Explore Puerto Princesa
As already mentioned, Puerto Princesa is a good starting point for several trips. Many hotels/guesthouses can arrange city tours as well as several other trips, for example island hopping. If you want to visit the underground river, you do not necessarily have to book a trip. If you prefer walking around on your own just rent a motorbike and explore the island.

The underground river
The “Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park” also known as “The Underground River” is located 50km (31mi) north of Puerto Princesa. Since the end of 2011 the underground river has been one of the “7 New Wonders of Nature”. Navigable for 8.2km (5mi) the underground river is the second longest in the world. After a short boat ride at Sabang to the entrance of the cave, you will get helmets, a boat and a guide and the adventure begins. The formations inside the cave which include stalactites, stalagmites and columns are amazing. Of course there are plenty of bats and swallows inside as well. Tourists only see the first 2km (1.2mi) of the cave. You really should not miss out on that.

The Salakot Waterfall
If you rent a motorbike, the Salakot waterfall located at Barangay Napsan is also a very nice place to go to. As always there are not many signs. You first have to follow the Puerto Princesa South road. Ask at your guesthouse or some locals on the way what the best way to go to the waterfall is. Off the highway roads are very bumpy and full of stones and holes.

Jungle Trekking - Batak
At San Rafael, North of Puerto Princesa you can have the unique experience of a trek to the
Batak tribe. You definitely have to take a guide as you won`t find the place on your own. The Batak tribe belongs to the indigenous "Negrito" people. Today the population is only about 300 people. Batak, once nomadic people, are now settled in small villages. Unfortunately in the middle of the 20th century a huge number of settlers came to the region which made the Batak people abandon their settlements and move to less fertile hills. The tribe depends on a varied mix of cultivation, gathering, hunting and fishing. It is getting harder and harder for the Batak people to survive even if in 1997 the Philippine government passed an "Indigenous Peoples Rights Act" to protect their way of life as well as their land. The requirements of the Act, however, are very complex. When meeting this people, you will get an insight into Philippine life you have not had before. Not very much used to tourists, especially to white people, Batak are shy and it happens that small children start crying when they see you. If you want to have an unforgettable experience, don`t miss out on that.

Island hopping San Rafael
If you are already in the area for the jungle trek to the Batak, you should stay for the night going on an island hopping trip the next day. You can stay at "Duchess Bungalow" on the beach. Rooms are about 500 Pesos a night (prices as of 2009) but there is no restaurant. The only place close by is one eatery which offers local food like fish, rice and, of course, lots of meat. Vegetarians will have a problem. Ask around and locals will be happy to take you out to some small islands for a ridiculous small fee. It`s definitely worth it.


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