Roughing it out: A backpacker’s guide to the Puerto Princesa Underground River

The Underground River was just recently announced as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature. It  is reputed to be the longest navigable Underground River in the world. The Underground River is one of the must-see places in Puerto Princesa (1-hour plane ride from Manila). However, this natural wonder is far from the city center, and requires a full day to visit (it’s worth it, of course! You haven’t really gone to Puerto Princesa if you did not go to the Underground River…). It is located in Sabang, a good 2- to 2.5-hour trip.

A lot of tourists choose tour packages available from local tour companies. The rates are uniform all over the city, since the local government are overseeing the tour companies and tour guides. If you want to visit the Underground River without worrying about the logistics, you can of course sign up for a tour package with any of the local tour companies. The tour usually costs Php 1,500 (35 USD). This includes air-conditioned van transfer, motorized boat transfer, beach cottage rental, picnic lunch, permits and entrance fees, licensed tour guide. You can also choose to rent your own van for 3,500 Php (80 USD), if you want to go at your own pace (and if you can afford it).

The tour packages only allow for a day’s trip to Sabang. There are a lot more sites to see and things to do in the area. Commuting is ideal for those who want to stay overnight in Sabang, since you can choose your own pace and not rely on the schedule of the tour packages. Also, the price for the tour can sometimes be a little steep for some local tourists. But more than the price, some people prefer to be adventurous. A little more comfort is good for some, but others prefer to rough it out, just because it’s more fun. Being a local from Puerto Princesa, I have been to the Underground River about 4 or 5 times by commute. I think it’s more exciting that way.

So if you want a little more adventure, here are detailed instructions for an Underground River trip, backpacker style 🙂 <Of course, this guide assumes you are already in Puerto Princesa and have reserved at least a day to visit the Underground River.>

1. SECURING A PERMIT: At least ONE DAY BEFORE your trip, you need to get a permit at the Underground River Booking Office (the earlier the better! get your permit upon arrival). From wherever you are in Puerto Princesa City, you can ride the city’s unique tricycle (Minimum Fare: 8 Php/person) and tell the driver to bring you to the Underground River Office at the City Coliseum (Telefax 048-434-2509; Email: info@puerto-undergroundriver.com). You need to pay 275.00 park fee/person if you are aged 21 and above.  Getting the permit as early as possible is important to ensure that you can be scheduled to go inside the cave at the earliest possible time (there are a lot of visitors ).
*UPDATE: The number of tourists have been increasing, so the local government advises tourists to personally secure the permits as early as possible. They are planning an online booking system, but for now at least one person should go to the office with the IDs of his/her companions for booking. See the official notice and other announcements here.

2. GOING TO THE TERMINAL : On the day itself, you should take the multicab or tricycle to San Jose New Market. This trip will take around 10-15 minutes. The multicab fare is 12 Php from the Rizal Avenue, but the availability depends on the time of day. They might not be available early in the morning. The tricycle fare is more flexible since it’s like a taxi on three wheels. The price you pay depends on your haggling skills. It can range from 20 Php to 60 Php 🙂

3. TRANSPORT TO SABANG: At the San Jose New Market, look for the terminal of D’Christ jeepneys/buses. Here are the trip schedule from Puerto Princesa to Sabang: 7:00 am, 9:00 am, 12:00 nn, 2:00 pm. Remember that these jeepneys/buses are the only means of public transportation. You should try to be there early to get a good seat. The jeepneys/buses will not reject passengers, no matter how full they are. That means a passenger can ride on the roof or stand on the door and even on the windows of the jeepney if there is no more available space inside. It’s a helluva crazy ride 🙂 Be prepared to ride with sacks of rice, blocks of ice, fruits and vegetables, bamboo poles… well, you get the idea (or maybe you won’t until you actually ride it). It takes 2 or more hours to get to Sabang, depending on the stops the jeepneys/buses have to take to deliver the produce to the areas along the way. Fare: 125 Php for locals (Filipinos), 200 Php for foreigners.

4. ARRIVAL AT SABANG PORT: Upon arrival, proceed to the Underground River Office with your permit.

If you did not register at the city proper, you can register here but you might be scheduled to enter the cave at a much later time, and your day would be wasted from waiting in line. You have to hire a boat for a 20-minute ride to the cave. Hiring a boat would cost 700 Php round-trip (the same boat will take you back to the Sabang Port). You can easily look for other tourists who would be more than willing to share the boat ride with you. One boat can have up to 6 passengers, so you can spend as low as 120 Php for the round-trip boat ride.

5. ENTERING THE CAVE: The boat will bring you on the beach near the cave. The short walk to the cave entrance will feature monitor lizards and monkeys (don’t bring any plastic bags as the monkeys will grab them from you!).

