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Monday, September 09, 2013

Puerto Princesa, Palawan: Underground River - Getting There

If you're doing your own itinerary and booking to the Underground River, the process may be tedious and requires a lot of time and effort. Some things to secure for the trip are the visitor entry pass, van rental from City Proper to Sabang Port, boat rental from Sabang Port to the Underground River, Lunch and Snacks, and other related fees.

The Elephant Mountain going to Sabang Port
The "Elephant Mountain" (mountainside view going to Sabang Port)

However, if you choose to book a travel agency who will arrange your underground river tour, you'll just need to pay PHP 1,500 and they will be the one to secure all the necessary permits, arrange the van and boat rentals, and as well as the buffet lunch. The travel agency will also be the one to settle the time of visit to the underground river. Hassle-free trip.

GETTING THERE: Do-It-Yourself Subterranean River Tour

1. From the city proper of Puerto Princesa, the most convenient way is to rent a private van which will cost around PHP 3,500, good for 10 pax, for a two-way trip. You can negotiate with the driver your trip schedule at your own pace. You can also ride the public vans from San Jose Terminal to Sabang Port which costs around PHP 140.

2. Arriving Sabang Port, register first on their tourism office to confirm your booking slot. Please do note that personal ID or physical appearance is required.

Sabang Beach Puerto Princesa
Sabang Beach beside Sabang Port

3. Hire a boat going to the Entrance of the Underground River. The boat fees are inclusive of round trip transportation already. Your boat will wait for you at the entrance once your tour is finished. Boat Fares are as follows:
  • PHP 700 - Good for 6 pax
  • PHP 800 - Good for 7 pax
  • PHP 900 - Good for 8 pax
Boat Ride to Underground River
Boat Ride together with our new British friend, Christopher

4. Arriving the Entrance of the Underground River, drop by the registration area to confirm your schedule. After registering, pass by the Monkey Trail and proceed to the Underground River paddle boat area.

Monkey at Monkey Trail, Palawan
The only Monkey we found at the Monkey Trail
Long Tailed Macaque at Monkey Trail

5. Wait for for your tour group to be called to ride the paddle boat and begin the tour. A paddle boat tour can accommodate a maximum of 11 passengers including the boatman. 1 passenger sitting at the front row of the boat will hold a big halogen lamp and will act as the light man throughout the duration of the tour.

Paddle Boat tour Underground River Palawan
Paddle Boat going to the Underground River

Easy and simple steps to follow when visiting the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River. If your trip will be arranged by a travel agency, the tour guide will be the one to secure everything (i.e. registration, booking, etc.) and inform you of the next steps to do.

Our ever-jolly, overly-hyped, and very funny Underground River Tour Guide, Kris!

Underground River Tour Guide

Browse more information about Palawan from here:


  1. oh no. PHP 700 - Good for 6 pax? Does this mean we need to get the package tour since it's just me and my partner... any suggestions on that? :)

    1. Hi Justhel,

      That was the price advised by our tour guide and also the price indicated on Sabang Port when we did our Underground River Tour. Well for me the most convenient way going there is through a tour package.

      However, if you opt to DYI, perhaps you can negotiate at the pier area if you two can share a boat with other visiting guests and pay the fee per person (not sure how much though). Or you may try contacting first the Puerto Princesa Tourism office for further advice so you won't waste valuable time and effort.

      Keep Traveling! :)

  2. Hello, in case we DIY are there any restaurant at Sabang beach that can provide lunch?

    1. Try Gusto Resto in Sabang Beach Port :)

  3. Hi,

    The boat from Sabang Port will not take you inside the UR... is there any boat we can hire to bring us inside UR and how much?

    1. Hi there! To my knowledge, different boats are usually used. I don't think there are any boats that will serve your travel going to the UR and inside the UR.

      Keep traveling! "",




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