Before leaving Puerto I applied for a permit to visit the Underground River the National Parks office in Puerto Princessa. At this office I received about five signatures from different officials and paid a fee. After receiving a few more signatures, paying some additional fees, I boarded a boat with some other travelers and took off for the cave entrance. The Underground River opens up to the ocean in a beautiful setting on an uninhabited beach. There were some amazing trees that grew out of the sand there.

Trees growing into the beach (HDR) near the Underground River, Sabang, Palawan, Philippines

After donning a PFD and boarding a small paddle boat with a captain and a spotlight, we embarked into the Underground River. Our guide paddled us carefully upstream for about 30 minutes through more than a kilometer of spectacular formations. Along the way he shared some humorous quotes and a little bit of geologic information. He said the cave is navigable by boat to 4 kilometers and beyond that you need scuba gear to explore further. Since it had been raining quite steadily the past few days there was a substantial amount of water dripping from the cave ceiling. After reaching our "turn around point" we easily floated downstream for about 15 minutes to daylight. Overall it was a short but sweet visit to the cave. The surrounding area looks great for deep water soloing...especially in high tide.

Boat entering the Underground River

Boat entering the Underground River

Formations inside the Underground River