Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Palawan: Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park

Puerto Princesa, Palawan is an adventure place worth multiple visits.

One very notably landmark is called Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park; this underground river is included among list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Entrance to the Subterranean River

The National Park is part of the St. Paul Mountain Range of the northern coast located about 50 kilometers from the city of Puerto Princesa. It is bordered by St. Paul Bay to the north and Babuyan River to the east. It is assumed to be the longest underground river in the world and one of the most important biodiversity conservation areas of the Philippines.

In November 11, 2011, Puerto Princesa Subterranean National Park has been declared as one of the provisional winners in the search for the New Seven Wonders of Nature.

The National Park is described as an enchanting place, captivating tourists because of its majestic rock formations and serene beauty. The stalactites and stalagmites are analogous to religious-like images generating awe and amazement. Bay-dwelling flora and faunas are abundant and lively making it an instant attraction to tourists. The entrance to the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is a short hike from the town of Sabang.

Massive stalagmites greet visitors inside the Underground River

The walls and ceiling is adorned with nature's sculpture

Massive stalactites formation in the ceiling

Impressive ceiling formation

Impressive stalagmites decked the cave floor
Amazing stalactite

The tranquil waters in Puerto Princesa Subterranean Underground River give freedom for an inspiring boat trip down to its other end. The river winds toward limestone caverns carved naturally by precipitating waters over centuries. The underground river is bound to the sea and the lower half portion of the river is salty since the cavern entrance is influence by the tidal interchange.

The tranquil waters of the Underground River

Entrance to the Underground River

The route features spectacular limestone or karsts landscapes that enclose an 8.2 kilometer long underground river. Some portion of the karsts limestone is vegetated. Jagged rocky mountain covered with verdant tropical rain forests encompass the land forms of the park. The park is a significant habitat for biodiversity conservation. It is surrounded by mountains and sea creating a diverse balance and protection to the ecosystem.

A vegetated part of the river near the entrance

Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park has more reasons than simply an expedition site. One worth mentioning is the wildlife preservation park where the endangered Philippine Mouse Deer and famous Palawan Peacock Pheasants dwell.

Palawan Peacock Pheasant
Philippine Mouse Deer

The underground river can easily be navigable, trained park staff operates paddle boats up to a forty five minute tour of the cave formations to appreciate naturally formed geological sculptures. Cave-dwelling bats numbering in thousands and swiftlets inhabit the cave.

Cave bats
Palawan Swiftlet on its nest

A 5.3 kilometer Forest Trail from Sabang to the Underground River is provided to allow visitors to trek through the woods and observe the wildlife. The soothing sound of the wilderness will surely relieve one’s stress. It is similarly a gratifying experience to engage in a sporty jungle adventure for those physically fit to trek steep climbs where commonly seen wildlife like monkeys, monitor lizards, and squirrels are abound.

The 5.3 Kilometer Forest Trail in Sabang

A mangrove paddleboat tour allows visitors to value what aged growth mangrove forest free from human exploitation looks like. Tourists can take part and contribute to the cause of preservation by planting mangrove saplings in key planting areas. The project is managed and operated by local community residents epitomizing a role model for community enrichment.

The Sabang Mangrove

The National Park also offers adventure caving from the Underground River. The area possesses a number of cave systems worth exploring. Climbing Ugong Rock allows one to view the contiguous natural finery. There also is the Lions Cave and the Daylight Hole.

The Ugong Rock - a natural limestone formation in the middle of rice field

Lion Cave, where s lion-shaped stalagmite can be found

The Daylight Hole Cave

The shoreline comprises white sand beaches, perhaps the island’s most beautiful and pristine beaches. Among the well-liked resorts are the Sabang beach, Panaguman beach, and Marta Fe beach. The inviting and soothing waters make it idyllic for swimming or simply enjoying the sun.

Sabang Beach

Panaguman Beach

My invitation to all, visit the Philippines and experience Palawan....

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