Don’t get too distracted by the wildlife! Take their photos and enjoy their presence after going inside the cave. You should immediately go to the cottage by the shore across the cave entrance and look for the person-in-charge. The line could be really long so you should try to move fast to overtake as many people as possible. Write your name in the logbook and wait for your name to be called. While waiting, make sure you take a picture of the cave’s mouth, it’s a famous postcard scenery 🙂 When your name is called, you will ride the small 12-man paddle boat, and the boatman will take you to the pitch-black cave with wonderful stalactite/stalagmite formations. *Tips: 1. Try to sit in front and be the person holding the flash light for the best cave experience; 2. Listen carefully to enjoy the boatman’s jokes!*

6. GOING BACK: After this, you go back to the Sabang Wharf by the same motorized boat. Depending on your itinerary, you should try to catch the scheduled trips from Sabang Port back to Puerto Princesa city proper: 7:00 am, 9:00 am, 12:00 nn, 2:00 pm (Fare: 120 Php). Take note that the last trip at 2:00 pm makes your visit short! You also have the option of trying to ride the air-conditioned vans that cater to the group tours. Just go to the parking area and try to ask if extra seats are available in the vans. They usually charge 150-200 Php per person for the fare back to Puerto Princesa city proper.

Extras: SABANG BEACH: While waiting for the scheduled trip back to Puerto Princesa, you can relax and enjoy the white-sand beach.

There are beach-front resorts with lunch buffet, but be prepared to pay from 250-500 Php per head. You can, however, choose to eat lunch at the carinderia or the restaurant stalls near the port for a cheap meal (50-80 Php). If you want to spend the night at Sabang Beach, you can inquire at the beach-front cottages for vacant rooms. The rooms will range from 350 Php (non-aircon nipa huts with common bathroom, make sure to ask for mosquito nets!) to 1,500 Php (air-conditioned rooms). There are fancy hotels too, but this will defeat the purpose of your adventure trip, wouldn’t it?

OTHER ATTRACTIONS IN SABANG: If you decide to spend the night in Sabang and you have some time to spare, you can ask the Underground River Office for information on the: mangrove paddle-boat tour, bird-watching, Sabang Waterfalls, Ugong Rock Adventure.

If you choose this backpacker-style trip to the Underground River, you need to prepare ~750-900 Php (20 USD). Add a little more (400-1500 Php) if you are staying overnight. I hope this blog entry helps, and I wish you will have a pleasant visit to the Underground River, whether you choose the comfortable package tour or the adventurous commute.

 

 

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120 responses to “Roughing it out: A backpacker’s guide to the Puerto Princesa Underground River

  1. love the jumpshot! 😀 hehehe

  2. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS VERY DETAILED TIP GOING TO UNDERGROUND. WE ARE GOING THERE THIS MARCH. IT WILL REALLY HELP US TO GET AROUND THE PLACE AND NOT TO MISS THE PASSS AND FLIGHT,

  3. Kung magaavail ng permit pwede mo bang ischedule ang tour pagbinili ang permit o first come first serve ang basis pagdating ng Sabang? TIA

    • Kapag kumuha ng permit, pwede ka pumili ng schedule KUNG meron pang available. Kapag wala na, pwede mo kunin ang next schedule available OR a later schedule, if that is what you prefer. So it is better to apply more than a day in advance if possible 🙂

  4. Pingback: Puerto Princesa on a budget: backpacking advice from a local lakwatsera | The (mis)adventures of a geologist lakwatsera

  5. mam tanong ko lng po since 3days 2nights lng kami and ETA nmin s PP is 12:35H kakayanin p kya mg underground tour ng gnon oras? or ano po mgnda itinerary? gs2 din po kc nmin pumunta honda bay. TIA!!

    • Hi Michael! You can go straight ahead to Honda Bay for the island
      hopping tour upon arrival. Some people do this tour after lunch, just note that waves are a little stronger in the afternoon. Bring food or buy sone snacks at Snake Island. Then, Day 2 is the Underground River Tour, plus City Tour in the late afternoon. If you have an afternoon flight on Day 3, you can still do the Dolphin Watching Tour in the morning.

      Check out my other blog entry for more tips: https://geoventurer.wordpress.com/2012/02/06/puerto-princesa-backpacking/

      Enjoy!

      PS. Don’t forget to reserve your schedule at the Underground River Booking Office on Day 1! Do it before you go to Honda Bay 🙂 The office is in the city proper, just ask any tricycle to take you there.

  6. Hello,

    Ask ko lang kung pwedeng ibang tao kumuha ng permit in lieu of us? Thanks!

    • Yes, pwedeng ibang tao. Usually ganyan ang ginagawa ng mga travel agencies, they book for your slot in advance. Kung may kakilala kayo sa Puerto, pwede sya ang gumawa nun for you 🙂

  7. hi! wow! this is really helpful! my friends and I are going there on August. They want to stay in a beach front so I was thinking if staying in Sabang was a good idea. I was conflicted coz it might be too much of a hassle if we stay in Sabang then we’ll do the Honda Bay Tour. Any thoughts? I’d really appreciate it. Thanks!

