Advertisements
45 Comments

Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park: A Journey to a Mountain’s Heart (Part 1)

Puerto Princesa Underground River

The Philippines is laden with wondrous natural treasures whose beauty defies imagination. Unfortunately and unfairly, these magnificent sites are unheard of due to the lack of a clever, strategic tourism campaign. Most tourism campaigns focus on enchanting but the same old things about the country—white-sand beaches, rich diving sites, Spanish churches and remnants, exotic culture, delicious food, and hospitable locals—for years. The Philippines needs something new to promote.

Puerto Princesa, Palawan, has its own natural treasure, which took decades before it was recognized the world over. The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (PPSRNP), commonly known as the Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR), was a faint bleep in the country’s tourism radar. Then in the early 1970s, geologists, scientists, and adventurers began to take notice of this marvel of Mother Nature. Word-of-mouth from explorations, research results, and other documentation about the subterranean river began to flow.

In November 2011, the province of Palawan—and consequently, the nation—had a big break. Puerto Princesa Underground River was selected as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature. With the confirmation of the inclusion on January 28, 2012, the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park became one of the country’s best known attractions, which helped place the nation back on the global tourism spotlight.

A trip to Puerto Princesa is not complete without visiting this amazing limestone river. So definitely, we included visiting the river in our tour.

We started the day with a hearty breakfast of scrambled eggs and tocino. It was going to be a long day, so we needed to fill ourselves up with a big breakfast.

Puerto Princesa Underground River

The tour van picked us up at around 7:30 AM. Wasting no time, we went straight to the other side of Puerto Princesa where the PPUR is located. Along the way, we saw the majestic, virgin mountains of Palawan. Basing on a Puerto Princesa Tourist Information Map we got from the airport (for free, we might add), this must be the Mt. Peel mountain range.

Sweetie and I couldn’t help but ask our guide, Jeron Paduga, about any mountaineering clubs or organizations in Palawan that can help us in our future Palawan climbs.

Puerto Princesa Underground River

The drive to PPUR from the city is quite long, around 2 hours. So, after an hour, tour groups heading to the underground river usually stop by at Jazz Souvenir and Coffee Shop to have a bathroom break, grab something to eat, take a few souvenirs, or simply stretch their legs out. This pit stop also offers a marvelous view of the picturesque Ulugan Bay.

Ulugan Bay

Ulugan Bay serves as a direct gateway to the West Philippine Sea. At this vantage point, you can see the snakelike Isla Rita and the faraway triple-crown island of Tres Marias.

Puerto Princesa Karst Formations

After a quarter of an hour, we were again on the road to the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park. We found impressive limestone karst formations such as these just along the road. Many of these karst formations are far bigger and taller than the cliffs of Cantabaco and elsewhere in Cebu. If only they were not far from the city center, these karst formations can be excellent candidates for bolting to introduce the sport of rock climbing in Palawan.

We thought we saw the best karst formations that are ideal for rock climbing. These were just teasers because several minutes later, we arrived at what Palaweños called Elephant Mountain, which is a gigantic mountain that is karst limestone in its entirety! More on that later.

Sabang Wharf

After more than two hours on the road, we finally reach Sabang Wharf, which is the actual starting point of the PPUR tour. See that beach? That’s a public beach with a wharf beside it. Now, check out the sand and the water. Aside from washed up sea grass, driftwood, and other natural debris, you can’t find any man-made garbage. That is how disciplined Palaweños are.

Sabang Wharf

Just look at that water! It’s so clear it’s almost glasslike. And with the mountains in the background, you can’t help but feel calm and peaceful in the midst of excitement.

Sabang Wharf

Aside from littering, smoking is not allowed in public places except in designated areas. The fines are pretty hefty, and if you commit a fourth offense, you get free board and lodging—in the city jail.

Puerto Princesa Underground River Tour Registration

This is the registration center in Sabang Wharf. Since we already paid for the tour, Jeron took care of everything, including our registration. We only paid for the environmental fee of P40.

Puerto Princesa Underground River Tour Registration

Now, here’s something very important that you need to know—and do—when planning for a trip to PPUR. This becomes even more important if you intend not to hire a tour agency or guide. On June last year, Puerto Princesa enacted Resolution No.06-2012, which is a resolution approving the revised management conditions for tourist entry to the Puerto Princesa Subterranean National Park. According to the park policy in verbatim:

“To protect and preserve outstanding universal values of the Underground River, Management has to set a carrying capacity for the Underground River and is strongly enforcing a No Permit, No Entry policy to support it. All visitors are required to secure an entry permit at the Underground River Booking Office at the PPSRNP Office, City Coliseum, Barangay San Pedro, Puerto Princesa City or call Tel. No. (048) 434-2509.”

