avoid the long queue (no premier VIP access etc..).Perhaps the best way to avoid the long wait is to book a private tour and start your trip very early morning.
The Puerto Princesa Subterranean National Park has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999 before it was chosen as one of the New7Wonders of Nature. A place definitely worth visiting.
Travel to El Nido after the tour
It’s possible to travel to El Nido after Underground River Tour. The easiest way is to hire a private vehicle from Sabang to El Nido.
Another budget option is to take the shuttle van Lexxus from Sabang to Salvation Junction to connect with another shuttle van going to El Nido from Puerto Princesa.
What to bring along:
This is our Underground River packing list to help you pack everything you will need for a great trip.
- Cotton t-shirt
- Flip Flops
- Beach Bag
- Refillable Water bottle
- Insect repellent
- Cash in local currency
To control visitor access the approved carrying capacity of the Underground River a “No Permit, No Entry” policy strictly enforced by Management. All visitors are required to secure the Entry Permit through a tour operator or at the booking office in Puerto Princesa.
Visitors are required to present valid identification cards and register individually prior to the tour.
A tour to the river will take up a whole day starting with a 2-hour ride from Puerto Princesa to Sabang. Followed by short boat ride from the wharf to the Sabang Beach, the entrance to the Underground River, and then the actual boat ride going inside the cave.
Each group of tourists will have an assigned boatman with a paddle boat equipped with a searchlight. The boatman will also serve as the tour guide inside the cave giving the tourists the background and necessary details about the eye candies of the cave, specifically the stalactite and stalagmite formations.
However, it’s not just the formations that could catch people’s attention inside the cave, occasionally, bats and swiftlets would fly over the tourists inside the cave, making noises. A ‘must see’ inside the cave aside from the formations is an area called “Cathedral” reaching up to 800 meters in height.
The river cruise lasts around 45 minutes.