Batty for the Underground River

All I knew about Sabang was the underground river.  Like Port Barton, I had heard good and bad things.  It wasn’t all that expensive and I like caves so I figured I might as well go while I’m there.  The chances of me being back there in my life were slim to none, so it made sense.


We opted to purchase permits and everything on our own instead of with a tour.  This saved us a couple hundred pesos and let us go whenever we wanted.  I don’t remember everything we needed but it ended up being about 550 pesos.


With everything ready to go, now we just had to wait for morning.  We got up nice and early, met up with our new German friends, well one of them, and waited around for a boat and three other people that needed one.  Eventually we found both and were on our way.


The initial boat ride is maybe only 15 minutes.  Then you hop out, get an audio guide, a helmet, and another boat.  Next thing you know, you’re in the cave!  The only light is from the boat guides.  If you’re afraid of the dark, prepare for this.  I don’t really know how, but at least you’ve been warned.


That made me really nervous.  The bats flying around didn’t help much either.  It was pretty cool in there, but you don’t go in very far.  And you’re probably only in there for 30-45 minutes.

Overall I thought it was kind of cool, but I don’t think I would have been horribly upset if I didn’t do it.  I already had a cool cave experience in Belize, this one was just in a boat.  It was much less adventurous.


Am I glad I did it?  I suppose.  Would I recommend it?  Maybe if you aren’t a super hardcore spelunker.  Would I do it again?  Nope.

Helpful hints!

  • Go right away at 8AM, it will be a lot less busy and make it much better since there won’t be as many boats in there as even an hour later.
  • Get your permit the day before you plan on going.  You can get this at the port.  It’s actually required to get the day before and you do not have to be in Puerto Princesa to get it.
  • If you can find six people to go together, the boat will be a lot cheaper.  They might tell you it’s easy to find enough people in the morning, but I might not believe them.  If you can find six, do it, if not, I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you.
  • This is more of a courtesy, but try not to use the flash on your camera once you’re in the cave.  It’s really annoying and takes away from the experience.  Also, don’t talk in there.
  • If you’re afraid of bats, mentally prepare yourself for hundreds of them flying around in there.  You are in there home after all.


Have you been to the underground river?  What did you think of it?  Do you want to go?


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