Monday, May 26, 2008

Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park

Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (Palawan, Philippines) - Rank 05 as of June 13, 2008
The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is one of the most important conservation areas in the Philippines. It features spectacular limestone karst landscape with its underground river. A distinguishing feature of the river is that it flows directly into the sea, and the lower portion of the river is subject to tidal influences.

The site contains a full mountain to the sea ecosystem and protects forests, which are among the most significant in Asia which allowed the Park to be inscribed as a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO.

The Park which is also known as St. Paul's Subterranean River National Park is located in the Saint Paul Mountain Range, some 81 km north of Puerto Princesa City within portion of Barangays Cabayugan, Marufinas, and Tagabinet. The entrance to the Subterranean River is located a short hike from little town of Sabang.

The City Government of Puerto Princesa has managed the National Park since 1992. The intention is to protect the impressive cave systems, lush old growth tropical rain forest, interesting wildlife, unspoiled natural beauty of the area and one of the most impressive cave system in the world. Its main focus is 8.2 km. long underground river that flows beneath a spectacular limestone formation before directly emptying into the sea.

It is a core area for the Palawan Biosphere Reserve and is designated as an Important Bird Area (IBA). It was also declared as a National Geological Monument. In recognition of global significance, the Park has been inscribed to the list of natural World Heritage Sites.

Key attractions of the Park includes a 1-hour tour inside the mystic underground river to be amazed with interesting rock formations, and be acquainted with thousands of baths and swiftlets living deep inside the cave.

The Park boast a number of cave systems which have interesting geological features include the Ugong Rock view deck which allows one to marvel at the spectacular karst mountain formations and the natural beauty of the areas surrounding the Park. Other sites to explore include Lion cave, Daylight hole and the Kawili Cave.

Bird lovers would appreciated different colorful birds found in the area. which includes parrots, hornbills, megapodes, pitas, leaf birds and herons. Other wildlife seen are the monitor lizards, macaques, squirrels.

Feeling the heat after hours of touring the park, one can indulge in the white sand beaches available on the shorelines. With cool and crystal clear waters, it's ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and even just enjoying the feel of the sun. Most popular are the Sabang beach, Panaguman beach and Marta Fe beach.

The information and pictures featured here are from the following web references. You may check the links for additional information, including travel details. (Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park Official Web Site)

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