EXPLORE Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park with this slideshow, check the location map and get all the facts and information below.

Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park
Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park

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Location and Values: The Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park is located on the west coast of the Philippine island of Palawan. It protects a limestone karst mountain landscape with an 8.2 km long underground river that flows directly into the sea. This feature makes it distinctive in a global context, with half the river’s length subject to tidal influence. The impressive cave system is readily accessible by boat and features several large chambers and dramatic speleothems (stalactites and other carbonate cave formations). The entire river catchment is protected within the park, which covers a remarkable diversity of habitats within its mountain-to-sea ecosystem. Eight distinct types of tropical forest are represented, protecting the distinctive biodiversity of Palawan, including all 15 of the island’s endemic bird species.

Conservation Status and Prospects. According to IUCN’s Conservation Outlook Assessment (2017) the conservation status of the Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park is ‘good, with some concerns’. The IUCN report notes that the spectacular cave system and interface between the sea and the underground river are well maintained. However there is some degradation of the site’s biodiversity values due to resource exploitation by local people. There are several other management issues affecting the site, including insufficient monitoring data and research to properly inform management decisions; a complex legal framework; confusion over boundaries, land claims and excisions for local farmers; and a need for better control of tourism development.

Google Earth
UNESCO Official Website
IUCN Conservation Outlook
UNEP-WCMC Site Description
Birdlife IBA

Slideshow description

The slideshow illustrates a typical tourist experience of the Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park with a portfolio of photos by Sue Stolton and Nigel Dudley (Equilibrium Research) from a visit in March 2015. They illustrate the popularity of the place as a tourist destination and provide an overview of the mountain and forest landscapes, stunning local beaches and karst features at the mouth of the cave system, where the underground river reaches the sea.

The following Flickr photographers are acknowledged with thanks for additional contributions to this slideshow: Tom Jutte, Karl Villanueva, Francesco Veronesi, Wayne Grazio, Eujenijus Kavaliauskas, Arthur Santos, Devon Pike, Edwin Lasquite, Eiji Murakami, Jeffery Buot, Jerry Bagob, Loveleen De, Luca Guizzardi, Mau Jasmin, MinLi Yang, nujynnek, paweesit, Phil_trophy, Poxxel, Ray in Manila, RDV Voyage, Remar Lapastora, Sophia Lucero and Xyldrae.


Website Category: Tropical & Sub-tropical Forests; Caves & Karst
Area: 222 km2
Inscribed: 1999


  • Exceptional natural phenomenon (vii);
  • Outstanding natural beauty (vii);
  • Geological features (viii);
  • Natural habitat for biodiversity (x);
  • Significant number of rare, endemic and/or endangered species (x)

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