In other words, apply for a permit while you are still in the city proper. The registration center won’t issue permits; they just issue passes, certifications, and other requirements for the tour. Upon registration, don’t forget to bring a government-issued ID, such as driver’s license, SSS, or Voter’s ID.

Sabang

While Jeron processed our papers, we took time to explore Sabang Wharf. We found several inns such as this to house tourists. Yes, some tourists spend a night here so they can join the early-morning tours to avoid the influx of visitors in the later hours of the day.

Sabang solar power

The distance from the city proper to Sabang Wharf makes it very difficult for the capital to provide electricity to Sabang. In fact, there are no electrical lines in this area. Thus, residents use solar power to provide their electrical needs. See those square things on the lamp posts? Those are solar panels that provide power to those posts. We even saw humble bahay kubos with solar panel arrays on their roofs! Now that is eco-friendly, sustainable power generation!

Sabang Wharf

It was still 9 AM, and the waiting area was chock-full of tourists! According to a PPSRNP official whom we talked to, about 1,000 tourists in a day visit the Puerto Princesa Underground River. They limit the daily visitors to 1,000 to protect the natural treasure.

Sabang Wharf

Gasoline-powered bancas (outrigger boats) ferry passengers to Sabang Beach, which is a 20-minute ride away. These bancas can accommodate four to twelve passengers, depending on their size. Take note that these boats are NOT the ones that go inside the cave.

Sabang Wharf

After waiting for around half an hour, we finally boarded our assigned boat. At this point, we were just so excited that we could hardly keep still.

Sabang Wharf

All set and definitely, definitely ready to go. Utmost excitement and pure joy are written all over our faces! Who wouldn’t be excited and happy? We’re visiting one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature, man!

Mt. Cleopatra

As we cruised the length of Sabang Bay to get to the wharf, we saw this imposing mountain. If our hunch is right, this is the gigantic Mt. Cleopatra, or Cleopatra’s Needle, according to the Tourist Information Map. See that white strip at the mountain’s middle? That is a gigantic limestone karst wall—yes, an entire mountainside—which is perfectly suited for rock climbing. We’ll show you a better photo of that cliff in a later article.

Palawan White Bellied Sea Eagle

As we neared Sabang Beach, we witnessed a rare spectacle of nature. We saw large fish jump out of the water. We thought it was just an ordinary occurrence; often, fish do jump up and skim the water’s surface if they sense a boat coming towards them. It was then when we looked up and saw this, a huge white-bellied sea eagle that is actually hunting! As city dwellers, we rarely see this in our lifetime!

He kept soaring around the area, looking for prey. It was such an awesome sight; the magnificence of the eagle filled each soul in the boat with wonder. Even our boatmen, who have lived all their lives in the sea, stopped the boat to admire the sight. They said that they haven’t seen an eagle’s actual hunt before.

Because the boat slowed down, we were able to get some amazing shots of this death-from-above avian.

Palawan White Bellied Sea Eagle

We don’t have an uber-zoom or telephoto lens, so we couldn’t take a clear photo of him. He probably looks like this. Photo credits to Wikipedia.

Palawan White Bellied Sea Eagle

As we went farther from Sabang Wharf, we saw rock-protected, sandy coves that are totally devoid of human habitation. Perhaps this is why that white-bellied sea eagle we saw earlier decided to hunt here. White-bellied sea eagles are often found in places where there is little or no human interference; human interference easily drives them out.

Sabang Bay

Our boatmen announced that we were nearing Sabang Beach as we approached this rock outcropping. This wall of sharp rocks acts as a curtain to the marvelous sight behind it, which completely took our breath away—literally.

Sabang Bay

That’s the other side of the wall, which shields Sabang Beach from view.

Sabang Bay

See those boats in the distance? That’s Sabang Beach, the entry point to the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park. That’s where we were going.

Sabang Bay

We told you that the sight took our breath away, right? Well, let’s go for starters. Check out this beautiful, unspoiled limestone cliff. Underneath that cliff is cool, aquamarine water that is so clear and clean that it is difficult to believe that it is actually seawater!

