Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Sabang, Philippines - Underground River

Palawan’s UNESCO World Heritage Site and entrant into the contest for the New 7 Wonders of the Natural World, the underground river near Sabang is officially known as the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park . Located about 50 kilometers north of the city of Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines, the underground river is the second longest in the world since a longer one was recently discovered in Yucatan, Mexico.

Navigable for 8.2 km or over 5 miles, most tourists see the more easily negotiated first 2km. The cave formations are spectacular and include stalactites, stalagmites and columns as well as other formations and of course bats and swallows abound. The entry to the cave in the summer months is a picture postcard azure blue however in the rainy season run off from the land often clouds the water and lessens the crystal clear visibility considerably.

Once something of a torture trek, the trip there from Palawan’s capital city Puerto Princesa is now much faster and far more comfortable after improvements in the road and other infrastructure services were put in place. Gaining World Heritage Listing status in 1999 gave impetus to the local government’s desire to make the river a must-see tourist destination.

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