Thanks to Escape for this:
Puerto Princesa Subterranean River on the Philippines island of Palawan is one of the world’s longest navigable underground rivers.
It flows under St Paul Mountain through a system of channels and chambers – some up to 60m high – before emptying into the South China Sea.
Inside, you’ll find dramatic karst formations and stalagmites and stalactites, while outside the entrance is patrolled by crab-eating monkeys, squirrels and monitor lizards.
Located in the Saint Paul Mountain Range, this nearly six-miles-long subterranean river was recently named one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature. Visitors can explore the stalactite and stalagmite formations on boat tours and feel like they’re journeying to the center of the Earth. The adventure has recently been enhanced with the discovery of waterfalls in an unexplored second floor of the cave.
HOW TO GET TO PUERTO PRINCESA UNDERGROUND RIVER
The underground river is on the mid-west coast of the main island in the province of Palawan. Fly to the city of Puerto Princesa via Manila with Philippine Airlines or Cebu Pacific. From here, it’s a two-hour drive north to the gateway village of Sabang, the departure point for boat excursions to the cave entrance.
HOW MUCH DO PUERTO PRINCESA UNDERGROUND RIVER TOURS COST
Tours are by small torchlit paddle boats with audio guide headsets and travel about 1.5km upstream ($7).
To go further (4.5km is navigable), hire a kayak and private guide and buy an extra permit from the national park office. Group tours can be organized via your hotel (book in advance). Go in the dry season, November to May (the river closes during heavy rain).
WHY WE LOVE IT
A hidden underground river with secret chambers, spooky rock formations and an 80,000-strong colony of bats – this is the stuff adventure travel is made of. Plus, it’s tucked in a less explored archipelago of South-East Asia.