Sabang Bay

Just look at those towering limestone cliffs with that clear, clean aquamarine water! Any visitor would feel a sense of calm, peace, and happiness here.

Sabang Bay

A better view of the limestone cliffs can be seen in Sabang Beach. There’s something spiritual about this place. There’s something magical here that reinvigorates the soul yet humbles our self-made pride. Just check out the natural beauty; this photo couldn’t even come close to the actual place. The silent grandeur is bigger than we could ever imagine.

Sabang Bay

Yes, we had to get wet. The cool water and fine-sand beach looked so inviting that we could have just simply strip off to our swimwear and plunge in. But . . .

Sabang Bay

Swimming is strictly prohibited here. That’s because the whole bay is a marine sanctuary.

Sabang Bay

At last, we were at the footsteps of the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, our very own successful entry to the New 7 Wonders of Nature.

Puerto Princesa Underground River

Before we trekked to the staging ground of the PPUR, we had to register for the final time. We think this is done to keep close tabs to the number of visitors. Remember, the local government has to limit the number of visitors to minimize or prevent damage to a very delicate subterranean ecosystem.

Puerto Princesa Underground River

The entire park largely consists of the St. Paul Limestone Formation, which is considered a National Geographical Monument. Put in another way, the Puerto Princesa Underwater Cave is inside the St. Paul Limestone Formation.

Puerto Princesa Underground River

The declaration sign also shows a cross-section view of the Puerto Princesa Underwater Cave.

Puerto Princesa Underground River

Here’s a crude map of the Puerto Princesa Underwater Cave. As you can see, this is a huge, very complex cave system that spans more than 8 kilometers inside a limestone mountain!

Puerto Princesa Underground River

The Park has a ranger station to keep visitors and staff safe and secure. Rangers also intercept occasional intruders who intend to poach or illegally extract natural resources.

Puerto Princesa Underground River

Non-English speaking or Tagalog-speaking foreigners can avail of Audio Tours. Basically, they listen to a pre-recorded tour in a language they choose while they take an excursion in the underground river. It’s a pretty cool concept, actually.

Puerto Princesa Underground River

Airy sheds such as these provide guests with a place to rest, relax, or eat. No, they’re not cottages like those in a public beach.

Puerto Princesa Underground River

After everyone in our tour group has registered, we made our way into the forest. Jeron explained that before the PPUR became a tourist spot, adventurers had to trek a couple of kilometers to get to the mouth of the cave. Today, they just need to follow the wooden path to get to the Puerto Princesa Underground River staging area.

Puerto Princesa Underground River

A board that explains why forests are vital to the global ecosystem. Would you believe that this forest is still first-generation? There are over 295 species of trees here—most of which are of diterocarp variety—including ipil, dita, apitong, and dao. And that’s just a fraction of the more than 800 plant species that researchers found in the park.

Puerto Princesa Underground River

Along the way, we were greeted by the sight of the park’s natural denizens like these scary-looking monitor lizards. Yes, they are quite large. The lizard in the first photo is perhaps around four to five feet long, from snout to tail. Don’t get too close; they might attack you.

Puerto Princesa Underground River

We also saw cute monkeys that actually step, sit, and walk with humans on the trail. Now, you might wonder why these wild monkeys seem so comfortable with humans? In most of our treks, wild animals quickly scamper when they sense human beings nearby.

Puerto Princesa Underground River

Well, the bitter and sad answer can be eloquently expressed by the photo below. Irresponsible tourists throw snack wrappers or feed the monkeys with food. This act changed their natural feeding habits. They now think that humans carry food; that’s why they wait patiently on the trail for scraps. In addition, realizing that garbage can equate to food, the monkeys do not hesitate to pick up discarded candy wrappers, bubble gum, snack pouches, etc. in the hopes of getting a morsel.

Puerto Princesa Underground River

After 10 minutes, we arrived at the staging area and donned on our life jackets and helmets.

Puerto Princesa Underground River

The staging area is actually a small, shady beach beside a narrow estuary lined with rock walls and virgin mangrove forests. An estuary is a partially enclosed coastal body of water in which one or several rivers or streams flow into it and freely connects to the sea. Thus, the water here is brackish.

