Sabang Beach, Palawan

Sabang Puerto PrincesaSabang is the gateway to the world heritage-listed Puerto Princesa Subterranean Underground River. Sabang is a small village located on the western coast of the provincial island of Palawan, Philippines. It is considered part of the municipality of Puerto Princesa. Located 80 kilometers northwest of Puerto Princesa City, Sabang is comprised of a small fishing community that provides banca transportation to and from the Underground River. The beach is located at St. Paul’s Bay and stretches to the border of the National Park, with Daluyon Beach and Mountain Resort located in its very heart. Its remoteness and natural setting make it a visitor’s favorite.You will not get bored along the way as the land travel to Sabang shall certainly delight you with the great sceneries of Puerto Princesa City. Staying at least overnight in the resort shall give you different accommodations to choose from, and there are plenty of activities to do that will make you stay a few days more.

Tiny Sabang has a long expanse of beach and is famed for the navigable Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (admission P200), which winds through a spectacular cave before emptying into the sea. Tourist paddle boats are allowed to go 1.5km upstream into the cave (45 minutes return); in the June to November low season you can proceed 4.3km upstream (three hours return), but only with a separate permit from the Underground River Booking Office in Puerto Princesa. From the beach in Sabang, it’s a thrilling 5 kilometer walk through the jungle to the mouth of the river, or you can book a boat (P700 for up to six people, 15 minutes) through the Tourist Information & Assistance Center at the pier.

You will head north for the first half of the drive along the east coast until you reach Salvacion. This stretch of road is cemented and in very good condition. From Salvacion, you will go North and cross Palawan to the South China Sea, passing through native forests and several small villages. The road going to Sabang is almost completely cemented, so the drive is no longer rough.

Probably ninety five percent of all the visitors to Sabang take a day trip from Puerto Princesa, staying long enough only to eat lunch on the beach and experience the 45 minute underground river trip. The sleepy little village of Sabang transforms daily into an overcrowded car park as some 60 tourist vans arrive from Puerto Princesa – each van may have up to 12 passengers. Around lunch time, Sabang swarms with tourists. By mid afternoon, most of the vans have left and Sabang returns to its quite self. At sunset, when the air turns cooler, there is a soothing tranquility; village life returns to normal and children come to play in their reclaimed streets. Sunrise brings on an equal calm. All that changes again around mid morning – this is when the first of day trippers arrive for their underground river excursion. Consider at least a one night stay in Sabang and experience its quiet beauty.

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