Puerto Princesa at a glance
Aptly nicknamed “The City in the Forest,” Puerto Princesa City’s attractions have much to do with its natural wonders and commitment to the environment. In fact, it’s been named the Philippines’ cleanest and greenest city, and has been internationally recognized for environmental excellence.
Puerto Princesa’s pride is easily the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River (or Underground River), a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature. The 8.2-kilometer river, said to be the longest navigable underground river in the world, winds its way underneath a mountain range, through the St. Paul Underground River Cave, and then goes out into the West Philippine Sea. The journey through the cave system alone is 24 kilometers long. The entire area where the Underground River is located is actually a national park and a model of biodiversity. More than 800 plant species, including almost 300 trees, 195 bird species, 30 mammals, 19 reptiles, and 8 bat species call this area home.
Island hopping is one of the biggest draws of Puerto Princesa. At Honda Bay, boats take tourists to nearby islands for lunch picnics, snorkeling and non-stop swimming. The calm water and sandy bottoms beat any hotel pool.
The Tabon Cave Complex in the municipality of Quezon is an important archaeological site. Although the more than 100-hectare complex is supposed to have some 200 caves, only seven can be viewed. Of these, the Tabon Cave itself was the site where the remains of the oldest Homo sapiens in Southeast Asia were found, dating to 47,000 years ago.
(Source: Philippine Department of Tourism)