Puerto Princesa Underground River

Then we saw the monstrous mouth of the Puerto Princesa Underground River and the awesome rock formation that surrounds it. Seeing the cave filled us up with feelings of amazement, excitement, fear, and dread. Mother Nature is beautiful, uplifting, and dangerous at an impossibly grand level. Looking at this natural treasure, we felt the pangs of humility in the sense that nature is so much bigger than we, humans, can possibly imagine. For us, Nature is God; and undertaking this excursion made us feel spiritually closer to Him.

Puerto Princesa Underground River

Sweetie and I positioned ourselves at the back of the boat so we won’t have to be the people who will hold the lamp at the front. Bwahahahaha! Well, we want to sit directly in front of the boatman who will guide us inside.

Puerto Princesa Underground River

Life vests? Check! Helmets? Check! Headlamps? Batteries full and A-okay. Electronic gadgets, documents, and wallets? Thoroughly waterproofed. Cameras? Already in the right settings. Sweetie and I are ready to go!

Puerto Princesa Underground River

That’s our really cool, funny, and knowledgeable guide and rower.

Puerto Princesa Underground River

And off to the gateway to the center of the earth we go. See you on Part 2.

Tips

1. It would cost you a considerable amount, but if you wish to visit the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park without hassles, then it is best to let a tour operator or travel agency do the reservation/arrangement of your tour for you. Your tour operator or travel agency will take care of all the permits, land transportation, boat transportation, and other aspects of the tour for you. All you have to do is to give the amount to the service provider then sit back and relax.

2. Booking the Puerto Princesa Underground River tour yourself can definitely save you a whole lot of money. However, considering that you will be dealing with the local government, be prepared for lines, headaches, and a lot of hassle.

3. The PPUR Office is located at the City Coliseum. You can get there by riding a tricycle; fare is between P8 to P12 per person depending where you are.

4. The PPUR Office is open from Mondays to Fridays, from 8AM to 4PM with no lunch break. They are also open on weekends, Saturdays and Sundays, at 8AM to 12PM. The staff goes for a one-hour lunch break and resumes at 1 PM. The office closes at 5PM.

5. To apply for a permit, check the following steps:

Step 1: Get a transaction number and wait for your turn
Step 2: Fill out the form and submit personal details for processing.
Step 3: If you’re a walk-in visitor, proceed to Counters 1 and 2. Tour operators and travel agencies line up on Counters 3 and 4.
Step 4: Let the staff compute the payment.
Step 5: Obtain the signature of a PAMB representative to finalize your permit.

6. Permit Fees
* General Entrance Fees to the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park

  • Adult (Filipino) – P100
  • Minor (Filipino) – P75
  • Adult (foreigner) – P150
  • Minor (foreigner) – P100
  • Senior Citizen – P100
  • Differently Abled – P100

* Cave Entrance Fees

  • Adult (Filipino) – P175
  • Minor (Filipino) – P100
  • Adult (foreigner) – P250
  • Minor (foreigner) – P150
  • Toddlers and children 3 to 12 years old – P75. Children below 2 years old are not permitted for safety reasons.

Remember that prices may change without an advance notice. Thus, it is best to contact the PPUR office for the latest prices, updates, and policies. Use these contact details:

  • Telephone No.: (048) 723-0904
  • Telefax: (048) 434-2509
  • E-mail: info@puerto-undergroundriver.com, undergroundriver_ppsrnp@yahoo.com

7. The PPUR office usually has a long line of applicants. And considering that the local government limits the visitors to PPUR, there is a chance that you may not get a slot. To increase your chances of success in booking a PPUR excursion, visit the PPUR office early on Mondays and Thursdays. Try to avoid Fridays and weekends.

8. After getting the permit, you still need to find a way to get to Sabang Wharf from Puerto Princesa proper. There are vans for hire, jeepneys, and buses that travel there. Since we bought a tour package, we were simply fetched at the hotel by a tour van.

If you wish to save money and take the bus or jeepney, at Puerto Princesa city proper, take a tricycle to the New Market Jeepney Terminal. Take a minibus or jeep going to Sabang. There are four trips that run daily from the terminal to Sabang between 7AM and 2PM. Fare costs roughly around P150, and the trip takes around 3 hours.

9. Once you get to Sabang Wharf, have your permit processed at the registration center. Please remember that the registration center in Sabang Wharf does not issue permits! Never forget to apply for a permit at the PPUR office in the city first before coming to Sabang Wharf.  And don’t forget that you need to pay P40 for the environment fee.

