Puerta Princesca and the Wonder of the World.
I arrived into Puerta Princesca with the aim of seeing one of the 7 natural wonders of the world. The massive underground river system of Puerta Princesca subterranean national park.
As a capital of the island I was expecting quite a busy City, but it actually was more like a small town. My hotel was on the edge of the town and about a 30 minute walk from the airport where the bus had dropped me off.
It was a bit out of the way and another remnant of my hangover choices back in Nacpan. It was nice enough though, and I booked my underground trip, but also a dolphin trip.
I spent the evening trying to find somewhere to eat, and ended up with an overpriced pizza. Then had a beer back at the hotel. I got up early and met the bus driver who took me to a larger bus which then went around the City to pick up the other adventurers for the trip. It cost 1700 pesos including everything such as transfers, lunch and permits.
Located about 50 miles north of the City the cave system is around 15 miles long with a 5 mile stretch of underground river that flows directly into the sea. The river system features giant caves and stalactites/stalagmites. It was voted as one of the 7 natural wonders of the world in 2012.
We arrived and had a couple of options before going to the caves. A zipline or a boat trip through a mangrove forest. I chose the latter because there was the offer of snake sightings!
So off we trotted to this little boat, where a lovely lady began rowing us gently up this little river, with mangroves surrounding us. As we went we started to spot these mangrove snakes perilously close to the boat, and I started to regret my choice.
It actually turned out to be really interesting, and although we didn’t spot any more interesting creatures it was a great way to start the trip.
We had a quick lunch of rice and veggies, meat for the others, then set off on another boat trip to reach the caves. It’s an amazing little journey past amazing scenery that you would never get to see from land.
Finally we were at the cave entrance, boats were waiting to take us through, so in we jumped and what followed was an amazing underground trip through vast caverns, small tunnels and past incredible rock formations.
We had a hilarious guide too which made the trip even more fun, the cave system you can reach is 8km long and we covered 4km. You can do more with a special permit. The caves are also filled with bats which were fun to spot.
As we finally entered back I felt exhilarated to have witnessed a true natural wonder. The bus back was uneventful, and i managed to meet up with some fellow travelers from my stay at the Mad Monkey in Nacpan. We had a traditional Filipino meal a couple of beers and then I walked back to my hotel ready for a busy day.
I awoke early in the morning, packed my stuff and waited for another van. This time I was off to see Dolphins! Arriving at the port we waited for a few more people and then jumped on the boat and headed out.
It was a great experience, we followed these dolphins up and down for ages. (Or they followed us!) They were playing and swimming next to us, it was so much fun.
Then we were taken to a snorkeling spot, but a large group with us demanded to be taken further out. Unfortunately non of them could swim, and they were splashing about so much that the fish did a runner.
So no one got to see any fish, and we headed back to the dock. I got to sit right at the front of the boat which was so much fun. We arrived back and after chilling for a couple of hours I went to the airport, ready to hit up Cebu, the island of adventure.