    • Hi! If you want to see the rest of the sites in Puerto Princesa, I suggest one night in Sabang and then spend the other nights in the city proper. Sabang is very far from the main city. The morning after you spend your overnight in Sabang, you can then go to Honda Bay for the island hopping tour 🙂 Feel free to ask me more questions if you need help planning 🙂 Enjoy Puerto!

      • thank you for your reply. maybe we could do the UG Tour, stay at Sabang overnight for Day1. Do the Honda Bay on Day 2 overnight at the city proper, then city tour 3rd day before going back to Manila? is it feasible? although i really want to do the firefly watching. can i still squeeze it in the itinerary? Thanks!Thanks!

        • Ah so you only have 3 days? What time is your arrival on Day 1? Just make sure you have already registered with the Tourism Office for the cave entrance. Tour agencies can do this for you if you do not know anyone from Puerto Princesa. You can stay overnight at Sabang on Day 1 then leave early in the morning to have enough time for a Honda Bay Tour plus firefly watching after on Day 2. Then do the city tour on Day 3…

          • yup. just 3days. i think i’ll just do your suggestion. but i’ll have to check our time of arrival. thank you! thank you!!! ^_^

  8. hi! i hope u don’t mind me asking a lot of questions 🙂 i’ll ask sana if the boat that will take us to the Honda Bay would be the same boat for the FireflyWatching? or we have to rent a different boat. Thank you! ^_^

  9. Hi,
    Punta po ako ng PP from July 5-9. July 5- City tour, July 6-PPUR, July 7 – Honday Bay. All courtesy of travel agent. Pero gusto ko sana yung adventure trekking papunta ng PUR.? Possible ba isingit yun sa Itinerary ko?

    Thanks a lot.

    • Hi Ferdie,

      Yes, you can request to do the trekking (monkey trail). Unless they are really on a tight schedule, they usually accommodate tourists who want to trek instead. Pero I guess depende din kung nagmamadali ang mga kasama mo at gusto na makapasok agad sa cave. Just talk to your travel agent 😀 Pero you still pay them the full amount kasi usually pabalik e magbabangka ka rin para mas mabilis 😀

  10. Thanks. Sana pagbigyan ako.hehe. I’m willing to pay the full amount basta meron lang ng konting “jungle trekking”. Meron kang suggestions na pwedeng puntahan on July 8? free day ko na dapat yun pero gusto ko i maximize stay ko ng Palawan. departure ko ng Puerto July 9 na.

  11. Hi. Do you happen to have the contact number of the P1,500 Underground River pkg/pax you mentioned in this blog? Thanks.

  12. Fernando Laureta

    Hi, thank you so much for your detailed account of what your hometown has to offer. It will be the first time for my family and I to go there and this is very useful.

    Please tell me more about the Ugong Rock Adventure, like how much will it cost and how long would it take assuming we already are at Sabang, is there a permit that we have to secure ?

    • Thanks for the comment. 🙂

      Ugong Rock is located a few kilometers before you reach the Underground River. If you have a rented vehicle, you can just ask your driver to take you there. If you took public transportation, you should ask the information center where you can find vehicles to take you to Ugong Rock (hopefully there are some vehicles there for hire). Spelunking in Ugong Rock (climbing to the top of the limestone cliff from the inside) costs 200 Php and the zipline costs 250 Php…

      Here is a blog detailing the experience: http://justapieceofme.wordpress.com/2011/05/12/ugong-rock-spelunking-zipline/

  13. Hi… This is really informative. Hope you dont mind If I ask a few questions. I will reach Puerto Princesco at 26.09.2012 at 1.30 p.m. From your blog, I intend to do this, would appreciate your comment whether this is viable:-

    (a) register ourselves for the Underground River Booking Office (for the next day).
    (b) visiting the Honda Bay at about 2.30p.m (Would it be too late?) for island hopping (stay at Puerto)
    (c) On 27.09.2012, visit Sabang for Underground River in the morning (visit Ugong Rock in the afternoon or the other way round, depends on when we are able to go into the underground river. According to the blog you suggested, she only manage to go into Ugong Rock in the afternoon (4.30p.m.), wouldn’t it be too late? just thinking… hmmmm…) . Stay at Sabang for one night (what can we do at Sabang the next morning)
    (d) On 28.09.2012, back to city centre in the afternoon after check-out. Tour at the city centre.
    (e) On 29.09.2012, See dolphin in the morning and taking a flight back to Manila at 1.45pm.

    Or if I only go back on 30.09.2012 (what can I do for the additional one day? another day in Sabang or another day in Puerto itself?

    Appreciate your feedback !