10. Once you arrive at Sabang Wharf, hire a boat to take you to Sabang Beach. Ask the locals where you can hire a boat. Then negotiate for a reasonable fee, usually around P300 to P800.

11. You can also stay overnight in one of the inns or hotels in Sabang. If you want a more affordable option, try homestays. We actually saw lots of foreigners who emerged from structures that look more like huts and private homes than hospitality establishments. Keep your guts with you and ask around.

12. Do not feed the monkeys or lizards in the National Park. Feeding them can alter their normal feeding patterns. Needless to say, do not throw trash anywhere in the Park. Dispose of your trash in designated garbage bins.

13. Pack light but bring the following:

* water (at least a liter)
* trekking attire
* rubber shoes or trekking sandals
* umbrella, hat, or sarong
* snack
* headlamp (highly recommended)
* rain gear (in case of bad weather)
* extra money for emergencies
* camera

The helmet and life vest are already provided.

14. You will be crossing the sea and cruising down an underground river. Thus, you need to waterproof your things. Place your valuables, gadgets, dry clothes, and important documents in waterproof containers, or wrap them securely in Zip-lock bags or plastic bags. Do not rely solely on so-called dry sacks because water can still seep in through the permeable fabric.

Advertisements

About Adrenaline Romance

Rock climbers. Mountaineers. Sweethearts on adventure. Adrenaline Romance is a photoblog that belongs to a loving couple who has an eternal lust for adventure. The blog contains experiences, tips, itineraries, and other useful information regarding adventuring in the Philippines and beyond.

45 comments on “Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park: A Journey to a Mountain’s Heart (Part 1)

  1. Great Blog! Perfect captured photos.

  2. Hi there. Very useful info u have provided here.

    I’m planning to visit Palawan this coming August. Thus, this is totally what i need.

    I’m just wondering about the tour package, should i book online ie gopalawan.travel or can i get a tour package back there itself, i mean locally.

    btw, i’m planning to stay at puerto princesa city area.

    • Hi Stan,

      Thank you for the compliment and for visiting our blog. Sure, visit Puerto Princesa. The place is definitely awesome; you can literally feel your stress melt away when you’re there.

      Regarding your query, we strongly recommend booking your Puerto Princesa tour through a travel agency a few months prior to your scheduled visit if you want a hassle-free holiday (as early as now, actually). Your travel agency can arrange your accommodation, tour, permits, etc. for you. Try out Golden Ticket Travel Service; the link points to their Facebook page.

      You can do the bookings yourself, but you will have to face long queues and uncertainties. But if you insist in doing it yourself, contact Jeron Paduga. He is a licensed tour guide and very knowledgeable. He resides in Puerto Princesa City, and he can help you in all your tour arrangements. Get in touch with him using the following contact details:

      Cellphone number: 0915-2011550 or 0920-2797013
      E-mail address: rons08_pads@yahoo.com.ph

      Hope this helps. 🙂

      • Hi. Thanks for the very informative site. My group and I are planning a trip on Feb 17, 2016 to Palawan and I am looking for a tour guide that will take us to The Underground River and other excursions. Is Jeron still be available? We might be arriving in Palawan on 2/19 in the morning. I would like to get the cost breakdown and time allotted for each trips as we are planning to do several activities in a short amount of time in Palawan. Any advises would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

      • Hi Jennifer,

        Thank you for visiting our blog. Yes, Jeron is definitely available. If you can’t reach him through his phone or email, you can search him in Facebook (Jeron Paduga); Filipinos use FB a lot! He can definitely help you maximize your time.

        During this trip, we took an all-inclusive package, so we’re not sure about the breakdown. However, Jeron can help you with a DIY scheme and provide you a breakdown.

      • Hi. I contacted Jerod via FB last week and I have NOT heard back from him.

      • Hi Jennifer,

        Okay, let me see what we can do. We sent him a message. Perhaps he was just busy during the week.

        By the way, we contacted him and his contact details have changed. Please use these new details:

        Facebook: search for Jeron Paduga
        Updated email add: jeronpaduga@yahoo.com
        contact number : 09152011550/09774561618

      • Thanks! I did search for his name in FB and I did sent him private message through FB. Let me try to send him an email to the address you have indicated.

      • Thank you, Jennifer. We sent him a text message that you sent an inquiry through FB and email. We also told him to reply to you directly through this comment thread.

