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Puerto Princesa & the Underground River
Puerto Princesa is the capital of the Island of Palawan, that we recommend also for such destinations as Coron and El Nido. The Government of Palawan made the island probably the most important Ecotourism region of the country making it a surely authentic destinations for all those interested this kind of travels.
Puerto Princesa is a pleasant city, useful for some research of handcrafted souvenirs or for local flavors and cuisines, even if without specific attractions from a historical/artistic point of view. It is important for its strategic position for reaching many different destinations, first of all for its numerous white sand beaches and natural areas for dolphin or bird-watching.
The main attraction of the area probably is the Underground River (advance reservation needed). In 2011 it was comprised among the 7 Wonders of Nature by UNESCO and consists in a river flowing inside an extraordinarily long cave, that can be explored with a boat for 4.3 km. You can find yourself in a very fascinating corridor of rocks, stalactites and stalagmites, in a mysterious ecosystem populated by many rare aquatic species and, above, by an extraordinary abundance of bats. The surrounding areas are composed of mangroves and forest, and are populated by many tropical species (wild monkies particularly appreciate the presence of tourists). The Park comprises also a coastal part with the amazing Dugong (sea cow) and sea turtles wandering around.
Aside from the park of the Underground River, another attraction out of Puerto Princesa is islands hopping for snorkeling activities, but you can also simply decide to enjoy the sea on the beach. Among the others, an interesting crocodile sanctuary and other local species, firefly watching by night in the countryside on the nearby outskirts of Puerto Princesa can be an entertaining stop during the explorations, especially for children.
Puerto Princesa can be a single destination for Palawan for 2-3 days. After that, you can go back to Manila and go for other destinations or you may choose to continue to explore the Island of Palawan by sailing to El Nido and Coron.
Learn more about Palawan on our blog: click here.