The Puerto Princesa Underground River. Rated as one of the new 7 wonders of Nature and also an UNESCO world heritage site. What´s nice to know is, that the locals very much appreciate this magnificent site, too! According to our tourguide approx. 60% of all visitors are Filipinos! But first you need to get there. We opted for the convenience package: Van transfer with aircon (2h one way from PP), lunch including 1 bottle of coke, boat transfer to the entry point, boat tour into the cave with tourguide and VAT all inclusive for 1.500PHP/person (approx. 30€). The cave itself is surrounded by pristine tropical rainforest and the wildlife that goes with it. Sharing a boat with 8 people, we ventured into the spectacular cave, which is a complete ecosystem in itself. Bats, snakes, crabs, insects, etc. in a “spectatular limestone karst landscape” (UNESCO). And tons of stone formations, on which you can go wild with your creativity to come up with what these might look like. On some of the walls we discovered crosses, which early explorers had drawn for their protection as they believed demons to live in the cave. We also saw an inscription dating back to 1937 made by two American officers during an expedition.
It was one of those beautiful moments that create a lifelong memory. A pleasantly warm and almost windstill evening. Being together with your loved ones in a paddle boat out on the Iwahig river, away from all lights of civilisation. Surrounded by mangrove forests. The only sounds to be heard: the sound of water as it gently laps against the boat and the humming of what must be thousands of crickets. Above in the sky the never ending beauty of the stars with a clearly visible Milky Way, the Southern Cross, Orion and many other star constellations. Below, in the water, bioluminescent plankton. And in the mangrove trees flashing fireflies.