        May we know your name on FB and the email address so we could forward it to him? Just email it through our email adrenalineromance@gmail.com to keep your address confidential. Thank you!

      • hi mam Jennifer,  Been waiting for your inquiries/messages but unfortunately i still receive nothing. By the way, you can reach me with these details : facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jeron.paduga Email Add: jeronpaduga@yahoo.com Mobile : 09152011550 / 09774561618

        Thank you so much 🙂 God bless

      • Jeron – I just sent you a friend request. I sent you the IM on 6/23/15.

  3. What a timely post. I’m actually planning to visit Puerto Princesa this year. Thanks for the useful guide 🙂

  4. This is very useful! I hope you don’t mind if I link to it in my blog. Can I ask for a bit of extra info – how long did the boat tour of the subterranean river take, exactly? I know it took about 2hrs by road then twenty minutes by boat, plus some waiting around time, but how long actually inside the cave? How long was the day from beginning to end? I ask because I’m wondering how old kids would have to be to cope with the trip.

    • Hi B,

      Thank you so much for the compliment. Sure, please feel free to link the article in your blog.

      Regarding your query, the tour inside the cave took around an hour at most. We think that kids would do fine; during our trip, we saw lots of kids with their parents enjoying the PPUR. About the day itself, it took us from 7 AM (the time the guide fetched us from the hotel) to 1:30 PM (the time we finished our lunch in Sabang Wharf) to complete the PPUR tour. However, after the PPUR tour, we still visited Ugong Rock and enjoyed the adventures there. We finally arrived at the city proper around 5:00 PM.

      We highly recommend visiting the Puerto Princesa Underground River. The place is truly awesome.

      • Thanks for the extra info! I think our eldest could probably manage it, but I’m still worried about the 2yo. Sounds like we could split up a bit and take turns doing the tour/seeing nearby attractions though! Good to know.

      • Hi B,

        Glad to be of help. By the way, according to the PPUR office, children below 2 years old are not permitted for safety reasons.

      • Good to know! It’s not just me who thinks she might be too young, then!

  5. […] Romance had a very practical two-part travelogue about their journey to Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park. I think […]

  6. your blog is so highly informative.. were bound for puerto this july

  7. sa underground river, if we do our bookings instead can it be more cheaper sa 1500?! our budget is too tight.

    • Yes, you can actually spend way less if you do it yourself instead of a package from a tour agency. We can’t give you any details though since we haven’t tried it. However, we have a fellow blogger who has tried it on their own and spent half or even less than half of 1,500 pesos. Read more on Mustachioventures’ experience here.
      The next time we’ll go back there, we’ll try a DIY way.
      Have fun!

  8. ang mangrove paddle, undergrd river and honda bay nasa sabang b? do you prefer staying in sabang lodge para mkmura sa trnspo?

    • Hi Joey,

      No, those are different destinations.

      Regarding about staying in Sabang lodge, well, the thing is that you’ll have to apply for a permit in Puerto Princesa to access the PPUR. Then you have to travel 2 hours from Puerto Princesa City to Sabang Wharf. So, in any way, you still have to pay for your transportation, which means, you can’t save money in this manner.

      We suggest staying in cheaper accommodations, using public transportation instead of hiring a van (which we haven’t tried), or eating in more reasonably priced restaurants if you want to save money.

      You may also want to contact our guide Jeron Paduga for assistance and advice. Use the details below to get in touch with him:

      * Cellphone number: 0915-2011550 or 0920-2797013
      * E-mail address: rons08_pads@yahoo.com.ph

      Hope this helps. Thank you.

  9. Hi, have you try the online booking for the permit? i saw the site of the ppur office and they offer it. Meron po ba kayong balita if safe na magpabook thru online? Thanks, I’ve been there in puerto princesa last april 2013 having a diy tour, and sobrang risky getting it personally to the city coliseum swerte lang tlga we got our permit.
    This august our department want to go to puerto princesa kaso almost 20 kami ndi ko alam if masusuggest ko yung DIY because at our expense kasi un tour kya nghahanap kami ng mas mura, Hindi na daw kaya un 1,5k package tour sa budget nila… the airfare and lodging will be shouldered by the company. Ano po ba mas maganda?
    Hope matulungan mo ako 🙂

    SALAMAT

    • Hi Cindy,

      Thank you for reading this post. We sent your query to Jeron.

      1. He will ask the PPUR office tomorrow if the online booking is effective and operational. Hopefully, he will have the answer tomorrow.

