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Affordable Palawan Day 03: Spelunking + Zip Line = Ugong Rock 2/2


Affordable Palawan Day 01 – City Tour

Affordable PalawanDay 02 – Honda Bay Island Hopping

Affordable Palawan Day 03 – Underground River (1/2)

The adventure has just began after seeing the majestic Underground River.  Little did I know that we’re still about to taste a higher level of excitement when we arrived at Ugong Rock.  If your looking for a different and more physical adventure in Palawan, Ugong Rock is the best place to be.  This is NOT part of our original itinerary for this day and it’s waaaaaaaay out of the budget. lol Sometimes, getting over the budget really bothers me. #kuripot :P hehe

Ugong Rock

Photo Credit:  Source

Ugong Rock is a 75-foot limestone formation in the midst of farmlands and karst forests or forests growing on limestone substrate in Barangay Tagabinet, a once sleepy community of indigenous people. The word “ugong” stands for the reverberating sound (similar to a bell) that stalactites produce inside the cavernous structures of Ugong Rock when hit or pounded with  the knuckles or the palm.

A City in the Forest

Ugong Rock photoop

Ugong Rock can be accessed from the city of Puerto Princesa within two hours or less by van or any land vehicle because the way to the limestone formation is well-paved. The limestone formation is just a few hundred meters away from the main road to Sabang.  It is an environmental project conceived by different large foundations including the ABS-CBN Foundation Inc., which not only helps preserve the nature but also gives the community means of earning a living.  The  proceeds are given to the people.

Briefing is a must

The people of Ugong warmly welcomed us and gave us a briefing of what to expect in this EXTREME adventure.  Yes, it’s gonna be my first time to do all these in one day – SPELUNKING + ZIP LINE.   I can hear my adrenalin rushing now. :P

Paid the fee = 200Php for spelunking 250Php for the zipline ✔

Signed the waiver = read every single sentence, lol jmzapanta ✔

Protective gears =  helmet, gloves ✔

Listened to the guides’ instructions = ✔

Prayed I’ll still be alive after this =  ✔✔✔✔✔!!!!!!


Caving—also occasionally known as spelunking in the United States and potholing in the United Kingdom—is the recreational pastime of exploring wild (generally non-commercial) cave systems. In contrast, speleology is the scientific study of caves and the cave environment.

Cave Entrance

Trivia portion

The locals used Ugong as a hide out during the Japanese occupation in WW2.  While we were walking, the head guide is telling us the history of Ugong Rock and how it was born.  All the guides are part of the community beneficiaries of this project.

Jume-James Franco #127 Hours

127 Hours FYI:  127 Hours is the true story of mountain climber Aron Ralston’s remarkable adventure to save himself after a fallen boulder crashes on his arm and traps him in an isolated canyon in Utah.

Amazing rock formations greeted us

The Rock Era

Crossing the man-made wooden bridge

With tiny holes to pass through

I won't be without my camera :P

Photo-op with a stalactite :P

Checking if the rope's strong enough :P

Step 1

Step 2 - Secure the camera!

I must’ve loved my camera more than myself.. :P

Step 3 - listen to your guide, he knows where to step on


Step 4 - Tighten your grip

Step 5 - Just enjoy the climb, it's not that high

And you might thought that it’s the peak already…. Think again. :)

A few meters more or rather, a few steps more

It took us roughly 40 minutes to reach the top where the zip line awaits.  There are face towels that are free to use for those who are sweating big time.  They also have biscuits, bottled water and other snacks if your encounter with the cave made you hungry.


Ziplining has now become a popular activity for Pinoys who are fond of having a lot of fun.  It is (now considered to be ) a sport of soaring high above the ground while your body is secured in a harness and attached to an overhead cable. A zip line is an aerial runway created by stretching a rope or cable between two fixed points. The zip line must be sloped enough to allow gravity alone to propel riders along the length of the cable. The zip lines constructed by eco-tour companies are usually built high above scenic areas and features such ravines, jungles, meadows, and forests. They are also built by most professional operators and have cables suspended 30 to 200 feet above the ground.

The lush greens of Barangay Tagabinet seen from the top

The view from the top is just amazing.  You can clearly see a large portion of  the abundant greens that Palawan is well known for.  Other nearby barangays can be seen from afar as well.  Ugong Rock measures 160ft and that’s the tip where we’ll start screaming :)

We’re the first group at the top so we prepared ourselves to go down.  As usual, safety precautions first.

Jepoy and a thumb's up!

Knowing me, I should be feeling nervous by this time.  But as far as I can remember, it’s more of the excitement that ruled over me that’s why I didn’t have hesitations to try this out.

And I just felt the moment and screamed my heart ouuuuuuuuuuuuuuut!

Shout it out loooooooooooooooooooooooooooud!

Thanks @ef.zepol for the pic :)


No, my slippers didn't fall. They're at my back

The zipline ride took about 21 seconds more or less and needless to say, it was AWESOME! :)  Even the 7-year old kid of Ate Leonora (who overcame her fear of this extreme activity :P) enjoyed it! He can’t stop telling his excitement after the ride.  He even asked for another one but of course, his mom doesn’t approve because that means she would have to do it again as well. :)

You really can feel the cool breeze when you’re up in the air.  Unlike other zip lines in the metro, it’s doesn’t only have a straight path going down.  You’ll start from a very high point and in the middle, you’ll just feel the glide as you pass by the ricefields. :)

By the way, for peeps over 170kg another piece of clothing will be attached to you as you glide your way down.  It will serve as your parachute to lessen the impact at the end.

At 3PM we left for Puerto Princesa City to wash up and reward ourselves a rest from the very tiring day. It only took us less than 2 hours and we’re back in Victoria’s Guesthouse – our home sweet abode in our 4 days and 3 nights’ stay here in Puerto Princesa.

Ugong Rock is a must visit destination when going to Sabang for the Underground River.  You can get a totally different experience here if you want to take a break from beach bumming and snorkeling. :)


29 Responses to Affordable Palawan Day 03: Spelunking + Zip Line = Ugong Rock 2/2

  1. kura says:

    OM parang nakakahiya pag may inattach sa likod ko kung ganun? hahah!
    na-miss ko ang zipline na yan. and wow ha! 160 feet. Super elevated. Alam mo yung pag sa cartoon, yung pag nag sky diving, ganun siguro ichura ng bibig ko pag hinulog ako diyan. hahaha!

    the cave.. wow! kinaya mo yun jeff? astig! mahal na mahal talaga ang camera e no. mahulog na ang lahat wag lang siya. lol! sabagay, kung ako din yan. thanks dito. akala ko puro lang din islands islands sa puerto e.

    • JeffZ says:

      Yep totally something different from the island hopping.. kulang na lang sa Palawan, nightlife na parang Bora.. pero sana wag na lagyan, para hindi mapollute..

      swabeng swabe lang yung glide, hindi rin nakakalula.. just suck in the things you see.. sobrang relaxing.. :D

  2. wow! extrreme.. pinagsama pa ang spelunking and zipline. ang saya ng day na yan.

  3. happysole says:

    nice! madami ng bago sa Palawan.. kelangan na bumalik uli. :)

    • JeffZ says:

      Yep.. kakabukas lang nitong zipline and ung 900m zipline in Puerto Princesa City going to Crocodile farm, it’ll be open to public soon.. it’ll be the longest zipline in the Philippines.. :D

  4. Plypox says:

    Wow, really cool adventure trip. Zip Line looks really exciting and all.

  5. Mitch says:

    Hi.. I am claustrophobic, well I think. When I saw the cave yeah I am not so sure how to make myself out if ever anjan ako, at ung 127 hours, I cannot take it. parang I cannot breathe anymore. hehe.. Pero I hope someday, ma overcome ko din un thru another try of zipline. (koneksyon)?! hehe.. la lang. nag enjoy ko sa post na ito.. 21 sec up in the air, pede na!!

    • JeffZ says:

      Thanks for reading Mitch!.. it’s a different kind of experience.. ako naman fear of snakes kaya tinanong ko agad sa kasama namin kung may ahas ba sa loob.. hehe fortunately wala naman and ramdam mo ang flinstones age.. :) Yung zipline walang lula kang mararamdaman.. swabeng-swabe lang.. :)

  6. How the firefly river tour? Did you try it?

  7. Vinice May says:

    hi Jeff, I was really entertained reading what you posted..i bet u had fun, and your choice of words are cool and funny..haha anyways, my boyfriend and i are planning to go to palawan early next year..would you recommend victoria guest house for us to stay, or meron bang mas maganda? also where did you get your tour guide service at magkano nadin? thank you and god bless x

    • JeffZ says:

      Hi Vinice.. I recommend having a good stay at Victoria’s Guesthouse.. the rooms are neat, nothing fancy about it but the staff are accommodating.. they will arrange everything for you.. as far as I can remember, around 4K lang per head ung nagastos namin inclusive of food, tour, fares (land and boat) and entrance fees.. thanks for reading!

