Palawan Underground River:
Palawan Underground River tour guides are neither a geologist and they don’t talk about stalactites or stalagmites.
A visit to the Palawan Underground River is nothing short of travelling back in time as it was 15 million years ago, and one doesn’t have to be a scientist to appreciate what that’s like.
They compare rock formations to various creatures and things from the beautiful to the bizarre and from the obvious to the very imaginative. [Tourists are now (2016) provided with earphone and audio to explain some background information]
Some of the rock formations have been likened to a sexy lady, dragon or snake, melted candle, pupa or the sleeping dead, mushroom, peanuts, the king and his crown, door to another dimension, the cat and so on.
It can be expected there are other nature’s arts in the nooks and crannies of the cave and under the water of this great river waiting to be uncovered.
Why is that so? Here’s why.
The Palawan Underground River is 8.2 km long and about 4.3 km are navigable. Permit is required to go beyond.
The river is just a small portion of the long cave of St Paul Park, which could extend over 32 kilometers. It has a second floor, which raises the possibility of still undiscovered waterfalls. There exist an inner chamber 360 meters long called the Italian Chamber and a 300-meter breathing dome extending upwards to the sky. Even now perplexing scientific questions remains unanswered.
Most of all, the whole Palawan was underwater 30 million years ago. It is highly unlikely the river and the caves have exhausted their secrets.
The mystery and natural beauty of the Palawan underground river and the St Paul Park, all the way to El Nido and the scuba diving paradise of Coron, will have travellers to the island gasping for more.
No wonder those who have visited, at least the underground river, entered the cave full of expectations and exiting it 45 minute later fulfilled and wanting for more.
The Philippines, the whole world in fact, has a winner in Palawan Underground River, which is one of the New7Wonders of Nature. Let’s hope it lasts for generations.
I am sadly reminded of Lascaux Caves in France and the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Sure I am not comparing apple to apple but I think I am comparing fruit to fruit. Should I add Boracay, as well?
There is a long cue before the actual river trip to limit traffic and protect the environment as only 1,500 people per day are allowed inside Palawan Underground River.
Nevertheless, don’t wait until this magnificent natural wonder becomes “extinct” to public access due to greed and over commercialization.
For the scientifically inclined, you can Google “Some Scientific Features of the Puerto Princesa Underground River: One of the new 7 Wonders of Nature.
All captions on Palawan Underground River and text are by lampangth.com and do not necessarily reflect the views of the photo contributors.
Palawan: The Philippines’ last green frontier
- Puerto Princesa Underground River, El Nido & around