      2. He said that online booking is quite expensive, around P500 per slot. That does not include the transportation, entrance fees, food, boat fee, etc.

      You can contact Jeron, our guide when we went there, directly using the following contact details:

      * Cellphone number: 0915-2011550 or 0920-2797013
      * E-mail address: rons08_pads@yahoo.com.ph

      We’re not sure what you meant by “sobrang risky” when it comes to reserving a slot. Perhaps you meant the slots get filled up quickly? Yes, that’s true. Keep in mind that the PPUR is a Natura Wonder, a UNESCO heritage site, and a tourist attraction. So, it’s not really surprising to see lots of people lining up for permits to see the PPUR. Also, the office has a cap of 1,000 visitors per day. This is implemented for the cave’s protection. The government doesn’t want the PPUR to be ecologically stressed and damaged, which can be caused by excessive visitations. That’s why they limit the number of visitors per day. Thus, if you want the DIY way, it’s best to reserve for a slot weeks or days ahead with the help of a tour guide or travel service provider.

      When we went there, we availed of a tour package, thus, we didn’t encounter any problems in booking any aspect of our tour. The quickest and easiest way to avoid a huge headache and to ensure that you have a slot is to take a package.

      Check out our fellow blogger Mustachio’s advice here if you want a DIY tour.

      You can contact Jeron for assistance in booking you, whether DIY or packaged tour.

      Hope this helps.

    • Hello Cindy,

      We just got another batch of info from Jeron:

      The online booking for the PPUR is not yet functional because the office still has to fix a lot of things. So please do not book online.

      We strongly advise you contact Jeron and arrange/book everything (e.g., permits, van, boat, etc.); just negotiate the fee with him. Try asking him to provide you a discount since you’re going as a group.

      Hope this helps.

  10. Hi, super thank you for your recommendations. 🙂
    Appreciate it a lot.

  11. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on travel package.
    Regards

  12. How much did you pay for the underground tour? Is 1500 reasonable enough? We’ll be in Puerto Princesa by Monday..thanks..=)

    • Hi Hannah,

      Yes, Php 1,500 is the published rate as per the city of Puerto Princesa. Check out our Teaser of our Puerto Princesa Tour; we took a photo of the published rates and posted it there.

      Hope this helps. Enjoy your trip and adventure in beautiful Puerto Princesa!

  13. hi there, this is the article that i’ve been searching.. do you think the tour guide jeron, will be able to help us in securing permit for the ppur.. we can’t afford the tour package 1,500.00 because we’re 6adults & 1kid (family) and i will be shouldering most of the expense… im worried to make a diy for ppur because of the blogs that i’ve read before that we have to take chances on securing permit.. hope he could help us im willing to pay for the services of securing the permits.. thank you..

    • Hi, Mira!

      Yes, Jeron is a trusted and licensed tour guide so he can help you in securing the permits.
      The 1,500 package is a standard rate which includes a round trip van transport, a lunch buffet, outrigger boat, paddle boat and a tour guide. Securing the permits on your own upon your arrival will take much of your time, so we recommend that you book and have your permits processed in advance. You can ask Jeron for a discounted rate. Just let him know that you were referred by us. Give us a message on Facebook or send us an email if you need further help in contacting him. We are glad to be of help.

  14. hi again, could i ask him (jeron) for the assistance on securing the permit only? and will just diy the rest.. 10,500 for 7pax is too much for me… i can’t afford it.. i just dont want us to miss the ppur when we go there.. thanks a lot!!

  15. thank you so much…

  16. Hi, I’m planning to visit PPUR I would like to know if I will do-it- my-self my travel is there any boat for hire going inside UR at the staging area available at any time ?

    • Hi, Myriam
      Yes, you can do a DIY on this, but you have to get a permit at the city first before going directly to the jump-off point at the wharf, which is a two-hour commute from the city. Once you have acquired your permit, you can go to Sabang wharf and ask a tourist center staff for a boat to take you to the underground river, and they will gladly accommodate you. Hope this helps!

  17. Have a blessed day Adrenaline Romance!

    Sorry, been busy for a past few days. Inquirers can contact me directly with these details :

    facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jeron.paduga
    Email Add: jeronpaduga@yahoo.com
    Mobile : 09152011550 / 09774561618

    Thank You So Much and God bless Sir Gian & MAm Shei 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: