I could still remember the first time I set foot in Palawan. It was a memory that’s hard to forget. The natural landscapes and the diverse marine life are just amazing and extraordinary. Who would want to forget such incredible experience, right? In fact, there’s even plans of going back there soon and or perhaps visit Coron first then back to El Nido or the Underground River. But the pristine beaches and the still unspoiled ecosystem in El Nido are telling me to come and visit again, this time with the family already.
Our trip to Palawan in March 2012 started in Cebu where we took the 1100H flight of Cebu Pacific and landed in Puerto Princesa International Airport. But if you want to go to El Nido, going to Manila is the only fastest and most direct way because travelling by land from Puerto Princesa to reach El Nido would take you at least 4hrs.
Our holiday package was arranged through Paradise Village Travel and Tours, handled by the very accommodating and not to mention very gorgeous and hot young lady, Jessica. Their van picked us up at the airport and made a short stop in Ka Inato for our lunch before having another brief stop-over in Buenavista View Deck for a toilet break then go straight to Sabang Wharf. We almost did not catch our trip to the Underground River because they are so strict with the cut-off time for passenger transport which is very commendable knowing that it is their means of living. It is always great to hear when safety wasn’t sacrificed in order to earn a living.
From Puerto Princesa to Sabang Wharf, it would take just 1.5 hours and at least another 20 minutes ride (by outrigger boat) to the other side of the island then the start of a long walk towards the Underground River entrance. It took us only about 5 minutes because we were sprinting then for we are late and they are closing already. I think it’s about 200m from the main entrance to the cave itself. Then the cave tour would take at least 45 minutes. So taking those numbers into account, it is just right and sound safe for the 3PM cut-off time at Sabang Wharf since it’s also the time when bats come out from the cave.
Another thing that is very commendable is the fact that they are limiting the number of tourists going to the cave each day. So make sure that you have the necessary permit before you proceed with your road trip to the town of Sabang.