    Thank you so much in advance.

    • Hello! Thanks for dropping by here.

      To answer your questions:
      (a) They tell me now that registration for the Underground River should be done at least 2 weeks in advance! You might not be able to get a permit if you book just a day before. The chances depend on the number of tourists who have booked before you, so you cannot be assured of a slot.
      They are planning an online booking system, but it will be operational in September. You might have a chance with this. Please check this link for more information:
      http://www.puerto-undergroundriver.com/notice-to-the-public-booking-status/

      If by September the online booking is still not working or the slots are already filled, you might have a better chance if you book with a travel agency…

      (b, c, d, e) You can still do the island hopping tour at this hour, although the waves are really stronger in the afternoon… Plus if you start at 2:30 you would have a shorter time to spend… If you could start at 1 pm it might have been better.

      What you can probably do if you want to spend a night in Sabang is to go straight to Sabang on your first day (26.09.2012) and try to go to Ugong Rock or spend your afternoon by the beach (The beach and the waves are really nice). If you plan to reserve a booking for the Underground River you can also do it in their Sabang office anyway (IF there are still available slots).

      On the second day (27.09.2012), you go inside the Underground River and Ugong Rock (They are open from the morning, I think) and try to catch the 2:30 bus/jeepney to Puerto Princesa City and do part of the city tour at the city center
      On the third day (28.09.2012), you can do the island hopping tour in the morning and then probably visit Butterfly Garden, Baker’s Hill, Crocodile Farm, and Irawan for firefly watching…
      On the fourth day (30.09.2012) you can do the dolphin watching before flying back to Manila 🙂

      If you want an extra day, you can spend the first two nights in Sabang so you have more time there 🙂 OR you can spend the first night in the city center (to avoid too much travel on the first day) and leave for Sabang the next day and spend one night there and leave before 2.30 on the third day, then follow the proposed schedule 🙂

      Of course these are just my suggestions, feel free to do whatever you think is more appropriate 🙂 Have fun!

  14. Hi there. Ask ko lang po, kung paano makakapagregister ng tour kung wala akong kakilala there, since wala pang online registration? Thank You.

    • Hi! Actually yan ang problema ngayon. Since naging part ng ‘7 wonders of nature’ ang Underground River, dumagsa ang mga bisita so hindi na ata pwede ang day-before booking… Hanggat wala pa ang online booking system, I think your best chance is with a travel agency (unless susugal kayo na magbook the day before, pero wala talaga assurance na mapapayagan kayo makapasok…)
      Sorry wala din ako sa Puerto Princesa ngayon so hindi ko rin kayo matulungan.
      Good luck!

  15. Ow, pero pag sa agency kami dumiretso ndi na namin mggng problem yun? Thank You.

    • Yes, kasi ang travel agencies e authorized na kumuha ng permits para sa inyo… Less hassle in the mean time na inaayos pa ng City Tourism ang booking system nila. Too bad sumikat nang husto ang Underground River.

      Standard rate na 1,500 Php per person… (pero ayun at least naka-aircon van kayo at may free lunch na). If you do not have a particular choice for your travel agency, you can try to contact Lester Gabinete (Tiffany Travel & Tours) at 09473026733 OR Thelma Rios (Tandikan Travel & Tours) at 09991993626, to arrange for your Underground River Tour 🙂

      Enjoy and good luck!

  16. Okay 🙂 mukhang hindi naman yata nauubusan ng tourist dun 🙂 salamat ng madami! 🙂

  17. last po, may site po ba sila or facebook? thank you. 🙂

  18. Hi… Geoventure… I just realise I booked the wrong hotel ( I booked the hotel in Sabang, Puerto Galera). Now I need to rebook the day in Sabang. It seems that I do not have much choice in Booking.com or Agoda, do you think it is a problem for me to get a hostel on the spot? Which place do you suggest that i stay at Sabang. Will be flying to phillipines in 2 days. Urgent help needed.

  19. Thank you Geoventure for your prompt response. I do not mind a simple stay. Will bear Taraw beach resort in mind. Does this Taraw beach resort allow internet booking?

  20. Geoventurer, I am so grateful for your advice. Where are you from? I think if everything permits, I should treat you a meal when I am in Phillipines.

  21. hello..im so thankful i found and read this blog..this would be a great help for our Puerto prinsesa 3 days/two nights travel this coming Nov. 6-8.
    We are only 2 for this travel..with only a budget of 3,500 each. Do you think this would be enough?..we are planning to go to the Underground river..thank you.

  22. thank you so much….:-).

  23. We’d been there last couple of months where the only problem there that usually most of the local tour agencies there are not doing there job in favor to the security of the local tourist in particular., Because while we were in SABANG and as we about to registered our name where they did not register our OWN NAME instead they gave us all ALIASES. This case is absolutely bias to the TOURIST in safety-wise, as what about if something happened(i.e. mishap) to the tourist whilst travelling going to underground place?, Those pity tourists has no basis to claim the insurance as their identity are hiding underground by the local tourist guide. The Palawan local government should settle this issue.

