About Puerto Princesa
Though the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (PPSRNP) has a lot to offer visitors, most people make the trip from Puerto Princesa only to see the underground river, which is heavily celebrated as one of the new seven wonders of the natural world. Also part of UNESCO history, the river is now a huge source of pride to the Philippines. The subterranean river system is 8.2km long and has several large chambers, up to 120m wide and 60m high. It flows underground almost the entire length, and empties into the ocean, so the lower part of the river is brackish (a mix of fresh and salt water) and subject to tidal influence, which makes it a natural phenomenon. When the sun is shining, the brackish water is known to turn an eye-popping bright blue-green (more green than blue). The river isn’t the only attraction of the PPSRNP though, as the beach by the mouth of the cave features an impressive karst landscape, and the old-growth forest that fills the park is full of exotic flora and fauna. I nearly jumped out of my skin when I saw a handful of large monitor lizards crawling around, forked tongues darting about! Since the river was given the honor of being one of the new seven wonders of nature, there was a huge jump in the amount of daily visitors, so much that a cap has been put into law for preservation reasons, which allows only 900 tourists a day into the subterranean river… but that seems to be largely flexible depending on the clout and amount of pesos you hold.
Best Time To Visit
Best time to visit Puerto Princesa is from December to April
How To Reach
Book a Package Tour
181 Kms from Puerto Princesa
El Nido doesn’t have that beach-town vibe, feeling of idyll which accompanies the best beach towns. But, El Nido is chock full of luxuries many tourists appreciate on their vacations: cafes and restaurants, a wide range of hotels for every wallet, beach bars with happy hours and reggae music, fiery sunsets, stuff like that. Stores offer plenty of souvenirs, and even designer clothing stores for those looking to spend serious amounts. And that doesn’t include what is waiting just a boat’s ride away offshore… Sure, the island-hopping tours are on the pricey side—1200 to 1500 pesos per person (around 30 USD)—but there is no disputing the beauty of the Bacuit archipelago. The karst formations, the white-sand island beaches, the glowing blue-green lagoons, the colorful fields of coral, and the clear waters that turn into every shade of blue. Each and every destination is exactly what we all gape at on TV and in magazines. Pa-ra-dise. If the weather is just right, the tour fees will seem paltry in comparison to the natural phenomenons that abound. Furthermore, there’s a handful of other things to do around El Nido, besides the island-hopping. Neighboring beaches, blissfully free of bangkas, are there for our perusal. Plenty of places offer kayaks for rent (bring snorkel gear) and I’ve read that hiking can also be undertaken at a few of the islands. Renting a motorcycle and exploring the surrounding areas can be nice. It’s hard to appreciate an overcrowded fishing town, and even harder not to feel guilty about being a tourist when we see firsthand the damage we are doing by following the masses to every popular destination. But the archipelago is jaw-dropping gorgeous. We have no regrets having visited Bacuit Bay.
299 Kms from Puerto Princesa
Far from Coron, but worth the travel.