The struggle of natural explorers is always what to do and where to go first. There is often a trade-off of sorts: if you want to go to the beach, you can’t go to the mountains. If you want to rock-climb or go spelunking (cave exploring), you can’t go on the river cruise. If you’re bringing a pet, sometimes you can’t do any of those.
One place that completely avoids such struggle is Sabang in Palawan. Are you up for the beaches and some surf waves? Cave-exploring? Ziplining? River cruises? You can do three or more of those in a single day; and even bring your pets along.
The Sabang Waterfall
Now here’s something you won’t see every day, no matter where you live: a water source that is so pure it can still be drunk from. The Sabang Waterfall is the locals’ drinking water source, and they collect from the top in a natural basin occurring right before the falls.
However, you and other locals can swim in the pool right beneath the falls. You can even put up your head and drink from the falling water. It is partly hidden, not as popular with tourists, so it’s a perfect place to start a Sabang adventure.
The Sabang Beach
Sabang Beach is more a stopover point for most tourists on their way to other attractions, but by all rights the beach should be an attraction in itself. It is a long beach, perfect for a relaxing stroll, and the calm waters are accompaniment enough.
Even better, it is labelled one of the Philippines’ pet-friendly tourist spots. Both locals and tourists bring their dogs along to the beach. A long leash or transmitter with a receiver collar should work in keeping the dog contained when needed. There are specific wireless dog fences for traveling, here is a site that has detailed electric dog fence reviews.
The Sabang Mangroves Tour
The calm, sheltered cove is a growth spot for a mangrove forest (mangroves grow in saltwater, and often signal proximity to the ocean even inland). You can rent a paddle boat and guide, and travel into the quiet undergrowth of this forest.
A low tide trip is best, since it narrows the river and you will have a better view into the forest. You will be able to see more of the importance of the mangrove ecosystem, including its role as shelter and protection for young fish.
The Sabang Underground River
This is the best-known attraction of Sabang, but it is still something that should not be missed. The natural cave is large enough to tower over the long boats, and stalactites form above. The cave has life as well: bats and birds fly overhead.
The tour lasts an hour and is considered the longest underground river in the world that can actually be travelled on. It is also one of the 7 New Wonders of the World. The river is safe and calm except in extreme condition, when all tours are cancelled.
Other things to do in Sabang include climbing inside rock caves, taking the minute-long Sabang zipline, and surfing (when the timing is right) on Sabang Beach. If you plan your day right, it can all be accomplished in one.