  24. We’d been there last couple of months where the only problem there that usually most of the local tour agencies they are not doing there job in favor to the security of the local tourist in particular., Because while we were in SABANG and as we about to registered our name where they did not register our OWN NAME instead they gave us all ALIASES. This case is absolutely bias to the TOURIST in safety-wise, as what about if something happened(i.e. mishap) to the tourist whilst travelling going to underground place?, Those pity tourists has no basis to claim the insurance as their identity are hiding underground by the local tourist guide. The Palawan local government should settle this issue.

    • Hello! Thank you for that information. I will report this to the city tourism office when I go back home this month. I am personally saddened that they scrapped the day-before booking system and replaced it with something that gives the tour agencies more leeway. Let’s hope their booking system will improve soon to ensure safety of tourists.

  25. Im going with a group of 10 people, we’ll be in Palawan for 3 days our flight to is in the morning and back is in the afternoon. We plan to go Honda Bay, underground river and firefly watching. We plan to stay in Irawan Eco Park. We have a tight budget so can you suggest an itiniary for us that doesnt cost much please.

    • Hi Kay! Here is my suggestion:

      Day 1 – Honda Bay Island Hopping. If your flight arrives in the morning, you have time for this. Upon arrival, try to check in first and immediately go to Honda Bay. But first you should go to City Coliseum to book for Underground River (bring IDs of everybody). If you are on a budget, you can hire a multicab to bring you and fetch you back to and from the city proper. You can talk to the empty multicabs plying Rizal Avenue (go to Mendoza Park to talk to them). A van would be more comfortable, but the trip would only take half an hour or so, so a multicab would suffice. If you prefer a van, you should look for one in advance, before you arrive at Puerto Princesa. In the evening you can go to Baywalk if you still have the energy.

      Day 2 – Underground River. You should hire a van for this one (try to book one ahead of time, weeks before you come to Puerto), unless you prefer to commute (check out my blog on this in the link). But there are 10 of you so a van would be the wisest choice. With your permit from the day before, leave the city proper at least 2-2.5 hours before your scheduled entrance to the cave. If you have time to spare in Sabang (Underground River area), you can go to Ugong Rock for spelunking. Have a quick lunch in Sabang in the carinderias/restaurants and leave for Puerto Princesa after lunch so you have time to visit Crocodile Farm, Butterfly Garden and Baker’s Hill (you can have snacks here, closed on Mondays) and then in the evening do the firefly watching tour.

      Day 3 – you can try dolphin watching or just go sightseeing in the city proper and buy souvenirs.

      *Note that Irawan Ecopark is half an hour to 40 minutes drive from the city proper, away from malls, restaurants, major transportation hyubs and convenience stores.

    • Thanks so much, this is really helpful

  26. Hi, I’ve been amazed by how detailed your Puerto Princesa Tour. I’ve been having a problem with my present travel agent which booked me already in a hotel in City proper but even the hotel staff is kind of a dismay when it comes to booking our tour plan. Can you suggest a good travel agency which you personally think would help me book a good honda bay island tour and underground river tour? Thanks and God bless! 🙂

    • Hey, thanks for dropping by. I’m sorry to hear about your disappointments. I can recommend my friend Mars of Travel Portal Duo, please contact her at +639166151856. As far as I know she ensures tourist satisfaction 🙂

  27. wow! this is a very helpful blog! we’re planning to visit puerto prinsesa this June and i want to take your advise on staying in Sabang night before the underground river tour. but my question now is, which one is better, ugong rock adventure first then underground river or vise versa? and also, if we try these two, can we still have the time travel back to the city proper by bus/jeep? thank you so much!

    • Hello! If you stay in Sabang for two days, try Ugong Rock the day before then Underground River the next day. But actually, it will all depend on your Underground River permit. If you can squeeze in an early schedule for you to visit the cave, you might have time to visit Ugong Rock after. The lines to go inside the cave are unpredictable, so the earlier you go in, the more time to spare you have…
      When you arrive in Puerto Princesa, the first thing you should do is apply for the Underground River permit so you can work around that schedule 🙂

      Enjoy!

  28. thanks for the info! another thing, can you recommend some inns/hotels in Sabang? that would be of big help! we’re planning to do backpacking so that we can try all in a low cost. i hope so. please help us! thank you so much!

  29. hi there, can we be able to hire a multicab from PP town proper going to sabang? if so, do you have any idea how much it will cost and will it come pick you up after the UR tour?
    thanks in advance, this blog is a big help
    doker

    • Hello!

      Multicabs do not usually travel to Sabang. At least, I haven’t heard of tourists hiring them to Sabang. I guess it’s because of the road conditions.