  8. lalyn says:

    Hi! We’re going to Puerto Prinsesa in March. Where did you book your Ugong Rock tour? Is that included in the Underground River tour or separate?

    • JeffZ says:

      Hi there!.. It’s not included in the tour.. Our tour guide only informed us about Ugong Rock while we’re on our way to PPUR.. I can’t remember the rates, I think I spent 500Php for Zipline and Caving..

  9. jullie says:

    we’re planning to go to palawan w/ my parents & my in laws
    how much is the city tour? honda bay and UR tour?
    all in all how much was your expense except for ugong rock?

  10. Amor18 says:

    My partner and I will be having a tour in Palawan. Because of your blog,nagkaidea talaga kame ng kung ano dapat dalhin at puntahan. Magastos parin pala kahit buong tour na yung binayaran. Hehehe,kuripot din :) swerte mo naman at may tagakuha ka maya’t maya. Well then,thanks Jeff. Dameng tips. GB :)

    • JeffZ says:

      Thanks Amor18!.. yep kahit kami sumobra sa budget kasi may mga dinagdag kami.. pero it was all worth it.. baka kasi hindi na maulit ung punta eh.. :)

  11. jojo says:

    hi! me and my friends will go to palawan this november…kelan kayo nagzipline? right after ng underground river tour ninyo? is the ugong rock far from the place kung san yung underground? tapos different pa ba yung sa sabang zipline? just asking para when we go there, alam namin kung san pa pwede pumunta :D thanks! :)

    • JeffZ says:

      We did Ugong Rock caving and zip line right after the Underground River tour. Sabang Port (drop off to Underground River) is just 15-20 mins away from Ugong Rock.

  12. Victor says:

    Hi Jeff. i find your information very entertaining and very useful. We’re planning a trip in February and very excited. How far is UR, Underground river from Puerto Princesa? How does the Honda Bay beach hopping work…I assume they’d let you swim , but for how long? how far is the drive from poit a to point b?

    Great website:) Thank you.

    • JeffZ says:

      Hello Victor! Honda Bay is nearer from the city as it is only about 30 minutes away. Yes, you have to be ready with your swimming gears (snorkels, goggles, board shorts, and your underwater camera). It’s more of like an encounter with the fishes. That’s why I recommend having an underwater camera with you so as not to let the moment of seeing aquarium fishes pass you by. On the other hand, UR is 2-3 hours away from Puerto Princesa City. You have to drive to Sabang Beach (dropoff point to UR) then ride a boat to the Underground River.

  13. Justine says:

    Hi Jeff,
    I love your blog! You are kindred adventurous world traveler in spirit :)
    My husband, myself & our 5 y/o daughter are planning to go to Palawan in May. I noticed you said a 7 y/o went down on the zipline. Did his mom go down together with him? Would they allow me and my 5 y/o to go together? In your opinion, do you think she’ll make it up to the top? She is very active & quite adventurous. Thanks for any advice.

    • JeffZ says:

      Hi Justine!

      Thanks for the encouraging words.. I think they will allow you to go with your 5 y/o daughter, as long as you’re up for the challenge, too!.. hehe :) But the experience was really nice.. If you think she can do it, then she can do it.. :) Though there will still be a briefing before you climb up the rocks, so I think the guides can also help you decide.. :)

  14. Joan Suc says:

    Hi Jeff! i just want to ask .. is it possible po ba not to take the zipline? or package na po un with spelunking?

  15. Jane-Ann Spencer says:

    Hi Jeff, Love your blog as recommended by Trip Advisor!

    We have our UR tour set up through our booking agent as we are a group of 10. Do you know if tour guides/drivers will stop and wait for us to visit Ugong Rock following/before the tour (our agent has yet to give us our UR permits, so not sure what time is our actual tour)? Is it even possible to walk from UR to Ugong, so that rather than waiting for us, they can pick us up at end of both activities?

    Thanks so much!!!

    • JeffZ says:

      Hi Jane-Ann!

      Sabang Beach is still far from Ugong Rock. I think it’s a 15-30min drive away, can’t recall it anymore.. but you can’t walk your way there! haha :) If your schedule is still not yet confirmed, I recommend you do the UR tour before lunch, then you go to Ugong rock right after. Just inform your agent beforehand so that he/she can arrange it for you. :)

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