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Jesse McLaughlan

Travelled to 14 countries / regions

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Visited the Underground River in 2019

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What to wear and bring to Puerto Princesa Underground River

  • Puerto Princesa Underground River is one of the top attractions on Palawan and is definitely worth a visit if you're on the island. It's a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is considered to be one of the new 7 natural wonders of the world
  • I went there in 2019 as part of traveling around the Philippines, and these are some of my top tips for visiting the Puerto Princesa Underground River
  • What to wear (and not to wear):
  • Wear flip flops, sandals, or watertight boots. There are several places both on your way to the Underground River and at the Underground River where you need to walk in water, so don't wear running shoes, sneakers, of anything else you don't want to get wet
  • Wear shorts. Better yet, wear swim suit. Same reason as above. You'll be getting in and out of water so wear shorts to avoid getting wet
  • Don't wear nice clothes. Inside the cave there are lots of bats overhead and believe or not you will get some bat urine and maybe even excrement on you. So wear something you don't mind potentially getting ruined. A related tip is: when you're inside the cave, close your mouth when looking up lest you get some bat droppings in your mouth!


  • What to bring:
  • Sunscreen: there's about a 40-minute boat ride under the sun from the port in Sabang to the entrance of the Underground River (20 minutes there and 20 minutes back). Wear sunscreen for your protection for this ride. SPF40+ is recommended for Philippines
  • Water: make sure to stay hydrated for both the 40-minute boat ride to and from the Underground River, as well as the 45-minute tour of the Underground River itself
  • If you're going on your own instead of with a tour, bring your passport and your entry permit. See this brief for more details
  • Watertight bags for your phone, electronics and documents. You'll be getting in and out of water so this is to prevent accidentally soaking your belongings
  • Bring an extra shirt in case you get wet. This is not crucial though because your shirt will likely get dry pretty quickly in the sun after you leave the Underground River
  • Cash: I'm sure you'll be bringing cash if do a DIY trip. But even if you're going with a tour where everything has been paid for, you'll need to bring some cash to give as tips at the end of your tour for your guide. Tip is 100-200 pesos per person