      Also, the trip is very long (1.5-2 hours), so if you hire any vehicle to ring you to Sabang, they will stay there the whole day and wait for you. If you are in a big group, your best bet is to rent a van. At least, that’s what big groups who don’t go for the tour package usually do.

      Sorry I am not sure how much the van rental rates are at present. You can inquire for the rates from IC at 09178859494 / 09098849494/ iseepalawan@gmail.com (the contact which i also provided above) and check if the van rental is within your price range. If not, you can consider the commute option.

      I hope I answered your question somehow. It’s the first time I considered if a multicab will be able to transport tourists to Sabang. At the very least I can tell you that it’s not usually an option.

      Good luck on your trip planning!

  30. Hi

    I would like to ask few questions. Thank you in advance.

    a. is it possible to do the underground river tour and honda bay tour in 1 day? given that our UR tour is at 830am. we will do DIY only but we will rent a van.
    a.2 Can we directly go to honda bay from sabang beach by boat? this will help save us time.

    b. Is the Online booking for permits now working and is reliable?
    c. What is the latest time we can end our honda bay tour?

    d. Can we do island hopping in Sabang Beach?

    • Hello! Here are the answers to your questions:

      Hi

      I would like to ask few questions. Thank you in advance.

      a. is it possible to do the underground river tour and honda bay tour in 1 day? given that our UR tour is at 830am. we will do DIY only but we will rent a van.

      – Yes, it’s possible if you have your own van. My friends were able to do it by starting out early to UR and then eating their lunch in the van. If you leave UR by 11 am, you can have enough time for the Honda Bay tour.

      a.2 Can we directly go to honda bay from sabang beach by boat? this will help save us time.

      – No. As far as I know, there are no boats that ply that route. You can take your chances, but I am sure it will cost a lot. Better stick to the van.

      b. Is the Online booking for permits now working and is reliable?

      – Unfortunately it has become more difficult to book the UR without the help of travel agencies. They say a 3-week advance booking is required. But you can try to talk to the UR Booking office by calling them for clarifications: http://www.puerto-undergroundriver.com/contact-us/

      c. What is the latest time we can end our honda bay tour?
      – You can end it before sunset (usually around 5 or 5:30), although be warned that waves are larger in the late afternoon.

      d. Can we do island hopping in Sabang Beach?
      – No, there are no nearby islands in Sabang for island hopping.

      I hope my answers helped 🙂 Enjoy!

  31. Hi! May update po kayo kung pwede na ulit yung day before booking for UR tour?

  32. Hmmm…so i guess we’ll just have to get a packaged tour. Thank you! This post is very helpful. 🙂

    • I’m sorry, as of now getting a booking for the Underground River is very difficult. I suggest you contact a travel agent as soon as you have a planned schedule to ensure that you can enter the cave. Just see my blog post for recommended tour coordinators 🙂

  33. Hi! Just wanna say that you’re blog is very informative. It is very helpful since we don’t want to spend a lot for the tour. Just wanna ask if the Underground River Booking Office only allowed the travel agencies to secure permits for the tourist or anyone from Puerto Princesa can get the permit? We planned kasi to ask assistance in securing the permit from anyone in the hotel where we are planning to stay. Do you think it’s ok and safe? How will us know if they really secured us a permit? Maybe I could ask them a scanned copy of the permit, whatcha think? Thank you. =)

    • Hello! Anyone can get the permit for you, all you have to do is convince them to do it 🙂 You can try to ask them, and yes ask for a photo of the permit once they get it. Good luck!

  34. I saw in one of your replies above that you suggested the following tour agencies: Lester Gabinete (Tiffany Travel & Tours) at 09473026733 OR Thelma Rios (Tandikan Travel & Tours) at 09991993626

    Have you tried them? Are they ok naman ba? Kasi I didnt see their names on this site eh:
    http://www.puertoprincesa.ph/tourism/travel-tours

    I want to try them sana. Thanks.

    • Hello!

      They are OK, although I have not tried them personally. Now there are a lot of tour agencies in Palawan and the site is not yet updated.

      If you want, you can try Isee Palawan Travel & Tours, this one I have personally tried. You can contact him (IC Arboleda) at iseepalawan@gmail.com or at +639178859494. Tell him Jill Gabo recommended him, and ask him for a discount 😉

  35. CIndy Guillena

    Hi, geoadventure plan kasi nmin pumunta this august more than 20 kmi so we decided na wag na kumuha ng package tour rent nlang po ng van, pra mas ok un gastos. Ok po ba na un gagawin namin mauuna po kasi akong bumiyahe sa palawan para mkakuha ng permit para saming lahat. Mkukuhanan ko din po ba sila ng permit? aug 23, flight ko un sched nmin for tour aug. 26.
    Thank you po preply nman po..

    • Hello Cindy,

      OK yung van rental na lang, malaki matitipid nyo. Para sa permit, medyo marami kayo so pde ka muna tumawag siguro sa Underground River Booking Office (nasa blog nung Underground River yung contact information), para makasigurado.

      Good luck at enjoy kayo!

  36. CIndy Guillena

    hi, geoadventurer, im trying to call at the PPUR office but it is out of service, do they have another telephone number? Even thru email they didn’t reply. Thank you

  37. Hello geoventurer, just wanna ask lng po sana, if ung travel rate pa punta sa UD by DIF if still the same up to now?
    Ask lng po ulit if we can make it dolphin watching at the morning before our flight at 11:55 am. At ung honda bay at irawan adventure for 1day pwde ba un? Or mas mabuti po, UD sa umaga irawan adventure sa afternoon. Or pwde po ba mkahinge na sulit na itenirary. Kasi po, we will arrived april 29 at PP 12nn taz ung Departure namin ay May 2 11:55am. Gsto ko ln po sana masulit ung lakad namin at magkano po ba ung magagastos pra alam sa budget po. Maraming, maraming salamat po. 🙂 God bless you

    • Hi,

      So far the rates are up to date, there are rumors of price increase though, sana di kayo abutin sa May. If the prices will change I’ll update this blog right away.

      Here is my suggested itinerary for you:

      April 29 – Unguided city tour in the afternoon, including Irawan (contact the tricycle driver in the city tour part of the blog, and let him know where you want to go). If your flight is delayed, choose the places farther away from the city
      April 30 – Underground River, and afterwards if you didn’t finish the city tour then visit the nearby attractions in the city center
      May 1 – Honda Bay in the morning, then Irawan adventure if you didnt have time the first day
      May 2 – Dolphin watching before departure (check the link in my blog about the dolphin watching, it finishes at 9am, so you have time. But make sure to check this with the travel agent first para sure)

  38. Thanks a lot po 🙂 ask lng po ako ulit if possible po mka punta sa iwahig firefly after po sa UD 🙂

    • Yes pwede, 6pm pa naman yung sa firefly watching. To be sure, request nyo pag kumuha ng permit for Underground River na sa umaga or tanghali kayo papasukin sa cave.

    • Yes pwede, 6pm pa naman yung sa firefly watching. To be sure, request nyo pag kumuha ng permit for Underground River na sa umaga or tanghali kayo papasukin sa cave.

      >

  39. Last nlng po 🙂 ilan minutes po ba pa punta sa irawan? If ok then po after UD punta po sa irawan? Ano po ba much better? City tour and irawan or UD tas iwahig firefly po? Maraming maraming salamat po. I will really help us a lot 🙂 God bless you.

    • Papunta sa Irawan from the city center is about 20-30 minutes (mga 10 km away from the city center). Pwede nyo na isama sa City Tour (Butterfly Garden, Mitra Ranch, Baker’s Hill, Crocodile Farm) yung Irawan and Iwahig Firefly watching, kasi magkakalapit lang yan.
      Tapos after Underground River saka nyo puntahan yung mga sites na malapit sa City Center like Baywalk, Cathedral, Palawan Heritage Center and souvenir shopping.

  40. Pahabol pa po 🙂 ung turissimo garden hotel ok po ba un for staying? Kasi meron pong dormitory type po sila good for 10, e 5 lng kasi kami at 550pesos per nyt maka2 save kmi ng malaki, ask lng po sana ako if ok lng po dun, at what time po ba nag sasarado ung LRC Pasalubong center po? Salamat ulit po 🙂

  41. Thanks a lot Ms. Geoventurer. Malaking tulong po e2 pra sa amin ng mga auntie ko, old ages na kasi mga ksama ko. I’m glad I found your site 🙂 I will follow all your instructions. More power and blessings. God bless you 🙂

  42. Hnd na po avail ung cetris inn, meron pa po ba kaung alam ms. Geoventurer? Salamat po.

  43. Ok po, maraming salamat geoventurer ^_^ God bless you. More power!

  44. Hi Ms. Geoventurer! Need your help.
    1. Ask ko lang ilang minutes away from City to Honday Bay
    2. And from Sabang to Honday Bay
    Nag arrange kasi ako ng schedule namin just want to know kung san malapit ung Honda Bay if from City or Sabang.

    Thanks much!!

  45. hello, ms. geoventurer,
    ask ko lang po kung magkano po yun honda bay tour trip and underground river trip po kasi pupunta po kami sa april 22, 2014 and very tight po yun budget namin…

  46. hi! thank you for this very informative blog! btw, is it possible to pitch a tent in sabang beach? were planning to spend the night there after our UR tour po before we head back to honda bay the next morning.

    • Hello! The beach is fronting several resorts, but I think some of them might allow you to pitch a tent for a fee. Otherwise you can try to ask around for a place to pitch a tent. Sorry I haven’t heard of this practice in Sabang before

  47. Very helpful!! Thank you!!!

  48. such a good information. you have answer all the question. i am traveling on jun fine. i am planing to rent a scooter so i can go to under ground river is it good idea to do that.

    i rented a scooter in cebu for cheap price and i went to north of cebu and south of cebu. i rented a cheap scooter for a week at https://www.facebook.com/ceburentalmotorbike . it was amazing 350 a day rented for a week.

  49. Hi your post gave me lots of factors to consider. Id like to bring my family to the underground river but the cheapest tour i could get is for 1900 per person because we’ll be picked up from the hotel not in the city. As a local there, could you give me advice on how to this? Another option for me is to do it on our first day but we are coming from the airport with our luggages on hand. Is there a locker to put these luggages at the airport?

    • Hi! Sorry no lockers, but you can talk to the travel agent I’m sure they will agree to either bring the luggage with you or to leave it in their office 🙂 Maybe try to contact another travel agent? Or travel to the city first then asked to be picked up there, maybe that’s better (depends on where your hotel is, though)…

      >

  50. This is the best guide ever!!! I was just wondering…I sort of booked this trip very last minute and all of the tours pretty much require a week in advance. I arrive in Puerto Princesa on Friday will there be permits available for the Underground River for Saturday if I go straight to the permitting office? I would be very upset if I can’t go to it! Any help would be appreciated.

  51. Hi there.

    I was wondering if you know of any places who take private bookings for the under ground river tour and zip line. I am coming over in a group of 4 and we are only in Puerto Princesa for the day, but have to drive to El Nido that same day. We were hoping to do this privately so we could do this faster and get on the road before it gets dark – and due to the amount of time it’s going to take us to get there.

    Do you think its possible to do this all in one day? Will we be ok driving some of the way at night in the dark?

    Any advise you can give, I would much appreciate.

    Thanks

    Ange

    • Hello! I think you can arrange that, including a private van, it will just cost you more. Please contact any tour coordinator to inquire. You can opt to ask my tour coordinator friend that I posted above (Mars 09166151856)

    • Hello! I think that can be arranged. You can cintact the tour coordinator I referred to above (Mars +639166151856) and tell her your plans. It would just be more pricey since you have to rent your own van with driver. Driving at night to El Nido is no problem, all the tour vans do it.

      Sent from my iPhone

      >

  52. hi

    pa advise please

    hindi ko kasi gusto magcave tour, kung sa labas lang kami? may bayad pa din ba un? na permit or other charge?

    thanks

  53. Hello, do you have contact number for tour package agencies that offer 1500/pax? And also for city tour package. Thanks

    • Hi, I put the contact info of my tour coodinator friend 09166151856 Mars, the prices are standard for all agencies though. You can check with her if there are discounts for groups and you can ask her for other details

      >

  54. John Kervin Raymundo

    hello Geoenventurer,
    ask ko lang po if ano po yung mas maganda. yung mas makakatipid po kami package po ba or diy lang ..

  55. hello… thank you for the nice blog which was made. it’s really helpful. I have a trip plan to Puerto Princesa and El Nido on March for 3 days. I am in a group of 3 persons. We will arrive in PPS Airport at 8 am. The schedule is going to Underground River until afternoon (at about 2pm) than go to El Nido after (in the same day). is it available to have a journey like that? we will take the DIY route for Underground River. we bring any luggage in the whole day of journey in that day. We wish there is any advice to leave our luggage. Thank You.

    • Buses to El Nido leaves every half hour or every hour so it’s feasible. I can only think of the Robinson’s mall grocery or NCCC grocery for leaving your luggage, but they don’t open until 10am. Sorry can’t think of any other place for your luggage

      • Thank you so much for your information. I have to change the schedule. One day in PPS, than tomorrow morning at 9am is going to El Nido. ^.^

        btw, if you’re living around Manila on March 10th or PPS around March 11th or El Nido around 12 until 13th, you don’t mind to meet us and get travelled together. Thank you.

  56. Hello po…. naka booked na po ako to go to PPS on June 14 (Arrival)11:00 AM – June 16 (departure) 1:05 PM, any suggestions po for our itinerary?

    PS I am with my Nanay and Tatay (50s) so yung relaxing po sana…. many thanks po and thanks po for the blog it is very informative…

    Thanks,

    Josefina

  57. hi.What if galing sa Astoria (Brgy.San Rafael) papuntang Underground river?Paano magcommute?Salamat in advance.By the way,great blog!

  58. Hi there,

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  59. Hello po.. maraming salamat sa info.. Ma’am iatatanong ko lng po sana if mabilis lng po ang pagkuha ng permit? Kc may training po kami bale isasaglit ko lng during lunchtime ung pagkuha ng permit..

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